Fighting over thongs

I always thought writing would be a gentle pastime. Sitting at a desk, fingers busily tapping the keyboard, ideas flowing from mind to computer in a steady creative stream. But it’s not like that in our household.



Living in a tiny village in Spain is definitely inspirational. I can work undisturbed, gazing out onto the mountains between paragraphs. No sounds apart from the Fish Van arriving, or Uncle Felix’s mule clattering through the streets. No distractions, right? Wrong, I’m afraid.

For example:

“Vicky! Come and see this eagle,” Joe calls, and I abandon everything and race to look. We’re not expert enough to identify it, but to watch an eagle wheeling in the endless, blue sky over the mountain tops is a joy and a privilege. (Thanks for the pic, Kiersten Rowland.)


“Vicky! Paco’s just given me this huge bag of vegetables. What shall we do with them?” I turn away from the computer to admire the glossy red and green peppers. Then I search for recipes that require these delicious ingredients, my manuscript abandoned.

I sigh. Maybe I can get on with the writing in the quiet of the evening? No. When darkness falls, the guitars come out and our neighbours fill the street, laughing, shouting and hand-clapping to the strains of Flamenco. We love it, but, yet again, the manuscript is neglected.

And then there are the battles. Joe is my Editor in Chief, and every word I write is checked and scrutinised by him.

“I don’t like that chapter,” he says. “It needs re-writing. And why don’t you use the word ‘palisaded’ here?”

“Palisaded? Why should I use words that people might need to check in the dictionary?” I say, reaching for the dictionary.

“And this part isn’t clear. You need to explain why the ladies’ thongs are up the tree.”

“I did! Read the next bit!”

So we bicker and argue, and further writing is pushed aside once more. However, miraculously, ‘Two Old Fools – Olé’ is nearly finished. My target is to get it out in time for Christmas, even though the village and Joe seem to be conspiring against me.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering – Joe won. The word ‘palisaded’ appears in chapter 22. And what did we do with all the red and green peppers? Well, some went into a vegetable and ham tortilla. Delicious! Some went into salads, some were baked in the oven. The remainder went into the chickens.

Update: ‘Two Old Fools – Olé’ is completed and published. I am proud to say it zoomed up the Amazon UK Bestseller chart to #56.

The word ‘palisaded’ remains in chapter 22.

Olé! - Amazon Uk

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.