Thursday, July 28, 2005
Tales From Dalkeith
No work today and with the weather pleasant but overcast, we decided on a family day out to Dalkeith Country Park, east of Edinburgh. We got there at about eleven thirty and having forgotten the rucksack, I lugged the see-through carrier bags with our lunch while on our walk.
I took my video camera and got some nice footage of the countryside; a mixture of open fields with cattle and horses on the outskirts and inside the perimeter, large forests that blocked out the sky with streams running through the centre.
We stopped next to an ancient amphitheatre, which looked in surprisingly good condition. Though it was circular, it reminded me of the scene in Jason and the Argonauts where the blind man lived in constant torment.
Deeper in the forest we came to a large decorative gate that had been allowed to deteriorate. The grass around and within it was almost as high as the gate itself and it looked like an ancient, gothic graveyard.
Running nearby a shallow stream took us round in a circular direction back towards an opening where we could eat. On our way to the picnic tables I spotted a tree growing out from the small valley cut by the stream. It looked like a face grinning mysteriously at us.
All this of course, inspiration for another short story of a spookier nature.
During our picnic lunch, several cockerels surrounded us; their beaks not sharp enough to penetrate my skin as I fed them some bread and sweet corn. We stopped to feed polo mints to some horses; a pair of older but healthy looking animals. Actually, we stopped back to see them a couple of times through the day and each time they saw the car they came right over to us.
The clouds started to leak at about half past three just as we were leaving and by the time we got home the heavens had opened. It was perfect timing.
I got dinner out the way quickly and got down to some writing. I worked on some non-fiction pieces; editing two articles I am shortly to pitch to relevant markets. One of them - a piece on Robert Louis Stevenson - turned more into a biography after its first work through several weeks ago, and I lost the point of what I was supposed to have been writing about. So I went back and re-worked it with the submission request at the centre of the article. I now have two articles on the same man, but from differing angles.
The first feedback of War Generations started to come back from my friends at my writing forum, a lot of which opened my mind to the story and where it could go. The blinkers must have come down and I never realised because I was looking at it so intensely. I'm so grateful to my friends for taking time out of their busy lives to read it and return some excellent comments and suggestions.
I started work on the Round-Robin interview/article I am working on with some writing friends and updated July's GDR. The month is almost at and end, and I am hoping for this month to have been a good one. There's still some work to be done, but it looks like I've achieved a whole lot more and beaten the ghosts of June, which brought me down with such a bump.