Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Landscape talk

The Great Cairn of Barnenez
I'm working pretty much day and night to finish the book at the moment, but was pleased to take a few hours off yesterday to talk to the AIKB association in central Brittany about Landscape and Legends. This was about the relationship between natural sites and the stories that are developed to 'enhance' them. The Forest of Cranou and Rumengol church, for example, where we have a nautical cross-dresser, Le Chevalier de Freminville (nick-named La Chevalière for obvious reasons) to thank for a Druid connection.
It was a really enjoyable occasion, the highlight being given a gift of postcards of her paintings by Jill Jamieson. One was based on a guided visit I did with the AIKB to the Cairn of Barnenez last year. My photo here in no way does justice to Jill's work, which presents the physical and emotional layers of landscape in a way I really appreciate. Have a look at her website - - to get the full flavour.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Moor wind, moor rain

After being up most of the night - unable to sleep so used the long dark hours to work on the completed first draft of the book - I needed a burst on the moor this morning despite feeling hardly able to put one foot in front of the other, exhausted and aching in every bone and joint. It was a real battle to meet the storm blasts head on, but turning north-east came as a sudden relief and it seemed as if rather than trudging I was suddenly moving  at the speed of a galloping horse (actually about 4kph). The wind is less forceful today than at the weekend, but still racing about with all the energy of anger. I missed the rain, so came back dry, but weary as could be.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Day

Odet rising in Quimper, Dec 24th
Stormy weather to see in 2014 in western Brittany. I've returned this morning in torrential rain from a week's stay in Huelgoat, where many trees are down in the forest from the pre-Christmas gales. My hovel was without power all the night of the worst storm I've known here on December 23rd so it was good to pass some days in warmth and comfort. But work must resume today and I need to be in my own office with access to all books and documents accumulated during this year long travail on the new book - only a few weeks until deadline, so no time to be lost.
Instead of resolutions for the New Year I'm adopting the ZenHabits policy of habit-breaking on a month by month basis. In January I will abstain entirely from my favourite computer game and one website where I waste a lot of time - the idea being to channel those extra hours into something constructive. I have made a long list of small creative projects I'd like to do this year, mostly unconnected with the day-job writing, so that should work well. If only my fingers are not so cold there is little possible beyond emerging from a nest of blankets to press buttons on the TV remote... No, I'm very positive and looking forward to 2014.
Happy New Year to you all.