On the train
It’s not often I go on a train but when I do it’s the ideal place to write. I like a table seat with a charging point, a large coffee and possibly a biscuit or two and I’m off. Surprising how many people are also typing away although I expect they are doing spread sheets for international trade expositions or finance deals with the World Bank.
At the hairdresser
I don’t enjoy these visits but somehow I am now in a never-ending cycle of going to the hairdresser. I’m sure it’s a cunning plan. Otherwise I look like a sad old bag lady with stripy hair. The place is far too chic for me; the staff are all depressingly young, thin and cool. As the visit usually lasts at least two hours I take a notebook and pencil so I can write. The alternative is watching my reflection with a head covered in plap and foils, looking unnervingly like my mother.
In the office
I try to write every day. My husband also works from home and we share a garden office and have desks that face each other. I’ve heard it said the perfect view for a writer is a brick wall, but I have a gorgeous view over some wonderful Devon countryside that can be quite a distraction. So can the birds that flock to our garden because I keep tempting them in with over priced fat balls. I’ve just registered for the RSPB annual bird watch much to my son’s amusement. He says I’m now officially middle aged, which is unexpectedly kind of him. As our house is white and on top of a hill I think we are a landmark for the Devon Air Ambulance and some huge military planes that routinely go over us. I love it when that happens and I usually run outside and wave. Sad really.
This is really the best. I’ve written on patios overlooking the sea (The Summer of Second Chances), in an old stone longère in Normandy, by the side of swimming pools (A Year of New Adventures) and in huge Malls in America. My absolute favourite was last year on the Queen Mary 2 when my wonderful husband took me on a fantastic trip. The quality of eavesdropping to be had on a transatlantic crossing cannot in my opinion be bettered. I found a favourite spot in the Commodore Club with a fabulous view over the front of the ship (we sea dogs call it the Bow). Every morning I went there to edit my next book, provisionally called ‘The Girl at the End of the Garden’. There were waiters within hailing distance, a beautiful painting next to my favourite chair, and in the adjacent room (glass doors) variously there were meetings of AA, a renewal of wedding vows ceremony and an 80th birthday party for a lady who looked twenty years younger. Sailing obviously agrees with her; I can’t recommend it highly enough.
You can pre-order A Year of New Adventures from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 5th April 2018.