Well, Claudia and I had a really good time on New Year’s Eve. We went to visit some pals who live in a place in London called Crystal Palace. They don’t actually live in a crystal palace - the palace the area was named after was destroyed in a huge fire in the 1930s. But the foundations of the Crystal Palace are still there - in a large park on a high hillĀ - and you can walk down sets of stone steps with pillars and stone bannisters and statues on plinths all around, and you can stroll on grassy terraces that stretched out under the original palace. It wasn’t actually made of crystal - it was of glass, like a vast greenhouse! It was on a tall hill, and when it burned down, the flames could be seen all over London, apparently.

Anyway, I digress. We went to visit our friends in Crystal Palace, and drank some champagne at midnight, then we went out into the garden and we set off Chinese balloons. Do you know what they are? Just in case not, they are huge paper balloons, about three and a half foot high and a couple of feet across. They have a hoop of wire at the bottom that has a flammable square attached. You light the square and the paper balloon fills with hot air. Then, when it is fully inflated, you let it go and it soars up into the sky. We had them in yellow and green and blue. Mine had a kind of rocky start, and it almost turned over and I had to chase it across the grass to get it to fly right. But then it whooshed up into the air and flew way over the trees and the rooftops until it was like a star hanging in the sky. And right at that moment it started snowing, so that was pretty magical. The idea is to make a wish as you set your balloon off…but I can’t tell you my wish because that would spoil it. What might you have wished if you were me? Another ten Faerie Path books, perhaps?

Well, speaking of The Faerie Path, I took a look on the Amazon.com site a couple of days ago, and it seems that Faerie Path 5: The Enchanted Quest, will be in the stores on the 26th January! Hooray - at last!

I got a comment from Liz a few days back, really annoyed that Tania turned Edric’s marriage proposal down in The Immortal Realm, and asking why she would do such a thing. This set me to wondering what the rest of you guys think about this.

The thing is, it just seemed really obvious to me that Tania would say no - not just because she’s only sixteen, but also because it hit her as a real shock and kind of took her legs out from under her. Much as she loved Edric at that moment, she had never given any thought to marriage - to him or anyone else. Is she weird to react like she did, do you think? I’ve spoken to some famale pals about the same thing, and none of them think they would have agreed to get married at 16, no matter how much they loved the boy who asked - they all said they had way too many other things they wanted to do first, before settling down like that.

So, it’s over to you - was Tania out of her mind to turn him down like that, or do you think she was sensible to want to wait? After all, she really wanted to be with him, but just not married to him right then. (Oh, and when she turned him down, bear in mind she didn’t know about the whole “love is forever” thing.)