The Idle Woman’s 6th Birthday

6th Birthday Cake

Today The Idle Woman is six years old! I was shocked this morning to realise that another year has whizzed by, but 2016 and 2017 have been so full of incident that it’s really no wonder. I’ve made a real effort to get books back to the top of the blog’s agenda and along the way I’ve read some fabulous things. Three examples which immediately come to mind are Hanya Yanahigara’s gut-wrenching eloquence in A Little Life; K.J. Parker’s Machiavellian fantasy in Devices and Desires; and Amor Towles’s refined, lovable Gentleman in Moscow, which is the most delightful book I’ve read all year.

Yet opera and theatre still hold a firm place in my heart: 2017 has been the year of Hipermestrawhile 2016 saw my first visit to the Paris Opera for Eliogabalo, and the unlikely sight of Xerxes singing Ombra mai fu to a Spitfire. More than ever, there’s been a lot of travel to write about, as work has sent me off around the world from Los Angeles to China, not to mention the usual Italian suspects. At every stop, I’ve tried to see as many museums as possible and to share some of my experiences here; but even when that’s not possible, the photographs go up on my (very) active Instagram account. It’s been dizzying, mad, overwhelming on occasion, but always a great deal of fun.

But writing about these things isn’t what keeps The Idle Woman going. It’s hearing back from all of you, whether you’re sharing your own thoughts on something I’ve discussed, recommending something new, or just saying hi. Thank you all so much. Remember that I’m not some faceless creature of the internet. Every time you comment, my phone makes a little ping noise and you make an excitable person very happy. Special thanks to Heloise, with whom I hope to embark on a Tale of Genji reading very soon, and who has always been such a stalwart supporter, despite my recent uselessness as a correspondent. Thanks too to Dehggial for her company at many of London’s Baroque events and for always being so ready to jump into the comments. A wave to Arwen1968 of Waterblogged, whose lovely photos brighten up many a day, and whom I had the pleasure of meeting over a glass of wine. Following her posts on Herodotus, I gamely tried to convert her to the Persian rather than the Greek cause (without success, I fear). And to Kerstin, Isi, RT, Helen and everyone else who’s got involved in discussions this last year, I raise a glass.

Goodness knows what the next year will bring, but I already have a pile of really exciting books lined up; I have several operas and concerts booked in; and I’m already itching to see the forthcoming Scythians show at the British Museum (cavalry charges, horseback archery and golden treasure never fails to fill me with glee). It’s going to be another good year. I can feel it in my bones.

Hugs to all of you for making the blog a success. And thank you.

With love,


16 thoughts on “The Idle Woman’s 6th Birthday

  1. RT says:

    And we all raise a glass to you. Thank you for this fabulous blog – I always really enjoy your posts even when I don’t have a comment to add. Congratulations on your anniversary!

  2. SKD says:


    Quick question, should ‘Gentleman in Moscow’ be saved for the cold winter months, or would it be ok as a summer read? Thanks.

    • The Idle Woman says:

      Thank you! Oh, you could read A Gentleman in Moscow at any time of year. It takes place over a long time period so is not exclusively focused on winter… though I understand that stories about Russia and Moscow feel more appropriate for winter reading! It’s just such a lovely book, though, it’d be perfect at any season.

  3. Daniel says:

    I’d like to offer my congratulations, too. Your posts are always enlightening and enjoyable, and If I don’t comment on them very often, it’s only because I can’t think of anything to say, apart from ‘Bravo!’.

    • The Idle Woman says:

      I know. If my blog were a child, it’d be at school. That’s a bit scary. Yes, see you on Monday! I think I’ve got over the Kate Lindsey issue now (more or less) and am looking forward to it again. Hope the weather’s not too bad 🙂

      • dehggial says:

        I think the blog would be taking advanced classes reading-wise 😉 The good part with KL is she is a frequent ROH visitor, so I’m sure you’ll have plenty of chances to see her in the seasons to come.

  4. arwen1968 says:

    Happy (belated) 6th birthday, keep going! I enjoy reading your stuff, it certainly educates my mind!

    And thanks for the mention as well, hope to meet up with you again!

  5. Heloise Merlin says:

    Somehow, it seems to have become a tradition that I’m late for the party, so like every year – congratulations on six years of blogging, that is six years of consistently both delighting and enlightening your readers!

    It were your posts on Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond novels which first got me here, and I’ve checked – that means I’ve been along for almost five years of those six. 😛 And I think it says something about the quality of a blog if it’s not only been around for that long but also makes readers come back again and again for such a long time.

    This is serously my favourite blog on all of the internet, and I wish you all the best for the upcoming years. 🙂

  6. Isi says:

    Sorry for being so late at your blog birthday, but happy birthday! 🙂
    You certainly make us smarter and more knowledgable through your writings and pictures on social media.
    Lots of kisses!!

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