Monday, 3 July 2017


Well, I've already had a little break from the blog, but I'm going to have a week or so more to decide what I really want to do with my life.

I can't live in this house anymore, however beautiful I've made it, however fruitful and lush the garden has become. The Cotswolds are becoming claustophobic, every time I look round another field is being turned into houses. Little houses crammed on top of each other without a breathing space.  Those who aren't moving are extending so the village is a constant thrumm of building machinery.

I remember the scree scree scree of the house martins as they sail across the summer sky. Now drowned out by diggers and pile drivers and the swearing of workmen wearing just shorts and a yellow armless jacket over massive beer bellies and tattooed legs.

If I lived in the middle of London for instance, jack hammers on the road, buses,heavy traffic and general noise would be something I had signed up for.  Been there done that - moved for a quiet life.  Not happening. 

Today I'm particularly frustrated as I can't get out of my road. Blocked by builders vans and cars. Ask them you say?

Tried, apparently they're all deaf and I'm invisible.

Anyway time to have a think - if I can with the constant thumping in the road and the dog barking next door.   I need to get out.  Need to feel a breeze that doesn't contain brick dust and cement. 

See you in a couple of weeks.

Keep well and safe,


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Ups and Downs

My books are selling well - so that's an UP.
The Police will issue parking tickets to the neighbours - so that's an UP.
We have a break booked in Cornwall - so that's an UP.

I don't get much sleep because of the neighbours - thats a Down
I am worried about whether we will be able to sell our house - that's a Down
I'm never completely out of pain with my sciatica - that's a Down.

It's all relative really.

I have food in the fridge. A roof over my head. A husband who loves and supports me in everything I do. A brain in my head and good things to get involved in. Two cats to stroke and love.

But I'm tired. I look at myself today I feel exhausted and I have black rings round my eyes like a Panda. 

I just keep going because I have to tell myself things are really not that bad.

Have a good weekend everyone - Hope you have more Ups than Downs.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Laugh it off....

I wish I could.  Today I am hemmed in unable to get out because our neighbours across the road have 8 yes 8 cars parked in the road.  The young woman next door to them had their cars parked on her drive and she couldn't get out to work. She asked them to move and had to wait a good ten minutes for one of the men to come and move it. She kept looking at her watch as she was getting late for work.
Then one of the men asked her to go and park somewhere else - hasn't she got a sister or a relative she can park on their drive?

My sister is very ill.  What if I need to get out quickly? What if I have one of my anaphalaxsis?  I am stuffed because the man over the road is an inconsiderate arsehole who only cares about what HE wants.

I wish I could talk to my husband, but I can't phone him at work. He calls at lunchtime. 

Hubby calms me down. Stops me going across the road with a baseball bat and a can of petrol and matches.  OK that's a bit over the top. I spend my life controlling my temper. Half Shoreditch and half Irish with red hair equals a very short fuse.

Another rubbish thing - some moron calling himself Grampy gave me a crap review for 1955.  He said it was full of typos. IT WAS NOT, Amazon checked it, my proof reader checked it, I'm pretty sure they would have noticed.  I checked every word, researched everything I mentioned. He said it wasn't his 1955.  Stupid sod. It was MINE not his.
GRRRRR he didn't even live in London.

JK Rowling is great with critics, when one person gave her a terrible review she just smiled and said "I've still got your money!"  She has one line put downs on Twitter that are brilliant.
She just laughs it off.

Wish I could. 

I'm sitting with a red face and my heart pounding wanting to be anywhere but here.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

British General Election 2017

I've never really thought of myself as a political activist, but I guess I have been all my life.
In my time at the BBC I was the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU) representative at both the Open University and White City. I negotiated deals in conjunction with my Union colleagues to give better redundancy deals during the horrific "Producer Choice" years. Many people came up to me afterwards and thanked me for my work for them. 

I have been a Woman's Liberation supporter from the time I went to Hornsey College of Art and discovered that there actually were many wonderful women artists who were totally ignored. Before that I just thought that all the great masters were men! 
Judith and Holofernes (1612-21) by Artemisia Gentileschi.
Artemisia Gentileschi.   Raped as a teenager, she turned her art into a weapon.

I have tried all my life to make the world a better place, not ljust for me, but for everyone. I have fought bullies at school and in the workplace, I have fronted up to Bosses over sexual harrassment and even left jobs because of it.

I wore Solidarnosc badges, Grades are for Turkeys not BBC Secretaries, and badges to support our Nurses.
Now I am trying to influence people not to vote for an uncaring Government in an uncaring world. 

I also want young women to vote, because in 1918 after years of suffering and deaths of young women, women in this country got to vote. It was a step forward from being a man's possession into being a modern independent woman.
Image result 
I just hope that by tomorrow, the fake Mrs Thatcher and her men in black will be a thing of the past and we will get people who care about what happens to us.

It's often said about BREXIT, "It's the will of the British people."
It wasn't. It was 48% of people who wanted to stay and 7% who abstained and 51% for, it was basically half and half.

A lot of people who voted for it were co-erced into it by relatives/friends/partners etc.  Without thinking or knowing what it would actually mean for us as a country.

We have always been a mongrel nation, so for me immigration doesn't even factor. Anyway what about all the Brits living abroad?

