Sunday 30 April 2023

Its a busy 30th April!

This post of the 30th April has a two-fold objective. 

Today, the 30th April, means it is one day before the ancient Celtic Festival of Beltane, celebrated on May 1st. It's therefore, just before Beltane and an excellent day for BEFORE BELTANE,  the Prequel to my Celtic Fervour Series, to be out and about vising at the Coffee Pot Book Club. 

As part of the beautifully-presented feature, I've given my reasons for writing the prequel. If you don't yet know that, click this link HERE and find out. 


Here's my April A to Z Blog Challenge Update.

My posts are now well and truly done for my personal April challenge and my update is that having written upwards of 25, 000 words for it, I am determined to add a similar amount to my WIP writing over the next six weeks.

My research is wider that it was before I started the challenge and some of my notes now have a better structure. As I sifted through what to include in my challenge, I clarified other aspects that will fit into my writing very well, so it was again very worthwhile for that reason. I just need to keep that list of those ‘do includes’ handy for reference as I move on.

I’m saying I want to add something like 25,000 words to my writing in progress during the next six weeks, and not during the month of May, because I’m attending a wedding this coming week down in the Scottish Borders. That means not too much writing will be done in the coming days. Kelso is a drive of some 5 – 6 hours for me so I need to spend three days in total for this lovely jaunt. As part of the trip, I'm staying one night with a friend from school that I’ve known for almost 60 years. It’s always wonderful to catch up with her and her husband. I’m also really looking forward to spending one night at the wedding-venue hotel in Kelso, since I’m not sure if I’ve ever visited this border town before!

May is also a ‘holiday’ time for me because, later in the month, I’m driving down to spend three nights/four days at the New Lanark Mill Hotel, as part of an extended relative’s 80th birthday celebrations. The hotel is a prime example of the reinvention of a historic building for commercial purposes.

New Lanark village was a place I first learned about at secondary school during my history classes. When it opened in 1786, New Lanark was celebrated for having extremely efficient mill workings, but also for the fact that a village was created around the mills to house the workers in decent accommodation. The mills themselves were powered by water mills which, in turn, generated the energy from the only substantial waterfalls on the River Clyde.

Though the mill village was opened by David Dale, and the mill-powering made possible by the genius inventions of Richard Arkwright, it was Dale’s son-in-law, Robert Owen, who made the concept of the mill-village famous. Robert Owen proved that the type of environment at New Lanark made conditions for mill workers much better than in most parts of the Great Britain. Better mill conditions ideally meant better productivity, though compared to today the conditions and hours worked were still harsh. Over time, Robert Owen became one of the most influential social reformers across Great Britain.

Again, my days at New Lanark this May will mean fewer writing days in May, but as well as having a lot of fun with lovely relatives, I imagine I can learn more about New Lanark while I’m in the restored building. I’ve visited the heritage village at New Lanark before during the 1980s, with my late husband and my children, but it’ll be lovely to go again.

So, onwards to Beltane tomorrow! 

SlĂ inte!

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