writing about the seasons

As a coastal town, Pitkirtly bears the brunt of quite a lot of weather, although perhaps not as much as if it was on the North Sea itself. Instead it’s quite a way inside the Firth of Forth, past the Forth Bridges and with a harbour that’s partly sheltered.

The weather plays a large part in ‘Reunited’ (alternate title ‘Homecoming to Death’): the season is that dark time when autumn turns imperceptibly to winter, and when older people don’t venture out after late afternoon once the clocks go back. It rains a lot in this part of Scotland and towards the end of the novel the wind gets up and causes some problems for the protagonists.

It was harder to determine a season for ‘Crime in the Community’ – eventually it became late spring, with cherry blossom having been trampled into the pavement. There is mention in the final chapter of a Christmas Fair that takes place in July. That’s the way of things in Pitkirtly.

‘A Reformed Character’ will take place in March, which in this part of the world is not a time when harbingers of spring are all around and the central heating can be turned off, but a cruel extension of winter, with the last of the snows coinciding with March gales, and umbrellas being blown inside-out all along the sea front.

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