Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February's literary house

Still steering clear of children’s books for now, my next port of call is over 800 years old and in Shrewsbury: it is Brother Cadfael’s hut. Of course, in a series the length of Ellis Peters’ Cadfael one, descriptions of the hut he has in the gardens where he tends his herb plants are littered about. It is not strictly a house but there is a bed in it, and a stove, so I feel it qualifies. It is frequently used as a hiding place, for things and for people, and as a sanctuary within a sanctuary either for those wanting to come and confide in the old brother, or for Cadfael himself to pretend some urgent job so he can miss his other monastic duties – all in the aid of a successful and fair outcome to his investigations, of course… It holds his best wines and is fragrant with the herbs from the abbey gardens in which it stands, and the cosy stove can provide sustenance to the weary traveller on cold evenings. On warm summer ones, Cadfael, with whatever hapless novice has been assigned to him, or with his friend Hugh Beringar, or alone with his wise thoughts and happy memories, can be found on the bench outside, legs stretched out, warming his old face in the last beams of the evening sun.

First draft of eighteenth chapter of Thicker than Water finished - and Helen's cover has arrived! Very exciting.

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