So, after even more set backs and problems, I still haven’t got Melting Ice onto itunes, or Barnes and Noble, or Nook. I’ve ruthlessly sacked my IT Executive for incompetence, and now I’m waiting to see if a company called jimandzetta.com might succeed in converting my Word file to an Epub file that ARe will accept, so that they can distribute it to itunes for me, because not having a MAC I cannot do this myself, blah, blah, blah…
Meanwhile, in a rash move to save my sanity I have come down to Fowey, Cornwall, for a well-advised break from the pressures of being CEO of my own publishing company :))
Fowey is pronounced to rhyme with ‘joy’. Very apt, apart from a wind chill factor of -4C, and being built on a 2:1 gradient. I’m staying in a little cottage on the Saints Way, part of the ancient pilgrims’ trail crossing Ireland, Cornwall, France and on to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The cottage has an open log fire (essential), and here is the sparkling blue glimpse of the estuary from my bedroom window.
While I am here, I am on a mission to check out everything connected with Daphne du Maurier. She spent a lot of time in Fowey, as her family owned Ferryside at Bodinnick, just across the water.
She sailed from here up the river to the church at Lanteglos when she married. (After sampling Fowey’s vertical hills, I can understand why Daphne and co. went most places by boat). After her marriage, she and her husband rented Menabilly, from the Rashleigh family, and the house was the inspiration for ‘Rebecca’.
The cove is a very long walk downhill, which of course means a very long walk back uphill… (more of this later) . Menabilly house itself is hidden behind hills and trees, so I can’t take a photo of it, but down on the beach there is a stone-built cottage which I decide is definitely where Maxim murdered Rebecca.
Back up the long, long hill I trudge, passing hosts of golden daffodils and creamy springtime primroses but too out of breath to fully appreciate them. It finally dawns on me that my obsession with hills is more to do with an imminent chest infection than their inherent steepness. Next stop is a visit to the Fowey River Surgery, gloriously located at the top of another hill with wonderful views of the estuary. A kindly GP ignores all his surgery wall posters forbidding antibiotics for coughs and colds, and sends me away with some strong yellow pills and a veto on exercise.
So sight-seeing and literary trails are temporarily abandoned. At last, a valid excuse to collapse on the sofa in front of the log fire and be waited on. Every cloud, as they say.
Next week, I’m going across to the north Cornish coast, via Jamaica Inn to check out the bar for ghosts…