Notes From The Cotswolds – Making Time by Penny Parkes
A few weeks ago, I packed up my laptop and a large supply of Breakfast Cereal (crucial) and made my way back to Bath. I had edits to do, a sleep deficit to reclaim and I also wanted to just take a moment before the summer holidays began to revisit my old stomping grounds. Sitting in a beautiful flat in The Circus, tapping away like a caffeine-fuelled woodpecker, I could look out of various windows and see my first flat, my second and also the home that my husband and I bought together, long before we were husband and wife – it was like taking a step back in time.
And it wasn’t until I was there, in that moment, that I suddenly remembered all the hours walking through Victoria Park, scribbling first chapters that were never destined to earn second chapters… Even while away filming on location, I would set myself up and think, ‘This is the year I’m going to do it…’ – just moments before life intervened.
So I suppose what I wanted to share with you all, in the week of my paperback publication, is that there is honestly never ‘a good time to write’ – it is something that is created, not found.
Likewise making a date with a good book: I’m sure you have friends who claim that they ‘never have time to read’ and you, like me, attempt to smother your gasps of disbelief. (I suspect you may be more successful at this than I am, as I’ve often been accused of looking utterly horrified at the very suggestion) And it comes down to this – what is more important?
Now sometimes – particularly if Aaron Sorkin is involved – then I will bow to the lure of a box set, but you will rarely find me heading off to bed, off on holiday, or frankly even out for the day, without a book in my hand. A holiday can be defined by the books I choose to accompany me – one of the reasons I insisted on taking old favourites on my honeymoon, rather than ‘risk’ something new on such a momentous occasion. It’s one of the reasons I can almost smell lavender every time I pick up a Jilly Cooper (having discovered an illicit stash in a French holiday rental as an impressionable teenager.)
But now summer is upon us, school is out and it’s holiday season a-go-go and my world of dishy doctors, dogs and scandal will be out there in the wild.
My wish is that Out Of Practice may be the book that enhances your holiday or your staycation this year – making you laugh, making you smile and, one day in the future, thinking back to the week in the sunshine/rain/hail* when you first discovered Larkford. xx
*delete as applicable