I have various places I go to write, I do write at home but I get bored there and if I can bribe myself with a cup of coffee, a cake and a friendly atmosphere I'm off! My favourite place of the moment is the university's Botanic Garden. I went there last weekend.
This is the cathedral beyond St Margaret's allotments on the way to the Botanic Garden. When you walk through the city you see so much more and it was a lovely spring day.
This is further along before you get to the traffic lights at the New Inn where you turn up to go out of the city, past some of the colleges and on to the Garden.
The house beyond the gardens, red brick. I used it as the house for my hero in one of my books, The Foxglove Tree. I awarded him the house and the gardens. I thought why not? He's a barrister who comes back from the first world war in a very bad way and defends a woman who is accused of killing her husband. In those days a woman stood no chance at all in a courtroom. I love courtroom dramas, I like the atmosphere, the puzzle, the conflict, the wit, the way that the law is so brilliant and so stupid all at once and achieves so much and so little and has ridiculous prejudices and strange formalities. When I was a journalist I spent many hours in court rooms and was fascinated.
Isn't this wonderful, it's a big wasp!My favourite place in the garden, the Himalayan birches. They look like somebody Duluxed them.
I sat in the cafe and ate Victoria sponge cake and drank coffee and watched the local photographic group putting up their pictures for the exhibition. From the cafe you can sit and watch the little birds flying to and from various feeders. There are summer houses, there are all kinds of trees and the garden has its own hives, you can buy honey there and it has its own flock of sheep. There are lots of places for children to run and hide and play games and you can sit outside and eat and drink and admire the very tall conifers, the waving bamboos, the blossom which is coming out, the twisting pathways and there is always something new, the giant waterlily is in the greenhouse and flowers there in magic splendour.