I feel like in the past week I’ve travelled the country — and that’s mainly because I almost have. Last Saturday I travelled back from Devon to Kent, then on Thursday we drove up from Kent to Cumbria, where I am at the moment. We’re staying in lovely Ambleside, at a friend’s place (on our own).
Of course I love it and have a bunch of memories of the Lake District. It was a place where we went on family holidays a lot when I was a kid: here, along with Devon, Cornwall and the Cotswolds. My parents discovered country cottage rentals when I was young and after that pretty-much every holiday involved a drive to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, a small rented house and a lot of fun.
These parts of the world are very evocative for me, and I’ve always loved the countryside since. We arrived after dark and in the rain (of course), and so didn’t see the view at the back till the next morning. It was quite a view to wake up to:
I would, of course, quite happily live somewhere like this. The irony that we have better internet here than where we normally live (2Mb “broad”band FTW) is not lost on me.
Christmas presents were, of course, opened this morning: Art supplies for Kim, and a lovely replacement Lamy Studio pen plus one-off notebook for me. We had agreed a price limit: Kim cheated. Fortunately so did I.
Now it’s Radio 3 till the King’s Christmas Message, then there will be dinner making the and some TV watching, then probably reading books. Kim is even darning. We appear to have become domestic, rather than feral.
I’ve been working a little on the Alice and God project this week. This is a maybe-novel length story about a woman who meets God (as you do) and goes on an adventure. It doesn’t quite feel YA territory, but it’s fun and light. One of the things I’ve been working on is using humour to counterpoint seriousness and threat, and there’s a lot of that here. It has to be a serious story, with danger for the characters (and maybe, just maybe, one of them doesn’t make it), but the humour which is intrinsic to my writing style is there.
One of the resolutions for next year is to establish more of a rhythm to my writing. I like the idea of two blog posts a week, one piece of micro-fiction, and some work on bigger projects, but that feels like a lot when I’m also holding down a full time job. We’ll see.
Reading and watching
I finished Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I really like her writing, but there are definitely parts of the book where you can see that it was published in chunks, with some of the chapters almost being short stories in their own right. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but it means that the overall plot is a bit in the background (and there’s not much to it). But i still enjoyed it a lot and now I’m on to A Closed and Common Orbit, the second in the Wayfarer series.
Because we’re away we (OK, I) have got out of the habit of just putting “the telly” on, which means I haven’t watched that much of anything. Being more intentional about what I watch is definitely a theme for the new year!