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It’s either building an ark or getting down to some serious writing…

Have you ever noticed how much it rains in February? I know it’s probably better than cold weather and I'm lucky compared to some and our lovely green Purbeck Hills are that green because they’re well watered, but I’m not naturally designed to stay indoors for days. Nor am I designed to get soaked through when the wind blows the rain across the Bay and then somehow manages to do a quick right turn and go straight into my hood and down the back of my neck, so it looks as if I’ll be indoors for a while.

There are, as always, two ways of looking at this. Firstly, which is what I’m currently tempted to do, is to stamp my feet and yell ‘Waaah, it isn’t fair.’And secondly, there’s making a list. Okay, okay, I know that there are people who don’t feel that making a list automatically makes things better, but I do, and being able to tick things off it is better still. So, instead of my walk, I’ve got my sewing machine out and sewn the long seams on my Easter wild geese quilt and begun to mark it with Easter stencils.

And, because the weather is sneaky and contradictory, it now looks as if I can get out for a short walk to have a nose round the local front gardens and see what signs of spring I can spot, going in loops so I can bolt for home if it decides to tip it down. Before that, I’ll have had frothy coffee and some of the super-posh Italian biscuits I was given for Christmas, so really, life is pretty good.

It won’t be as long a walk, which gives me more time to write, so my goal of one completed first draft each month seems to be becoming, at least in winter, one and a half completed first drafts. And last night, while I was washing my hair, I heard one of my new characters in the Amy Hammond series asking. “Do you think there’s intelligent life on other planets”, and Peter Cunningham answering wearily. “Frankly, I’m not convinced that there’s intelligent life on this planet…” By the time I’d finished conditioning and rinsing I had a new age festival, UFO activity covering something up, and a medium who may or may not be into blackmail. Sorry if this makes me sound odd, but that's how my ideas come and I've learned to be grateful and not mind that they come at the most inconvenient times. And I shall apologise in advance if we ever meet and I suddenly get a far away look and a desperate urge for pen and paper.

So let it rain today, tomorrow and next week. In my mind, I’ll be in high summer and it will be a beautiful summer so Swansmere will be at its best. There’ll be tea and scones and cakes and nice people will have nice things happening to them eventually. Life will be complicated, as it always is, but Peter and Amy will sort it outt and don’t you wish they could do that for the real world too?

So have a good week, and we’ll catch up on Wednesday, and hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about my lovely long walk. Till then, here’s a picture of my Easter quilt now it's all marked and basted and ready to go. The stencils I’m using are more than twenty years old, and I first used them to make Easter cards when my children were small. How time flies…

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