Autumn, nearly winter. Chilly mornings and early evenings with a hint of ice in the air.
Uncertain times persist. Life has returned to normal, and yet it hasn’t. The pandemic could return with a vengeance, catching many of us unaware.
I struggle with malaise to an extent. Once the Covid restrictions ended, a number of friends chose to leave London. I am still out of work, more than eighteen months on, and I have got used to spending substantial amounts of time indoors, although I stay busy with language studies and practising the piano. Plus, I arrange to see friends for coffee or via Video.
And take local walks, of course. London can be busy, dirty and noisy. Yet, the outskirts contain remains of country, such as the Ancient Forest of Middlesex.
Below I capture a hint of rural Muswell Hill, taken on a morning walk:
Another year has flown by. Autumn has come, although summer weather lingers. Life has returned to normal, although uncertainty persists, especially in regards to COVID.
Normal, yet not normal. I study languages from home and practise the piano.
Yesterday, I had a haircut. I needed to do something to cheer me up, as the prospect of six months of autumn and winter depresses me. Early evenings and grey skies. The stresses of Christmas and concerns over winter viruses.
The weather has changed. I don’t like the rain or grey skies. I’d prefer the heatwave of summer
Below I enclose a section from my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – in which the protagonist makes a journey back to his hometown at the start of autumn, his favourite season until an event in his childhood tore the close knit Northern community apart. Not surprisingly, he finds some of the journey overwhelming.
(Genre: psychological thriller; location: Lancashire: UK, published 2011)
I set off across the moors for the journey to my hometown.
Fifty minutes later, the familiar sights greet me like an old loyal friend. The airfield several miles from the estate. Stately Holbron Hall in the distance, standing on a hill. Narrow main roads with damp looking brown terraced houses. The amateur football club with the floodlights. Disused mills, factories. The cemetery behind a pair of gates. I hurry past.
Home, although I don’t recognise all the landmarks or the streets. Some are new, others I must have forgotten about. I can almost feel the reassuring touch of the wind on my face, the autumn glow in the air, the innocence and excitement of childhood.
Hi, the good weather has gone for the most part, replaced by Autumn skies and humidity. After such a warm June, August seems almost depressing, a reminder that Autumn will come soon, and then Winter, followed by another year.
In terms of writing, I’ve reached a lull and am uncertain of how to proceed. I miss working on plot and character and churning out page after page of work, but I’m reluctant to self-publish again. I think I need to put the writing to a side for twelve months, then reconsider the options.
Meanwhile, I spend more time at the piano these days and I now have more than thirty videos of my playing on YouTube. I hope to do some more recording at some point in the near future.
Back to gloomy autumn weather and a wait to hear news on the latest novel, a psychological thriller.
Talking of which…after high temperatures and a late summer, the weather suddenly changed. I woke up at around 3am on Thursday, aware of the steady thud of rain outside. Lightning flickered, causing the clock radio to crackle. Thunder roared close by.
Generally, I like storms, but I lay there unsettled, thinking of another storm that took place when I was a child, maybe five or six years old. When that storm occurred, I fled from the bedroom, convinced that the house was haunted and that the ghosts were pursuing me. Obviously, I have no idea whether the house was really haunted. However, from time to time, I’ve found certain places or atmospheres disquieting right from the start, and still do occasionally. So I suppose I must believe in the possibility of hauntings and ghosts, although the whole thing scares me.
Anyway, I think the above would do well in a psychological thriller.
Finally. Mist has fallen over the London suburb where I live, bringing down the temperature and casting grey over the buildings, and I think a long and cold winter lies ahead. This type of weather does little for creative inspiration, although I like watching rain and listening to the comforting thud. At present, I’m still waiting to hear back from an agent regarding my latest novel, and apart from ten days of vigorous pruning unnecessary detail in the text, I haven’t done any more writing. I’ve spent most of the time playing the piano and brushing up my foreign languages: French, German, Russian.
Soon, the summer will come to an end. Autumn, time for new challenges. The changing seasons. I haven’t done any writing this summer, apart from a brief tidy up on the manuscript and I’m still waiting to hear back from an agent. At the moment, I’m sifting through a number of ideas for a new novel, a choice, I think, between action of some sort (thrilling, tense) or a story more along the lines of a psychological drama (confusion, paranoia). In the meantime, I practise piano most days and study French, German and Russian.