It has been a long cold winter. When it hasn’t been snowing it’s been wet and miserable. Many of the properties I would like to visit have shut down for the winter months and, much as I would like to read by the fireside in a country inn, that would mean leaving my own fireside and going out into the cold. So no. There are now some signs of spring at last; some hope that the weather will soon be getting warmer again: the welcome sight bright yellow crocuses pushing through my front lawn is always a good sign for me and I will soon start traveling, and writing, again. It is now (almost) exactly one year since I began this project and, as I have nothing else to write about this month, I thought I would review the year and tell you about some of the projects I have in the pipeline.
I started this blog for my own pleasure and I have enjoyed writing it. Sort of. Not being paid to write this stuff takes the pressure off a bit as there are no deadlines to keep to. As someone who used to do some writing professionally, I am only too aware of the power of the deadline: its approach is the most effective sponge for creativity I know. Not having to write puts some of the pleasure back in to the activity. I had planned to produce one article per month and I have kept to this schedule pretty well: 11 blog posts over the year. Most of them were fairly successful; none was disastrous. The most read post was the one on the Dickens Museum in London, as one might expect given his popularity but a surprise second place goes to Stevenage in Hertfordshire. It was the article I was happiest with, too.
I intend to do a fair amount of exploring in the next couple of months. I recently went for a stroll around Bloomsbury when visiting the British Museum and am planning further jaunts to London, including Highgate and Hammersmith. I haven’t really explored the area East of the City, either, so may take a trip round there soon. Mrs. P and I are planning a holiday in Wales and I have been reading a lot of Dylan Thomas in preparation. I hope to write an account of Swansea and another of Laugharne, the little town that Thomas made his home. There’s also a whisky distillery in the area (better do the writing before the tasting, I suppose). We are planning on visiting friends in various locations through the summer, too, and I hope to discover Northamptonshire and Newcastle and the North East, including Sir Walter Scott’s home at Abbotsford. Other than that, there’s all the nearby places of interest I’ve never been to but always meant to: take the old National Trust card out for a bit of exercise!
Thanks for following and for reading my articles and if you have sent in feedback and suggestions, keep them coming. All the feedback has been positive so far, for which I am very grateful. If you have any ideas for places I could visit, please leave them in the comments or DM me on Twitter. I will add them to my ever expanding and increasingly confusing map and maybe come and have a look round in the future.