I said I was going to take the summer off and maybe do a free novella but it hasn’t worked out that way. I was sitting with my mother in the garden of her care home. It’s very rare for there to be much conversation between us, other than ‘Have you heard from x’ or ‘How are you feeling?’
So I watched the birds in a rare, cloudless sky. A lone seagull glided along the thermals just for pleasure, I’m sure. But it was the swallows or swifts which grabbed my attention. They looked to be playing tag, swooping low and the next moment high. They reminded me of all the footage of fighter planes in WW2 that you see in films. The first chapter came to me in a flash and less than a week later I have written two chapters and drafted a format for the book. It’s early days so the format may change.
I am lucky enough to have a 91-year-old aunt who lived through WW2 in the area. The females in my family are long-lived. She has an extraordinary memory, unlike my mother, so I will be pumping my aunt for detail and colour.
This little Victorian folly is called Ross Castle. It was built by the railroad company, which also built the pier. You could say the railway company invented Cleethorpes as a popular seaside resort, although there were attempts before the railway arrived. Ross Castle plays a part in the first chapter.