I’m now up to 7500 words on the new book and the protagonists are currently honeymooning in Eastbourne, staying at the Grand Hotel. As it’s 1936 the BBC was broadcasting its weekly concert from the Palm Court Orchestra there. I’ve just downloaded some Palm Court music from iTunes. It’s obviously not the original but is the sort of music they played – Strauss and other light classics. Helps to get me in the mood and to feel the atmosphere. But once they get to India I’m sure I’ll be glad to switch to something different – although being colonials they doubtless listened to the same sort of stuff on the gramophone. Actually it’s making me feel quite nostalgic for my own youth, as many of the songs were favourites of my parents – such as Vilja, from the Merry Widow. MY Mum used to play it on the piano, accompanied by my brother on the fiddle.
I had thought that setting some of the book in Eastbourne would make things easy for me, because I lived there from age 13 till after University – but I still find I need to check stuff – like did the Beachy Head Hotel exist then and the Carpet Gardens? They did.