I’ve always loved the TV series ‘Escape to the Country’ where the oh so nice hosts show couples around beautiful country homes and give you a glimpse of the area and some local attractions. The people are so fascinating, and the houses… Oh, the houses… Or cottages as they sometimes call them, although I can’t see how a five or six-bedroom house can be a cottage.
Nor can I see why a retired couple need five bedrooms, and I’m constantly wondering about the heating bills and how long it’d take to get to the shops, or, God forbid, an ambulance to get there. Or what happens when they can’t drive any more because most of the couples are retiring.
No, I’ll take my little Victorian terraced house any day. Lovely high ceilings and sash windows, big enough for us, cheap to heat, with just enough garden to be fun to play with without being a chore to maintain. Everything I need is within walking distance, and gradually, gradually, it is becoming the sort of place I imagine staying in on holiday. Not with everything new or flashy or that you need to worry about, but comfortable. Homely. And, it may not surprise you to hear, beach themed because I really, really love being close enough to the sea to walk to it in twenty minutes.
I know perfectly well that my family find this funny, and don’t understand that on certain days the very best thing I can do is settle down for forty five minutes with a cup of tea, a couple of biscuits and escape because I'm always so much nicer to be around once I've done that. And it's so much less drastic than running away, isn't it? Especially since the problem with running away is that you have to take yourself with you.
And really, isn’t that what reading is about too? A chance to leave your world behind and spend time with characters you either know and love or want to get to know? A way to go to places you won’t ever go and do things you can’t ever do, and still be home in time for tea? It certainly is for me, and if you feel the same way, then I hope my books make you smile. They’re ‘just’ romance as one of my in-laws put it. (Don’t you just love in laws?) But without romance there wouldn’t be life, would there? And if they don’t believe in happy ever after then they can’t have a happy ending, can they? Or, as Kim Kinsella in my Shadows series which I write as Eleanor Neville because it’s got naughty bits and more violence, always puts it ‘happy beginnings.’
So this week I wish you a happy beginning. Let me know if you’re starting something good, won’t you?
Today’s picture is of Corfe Castle and the view across to Poole Bay at sunrise. And I only live forty minutes away from it. Aren’t I lucky?