Monday, 28 April 2014


1416 words, and secret project sent off to the agent. It is still in its most inchoate form, but I rely on her gimlet eye. She will dig the bones out of it, if anyone can.

It might seem a bit bonkers, to be writing two books at once, but I had a catastrophic loss of professional time, for reasons too crazily dull to go into, and I am now head down and driving to the finish, like Ryan Moore on a Stoute hotpot.

It may also be insane to embark on two such speculative projects. They are equally eccentric in their own ways, and I have absolutely no idea whether they shall ever see the light of day. Good thing I am cussed as an old mule. I am very, very good at channelling S Beckett. Try again, fail again. Fail better.

The mare was all over the shop this morning. She always does this when I get cocky and think I’m all that and start boasting on Facebook. She is like my own little delegation of hubris police. I had to work and work, and that light harmony which we have been in for so many days eluded us. I got strict, and asked her for her most strenuous effort, and she was so hot in the gleaming Scottish sun that I threw a bucket of water over her afterwards as if she were a runner at the Royal Meeting, coming back into the unsaddling enclosure. She gave me a very slightly reproachful look, as if to say What happened to the cowgirl mooch? We’ll find it again. We always do.

And now I am about to go away for some days. I have a memorial service for one of the great old gentleman, and a happier thing too, the confirmation of my beloved godson. I have to dig out my posh frocks and find some shoes which do not have mud on them.

I am very slightly melancholy. Perhaps it is the exhaustion of writing and writing that damn secret project. I put on 55,000 words in four months, which is a stupid amount. No wonder my brain has been going phut. There is also that naked feeling, of sending something off, and waiting for the terrifying verdict. My poor little babe is tottering out into the real world. Perhaps too it is that at last I can stop, and think of the losses of the last few weeks. The latest of the Dear Departeds were put in a box, because I had work to do. Now they are close by me, and I miss them. Bloody, buggery old death.

I’ll be off the blog for a while. It’s not a holiday holiday, but it is a break, and I’m going to stop all the clocks. I shall be back, brighter and better, with my dander up and my joie de vivre restored, on the 13th of May.


Today’s pictures:

Are of the sunshine:

28 April 1

28 April 2

28 April 3

28 April 8

28 April 8-001

28 April 9

28 April 10

28 April 11

28 April 13

28 April 14

28 April 15

28 April 17

28 April 18

28 April 21

28 April 25

I don’t know what she was up to this morning, but that picture pretty much sums it up.


  1. Last photo so smile-worthy, it should be framed and copies sold!
    Of course you're having a little letdown after sending out your book. My daughter-in- law said that after she sent hers out, she curled up in a ball on the bed and finally had a good cry. Best of luck! Of course I'll read it, I already know I'll like it, how could I not? Your weblog is superb.

  2. Hurrah!!! Yay for you! Will miss you hugely and look forward to reading the secret project.
    Gorgeous pics, especially that last one :)
    Take best care of yourself and enjoy your beautiful spring. No pressure but I will be checking in on the 13th… xxx

  3. I hope you have a good break and feel better soon. I always miss the blog when it's not there - but it makes me aware it's something you give for nothing xx

  4. "Bloody, buggery old death".

    This weekend I found out - too late to attend the funeral - that my favourite (and also, coincidentally, but it isn't always the case) by far the best singing teacher I ever had just died at the end of March, in her early eighties.

    Some of her old students and associates are putting out feelers just (via Facebook, as far as I am concerned - God bless social networks and all who sail in them) to hold a memorial musical event in London at some point before too long.

    Then I too shall have to fossick about for a decent frock and shoes with no mud on them and head off from the wilds of deepest darkest mid-Wales up to Town.

    Which I shall do gladly.

    Red is getting very cheeky in her old age, sticking her tongue out at her mummy like that. Tch Tch.


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