For eight months now I’ve been living on Plymouth Hoe, starting each morning by looking out across the Sound. It’s always striking to see the larger vessels including giant submarines running the deep channel that runs parallel and close to the shoreline as they head in and out of port. I watch the white Brittany Ferries ships head to and fro between Plymouth and Roscoff, and store my own excitement. Tonight that excitement gets released. The 11pm ferry will carry me with it.
We’re off to France for the Easter break. It’s my favourite time of year, tucking ourselves back into the Pyrenean hills while nature wakes up. Easter’s early this year. Will the cherries be in blossom yet and the nightingales singing? Every stirring of spring comes as a wonder. We’ll go on orchid hunts through the hills, and picnic by the riverside ruins of Felicity’s chapel.
I’m used to tucking myself into our house down there to write. Not this time. A stack of books is going with me, ones which count as pleasure-reading rather than research. An adult and a children’s novel are going out into the world from my respective agents, so I’m ready for some fallow time. Unlike the message reported from Allan Guthrie below, I’ve learned from my children’s agent Lucy Juckes that children’s publishers do buy a series rather than individual titles. The second in that particular quartet is playing through my head so I’ll let my imagination gather round it. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll stroke out a few pages before heading back to Britain. The first novel was born and then completed in that Pyrenean retreat, and I suspect this second book wants to go the same way.
At the beginning of April I’ve chosen a daytime journey back from Roscoff (on the coast of Brittany), so I can make the most of the fun of being at sea. Oddly I look forward to returning to Plymouth too. It seems my life’s in fair order just now.