Greetings! How very good to see you here. If you're wondering where 'here' is, this is the great terra incognita between getting agent (hurrah!), and getting publisher (fingers crossed). But you are most welcome, whatever your relationship is to books, or words, or writing. I hope you enjoy - and please tell me if you do. POSHTOTTY

Sunday, 1 May 2011


Damn it is so annoying. Where does it go? One minute you're steaming forward, all four engines thumping away and everything you come across is fuel, the next -

Run aground. Run dry.

It's real life, hurling itself into your path. It's the pram in the hall (or the pile in the in-tray). It's a fork in the road, and no bottle to spin, to help you out. It's a headcold. It's a trip.

People comment. Sometimes these are people whose opinions matter. It's a spur. It's a goad.

It's a bummer, the whole thing.

I did take a trip, I was up in Northamptonshire, staying in this tiny cottage so overgrown with ivy and roses that the outside and the inside mix whenever you open a door or a window. Snails silver the doorstep, baby froglets look up at you from the kitchen floor. Roses poke their heads in through the drawing room window and drop petals on the carpet; a fledgling blackbird, yellow mouth agape with terror, must be collected like a palpitating dust-ball from the corner of the porch, and restored to the garden. And there were bees. Great fat black-befurred bees, as big as the top joint of your thumb, half-snoring, half droning their dodgem-ish way round the flowerheads on the creeper outside my bedroom window, and inevitably, bumbling their way in through the window as well. The noise the one made that did this was loud enough to wake me from my sleep. Bang against the glass, BANG against the glass, with the drone deepening in annoyance with every head-on collision between it and window-pane. What's a girl to do? But (barely more awake than the bee) stumble out of bed, locate latch and open the window.

Bee bangs against glass a few more times, does a pratfall to the edge of the frame, walks about a bit, no doubt going 'Ow, my bastard head' to itself, and then miraculously wakes up to the fact that there is no glass, no net curtain ahead of it, and that it's free.

One happy bee.

Writer in pyjamas, still half asleep herself, has thought. There, she thinks. That's what its like. The words are there, banging away at the front of your brain. You open the window - and they're gone.

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