Wednesday 30 December 2015

Paddy's Christmas and a new kitchen

Since we moved into the new house, we've had some work to do indoors, firstly a new kitchen!

I'm pleased to say that it's almost complete. We installed this ourselves and I'm delighted with how it's coming into shape. We're waiting for the sales to buy new flooring.

and little Paddy, like us, thoroughly enjoyed his first Christmas in our new house!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas - and wish you all the best for the New Year.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas Eve- and the year has flown past!
Looking back, it's been a tough year and then, a beautiful one.
We have been through the mill with hubby and his workplace, but thanks to the kindness of the legal and medical professions, we have made it through -  and find ourselves in a much nicer place.

In the process we have lost some friends. Friends of the season, I like to think of them as. Farewell to you, at the end of this year, I wish you well for the future. As they have left, there has been room made for new friends. Hello and welcome to you all. I hope you prove to be friends of a lifetime.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that we have moved to the beautiful country of Scotland, where we have been welcomed with open arms.

You may also be wondering, what's happening with the storytelling? I can tell you, I have picked up the computer and the third in the Leaves Series is progressing well. I hope to bring you Anna and Chloe, Angus and Seamus in their new adventure, some time in the summer.

Paddy, our jack russell, adores his new lifestyle. The countryside he finds himself in is rich in smells and friends. We see him grow in confidence daily.

I'm all ready for Christmas, and this new chapter. I wish you the blessings of the season. See you in the New Year.

Saturday 31 October 2015

On my wall, the amazingly talented Kim!

Today I picked up a couple of paintings that I'd had professionally framed.
Do you remember when we were raising funds for Lottie to have a dance wheelchair? The amazingly talented Kim Lintern donated some of her paintings to help raise funds.
When I saw these two included in the sale, I had to have them.. and today they came back to me and are on my wall..

Trying to photograph them was proving tricky, due to reflections  -

So I popped them on the floor, on the patterned rug to give me contrast, then cropped the final picture..

So now you have a better idea of the beautiful work, hanging on my wall.

If you'd like to see more of Kim's art, you can visit here website HERE
or connect with her on Twitter  - @kimlinternart

Thursday 22 October 2015

An Announcement... of which I am immensely proud.

No sooner am I back on line, but I have an Announcement.

I am immensely proud of being awarded an Honorary Membership, in recognition of outstanding work in Advanced Reflexology.

This honour is in recognition of what I do for my "day job" - reflexology.
The number who are awarded "Hons" is very small - and I am proud to join their company.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Back online!

Good morning friends!

I am back online after a month away, following our house move!
We now reside in the beautiful Kingdom of Fife, Scotland.

The great outdoors is literally on our doorstep... here is our morning view, as we awake..

We've been out exploring while we were absent from our online world.. and Paddy really enjoyed it - as did we!

Around every corner, there is something new to see - and better views of the Lomond Hills to be had.
The land is farm, so it's like having a living tableau to view daily. The fields were ripe when we first arrived and within a couple of days had been harvested, hence the hay bales!   

It truly is a landscape painter's delight - and I am sure once the house is straight, you'll start to see some paintings of my new locale. 

Monday 14 September 2015

A new adventure begins

Hello friends - it's so long since I posted and so much has been happening!
Hubby has resigned from the college he used to work for  - and we've been advised to start legal action against them. I'm not saying any more about that, apart from the fact that because he's free of them, we are free to follow a long cherished dream.

We are moving further into the country!
We'll be surrounded by green fields and good friends. It's so exciting!
Of course I'll be off line for a while whilst the technical bods do what they have to, with phone and wifi .. but as soon as I'm back, I'll share some pics.

There's one pic here, and it'll give you a taste of what we'll be enjoying.

I'm looking forward to exploring, plus getting back to grips with my third novel.
See you all soon.

Thursday 13 August 2015

A breath of fresh air...

How would you like a breath of fresh air?

Come along with me, pictorially, to where the air is clean and the sun shone on us.

