Oh, there’s a surfeit of subjects to write about and I don’t know where to start.
Being back in the UK feels a bit like I’ve just got out of prison. I feel disconnected in a world full of familiarity. Chip and pin cards are causing me some consternation. I know my numbers but I want to hand the card to the cashier – I forget that little machine thing. The cashier looks at me as though I might have been released recently into the community. It’s rather wonderful and disconcerting all at the same time.
I am staying in the village in which I grew up. My parents’ home is filled with the ghosts of my past. So many ghosts I can’t go anywhere without my head filling with fragments of memories. Lots and lots of story ideas that I must try to write down
My sister and her daughters have been staying with our parents for about 8 months. They moved down from London last year and now they know everyone, including women who were our childhood friends who now have their own children. I feel like a foreigner and yet, I also feel as though I belong.
It’s been a strange few days. My folks are as mad as ever; probably madder with the addition of my sister. I narrowly missed the funeral of Aubergine the Hamster who passed on the day before I arrived, and damn me, if Milky Way the other Hamster didn’t go and die the day after. I attended that funeral. Courtesy of Granddad, they have beautiful headstones – actually they’re headplywoods but that doesn’t sound quite so glamourous. The day between the passing of the hamsters, a headless rabbit was discovered in Younger Niece’s wardrobe. It had been caught by HP the Cat and deposited in her wardrobe minus its head … I think it was a gift to her. Hmmm, I’m glad my sister found it. HP loves Younger Niece and sleeps on her bed so I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t sinister but a token of love. ‘H’ in HP doesn’t stand for Hannibal!
Last Friday I made my way to Manchester to see our best friends. They have a new addition to their family since I was last in the UK. He joined them a few months ago and I was desperate to meet him. He’s called Charlie and he’s a gorgeous four year old fell pony.
On Saturday I was meeting up with fourteen other Novel Racers. My Manchester friends said to me ‘if you want rescuing, just text us from the loo, and we’ll ring you and tell you there’s an emergency.’ But it was so not necessary. I loved it. Oh it was so fab to meet up with you all. I know I haven’t raced ahead with my story but I am still trying and I would, without any doubt, have given up had it not been for the support of the Novel Racers.
I am always astonished by how generous published writers are to us mere mortals who trying to write. Thank you Rowan for your advice: I think maybe I AM putting off actually writing. Watch this space.
Six hours disappeared in an instant. We ordered lunch and drinks and moved round the table so we could mingle with everyone. We awarded L-Plate her bottle of Champagne for finishing her re-write. I was disappointed not to have spoken individually to absolutely everyone which was a shame, but still that means WE’LL JUST HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN! I am back in July: how about a London meet?