Friday, 30 November 2012

My Once-a-Year Day

After what feels like endless rain, the day was dry, crisp and cold...
The view across Cardigan Island

With a flat, calm sea...

An essential ingredient for the evening meal was gathered...

Strange to think that what once lived in a house like this...

... can be transformed into something like this...

Although this was couriered to our doorstep from The Fish Society as a wonderful birthday surprise arranged by Tom. Sadly, it's difficult to buy locally-caught seafood as most of it is shipped abroad.  Eating out can be a bit of a trek too, as we live in such a far-flung place.

I was thrilled to bits with my treat...

As you can see from what was left...

It's probably just as well birthdays only come round once a year!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Where Did My Year Go?

Hmm, I think I saw tumble-weed rolling past this blog. I just don't know where the time's gone this year. More soon, I hope, but for today I'm over at Choc Lit's Author's Corner talking about birthdays and horoscopes.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Looks, Books and a Zig-Zag

Since I handed ‘The Next Big Thing’ baton to lovely Choc Lit author Sarah Tranter whose novel, No Such Thing as Immortality, will be available very soon (look out for the Kindle edition at the end of this week!), I suppose it’s only fair that she’s handed one to me!  

Thank you, Sara, for the zig-zag challenge which, thank goodness, wasn’t too challenging.  I was asked to find the word ‘look’ in my current novel or a work in progress then post the surrounding paragraph.

To ring the changes from my current novel Move Over Darling, I’ve gone to the work in progress. Or rather the work I’m battling with as usual.  This is the first ‘look’ I found and it’s in the second chapter.  Some of you may recognise the location…

“'My pleasure,' she exhaled, closing her eyes, ‘I look forwards to meeting you at the end of the week then.' 
In the two years since Fiona and her husband, Paul, had opened Walton House, Little Spitmarsh had seen its financial tide beginning to turn thanks to the opening of Samphire, an upmarket restaurant which was still managing to attract food gourmets willing to make the long pilgrimage to the bleak east coast.  The restaurant and an annual film festival had almost reinvigorated parts of the once seedy town to the point of gentrification, encouraging a smattering of galleries, cool vintage shops and a few of the hardier pilgrims to snap up some of the most attractive old buildings along the seafront as second homes.  Foodie, film buff or Up-from-Londoner?   She tried to guess which of the new category of visitor the man at the other end of the phone would turn out to be.
He laughed gently.  ‘Well, I sincerely hope I don't disappoint you,' he murmured in a voice that hinted at emerald fields shimmering under the kiss of soft Kerry rain.”

Okay, I’m just trying to pass the zig-zag challenge on, but I think my victim fellow writer is just changing into her Lycra shorts so we’ll have to wait until she returns before I name her!

Oh wait, here she comes now!  Looking good, Linda Mitchelmore!

Sunday, 11 November 2012


This war memorial at Aberbanc is one we pass regularly.  Standing alone and in the midst of such beauty, it never fails to remind me of the sacrifice made by just one small village in west Wales.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sea and Star

Sunday 4 November 
Lovely Lily, aka the new Mrs J is staying with us for the weekend while Mr J is away. We have a fine old time replaying her wedding day and looking at photos, but a bitter wind and heavy downpours put us off going for a walk to the beach.

‘Never mind,’ says Tom, ‘we’ll drive up to the tea hut at Aberaeron instead.’ A sense that the man in the tea hut is not, perhaps, as delighted to have any customers at all on such a miserable day as we would hope is offset by the fact that his tea is served in decent mugs. The sea is silvery green with impressive rolling waves and we park ourselves on a bench in a painted concrete shelter to watch it.

‘Tea time, is it then?’ says a man sitting on the adjoining bench to offer a biscuit to his scruffy little scrap of a dog. The little dog crunches delicately. ‘Sweet,’ Lily and I say to each other and, ‘oh look, it’s coming say hello!’ whereupon the little dog lifts its leg and does an almighty wee in front of us instead. I’m not sure what kind of hello that is, but we decided not to wait for ‘goodbye’ and head back to the car.

Tuesday 6 November
‘Third time lucky?’ says the courier who’s been following my efforts to buy a dress that goes over my rib cage without flapping round my hips. But no, having found a brand that seems to fit me, I’ve spotted a bargain in the clearance sale. Even better, it fits! Happy days!

My good mood gets even better when we nip out to the nearest shop to buy the celebrity magazine, Star. I’ve been told there’s a chance Move Over Darling’s going to be reviewed in it – if I haven’t been bumped out by books by Proper Slebs such as Cheryl Cole, Rod Stewart or any of the other biographies doing the rounds for Christmas. I’m over the moon to see I’ve made it! My second novel reviewed in a national magazine – amazing! 

Then, just when I think it doesn’t get any better, my neighbour arrives with a parcel that she’s taken in while we’ve been out. It’s the painting that I was incredibly fortunate to win in a hotly contested prize draw! ‘Watching Joe’ by talented artist, (and incredibly funny blogger, damn her, inventor of Writing Pants) Lane Mathias, is a beautiful, happy painting in acrylic and collage on canvas,which is now rubbing shoulders with Tom’s work in my study where it will always remind me of a very special day. Thank you, Lane. 

Painting is ‘Watching Joe’ by Lane Mathias

Friday, 2 November 2012

Choc Lit Author's Corner

I'm over at Choc Lit's Author's Corner today talking about the story behind that article in Best magazine.  How much would you dare to bare?  Do come and tell me.