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

Holiday

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 !!
 
 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Pigeons

I have time for these poor creatures, many of my friends hate them in their gardens but I don't, I feed them alongside the other birds.

Meet Julius a war decorated hero.
Image result for world war 2 pigeons This is his kit, he flew taking messages with all this stuff to save HUMAN lives.


White pigeons, decorative, kept in dovecotes in Manor Houses, for food, eggs and message carrying, in the 15th, 16th, 17th century. Pigeons kept the poor from starvation.

These poor inoffensive birds bring wonderful restful cooing sounds to my garden, they used to bring tourists to Trafalagar Square in London, but pigeons are no longer there. They have been destroyed.

In the 1970s when I lived in London there was a running joke - Keep London Clean - Eat a Pigeon!

In the North of England Racing and Homing pigeons provide big business and lots of pleasure for people.

Image result for Racing pigeons


So please don't decry the humble pigeon, they have a reason to be here, and without them
some of us wouldn't be.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

New Car

Yesterday I got a new car!   

Well new to me anyway, and many years younger than Ruby, my old Kia Sportage.  It's a silver Mitsubushi Outlander with black leather seats and it has blue tooth on board phone and a panic alarm, it talks in a cultured English voice and is automatic. It has a 200 page instruction book on all the other stuff that it does as well.

I'm a bit scared of it!

Also, yesterday my new book 1955 went up on the electronic shelves of Amazon Kindle,
and my dear long-suffering husband designed this 50s detective noir cover for me. 

I've been entered for the Amazon Storyteller competition, and I'm a bit scared of that as well.

I don't know why having such good things happen gives me the heebie jeebies - it's like I can't trust it and it will all be taken away as it was a mistake!  

I've been trying to feel the fear and do it anyway, and got stuck outside the butchers as the car sat refusing to work for me!  I had to call the garage and they said I'd not followed all the correct procedures and so it locked me out!

My own car locked me out!

I have to go to the supermarket today - it's all a bit Mother Hubbard in my kitchen - so off I go.  I may be some time!

Read the first few pages of my new book free, or buy it it's on special offer for 99p. Please review it, it gives me a better chance in the competition.

Thank you everyone.

 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Serendipity

It's strange  how things happen really. How Serendipity that little muse pokes her head into your life now and then.

In a blizzard of day to day chores of cooking, car insurance and book research she popped in yesterday to say hello in the strangest way possible. My dear hubby is doing my book cover design for 1955 and came across some photos taken by a photographer who wanted to document London in 1955, he sent them to me, and this one surprised me.
Trafalgar Square, London, 5 November 1955 Because I am the little girl standing with my mum in the middle of the pigeons, you can just see my coat, sticking out from behind my mum's cream coat. To the left my Dad and Auntie Flossie and Uncle Ted are buying birdseed from the man in the white coat.

I remember that day very well, we walked back home and my feet really hurt but I wanted to be a 'big girl' and not get carried. Carol my sister was about 14 months old and was at home with 'Nanny Cooper' our grandmother. I was four I think. One of the things I remember about that day was a woman who had a pigeon fly into her face because it had been scared. Her face was black with soot and she was shrieking and wiping her face with a hankie.

Serendipity has struck twice in my life. The first time was with my first husband, when we were dating I showed him picture of me as a little girl on holiday on the Isle of Wight. Behind me and my sandcastle was another family with a little boy. My first husband's family, and he was the little boy!

Serendipity means happy accident.  I think it's also a gift, it reminds us how we are all connected whether we think we are or not.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Easter Hols...

We spent the whole of the four days working on the house, we decorated the whole place after giving it a good Spring clean. Each night we went to bed exhausted! We didn't watch tv much or use our phones or computers. We scrubbed and washed down, painted, scraped, re-organised and moved things around and the changed colours in the house. Washed the windows, put in plumbing, took delivery of our all singing and dancing eco bubble washing machine.  It really does sing!  some charming little tinkly songs to let us know what it's up to - brilliant. We washed all the curtains, rugs, cushion covers,caravan bedding & stored blankets, I'm surprised it didn't moan at us!  But it sung away nicely in the newly refurbished utility room.

We worked from dawn till dusk, we only had four days and we needed to get it finished. 

I am sitting in my lovely fresh relaxing pale cream and pale blue lounge, the kitchen paintwork is now terracotta to match the marble tiles behind the range cooker, (it was a trendy warehouse grey before), really brightens up the room. Looks homey now.

The bedroom is white,blue and teal, - all seasidey - the pictures are now of Cornwall, so I now have my little bit of Cornwall in my Cotswold home.

It's a bit of a fresh start.   Always good at Easter.

