Sunday, 10 June 2012

oaks, oxfordshire cotswolds?, up and down dale, third novel

There are few oaks in and and around Bampton. As I think I've said, this is supposed to mean that the soils are poor. It's difficult to tell the truth of this because fertilisers compensate nowadays. Oaks are found nevertheless along Hayway Lane to the south and towards Brize Norton to the north. The two oaks above are off the Bampton-Brize road and Mount Owen Road respectively--both north of the village.

This morning I spent an hour or so working on the allotment--weeding mostly because the clay was still too wet to fork through--before a quick cycle along the Brize road and back to Bampton via Lew and Mount Owen. The ride reminded me of how the oaks start as one nears the southern edge of the Cotswolds. (The references in tourist brochures to Bampton actually being in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds are, it always seems to me, a recent invention and somewhat spurious.)

Even so it was fun to be cycling along roads that gave an approximation of going up and down dale for a few  minutes.

Meanwhile, I've been writing up comments on assignments for much of the weekend and thinking about 'this and that'. It's been a bit of a restless time since getting back from San Francisco.

I've also been putting the finishing touches to the planning of my third novel. The plot is based on something I wrote over twenty years ago. At first I tried to simply recast the original in a more contemporary setting but have come to realise that this is a waste of time--having 'wasted' a considerable amount of time doing so. Subsequently, I have come up with something new that incorporates one or two aspects of the original  but which has nevertheless changed a great deal and which reflects where I am as a writer in 2012. The process has been protracted and at times painful, although I am very pleased to have reached the point of beginning the real writing!

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