You can see the Black Mountains from Hereford, or at least from part of it. When all three of us were little and staying down there with our paternal grandparents, we would often walk up to a park that overlooked the city and which had good views of the surrounding countryside. Nan would sometimes point out that the range of hills – distant and faint but still quite imposing – to the west were the Black Mountains and that she had grown up on the other side of them long ago. The name sounded interesting and the view was pretty, and so I remembered.
“There are writers who have didactic intent, and there are some, I presume, who work out everything before they sit down to put the words in order. For me, and certainly many others, writing – however hard it can sometimes be – is more like pulling and pulling and pulling on a string that already has its weights attached, or dipping a thimble again and again into a pool that was already there. The effort, the curiosity, the surprise or the anxiety are each strong enough so to fill the mind that there is no room for ‘thought’.”
From Dennis Potter’s introduction to Waiting for the Boat.