Wednesday, 1 November 2017


Of all the places in the UK that I’ve visited, my favourite has to be Shaldon.
That small Devon village is set on the tidal river Teign - pronounced Teen - just as it joins the sea at Teignmouth – which is pronounced Tin, so I was informed by the sunburnt boy who helps to ferry a small boat from one side of the river to the other, as people have been doing for hundreds of years.

Whether the journey is long or short depends on the state of the tide.  But in either case it is always atmospheric; open to the weather and wonderful to be amongst the mass of other small boats that use the river. 
There is no pomp and circumstance.  Simply go down the beach from either side; walk the narrow plank with a helping hand from the boy and choose your seat, then take stock of the characters and the dogs that share the experience with you. Shaldon village consists of wonderful, picturesque houses; some dating as far back as 1620. 
It has a village green where the game of Bowls has been played for centuries; gardens that offer tantalising glimpses of the sea and public house signs like The Ferryboat and The Clipper. 
With a Post Office and a small shop; a primary school and a bus service as well as a Botanical Garden and a small Zoo it must be a very desirable place to live but perhaps we’d need to win the Lottery first.  

Monday, 2 October 2017

I've waited all summer for butterflies to appear in my sunny garden, but even the prolific white blossom on the Buddleia didn't attract them this year.  However, suddenly they have arrived. The blossom has died, very few flowers remain, but the butterflies are here, fluttering and swooping close to the windows and even settling on the warm bricks of the wall by the door.
Other visitors to the garden are the sparrows!
A butterfly hovering on the bricks by the front door.

Regular 2 o'clock meetings - perhaps it's Sparrows' Institute,
similar to Women's Institute.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Happy New Year to my friends across the world.
It is amazing to realise that the first two weeks of January have already come and gone and people are beginning to think ahead to the summer and plan holidays in warmer climates.
But today we have snow!!  Floods are forecast along the east coast and people warned to keep away from the sea-fronts as tides reach their height tonight. Fortunately I am far enough inland not to have that worry but we do have icy paths.
Wherever you are in the world I hope 2017 has started well for you and your weather is better than ours, here in England.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

 Last Saturday I went to see “Kynren, an Epic tale of England.”
It is a spectacular open-air night show that has been on the tongues of Bishop Auckland people for the past year. In fact after such a build up I half wondered if I might be disappointed. I certainly was not. The show was magnificent with a cast of hundreds of local people. 
It covers the history of the area as seen through the eyes of Bishop Hensley Henson.
The backdrop mysteriously changes from Auckland Castle to Durham Cathedral to a disaster in the coal mines and all beyond the setting of a lake that sometimes swirls in mists and at others is clear and bright. Music provides a background and fireworks accentuate the effects.
There are marching armies, battles between the English and the Scots; horses galloping and riders jousting, as well as quiet scenes of rural England with sheep and calves and geese walking quietly beside a group of young people.
 A beautiful boat sails over the water carrying Queen Elizabeth 1st to meet Shakespeare and later Stephenson’s Rocket complete with passengers steams its way across the arena leaving the 7000 strong audience gasping its appreciation. Queen Victoria arrives in an open carriage and the Bishop in a Rolls Royce car.
When the ninety minute show finally came to an end the whole audience rose for a standing ovation.
As we made our way back to the courtesy coach that would take us to the car park we agreed that the organisation had been flawless.
Congratulations to everybody involved.  They deserve it.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Great news - my Novella is now available on Amazon.

Its title is "Decide Where To Go" and it is in paperback and on Kindle.

The main character is Linda Bryant, one of the Baby Boomers generation from the 1940s.
She is now past retirement age but still full of energy and ambition. Can she fulfil
that ambition without antagonising her family?

Thursday, 26 November 2015

  My last novel BRIDGE TO THE MOON has a NEW COVER.
  No change to the story of course.
      Its original cover was a dark one - purple - which seemed   appropriate at the time.          
      The new one is in bright colours with a happy little girl called Marguerita who becomes 
      the focal point of the story.
      I hope you enjoy it.

     Available from Amazon.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Fridays will never be the same again.  Simply because my lovely "milk girl" has given up her job.
Yes, I am one of the few people who still have milk delivered to the door. Whatever the weather, the milk is on the step in the morning after being delivered in  a white van decorated with black splodges reminiscent of a cow.
At teatime on Fridays this dynamic young woman parks the van and rushes to the door to collect my money. It takes less than five minutes but in that time she tells me her plans for the weekend - the meals she'll be having with friends or the Hen-party she's going to in Benidorm.  She shows me her healthy-looking tan produced on a sun-bed that afternoon.  We discuss the clothes she's wearing or the twin sons that make her so proud.
But now she's going to work in a factory on day shift so she'll no longer be getting up at 1 o'clock in the morning and driving in all weathers.  The reason is that the milk round has increased so much that the work is just too hard for her.
She gave me a big hug when she told me the news and another before she walked away down the path.  She was a wonderful character and I'm so pleased she was my "milk girl."