Posted in Personal life, Writing

When the Dust Settles…

My column for the November issue of the Hawkesbury Parish News

There can’t be many corners of Hawkesbury that have been unaffected by builder’s dust this autumn.

Lately, between the road works on France Lane and the extension that my husband is building at the back of our house…

Diggers at work on road

…I’ve been living in a cloud of fallout, trying not to think of Pompeii. I’ve sneezed enough for it to count as my recommended daily thirty minutes of vigorous exercise.

fitbit logo

As an optimist, I’m looking on the bright side:

  • I’m looking forward to a winter without wind-induced power cuts, now that they’ve buried the electricity cables underground.
  • I can’t wait to have a whole new room opening onto the garden, though we’ve not yet agreed how to use it. My daughter wants it kept clear as a dance space, whereas I’m thinking “goody, more bookshelves!”
  • It’s much easier to spot my (black) car in the car park from the writing in the dust that has encased it.

Whether all this dust will have the same positive impact on the local environment as Vesuvius’s volcanic materials remains to be seen. Apparently its slopes have been extremely fertile ever since the eruption that buried Pompeii. You may yet see my name on prize-winning giant vegetables in next year’s Village Show – or spot my little hatchback growing into a spacious saloon.

Cover of Best Murder in Show
Provisional cover for my debut novel

Speaking of the Village Show – you may be interested to hear that my current work-in-progress is a comic mystery novel revolving about a small Gloucestershire village’s annual horticultural show. It’s an entirely fictitious work, and, as novelists always like to say, any resemblance to any person or place is purely coincidental, of course! Best Murder in Show will be published in time for the 2016 Hawkesbury Horticultural Show.


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

2 thoughts on “When the Dust Settles…

  1. Short-term pain — although building and reno projects can seem like they go on forever — for what sounds like wonderful long-term gain. A dance space enveloped in bookshelves, maybe?

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