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Nature always wins…

I’ve been thinking deep thoughts while I went for my walk on a grey, mizzly day (mizzly is a Dorset word for a day when the weather’s not sure if it wants to be mist or a drizzle so it’s trying to be both.) I got a lot of fresh air, very quickly, especially at Steamer Point, where the poor Brent Geese couldn’t fly into the strong wind, and settled for swimming back to Brownsea Island instead. The oystercatchers and turnstones were doing well though, and the permanently depressed-looking egret was hunched into the shelter of the remains of the old saltwater lido while he wished that spring would get a move on. (And I’m sure we can all agree with him.)

I was having another go at thinking myself back into the past, because I need to be there for the next but one Amy Hammond novel, which is in its research phase now that I’ve finished a first draft. I have to do it that way or I get distracted by the research and never get round to writing anything. So what I was trying to see was a causeway, built along the path where I was walking. On one side is the sea, and on the other is an increasing pile of rubble from the slums as the land is reclaimed to replace an area of open land that they built the shopping centre on.

I’ve seen pictures of it, and I had them with me, and what struck me today was that this was finished around 1970, which is fifty or so years ago, which is strange because I can remember 1970. Obviously, I was VERY young, but that’s not history, surely? Because if it was then I might be getting old… Which could explain why I’m loving writing my new Harbourside series which mingles the stories of younger and older people and the first book will be out next month and is avaible on pre-order.

Anyway, I looked back at what once was sea, and saw the bumps and undulations in the ground and how it gathers the standing water so well that as the dogs run across it they raise spray and imagined the rubble that lies beneath and that you can still see on the beach.

More promisingly, I saw the oystercatchers and Brent geese feeding, and the wild daffodils, and the trees that were planted then, and which are now home to blackbirds and robins and sparrows and pied wagtails as well as the crows and our summer visiting swallows. I looked down on the other side of the path to the little beach at low tide and thought that it’s almost a year since there was an oil leak across the bay.

We thought it was going to be bad. Lots of demonstrators queued up to tell us how bad it was going to be and meanwhile, lots of other people kept a lookout for oiled birds (thankfully hardly any of them). Drone pilots were able to spot the oil leaks, the Harbour Commissioners team got booms in place to contain the spill and now you’d never know that it happened, any more than you’d know that all that area was once sea.

I thought profound thoughts about how nature always finds a way to get through and how important it is to lend a helping hand whenever and however I can, then decided that it was cold, I was damp, and I could think profound thoughts just as well at home, with a cup of coffee with frothy milk and a posh stencilled pattern on it and some of our Christmas gift biscuits…

So here are my profound thoughts, and they’re mostly of hope and belief in people because no matter what the news says, there are a lot of good people out there…

There are also some books on special offer this week, all at 99p UK or 99c in the US.

There are the first four Shadows romantic suspense, which I write as Eleanor Neville. A little darker, a little sexier, but still with happy endings (for those who deserve them) and a fair bit of Dorset in them… There’s Fallen Angel, Haunted Angel, Running and Scared and Running Home.

And then there are the two Lucy Williams book about a retired spy who’s now a work from home mum. I like these, and am just about to start the third one, which will be set quite a bit around Harbourside, so I can count the walks as work. They’re ‘Child’s Play’ and ‘A Fete Worse than Death’ and point out that we mums have all sorts of transferable skills, some of which can lead to or include murder…

On which cheerful note, have a great week and I hope the sun is shining when we catch up on Sunday.

Today’s picture is of my mizzly day and an oystercatcher on the prowl. Isn’t it amazing how something with such bright orange legs blends in so well?


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