Half the World
Villa Hellebos, my home for the next month, is peaceful, comfortable, charming. And - most important - it really does deliver time and space for an undivided focus on writing.
After a week of rushing around the world (not to mention the excess of pre-departure rushing that rushing around the world requires) it comes not a moment too soon.
My journey included three beautiful days at Lake Cavanaugh, Washington State, two brisk nights in Yorkshire, and three glorious, culture-laden days in Paris where I walked my feet to blisters and gobbled up an excess of art and music. Musee d'Orsay is definitely on the list for a return visit, while concerts in the city's lovely old churches, including the tiny and sublime Sainte Chapelle, proved the find of the trip and may be compulsory hereafter.
On Sunday evening Europe's efficient rail system delivered me to Brussels and thence on to Vollezele, and here I sit, dividing my time between the laptop and the view, and discovering that the novel I thought I was coming here to write has been taken over by another. So be it.
Today has been warm (19 degrees), the sun bright, though it now falls in lengthening shadows, the wind busy with twisting drifts of golden leaves. Windfall apples hide in the grass and the fields alternate between corn stubble and flowering mustard and freshly turned earth. The Villa's woods smell of leafmast and wild mushrooms.
I am privileged to be here, to have this time and this place, to be writing 10 hours a day. I may not want to leave.