Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 21 November 2012

And I’m still King of the Castle.

We’re working, of course, because when are we ever not working? But the plan was to work in the mornings and play in the afternoons, and it’s a good plan!

Yesterday was our first full day in Astley Castle. We woke up in a castle for crying out loud! How could we not be inspired? I’m writing a sort of modern romance right now, as unlikely as that sounds, and the husband is writing his usual mad, medieval, space opera with shooty death-kill, so this setting suits both of us.

I woke up in a castle, wrote my blog in a castle, ate breakfast in a castle, and went to work in a castle. I then wrote more in a morning than I manage most days.

There are lots of reasons for this, and some of those are that I wasn’t in my office so my phone didn’t ring, and I wasn’t in my office so my doorbell didn’t ring, and I wasn’t in my office so my e-mail didn’t ping, and I wasn’t in my office so there were no distractions. In short, there is no wi-fi here, no phone signal, no tv, and no outside world to intrude, and, what’s more, no one knows where we are. 

My office for the week
There is, however, one other reason why I wrote twice as much here as I did in my office, and I like to think that it is the main reason. It is this: Put simply, this place is amazing. It is beautiful, and extraordinary; it is quiet and tranquil, and conducive to getting work done. It is, in short inspiring.

It is not hard to tap into the romance of this building and the three queens who lived here. It is not hard to be inspired by the ghost of George Eliot, who lived on the neighbouring estate and whose name is on any number of local buildings, including the hospital. It is universally wonderful to feel some kinship with another writer. I’m not just talking about the husband, with whom I’m sharing office space for the first time in a very long time, as the main room of the castle is one vast, open plan, modern living space, but also one of our great nineteenth century novelists, who also happened to be a woman; I know I can’t compete, but a girl can always aspire.

So, yesterday, we did work in the morning and we did play in the afternoon, and, in the evening, we drove over to Leicester for dinner with the daughter.

It’s awfully nice to come home, to bed, to a castle.

Crikey, I’m a lucky woman!


  1. Um... Yeah, several tens of people know you are there cause you 'ave announced where you are...

  2. The question is will the peace, and/or experience of staying in a castle, inspire Dan to write a new blog post? ;-)