On Friday morning I open the computer to see how Move Over Darling is doing after its stint of being available free for five days. To my surprise, it seems to be doing quite nicely. Goodness knows what hubris prompts me to take a quick look at Amazon Movers and Shakers, but, hey ho, I do … and see Move Over Darling at number one! Number one!! Of course, what goes up must come down, but it’s an amazing start to the day and as fellow author Valerie-Anne Baglietto jokes to me on Twitter, I’ll always have the screenshot.
A little later Ma phones. She’s a passionate and clever gardener, as I’ve mentioned here before, and has finally decided to treat herself to a greenhouse. She’s had few sleepless nights worrying about all the practicalities of getting it fitted, but when the man turns up on Friday morning to lay the concrete base he has the same surname – quite a common name, it has to be said – as someone my dad once worked with and very much liked. ‘Are you related?’ asks Ma. ‘Yes,’ said her man, ‘he’s my dad.’ The only sad note is that Mr Man Senior has recently made a list of old pals he’d like to contact and my dad’s one of them. ‘Well,’ says Ma, with her usual sense of humour, ‘let us know if he has any success getting in touch.’
The same morning the postman brings me a date for a CT scan so that someone can get a better idea of what’s going on with my sinuses. A little light Googling has scared the bejeesus out of me, so getting a hospital appointment will hopefully mean information rather than speculation and at least I can stop fretting about it for now.
‘I’ve sent you some photos,’ says Tom, in the middle of all this. ‘You better have a look. I’d forgotten I’d taken them.’ Sighing, because I’m busy, I start downloading and catch my breath. The photos date from a freezing cold February about eighteen months before my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Knowing that we were planning to move to Wales, we’d booked a cottage with my parents to show them the area and here we are clambering about at Wooltack Point or looking at Jack Sound… scene of a few hair-raising sails. My dad was probably already ill then, but there we are living every moment. It’s strangely reassuring to see his face again on a day of very mixed emotions.
I wrote Move Over Darling during another difficult year when Ma had her dreadful accident and we took on a building project of a house. Second Book Syndrome nearly killed me too, but in the end I was proud of what I’d achieved. I’m nearly at the end of Book Three, Clearing the Decks, which – after a slow start – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing. It’s been great fun returning to Little Spitmarsh and working with my new heroine and hero. I’ll miss these characters when I’ve finished, but equally, I’m looking forwards to coming up for air. See you soon!