I'm back from the hills, all dosed up on nature and sunlight again and so rendered right with the world. One of our trips of Easter is back to the clifftops above Leucate
. Our last visit saw us running between the peculiar low walls of the land up there (looking like Neoloithic ruins but apparently the remnants of some terraced farming technique) with merry sightings of the vast Greater Spotted Cuckoo. Easter was somewhat earlier this year, so our bird was the Thekla Lark, singing in flight, and our happiest visits were with the dward flowers that grow up there, iris and narcissi.
The home in the Pyrenees gives us a much-needed full-on dose of nature, sitting in a valley atop a bend in the river. It's a workplace for me - big writing stints supported by walks in the hills. My main task was accomplished, my novel Play Bach
completed. I've been carrying this project for eleven years now, a huge one. It will need fresh drafts, and is receiving its first reading at the moment, but it is complete and I am discovering the relative lightness of life without it.
Walking up in the hills, looking out at the local sacred mountain Canigou, new writing ideas set themselves in place. These, unlike this last one with its Holocaust theme, are lighter in tone. So the Easter break brought that extra slice of relief.