What a week! Rain like nothing I’ve ever seen before – and it took me nearly an hour to travel 3 miles home last night. Then found out part of the cause of the traffic chaos (beside the rain) was the fact that both our Unis had an open day yesterday. Bath sort of teeters on the edge of gridlock. All it takes is one brewery lorry unloading and blocking the road and hey! we’re all stuck in the same place for long periods of time. And it’s not only what happens in the city. Several years ago there was a very bad crash on a raised section of the M5 south of Bristol. It took a huge amount of time to clear the road for traffic and as a consequence we had a total shutdown of the road system. Not just us, but nearby cities such as Wells. I can remember taking forever to get from the hospital to the bus station, only to find no buses running because they were stuck on the perimeter of the city on their way in. It felt just like war had broken out; people pushing and shoving, really stressed out because they just wanted to get home. Think I made it home by seven that time. Bath does suffer, it’s not a city which sits well with cars and with many of the big Georgian houses being converted to flats, we now have a situation where some areas are totally clogged with parked cars. Luckily I live on the perimeter near green fields and woods, something which is always good to come home to after a travel battle.
This week has had its lighter moments, however, like yesterday morning, when I arrived at Bath Bus Station to find a large group of young women waiting for the National Express en route to Ascot and Ladies Day. On a miserably grey morning, their colourful clothes, hats, fascinators and skyscraper heels plus lots of excited chatter – oh and a couple of large wicker picnic baskets – made me wish I was going with them.
Next week holiday – a break from work and my current novel. It’s nearly there. The cover has been sorted and is ready, the book has been laid out and returned to me for a final check. I’ve finished but my editor has a copy and am waiting for her to come back with her observations. Once we’re both happy it can be returned to the publisher for sending off to the printers. And then that very special moment I, and no doubt many of my fellow writers look forward to – receiving the book in the post. Looking at it you realise that all those evenings when you sat in front of the PC until almost midnight, all those times you looked at it and said to yourself, is this going to work as a book? Will anyone want to read it? All that angst, well it was worth it because here you are with your finished product. For me that is such a special feeling.
Anyway, while I’m away I’m going to be thinking about book 5. I’ve already got an idea marinating, but it needs a bit more thinking about before I actually start putting down some thoughts. At the moment I’m calling it The Other Side of Morning which is the title of a track by the 90’s Scottish band Del Amitri. All my books, with the exception of Love Lies and Promises have had their titles taken from songs and I find its something that works well for me. It may only end up as a working title but if I like it enough (as I did with Between Today and Yesterday [an Alan Price song]) then I’ll hang on to it.
So bye for now – off for a coffee and the rest of Graham Norton and then to bed! Catch you all at the end of next week. Have left you with a shot of our apartment block, the two velux windows in the roof on the far right of the picture – that’s where we’ll be.