A Ramble In More Ways Than One

I missed my Wednesday Wander this week! Not because I didn’t have anywhere to write about, but because I’ve been deep into Ambeth these past two weeks, doing a fine toothcomb edit of Under Stone, the fourth instalment in the series. The story has taken me over again and I’ve been immersed fully into it, emerging only to eat, sleep, go to work and take care of my (slightly bemused) family. Oh, and watch Game of Thrones, of course, because DRACARYS – how good was the last episode? It took me a day to recover, I swear.

However, last night I edited the final word in the final chapter, and so this morning I decided to take a break and walk to work along the canal, something I’ve not had the chance to do for a few weeks. Not much had changed along there – it was still green, lush branches almost trailing in the still water in some places, creating archways over the slightly muddy path. There were more ripe blackberries than before, reminding me to bring a container next time I walk that way, their juicy goodness destined for my freezer and winter pies. But mostly, it was just the same.

And that was just what I needed. A reminder of the real world. Not so far removed from the green gardens and hidden pathways of Ambeth, but real enough. The grey heron was in his usual spot on the fallen tree at the widest part of the canal, preening his feathers in the sunshine. Canada geese, ducks and swans sailed past, silver fish jumped, canal boats reflected in the dark waters. As I walked I felt in some way as though I were waking up again, from a self-imposed slumber where all I did was dream of another land.

This afternoon after work I watched the gorgeous girl in a show, caught up with friends and had dinner with my family. Later, I might take my tea and sit in the garden as dusk falls, watching the sky change colour and listening to the rustle of birds as I cradle my cup close, enjoying the warmth. The nights are cool, even though it’s August, a hint of autumn around the corner, my favourite time of year. The Perseid meteor shower is happening now, with the peak expected this weekend. If I can, I’ll sit out and watch the stars fall – I did so years ago, driving out to the countryside and sitting in the darkness, light streaking across the sky above. I’ve never forgotten it.

And then it’s back to work. A final edit, some work on the cover design and a few other related items, as well as another story begging to be completed. There are blog posts to write, as well, people to visit in their online domains. But for tonight I think I’ll just sit and consider, taking a moment to breathe and remember who I am before I dive back in again.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend 🙂


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Thursday Doors – Blacksmith Row

img_3409This door is the end one in a row of three connected cottages called Blacksmith Row. There is no blacksmith there any more but, as with so many names in Britain, clues to the history of the place lie in the name. When Leverstock Green was a village, before the post-war new town developments made it part of Hemel Hempstead, there was a smithy to the right of the cottages – in fact, right where the resident of this cottage now has a smart fenced garden.

img_3406Even though it’s been absorbed into a larger town, Leverstock Green still has a village feel, with the old pub, cricket played on the green and the picturesque cottages with their lovely gardens. I particularly like how, even though the cottages are separately owned, the owners have chosen to have the same colour front doors. It made them the perfect candidate for my Thursday Doors post this week.

This is my entry to Norm 2.0’s weekly Thursday Doors Challenge. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s site and click the link.

 

Found Objects – Horseshoe

A few months ago, I mentioned in a post that we were digging out an old raised vegetable bed at the end of our garden, in preparation for a new garden room/shed and decked area. In the course of the excavation our daughter was pottering around, poking through the piles of earth and rubble for items of interest – coloured stones, bits of old pottery, a small plastic teacup all taking her interest. Then, more recently, she found this:

IMG_2311 It’s a horseshoe, obviously. At least, I think it is. Rusty, with most of the nails still in place, and surprisingly light. But it seems a bit smaller than the average horseshoe:

IMG_2315 As you can see, it would easily sit on the palm of my hand, and I’m not a woman with freakishly large hands or anything. So now it’s got me thinking. Our house was built in the 1930s, but before that this area was all forest, running along the valley to what was then a small village about two miles away.

I wonder whether it came from a small pony, perhaps belonging to a child. Or a dainty palfrey, mount of a lady. Or something else altogether. Potential stories abound. Whoever the mysterious rider was, it must have been annoying to have their horse lose a shoe in the middle of the woods.

And now, however many years later, it’s turned up again. So, horse-y bloggers out there, what do you think? Is this a rather small horseshoe? Or is it normal size? While I love horses, I’ve never spent any great amount of time with them, so would love to know more.

 

Head Full Of Words

IMG_1781

Some of my peonies, still damp from the rain.

This morning I woke with a head full of words.

Dancing around, they refused to let me back to sleep and so I gave in to their incessant call, getting up and going downstairs to the kitchen. I had woken hungry as well (not unusual for me) and as I busied myself making toast and tea I thought about those words and what to do with them.

Through the kitchen window my garden was dusted with early dew, fairy lights still sparkling in the clematis. The sky was fresh and clear, first blush of dawn above the distant trees and rooftops. It was one of those perfect early summer mornings, when the day seems to hold infinite promise, gold light on green leaves. The birds were up as well, adding their melodies to the dance of words – I wondered, do they wake with heads full of song?

It’s a perfect time, before husband and child wake, when the house is mine alone, shadowy with morning. I am an early bird most days and make the most of it, reading, catching up on the news and planning my day. But this morning I needed to write, the words tumbling around and refusing to leave until I put them on paper. So here are some of them, to share with you.