Freewriting on a coach trip

Hi, friends.

I hope this post finds you well. I know I said I wouldn’t post until after the broadcast on Monday, but I wanted to afford you a glimpse of what happens inside a writer’s head when sitting on a coach for seven hours. The opening paragraph of the piece below was pecked out on my Kindle whilst travelling back from Somerset late this afternoon. I could have an ethical discussion about people watching, but I’m not entirely sure this is the place or the time. Feel free in the comments, though.

A woman sits, three rows ahead, in an Excel spreadsheet of a shirt. Green, purple and white, each “cell” clearly separate from the others. It’s a new one on me, and I don’t know what to make of it. I find myself hoping it isn’t a harbinger of trends to come. There’s no way I could wear something like that without somebody calling the Fashion Police. That being said, I am the last person qualified to comment on taste. Hitherto, my penchant was for check shirts which didn’t flatter, and the occasional dark blue number. Never a dress or a skirt…I would have to perfect levitation for a skirt to become even a remote possibility.

On the outbound journey, I studied the shirt intently, wondering what exactly must have been the motivation behind the design. It’s certainly quirky, and individual. I didn’t come to any conclusions, though…and after what felt like an eternity, we were finally permitted to disembark the coach. Four hours’ travelling is not fun at the best of times, pretty much regardless of the destination.
My other significant discoveries at this time were that reading whilst in motion does make me feel nauseous. Previously, I’d thought it didn’t…that I was somehow impervious to something that seemed to plague the rest of the non-driving population.
Hillary Rettig’s excellent book The Seven Secrets of The Prolific is well worth feeling nauseous for, though. I will write a longer review soon, after I have had a chance to digest and implement some of her thoughts.

If you want to hear more about Stones in the Road take a listen to Source FM this coming Monday, when I will be discussing the book and the story behind the project with the presenters of the One and All show from 9.30am BST. (Find your local time here.)

Take care,



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