I haven’t blogged for a few weeks as I’ve been really busy doing a variety of things. I’ve finished editing The Golden Girls’ Getaway, my next novel, which is out in December. It’s about three wonderful women celebrating the end of lockdown by heading across the UK in a borrowed motor home and having adventures in fabulous locations. I’ve also finished writing two new novels that will come out in the first half of next year, one in a spooky genre. I’m really, really excited about all of them.
I’ve also been busy working on the house, doing a bit of home electrics for the first time, threading wires through cables in my new attic writing room. It’s empowering and yet it’s very scary, but not as scary as climbing up wobbly scaffolding onto the roof to do flaunching, which I’ve discovered means slapping a wallop of cement around the base of a chimney pot while trying not to fall off. There’s a great view from up there across the fields and woodlands, as long as I don’t look down, or the wind doesn’t blow too hard.
I have a new staircase too. The old one was literally hanging off, (see the featured image,) so Steve, the best builder in the world, came to build a new one. I’m going to redesign the landing area to become a small but peaceful reading space. I’ve even bought a ‘compact chair’, which I’m sure one of the cats will claim as soon as it arrives. Murphy has already taken over the yellow sofa while TC has the entire bed and Colin sleeps on my laptop….
I’m puzzling over what to do with the gravelled space at the front of the house, which is currently full of weeds, skips and cement mixers while a wall on the front of the house is rendered. My plan for next spring is to design something with shrubs, lavender, a tree, maybe a slab or two of patio. Or I might just let it become a meadow.
Working without much of a break seems to have been the way of things throughout lockdown and beyond, although I’m lucky that work is such great fun. But I ought to jump on a train and visit some friends in Liverpool before much longer, and then leap on another one to Cornwall for the same reason. There are some wild parties long overdue.
I’ve noticed so many friends on social media are off on holiday across the UK and beyond, posting the most incredible photos, which always provokes a huge amount of wanderlust: I need to travel so, to that end, I’m going to catch up with some special friends across several counties over the next few days, lovely people I haven’t seen for far too long, then I’m off for an overnight in South Wales, and next month I’ve promised myself a few days in the Highlands to research a novel. It’s been too long since I visited. Oh, and there’s a trip to the US planned for next year, to meet some wonderful people. I can’t wait!
I owe myself some reading time too. Spending an evening in front of the fire with a good book is such a comfort and a pleasure, even better with a cup of tea, (wine.. brandy..). I have a shelf where I put the books I plan to read next, and there’s a pile of ten stacked together, all different genres and authors. I’m looking forward to spending time getting lost between the pages.
I recently went to the cinema to see the latest James Bond movie too which, I have to admit, isn’t my sort of film at all, but it’s been so long since I watched anything on a big screen while crunching my way through a packet of Hula Hoops. I felt like a kid again, and I loved it so much that I’ll go back to see something else soon. Sadly, I missed the live stream of Hamlet, so probably the next thing I’ll watch will be The King’s Man with Ralph Fiennes.
But it’ll soon time to get back to work again . I’ll have more editing to do, which is always enjoyable but it’s quite immersive as I delve in and don’t come out for days and weeks until it’s finished. I have another spooky novel to write too, which means research, sleepless nights and creeping round the house because I have an overactive imagination. That will be very exciting.
And then it will be Christmas and New Year, time for partying and wassailing and catching up with more old friends. I’ve just found a recipe for plant-based Kahlua, so I’m going to learn to make some and get into creating espresso martinis. And I hope we’ll get some snow, just a little bit, just enough to cover the ground, weigh the branches of trees and make a walk in the woods in wellies so much fun. Snow is wonderful as long as everyone is safe and not snowed in. Living in the rural outback it’s normal for neighbours to trudge across fields to share bread and soup and to check each other has enough wood for a fire.
And soon it will be 2022. Months fly past so quickly. But it’s good to have something to celebrate. Let’s hope the next year will be a peaceful and kind one that will keep us and those we love healthy, happy and positive. And I’ve promised myself a proper book launch party next year, when I can finally open up the house and invite lots of people in.
So, I’d better be off now as I’m busy again, feeding cats, chopping firewood, baking bread and sending tons of emails. The cleaning can wait.
But I’ll be back soon with another blog post. Until then, stay safe and warm. Sending best wishes…x
Autumn sunshine outside my house…