Mankind needs beauty in the same way it needs romantic love. It can function perfectly well without it, and millions have to, but without these things our lives are poorer. There will always be a yearning for that special place or that special someone.
In Britain, as a small island nation, no one is ever too far from a beautiful place. Even if you can’t get to a recognised beauty spot to deliver a message for Valentine’s Day, there will be somewhere you can go. This is why I have set so many of my books here. I want to write books that are lovely to look at somehow, and Britain makes this easy.
Personally, I’ve always been uplifted by nature. I love wildness, landscapes formed by thousands of years of wind and rain, snow and ice, formed, imperceptibly, season by season. I love seeing the stunted trees showing the direction of the prevailing wind, fighting against the odds to fulfil their function. And if there are dips or lumps in the ground revealing signs of human habitation I wonder what it was like then. Was it different? Or very much the same?
The sea, pounding endlessly, forming rocks into strange shapes also inspires. When standing on a beach, it’s the awareness that for millennia it was the sea that brought people together, in tiny, handmade craft.