Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pompeii, Pontefract and back to Perth

What a whirlwind!
It's amazing what one can pack into five weeks.
I've seen unforgettable sights, been to amazing places, met wonderful people and gleaned some great background material for future books.
It's impossible to rate one visit over another but The Vatican City and its art treasures, Pompeii, and Nelson's ship, Victory, seem to vie for the most attention in my memory.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be blogging about some of the other ships I've seen including the SS Great Britain and King Henry V111's, Mary Rose.
I'll introduce two of the writers who I met while in the UK, historical novelist, Fenella Jane Miller, and biographer, Hester Davenport.
For those interested in holidays afloat, I'll take you back over the cruise I took which included stopovers in the major tourist ports in Italy, Greece, and the South of France.
Though my home is Australia, my roots are in England, so naturally I enjoyed visiting family and revisiting old haunts.
Whitby, where my previous novel, Sea Dust, was set, was high on the list.
So was Saltaire, the town where my work-in-progress is located. The locks and canals of the British waterways were of interest as they also play an significant role in the story.
Ilkley and the Yorkshire Moors were on my list as they feature in, The Twisting Vine, my next novel, due out next month.
That was the only day it rained during my holiday. The Yorkshire Moors looked bleak as usual.
I sailed to Cowes in the Isle of Wight, flew over Watership Down, and ambled around Flatford Mill near Dedham where John Constable captured the beauty of the English countryside.
Finally, a visit to meet my publisher, Robert Hale Ltd in London was a highlight.
It was an unforgettable holiday - but I am glad to be home.
Photo: The Thames, London, July 2006 - Robert Dunn


Anne said...

Glad you had a lovely holiday, Margaret!
I'd love to go to Italy too.

Lesley said...

I didn't know there was any lovely country around Deptford, Margaret!!! Could it be Dedham?

Margaret Muir said...

Interesting comment, Lesley. I suppose it depends how one views it.
Coming from Western Australia which is in the grip of a drought and, anything with water and greenery is 'lovely'.
John Constable's works, of which of course his most famous, 'The Haywain' is of the River Stour at Flatford Mill and I gather that Deptford (Sussex) is the nearest station.
I can add however that the river bank is flat and unexciting and that there are many other spots in the UK which are, for me, far lovlier.