Category Archives: Celia’s passions

New Volvo FM truck.Trobairitz has a new dream ride.

A new Volvo truck has recently rolled out: the Volvo FM. Oh, she’s a beauty. Oh, she’s sleek. One of the most beautiful trucks I’ve ever seen. She’s golden like ballet pumps and can turn on a dime, a euro, a ten pence piece. If you don’t believe it, watch this video.

volvofm1

newest Volvo truck

Before the official launch, Volvo held a competition. Two brand gleaming new FM trucks set out on mystery routes. The game was this: work out the mystery route; get yourself positioned with a camera and upload your photo. Prizes were awarded to best photos from various locations/countries en route. A trip to Gothenburg, no less, and the chance of a dream ride in one of these sexy beasts.

I knew one of these golden beauties was headed my way. I know how to read maps. I grew up in that era before Sat-Navs when you had to have some nous, some savvy about being out on the open road. You learned about things like landmarks; you watched the road, not a screen. You consigned routes to your memory. So, I was out there, looking, searching. If she showed up in my patch, I was ready to pounce.

I missed her. By the time I’d learned of the competition, she’d already passed through my neck of the woods. I’m still hanging around the truck stops with my camera, though.

I didn’t win the competition, but I can dream.

volvofm

come to Momma, baby!

Full frontal. Ah, I’m in love.

What, no writing? Monday singing rehearsals.

Capestangchurch

The Bishop of Narbonne was jealous.

I don’t get much serious writing done on Mondays. I don’t get much writing done at all. I might find a few minutes to write a short post on here, then it’s warming up the old vocal chords (and I do really mean old ) before it’s off toward the hills and rehearsals in Capestang.

The wind blows fit to knock you off your feet as you turn the corner around the church to walk to rehearsals. To the right of this picture, you can see where the building stops. Like the church was suddenly chopped. In fact, that’s exactly what happened in the 13th century. Some contributing factors may have been to do with the Plague and/or the change in the course of the river, but there’s also the story that says the Bishop in Narbonne sent out his spies to see what was happening in Capestang and when he discovered the completed church would have been bigger than his own seat, he used the money for something else.

musicnotes

the language of music

I love these old stories. Even the smallest villages here have stories to tell. I love to hear about them, read about them. Sometimes, I might be inspired to write a new story based on what I’ve discovered. But I can’t get into that today because it’s Monday. Monday is singing. There’s no serious writing today. Serious singing instead. We’re rehearsing Carmina Burana for performances in May. O, Fortuna, velut Luna statu variabilis . . .

Singing is so vital. I can’t imagine a life without music. When I take Mondays off, away from writing, I know I’m gonna come back Tuesdays all fired up and ready to go again.

no writing

Choir of Capestang

Living the Dream.The power of characters.

Last night I dreamed I went to duMaurierLand again. (Sorry Daphne)

Let me explain. When I was younger and I might dream of living the life of a writer, I’d create for myself a room with a desk by a French window, beyond which there would be green swathe running down toward the sea and there would be bracken and paths through stands of trees. Indoors, I would have a log fire and tea in a bone china cup and I’d probably be wearing something quite figure-hugging and pearl earrings. You see, dear reader, I read everything Daphne published. The lot. All the novels. All the collections of short stories. I keep by my desk an old copy of Rebecca and every day, before I begin, I look at it. Sometimes, I pick it up and sniff it.

Daphne

my teenage heroine

There’s nothing like the smell of a good book. Kindles can’t do that. They can’t reproduce the touchy-feely thing about holding a favourite book in your hands. It would be sacrilege to read Rebecca on an e-reader. Wouldn’t it? Would I experience the same sense of connection with the woman who has inspired me for years?

first edition - I wish I had one

first edition – I wish I had one

Can you curl up with a Kindle?

Rebecca

a scene from Hitchcock’s 1940 film

Rebecca is my talisman. I keep it by my side to remind me of the power of characters. In du Maurier’s Rebecca there’s a character so powerful she controls everything even after she’s dead.  Rebecca, who Mrs Danvers adored, still occupies the thoughts and actions of the de Winter household to the extent that poor second Mrs de Winter doesn’t even get a first name all through the entire novel.

That’s power.That’s character. And yet . . . and yet.

I’m writing in the twenty first century. I might have a desk now AND a French window, ( I live in France; everybody has French windows) but Manderley it isn’t. My characters don’t wear pearls and dress for dinner.

My main character in Trobairitz drives a truck. This is where she spends most of her time.

Volvo Globetrotter cab

My character loves her cab

 

She hasn’t worn a skirt for years. She stuffs her hair under a baker boy cap when she’s driving and it’s so long since she had any fun with a man, she wonders if all her bits still work.

Daphne, as far as I remember, didn’t write about women’s bits or have a character admire the way a man fills his tee shirt.

But, if I can get my characters onto a page , whether on paper or a backlit screen, and readers remember them long afterwards, the way I remember Rebecca, I’ll be in du MaurierLand.

Passionate about Trucks

Volvo1

I love trucks. Especially ones like this. I hang out the car window to take pictures of them. I hang around truckers’ websites like a sniper, hitting on forums and stealing their conversations. I watch all the trucker TV programmes.

It’s no surprise then, that my novel Trobairitz features a mothertrucker as its main character. Trobairitz were female troubadours in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. My twenty-first century lady troubadour tells stories at an overnight truck stop. She doesn’t know she has it within herself to put back into her life the things she needs. She doesn’t even know she needs them yet.

Volvo2

She’s careful about getting too close to people. That’s why she tells stories instead.

She loves driving. She loves her truck.

She has another love.

 

 

Etype

powder blue – champagne leather seats

Her car.