Although they may not sound like much to do with writing, the work and travel years of my life were influential, contributing much to material I would use later in books.
It was many miles from home to ICI, and there was no bus. If I couldn't catch a ride, I cycled for at least an hour through winding country lanes. I’d progressed to owning a sports bike in those days. The Snowball imaginings from childhood were replaced with new daydreams—about a young man who also cycled to ICI and worked in the research labs. Unfortunately for me, he always overtook, zooming past (his hobby was speed racing) with no more than a “Good morning!” floating back on the breeze.
By strange coincidence, I recently recorded something about Dickens for one of Seth Adam Smith’s YouTube videos, which can be heard by clicking HERE.
Nice timing, Seth. Thanks! (I promise, he knew nothing about this Writing Fortress post when he asked me to narrate.)
Back to the past. After leaving Milford-on-Sea and returning to my home in Hale, I worked for a while in a tiny office up many floors in a Victorian building in Manchester. That, I did not like. I’ve never been a city person. It was like going from sunshine to thunder. I can still smell carbolic floor-wash from the stuffy, closed-in office with its grim sash window that let in way too much traffic noise. I blame subsequent allergies on that archaic building.
So yes, after ten gloomy months, I was glad to see the ocean again. On a ship. Heading for America.
More when it's my turn to blog again, first Saturday in July.