Friday, 23 March 2012

Why I'm here. Part 2

I had two reasons when I bought my lovely derelict Czech farmhouse. The first as I said in my post of the 9th March was my friend Hannah Kodicek, the second was to create somewhere I could write.

The two reasons were not unconnected. Hannah always encouraged me to write. I think we really became close friends when she read a long poem I had written. She had known me as a manager, something that she respected but didn't love. At the time of the house purchase I was managing an inner-city regeneration programme working with the most disadvantaged. It was worthwhile work and I would have argued then that it allowed me to be creative in other ways than producing poetry that no one read. But Hannah begged to differ, she saw better than I did how one side of my personality was dominating the other, driving the poet and mystic underground. But when I came to visit her in the Czech Republic I found that side of me welling up in response to the landscape and history of Bohemia.

So I bit the bullet and bought the house. I said I wanted a hut in the forest, something that didn't need too much work, but my subconscious saboutaged that and I bought a huge farmhouse needing lots of work. I spent the next few years working hard at my job and pouring the money I earned into restoring the house, but still I did not write.

Things came to a head when one day I found myself crying in Hannah's study. It was soon apparent that I could not continue working in my wonderful but high pressured job. I said goodbye to my old career and came over to the Czech Republic and started to write. Not poetry but a children's novel. I loved the process. Even if my first book is now in a drawer in my desk never to see the light of day. The second one's there too. I am now on my fifth book. All of my books have been written in my Czech house.

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