The Single Country Lady.
At seven fifteen prompt, a housekeeper awakens our wordsmith by drawing the heavy velvet drapes revealing an immaculate lawn, a glimmering lake and distant wooded undulating uplands. On a tray with a pot of tea, a plate of two digestive biscuits rests the morning post. Sunlight envelopes a four-poster bed with rays of dancing dust-laden particles in which a lady of interminable age reposes. She gently sits up and tunes a bedside wireless to a serious news channel and her brain to the day ahead. After a shower, she dresses in tweed and makes her way to the dining room.
At nine thirty in the morning our Lady author, after breakfasting on muesli, a kipper and coffee during which a deep perusal of the newspapers is carried out. She gathers her writing paraphernalia, a bag containing a bottle of gin, a small pork pie and a jar of pickled onions, summons her four basset hounds and repairs to her writing habitat. The walk is very pleasant, through a small bluebell wood that gives her time to gather her thoughts and her dogs to gather buried bones.
A wooden summerhouse some three hundred yards away from the main residence is the natural abode for successful lady authors. Overlooking a weeping willow-bordered lake on one side and rolling meadows on the other. Inside is a bamboo chaise longue, a desk, a telephone connected only via the house which intercepts all calls and re-routes them to the summerhouse in cases of extreme importance. On one wall a bookcase containing a hundred or so reference books; atlases, ordnance survey maps, town street maps, train timetables, bus routes and police procedure. On an adjacent small round table on top of which resides a six pack of tonic water, a plate of sliced lemon a plate with knife and fork where she adds the bottle of gin and lunch.
Our lady author is a writer of detective fiction. Her family is steeped in crime fighting. She has developed a deep knowledge and love of crime fighting from her father, his father and so on. They have been involved in the security of the country for generations and having reached the higher echelons of the government security establishment they have been suitably rewarded.
She works assiduously until one o’clock taking occasional sips of gin and tonic. For the next hour, if the weather is clement, she takes a deck chair outside and sits by the lake, eating her lunch, sipping her gin, playing with her beloved hounds and thinking. The afternoon from two o’ clock until the gin bottle is emptied is taken up by planning. Notes are written, facts checked and telephone calls made and accepted by interested parties. The gin bottle is like an egg timer. When it is empty she gathers her writing paraphernalia, her hounds and retires for the day.
At home in the evening, she occasionally has a guest or two for dinner but usually sits and reads. The television is switched on for news and selected programs only; mainly the radio suffices for background noise, a lot of thinking still pervades her time. At eleven o’ clock she goes to bed
Because deadlines determine her literary output her life this daily routine is a seven-day week activity. Holidays are mostly taken in locations which stir the imagination and plots can be hatched. Her work is her life and life is wonderful.
The Single Country Lady.