Monday, 28 June 2010

Monday, 28th June

I have lost a friend. I used to have seven but one has disappeared off the face of the earth and now I only have six. What did I do wrong? Was I too dull? Quite a few people email and want to be my friend on facebook, but I'm not on facebook and can't tell them that because the email won't accept replies.

What wonderful weather we are having! If only I had young skin and could wear a strappy sundress but I daren't expose my arms because they're old arms, all saggy with bones protruding all over the place. I can actually remember a time when I wore shorts. That was before I had children and purple veins exploded all over my legs.

Being old(ish!) brings along wonderful memories though. The other day my friend Audrey telephoned out of the blue. We had really exciting times when we were young. Now this might not seem exciting to you, but when we were young we went to the theatre in Liverpool and saw Michael Redgrave, Googie Withers and Sam Wannamaker in a play. We hung around outside the stage door afterwards in the hope of seeing Sam but he didn't appear. The other two did and we followed them as they strolled along Lime Street to the Adelphi Hotel. Googie wore the most incredible coat that must have cost the lives of many hundred minks. Mind you, these days I wouldn't wear a real fur coat for anything.

At that time, the Adelphi Hotel was to Liverpool what the Ritz or the Dorchester are to London. We stayed there earlier this year, just for the experience. It was cheaper than all the other present day hotels, the Holiday Inns and the Rennaissances. It was a rather sad experience because it was so run down and we wished we hadn't gone.

There has been a shout and a cup of tea is waiting for me downstairs, so off I go. I am going to make this a weekly blog so won't feel guilty for not writing every day. Farewell.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Been Very Busy

I did intend to write a blog every day. I thought it would stretch my imagination, but that would require making things up. I didn't realise my life was quite so uninteresting. What have I done recently that I can tell people? Well, my husband and I went to London again last Saturday to meet our youngest son Patrick who was in London for a few days, but he felt sick, and then my husband felt sick, so we didn't have a meal. Everywhere was terribly crowded and it was cold, much, much too cold for mid June. In the end, Patrick went back to his hotel and Richard and I caught a taxi to Liverpool Street and went home and watched Wallander on television. Has anyone else watched the Swedish version of Wallander - the series has just finished. It's exceptionally good. Although it has subtitles, they are easily read.

Today, the weather is forecast to be hot and sunny and it's lovely outside right now. Also today the budget is being announced. I don't want to stray too far into politics, but the crisis was caused by the banks who are apparently back on their feet again and giving each other massive bonuses. I can't understand why they aren't being forced to repay the loans from the taxpayer before taking any money for themselves.

I have finished altering my latest novel, Au Revoir Liverpool, following my editors' suggestions - I have two editors at the moment. I emailed the manuscript to my publisher yesterday and am thankfully back to working on the novel I am writing now, After the War is Over.

I really enjoy getting letters from the readers of my novels. I have received hundreds and out of them all have received very few that were offensive. One suggested I cut two hundred pages out of The September Girls, and the other threw Lights Out Liverpool across the room when she finished reading it because she didn't like the ending. I had one recently praising all my books except Lime Street Blues which she 'hated'. That hurt far more than the pleasure I felt that she'd enjoyed all the others.

The sun has gone in, I do hope it comes out again soon!


Sunday, 13 June 2010

It went!

So, back to our day out in London. Our first call was at The Crypt of St Martin's in the Fields in Trafalgar Square for a coffee and a Danish pastry. If anyone is ever in the area and wants just a coffee or a full meal, The Crypt is ideal, much preferable to places like Starbucks or Coffee somewhere or other. It is ancient, more than 200 years old, yet has a super modern lift and a really attractive shop where you can do brass rubbings.

This was followed by the cinema where we saw Greenberg with a very downbeat, unsmiling Ben Stiller. It was a family drama and I loved it, but Richard found it boring. No one was murdered or tortured, there were no cowboys in it, there were no plagues, floods, explosions, and the world didn't end. We then went to met our son David and his girlfriend for a meal. David is otherwise known as Joey Negro who deejays all over the world. He has had several records in the top ten of the music charts, but downloading has had a negative effect on that side of his business.

Back in Colchester, we drove from the station wondering if everybody in Colchester had been put to sleep during the afternoon. There was hardly anyone about and the roads were strangely devoid of traffic. It turned out to be the World Cup and England were playing. Poor, poor goalkeeper. That goal will haunt him for the rest of his life. Goodnight.

