A visit from friends up north together with their darling little chocolate brown cockapoo – a bundle of fun although my cat Lucy was not impressed.  We went up to Princetown, high on the moor and a bit bleak and cold in late September. Dartmoor Prison is now a category C prison holding prisoners who are not a high escape or security risk.  The Prison Museum is full of interesting little-known facts with one prisoner of old describing the moor as a dreadful place with the people living on it full of woe – not sure if that still applies but the place does have a slightly forbidding air about it.

A visit to Aberystwyth with my son to see his brother. I find myself still stupidly surprised at how alive the Welsh language is.  Picked up a few words. It was freshers week at the university so the place was heaving with new students.  We went to a Greek restaurant for lunch where I had Chicken in Ouzo – lovely. Followed by a trip up the Cliff Railway or Rheilffordd Y Graig to the top of Constitution Hill which overlooks the town and the bay. The journey once over the Severn Bridge became very windy, important looking hills peeping out through the morning mist; one is called Sugar Loaf.

Another evening of fun and laughter with Johnny Cowling, a Cornish comedian/singer with a great talent for interacting with the audience and making us smile.  The concert was in church and featured a selection of Elvis songs and gospel music. Johnny has a great voice, resembles Elvis in looks, and had us giggling in the pews. I understand he is a warm-up comedian for some well known shows but he honestly deserves more recognition away from the south-west.    I am getting on well now with the new novel.  It has veered off course a little with an exciting development. I am hoping to bring St Ives into the story as I loved it there and I’m sure my characters would love it too.

Just back from a week in St Ives.  The cottage we stayed in was up a steep alley, a quirky cottage on 3 levels with a gallery up top from which you could see the comings and goings in the harbour. A busy week for the smaller grandchildren playing on the beach and paddling in the sea – Daisy won the Rotary Club Sandcastle Competition with her entry; the prize a Chocolate Castle.  We were dive-bombed by a seagull as we foolishly sat on the beach eating – serve us right because who in their right mind would choose to eat on the beach – all that sand! St Ives is a fascinating warren of little streets and quaint cottages and artists flock to it because of the special light.  Driving through the ridiculously narrow streets crammed as they are with tourists is not for the faint hearted driver.  Back to the business of writing now and I feel refreshed.