A few years ago I had a static caravan based at Watermillock (a lovely name—don’t you think?) a hamlet which isn’t very far from Pooley Bridge. The area is not only beautiful but serene and it’s a great place for writing, most of my writing is set in the English Lake District, particularly the Ullswater area.
Like most authors, I have to be disciplined—especially on fine days. I have to make myself sit and tap away at the keys, but the reward of a walk afterwards is a great incentive. I work best in the mornings, by 2pm I’ve usually written enough and that’s where walking helps ‘gets me on-track’. It clears my mind for the next chapter or story.
Sadly, I no longer have the caravan but the pattern of writing and walking is still with me. I live full-time in Nantwich, a small, pretty Cheshire town that has some fine black and white buildings which date back to the 1600’s. I live very close to the Shropshire Union Canal and, as I’m a country girl through and through, it’s where I get my ‘fix of nature’ as there is always something going on. I now have a camper van and escape to the Lakes for inspiration whenever I can. It’s a Mazda Bongo but I’d like to replace it with something a larger when possible.
Why do I write about The Lakes? Well, there is something about the Cumbrian mountains that brings out the child in me. I’m not the first person to liken the area to a giant playground where there is freedom to stay out ‘til late, come home dirty and know you’ve had the best day ever! (Did I read Enid Blyton as a child? You KNOW I did!) Oh and the Herdies are the most expressive sheep in the world! Who can resist taking their photo?
I hope my books reflect a sense of adventure and allow you to re-visit these much-loved places.
Favourite fell? It’s a difficult choice. I have a particular fondness for Place Fell and the surrounding area, but because it is insignificant and therefore sometimes overlooked, I have great affection for Little Mell Fell. It was the closest fell to where I stayed. The views from the summit are quite extraordinary and most of the time you will have it to yourself. Perhaps I’ll have my ashes scattered there...discreetly of course. A little bit of grit...as someone once said.
I completed my 214th Wainwright in May 2014 finishing on Great End. What a wonderful day it was. I was accompanied by a large group of friends all dressed as Alfred, complete with pipe and cap. It really was a Great End.