It would have felt very exotic to finish my novel in Nicaragua. I could have written a neat little Foreward or Afterword, signed and dated Pochomill, or San Juan or Granada.
Was it ever going to happen? Of course not.... too many people to see, deserted beaches to explore, horses and carriages for Simon to 'drive', boat trips to private islands. Oh, and canopy tours above the Mombachu volcano involving harnesses, helmets and zip wires along tightropes and down vertical drops - I strapped on Simon and off we went! (Not really, he stayed at home eating ice-cream, counting bugs and hunting dragons. Honestly).
Ah, yes, another time-consuming activity: staying alert to zap my deadly enemy, the mosquito. As readers will know, Bangladeshi mozzies adored me and Tanzanian ones got so drunk on me, they couldn't fit back through the netting they had infiltrated. Well, Nicaraguan ones lined the street, all but waving palm leaves and shouting Hosanna.
But I did some research, important fact-finding in preparation for the future. I found the perfect location for writing. The shady garden overlooking the beach at Pochomill was a strong contender, but the crashing of waves, the Plasticine-blue skies a swaying hammock were all just too much of a distraction. Then, the house in the mountains in San Juan had a view down to the bay that just kept dragging my eyes away from the computer screen. But here, in a blue and white colonial house in the centre of Granada, there 's a perfect tiled courtyard between the sitting room and the bedrooms -
And here at one end of the pool, a ceiling fan just above my head, is a chair with a squishy cushion and a footstool -
I've stuck a little flag on top of it and proclaimed it mine. And now, over a plate of gallo pinto and sapote milkshake, I'm thinking about thinking about writing...