I’ve been writing novels for much of my adult life, and blogging on websites, including my own, for the past couple of years. For the next twelve months, however, I’m going to blog here too, on the subject of my home town.
There's no grand plan about this. Nightly - or at least whenever I have time or inspiration – I’ll sit here at my desk and share whatever the town has been for me that day. Things that have interested me, that have caught my attention, made me smile, made me angry, joyful, happy or sad; buildings that I love; people who fascinate me; events that have taken place, or extraordinary incidences of natural phenomena – any of these might be included in my attempt to get under the skin of a town that teems with life, and that I happen to love.
So do keep reading. Come back again, and keep on coming back. And spread the word. If you don’t know Shrewsbury, it’s a place worth finding out about and, if you do, you’ll know it deserves celebrating. A typical English country town? Yes. With a history? Yes [you only need to see its half-timbered buildings and medieval walls to know that]. But a town stuck in the past, no, no, no. There may be places where you can turn three-sixty degrees and see nothing older than sixteenth century. But modern shops preside beneath the medieval roofscapes, tarmac replaces cobbles on the Georgian hills and the great red sandstone castle looks down on Castle Gates, one of the busiest, most buzzing and vibrant areas of town.
I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture. And over the next year that picture will grow. I’d like to think that, one year from now, one of England's finest country towns will have been fleshed out and come alive. A daunting ambition, I know, but there's never any harm in aiming high.
So, let's wait and see. One thing I’ve learnt as an author is the importance of letting things take their course. Writing a book is a bit like navigating a river – you never know what’s round the next bend. That’s the beauty of the journey. And a blog is like a river too.
[Photographs taken on the night of December 31st 2012, in Shrewsbury, England,
copyright Pauline Fisk]