When the first snow fell on Jane Austen’s birthday on 16th December, I didn’t think it would still be snowing a whole month later! Our recent trip to the Pembrokeshire coast turned into a bit of an expedition as we battled the elements.
Here’s our local beach covered in snow. I’ve never walked on frozen sand before and the icicles on the cliffs were simply stunning.
The Preseli Hills looked especially beautiful in the snow and we headed up their on my birthday and had a little car picnic, watching everyone sledging down the hills. But I’m a bit worried about the inhabitants at the end of this farm track and hope they’ve got plenty of food and are managing to keep warm!
And here’s me wearing as many woolly items as possible (and a pair of sparkly birthday earrings too!) It was a truly memorable trip and I even managed to do some work – clocking up 9,000 words of the new novel.
It was the Oxford Literary Festival this month and I got to meet children’s writer and one-time laureate, Michael Morpurgo. His books Private Peaceful and The White Horse of Zennor are amongst my favourite. Whilst in Oxford, I met up with one of my other favourite writers, Julia Golding, and talked about fantasy, festivals and the horrors of getting the right title for your books. I also managed a quick chat with Joanna Kenrick between events.
At Waterstones with Lisa Jewell
Then there was a fabulous fiction panel at Notting Hill’s Waterstones which I attended with Helen Salter. It was great fun and lovely to chat with Carole Matthews, Isabel Wolff and Lisa Jewell who has given me a lovely quote for my novel Molly’s MillionApril also meant a trip to the London Book Fair where I met up with my lovely German agent for lunch. There was also time to meet up with Juliet Archer for a writerly gossip on the steps of Earl’s Court.
Then, a surprise trip to Pembrokeshire where I managed to finish the first draft of my new novel, Connie Gordon’s Clan, and completely killed my right shoulder doing so. Ouch! The coast and countryside glowed with yellow flowers: primroses, celandines, cowslips, dandelions, buttercups and the ever-present gorse.