September in Bronte Country
September was an absolute whirlwind month. In between the last of the summer visitors, taking my horse away to pony camp for a weekend of cross country, helping with our church harvest festival, apple picking in the orchards and making chutney with any apples the cider makers left behind. I’ve also been busy working on my new book as well as writing short stories. Phew!
I’m writing this short blog post in Yorkshire where I’m visiting my sister and family. I’ve exchanged the coastline for the wild moors and engine houses for mills and it’s wonderful to see new places (and eat my niece’s amazing cooking!) as well as start my Christmas shopping in Halifax’s Piece Hall. We’ve also made a pilgrimage to the Parsonage at Haworth. As a big Bronte fan I’d always wanted to visit the house where they grew up and germinated ideas which grew into some of the greatest novels in English Literature. What an atmospheric place and surprisingly small for such a big family to live in. The austere grey stone parsonage overlooks the graveyard and is surrounded by wild moorland. Although it has a savage beauty, it’s undoubtedly a bleak and isolated spot. In the nineteenth century it must have been a hard place to live and to walk into the bedroom where Charlotte died or the couch where Emily is believed to have died, gave me goosebumps. I could picture the hand of the ghostly Catherine Earnshaw clawing at the window as she pleads with Lockwood to let her in. Having visited Haworth and explored the parsonage I now really understand why the supernatural crept into the Brontes’ writing. I left with so many ideas and a sense of heaviness which took me a long time (and a trip to Betty’s Tea Room) to shake off. I think it’s time to re-read Wuthering Heights.
I’m working on my new novel too which is also set on the banks of a timeless Cornish river and have written quite a length short story set in my new imaginary world. Called HARRY, it's available to all my newsletter readers, and it was so much fun to write because it explores the idea of time slips and impossible meetings. There's a whole new novel here...