Books Balls And Black Labs

There will be some people who would be amazed to discover that I had actually read a book let alone written one, and yet last week the final words were penned on my book about the hard men of French rugby.

I’ve had no paid work since March, so the isolation and lockdown were the perfect environment for a writer, however having to share that environment with a 3 year old black Labrador added a more challenging aspect to the equation.

Once the laptop was opened the cabaret would begin. Tennis ball in mouth, (the dog not me) look sadly at writer with woeful eyes suggesting total neglect from the man behind the keyboard.

Trying to avoid eye contact I would carrying on writing whilst being aware that the next canine phase of attack was about to begin.

This consisted of thrusting an empty plastic water bottle into my crotch as the four legged attacker launched himself under the kitchen table to create speed for maximum impact.

I could almost hear Andrew Cotter’s commentary as my eyes watered.

The old rugby adage of don’t rub them count them rang in my ears as another chapter of the book descended into chaos.

A constant supply of coffee and croissants to get into a French mindset definitely worked ,and my Nespresso machine has been employed on more occasions than Yoann Huget’s disciplinary representatives.

Feeling rather proud of myself I submitted my final manuscript to the publishers at the weekend by e mail, by the time I had reached around to pat myself on the back it had come whizzing back with a request to correct the thousands of typo errors and missed or incorrect punctuation marks, glory does not last long in this writing game.

So here I am back at the keyboard with charcoal bones in hand, tennis ball at my feet, and out of the corner of my eye I can see an empty plastic water bottle with canine attachment heading towards my lower abdomen, I wonder if Hemingway had these problems.

Wish me luck !

The Hard Men of French Rugby will be published by St David’s Press

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