Tuesday, 5 December 2017



The XX Factor 

December 22nd

Make 'to do' list: defrost turkey; ice Christmas cake; spend an hour listening to Auntie Mary's reminiscences in Rest Home; kiss her 'goodbye' feeling guilty about not inviting her for Christmas meal; PANIC.

December 23rd

Do last-minute shopping: crackers, napkins, etc; deliver remaining cards by hand; buy vegetables; queue up at supermarket check-out; go home for cup of tea; ring daughter to see what time she's arriving tomorrow; check remaining chores to do; PANIC. 

December 24th

Make mince pies; clean house; iron best table-cloth; wrap children's presents, checking each has an equal number of parcels to open; check wine glasses; think about hosting twelve people for Christmas lunch; PANIC; hope husband remembers to buy sherry for trifle; cook pizza for quick Christmas Eve meal; collapse into armchair with glass of wine before bed; PANIC. 

The XY Factor  

December 22nd

Push aside pile of unwritten Christmas cards; go for drink with pals; go home in time for dinner; RELAX. 

December 23rd

Write a few Christmas cards; think about buying presents; go to club for a drink with pals; go home; RELAX. 

December 24th

Try to remember what wife wants for Christmas; try phoning daughter for help; go club for drink with pals; notice the time; rush M&S to buy something - anything; can't remember wife's size; minor-panic; choose lingerie with Gift Receipt; go home in time for pizza; slump in front of TV;  RELAX.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

As I'm still waiting for the proof copy of my latest book 'Footprints on my Doorstep' I have been tidying up my documents - and about time too! I can never settle into writing at this time of year so it's an opportunity to take stock and make early resolutions for 2018:

I WILL write every single day, I WILL write all those reviews I've been putting off.

It's been a busy week with the start of Christmas shopping. Every year, I vow that I won't start mine until the 1st December but the cold weather encourages us into the festive season and the carparks are full up from early morning. (I take the bus.) There are lots of Christmas get-togethers coming up and that reminds me, I must give my Christmas cake its weekly dose of alcohol. The next few weeks will fly past and we'll be into the January doldrums in next to no time so lets make merry until then. I intend to.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

A stay-at-home week

This week is a stay-at-home week so that I can catch up with all those odd jobs I've been putting off - and I'm not talking about housework. I turned my attention to putting my computer files in order and tying up loose ends. I think this is something we all put off for far too long because once you've got things categorised you feel really pleased with yourself. Your documents look tidier and they should be more easily accessible. But are they?  Now where did I put that long discarded file on Roman roads? Did I zap it or put it in 'General Research'? Oh well, maybe it's best to leave things as they are!
Talking of research, this is one of the things I like best about writing. Of course, a book that needs a lot of research will take longer to finish because you know you've got to get it right. However, if you're anything like me, you can easily get side-tracked by some completely irrelevant, though interesting, detail.
My latest novel, Footprints on my Doorstep - is coming out soon! I cheated a little by not naming the town in which the action takes place. This gave me licence to play around with the accuracy but I'm sure local readers will recognise the location. Once I know the launch date I will post it on my blog.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Friday, 20 October 2017

If you live in an old house, have you ever wondered 
what has gone on within its walls?

How many families have lived there?
  Did Victorian children race up and down the staircase?
     Did Edwardian ladies rustle their skirts in the hallway?
       Did flappers kick their heels to the sound of the Charleston?
          Did rockers tap their feet to Bill Haley and Cliff Richard?
             Did Beatles songs resonate from Top of the Pops?
                Did the passing of the years bring changes?

Look out for the launch of Footprints on my Doorstep and find out what happens at Number Seven.

Crawley Library hosted an event for Sussex authors recently. It drew in plenty of interested readers and was a great success. I am hoping they will repeat the event next year.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Devon at its best. Last weekend I spent a wonderful time in the countryside under perfect blue skies. The English countryside can't be beaten on a fine day.