Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A long Update

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?


Caroline said...

July and London - count me in.

I loved seeing you and your hair is sooooo beautiful.

Keep writing honey.

Helen said...

July and London - me too. xx

Calistro said...

I was lovely to meet you JJ and Caroline's right. Your hair is gorgeous!

A July meet in London? Definitely. Sign me up!

p.s. Did the neice freak when she found the headless rabbit in her wardrobe? I wouldn't have screamed the house down!

Leigh said...

Ditto, hair and July!
Great to see you.
Looking forward to the next time!

Yvonne said...

Glad to hear you're having a great time in England, and congrats on getting loads of writing done! I'm cheering you on all the way!

Lazy Perfectionista said...

Was great to meet you! Am also in agreement about July (though not Saturday 12th please...). Can't wait for the next meeting of the Racers!

A. Writer said...

July/London - I'm there!!! It's a long way for me but heck, I'm there!

It was so lovely to meet you! And I'm so glad we had that chat about 'that person'.

Oh and I agree with Caroline and Calistro. Your hair is fab! Change your FB photo!!!

L-Plate Author said...

I think I'm up for it, so long as someone can meet me in Euston as you know how much I panic! xx

JJ said...

Caroline, excellent. Thank you. And yes, I will.

Helen, we missed you honey, and good to counting you in.

Cal, it was lovely to meet you too, though I'm sorry we didn't get to talk one to one. Luckily Younger Niece didn't find it, my sister did, but it gave her a horrible and surreal shock.

Leigh, fab. And thank you.

Yvonne, thanks honey.

Lazy Perfectionista, great to meet you too. Not the 12th!

AWriter, lovely meeting you too and I so loved your accent!

LPlate - I meant to say that your hair looked GORgeous. I hope you don't regret having the fringe cut in!


A. Writer said...

JJ - Aww.... thank you hon! *hugs*

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Wot they all said (sorry I'm late, been a bit manic!).

SpiralSkies said...

Count me in for London in July too - I'm sooo gutted that I missed meeting everyone :(

L-Plate Author said...

Thanks JJ, I did at the time but I think it 'fits' now. Wish I could have got around to talking to you more xx

liz fenwick said...

I'm with Jen...gutted here but thrilled it was such a success! I may be able to London in July. Keep me posted!

Lane said...

July and London sounds good to me.

Glad you're having a good visit:-)

Lucy Diamond said...

I am gutted too but YES to London in July. Am intrigued to see your hair now!!

laurie said...

oh, you sound so happy!!

and for what it's worth, i forget about those little check-card machines, too. and i haven't been away. i'm just slow.

DK Leather said...

it was good to meet you, hope I get the opportunity to join you guys again!