Day 7: Ten Favourite Songs



I’ve slightly amended the prompt for todays journal. It did ask me to list the ten favourite songs I’m loving right now, but these are the top songs that I always go back to. In no particular order, but the first one on the list always brings me to tears. Every time.




  1. When the Grey Skies Turn to Blue – Chris Rea
  2. Send My Love – Adele (well, anything by Adele)
  3. Bring Him Home – Alfie Boe from Les Miserables
  4. Your Tiny Hand is Frozen – Luciano Pavarotti from La Boheme
  5. Best of You –  Foo Fighters
  6. I Feel Good – James Brown (one Simon and I always duet together)
  7. Everywhere I Go – Jackson Browne
  8. Love Shack – B52’s
  9. Teardrops – Womack and Womack
  10. Lifted – Lighthouse Family

And of course, my favourite top ten will always depend on the day and my mood…

Ciao for now

Day 6: Five ways to win my heart



Well, it’s already been won and that isn’t about to change. But how did Simon do it?



  1. Good old fashioned chivalry. He’s a true gentleman in every sense of the word. It was how my sister described him the first time they met. And that includes a great respect of women for you feminists out there. He knows his place 😉
  2. Romantic. We laugh and cry at the same things. I’ve got a box full of letters we exchanged before we got together and they are beautiful. I shall never throw them away. Found a similar boxful of letters between my mum and dad…
  3. Ironing. I’m not joking, he does all the ironing. Honest, I get blisters…
  4. He accepts me for who I am, probably more so that I do myself. He doesn’t want to change me.
  5. Flowers. He used to buy me freesias when we lived in the UK, here he bought some bulbs that come up every year and they’re my favourite.

Basically, he’s my soul mate. We just fit together, like a jigsaw.

Ciao for now…

Day 5: List 5 Places you want to visit


I’m not much of a traveller. I’m more of a stay at home girl, always have been and have nursed a fear of flying for many years. However, just recently I’ve had to face that fear coming back and forth to the UK and on my own. Anyway, given all that, here are my five:

  1. Ireland – Simon grew up in Ireland and we’ve been talking about going to visit in 2018 for our 20th wedding anniversary and 55th and 65th birthday treats. It may even be the venue for our annual family get together, so that will make it even more special.
  2. Europe – I know that probably counts as more than one but it’s my list. I’d love to get one of those old camper vans and be a bit of hobo, animals in tow of course (and Simon).
  3. Egypt – getting a bit more adventurous now. I’ve always been fascinated by the pyramids and pharoahs. Lots of rich material for a story I should imagine.
  4. Tasmania – I don’t know why just looks idyllic!
  5. Wolf Moon – the setting in my fantasy story, or any setting for that matter. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Ciao for now – off home tonight- yippee!

Day 4: Someone who inspires me

Right at this moment, I can only think of one person who inspired me the most and still does, even though he’s not here in person. It’s got to be my dad. His stock solid belief in me as a writer (or whatever I wanted to do in my life, nurse, trainer, manager, self employed director) is key to my driving force and yearning to pick up my pen again.

I’ve been in the UK for over a month now (home on Thursday! Hoorah) and been sorting through a few things, mainly photo’s which has evoked many wonderful and treasured memories. One drawer was full of  things collected by Dad. Each and every one of the magazines I’d been published in, newspaper cuttings recording me moving from Crewe to a job in the West Country, cuttings from every play my sister had been in (and my brother), programmes from everyone he attended, videos of every TV role she had, notices of sports events and things published locally about one grandchild or another. A treasure trove of memories and a demonstration of his pride in his children.

Thinking back, Dad believed in all of us but didn’t believe in himself in the same way. His elder brother was very academic and didn’t suffer the ill health Dad had as a young adult. Contracting TB meant that he wasn’t eligible for National Service and delayed him starting his apprenticeship for two years. And he didn’t learn to swim until we, his five children, taught him on holiday when he was 4O, yet it was his dad, Pops, who taught us!

So, thank you, Dad x

Ciao for now



Day 3: My Three Pet Peeves


1. The quote on the right says it all, and it applies to women as much as men. We all have 24 hours in the day, 365 days notice of birthdays and other important dates and a ‘quick hello, how are you’ takes seconds… no excuses in my book.

2. Schoolboy playground politics, the recent events says it all really. And I’m not sure it’s going to get any better. The UK system is in great need of modernisation but I’m not sure anyone is up to it and they don’t have the skills to encourage engagement. What a load of wallies.

