Thursday, 15 July 2010

Carte Postale

I was warned to be careful about living by the sea. I was told it would be addictive and that after one taste of shoreside life, I would never want to live inland again. Well, people tell me all sorts of things, but this is one bit of advice that has already proved itself true. I now live a short stroll from a fabulous little beach, overlooking the English Channel, and it already feels like home.

And there have been signs too. I won't list them for fear of jinxing myself, but a dozen little things have happened to make our move just that bit easier than it might have been, just a shade more agreeable.

One of the reasons for my family's relocation was my need to be closer to my own career -- a sorry thing, that was growing sorrier by the year with my absence. So I can't help feeling reassured by the fact that within hours of arriving, I discovered that Jack's Tractor has been shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award. A few days after that, the contract for a picture book text called Too Many Tickles finally reached me, bringing to an end a year long submission process, my longest ever. Plus, I have an appointment for a first editorial meeting about my novel, as well as a few publishy things to go to.

That was quick!

I hope my wife is happy. She looks it, and I know she's always dreamed of living by the sea, but I also know it's not easy to leave your own country behind. I don't worry about my children though – there's a beach! And kites, and ice cream and fossils to find and crabs to catch and two full-time parents to wind up. I reckon they're pretty lucky.

Actually, I think I am too.


  1. Congratulations on all the good news! And what a lovely place!

    I wish you and your family much happiness in your new home:)

  2. Glad to know you're safely installed, Thomas.

    Which bit of coast are you at?

  3. Thomas,

    Ah, it all sounds wonderful. Many congratulations on the writing/illustrating successes too ...

  4. Lovely, lovely news on all points. Glad the move is over- for everyone's sake! We must come and visit your nearby-beach...

  5. Thanks for the comments. There's still a lot of cardboard around, but we're getting used to it. The nearest baguette is in Dieppe, but you can't beat fish and chips in a bandstand:)

    Dave, we're in East Sussex, near Hastings. And very lovely it is too.

  6. Congratulations on all your successes and those to come as I'm sure you have mega good things ahead of you.

    I live by the sea and it's the only thing keeping me 12,000 miles from England. Okay, I realise that is obvious, but you know what I mean - now you live by the sea you do!

    Reassure your wife that a hop across the channel is way easier than a 24 hour flight! (and cheaper, but men are more interested in cost than women - on the whole - generalising there - yes, really...having a virtual conversation with myself courtesy of your comments box...moving on now...

    HA..back word verification is LATERAN...better lateran than never...going...

  7. Thanks, Rachel. Yes, 12000 miles does put the channel hop in perspective, especially when we remember that at night we can actually see the Boulogne lighthouse.

    But there's something about the sea that seems to connect all coastal places at once, so that gazing out into the Atlantic is almost as good as going to Nantucket. I'll chuck a pebble in for you, next time I go out, and you can do the same for me. What will 12000 miles mean then?

  8. Gosh - eerie, considering my recent posting. Had to remove the sonnet - realised I may have entered it somewhere but seeing as I have emptied my house of most of my belongings (don't ask) I don't know where I've put my diary with my doings and happenings listed to check! Will reinstate at a later date. I need an administrator!

    I'll chuck a pebble in, watch for the ripples.

  9. Hoorah ! Now you're only 500 miles away I get to see my favourite niece called Celia a bit more often! Leave some pebbles for me boys! HilSh xxxx

  10. Rachel, yes, a bit eerie. But that's the sea for you, I suppose.

    Hello Hilary. We hope to see you soon for some pier and pebble fun:)

  11. Wonderful news..about a wonderful family. Keep us posted.Longing for my first visit.

  12. Dear Tomsey...
    Sounds like you made the right decision about moving back to England :) So glad for you all...
    Little sis :)

  13. Thank you. We've just spent the WHOLE DAY in the sea:D

  14. You are so right about the sea, Sir Thomas. Having just returned from life on the Gothenburg archipelago I cannot conceive of why we would live anywhere else... Rachel Carson was right. Do I mean Rachel Carson...? The one who said we are descended from a shore dwelling hominid....

    Either way, welcome to your new home and hope to see you soon :-) Love to all.

  15. Yes, the Aquatic Ape. That's why we're mostly only furry on top. Or something.

    I hope you enjoyed Sweden, Marcus, and it'd be a fine thing to meet up again soon, with you and your bro, and the other meese.

  16. Congratulations on all the good news and I wish you the best in your new life in England

  17. Enjoy your new home and congratulations on the book news.

    I was born by the sea and cannot live more than 15mins away. I have salt water in my veins. :)

  18. That's so true about the sea. If I don't pay it a visit every day I get withdrawal symptoms!

    Exciting progress with the novel!! Exciting times eh?

  19. Thank you Teresa, Glynis and Kate:)


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