I'm currently in Andalucia - my second home. On the coast, the sky is blue, the sea is calm, the palm trees are wafting in the breeze, the sunsets ignite the sky with spectacular displays of fiery red hue and the sweet aroma of orange blossom fills the air around the cobbled square. I'm in heaven!
This morning I travelled up to Sevilla and am staying, as I love to do, at the Alfonso XIII Hotel, an exquisitely romantic location from which to explore this jewel of a city.
I'm here to research a passage for my forthcoming novel, a chapter already written which I need to verify. I enter the vast portal of the world's grandest Gothic cathedral and proceed up the aisle to the Altar Mayor.
A Major Event takes place here and I want to make sure I've got the details right. I make a few amendments, climb the 37,952 steps to the top of the clock tower and admire the splendour spread out below. From here I can see La Maestranza - the bullring - which also features significantly in the book.
Fortuitously, my first toyboy lives nearby - fat and forty now - but keen to meet up. He is a sentimental 'friend' and we pass the afternoon together reminiscing about times gone by, marvelling at the fact that we are still in touch 21 years on from our first encounter that heady New Year's Eve in the Sierra Nevada when he seduced me as the clock struck midnight.
Tomorrow it's back to the Costa to continue editing 'Blood on the Sand'. With the mountains to the right and the Med to the left, inspiration abounds...