3. Lifestyle choices which are promoted as being the only option.  I hate the way we’re preached to about the way we’re supposed to live our lives in order to make us happy and healthy by zealots of their own choices. I respect others’ decisions and will cater for them, but it’s often a one way street.

Ciao for now

Day 2: Something someone said about me

follow-your-dreams-believe-in-yourself-and-dont-give-up-quote-1This journal prompt had me stumped for sometime. But an early memory is one from the deputy headmistress at the grammar school I attended. She was evil. I was probably pretty evil too, but she didn’t have the skills to connect with young adults. Miss Atkins smoked like a trooper, even when I was getting detention for being caught smoking on the way to school. Despite my progress at primary school, I’m afraid secondary education did very little for me, least of all my confidence and belief in myself.

So what did Miss Atkins say that I remember so well? My dream was to go into nursing, heavily influenced by my mum and grandmother who were both nurses. I left school with three o’levels and she told me that I would never, ever make it into nursing. Two years later I was accepted for state registered nursing and by the time I was 24 was the youngest District Nursing Sister in our area. And I still work in healthcare now in a very small and distant way. So, show’s what you knew, Miss Atkins, never destroy a young person’s dreams, they are not yours to mess with.


Day One: 10 things that make me happy


Can’t quite believe it’s been so long since I connected with my writer within. But it’s time to pick up my pen, smooth a clean, fresh page and let the ink flow. Once I’m back home (it will be over a month by then) I know I’ll be in the right place but the itch for writing has begun to tickle and who am I to deny it? I’m starting with thirty days of journal prompts, which I thought I’d summarise here, just to exercise that writing muscle which has been sorely neglected.

  1. Goes without saying… Simon.
  2. My lovely son, Ben and his gorgeous family
  3. My animal family, Bertie, Freya and Nell (assorted dogs), Simba, Nala, Cappuccino, Daisy and Starlight (the feline fraternity) and unnamed chicks
  4. Writing of course, which I couldn’t possibly do without the first three
  5. Sunshine – I’d forgotten how grey UK summers can be and especially this year for a number of reasons…
  6. Swimming (or walking) I’ve been doing 30 lengths every morning at 6.30, starts my day off on the right foot
  7. Red Wine – surprised?
  8. A random smile from a stranger in this mad world which seems intent on destruction
  9. Facetime (and a working internet connection) so I can chat with my number one!
  10. My health, cos of course, no 6 cancels out any effects from no 7 🙂

Ciao for Now


Distraction Therapy

I’ve been keeping myself busy with other stuff as my writing muse seems to be lying down in a dark room and refuses to come out. But I’m trying to be kind to her, she needs some time out and that’s fine. So pottering about in the garden (Dad would have loved wandering about the … Continue reading

Good News Feeling

mad hattie

My Mad Hattie story has now been published on Story Shack and they’ve emailed me accepting another, due to be published in August. Chuffed with this illustration by Alankrita Jain

And my latest blog post is up on Louise Charles, in memory of my Dad.

My Week: 30 April 2016

imageProductivity: Finished the draft of WA Magazine. Our fourth edition (it’s free, subscribe here). Packed full of poetry, recipes, non-fiction articles, short stories, author interviews, book reviews and so much more. 13600 words and forty four pages, it’s been very popular. And, I’ve printed 17 pages of editing comments from All Will Be Well, some little stuff to check and other’s a bit of a re-write or destined for the bin.
Carbs and Cals: Think I’ve fallen of the wagon a little but Si’s blood sugars are still low so I’m happy with that.
Workout: Daily walks with Naughty Nell and the Giants (aka, Bertie and Freya) and two hours of mowing this afternoon. Very satisfying though the stripes are a bit wonky, anyway it’s hard to do stripes on our ‘parkland’ and who wants stripes? 
Reading: Wool By Hugh Howey, am little distracted to concentrate but will pick it up.
Weather: As weird as that in the UK but not had snow, it was threatened but has been cold and damp. The stufa had to be relit!
Watched: London Has Fallen – bit OTT but very watchable.
Word of the Week: GONZO adjective – what a delicious word, it kind of trips off the lips…
1. (of journalism, reportage, etc.) filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary, or the like.
2. crazy; eccentric.
International Day of the Week: 3rd May will be Paranormal Day

Looking Forward: Back to the UK tomorrow for an indeterminate time. Dad is not well and I need to be there… and when I’m there, I need to be here… :'(

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