Tuesday, 13 November 2018


This music by Mark Blatchly is the very moving piece which St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir used to sing in the Royal Albert Hall on Remembrance Day. My son is the boy on the right in the first row of four, tho it’s hard to recognise him at all, never mind nearly forty years on. I love this piece, and it’s my rather late tribute to the very special day that was last Sunday.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Gone visiting...

Rosemary Gemmell has very kindly hosted me on her blog this Week. I’m sure you’ve all heard quite enough about me already on my blog, but I’m very grateful to Rosemary for inviting me 🙂

Thank you, Rosemary!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

”What was the name?”

....said the assistant when I collected my prescription this morning.

This logically would expect me to say:
“Who’s name?”
To which she might say, “your name”. (Ah. That’s better.) And I could go on to tell her:
“Well, the name was Browne with an e. Then it was Garrood. Does that help?”
It wouldn’t. Help, I mean.
And then there was the second question:
“What was the address?”
Logical answer:
“Well, the address was Bleak House, Coppenhall, Stafford.”
And that wouldn’t help, either.

Because my legal name isn’t Garrood any more, and neither do I live in Staffordshire. So why don’t they ask me what my name and address ARE?

That’s all. As the meerkat says: simples.

(I know this is common usage nowadays, but I just want to know why. That’s all.)

Friday, 26 October 2018

Waste some time. You’re worth it.

This is quite fun, if you want to waste a few seconds...

Monday, 22 October 2018

Money or prizes?

A writer colleague of mine was asked by a prospective agent whether he wanted to write to earn lots of money or win prizes. Apparently, the two tend to be mutually exclusive (to a degree, anyway), and I can understand that. Prize winning novels don’t seem to sell in huge numbers, while best sellers tend not to win prizes (although there are, of course, exceptions. The wonderful Eleanor Olliphant is an example). I’ve read some dire Booker prize winners, and some magnificent novels that would never win prizes.

To any writers reading this: which would you prefer (prizes or riches)? As for me, I’ve long since given up thoughts of either (though what I do earn is very welcome). What I most want is for people to read my books and enjoy them. And that’s the truth 😊

Thursday, 18 October 2018

“Laugh out loud funny”...

...is the one description that really puts me off a book. It’s the literary equivalent of canned laughter, and is guaranteed to make me fail to find any amusement in a book. Humour is totally subjective. You either find a book, or a joke, funny, or you don’t, but you shouldn’t have to be told in advance. You need to find out for yourself. A funny passage in a book (for me) comes as a kind of delightful surprise, and being told that it’s going to be funny spoils that surprise. As for LOL at the end of messages, don’t get me started....

We Don’t all find the same things funny,  just as we don’t  all love the same pieces of music or even the same sunset. A few years ago, I read the funniest book I think I’ve ever read, and was literally howling with laughter most of the way through. I’ve no idea why that particular  books has stayed with me, but it hit a big funny bone, and I remember it with great pleasure (and gratitude towards the author). But I won’t tell you the title, because if you were to read it in the future, I would already have spoilt it for you.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

How to ruin a mobile phone

1. Drop it down the loo.
2. Give it a bath (well, you have to, don’t you?).
3. Dry it, then put it in your bed.
4. Turn the electric blanket on high (it will get astonishingly hot. You’d be surprised).
5. Google the problem (if you want the phone to recover, miss out 1-4 and do this immediately).
6. Ignore all advice to steep it in dry rice, as this might just rescue the situation.

Voila! Job done. Next step: down to the phone shop. Do not on any account tell them the above, or your phone cred will be in ruins.

(PS I hate my new phone, but am stuck with it 😫.)