If time, distance and money were of no consequence, this is how I, the author, Ellie Dean would spend my perfect day.
I awake in a four-poster bed, the voile curtains gently drifting in a warm, tropical breeze scented with frangipani and mimosa. I write ‘The End’ on my latest novel and send it off, and then step outside onto the white sand of Galley Bay in Antigua and paddle in the blue water before being served breakfast by Hugh Jackman who’s looking wonderful in bow tie and swimming shorts.
After sailing in a yacht around the islands of the Great Barrier Reef with Idris Elba who proves to be a dab hand with the sun cream, I am escorted by Crocodile Dundee into the Outback for a beer while he tells me outrageous stories of his daring escapades.
From the Outback of Australia I would join Thelma and Louise on their road trip across America, and then go to Montmartre in Paris for morning coffee at a pavement café to watch the world go by. Toulouse-Lautrec would then take me on a backstage tour of the Moulin Rouge before painting my portrait.
Then it’s pre-lunch drinks with Michelangelo in the Eternal city of Rome where we’d throw coins in the Trevi Fountain before joining Dame Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie, Julie Walters, Victoria Wood, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French for a riotous, wine-fueled lunch on a villa terrace in Tuscany surrounded by olive trees and vibrant bougainvillea.
Feeling mellow after lunch, I would go to Scotland and the beautiful Isle of Skye to meet the author Peter May and watch the golden eagles soaring above the cliffs and waterfalls.
And then it’s down to Slapton Sands to meet Churchill and Eisenhower and share a Devon tea of scones, jam and clotted cream as these great men tell me their life stories.
From Devon I would go to Monkey Mia in Western Australia to swim with the dolphins and feed the emus while chatting with the Australian author, Judith Nunn who has been a huge influence on my writing, and to meet the artist, Judy Prosser, whose paintings of Dreamtime are quite magical.
From Australia to London and cocktails in The Shard with my children and grandchildren before setting down on the island of Vanuatu for a swim as the sun sinks and forms the stairway to heaven across the water to the horizon.
I meet my husband for dinner under the magnificent stars and in sight of Ayers Rock as the didgeridoo plays and Dreamtime stories are told by Aboriginal Elders.
We return to Paris and the Champs Elysees for a glass of champagne before being whisked away to a masked ball in Vienna.
And then it’s back to our cottage in the South Downs of England to snuggle down and sleep. For all the great wonders of the world, there’s no place like home or the feel of a loved one’s arms about you.
The Waiting Hours by Ellie Dean is the 13th book in the Cliffehaven series and will be published by Arrow on August 24th, priced £6.99.
For more information about the author go to WWW.ellie-dean.co.uk or visit her Facebook page.