Message from Manchester

It was a long cold journey. No direct trains on Sundays. Apparently ‘most’ people drive – damn polluters what will they do when they need a respirator to go outside. Hotel is warm and friendly if a bit old and crumbly. Pool is too hot and too small, but what do I know. Did forty laps instead of twenty and settled in the bar to people-watch and eat fish and chips. Apparently victim heels are the height of fashion in Manchester. Grow up girls, you don’t look glamorous, you look like you shit yourself.

Read an article which said that really intelligent people were more solitary. What crap that is. Everyone needs their own space and travelling alone for me is one of the greatest pleasures – being smart don’t come into it. Often being alone makes you aware of the kindness of strangers, like the woman on the train who shared her KitKat with me. Thank you. Not that I have always travelled alone. Nights in the bush with my Aboriginal partner will live on in my memory forever. I could not have survived out there without him and I learnt so much that changed me. It was like a movie that I just happened to be in. We laid on our backs next to the Landcruiser with the cattle dog, Barker, guarding us from dingoes and bushrangers. Now look up, he said, and clear your mind of your city thoughts. Up there on a velvet cloth are thousands, millions of diamonds. You can look for days but you will never count them all. I have never loved so deeply or been loved so well.

Feeling nicely relaxed and ready for an evening in the bar, watching and listening to conversations around me. I still need some odd bits and pieces of conversation for the book and then I can publish. This is the first book that I have written without loading each chapter to a blog and getting feedback. So a bit nervous. Only one person has read a chapter and he kindly helped me get my band set up correct. The characters are not nice. If I am honest they have changed so much since I started writing that I don’t know where they came from. I learned a lot about plotting and time frames from this book and next time I shall pay more attention to it from the beginning.

So publishing first week in December once I have organised the marketing. This baby is out on her own and apart from doing promotions, I am leaving it behind. I started this book when I was in an emotional mess and I shall be glad to be free of it and moving on. Shed a lot online friends in the process and glad to see them gone.

One month today and I fly to Canada and then home. I think it will be a relief to get away from the poisonous politics in the UK.

My friend inspired a new idea last night. I have been wanting to write a book set in the Hanseatic League towns of the Netherlands and East Anglia. Urban fantasy in past and present. Lots of research and a few weeks in Amsterdam needed for this one. But feeling positive that I have a germ of a story starting. I first got a hint of this, idea in Amsterdam earlier this year and it has been simmering, as these things do.

So ice cream – shall I? Very tired and starting early tomorrow with a long swim and a big breakfast. A busy week and another birthday – ho hum.