Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 23 2015. I read somewhere that moving houses is as traumatic as a death in the family. I’m not sure about that—but I take the point.




I’m not overly fond of moving, but seem to have moved a surprising amount. One of these days—and specifically for my memoirs—I’m going to have to work out how often, and why. Vacations and boarding school apart, during my childhood, I lived in four different houses—and on two farms.

In all, I have moved some ungodly number of times, and have lived for extended periods (as in multiple years)  in four countries—and for longish periods (as in months in all) in several more. I have visited something over 20. I’m not a world class traveller—but I am as they say.’well traveled’—and glad of it.

An interesting thought—my books have been sold in more than twice as many countries as I have either lived in or visited. Just thinking about that gives me a rather good feeling.

Where writing is concerned, travel, and a wide variety of human experiences, are invaluable (though that is not necessarily what you think at the time. When I was near drowning, on one occasion, I certainly didn’t think the experience would make a good story—because I felt pretty certain I’d be dead within the hour. I was being optimistic.

In practice, I wouldn’t have lasted close to long because, though I was unaware of it, hypothermia had already set in, and when I was pulled out of the water by a fishing boat, I found I was so cold, I couldn’t move. I was entirely helpless and had to be carried. I felt a flash of terror as I realized how close I had come to sliding beneath the Irish Sea.

On the other hand, after the first time I came under fire in Northern Ireland, I was acutely aware that the experience would help my writing—though that didn’t stop me going into reaction the following day. At the time I was fine—and, as best I can tell, I did what was both right and expected—but clearly I was more affected than I had thought because I got the shakes when I saw a BBC film clip of part of what had occurred. 

Though I don’t know quite where I’m going to end up at present (I have a shortlist) I expect to be content enough providing I can write.

As far as I am concerned, writing is joie de vivre in the fullest sense of the phrase. I feel much blessed.

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