A nugget of wisdom I learned many moons ago was that any reason you give for not doing what you are supposed to be doing, or want to be doing, is just an avoidance tactic. In other words, I can’t write, I cannot afford the time, I don’t own a laptop, I need to go for lessons etc are nothing more than avoiding the fact that really, you should be writing.

That fantasy of the 6 month stay at the farm once you have saved up enough cash so you can be the artist in splendid isolation while you scribe your magnum opus is nothing more than that, a fantasy. When you are writing, then you are a writer, not before or after, especially not if you are only thinking about it.

Having said that, there was something deep seatedly therapeutic about spending the weekend in the Forest Cottage on the Paul Cluver wine estate in Elgin. The isolation, the trees, the friendly zebras and the knowledge that incredible wine is developing silently right next to you does something for the contemplative powers, that much is certain.

However, I did find that in my keenness to see it all, breathe it in and digest it, not much writing was done. Well, not as much as I would have liked. See, the trouble is that my novel (that which currently preoccupies the creative cortex) is set in a dark, weird city and is pretty much the antithesis of lovely country life. So the pull of the physical beauty around me was very much away from the text I am busy with…

I wrote some pretty verses about Zebra’s, the vines and the clouds though, which was fun.