Garden waking up

Sunshine has made a huge difference in the garden.
It makes it hard to get on with revising my next book, but is lovely for guests to enjoy now that the B&B is open again.
Rosa Lutea Banksia is at it’s best, an Akiba is twining through it with a contrasting deep red/purple flower.

And my beautiful Tree Peony is bursting into bloom.IMG_2604

Praise for the NHS


In the last few years I have spent more time in hospitals visiting loved ones than I had ever expected.

The hospitals ranged from The Children’s Hospital in Bristol, The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, The Bristol Royal Infirmary, Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Franklyn Hospital in Exeter, with short forays to the community hospitals in Wellington and Williton.

In that time I have come to appreciate the stalwart efforts of the staff from the lowly cleaners to the amazingly skilled surgeons. The care and compassion of the ambulance teams, the nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians and the dozens of other support staff has been present in every ward and department I encountered during my visits. I know that many of these people are stretched to their limits, and don’t get the thanks and praise they deserve.

While the staff were all doing their best, it was easy to see some of the things that make their life more difficult. The shortage of full time staff on the wards, endless waiting for deliveries from pharmacy, the knock on effect of beds not being available, the lack of simple pieces of equipment can make a busy shift into a nightmare one.

I can only hope that some of these issues can be addressed to help ease the burden on those who care for our loved ones so well.

I’m hoping that all my hospital visits in the future will be confined to out-patients appointments.


Celebrating. And a one day Free book give away.

On Monday 7th November, Peter will have his last round of Chemo. Still a long way to go to the end, but one more stage in his treatment is complete.

I am having a one day Kindle promotion of my most recent book.  Grab your Free copy now.

No need to own a kindle, download the free Kindle app for your computer, phone, or tablet. Prefer paperbacks, check out my book pages for details of this book and all my others. Signed copies are available, all you have to do is email me and I will get one to you..


The Mallaig Link.


New Year 2016

New Year 2016

It is very strange how life takes one by surprise. I had written, Breathless, a book about a family dealing with a long-term illness, and the stresses and strains that it put on the extended family. When wrote that book, I had happily never been in a similar situation so had to rely on imagination and talking to people who had, to try to get the right balance for the book.
On Christmas Eve last year, our family was thrown into turmoil with the diagnosis of Leukaemia for our five-year old grandson. Happily he is so far responding well to treatment. The treatment is a three year long round of medications, hospital visits, blood tests and all the stress that goes with it. For the family knowing he has to go through the same cycles of meds again and again for the next two years is tough.
As for the Patient, he has been a star. He was off school for 6 months, but desperate to get back to be with his friends. Once back, he threw himself into school life with such enthusiasm his teachers are in awe of his bravery.
His little sister is not sure what all the fuss is about. He is just normal as far as she is concerned. Initially she was a bit jealous of all the attention he was getting, but having a vaccination in her arm, convinced her he could keep that sort thing to himself.
His parents are exhausted, but trying to keep life as normal as possible for him and his sister. The stress is never far away. My part is small in comparison, plying them with tea and stepping in to fetch or carry one or other of the children as required.
With all that going on, as well as the usual Bed and Breakfast business, lots of building repairs being carried out, and keeping an eye on older members of the family, all hopes of getting a book out in 2015 vanished. But I am starting the year with fresh enthusiasm, and hopes for a book to be published within the next few months. So watch this space.