Friday, 16 October 2015

Travels with my laptop.

La Roche Bernard, Brittany, France

My laptop, my notebook and me.

This year has been a year of rattling along roads, sailing seas and flying skies. It's been months of packing and unpacking, flinging cases into cars, trains and planes. Together, my notebooks, my little Hewlett Packard Mini laptop and me (and Pete of course!), have covered many miles and written many, many words.
But now we're home and we're not going anywhere for some months. 
So, with a fair wind behind me, the third in The Camelot Inheritance series should be finished and published by spring 2016. Originally I'd promised by the end of this year... but hey, life happens.
Pete and I always aim to travel as cheaply as possible, so this means no package holidays but as D.I.Y as we can manage.

In the early summer we popped down to west Cornwall to do a spot more research for the third book.
St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall
...An essential weekend at St. Michael's Mount and the village of Marazion, the setting for Book 3 and one of my favourite places in the world. Every time I go there, I cannot get over how fortunate we are to live near here.
West Cornwall
It happens to be here in Cornwall that the Poldark series is filmed and Doc Martin is set. It's a wild and beautiful landscape, infinitely inspirational and climatically changeable... and the perfect place to set 'The Camelot Inheritance' series; after all it does have a spot of magic in it.

The little-known Tamar Valley
And then on the border between Cornwall and Devon is the beautiful Tamar Valley, a gem of a place. So peaceful and far from the holiday crowds.

But this was all close to home. 
We've also been to the north of England, on the edge of the Peak district and to the south, to Bath - a setting used by Jane Austen.

We've been in Brittany, northern France...

La Roche Bernard, on the border of Morbihan and the Loire Atlantique. A gorgeous little town.
La Roche Bernard, Brittany
And then down to Marseilles in the south...

The Old Port Marseilles
The Old Port, Marseilles
 and while there visited the old port. 
We dawdled past shops hidden up narrow alleys, selling soap, suitcases, perfume, olive oil and wine and cheese. I'm not a travel writer, but if you happen to have the opportunity to visit this city, you must take in this wonderful spot.
One of the more original shop fronts.

And then we happened upon a piece of street theatre, several floors up... on the outside of an apartment building. I couldn't watch (!) but a huge crowd, braver than me had gathered, and they watched. I can't imagine Health and Safety allowing that in Britain (there were no wires or nets), but it was magnificent. And so,so French.

Our ultimate destination was Porquerolles, a tiny island facing Provence, for a belated holiday after a busy year.
How to find Porquerolles

We took the train along the coast from Marseilles to Hyeres, and the ferry from Hyeres to the island. 
As it turned out we were fortunate to be able to visit in September because the island is a nature reserve; unspoiled, but much visited.
The seas are crystal clear and the sand soft. Few cars are allowed and few 'proper' roads cross the island - bikes and feet are the way to get around.
It was a perfect place to write but to be honest as long as there's somewhere to plug in my HP, almost anywhere is a perfect writing place.
Our hosts were the immensely kind Claude and Veronique (we loved their studio). It was a week to treasure... and we will. Thank you Claude, thank you Veronique.
One of the beautiful bays in Porquerolles.
The seas really were these colours.

But the very best thing about this year hasn't been the sand and warm seas... May I introduce our brand new granddaughter.

Gorgeous eh? 
Enough said.
Until the next time x


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