Debbie Young Evokes Her Dream Office (with a little help from the National Trust...)
|Debbie Young, going places...
I gave my standard answer: how lucky I am to have my own study in my Victorian Cotswold cottage, with a big desk facing a window that looks out over the garden.
But next morning, when I sat down to write there, I shrieked as a sharp pain shot from my spine to my ankle, reminding me that lately I had been spending far too long at my desk-with-a-view - and I felt desirous of change.
Prompted by the arrival of my new National Trust card in the post the day before, and licensed by my friend and mentor Orna Ross to fill the creative well with a weekly "create date" with self, I stowed my purse, my shades, and my notebook and pen into my backpack, donned my walking boots, and set off to nearby Dyrham Park.
|The long and winding road down through the deer park to the spectacular Dyrham Park
Ok, I confess, I drove there (well, it is about eight miles away) - but on arrival, I eschewed the visitor bus service and set off down the path to this beautiful stately home, nestling at the bottom of the deer park, in search of a different place to write my daily words.
|A cosy nook beckoned me from inside a hollow tree
I proceeded to the main house, skirting round the building - it was too sunny outside to be indoors - admiring beautiful Delft pots of tulips on the way. (This was a few weeks ago now.)
|The original owner had served as Dutch ambassador
|The chapel now serves as the parish church.
There were plenty of seats to choose from with scenic views of the flowerbeds...
|To sit in sunshine or shadow? - depends on which end you choose
...although I might be tempted to take pity on the gardener and lend him a hand with the weeding.
|I think he might benefit from a bigger wheelbarrow
|"I know a bank where the wild thyme grows..."
Great swathes of forget-me-nots - a humble plant invested with a special significance in my Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries - brought me back to the purpose of my visit: to write.
I turned my back on the lake to investigate what looked at first glance as a kind of wooden hammock.
Then - who'd have thought it? - I found myself on the threshold of the National Trust gift shop. I do like a National Trust gift shop. Thoughts of writing were quickly forgotten as I snapped up a lovely new linen sunhat, a book about drawing (a hobby I've wanted to take up for a long time), and some souvenir postcards.
Running out of time to get home for my daughter's return from school, I got the bus back up the hill to the car park, and returned home feeling like Wordsworth inspired by his visit to Tintern Abbey, rested, revitalised and refreshed by my impromptu outing, back at my normal place of work.
|"Home again, home again, jiggety jig"
And where did I write this post? In Dyrham Park's excellent tea room, of course. At last - I'd discovered the perfect office!
|Not forgetting the books...
Find out more about my writing life at my website: www.authordebbieyoung.com