Writing in peace

I’m still not quite ready to write about last week’s days away in a farmhouse with three writing friends, where all we did was write, talk about writing, wander about to be inspired to write, go into bookshops, look at books, buy books, free our minds and open them to inspiration… and get some serious words under our writing belts.

One of the things which was so striking about our time away from our normal lives was the utter silence. Sitting outside at a wooden table, bare feet on stone slabs, looking out across a beautiful valley to far away hills, the only sounds were a few noisy sheep, the occasional crow, and every so often the bellow of a cow – or a bull – we never saw it to know. A swallow – or was it a swift, or was it a house martin – swooped past with a twitter and disappeared.

There was no sound of vehicles, no machinery, no babble of radio or tv… nothing… In the big farm house were three children, occasionally we might here a little voice, or a laugh, or a call for something, but their happy voices just seemed to blend into the background. Four dogs lived nearby, but we never heard them, only saw their joyful runs around the field, and occasional visits to our terrace to check we were happy and content. A rub of the ears, a tickle under the chin and they would be off on their next adventure.

Inside the peaceful house with its generous spaces, light streaming in, ther was little sound… our feet made little noise as we wandered about, there were no creaking floors, no whispers of wind through any little cracks or spaces, even the appliances were silent… except for the not infrequent sound of the kettle as more tea was made… I think writers are fuelled by tea… well, mostly…

Now I am home, and o be honest, where I’m writing is quiet too – apart from the flock of noisy sparrows in the gutter above my window… but it’s not the same sort of quiet… I look out at our neighbour’s house, at the village hall, at the High Street beyond, and i know there are people busily going about their lives…

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