This week I finished the first draft of the novel, all 100,500 words of it, and realised I had taken only the first step. It's quite a big step, I think, but still a first. I have put the whole thing away, together with all the books I used for research, the (now nonsensical) notes on scraps of paper and character cards, until 1st August. That gives me a few weeks to allow my heart to turn cold towards it. I'll sit down and read it with detachment and make copious notes. I feel a special new notebook wending its way here to make a home with me. A really nice one.
And in the same week of this first step towards producing a book, my eldest daughter took the final one of her degree course at Cardiff University. She achieved a First and we couldn't be more proud of her. Not just for this wonderful result, but for the wonderful girl she is. She has overcome serious personal setbacks to reach this stage of her life and never once given up. And it was a hard road to tread at times. Her result is a triumph for her as a person, as well as an accolade for her hard work. She is also very beautiful and has a smile that, if it were the last thing I ever saw while gripping to the edge of a cliff by my fingernails like Mufasa in the Lion King, I would be smiling back.