Yes, I know that seems a little depressing, but for me, the August Bank Holiday weekend has always been a symbol of the ending of summer. It feels like a door closing behind us, moving us on towards autumn. Looking back on this month, I have to confess that it’s been one of the most uncomfortable ever. Sunshine is definitely therapeutic. It energises me, makes me feel relaxed and puts a different face on the world. However, although the heatwave that arrived in the UK during August was very welcome, it soon turned uncomfortable. Despite having all the windows and doors open, some days there was little air. And nights, with most of those windows still open, still meant at times it was difficult to sleep. Open windows also proved an irresistible invitation for insect life. Moths are an expectation. Crickets maybe not, but the worst intruders were spiders, who seem to get bigger and bigger each year. All were given a helping hand out of the bathroom window never to be seen again.
I was around during the 1976 heatwave/drought (whatever you want to call it), when we had ten whole weeks without rain. Gardens were watered with bathwater, lawns went from green to brown (as they have this summer), and stand pipes were issued in some places, leaving people to queue with buckets to collect water. The stand pipes didn’t reach my road and thankfully the country has not experienced such draconian measures now. I remember ironing in my underwear because it was so hot and wondering if it would ever rain again. Comparing them both, Summer 2022 has definitely been the worst experience of the two. In those days there were no talks of global warming, it was just a very long, hot summer. Now what is happening has far reaching implications for both the planet and us in general. Looking forward, I guess the downside of all this is that we will have a very wet autumn. Mother Nature normally balances the seasons, and despite global warming, I have a feeling when the rain does arrive, there will be lots of it.
WRITING: At the beginning of the month my manuscript left the building for editing. Unfortunately, part way in my editor hit a problem. One which needed it to be returned and some comprehensive rewrites undertaken before she could continue. It’s the first time this has happened to me, and I guess it won’t be the last. Even after eleven books, I’m still learning. The delay has meant my hope of a late September publication date has had to be shelved. Instead, I’ve moved it to the New Year, probably late January or early February.
HOLIDAYS: In three weeks we’ll be in Cornwall. Fowey is a place I never tire of. It’s somewhere that really influences my writing. It’s a place where Daphne Du Maurier wrote in her house on the estuary next to the Boddinick Ferry. In fact, in my latest novel, I have taken something from the town – the Old Quay House Hotel – as inspiration for the Estuary House Hotel, which is central to my story. At this moment, with the completion of the third and final part of my Cornish trilogy imminent, I’m fairly open minded about what happens next. It’s always good to discover another part of the West Country where I can put down ‘roots’ and create another community, weaving romance and mystery around the lives of everyday folk. However, there are still characters in my fictitious estuary town of Kingswater who might be able to provide enough interest for a fourth book. I’ll just have to see what soaking up that Cornish atmosphere does. Watch this space!
READING & REVIEWING: And finally, my reading for the month. You can find my reviews on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/thewriterwhoreads
So that’s all for now. I’ll be back at the end of September. In the meantime take care everyone…