When Nicola Davies said that she had booked herself in to the Druidstone Hotel for a few days I couldn’t help but gatecrash her serenity. It wasn’t that Nic was indulging herself in a holiday. She’s had a long term injury which has given her pain for months, years, followed by a ‘simple operation’ that turned out to be anything but. So, a few days out, by the sea, thinking, writing, reading, playing with ideas.
I’m not sure what my excuse was, but in a way I feel that I am in recovery too, from years of working really hard, being on a treadmill of book after book, from which I have stepped sideways.
So, I said to Nic that I’d asked Mister Stenham to look after the cats and Bella, and was coming along too, and we could meet up for supper, or whatever. I had a book to write,(‘haven’t we all dear’) and two books to read, so would keep out of the way.
What followed was a small slice of heaven. Writing, thinking, playing with ideas, chasing unexpected stories with hope in heart as Ivy chased seagulls along the shore. And Nic read to me, told me stories, ideas, and sang with the sound of the waves as accompaniment.
Below shows how determined Ivy was to uncover a crab. “She’s the kind of dog that, if we found a body in the woods, as dog walkers do, I would first find it because Ivy was eating their hand,” I said. Yes, she’s that kind of dog. Spider crab legs munched and crunched, she tidied the beach as much as she could.
And we separated to work and below Nic sits, chasing wolverines while the tide comes in. and I read City of Dragons, chasing images for covers. ( Hard work, but someone has to sit in the sun and do it, so it might as well be me) And in my small house beside the sea I dream of an old friend and am shushed to sleep by the turn of the tide, and waking in the night smell the salt on the air and see the full moon over water.
Well, I had news of a new project of great secrecy and the news was good so I thought we might celebrate by buying Ivy a velvet coat and a crown.
And we celebrated with Dru Cru too.
…what manner of beast could make a footprint so huge?
Ivy became the sandiest dog in the wide wonderful world.
Oh, and tell Seren and Osian to take care of those dragons.