Always take the weather with you

I should have known.

Wading my way across the sodden South Downs, head bowed in the face of gale-force winds and driving rain, it should have been blindingly obvious that the inclement conditions weren’t down to it being the dead of winter.

Those storms that have battered the UK for the last month or so aren’t a consequence of clashing weather systems in the Atlantic.

No, it’s all down to gay marriage. Or equal marriage, if you will.

I can’t even be bothered mocking the stupidity of a world view that links climate and weather to legislation that will only directly affect those who actually get married (as far as I’m aware, the new law won’t force same-sex couples to remove flood defences or do a nightly rain dance).

And why should I bother with mocking when Twitter is already doing it so well?

There’s yer actual UKIP right there in one gloriously ludicrous outburst. Remember that next time blokey Nige is smirking on Question Time and demanding the UK quits the EU (while he simultaneously fills his pockets with as much swag as he can get away with while he’s an MEP).

But enough of such idiocy.

It’s a new year and my first blog of 2014 really has to be a bit more upbeat than metaphorically throwing my hands up in exasperated fashion.

This January I’m looking a bit further ahead to the spring and a deal I’ve made with myself – to complete the book I started last summer. Typically for me, I began the project in enthusiastic fashion, writing around 26,000 words in six weeks and getting totally immersed in a story I have been waiting my whole life to tell.

And then stuff got in the way. A much-needed holiday disrupted my writing routine. On our return, the dog walking business suddenly got a whole lot busier while another essential job now eats up my evenings and half of my weekends. Those lazy summer afternoons furiously writing in the garden while Alfie and chums lazed on the grass have faded as fast as the sunshine.

As Christmas approached, I suddenly realised I hadn’t committed a single word to paper since early October.

Something has to be done.  As someone who performs better with a deadline hanging over her head, I’ve set myself a deadline of March 29 for finishing the book. The date is significant because it’s the 44th anniversary of the day my family’s lives were changed forever.

I need to keep my promise not only to myself but also to my uncle, to my siblings and to my wider family that I will chronicle this incredible story.

And because I know what a captivating, remarkable tale it is, I’m going to share a little bit of it in here.

Knowing a small part of it is already out there will be even more of a spur to me to complete this venture.

Right, better crack on, I’ve got a book to finish.

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