Thursday was spent off-site.

Yesterday evening was the Christmas meal for Mr Ray-Anne’s work and I was invited! Result – especially since it was being held at Waddeston Manor – a National Trust Stately home once owned – and still managed by – the Rothschild family.


I did catch a glimpse of the flood lit house as we drove through the grounds to the restaurant, and it was extremely splendid – I am certainly planning a return visit in daylight and when the temperature is above minus two degrees.

Now – before you think I am hiding my real diamond tiaras under my couture gown – our dinner was held in the stables and was smart-casual. The food and wine were both great and the staff terrific, so a lovely event.

There was one more bonus.

My Ray-Anne and the rest of the team actually work about 50 miles from our house, so I left home at – wait for it – 6.30am after a 5.30am wake-up, and spent the day off site.

Away from computers, internet and other siren calls.

And I wrote 11 pages of fast brainstorming notes on a story idea which has been noodling around inside my brain for the last few days. 11 pages of playing what if.. and do you know what? I might actually have a story which will work. Baby steps, but still interesting.

Most of these pages were created in the coffee shop of a department store surrounded by folks out on Xmas shopping trips. I have never been one for writing in public places like coffee shops, but after yesterday, I tell you, I might well be changing my mind.

So with the season in mind , here is some George Winston, one of my fav. companions while writing: