Merry Christmas, Juliet Greenwood!
How would you describe your Christmas in only three words? Juliet: Quiet, peaceful, reflective.
If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why? Juliet: It would be Scrooge, just because he learns to enjoy life, and the simple pleasures of good food and family and those you love. And he learns to enjoy Christmas too!
If you had to exist for a week in a Christmas story … which one would it be?
Juliet: It would have to be Narnia of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As a child, I loved the ice-bound world struggling between good and evil – and I’d love to have Christmas with Mr and Mrs Beaver.
If I’m being very cheeky, I would say it was a magazine short story by my good friend Heather Pardoe (okay, yes she is me), which was set in Portmeirion at Christmas. Just because I would love to spend a week in Portmeirion – and Christmas there would be magical! (I’ve twisted Heather’s arm, and she’s putting it up on her website for Christmas).
Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve?
Juliet: George Elliot (except I’d probably faint with adoration), Elizabeth Gaskell (I love ‘Wives and Daughters’), and Agatha Christie – nothing like a good murder mystery at Christmas!
What would I serve? Mmm, well I’m not sure I’d be popular. I’m a lifelong vegetarian, so haven’t a clue about cooking a traditional Christmas dinner. I can do salmon (as long as it comes in a packet) for starters. I do a mean chestnut and cashew roast, carrots in white sauce, and sprouts and chestnuts in garlic butter. Followed by Christmas pudding and brandy sauce. And plenty of homemade sloe gin. That will keep them all happy, and knock them out before anyone can start a fight. (I’ve lived through many Christmasses …..)
If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be? Juliet: ‘The Lost Christmas Rose Garden’. Although Heather (who’s into cozy crime) would probably insist on ‘The Body in the Lost Christmas Rose Garden’.
What do you dislike the most about Christmas? Juliet: Explaining what vegetarians eat for Christmas dinner, and that it’s not sackcloth and ashes but really rather nice – and leaves more room for pudding afterwards!! When I was a kid, there were fourteen or more of the extended family sitting down to a veggie dinner, and none of us felt deprived, and you don’t have to get up at dawn, and isn’t it about sharing what you love to eat with those you love to be with, in the darkness of midwinter, rather than a competition in perfection?
Because I loved singing carols when I was little, and I loved the sound of that. It always has the ring of Christmas (yes, I know it’s three words, but it always sounded like one to me).
Julia Greenwood was in the Christmas chair: Author of: We That Are Left & Eden’s Garden.