Autumn supposedly begins here in the southern hemisphere on the first of March, but I’d venture that it actually began a couple of weeks ago. For a start after a pretty bad summer (grey skies, not much sun and warmth, rain and windy windy, all because of El Nina)…
A writer can’t spend all day in purdah. Although given 2020-21, Lockdown does resemble a kind of solitary confinement. But even in Lockdown, we have all been entitled to our ‘outside time’.
And so it is for me.
Our big garden is tired and begging for autumn to arrive. We’re in the tail end of meshed weather systems today and the humidity is tropical. Rain is falling and the waves are crashing on the beach. The garden needs a good fertilise and for the windiest summer for ages to cease. Hopefully next week I can post on how it looks but in the meantime – on Thursday I was in the city and took some pics of our little Matchbox garden…
Yesterday, I looked at the word count of Reliquary, my current manuscript, and realised I had passed the 100,000 mark. I was surprised. It seemed only a short time ago that I watched 50,000 tick over and then time just slowed and it seemed no matter how often I wrote, the numbers barely changed. Some days, I would delete a page or a paragraph. And at one point, I accidentally opened the file at the very beginning and decided I wanted to hit the readers pretty hard from the get-go and so added a kind of prologue to set the scene.
I have still to get the editor’s approval on that one but it works for me…
Gosh, after a busy Christmas, a dry and hot week or so of the New Year and a tumultuous international affair, I’ve finally got back into my garden. We welcomed a full day of rain yesterday and showers today.
I loved it.
Every lavish, highly coloured and exotic moment.
All writers will agree that a significant part of their time when they’re not writing, is quietly observing the human condition. The seasonal holiday gives one the greatest chance to do that as the jigsaw of characters falls across one’s path.
As Ernest Hemingway said in Death in the Afternoon:
Oh, crikey! I’ve observed the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
This will be the last post for a bit.
There’s a holiday celebration at the end of the week, you see, and then a New Year’s celebration (of sorts I think, because everyone’s affected this year – one way or the other). Gosh, to say that we hope for a better year in 2021 is the understatement of the year!
As Fred has said, this will probably be the last SoS from some of us because of Christmas at the end of the week. Just a bit busy…
Let’s start with a broader shot.
It’s been an horrendous couple of weeks with the seasonal equinoxial gales. We live at 42 degrees south latitude, commonly known as the Roaring Forties, so gardening has been something we’ve done only if we really really have to. Best to stay indoors or find a stretch of the coast under the shelter of cliff.
Our house painter says the winds make him melancholy, the teachers all say the pupils develop a kind of madness; our Jack Russell certainly does. I have a balance issue and so the sound-buffeting and the visual disturbance of trees waving and gyrating can bring on an attack of vertigo. But the gales are abating now and I’m in clean-up mode. Masses of whippy branches from the two willows, cossetting the gardens with as much water as possible and starting to shovel mulch all around after much water, so that summer doesn’t dry everything out.
Here’s my lot for this week: