- There is actually very little news at the moment as I have spent the last 3 months
settling into Pateley. I feel as if I have lived here for years! I love the house,
I love Pateley and I love the locals who have made me very welcome.
- I have done some decorating already and a few essential works - the first of which
was to create a third of an acre dog proof pen as I’m surrounded on 3 sides by sheep!
Tinker has still escaped twice and I can’t for the life of me find out how she is
getting out - but at least I caught her both times before she reached the fields
- I have thrown myself into several new groups such as the Summerbridge WI, the Pateley
dramatic society and I’m going be trained in July to be a First Responder.
- I am also trying to get a jazz jam session together in Pateley, but it is proving
a little difficult as all the music around here is mainly brass bands or folk. I
did however gate crash the classical orchestra one week and give out jazz flyers!
- I am eventually knuckling down to do some writing, although I have booked on another
Arvon writing course, this time to focus on travel writing. As I have already written
3 books on my travels, getting some tips and hints on the course, may make the next
edit more fruitful.
- I haven’t actually booked any travels yet - even though before I moved the plan was
to unpack boxes then book immediately for Peru. As settling in has taken longer and
has been more pleasurable than I anticipated, Peru will have to wait until later
in the year!
- Finally, I’m speaking at Warwick University on Saturday 18th May about “Happiness”.
As an old student I received their alumni invitation by email just after I had moved
and was feeling especially “happy”. The day had academic speakers talking about “The
happiness effect”. I then had the gall / impudence / arrogance to drop them a line
and say that it was all very well having academics talking about happiness but what
they really needed was someone talking about designing their own happiness and I
volunteered. To my utmost surprise - they said yes!
- The talk at Warwick University about happiness and my second life in May went down
extremely well, and many people either said afterwards or sent me an email to say
how inspiring they found it, which was great.
- I am not having much luck in setting up Pateley jazz despite 2 ads in the local mag
and flyers. I’ve had more interest from people wishing me well as they would like
to come along and listen, than I have musicians wanting to play!
- I am really enjoying the WI and recently did one of their day course on learning
to play Mahjong. I could very easily become addicted, as it’s a fascinating game
of strategy - I just need to find 3 other people to play with!
- I recently returned from another excellent Arvon training course. I did an introduction
to creative writing last year and this year a week about travel writing. One of the
authors running the course, Chris Stewart (Driving over lemons), gave three bits
of advice (amongst others): 1. To be a writer, you have to write. 2. You need to
read lots 3. It’s helpful to join a local writing group to keep the momentum going.
So I decided that on my return I would become a writer, and I now “go to work” each
day to work on my material. I’ve bought a load of second hand travel books to read,
and I’ve joined the Pateley writing group. Yep - I certainly don’t let the grass
grow under my feet! I have however stopped the journalist course as it was just too
“Mickey Mouse”. The tutorials and feed back from assignments goes on and on about
typos and grammar, and yet their material is littered with such errors. I contacted
the British College of Journalism (dot com!) about this and was told that their proof
readers try their best! As I mainly wanted to do the course to help with my travel
journals, I got got zillions more advice and support from the Arvon writing course
than I would if I completed the journalism course. So that comes off my bucket list!
- I have started making enquiries about a trip to Peru and Easter Island, but have
yet to find something within my budget. Although I wanted to do it entirely solo,
I may have to join a group for part of it just to be able to afford it.
- My interest in nature didn’t wane at all after leaving Seven Acres, and indeed I
have an abundance of wildlife here, and with the arrival of Red Kites a few days
ago, I am already planning to make a feeding station for them. So I have added a
Pateley Nature page to this site.
- And talking of wildlife …. I had an extraordinary day’s outing to Bedford to Walk
with Wolves… SEE HERE