A great deal of people do not think for themselves at all.  A great deal of people refuse to vote saying it's nothing to do with them. Then moan about the Government in place.

Blimey this has been a rant and a half on a miserable wet Summer's day - flaming June indeed. Followed by flaming July and a bloody awful August.

Have a good day everyone.


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Back Again!

I've managed to get my worn out old laptop going again by sticking a pen in the hole where the on button used to be and working it round like a skeleton key. Seems to work. I've been looking for a new computer but haven't seen one that has all the stuff this one has at the right price. Oh well, at least I'm back again!

What have I been doing?  Well at the Bank Holiday we went to Charlton Park with the Sealed Knot, it was torrential rain, about a thousand Knotters turned up and the only audience seemed to consist of Knottter's families and friends and around 200 members of the public.

So we did what we do best, carousing.  The beer tent had a metal band (no - not robots!) and the medievals provided well priced beer for our sustinance. Hubby made a historical joke to one of them in Stanleys Regiment - said he was surprised they weren't waiting on the sidelines for something to happen!  (You need to know War of the Roses history to find that funny) but the chappie laughed.

A friend said it was like the beer tents of old, certainly was, couldn't hear the band for the chatter, couldn't hear the chatter for the band. All good. Friends old and new chatted, put the world to rights, mainly over caravan maintenance and WW2 aircraft. Ladies conversations turned to children, grandchildren, Balls at Bath and old memories, all very Jane Austen.

Through the torrents of sweeping rain came the cheerful tune of an ice cream van playing "Popeye the Sailor Man" - this guy was obviously expecting a different kind of Bank Holiday Monday. 

Yesterday back at Waddesdon Manor, one of only nine House Hosts who turned up! Most of the rooms were roped off and some closed completely. The house was full of children on half term holidays with their parents,grandparents,aunties and uncles. It was hot and sunny outside, but humid and clammy inside the Manor, so they put the heating on to take the moisture out of the air. It was an exhausting "please don't touch" kind of day. Fragile antiques and poking fingers don't really go together.

Got home, aching and exhausted, eating my tea I felt a weirdness in my mouth and went to see what it was. A bright white bicusped of wisdom tooth had broken through my gum!  Why now? I never needed them before!! (Both of my wisdom teeth on the lower jaw have never come through before - sometimes they had threatened to in my twenties - but then changed their minds!).

So I went to bed exhausted and I have to say, despite new wisdom tooth, none the wiser.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Same old same old.....

I am sitting typing by the window to my garden which is shut, because two doors up Tony who bought the bungalow on the end of this row is having more work done. It always seems to be drilling into concrete somehow. The woman next door is sandblasting her paving stones and mowing what little grass she has left, across the road foundations are being put in for an extension to the bungalow opposite. For a sleepy little village in the Cotswolds there is always lots of noise, someone is always building something!

Last week though, in Cornwall, was quiet. I could hear birds singing, horses neighing, and the rustle of trees.
Just around the corner from our campsite was St Michaels Mount, resplendant under blue skies sitting in pale soft sands. The gulls reeled overhead and boats sailed past quietly.
We visited the art gallery in Sennen Cove and walked along the sandy beach. Again just the rush of the sea turning pebbles over onto the beach and breakers hitting the rocks.

It seems the seaside is quieter than a tiny village in Oxfordshire which is desperately trying to "come up."  We only planned to stay here a couple of years, do the place up and leave, but illness, Brexit, and other unexpected events forced us to stay.

I don't hate it.  Here's my garden in early spring:-
 I just want to be able to sit in my garden without earplugs - that would be nice - but even nicer would be to live in Cornwall again. I didn't realise how much I missed it, knew it, loved it, and needed to be back on really familiar ground again.
I started life in London, then moved to Hertfordshire, then Buckinghamshire, then Northamptonshire, and now Oxfordshire. But Cornwall is home to me, there's no logic to it I know, but I have a pull inside me when I'm away from it that no other place has given me.
If we could sell up here I'd go back tomorrow. It's a real place, for example Cornishmen call a dwarf a dwarf - they even have dwarf Olympics!  And the people who take part are proud to do it!  The Cornish don't change their past or their ways to suit the times, they are and always will be awkward sods, and I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017


I'm supposed to be on holiday - but I never seem able to stop. I found out yesterday that my new book 1955 see below:
 Was listed as 113 in the Amazon Storytellers competition - there is over a thousand entries - but I need to be in the top 100 to be read by the judges.  So I am giving it away FREE for  five days starting Saturday. What takes it up the ratings are reviews.  Please download and review - be truthful - as it helps me become a better writer. But obviously not too harsh as I won't be considered!  Write to me on my authors page if you want!

What do I win?  An Amazon promotion worldwide.  Fingers crossed.

This year I have written three books, entered new stories into prestigious competitions and brought out the Hilary Long Stories in paperback which is in the proof reading stage at the moment.  Here it is:
 Here's the back with some reviews:
Today I'm supposed to be on holiday, but I can't stop working. I've forgotten how to have a holiday. It doesn't help that I hurt, I have a flare up of rheumatoid arthritus due to the trendy new virus that laid low the Queen and Elton John. I'm on my super strong painkillers today
so at least I'm upright!

I have a big world to get out into and I have to get well to do it. I have to put the lap top down.  STEP AWAY FROM THE LAPTOP !!