Where I Write Now

I have now moved to the Cote d’Azur and my space has changed fundamentally.  My wife and I are renting a small apartment on the seventh floor of a block which overlooks the roofs of the town across to the Mediterranean Sea.  The light is wonderful and I can well understand why so many artists were drawn to live and work in this area.

Our apartment is very small, only 30 metres square.  The living room has a kitchen area to one side, a small sofa and two comfortable arm-chairs.  Close to the kitchen is a large table at which I work.  In front is a wall of glass, the French windows which lead out to a terrace almost as big as the living room.  A large wooden table and chairs sits on one side, green plastic ones to the other.  Empty flower-pots hang upon the rail, awaiting the plants we will shortly buy.  Despite moving here on the 1 December I have spent some time on the terrace on most days.

In front of the apartment is the railway with trains streaming between France and Italy.  Occasionally a TGV sweeps through with a majestic disdain.  I can see over the railway to a road which will soon be filled with sculptures made up of Lemons and Oranges, the high point of the Festival du Citron.  Beyond that is a large crane, which reminds me of my childhood in London.  Beyond this is the Mediterranean Sea, the very same on which I sat and dreamed of ancient Greek triremes sailing westward in search of trade or land.

On Sunday I sat on the terrace and read a short biography of George Simenon, French English Dictionary in hand.  My school-boy French is better at reading than speaking so I managed to understand more of the book than the conversation I have to undertake in the shops.

Unfortunately, the terrace is too bright for a laptop but I am able to think about my work, to plan and plot it and to revise.  For writing I come back inside the apartment.  The light washes over me like a stream.  It is what I craved so much in my old room back in England.

The one thing I miss here is access to the internet which we can’t get in our flat as yet.  It means that research is almost impossible, testament, I suppose, to how the web has changed our lives.  However, the good thing about this is that I have more time to write.  Except that the weather is so lovely, the town is so ripe for exploration and I am enjoying myself so much that I don’t write as much as I plan.  Never mind, my latest book ‘Artful’ is in the process of its third revision and I hope to publish it soon.

In fact, I’m going to get back to work shortly.


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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