Working as a full time writer means many hours sitting in front of a screen and keyboard, and it is way too easy to forget just how lovely the local countryside can be.
Especially when you live in the Jane Austen country of North Hampshire, as I do.
Jane spent the first 25 years of her life in the village of Steventon, which is very close to my home, and wrote Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice in the rectory there.
The grand old houses with famous names and the huge estates still exist, although the villages which served them have been transformed into expensive homes, with quaint thatched roofs, small old village churches and surrounded by lovely farmland.
So this is how I spent my Easter Saturday yesterday – walking down quiet lanes the width of one car, so that you have to dive onto the wild flower verge to escape being swiped by a wing mirror, although the drivers always slow down and wave.
And then the countryside, all dressed up in April flowers and showers. Wild primroses and woods full of bluebells. Rabbits, pheasants, stoats and so many birds it was hard to count.
There was one special treat – I heard and then saw my first swallow of the year.
And, just in case you were looking for an excuse why your manuscript was late…