As the new year rolls in, and it becomes time to reflect on the old all I can think is, wow. What a year that was. The beginning was hard, hard, pushing to meet the deadline, shape and craft The Lost Words with the wonderful team at Hamish Hamilton, finding the right image for the cover, and then waiting, waiting, for the book to be published.
What happened next took me by surprise. A different kind of hard work followed and how lucky we were to be supported in our travels by great friends who made us welcome, took us into their homes, by bookshops who so fully and utterly supported the book. Wonderful, but also such a challenge. Come December I was ragged. Then my mum went into hospital for a hip operation. And Christmas….. well, not my favourite time of year.
So, trying to get back to normal now, find time to paint, write and think.Over Christmas I painted a fish, read by the fire, walked.
She is 110 x 55cms and is for sale, unframed at £4500, watercolour and gold leaf.
She’s called, She Loved to Walk and Would Often Think on Her Feet.
Then I ran away.
To Druidsden. And here we stayed in the Roundhouse. You can see it, in the top right hand corner of the next photo. Perched on the edge of the land. Through the window you can see the rock where I go to write. In the evenings we watched the moon rise. The wind battered us. We walked on the beach. I edited my manuscript to the end. The nights seemed somewhat out of time and dreams came and went. The fire was glorious, and the bathroom! I love that bath. I painted gold on stones and left them on the beach. And one on Jane’s grave, which no one must take.
There’s a stone in the stream in the photo below. The one from the instagram post above. It was found in less than 24 hours, but I think the one by the waterfall will remain as a gift for the sea.
The dogs slept and ran and played and were quiet, and I was a little worried about Pi following her nose off the cliff but we were careful.
This one went onto the beach at low tide at twilight, so little chance of being found before being claimed by the sea.
And I decided to regain an old habit of writing just a few words each day, but this time posting on twitter. Hand writing as it’s becoming a lost art. With a hashtag of EveryDayaFewWords. So join me if you wish. Either thread onto mine, or tag, or hashtag. No more than 50 ever. 25 even better. It’s the advice Michael Morpurgo gave me, that Ted Hughes had given him. Just a few. Every day. It changes the way you think.
Home again now. Cold outside and hoping it will be again tonight, though I worry for the birds. Wrens will gather in bundles to sleep, sharing warmth.
I’ve work to do.
But first I would like to say a huge thank you to Beth and Angus and all at Druidstone Hotel for making our stay such a wonderful one. Warmth, good food, peace and space and love. Thank you.