Escapist Friday: Tree Houses

The weather is set to change to rain and snow this weekend, but just before it does, what better place to escape to than the height of a tree? From there we can watch all the flowers peek out their cautious heads, listen to birdsong and read our favourite books of course. On her wonderful crime fiction blog, Margot Kinberg recently mentioned places where detectives could retreat and recover from their hectic jobs. Sheds, boats, orchid rooms… We both agreed we would love to hear of a treehouse-dwelling sleuth. Do let us know if you’ve heard of one, won’t you?

Here are some tree houses that he/she might like to try out… Something for every taste, modern to traditional, mansion to modest dimensions. I suppose it’s something to do with our hunter/gatherer roots, that we are so attracted to tree houses.

Chateau de Langeais, Loire Valley, from Wikipedia.
Chateau de Langeais, Loire Valley, from Wikipedia.




Alnwick Gardens, UK; from Wikipedia.
Alnwick Gardens, UK; from Wikipedia.


Swedish Mirrorcube,
Swedish Mirrorcube,
E'terra Samara Hotel, Canada; Farrow Partnership;
E’terra Samara Hotel, Canada; Farrow Partnership;

Cosy reading nooks and home libraries

It’s a dull, cloudy day and I know I should be going up above the clouds to see the sun and some skiing action. But it is so much more tempting to curl up with a book, especially if you happen to be in one of the places below…

Or, if you are after something a little more ambitious, here is Christian Louboutin’s holiday home and its tempting library.

And finally, the outlandish, futuristic and exciting Walker Library in Connecticut. Star Wars with books!





Friday Escapism

Take me far away from here, in landscapes and places which make me dream.

Mont Blanc? Not sure of source – happy to attribute correctly.



Greece – August full moon.
Lake Geneva from Montreux.
Lake Geneva from Montreux.


Garden of the 5 Senses, Yvoire.
Garden of the 5 Senses, Yvoire.

Finally, to quote Borges, I always imagined paradise to be a library rather than a garden.


There is a poem in there somewhere, if only I had time to find it…



About Inspiration and Awards

Who or what inspires you as a writer? What fuels your passion and your life?  What makes you forget about time, eating, an aching back or even your friends and your children’s supper?  Not that I would recommend the last of these.  And I have only done it very occasionally.  Hardly worth pointing out, really.  Even if afore-mentioned children and friends do remind me of it on a regular basis.

So here are some of my favourite sources of inspiration in random order (ah, but is ‘off the top of my head’ really random?):

1) mountains and seascapes, preferably both together, as in the picture above

2) Shakespeare, especially ‘The Tempest’

3) the music of Brazil, almost any kind of jazz, plus David Bowie and a few other heroes

4) reciting or hearing poetry, the rhythm and roll of the images flooding your ears

5) when reading, finding the perfect phrase, the thought-stretching twist, the heartbreaking confession or the remarkable plot which makes me think:’yes, this is it, this is what life is all about’ and turn slightly green with envy that I could never write anything like that myself

6) the beauty of small creatures and shy buds, everyday things that are the last to be noticed and the first to be forgotten

7) the kindness of strangers, given without forethought or afterthought: things that make me believe once more in the generosity of the human spirit

All this is leading up to the Versatile Blogger Award that Polly Robinson has so kindly insisted I should have.  Thank you, Polly, you are one of the most encouraging people I have had the pleasure of meeting on the Internet.  I can always count on her to read my poems and make some comments.  I don’t know when she does it all, write her own poetry, organise events in her local area in Worcester, United Kingdom, setting up writers’ groups and open mic evenings… she is just amazing!

The rules for this award are typical of many others: share 7 things about yourself (my sources of inspiration, above), thank the person who nominated you and nominate 15 bloggers whom you recommend unreservedly.  I know that to some of them these awards (because they receive so many of them) can be a pain, so there is no obligation.  Unless they wish to leave a small comment below sharing perhaps not seven, but at least one thing that inspires them.  That would be wonderful!

I would so love to hear that from you all, and not just the people I am nominating below.  I am trying to nominate some that I haven’t mentioned before, so they are all fairly recent discoveries to me, although some of them are very well known.

Poetic magic

The Thread Is Red


The Wheel and the Star

KD DeFehr

Jeannie Leflar

Stars Rain Sun Moon

Anything but prosaic

Andy’s Words and Pictures

Eric Alagan

Lisa Ahn

Write What You Know

Thought-provoking skullduggery

Crime Fiction Lover – and I loved them even before I started reviewing books for them!

It’s a Crime

Nicci French

Jeff Goins

A picture says more than a thousand words

From the Right Bank

An Afternoon With…