Actually it's not about the address, exactly, but who can resist a pun when it's a. right there b. clean and c. linked to Elaine's fab post from yesterday? Not me.
It's really about the house. Hands up if you've ever drawn a plan of Godsend Castle from I Capture the Castle. Just me? I don't believe you. I'm certainly not the only one who wears out the remote trying to establish the floorplan of Oscar's eight room apartment.
I know this because there's a whole section called TV/Movie Houses in a delectable website called Hooked On Houses where Mildred Pierce's beach house, George and Mary Bailey's dream home and - joy of joys - Doris Day's fixer-upper from Please Don't Eat the Daisies are all there in their movie-still glory. It's definitely not just me.
But when I sat down on Monday morning to start a new book and got out the tattered pile of press cuttings, scribbled-on napkins and post-it notes that I laughingly call an ideas file, it was still a surprise to see how many floorplans, blueprints and estate agents' brochures were in there. And how few actual plots, characters and twists. You know, the important stuff.
Mind you, I don't think writing down plot and character notes is the way to go for me. The book I've just finished has a heroine called Opal Jones. A file card in my "ideas file" had her down as Ambrosine Twigg. Those are not the same person, those two.
Also, I found a very excited note about a genius plot - lot of exclamation marks and underlining - which said: Builders! Close chamber, dappled, broadship. Wheelie bins? Footbridge/stepping stones/ford/swim(?) Back pain, gen mod. NO MARRIAGE. keep this!!!
Do. Not. Have. One. Clue. If it wasn't in my writing I'd think elves had put it there.
And anyway this time I know exactly what house my heroine's going to live in. This one:
Here it is again in oils:
I know what the tug on the gate will feel like and the crunch of gravel in summer, the squeak of it under the snow in winter, as she walks to the front door:
I know how the kitchen will smell when the oily old Rayburn turns out another batch of perfect bread:
and I know she'll wake to the bleating of the orphan lambs in their pen just outside the back door:
Not bad for three days' research, you say? Well, I cheated. This was my house in Galloway, my roses round the door, my bread, my favourite orphan lamb (and the painting we commissioned when we knew we were leaving.) I always meant to use it in a book as soon as I could be sure of not weeping so much I shorted my keyboard. I'm going to chance it. And for once I don't need to draw a single sketch or floorplan before typing "Chapter 1".