A perfect respite

I think we needed that. What a wonderful couple of days. Thanks to Kenn, Steven and Hilary and Annie and Alasdair.

There’s been a theme.

Kenn, an old Army pal of mine, is finishing his time with the services and setting up a consultancy firm. He has done really well, joining the British army from Australia and then making his way from private soldier/trooper to Lieutenant Colonel. No small feat. Now that he’s finishing he’s decided that, other than the fact that he has to make some money, his main focus is going to be on travel … no, getting the most out of life. He plans to set himself up in a two-up, two-down house: big enough to hold his stuff, provide him with lodgings and an office. It will be a ‘lock-up-and-leave’, and he tells me he will do a lot of that. For example this week he’s taking his bike to Baku … and back. Well done him. Once I have the Twitter account of his trip I’ll share it with you.

 

Then a day and night with H&S on their beautiful narrowboat. They live on it full time, but also own a cottage in Hampshire where they let a room, provide outbuildings that allow their quite brilliant sculptor daughter to produce the most amazing horses and deer and dogs (here: Holly Hickmore), and give them a place to come back to as and when. They’ve just spent 3 months ‘work-away‘ in New Zealand and are looking to take their car and caravan down to Spain after Christmas – and then come back to do some house sitting before getting back on the boat.

We had a lovely day on the boat. And when we moored up for the night C and I ran back to the car, drove back up to meet them and had supper with the sounds of ducks, ducking around just off the starboard bow. It was great to reaffirm what we knew: life is about experience, not things. Yes, we’re lucky enough to be able to afford what we do, but we go out of our way not to spend money on ‘things’ – and this really does help. We slept v peacefully before we headed off to see out v old pals, Alasdair and Annie, for lunch.

Al is working in Saudi and doing v well indeed, but even he’s thinking about the meaning of it all … and maybe heading home. They have a great life but, and he sometimes reads this (and I said it to him today), I’d love him to be back in the UK where we could see more of him … and that we would know he would be taking things slightly easier. We’ll see. Thanks for lunch!

BTW we went to Frome Farmer’s market, which they hold on the first Sunday of every month. Frome is/was an old market town that has always lived under the shadow of the more riotously attractive towns like Bath and Bradford-on-Avon. Well, let me tell you. on the first Sunday of every month (April to October) it transforms itself into the most upmarket town in the northern hemisphere. The stands are posh and plentiful; the clientele, v hip. And it was packed, like I’ve never seen. You couldn’t move for floral dresses, chinos and weak chins. Brilliant!

And so this week? Rebecca arrives tomorrow as part of a last hurrah before she and Steven head back to Korea. We’ve got some admin to do and I have to continue to mildly market my book(s). It’s interesting (and good news) but I’m selling more of Unsuspecting Hero, the first of the Sam Green books, than I am selling anything else. Which means, almost organically, I am reaching new readers. And this means only one thing: I must rewrite Unsuspecting Hero so that it is the perfect read from which readers will want to launch into the series,

That’s about to start soon.