Well, I do hope you’re all enjoying 2014 so far. I’ve had a busy few weeks since I hung the new calendar in the kitchen. First, I signed up for a fresh term of Pilates classes, just an hour once a week but I tell myself it’s better than no hours, right? Then a few days later, a leaflet came through the letter-box advertising Bikram yoga classes in a studio on the other side of town. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Bikram yoga is practised in near-sauna conditions: within about 5 minutes of the class you’re absolutely ROASTING, and there are 90 minutes in every class! I’d taken a few Bikram classes back in 2001 when I was living in San Francisco (where I’d gone for a year to write The Daisy Picker – happy days) and I decided to give it another go, so I signed up for a 30 day membership. So far I’ve gone to 4 classes, and boy are they tough: i crawl out of the place afterwards. I suspect I won’t be renewing this particular membership when the 30 days are up…..I’ve also registered to run a half marathon in May, despite the fact that I haven’t run since before Christmas….help! I’m planning to launch into a training programme on Feb 1 – fingers crossed I’ll summon up the willpower from somewhere!
On the writing front, I’ve just submitted a new book to a few places, and I’m waiting for the various reactions – watch this space. I’ve also written a short story set in Kenya for an e-book of travel-themed stories. The book is the second in the Sunloungers series that started last year, and like the first it’s a collection of stories by different authors, each story set in a different holiday location. Here’s some info on the first collection, in case you’re looking for holiday reading before the second comes out in June: http://www.va-va-vacation.com/sunlounger-chick-lit-stories. And I’ll shortly be starting a new novel, casting about at the moment for a suitable theme. Feel free to give a shout with your suggestions – what would you like to read about?
And my big news – I’m spending the entire month of March in Italy, by the sea! I just decided on impulse (most of my decisions are impulsive, some wiser than others) to pack up the laptop and relocate someplace beautiful for a month. I’m bringing the laptop, of course – it’ll be a working holiday, but I’ll be making the most of being in one of my favourite countries, and making time to get out and about in the (hopefully) better weather. I’ve also begun learning the language, so if I do my homework between this and then I should be able (just about) to make myself understood with the locals. Can’t wait! And maybe there’ll be a story set in Italy sometime…..