Paddy surveys the campsite and passes it as suitable!

We have hills and sea close by

We have more hills and mountains a short distance away

and cobbled streets for Paddy to explore

and the view from the top of one hill, outstanding!

We were staying at Strathkinness, near St Andrews... and what a beautiful place Fife is. I could happily live there. You know how some places grab a hold of you - well, that place did it to me! Where my father came from in Eire - and where I returned to, every summer break, as a youth- was a village in the countryside, near to the sea. This took me back there, in my mind. Beautiful scenery, lovely people. Well worth going, if you ever get the chance.

Saturday 25 July 2015

A Cottage Garden

I love my garden - and it is best described as a cottage garden.
A friend on Twitter recently asked if I could show her some photos, so I've decided to post them here, because I can add more than one picture to this post!

The view of the patio area, the largest plant being a dwarf Robinia tree, v. Twisted Lady

A dwarf clematis after the flowers have gone

 Irish Eyes, patio rose

English Lavender

Passion Flower


Wild geranium

Bears Breeches and a pink wild geranium

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my garden. Now I must get back to writing the third in my "Leaves" series of novels. If you want to read the first two, links are HERE

Sunday 28 June 2015

Almost a year!

It's almost a year since we adopted Paddy!
We've seen him grow in confidence daily, as well as becoming a very people friendly dog.
On his daily walks, we know he's enjoyed himself if he's had at least three fusses!

To celebrate this milestone, here are some Paddy pictures...

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the photos of our darling boy.
Many thanks to Battersea Dogs and Cats home, for allowing us to adopt him.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Out of the Shadows, plus an update.

It's been a while since I've posted, but I haven't forgotten my blog!
We are currently going through a very tough time, my OH is still off work sick and his employers are still behaving as if they are brothers of Satan. Even though our Dr thinks they have caused his condition to worsen, they have decided to withdraw all of his salary from the 8th July. (He was previously on half pay). What this means for us, is we have to sell our beautiful house, because we won't have enough to cover the mortgage. It went on the market a couple of weeks ago. Because of the pain it causes us, the estate agents have been so kind - and are doing all of the viewings for us.
Once we've paid the outstanding mortgage off, we'll have to try find somewhere to live with whatever's left. In the meantime, we're giving away possessions so that what we do store won't (hopefully) cost an arm and a leg, while we search for something new.

That's why there hasn't been much happening here, I'm sorry to say. Today, this will be rectified. Now you've read the horror story that is our current life - do you fancy reading a short story?

This short story 'Out of The Shadows' goes along with a painting that you will find on my painting blog. HERE

They applaud. The noise is deafening.
I smile, inclining my head, known for my modesty. The glass trophy is handed to me and I hold it aloft. A short speech, thanking my Editor, my Publisher and the whole team of staff who help to make my professional novel, 'Out of the Shadows'. Forgetting no-one, because I value appreciating other human beings. Except for you. I never acknowledge you. You're there, always, but I never reference you. You have caused nothing but pain.
Back at my table, I place the trophy down, the bright lights coursing through it, throwing shadows. You're a shadow now. I try not to think of you. My life is brighter now, immeasurably happier, yet still in one dark corner of my mind, there is you. They say for every author, there is a dark stain on their heart, allowing them to draw on the pain necessary to garner sympathy for their characters. You are my dark stain. Do you even think of me? When you see me feted in newspapers, in magazines, do you think of me and remember the pain you caused? The pain I still feel.


