Finding some inspiration

Sometimes, as much as I like writing, I get tired of it. Towards the end of last year, it became difficult, and I started to dread it, and I wasn’t happy with what I was producing, and I let myself get too busy with other things. I needed a change of scene.

I am fortunate in that I had no commitments keeping me in London, and in that my wife is from Barbados. So we gave up the lease on our Crouch End flat, put our stuff in storage, and came to Barbados to spend some time with her family. We’ve been here for two months now, since early December, and are loving it. I’ve got lots of writing done, and also lots of relaxing, and am in a much better frame of mind.

This photo shows the view from my writing desk. It’s hot and sunny every day, with the occasional torrential downpour that produces a deafening thrumming on the corrugated iron roof for about ten minutes before the sun resumes. It’s also quieter than London, and I have less stuff on my mind. It’s a wonderful time, and I am savouring it. I’ve been trying to keep life simple, so haven’t been online much, but wanted to let you know, if you’re still visiting here, that I am still around and still plan to keep blogging. Just taking a bit of a break, that’s all.

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There are 19 comments

  1. Oh my gosh, can I adopt your life? Seriously. I am really happy to see that you are happy and taking things simple. How absolutely wonderful, my friend. I wish you the best. I can’t wait for your next book!

  2. Oh my lord; I figure I’d find inspiration in Barbados if I could just move out there!! But seriously, I wondered where you were, and I’m glad to know you’re having a good time and not just beaten down by the dreary British weather (and indeed nothing could be further from the truth!).

  3. Thanks for all the lovely comments! All is still going well. Yes, it does make a big difference to look out and see beauty and brightness. London may be many things, but beautiful and bright it ain’t πŸ˜‰

  4. Hi Andrew,

    It’s nice to hear from you again.

    Gorgeous view. I’m glad the change of setting is good for inspiration. It’s a chance to be able to take a break from our speedy-stressed Western lives.

  5. Hi Emma
    Yes, taking a break is good. I am actually getting a lot more done than when I was working much harder in London, if that makes sense.

    Hi Kinga,
    I’ve heard Trinidad is beautiful! Time for you to start dropping hints about how much he must be missing home πŸ™‚

  6. Nice to see you back, Andrew! The scene from your window looks beautiful! Wow! You are in Barbados! That is wonderful! Sitting near the beach and reading and writing – sounds so divine!

    Do you like cricket? Have you bumped into any of the Barbadian cricketing greats – Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Wes Hall, Gary Sobers, Everton Weekes – while you were going to the market or taking a walk around?

  7. Hi Vishy,
    Yes, life is good here! I do like cricket πŸ™‚ Barbados has had some great players. I pass Gary Sobers and the famous “three Ws” every time I take the bus into town – but unfortunately only in statue form. Sobers is outside Kensington Oval, and the three Ws are up on a hill not far from me, looking out to sea. If I see any of them in real life, I’ll tell them Vishy said hi πŸ™‚

    By the way, on the subject of cricket, have you read Beyond a Boundary by CLR James? Brilliant book on cricket and its wider implications. Also the more recent novel Netherland has some nice reflections on cricket among immigrants in Brooklyn.

    1. Wonderful to know that you ‘meet’ Sobers and the three Ws whenever you go to town πŸ™‚ Hope you get to meet some of these legends sometime. Thanks for offering to say ‘hi’ to them πŸ™‚

      Your mention of CLR James’ ‘Beyond a Boundary’ made me very nostalgic. It is one of my favourite books of alltime. James is such a wonderful writer. I loved the book from the first page. I wish he had written more cricket books. It was the first cricket book that I read which wasn’t a memoir / biography and the literary quality of the book and the ideas blew my mind. James prose is so beautiful. I should take down ‘Beyond a Boundary’ from my shelf one of these days and read it again. I liked ‘Netherland’ very much too – especially the cricket parts.

      I should probably write to you separately and ask you about your favourite cricket players, games, grounds, books and the forthcoming Ashes πŸ™‚ Did you watch Pollard’s innings yesterday? Are you planning to watch the West Indies-Australia T20 and Test matches which are going to be held in Barbados?

      1. Hi Vishy,
        Glad you liked that book! It’s been a long time since I read it myself, so I might reread it also. Not sure if I even still have my copy, or which country it’s in!
        Would be great to chat with you more about cricket! I didn’t see Pollard’s innings – I was out all day at an athletics event, but people in the crowd were listening on the radio and passing the scores around and getting excited as it got closer to a Windies victory! Shame that the Australians managed to level the series in the end. I probably will go to at least one day of the Test match – I thought I’d left it too late, but was surprised to find there are still tickets available. Hope it’s not a sign of cricket’s waning popularity. My impression is that it’s more popular with the older generation than the young people.

        1. Nice to know that you were able to get updates on Pollard’s innings during the athletics event you went to. I watched the innings on TV and I think it is probably his breakout innings. He has been an underperformer at the international level against stronger teams and this innings might kickstart the new phase of his career. Yes it is sad that the Australians managed to level the series πŸ™‚

          Glad to know that you are planning to go to the test match and were able to get the tickets. Hope you have fun there. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

  8. What a great place to be in. It must be fantastic to stare out from that view and contemplate love, life and inner peace.

    The increase in your writing is always a bonus too.

    1. Hi Mark, Welcome to the site! Yeah, it is very beautiful and peaceful. I like your way of putting it – that the increase in writing is a bonus. Sometimes I get too obsessed with writing, and try to structure my life around it. But stuff like life, love and inner peace are definitely more important.

  9. Andrew, you’ve just described the rain pattern and the general weather condition in Ghana during this time of the year. The rain falling on the corrugated iron roof, like a rain of pebbles on the poor roof, the noise irritating and yet welcoming, to create a coolness and cleanliness that the dusty and hot aftermath of the harmattan has breathed down on us.

    It’s nice to know you and have a wonderful stay in Barbados.

    1. Thanks for visiting and for the lovely comment! I do love the rain here, even if it means we have to run around closing windows before the house gets flooded! Very different from what I’m used to in London, where it rains for days or weeks but never stronger than a light drizzle. I prefer the power of the rain here, and the wonderful freshness that follows.

      It’s interesting that you mention the harmattan – people here say that it blows all the way over to Barbados on the trade winds. Haven’t seen it myself, but they say that at a certain time of year there’s a real haze in the air caused by the dust coming across the Atlantic. Amazing that it can travel so far! I think there are a lot of links between Barbados and Ghana beyond just the dust, but it’s an interesting phenomenon. Thanks for stopping by! Look forward to reading more of your blog.

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