They rebuilt the Chesil Beach Centre – home of my café – back in 2012. I went along with the Island Voices choir to take part in the opening celebration, just before the Olympic sailing events of that year took place around Weymouth and Portland.

The conditions in this area are perfect for sailing, of course, but less so for buildings, and any sort of construction in this exposed place needs to be thoroughly weighted to the ground. So, as part of the re-building process, they put in some beautiful Portland stone walls. These are decorated, here and there, with exquisite little carvings of the local wildlife, and this was where I first made the acquaintance of the fish in the wall.


I’d barely muttered this phrase to myself before the obvious idea followed. The Fish in the Wall. What a title for a story – or perhaps a chapter heading. It’s the kind of mysterious, odd idea that sends me rushing to find a pen.

It’s part of the writer’s business to pay attention to passing thoughts and curious phrases, I suppose, and to see the story possibilities in the events and objects you encounter. Beware! Anything you say may be taken down and used in a story…

So that little stone fish, swimming in its stone rockpool, in a niche in a beautiful wall has been squirrelled away in my imagination for future use when I’m in need of inspiration. If it crops up, you’ll know just where this one came from!


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