And when I say ‘belated’ I really do mean it.
Five months ago, in early September, Lottie and I made plans to visit a very pretty village called Amberley and start work on the research for Novel 31. We chose our day carefully to give us plenty of time for everything we wanted to do. We’d decided to go on a Wednesday, the pens and notebooks were packed, the questions we intended to find the answers to were listed. It was all systems go. The only trouble was that my personal system had decided to go in a different direction.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning I had a heart attack, as most of you know, and was taken to hospital by an ambulance that arrived, as promised, within ten minutes of my 999 phone call I left a note for Lottie in the study, because I didn’t want her to arrive at her usual time and find me gone without an explanation. It wasn’t very helpful as she recalls. It just said. ‘Had to go to hospital. Nothing serious’ so I’m afraid it came as quite a shock to her to find out what had actually happened, which is not what I’dintended at all. But by then hospital routines had taken me over and I had to put novel 31 behind me because we couldn’t work on it.
It took rather a long time and the insertion of six complicated stents before I was home and could pick up my life again. And it’s taken five months in all before I’d recovered enough to venture out with my notebook and set about the research.
But there we were and the sun was shining and Amberley was every bit as eccentric and beautiful as we had hoped it would be and the locals we met and talked to were welcoming and helpful. It was a great day. and by the end of it we both knew how much our ‘Damned old woman’ was going to enjoy living there. We shall go back of course, as we always do, because there’s always more to do. A lot of the cottages are covered in wisteria, as you can see from the pictures, and we want to see that in bloom. And we haven’t visited the castle.
Watch out Novel 31, we’ve got your measure.