Christmas on Becca's Books | Christmas chit-chat with Rosanna Ley

~ Christmas Chit-Chat ~

With Rosanna Ley

Top Ten Christmas Memories. My best Christmas included some special things
Such as...
Deer spotting in Bushy Park. Driving with my parents to my aunt and uncle’s house in Pinner. Big family Christmas ahead. Whoo hey.
Sharing a room with my cousin Linda, the sister I never had. Cosy chats and giggling till way past midnight.
Getting a BIG BAG (forget the stocking) full of grown up goodies on Christmas morning. Nail polish! Eye shadow! Lipstick!
The Christmas-resin scent of pine needles. The sense of smell is so evocative of memory and occasion.
The magical fairy with the wonky wings who dive-bombed from the top of the Christmas tree and almost made it into Uncle Michael’s sherry.
My Auntie Tessa’s cherry pie. Never mind Christmas pudding – this was the business.
The drawing game – two teams racing around the house like crazy things, drawing and guessing and performing - a very early and manic version of Pictionary crossed with Charades. The biggest fun ever.
Dr Zhivago on TV...
Boxing Day Snow. Hurrah! Multiple snowmen in the garden.
My parents’ laughter.

Christmas in the Sun
We thought it would be wonderful to escape Christmas commercialism and drizzle. Christmas on the island of Fuerteventura sounded more than appealing. And warmer.
We searched for days for a tree. Fuerteventura doesn’t really do trees. There’s the odd plant and flower, but mostly its black volcanic rock, blue lagoons and sand. Sounds blissful, but at Christmas time, shouldn’t you have a tree?
We didn’t expect the guilt about the family we’d left behind. Phone calls and Skype helped a bit. But this is Christmas... We didn’t expect to miss them like we did.
We ate fresh melon on a cliff looking out to sea for breakfast on Christmas morning. We walked to the lighthouse for a swim in the bay and pretended paella was roast turkey. Late afternoon we watched the yellow light that turns the sand almost green and walked barefoot along the dunes.
We thought it would be wonderful to escape Christmas commercialism and drizzle. And it was. But we won’t be doing it again. There were too many things missing. And somehow, it just wasn’t the same.

Worst Christmas Present Ever
I have never been so disappointed. The package felt interesting enough – it was bulky and quite heavy. It could be clothes perhaps – that jacket I’d pointed out to my mum in town a few weeks ago. I hoped so...
I ripped at the paper. Out it came.
Question: What do you buy a girl of fourteen for Christmas?
Answer: A gold nylon bedspread.
What do you say?: Uh, thank you. Sob. (But I like my old blue candlewick bedspread so much better... It’s warm, it’s cosy, it’s a friend. And this is Christmas!)
Even today, I can still remember the edgy static-feel of the gold, nylon bedspread on my skin -  ugh, prickly. I came out in a rash just looking at it.
So, no, I never put it on my bed. I confessed to my parents that I hated the thing. I don’t even know what they did with it. I was just thankful to never see it again...


Rosanna has written numerous articles and short stories for magazines, and her novels have been published in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Norway, Hungary, Portugal, Lithuania, Turkey and the Czech Republic. ‘The Villa’ is also published by Quercus in the US.
Rosanna’s books are inspired by a range of different cultures and landscapes and feature strong female voices from the past and present, along with an intense undercurrent of mystery and romance. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at the MBA Literary Agency.
Rosanna has also worked as a creative writing tutor for over 20 years. She has led courses for colleges and universities in England, and runs her own writing retreats and holidays in the UK and in stunning locations in Europe. She has worked with community groups in therapeutic settings and completed an MA in creative writing for personal development in order to support this. She also mentors and appraises the work of new writers.
Travelling and cliff walking are two of Rosanna’s favourite things to do. She also likes tennis, swimming, reading, eating very dark chocolate and drinking Italian coffee (preferably in Italy...) She lives with her artist husband in West Dorset and her favourite writing place is anywhere with a sea view.
You can find Rosanna Ley on Facebook | Twitter | rosannaley.co.uk



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