I made good progress last week with my book, reaching 34000 words. I also interviewed a friend of mine who worked his entire, professional life in the prison service. He began life as a trainee officer and finished as a Governor (grade 5). I met Dave (Pritchard) and his wife, Rosie at church last year. We got to know them quite well: they attended our church house group and brought a lot to the table, as they say. I had asked Dave earlier if he would let me pick his brains because I needed a fair amount of detail about prisons in UK in the 1980’s, the kind of life prisoners led, what they could or could not do. In fact, anything that would add realism to the section I’m planning for my book. I prepared a list of 60 questions and recorded the whole interview. I could have listened to Dave and his stories much longer than the 2 hours or so that we chatted. I did explain to him that I might only use about 10% of what he told me, but on reflection I think I’ll probably extend it somewhat. It’s usual to offer someone who agrees to be interviewed something in exchange. Dave was quite happy to come across to our place and have lunch with us and spend time in the pool. His wife was good company too for Pat, and I have a small wedge of material that I am dying to get my teeth into. But I have to be patient: my character is only 13 years old at the moment and doesn’t get nicked for a good few years yet.
We said cheerio to our friends, Brian and Pauline who returned to England for good last week. They travelled back by road with their dog, finally arriving at their new home in Lincolnshire on Friday. We’ll miss them. They lived a couple of hours away from us and we used to visit them on a regular basis. They would come up to us too. The beauty of it was we could have our dogs with us: no need to worry about having them put in kennels or getting a dog-sitter in. But life goes on and we are hoping to sell up soon for our move back to UK. Meanwhile I’ll carry on writing and hoping to finish my book by the end of the year. Wish me luck!