So then I thought I could write about my dog, mad Monty - inveterate food-bowl-guarder and jumper-upper - but Hywela has cornered that particular subject in her previous entertaining post, and I suppose there are people about who don't like dogs (the ones whose faces Monty tries particularly hard to lick). So here is a picture of him instead, taking the air on a beach in Dorset during his own holidays.
Aha! Then I thought I'd cracked it: I could write about the current work in progress (another book in my 'Swallowcliffe Hall' series) and discuss my heroine's dilemma: poor silly Eugenie, of whom I'm becoming increasingly fond, tying herself in knots as she tries to find a suitable husband. But I can't bring myself to share Eugenie just yet - I want to keep her to myself until she's fully formed and beyond reach of criticism. I find myself agreeing with Terence Blacker's article in this month's issue of 'The Author' magazine: if you talk about what you're writing in any detail, all the steam goes out of it.
This brings me to the nub of my problem. It's taken me so long to get immersed in this story, for the writing to flow with any sort of momentum, that now I'm in it, I don't want to come up for air. I find myself resenting the effort to frame sentences that aren't to do with this book. My characters are waving at me and shouting, 'Oi, over here! You can't leave us like this! Not in the middle of County Meath with our reputations about to be ruined!' I'm worried the magic will go, that if I break off and write in another voice about twenty-first century matters, I won't be able to get Eugenie's back again. I so admire people who can tweet and blog interestingly while writing fiction at the same time (practically everyone else on this site, it would appear), who have articulate, witty opinions on topics of the day, but I find I'm not as good at multi-tasking as I thought. Just at the moment, the blogging barrel is running somewhat dry. ('Somewhat' is a very Eugenie word, incidentally.)
So please forgive a rather shorter, humdrum sort of post. I've had to type it twice as the first version disappeared, only to re-emerge sneakily on the post list - but I know that doesn't count. I hope you like the photographs, at least. Good luck with any writing or reading, and enjoy the summer. Perhaps next month I'll have thought of something to say. Or perhaps not. Have we always had to have opinions about things?