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~ Hazel Harps On

From Exmoor to Antarctica

Normally my May blog would be abounding in photos of Exmoor flowers. Metaphors for new growth, inspiration, creativity and all that jazz. Oh, all right, I can’t resist sticking a few in here. ‘Cos just look at our fritillaries! We planted them years ago but every year up until now the pheasants have pecked off the buds and, despite our best efforts with electric wire (pheasants seem to like getting electric shocks) we haven’t actually seen them flower. But this year we managed to net a large swathe of them and it worked!

(Purrsy is photo-bombing as usual)

However, I am now leaving Exmoor behind and travelling to Antarctica. At least, I’m off there in my imagination. My first novel, the one about the Harp-Maker that’s set on Exmoor, is out of my hands now. It’s time to plunge myself fully into book two, which has a totally different setting. Here are some shots of where I am mentally right now. Yes, my head is full of penguins. A rather pleasant sensation, actually.

(Some Adelie penguins, courtesy of Pixabay)

I’m fortunate to have a friend who really has travelled to the furthest regions of the planet to photograph our little flippered friends. She has armed me with numerous penguin-themed books. I’m completely immersed in research on the subject. And although my brain is usually sieve-like when it comes to facts and figures, I am so enthralled by penguins that I do believe the novel might come across as reasonably well informed. Let’s hope.

As well as Exmoor and Antarctica I’ve also covered London in recent weeks. I went there both mentally and physically. The metropolis doesn’t normally tempt me much as I am at least ninety per cent bumpkin. But London has some advantages:

Advantage (A) I stayed with a dear friend and got to spend time with my goddaughter. I’m proud to say that, on top of her cello and her saxophone, she is now learning to play the harp. That’s my girl.

Advantage (B) I finally got to meet my wonderful agent, Darley Anderson and his team. They have done SO MUCH for me and it was a real pleasure. AND they are lovely people.

Advantage (C) I also finally met my editor and my UK and German publishers. And guess what? They are all totally lovely too. Am I lucky or what?

Meanwhile, harp-life continues. Gigs in Care Homes, churches, clubs, village halls and so on. The new CD is out, too. It’s all go.

Just a quick warning: if you try to talk to me I may not make much sense at the moment. Unless you happen to be talking about harps or penguins. Thank you for understanding.

Now I'm off and away again. Back to Antarctica!

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