Hardback bound, no bigger than an iPad, and with a velvety matt surface, you can take A Colouring Book of Hours: Castle with you wherever you go. It will become your own private world that you dip into and develop for an afternoon, or whenever you want a few moments’ peace.
In a series of exquisitely drawn vistas and vignettes, the book takes you through a day in the Castle, from first light and the dawn chorus, to a refreshing sleep in the second-best bed. Take a dip in the morning pool, wander through the labyrinth to the cloud pavilion and the lantern path. A hidden doorway leads to the alchemist’s alcove and, after a visit to the shell grotto, lunch will be set out for you. Next, explore the river walk and the boathouse folly, discover the star garden and the closet of silks. You will need a rest by now: the evening library beckons. Watch the moon rise, climb the night stairs and find the bed you always dreamed of.
A Colouring Book of Hours: Castle is printed on specially tough paper that allows you to use your favourite pens or crayons without the colour bleeding beyond where it is wanted, and without raising fibres from the surface. Unless you are using marker pens, it won’t show through on the other side of the paper either. If you want to be sure, the last page has a space where you can try out your pens. You can also use watercolour paints. Water colour crayons are more convenient: a dab of water applied with a fine brush really makes the colours glow and flow, and you can also blend them. Best to let the pages dry, though, before you close the book. Some people like to frame their favourite pages. The final pages of the book feature some surrounds which you can photocopy, colour in, and use for frame mounts.