Why is it that when you retire from your day job, you become even busier? It is true that I no longer have the ghastly commute, which also means that I don’t have to leave the house before seven a.m. and often not return until after six p.m. My day no longer requires me to sit in management meetings or complete quality audits. Yay!
Looking back over the last year, at this point we were about to embark on a joint book launch, which was ridiculously hard work and the best fun, I have ever had. After that I took a break and then got on with the third book in the Currency Girls Series. Now I am about half-way through the first draft and praying I can get it finished by Christmas. But, and it is a big but – something else has come up – preparing a ghost book for the Littlehampton Ghost Tour in July, part of the CHINDI offering to the Littlehampton Arts Festival, LOCA.
So today saw me and a colleague meeting for a cup of tea and an orientation walk around Littlehampton. It’s the next town along the coast (8 miles away) and despite living here for 33 years, I know it not. We managed probably 50 yards of our tour before we popped into a shop (reportedly haunted) asked the owner for his help and an hour later, while the weak, wintery sun had changed to a cold, drizzling rain, emerged from our own personal ghost tour. We heard stories to scare, to make us giggle, stories to chill the blood and bring tears to our eyes, stories that made us angry at the injustice and cruelty of bygone ages. But the most significant find of all was that we have an even bigger job to do than we thought. This trip into the murky Littlehampton of yesteryear cannot be wrapped up in an afternoon or two. It’s going to take patience, listening and seeing time. We need to take a deep look at the town, listen to its stories and try to create something that makes people see it with our eyes. Next visit is on Monday. How many more will it take?