Thursday, 5 November 2020
This being the first day of Lockdown Two, our outdoor life is becoming increasingly important. My social life mainly consists of socially distanced walks with friends. And as I have a dog that needs walking, and I love being outside, even if I’m not researching new walks for my books, that ticks a lot of boxes for me.
I appreciate that many people don’t enjoy walking as much as I do, but one thing that the first lockdown did was make many people appreciate the outdoors. Spring became an exercise in appreciating the wonder of nature bursting forth, helped, of course, by spectacular weather.
Now we are at the other end of the scale of the year. Autumn’s colours are always fantastic, but we are heading towards an uncertain winter which makes us all uneasy. Like many others, I suffer badly from SAD, but getting out does help.
The year I wrote Walks in the Footsteps of Poldark was the wettest winter for 100 years. I had a deadline so I had to put together the book in six months - winter months - which meant a lot of grey, dismal walks. (It also meant tearing round the county on the Easter weekend - the first sunny weekend for six months - taking pictures of the walks in sunshine .
But each grey walk was an adventure. A part of discovering more about Winston Graham, and his Poldark characters, or settings. It gave the day a focus, a reason. So next time you feel like doing a walk, pick up a walks book - one of mine if you feel like it! Walk alongside with me. I’d love to share it with you. And give your day a focus. A reason to get up, to go out, to explore.
I find getting out, even if it’s raining, helps to get through those grey depressing days. I don’t mean getting soaked - though I did that twice on Saturday - but even getting home cold and wet had a certain pleasure. I felt so much better for getting out of the house. I fed Lainy and then thought, well I’m cold and it’ll be dark soon so I’m going to get into bed with my book.
I did. I’ve just finished reading Wild Mary by Patrick Marnham, all about the amazing writer Mary Wesley, who my mum used to meet in the bookshop that mum worked in. And her story really gives me inspiration. Which, let’s face it, we all need more than ever at the moment.