Another Lost Blog

This isn't going to be very long. Firstly, I have been told my blog is boring. I shouldn't go on about doing the washing and hanging it on the line and stuff like that. Secondly, and this is my own opinion, it does seem a bit arrogant of me to think that the minutieu of my life is of interest to other people. Thirdly, having a blog is irresponsible when you are so utterly useless with computers that you can't guarantee that the damn thing will leave the computer and go to where it's supposed to go. For instance, last night I wrote quite a long blog. We had been to London and I had things to say. But when I'd finished, the blog positively refused to leave the machine. I madly pressed things, but nothing happened. Actually, I had paused writing it halfway through and think the internet switched itself off and when I tried to connect it I cancelled the blog which then went into cyberspace to be read by English speaking aliens. I am now going to send this bit. If it goes, I shall write something else. Cheerio for now.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


For some reason unable to get through to proper page over weekend to send new blog, but discovered how to find it this morning. Yesterday, went to Ingatestone Library with three fellow writers to give a talk. Not many people there, but all very enthusiastic. Lost sun glasses, only had them a week. Today, like every day, I find I can't work unless I've been out for an hour a so, usually a short walk into town to have a coffee. My favourite is M & S where the coffee comes with a little jug of cream. Halfway down the road it begins to pour down so I get my umbrella from my bag, open it, but forget to close bag in which everything gets soaked. I have A Handbag Full of Rain which is a good title for a novel if one could think of a plot. Tata

Saturday, 5 June 2010


This morning we went to an art exhibition by Ian Hay, a Colchester artist whose output covers nearly 50 years. The exhibition is in a lovely old house used as a museum and art gallery. It has a restaurant and an attractive garden. It was another lovely day and we had coffee in the garden. We used to know the elderly man, John, who was born and grew up in the house in the nineteen twenties and thirties. He came from an extremely artistic family - his aunt married Lucien Pissaro, son of the famous Camille Pissaro, and an artist himself. John, who died some years ago, had a flat in the town and it was full of the most beautiful works of art; sculpture, paintings, sketches, and other valuable items. He kept some paintings hidden for fear it might become known he had them and they would be stolen. It was a strange feeling, having coffee in the garden where John and his brothers and sisters had played as children, though nowadays their cries would have been drowned out by the noise of passing traffic and the building going on behind.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Another Lovely Day

Went out to buy two plant pots. Discovered I have been putting things in pots when they should go in the soil. Or at least I think they should. Have got this lovely purple plant climbing up the drainpipe. Painted two benches, one blue, one lavender. As a writer, I really should be telling you about my novels, so I will. My most recently publishered paperback was called Nothing Lasts Forever and told the tale of four women who move into the same house and become good friends. It took place in eight months in 2006. My last hardback was Martha's Journey which is set during the First World War. Martha's son, Joe, who is only fourteen, signs up to fight during the First World War. It was a terrible scandal at the time and Martha sets out for Downing Street in an attempt to stop it happening. This novel will be published in paperback at Christmas. Au Revoir Liverpool I only finished a few months ago and was with my publisher for a while. It was returned last week with suggestions for some minor alterations which I am working on at the moment. This novel's heroine, Jessica, finds herself stranded in France during the Second World War. The book I am writing at the present time, which I have had to put to one side for the moment, is called After The War is Over. It begins in 1946 and my three heroines, Iris, Maggie and Nell have just been demobbed. They have left the Army camp where they have spent a number of years full of adventure and incident. Life outside the Army is deadly dull and they are wondering how they will cope. I have only written three chapters and am longing to continue with the story. I am now going downstairs to watch television. Goodnight.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Busy Thursday

Have washed everything in sight apart from curtains and feel really pleased with myself. While I'm not a keen fan of housework, it does give me a feeling of satisfaction to see washing blowing on the line - actually, there was no wind, so it hung there lankly, but still dried rapidly so I was able to put more and more stuff out. One of the biggest benefits of hot weather, though, is being able to leave the door of my garden office open while I write. The birds in the trees directly outside sing beautifully and various cats pop in for a visit. Looking forward to tomorrow which is forecast to be just as fine. Goodnight.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Sad Wednesday

Must have done something wrong on Monday as I wrote a blog, but there is no sign of it. What has happened to it, I wonder. Today, I can't bring myself to write something flippant or try to be funny. For some people in Cumbria, this day turned out in a way they would never have imagined in the wildest of their dreams. They went out to shop or to meet a friend or follow some entirely innocent pursuit, and were shot to death by a man who had lost his reason. Life is so unfair, so unpredictable. None of us can escape the unexpected. Let us hope the injured soon recover, but many people, even those unhurt, will find it hard to recover from the horror that incurred in their small town today. Goodnight.