Usually Easters are spent at Basing House with the Sealed Knot, then followed by a week in Lyme Regis.  But we have been putting off working on the house, going out Knotting and visiting grand houses, picnics and walks, visiting friends.  Anything but getting down to work on the house. I don't know why we put it off, it was hard work ( I can't move today I'm so tired), but it makes me smile when I go into any of the rooms and think we did that!

I have just heard the post and my first paperback "cosy crime" novel The Hilary Long Compilation has dropped on the mat. I am in print AGAIN!  Brilliant!  Just have to get up and get it - oh that hurts - I have aches in places where I didn't know I had places!

 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Well, what do you know?

About me that is. 

Sketchy, I suppose unless you know me personally. Even then I don't give much away. I've only recently learned to boast and sell myself!  

My mother always told me,1) don't tell anyone about yourself, 2) don't trust anyone, 3) be polite and open doors for people,4) be a good kind person, 5) don't go with strangers. 6) do not have sex until you are married. 7) Dress smartly, look respectable.

1) I blog, sorry Mum, wherever you are now.
(she died at the age of 46 from anorexia).

I tell people what I do, can do, have done, will do.  
With regard to my writing - I have written since I was fourteen, my first short story was published in the teen mag Jackie. In my twenties I took a Writing for Pleasure and Profit course. I wrote articles/short stories for Woman, BBC's Ariel Magazine, and poems and recipes for inclusion in various mags and papers. I attended the BBC's Script to Screen Writing Course, and the BBC Creative Writing Course. After that I was published on-line for the first time on the BBC's brand new BBC Website contributing an article on their "Sense of Place" page.  I have always written, diaries, day books, to do lists. Currently, I have just finished writing '1955' a detective novel set in Scotland Yard. Out on Amazon soon.This is in addition to my other nine books already on my author page. My Hilary Long Compilation of Mysteries will be out in paperback after being proof read - so not long now.

In the 1980s I won a BAFTA for my camerawork at the BBC. I am still a pretty good photographer. 

I can make authentic looking 17th Century clothes, I can make most sorts of clothes, I'm working on a Jane Austen dress at the moment.

I'm a great cook, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st Century - as long as it's not fish - I'm very allergic - I can do most things - and later this year hope to have a 17th Century Cookbook out.

I also paint and draw, having had a painting given a "second pass" at the BP Portrait awards in 2015, which made me very proud.

2) Don't trust anyone.  I really should have listened to my Mum over this one. An actress friend I had known for years suddenly turned into a vicious stalker. The police got involved because she spread rumours about me that could have lost me my job, and my husband his job. She caused a rift between me and my son by telling him I only wanted to go to his wedding to stop it. That rift still exists. She followed me into my hobby The Sealed Knot and 
destroyed my reputation there. I still don't know what she said about me, but friends I had known for years crossed the road to avoid me.  It has taken me five years to recover. The woman police officer called it "mind rape." That's certainly what it felt like. I still don't know why anyone believed her rubbish.

3)Yes, I do Mum. I am polite when required, and never let a swing door shut on anyone.

4) Be a good kind person.  Anyone who is a friend knows I will help where I can. Hospital visits, in the past lending money when I had it, (stopped that now as no-one has ever paid me back!) Having get togethers and parties in lovely places to have fun with my friends, raising money for charity, I've raised thousands over the years. Volunteering my time to answer phones for Children in Need, and baking cakes to sell for Movember (a man's prostate charity). Supporting the Salvation Army and the Blue Cross and the Cat's Protection League. I can and do help, and try to be a good kind person.

5) Don't go with strangers.  This has saved my life on more than one occasion!  I was walking home from work when a man pulled up in an expensive car and shouted at me
"Get in the car!"  I kept walking, he followed me in the car, "Didn't you hear what I said?
"Get in the car."  Me: Plenty of swearing at him, then walking towards a beat copper coming towards me - phew that was lucky!  The man sped off.

6)Do not have sex until you are married. Mum was a Catholic, sex was a sin to her. Even sex after marriage, I think!  So I was inexperienced, and had to buy the best seller 1970s book The Joy of Sex. I was worried that my new husband didn't have a bushy beard like the illustrations!  Still I sorted it out - as you do.

7)Dress smartly, look respectable. I can do this sometimes, but I prefer to have a big choice.
When I was fourteen to sixteen, I was a Mod and a Rocker, depending who I was going out with at the time. Then I became a hippy, I loved the flowing dresses and the flared jeans with flowers painted on them, the long hair. Loved it all. When I was a camerawoman, lived in jeans and bowling shirts in the summer and jeans and jumpers in the winter, crawling over floors and hiking up pups,redheads and blondes (lights) on the rigging didn't exactly require smart clothes. Now I wear what I like, be it; Goth, Hippy, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th,20/21st century.

If you read all that you'll know me a bit better now. I keep busy. I'm not a stand still type of person - so now I'm off for Easter.  Have a lovely Holiday everyone. Speak later.xx