Thursday, 15 December 2011


I haven't really been blogging since the beginning of November and a lot has happened since then.  The biggest thing is that we have finally moved home.  After five years of renting in Newnham, we are now the proud owners of a mortgage once again.

The move has been traumatic and very disruptive.  We are planning to build an office and studio in the garden, but until then I am in a room that reminds me of the office in Terry Gilliam's Brazil where the person next door is moving the walls in their favour.  My wife's studio looks like a storage cupboard full of boxes.

Our house in Newnham was a long way from being perfect for us and it was very frustrating to be unable to fix anything permanently or change anything to suit our tastes, but I produced all the Tales of Terror books there, as well as The Dead of Winter and Mister Creecher.  What books will this house elicit from me I wonder?

And we will miss Newnham.  Or we will miss some of it - our little bit of it.  There is a part of Newnham that is far too pleased with itself, but we made some very good friends there nonetheless.  And it is a unique area.  At the last party I went to there, Stephen Hawking was in the kitchen.  It's that kind of a place.

We will miss the quirky, grumpy, chatty, bossy, loveable Derby Stores and the butchers and the fish and chip van on a Tuesday night.  We will miss Lammas Land and the walk across the little oasis of feral fenland to the centre of town.  We will miss the amazing variety of birdlife we managed to attract into our tiny garden and the easy access out on to Grantchester Meadows.

But now we have our own house.  We are reunited with our paintings - many of which I had forgotten (especially the ones I actually painted) - although we have had contend with breakages and losses.  We have our books back, though we do not have anywhere to put them yet.  We have far too much stuff for such a small house, but we do have a cellar luckily.  We are in a quiet and very friendly little street.

The photograph shows the chimney sweep's brush emerging from the chimney pot.  He insisted on showing us this, as sweeps do.  They say it's lucky to see it.  Let's hope so.

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