Sunday, 20 March 2011


I made my way up to Torun, known as Thorn in 1870 and spent a couple of days looking round there, making notes for the story. Then I started down the River Wisła.

After all the rain, the river was running high and there were signs of flooding in low lying fields.

All these signs of flooding, and the fast-running river began to give me good background for Leo and Tomasz’s walk towards the sea and, after a time, a crucial part of the plot began to form in my mind.

Then, when I was walking along the riverbank one day, a dog began following me. She was a lovely creature and was obviously pleased to have someone to walk with. She stayed with me for a couple of hours until I retraced my steps to the car and, for all the world, seemed ready to jump in beside me. I wondered if she was lost or a stray and, as I drove away, I realised that I had a companion for Leo and Tomasz on their journey down the river.

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