You would have thought that the last few lockdown months would have been ideal for posting on the website and making progress on my several writing projects. Not a bit of it. I see it is ten months since I last posted on Chip’s Chatter and I have to admit progress on my work-in-progress novel writing has been slow.

What I have been doing is working on short stories and submitting to competitions and magazines. As ever there will be a wait of weeks or months before there is any development on that front. Now to progress my main novel in progress – The Register of Joe’s tTrees.

I have been reading short stories on Facebook, the Exeter Authors Association Coffee Time Short Stories on many Thursday mornings through the winter. My current reading is from my Fable – THE BATTLE OF SLOTTERHAM HALL, AD 1929 – when the Birds confront the Guns.

Good news today here – at one thousand feet above sea level in the Exmoor National Park – the first Swallow has returned from its Africa and back migration. The first Chiff Chaff was here three weeks ago, but has moved on. Now waiting for our House Martins who should be here by the end of the month, only hope the freezing nights will be over by then. They have work to do. The nests they built last summer have not survived the winter, smashing to the ground when winter birds try to press into them for nighttime roosting places. Wrens in particular creep in, but when too many try to get in the nest is soon broken. The artificial nests are waiting the Martins’ return.

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