"It takes a long time to grow an old friend”
This morning Caroline and I took a trip to Almondell Country Park. Caroline is a fab photographer and I asked her if she could take some nice photographs of me in a place which has real significance to my novel "Bree McCready and the Half-Heart Locket". I took alot of inspiration from this place and there is chapter in the story entitled "Sandy's Rough Ride" which is based on an area of Almondell (but you'll have to wait until you read it to find out what it is!) A couple of times today I had shivers as I actually imagined Bree, Honey and Sandy having walked through where we stood. Wow.. It was the most beautiful day - sunny and bitterly cold which is my favourite combination.
After we had taken a few photos at Almondell we went to another significant place in my life - a wee cafe called 'Sugar Rush'. I love this place. It's tiny and cosy and does the best home baking I have ever come across! When I first started writing Bree McCready in 2006 my son had just started a little playgroup in the area and I used to drop him there and spend the time in this cafe writing. A good few paragraphs of Bree McCready were written in this wee gem of a place. When I look back at that time I feel a strange mixture of emotions. It was a very sad time as I adjusted to being a single mum. My son was very little and he used to cry when I left him at the playgroup. It was hard walking away from him and I used to shed a tear as I walked up the hundreds of steps which led up to the main street where this little cafe is situated. Writing helped me and gave me a small amount of hope which kept me going through this dark time in my life. When I think how far I have come since then it makes me smile. Spending time with a good friend today in my favourite places, knowing my boy was happy at school and knowing that my book has been accepted for publication feels like another world to the world I inhabited at that time. I have moved on so much since then I feel like I don't recognise that person. I can honestly say that, with the exception of giving birth to my son I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. It's a time to look forward now and to forget the past. I have no space in my life for regrets and sadness. What a brilliant day it has been. What a giggle Caroline and I had especially in the cafe where we tried to take some moody pictures of me looking pensive and studious. I just had to look at Caroline and I burst out laughing. For a few glorious minutes we were silly 12 year old girls again, trying not to laugh in class! The wee old lady who was sitting behind us said, as we were leaving that we had made her day! I hope to share some of the photographs with you soon.