I took a half hour walk up the lane to blow away the cobwebs and when I got back, the post van had been leaving a note for me to collect a parcel from my nearest post office over in Whitchurch.  I knew what it was because I was expecting it – a box containing copies of my new book. I  hope I never lose the excitement of opening that box and seeing the book for the first time, holding it and opening it to check that the dedication is correct.  So, after much hard work, A Close Connection is to be published at the end of the month.   At the weekend, I went to Bude and we had a walk on the beach in glorious spring sunshine with a few hardy souls semi stripped off sunbathing. It wasn’t that hot.  I missed the partial eclipse as I was driving into Plymouth at the time but it did go marginally darker.  Spring is official now and it’s beginning to feel like it too. I look at my patio plants which all need a bit of TLC and must pay a visit like everybody else to the garden centre soon.

Another Saturday walk with my neighbours. We have almost completed – in stages – the cycle path walk from Tavistock to Plymouth. When the idea of a cycle trail was first aired, the general feeling was that it would not be used but it’s wonderful to see how many people are taking advantage of it. Cyclists of all shapes and sizes – serious ones, families with the children pedalling away on their little bikes and even a dad towing a toddler in a little trailer that would be so dangerous on the road but is fine on this gentle path. Walkers and dogs love it and at one point we walked through a tunnel with a kink in it so that you couldn’t see the light at the end of it – slightly scary with not enough lights and water dripping from the ceiling. The trail is an old rail track with embankments at the side in places, water dripping from the overhanging moss and it doesn’t take much imagination to think of a train steaming through. A cup of coffee at the end of the walk and back home. After such a walk, I didn’t feel too guilty to spend the rest of the afternoon taking it easy watching the rugby on television. Reading another book of short stories by Jane Gardam – how different they are from Maeve Binchy’s collection.

I was out for lunch yesterday and spent ages wondering what to wear. I have nothing to wear.  It was sunny outside and my boots looked wrong as did thick tights but it is much too soon to start stripping off for spring. Never cast a clout til May be out was one of my grandfather’s sayings and there is something in that although I am not going to wait until then to start thinking about spring clothes. The shops are full of them already but nothing takes my fancy.

I have sent off a short story with no great hopes but it was fun to write and I need to do more so that I  have a good portfolio to keep trying with various outlets. Just reading a collection of Maeve Binchy shorts, trying to understand, even after all these years, what actually makes a good short story.