Many, many years ago, when I was young and we lived in a more rural part of Dorset, I was going somewhere with my Dad when he stopped the car to get out and have a look at something. (I inherited my curiosity from him and Peter Cunningham owes more to him than just his first name.) What he pointed out has stayed with me ever since because it was a sign on the side of the road that read ‘Grand Fireworks Display and Bonfire. In church hall if wet.”
We never did find out how they were going to manage to do that, but he viewed it as living proof that you always needed to have a Plan B for when life didn’t go how you planned or wanted. I’m afraid I’m the sort of person who has plans all the way up to Z but it’s how I am and it makes me happy.
And this week we’ve had an awful lot of ‘wet’ down here in Dorset, with more due to come so my usual walks are ever so slightly off the agenda. If you have a look at the first picture here - https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/23886955.pictures-heavy-rain-sees-flooding-across-bcp/ you’ll see why because that is the bench where I sit and think and plan and dream, and picture 9 is the grass where a week ago my sister’s gorgeous dog ran and ran as she celebrated being out of the car after a long drive. Picture 10 is down by the fisherman’s haven and number 11 is just outside the RNLI museum.
That’s the interesting one as far as I’m concerned because look at the doorstep. (I know, I know, that's not a suggestion you’ll get very often, but bear with me.) Look at the height of it, well above the water, and ask yourself why that part of Poole hasn’t been built on like Sandbanks over on the other side of the Bay which is famous for its eye-wateringly expensive properties.
That’s right. It’s as beautiful as it is because it floods, so I know it will drain in time and until then there are other walks through the park that was given ‘for the people of Poole’ back in the Victorian era by one of my girl-crushes, Lady Cornelia Wimborne. Aunt to Winston Churchill, developer of the area where I live because she believed passionately that everyone deserved good things. She regularly fell out with the Council and the Mayor who said of her ‘she had an irresistible means of getting her own way which should cause any man that did not agree with her to fly to the uttermost ends of the earth’.
And she’s reflected in the new Windy Bay book that I began this week while I was trapped indoors, meaning just to write a chapter or so. That’s another first draft done, all ready for the research stage so I am now smugly aware that when the rain stops (which surely it must…) and the storms pass, I shall be out along the Harbour again with a clear conscience.
But today I shall walk through the park and, if I can, I will get out to Harbourside by another route. It's not guaranteed though because Keyhole Bridge often looks like this after rain and that's over the pavement at the side, which is six inches above road level.
In which case I shall move smoothly on to Plan C, and be grateful for all I have.
Amongst which, this week are 3 books on promotions at 99p in the Uk and 99c in the US.
The Christmas Sparrow is a sweet Oldcastle cosy romance, featuring a hero and heroine who need fresh starts and are thrown together one snowy Christmas.
Running Scared and Running Home are under my pen name of Eleanor Neville and are the third and fourth books in my Shadows Romantic Suspense. Betrayal, jeopardy, old secrets coming back to life and reflecting my ongoing fascination with what home really is.
For me it’s people because we moved a lot when I was young. It’s things that reflect happy memories. It’s smells of the food I was lucky enough to be able to try and, particularly as we edge into this dark and stormy period of the year, it’s being so, so grateful for the warmth and shelter and being surrounded by the people and cats I love. So take care this week, because the world isn’t kind right now, is it?