Elaine Roberts has a fascinating hobby, and it’s not writing!
I have been on holiday for the last week, enjoying the sunshine in Cornwall and Devon, staying
near the River Fowey and then moving on to the River Dart. One of my favourite hobbies is people watching; it fascinates me and only last week, I watched them while tucking into the lovely Cornish ice cream. The decision making of which flavours to have; banana, liquorice, caramel, bubble gum and coffee, along with the more traditional ones, was a feat in itself, hmmm. Anyway, as a well-known comedian once said, “I digress”.
Watching young and old alike, I thought how much happier people seem to be when the sun is out. Couples held hands, sometimes giving each other a little kiss as they sat in the sun or walked along. Children were laughing and, I don’t know about you, but whenever a child laughs, I start smiling myself. Everyone was moving slower, enjoying the heat on their bodies, some tucking into cones of ice cream; many children’s faces were covered in it. Adults and children were fishing for crabs off the riverbank, some celebrating their catches.
Many older couples appeared to be in their own world as they sat by the river, watching boats of all shapes and sizes sail by, some barely acknowledging each other’s existence. The younger people seemed lost in their mobile phones, texting or playing games. In this instant world, I watched people of all ages allow the mobile phone to interrupt or replace conversations.
I smiled as a grandma tried to use the modern method of getting a small child to do as they are told by counting to five. The child laughed and carried on running around the restaurant, with the grandma following her. As you can imagine, in the child’s eyes, this became a game.
It made me think about the writing of characters and settings. Everything around us is a feast for a writer to indulge in. Does the weather affect their moods and also what they are wearing? Does it make them forget, or reinforce their problems? Does the sun have a therapeutic affect on their personalities, or when they have a problem, do they notice what the weather is doing?
The question I asked myself was – is this reflected in my writing? I like to think yes, but maybe I need to have another read through, just to be sure. Perhaps I’ll have ice cream first.