Over the summer, I've written very little of my book. Despite lofty thoughts of spending days in the British Library reading rooms alongside hundreds of other lofty thinkers, I ended up leaving it fallow for pretty much all of August.

Now that the new term approaches, and with it a more regular routine, I am picking up from where I left off. Since January, I've written 31,820 words - so about 4,000 words per month. I've got around 12,000 more to write to finish my first half, so I should be able to get it done before Christmas, just.

Returning to the book after a short hiatus has been easier than I expected. I was able to continue writing straight away, without needing to re-read any sections or remind myself of the plot or characters. I still think it's fairly good too, which is a relief, and I'm enjoying writing my current chapter, which introduces one of the main characters and explains some of his back story via a long boozy lunch in an old-fashioned London club. A good excuse for some field research, perhaps.

I am getting slightly impatient to finish the first half - not least because I know how much rewriting will be necessary, and also because I still need to weave a new sub-plot into the second half, based on some events that happen in the first half. Ideally, I also need to visit Jerez to write a few chapters that are set in the vineyards there, but I'm not going to manage this before Christmas. I guess I'll just have to use my imagination.