’twas a dark and stormy night.
Hang on, no it wasn’t! It was a dark and wet and windy November noon. I had sort of almost wished for snow. It would have made things more atmospheric, and for meeting an author like Alex Nye it would have fitted in nicely. But driving up to Sheriffmuir in snow might have been dicey, and besides, I don’t much care for the white stuff. Especially in November. Murky clouds did very nicely, thank you.
The Resident IT Consultant had to sacrifice himself and go for a walk while Alex and I feasted on Earl Grey and desserts (the Sheriffmuir Inn doesn’t do cake, but they do have pudding to go with hot drinks) as a kind of late elevenses, seeing as it was twelveses.
It was thanks to Kirkland Ciccone (or more precisely his book launch last month) that Alex got in touch. She was there too, but with ‘someone’ forgetting to make the introductions, I had no way of knowing if Alex was there, and if so, if she was a girl Alex or a boy Alex, if she was an author, or anything else. All I knew was that I had been promised Alex Nye’s presence and that this Alex would be ‘the sensible one.’
So we arranged to meet for ‘coffee’ all on our own, and once I’d found out that Alex’s books are set on Sheriffmuir, I felt deep inside that the Inn would be the place to have the ‘coffee’ and maybe some dark, ghostly weather conditions.
As I was saying, we were lucky with the weather. The rain bucketed down from low clouds, and inside the Inn was a warm fire, tartan seats, a shaggy dog and tea and sticky toffee pudding. It was perfect!
What did we talk about? Well, let’s see. A bit about accents (Alex is English) and what it was like to live on Sheriffmuir (which Alex did when she first moved to the area in the 1990s). The weather, children, education, what we read, ‘progress’ in the shape of the authorities digging up and ruining nice bits of countryside. Lots of stuff.
When the Resident IT Consultant turned up looking like he’d drowned, we took pity on him and he was allowed to sit down and have a coffee. So someone did actually have coffee in the end. And the conversation strayed on to things like horizontal wallpaper and making handbags out of crocodiles.
Where was I? Oh yes. On Sheriffmuir. Alex very kindly signed copies of her two books, Chill and Shiver, for me, and I know I haven’t read them yet, but they do look just right, if you know what I mean? Lovely covers, and they are ghostly, snowy, winter adventures set not far from where we were sitting.
Just the thing, really.