¦ Dialling in from the sky bunker ¦
The sun is shining and the promise of a heat wave is on the wings. It’ll be a nice shift away from the insane winds and chill that’s been blowing through Bristol recently.
Can’t believe I have only been back from Valladolid and Salamanca for just over a week – feels like it was much longer ago. Stress does that. A lot of pressure on at the moment and coming at me from different angles. Makes me even more glad that I have eased back on how much writing I do every day. Have been faithfully working on Oakfield every morning. Just 45 minutes and that’s it – tick in the box. Daily commitment done. I am bloody loving this book – layer upon layer of tension building up now towards the big reveal and showdown. Broken Fury is also getting a lot of attention – have bounced out of Essaouria and back to Norway, using a lot of last year’s road trip through the Arctic Circle as scene setting. Sunder Gloom is lingering on the edges of my mind but have barely touched it in the past week.
Have got back into Skyrim – Elder Scrolls. Never finished it first time I tried; distracted by too many side missions and with too many long gaps between play (busy writing) I lost the buzz. So started again from the beginning and now loving it.
An old childhood friend of mine came to visit Bristol this weekend. One of three of us who all grew up on the same street together, in Newcastle – we’ve known each other since we were all 9 and 10. So a long time. He’s now doing well as a commercial photographer. I took him and his lady around a couple of the highlights of Bristol, including a pub that is rapidly becoming one of my favourites: The Bag of Nails–
Small, friendly gas-lit terraced free house dating from the 1860s serving up to 6 changing beers from both small or new brewers from all over, including local micros. Over 65 bottled beers, a real cider and occasional beer festivals. Policy of no children or “idiot pub crawls”. The interior features terra cotta colours, sultry wallpaper, portholes in the floor, pub cats roaming free and eclectic music from a proper record player.
Leaving, there was a classic “Bristol moment” when I squeezed past some guy standing in the doorway. I turned round and got talking to him – easy, random flow of conversation. He said he ran a bookstore, I said, “Ah do you like science fiction dark fantasy?” He pulled a face and looked like a bulldog chewing on a thistle, “I like literature, sir!”
We all chuckled in good humour whilst my friend looked at me pointedly – so I confessed that I had written a few science fiction dark fantasy novels. The guy was unimpressed, “Well it’s all a matter of taste I suppose,” he told us, “But you can keep your fake mountains and robots and spaceships. I prefer to read real books.”
We parted company with smiles and back patting. Good and honest communication. The Bag of Nails, if you live near Hotwells, get yourself down there.