Monday, 9 November 2009

Catching Up

A thick, grey fog is hanging over the garden today, like the frozen remains of the weekend’s bonfire smoke, and it’s obvious that Winter has really arrived (generously bringing with it a savage sore throat and vile cold. Thanks, Winter.) Seems like months, rather than just over a week since we were away in the Welsh Marches, having breakfast outside in the garden or walking through golden and sunlit woodland to picnic on the hill overlooking this view…


The clocks changed on the Saturday that we arrived, but instead of going back an hour we might as well have turned them back a century as mobile phones were left to languish and we all - even Facebook-fixated daughter #1 - forgot to miss screen-based entertainment. The house we were staying in was once a gamekeeper’s cottage and retained a pleasing air of Edwardian austerity (ie. there was no dishwasher) but the autumn colours of the woods surrounding it were utterly majestic. The daughters went off looking for sweet chestnuts to roast and racing around cathedral-like clearings trying to catch the leaves that spiraled down on each breath of wind. In a cupboard in what must once have been the head-keeper’s office we discovered a dreadful mud-coloured jigsaw of steam trains and they spent the evenings huddled myopically over it in companionable silence.

It’s taken me a week to ease myself back into modern life and into my current book, set in the high-octane world of Formula One and the glitter and glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix. A week, and an awful lot of comforting tea and chocolate. What's everyone else been up to?


10 comments:

Trenda said...

How is it possible, India, that even when you are feeling poorly, you still manage to sound so incredibly poetic?

Thank you for sharing the gorgeous pictures...I am terribly envious for it would seem your holiday was sheer perfection.

Do take good care of yourself and remember that when one is sickish, there can never be too much hot chocolate...well, any sort of chocolate actually.

Hugs and get well wishes from across the pond...

Trenda

Anonymous said...

Waiting for you to update this blog!!! Sounds like an idyllic time befitting of a romantic novelist. Am dying to read your formula one story so I hope it all flows. And I think you've spread your cold across the Irish sea so at least we can snuffle together...xx Abby Green

Kate Hewitt said...

India, you manage to have the most wonderful holidays. I am so jealous. Our holidays seem positively mundane in comparison, shivering and watching DVDs in a unheated cottage in the Catskills. Good luck with the Grand Prix!!

Sharon said...

I spent the weekend olive-picking in Umbria where it was misty and autumnal and Lake Trasimeno looked like a sheet of beaten pewter.

Am trying to write but finding it very trying - ha!

Shazza x

Jane said...

I love to watch Formula One racing. Good luck with the wriring.

Amanda Holly said...

Oh my goodness ... Monaco and Formula One mix ... sounds yummy! Can't wait to read it!

Hope Winter will soon be kind and leave your feeling strong and revitalised so you can continue to thrill us with the next book!

Rach said...

Can't wait to read your Monaco book,India, so very glamorous!And your holiday looked wonderfully relaxing.

Much duller here while you've been away. It feels like all I've done since half term is mend school trousers (four pairs!)and peel swede.

Time to order those holiday brochures methinks.

Get well soon!

Lots of love,

Rach.
XXX

India said...

Trenda, I'm self-medicating on hot chocolate, made with a special Mexican kind of chocolate supplied for me by my sister in law, which also has a tiny bit of cinnamon and spice in it. Time for my next dose in a minute!

Poor Abby with the cold-- though I think you had yours first, so I'm blaming you for giving it to me! (Must have been that hour and a half we spent on the phone last week...)

Kate, I think our holidays sound pretty much the same (ie low on Disney-style entertainment and a lot of modern luxuries... although you did have a DVD player which is positively high-tech by our standards!) We were so lucky with the weather-- it really was as warm as summer, though the place is so beautiful we would have forced the children outside even if it had been raining!

Sharon, I want to be you when I grow up. (I actually want to be you NOW but know that olive picking with children in tow just wouldn't be the same. Please tell me there was an Italian farmer with curling dark hair and eyes like black olives to help you with the picking...?)

Jane, my mum is a die-hard F1 fan, so she's been giving me all the behind-the-scenes info and I must say I've got very much into the racing this season. If only I'd spent as much time writing as I have reasearching I'd be fine!

Thanks Amanda. I'm trying to focus on the nice things about winter (hot chocolate-- see above, red wine and hot baths, for example) And writing about Monaco in May is the perfect antidote to the fog and dampness here, so that's an incentive to stay at the keyboard.

Ah Rach... Swede. Don't get me started. We've had two in the veg box lately, and I must admit they're still in my larder, looking at me evilly every time I go in there to get the biscuit tin. So you peel it... but what in the name of James D'Arcy do you do with it then?
(I rather like the sound of your week, by the way. Soothing and retro in a sort of 1940s kind of way. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong era.)

ninaharrington said...

Rather like the new author photo! Not a sniffy cold in sight!
Take care, love Nina

India said...

Nina-- you noticed! Came on to update my book covers and get rid of the now-defunct playlists, and messed the whole thing up so had to start again! (Hence new picture.) Now you see why I'm putting of updating my website.

xx