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W. H. Auden

‘Stop all the clocks’ is one of many favourite poems, and I went to visit Auden’s rented summer-house at Kirchstetten, in Austria, recently.
It is where he penned many of his poems and the upstairs room where he wrote has been preserved as a museum, with his book shelves, kettles, empty vodka bottles, typewriter and slippers still in place. I really enjoy both photography and writing, so I wanted to begin this blog by sharing some of the photographs of the upper room of the summer-house, in the hope that it might inspire your writing as much as it did mine. His typewriter sits neatly on his desk, where you can look out over views of the quiet street and lush green trees, made me wonder what it must have been like for him during his writing day, working in a secluded location in the middle the most beautiful countryside. It reminded me of George Orwell’s hideaway, which he also rented on the Isle of Jura, where he penned ‘1984’. There is something about isolation for writers that seems to trigger bursts of creativity. I sometimes find that I need a cafe with noise, and people milling about and chatting, but it is in the quiet places that an idea often forms in a chrysalis, and where the words appear on the page, inviting me on a journey with characters and events.