I'm suffering from location envy, I don't mind admitting to it. Yesterday, Liz Kessler wrote fulsomely about the delights of living in Cornwall, in the beautiful town of St Ives, home to generations of artists and writers, and the inspiration she gains from that living in such a place and living by the sea. Her lovely blog was littered with wonderful photographs of the sea, beaches and harbours, finishing with one of Liz surfing. Go, Liz!
Now, I live in Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire. An attractive town, but about as far away from the sea as you can get. I was about to say, not particularly inspiring, but then I realised that I have used bits of the town, the cafes, shops, the streets, the parks, river, houses, etc. etc. in my books. My latest, This Is Not Forgiveness, is set in a town very like it, not exactly the same, of course, I would find that too restricting, but not dissimilar. It's an unexceptional town, where ordinary people live, so if you are writing a book about ordinary people, I guess it helps to live and write about somewhere that is easily recognisable, ubiquitous even. That's what I tell myself, anyway.
The other reason that I'm suffering from location envy is that I've just had an e mail from a friend who has upped sticks to go and live in Italy. Yesterday, while I was shivering in spitting rain and record lows for Easter, he was wandering round Assisi.
Going to see the Giottos, sitting outside cafes drinking expresso, lunching for €15 and he could do this any time he liked. And if not Assisi, then there are plenty of other wonderful hill towns full of fabulous art. Now, I'm thinking, if I lived there, in that climate, what could I not achieve? Or would spend so much time just looking, just being, that I wouldn't have time to do any writing? I don't know, but sometimes I think it would be fun to find out.