A trip up north for my mum-in-law’s funeral.  She would have been 95 years old on that day so it was a celebration of her life rather than a sad occasion although of course I think we all melted when Frank Sinatra’s My Way was played. It is proving to be a popular choice for the final music at a crematorium service and I think I know why.   It takes roughly 6 hours to drive up from Devon but I was reminded that it took an awful lot longer than that before the motorway was built. I remember as a child standing on a bridge at Lancaster and looking down at the M6 which was under construction at the time. Even the trip from Preston to Lancaster which is a mere hop on the motorway now seemed to take forever in those days on the bus calling at various places enroute.  On the writing front, I am still going through the final read of my new book.  I like this stage when I can think about it more leisurely, adding and taking away. By now I know my characters very well and I will be sorry to say goodbye to them.

There are daffodils out here in Devon. I spotted them this morning on the roundabout going into Tavistock and couldn’t quite believe it. It seems very early even for down here and it was a welcome sight reminding me that spring is not far round the corner although we have a way to go yet. Settling down to writing again after the Christmas break and I have finished the story although I am going through it again because as always I am not quite satisfied yet with the ending. It is always the ending, the final drawing together, that worries me the most. I am so involved with the characters that I want to be true to them and what they would do and how they would react. I am checking every word as I go just to make sure that I haven’t used the same word too often on the same page. It’s an easy mistake to slip into and you only realise when you read it out loud which I do.

Busy weekend. Been to a pantomime and the cinema. I love pantos and have happy memories of them. Once, up in Newcastle, when the children were small we had a box which sounded wonderful until we realized we could only see half of the stage from it. However we could see into the wings and watch the actors getting ready to come onto the stage.  It was Cinderella and David Jason was Buttons. This year’s pantomime at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth was Jack and the Beanstalk with Bobby Davro doing a terrific job as Simple Simon. Great fun for everybody and it was my granddaughter Daisy’s 8th birthday which was announced on stage and thrilled her to bits. The film next day was the Stephen Hawking one and although I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it or not I found it very moving.  The Carlton cinema in Okehampton is small with comfortable roomy seats like armchairs and a little table to put your popcorn and drinks on.  An interesting experience and it reminds me that there is nothing quite like a cinema screen to experience a film – it’s never quite the same when you see it on TV.  Back to writing now and I’ve passed page 200 so it’s on the final stretch now and I’m beginning to wind up the ladies’ separate stories.  Not quite sure yet if it’s going to be a happy ending for all of them. It depends.

New Year’s Day and a quiet one for me after a busy lovely Christmas with the family with only a few arguments over a game of Monopoly which is par for the course as we do tend to make our own rules.  After being cooped up as it were it was lovely to take a walk up the lane to see the cows and the sheep together in the same field. They seem to largely ignore each other but up close the cows are huge and you can see how powerful they are and how dangerous as their calves were with them. I was glad that a  fence separated us from them.  Finally back to looking at my new work in progress. I have changed the title again but it’s only a working one. Starting to come to the tricky three quarter point where things have to happen. My three ladies each have their problems to sort out  and I’m not entirely sure how they will do that yet but I am confident they will.  I am starting to have quite a number of e-books out now with several others due shortly and that feels exciting and new.