Round Britain

When I was young we used to play a card game called ‘Round Britain’. I can’t remember much about it now, but the novel I’m currently working on reminds me of it in the sense that the characters have spent a lot of time travelling, almost to the extremities of mainland Britain and back. This is nice for me as a writer and former trainspotter – because the house where I grew up overlooked the main Aberdeen to London line, not because I liked hanging around in the cold on steamy platforms – as I can do ‘research’ consisting of finding out about famous engines and working out how to get to various places.

So far the main characters have visited Cromer, St Ives, London, Glasgow and Cambridge on one pretext or another, and I’ve just abandoned them this minute halfway up a cliff at Killiecrankie. I don’t think I began this novel intending them to be quite so mobile, but I am enjoying all the variety, and the only thing that’s worrying me now is that someone who used to live in (for example) Cambridge in the 1950s will come along and point out that I’ve got the river in the wrong place and there was never a greengrocer’s down that street.

I would have liked to give my characters a trip to Pitlochry Festival Theatre as a treat before they got stuck in the river gorge at Killiecrankie, as I have first-hand experience of the theatre when it was in a tent – not in 1952 but a bit later than that – but I haven’t (yet) been able to establish what shows were on that season or whether it ran on into September in those days.  Maybe I can save this experience for a later novel in the series.

When I haven’t been writing I’ve been creating an interview on Smashwords, which you can see here:

The picture I’m going to post below, which I actually walked all the way out to Cramond Island to obtain, is a clue to the title of my (long) short story, now completed, waiting to be published as part of the Off the KUF anthology.

Blackberries – Cramond Island

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