What a wonderful few days I recently spent in Port Isaac with my writing pals, having picked the best week weather-wise. Straight after breakfast and a walk every day along the coast, we came back to the cottage and got down to work. You could almost cut the atmosphere with a knife, we were concentrating so hard, heads bent over our laptops, tapping away, all writing very different novels. Then in the afternoons we’d congregate and one by one read out our current chapters, then talk about anything that struck us – how it could be improved, throwing out ideas to fill in a pesky plot hole, any info dumps, repetitions . . . the kinds of things that creep into the very first draft of a chapter.
The combination of work, fun and laughter, mixed with sea air and excellent food and wine is heady stuff, and although none of us was ready to go home when the time came, we all had the satisfaction that we were far better equipped to finish our novels than we had been when we arrived.
Dougie, my cat, greeted me enthusiastically. He never ignores me like some of my friends’ cats do when their owners come back from holiday. But I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the house was going on the market that week and we would be moving in the summer as he looks upon the garden as his territory and regularly sniffs every inch.
Everything happened so quickly. Russets is too big for me now there’s just me, but it’s a perfect set-up for a family with parents working from home. And that’s exactly the situation of the couple who made an acceptable offer on Easter weekend. They want to move fast to make the most of the summer in the garden. It really is a joy with its rolling lawns, wild areas and pond, wrap-around terrace, and a pergola topped by a lush grapevine producing delicious bunches of sweet grapes. Enjoying lunch beneath it on a hot sunny day feels as though you’re in France or Italy – especially when the wine is flowing! I know the new family will love it.
I’m planning to move to Ringmer, near Lewes, the town where my sister moved to nearly a year ago. She’s so happy there and I want a change so our plan is only a whisker away from fruition. Talking of whiskers, I hope Dougie won’t be too shocked with the change (smaller garden but I’m sure there’ll still be plenty of creatures to terrorise). I’m looking forward to being in a completely different area, and Lewes with its river and castle, and surrounded by the South Downs, is absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait!
My book news is exciting: The first one in the new series: The Bletchley Park Girls, called Summer Secrets at Bletchley Park, is out on 28th April. I loved following Dulcie (Dale)Treadwell’s journey as she steps through the door to the mysterious Hut 4 and uncovers some of its secrets.
Do take a look at it.
See you next month.
Heartbroken, Dulcie is posted to Bletchley Park, where she must concentrate instead on cracking the German Enigma codes. The hours are long and the conditions tough, with little recognition from above. Until she breaks her first code…
But when a spiteful act of jealousy leads to Dulcie’s brutal dismissal, her life is left in pieces once more. Is it too late for Dulcie to prove her innocence and keep the job she loves? And will her heart ever truly heal if she doesn’t hear from Glenn again…?
A new, inspiring wartime series set at Bletchley Park, perfect for fans of Nancy Revell and Donna Douglas.