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On the road to a story

We decided to have a few days away. It was to be both a holiday and a research trip . . . family history research, the sort of excursion that, in the past, had taken us to County Record Offices and, sometimes, to overgrown graveyards.
This trip was to be to the County of Devon. Chris, our youngest son, who was around thirty-five at the time, came as well. He has an adventurous spirit . . . we all have, I guess.
We hired a cottage for a week. It was in a picturesque place on the coast called Combe Martin, from where we could travel to Exeter's County Record Office and Merton Mill, the place where Sandra's mother came from.
Merton is a small village on the main A386, which connects Great Torrington and Oakhampton. Merton Mill is a hamlet, which lies in a densely wooded valley just under a mile from Merton village. We followed a narrow, winding lane off the main road to where, at the bottom of the valley, the lane divides to the left and the right.
We parked in a lay-by and stepped out of the car. Near where we parked there is a brick bridge crossing a small river which feeds a mill-race, and over the bridge a track leads to the mill itself.
Apart from the sound of the river coursing over the rough stones, all was quiet in the valley. The trees growing at the side of the road and up the steep side of the hill caused the sound of the water to echo, and it was easy for the mind to let go of today and settle into a time gone by.
"I was here, for a while, years ago," Sandra said. "I was about eight, I think; and I stood on the bridge." She walked over to it and stood on it again. We joined her and looked into the river, thinking.
"Where did you stay?" Chris asked. Her grandparents' house was nearby.
"I think it was up there." She pointed to the left, to the top of the hill. The three of us crossed the road and scrambled up to the top, to where it was flat. There were foundations of some buildings there, yellow bricks amongst the undergrowth. Chris picked one up, and I found an old enamelled bowl. We took them to her, the relics of a time long ago.

This is the setting. The germ of the idea for another novel is strong!
What has inspired you?

To be continued in a few days, when you will hear about Mister X. Until then;
Keep well,
JJ

posted by J.J. Overton on November, 22



This post first appeared on JJ Overton's, please read the originial post: here

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On the road to a story

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