Racing to update my website before US publication in a matter of weeks, I've spent the afternoon writing a Reading Guide for The Sea Garden (all the while having a head full of ideas I am trying to pin down for the next book.) Then I suddenly realised it was well over a week since I'd managed a blog post. I hadn't a clue what to write until I found this photo of what my brain feels like at the moment, all loose wires and dodgy connections!
Actually, it's a Second World War wireless transmitter disguised as a leather suitcase, as used by British agents and their contacts in Occupied France. This one is in the Musée de la Résistance at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Being a wireless operator was an extremely dangerous job, with a life expectancy down to a few weeks by the closing stage of the war. Extraordinary to think of the bravery of those who used this machine in the field and the lives that depended on the Morse code messages (see the tapper at the front) they managed to send out.
Next month, in the countdown to publication on June 24, I'm intending to post all sorts of pictures like this that are relevant to the book and which should add to the experience for any reader who comes to this blog looking for interesting background. The redesigned website is looking pretty good too - thanks to Judith Barrett. Not long now before that's up and running as well.