Holidays and fun

In case anyone has noticed I haven’t kept up with my usual blog schedule – if you can call it that – I will just mention I have been away on holiday since I last posted here, and also that I had to help with a fun day at our local park yesterday. Three guesses which of these activities was actually more fun!

Fernsehturm, Belin

Fernsehturm, Berlin

Just a clue derived from one of my own novels:

Fundraising. They should remove the word ‘fun’ from it, thought Christopher gloomily as he stood by the tombola stall. So far he had sold three tickets to people who had grumbled regardless of whether they won a prize or not; he had already developed a hatred of people in general, and particularly people en masse such as you got when you organised a fund-raising table sale in aid of the Village Hall Restoration Fund.

Anyway, the holiday was fun and will probably provide ideas for several more novels, once I process the information overload which came from visiting Aachen, Berlin and Cologne in quick succession and attempting to see the essential sights of all three within a week.

The route of the Berlin Wall

The route of the Berlin Wall marked in cobblestones passing our hotel.

My favourite activities were (not in order of preference) swimming in the Carolus Thermen and visiting the Centre Charlemagne in Aachen, taking a boat trip on the Spree and eating lunch in the Ka De We in Berlin, and going to the Chocolate Museum in Cologne. Although there are lots of museums to visit in Berlin, and in fact it’s difficult to decide on one or two out of the wide selection, in many ways I feel that the city itself is a kind of living museum of European history, and that the experience of visiting it cannot be condensed into a few rooms in a building. I have always been fascinated by the place since going there in 1964 on a school trip. Looking back on it, the teachers must have been fearless indeed to take a party of teenagers into the extremely tense environment of that place and time.

I am only just starting to settle back into a writing routine, which is rather timely as I have already signed up to take part in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, when I plan to get going on ‘Pitkirtly X’. Ideally I should finish ‘Adventure at the Zoological Park’ before then, because my master plan is that the next set of two more-or-less-Edwardian novellas will be my 19th book on Amazon and ‘Pitkirtly X’ will be my 20th, so giving me a pretext for a massive book launch and celebration for which I have already designed some commemorative mugs!


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