Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Today’s inspiration is a quote, not a photo. But it’s linked to what I am doing, and what I do…

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

Thank you, Augustine of Hippo.

Happy writing,




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…or something of that nature. ¬†Although I’ve never ridden a horse so maybe it was a bad choice of words.

Anyhow – I’m back from my jaunts and slowly trying to get back to some sort of normal. My return isn’t normal though, it’s exhausting! I barely unpacked my suitcases and was straight into preparations¬†for Christmas, I have had to jump into panto rehearsals, I was in Belgium buying chocolates yesterday and today I have started going through the wedding paraphernalia¬†trying to find a home for 100¬†candle holders and half a tree trunk…

Writing – what’s that?

Now, before it seems like I have been completely useless I will say that one of my gifts when I got married was a beautiful notebook which my parents gave me to write down my meandering thoughts when I was away. I just made a few disjointed notes at the start of the honeymoon but as the days went on it became a journal of what I had seen, felt and experienced, almost like a travel memoir. I could see the lure of writing in that environment – it was sunny, warm, beautiful and unknown.

I have subsequently been thinking about my writing, and my writing style. I think I write for the damp air and soggy grass of home, it is part of the world I explore. But what could my world be if I moved it – if my ghosts weren’t in the foggy winter of an English house, but existed in the sun-baked streets of Morocco, or the sultry Mexican coastline? What if my stories were about colour, brightness, light? How well would I be able to maintain a world that I only know for a handful of days at a time?

There’s no answer to this yet. My mind is wandering through countless possibilities and in the meantime I am thinking about poetry and imagery. Still, it’s given me a kick up the posterior to get myself back into the writing fold – and to really think about what exactly I am doing, and why.

In other news – I missed a fair few books on the 100 novels list but to keep this brief I have not read 59, 60, 61 or 62. ¬†That’s not likely to change any time soon either, there’s too much on my to-read list as it is! ¬†However, The Big Sleep is one I’d like to look at in the future, because for some reason I feel drawn to it. ¬†No logic there, I know – but reading isn’t really about logic, for me ūüôā

And finally Рyou may have already spotted this story about people generally preferring to read books written by someone of their own gender.  I thought this was interesting after my last book review when I talked about possible differences of style between male and female writers.  Maybe I had a point after all.

It does happen, you know…

Until next time,

Happy writing,



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Look away now if you have entomophobia or apiphobia…

Last year when my partner and I were on retreat, we heard the most unnerving noise: it sounded a bit like all the bees in the world were gathering outside.

It wasn’t all the bees, of course; just one swarm who had decided to leave their hive, so a new one had to be constructed for them at a rapid rate! ¬†My partner managed to get a picture before we threw ourselves inside and shut all the windows…



You know, Doctor Who was wrong – they aren’t really from Melissa Majoria. ¬†This lot didn’t even try leaving Wales ūüôā

I think of bees as a sign of the coming of spring; in the last few weeks I’ve seen many bumble¬†bees and even had a solitary bee fly under my sunglasses and rest on the lens, right by my eye. ¬†I wasn’t too keen on that and rehomed him on a daffodil but I’m sure there’s some meaning to it!

In fact, bees are a great dream portent for writers, and there’s all sorts of folklore about them. ¬†Nothing about my experience¬†though; maybe I should use my writing instincts to make my own lore.

Hmmm – ‘if a bee flies under your sunglasses, it is a sign that the day will be bright and the wind temperate.’

That would work – it was a lovely sunny day¬†and only really windy on a hilltop. ¬†I’m not sure I could test it though!

Bees numbers have declined in recent years, so it’s great to see them starting to reappear and to watch them go about their pollen-collecting business. And as the economic cost of that decline has been put at up to $5.7bn per year, it’s also a timely reminder of how much our existence is tied in with other life forms on the planet.

I’m happy to see the bees bumbling around making fruit and seeds in my garden – and I’m looking forward to returning to our retreat in a few weeks, and seeing if this lot are all settled into their new home!

Happy writing,





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I was due to be working¬†this week but it didn’t happen and instead I got a day in¬†France. Poor me, hey ūüėČ

We went by ferry which meant we got to see the White Cliffs in all their glory. I forgot my camera (I was¬†awake ridiculously early so my brain wasn’t exactly efficient…) but here’s a pic my dad took as we came into port on our way home. ¬†It shows the harbour walls and a ferry in port, and just on the top of the hill in the background is Dover Castle. Look how calm¬†the water is – we were very lucky!


One of the most well-known¬†WWII songs here in the UK is probably (There’ll be Bluebirds over) The White Cliffs of Dover, famously sung by¬†Vera Lynn. Dame¬†Vera¬†turned 97 on the 20 March; my grandma shared her birthday.

Interestingly, there are no bluebirds in Dover; they are not native to this part of the world. The writers of the song were both from the USA and probably didn’t know this, and it didn’t seem to matter to the listening public at the time but it did leave the way open for a variety of¬†alternative meanings for those unlikely birds.

My favourite interpretation is that the bluebirds were a sign of happiness to come. This ties the song in to other US works too, like Somewhere over the Rainbow, which was written a couple of years earlier.

Ornithology notwithstanding, when I see the White Cliffs I think of home – and how lovely to come home with lots of French goodies ūüôā

Happy writing








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