Friday, 2 December 2011

Auntie Gabriel and Friends

Today Marcia has been to Trematon Hall which is just inside Cornwall to the north west of Saltash where she gave a talk as part of the Saltash Book Shop’s ‛Authors Day’ event. About a hundred people were in the room and I understand that a good number of them asked questions when Marcia had finished speaking.

Anyway, what with one thing and another – including preparing for this event – we haven’t done a lot since my last blog so, this week, it is all about The Christmas Angel and the village of Peneglos (which, of course, does not exist except on our minds and, I am sure, in the minds of all who have read the book).

A few years ago, Marcia was pottering around Dulverton up on Exeter. I'm pretty sure this would have been when she was writing Memories of the Storm. Wandering around the shops she came across one called 'Angels Fly South' in which were all sorts of quirky bits and pieces including the trio in the picture above. Captivated by these enchanting creatures, she bought them and they have been added to our collection of bits and pieces that come out every Christmas. It came as a complete surprise when the one in the middle, whom we had named Auntie Gabriel, insisted on appearing in 'The Christmas Angel' and, with the rest, ended up packed in the bottom drawer by young Jackie.

Whenever Marcia decides that there has to be a dwelling here or a village there I am very unhappy unless I feel that there is a good reason why that building or that community could be where she wants it to be.

Actually it was the house in The Way We Were that caused most difficulty. Why on earth should there be a group of two or three old cottages that had been knocked into one in the middle of nowhere on Bodmin Moor? There was no sign of any serious mining or quarrying although there was ample evidence on the ground that people lived there - about six thousand years ago. Still, both of those industries resulted in people building in rather isolated spots so quarrying it was.

When Marcia wanted a village on the coast which had nothing to do with shipping or fishing I was not that happy. Why would such a village exist? Then we visited Trevone - and there was the proof that we needed. Hence Peneglos, situated above a beach, climbing up a hill with an old manor house at the top. Why was it there? To serve the manor house. What happened to the manor house? It became a convent. I was instructed to place it in a real location between Trevone and Padstow and to draw a map of the village which I did but now I seem to have lost. I will try and find it and, if I do, put it up next week.

Then I shall start talking about the next book to be published which will take us down to the banks of the River Tamar, the tradition boundary between Devon and Cornwall.