With regard to the damp and the cold and the endless rain, I buy logs to put on the fire. Even though I am surrounded by damp walls indoors, where the paint will not dry, and fallen and cut trees out of doors, I avoid struggling in the wet to cut up the free wood. I wouldn’t know where to begin.   Turn up the central heating: the real business of logging involves the noting down of work achieved this week.

If I am not spending the week writing, but noting and thinking, then it really is important to put down on paper what has been revealed by musing on the characters in the new novel.  If I don’t do this, I reach the end of another week with nothing to show for my efforts.

Scribbling is important; getting the story down quickly is essential; but mulling over the characters, what they do and what happens to them is important too.  Writing down in an orderly fashion the ideas which have come out of thinking and dreaming and setting my figures to work in their landscape is the way to justify staring into space for much of the week.

That said, I have spent far too much time turning Seville oranges into marmalade, the last few days: either that, or throw them away.  They won’t be harvested again until next January. Family have been down.  A drain blocked and next door became flooded.  So the logging is still on hold until Monday.

The fact is, life has a dreadful way of intervening.  After that, the guilt, because of the lack of progress.  Nothing to show for a week of creative thinking.