7 January 2011

What’s Happening at Le Brin ?

Well, we had a very busy Xmas and New Year. You may have read that we had a lunch for fourteen people at Xmas but that was surpassed on New Year’s Eve when eighteen people turned up, some of whom I’d never met before, and J hadn’t either just in case you were thinking they were friends of hers!

One of the ‘unknowns', a lady (Karen), handed me a bottle of Glenfiddich (Malt Whisky for the uninitiated) as she came into Le Brin and whispered in my ear that she’d brought it so she could drink it herself (!!) but when she left, it was still unopened so that was a bonus. No doubt, my youngest son, Tim, will beg me to open it the next time he comes down.

We had a great night and managed to get all the speeches and songs over just in time for the ‘Bells’ and then we had a huge fireworks display, putting some of the village shows to shame. Thanks David – getting a large box of fireworks in France in December is no mean feat.

After most of the visitors had departed we ‘hit’ Tan and Angie’s (who had their own guests) where the drinking, singing and dancing continued on their terrace until 4am and amazingly, I was able to walk the 50 metres back home unaided! Astounding!

Of course, the following week was pretty quiet after that. Guy returned from his trip to Ireland with his dad, and Kitty finally decided to come home after spending what seemed like the whole of the festive period at her boyfriend’s parent’s house.

The peace and solitude (once the kids had gone back to school) then allowed me to start writing my book again after a gap of over two years (writer’s block) and it was a bit of a struggle – I had to re-read all that I’d previously written so I could establish where to start and how to continue.

The last words were written up in Normandy at Brian and Lynn’s idyllic cottage and I now know why writers often buy or rent a house way out in the country to allow them to write in absolute peace and quiet. It was such a productive time. I wrote for maybe three or four hours a day, only interrupted by Brian continually asking if I wanted another glass of Rosé.

Easterhouse - Nice name, terrible place
The book really isn’t for publication. It’s for my children to understand what it was like to be brought up in the mean streets of Glasgow and then later on in Easterhouse, probably the worst housing estate in Europe. Money was tight, gangs roamed the streets and school was a nightmare. Our mother died and our father ‘did a runner’ …… but I can’t say any more or I’ll give the story away!   

No doubt, Clint Eastwood will read this blog posting and get in touch. I read recently that he’s quite a fan of ‘basic scripts’ which he can then mould into a film of his own making. Just in case you do read this Clint, I’d like my young self to be played by Guy and the older Thomas by Brad Pitt – he’ll need make up of course to make him look younger!

So, that’s about it. The rainy weather has returned, curtailing all outside work which allows me and J, and our friends, to spend lots of time in The Midi, which is no bad thing.

A belated Happy New Year to you all. 

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