Monday 30 June 2014


I may be awash with decorators and distracted by feline maternal duties (our young cat has just produced twins) but that has not prevented me from channelling my literary energies. Why, only on Saturday I revelled in the second BeaconLit, a literary extravaganza right here in The Chilterns. Informative talks mingled with networking opportunities; I even came home with a couple of free books from the beautiful crime novelist Jane Isaac. 

Tomorrow I will be partaking afternoon refreshments with my colleague, Nick Halliday. A children’s author extraordinaire, he is also the design genius behind my website. No doubt our meeting will include a guffaw or two for we each spark such hilarity I’m amazed we haven’t yet created a sitcom. 

One of the benefits of being a freelance writer is the range of people whom I interview. Jenny Muncaster is my latest subject for Hampshire Life and she is perfect blend of talent and intellect. I have also spoken to aerobatic expert, Simon Abbott, for Buckinghamshire Life in my Take to the Skies feature. Meanwhile, two of my features in Hertfordshire Life - Berkhamsted Brilliance and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery – provided me with the opportunity to converse with a range of humankind, from illustrators to writers and ballerinas to monks.

The recent Berkhamsted Writing Competition Prize Giving was a celebration of some fine short story writing. Jonathan Stroud and Catherine Alliott were charming judges and the winning entries were brought to life via the thespian skills of Julie Mayhew in the welcome surroundings of Waterstones.

By the way, regardless of any preconceptions you may have about the WI, let me assure you they are a vibrant example of energy and enthusiasm. The local branch recently invited me to a talk by Frances Benton, a collector of pearls and one of the most exuberant and natural speakers I have ever heard. The group is thriving and incredibly active. If only I had the time, I might well join them.

Talking of invitations, this evening I am off to the local Rotary Club’s President’s Party in a local restaurant. So if you’ll excuse me  . . .

Thursday 5 June 2014

Ooh, has it really been two months?

Ooh, has it really been two months since I last blogged? Heavens, how time flies when deadlines demand attention.

Now, before you complain about my ineptitude at keeping in touch on a regular basis, let me share my workload since we last spoke. There have been two features for Buckinghamshire Life: By the Waterside and John Newton / Olney. Similarly Hampshire Life have published two interviews – one with the charmingly artistic Nate Kitch as well as the colourful Kev Munday. In The Four Shires I was pleased to feature PhotographMyDog / Jane Ambler while The Lady carried my Art Belongs to the People! review. My Jonathan Aitken interview was published in Prayer for Today. Plus, Hertfordshire Life ran my interview with Dr Ros Taylor MBE. Of course, Lady Margaret Gosworthy-Pringle continues to air her views each month for Hampshire Life.

See, I told you I was busy. I’ve also read through hundreds of short story entries for the Berkhamsted Writing Competition, the prize giving being on Thursday, 12 June.

Meanwhile my Neighbourhood News columns for the Bucks Herald now cover Wendover, Ellesborough and Halton.

But I haven’t been shackled to my laptop the whole time. I spent a most charming evening at the official residence of the Bishop of Buckingham supporting Lindengate, a new charity set up in Wendover, and managed to share a bench with the delightful David Lidington MP whilst we both scoffed scrumptious hog roast baps. And only this Monday I attended a reception day in Chiltern Forest Golf Club presented by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. 

I would, of course, love to further recount my commitments, but I am due at a charity ‘do’ shortly before returning to embark on yet more deadlines . . .