May 26, 2013

Chapter 11 - Return to Istria

Et in arcadia ego - Hector Schofield fecit
A rainy weekend provides an incentive to get the next chapter done. Before writing it I read through everything so far and began to worry that there haven't been enough explosions so far for a thriller. Only one corpse (whom I've resurrected) and a faked mugging by a couple of children. So I thought hard about adding a train crash to this chapter, but decided it wouldn't work and regretfully abandoned the idea.  However, this chapter has some important events taking place which will have explosive consequences. Read and enjoy!

The story so far - Celia Thomas carries out pigment analysis on the samples she has brought back from the chapel in Istria. Although she is concerned that they indicate that the paintings are not from the 15th century, her boss, Dr Lenz, instructs her to go back to Istria with her team and carry on her research. Will this give her a chance to investigate the mysterious sighting of her brother, Ned, who was supposed to have died sixteen years before?

Chapter 11 can now be found under 'Good stuff'

May 12, 2013

Chapter 10 – The science of art and the application of philosophy

After a pause, I'm back. This chapter follows Franz and Celia at their work.

The story so far - Celia's belief that she has seen her brother Ned again, sixteen years after his death in Bosnia, is met with considerable scepticism by Franz. 
Annoyed with each other, they both head off to work, Franz to Paris on the night train, Celia to the department to start the tests on the samples she brought back from the chapel in Istria.

Chapter 10 – can now be found under 'Good Stuff' 

May 7, 2013


I went to London two weeks ago for the first time in about six years. This is a bit bizarre given that London was the centre of my universe until I was at least twenty-five, but somehow circumstances conspired against my visiting, so I was very curious to see what had changed in that time.

In some ways, quite a lot. Transport seems better now than the last time I was there. The Oyster cards which allow you on and off the stations actually work, as do the barriers. I remember last time getting caught by a barrier as I was walking through. It hurt.

Covent Garden has become horrible, except for little pockets which are still quite interesting or have interesting shops. Drury Lane for instance has suddenly sprouted loads of ballet and dance shops which it never had before. What disappointed me was the number of coffee shops. Why does every single street have a Starbucks, Costa Coffee and a Pret à Manger? It makes the place so dull. And something that shocked me was the number of people sleeping on these streets. I remember that from the worst days of Thatcherism ... but I suppose that makes sense. Cameron is of the same ilk.

But what I really loved was the friendliness of the people. Everywhere I went and everyone I met was polite and considerate. And I wasn't just in 'nice' areas, I travelled on buses through south London, went to pubs which had been in the middle of riots two years ago and mixed with people from a wide range of cultures. It was like being on a manners wellness holiday after Munich where asking a person to move their bag on the train so you can sit down is treated as tantamount to insulting their mother.

So, I really enjoyed it, and I shall try and go back again soon. Moreover I found a great venue for a scene in the novel, at some stage.

Writing has been held up by all sorts of external activities, but I'm taking some holiday in May, so I want to get three chapters out before June.