The school bell rings. The class squeals excitedly for break. There will be games in the playground. I am not excited, I hate sport. I prefer reading, so I take my book and hide in the farthest corner, under the shadow of the tree. It isn't far enough away from you. As you and your little gang approach, fear encircles my heart. You grip my arm, squeezing so hard that tears are forced from my eyes. 'See the little bookworm cry!' you laugh. Your gang laugh too. For me, there is only terror.
'I made you a present,' you say. 'Try it on!' There in your hand, is a small ring of barbed wire. My eyes widen and I try to back away. One of your cronies is behind me in a flash, gripping my shoulders so I cannot move. 'Come on, bookworm, you know you're married to your books. Here's your wedding ring!'
As you force it on my finger, the wire tears into my flesh, causing such pain. You laugh louder. Taking the book from my hands, you tear two pages out, ripping them to shreds and throwing them over me, as if they were confetti. I have hated you ever since. Hated you as you ran back to your stupid games, hated you as you kicked the football around the quad. I dreamt of kicking your head the same way.
My teacher sees the blood, takes my hand gently in hers and leads me to the nurse. They cut the wire ring from my finger and tend to the wounds. Crying, I tell them that you did it because I love books. When they shake their heads, I realise that you are deficient, not me. The teacher gives me a free pass to the library, every breaktime. You bother me no more. And yet, and yet, I do not escape from out of your shadow. You are the popular one, I the bookworm. You the team player, I the nerd. In my dreams, I see myself surrounded by people who want to know me. In reality, that is saved for you.


Until today. As we leave the awards, with all the fans queuing for my autograph, I spot you. There you are, in the queue, holding hands with a beautiful lady. When did you become a book lover? Did love make a reader of you? Anger is displaced by a humorous disbelief. As you reach the front of the queue, I show no sign that I remember you. 'Name?' I enquire. You give it, searching my face for a flicker of remembrance you will never find. I wonder if you've told your lady friend we went to the same school, claiming a cameraderie that never existed. Taking your copy of my book, I sign, 'Out of the Shadows, an author emerges'.
I can guarantee you'll never understand why – but I know. Oh yes, I know... and a certain little souvenir reminds me, to this day. A little barbed wire ring, snipped in the centre – but the shadow it casts when it rests on a book? That's a perfect heart. Today, seeing you, I have stepped from out of your shadow. You are nothing but the memory of a dark stain, for me to use at will. I am an author, beloved of many. 

I hope you enjoyed that story - and the painting. Thanks for sticking around and asking after us.  

Thursday 14 May 2015

With the greatest of pleasure

Good morning friends!

It gives me great pleasure to tell you that dear Lottie has reached her target in raising funds - and will soon have her lightweight wheelchair.

To everyone who bought one of my books to help the fundraising effort, a huge THANK YOU !

You have helped Lottie reclaim some of her independence and allowed her to dance again.

If you haven't read my books and you'd like to see what they're about - go HERE

Friday 27 February 2015

My books - and helping a young lady.

If you have ever thought about buying one of my books - now is the time!

The reason I say that, is that until such time as her target is reached - all of my royalties will be donated to Lottie's Wheelchair Fund HERE

There's a choice of three at the moment.

Available in all online bookstores

Available in all online bookstores

Available on Kobo's online bookstore
Thank you for your support. It will make a huge difference to a young lady's life.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

My writing notebooks, essential company and two Giveaways!

Good morning to you!

Before I write a novel, the seeds of the idea are written in one of my notebooks. I have a few notebooks, the black is the one that has all the details the book I am currently writing, 'The House in the Leaves.'
When I spoke to a police officer and a member of the coroner's office, this was the notebook that came with me. It was fascinating to learn what happens when there's a case going through the coroner's court system.

Sometimes, writing is a lonely experience. After the research, you really are there by yourself, bringing the characters and story to life, through your keyboard.
It's good at time to have someone for company, who tells you, STOP! Step away from the keyboard.....

and come play with me!

Why is Paddy's company so essential? Because dogs need attention, they need to be walked or played with, they need to be fed. It is so easy to lose yourself in the world you are creating, that you forget to step away from the computer. That doesn't do you any favours, physically. So having a dog makes me move - he's good for my health. Plus he makes me smile, which has its own benefits, as I'm sure you know.

Now, we come to the giveaways, there are two currently running.
Both for a 'Leaves for Chloe' tote bag

Firstly, one at A Book and Tea here which also has a whole post dedicated to the art of tea leaf reading
and secondly here at 'Becca's Books'

Good luck if you enter!