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Showing posts from December, 2013

Swansea Market, Seasons Greetings

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Our Christmas plans, for various reasons, have been kept to a minimum meaning a last-minute trip to do some shopping. Swansea, some fifty miles away, is our nearest large shopping centre, but we especially like the wonderful indoor market there.
We bought some lovely meat from the Gower Butcher...


The fresh fish is superb from any of the fishmongers...  

Anyone for cockles or laver bread?

And two good loaves from Jan Evan's Bakery - properly made bread with bite, substance and flavour...

This year’s had its difficult moments, but as we drove home through stormy weather I had plenty of time to reflect on how fortunate I am to have good food to eat, clean water to drink and a safe bed to sleep in. Wherever you are, however you’ll be spending the festive season, I wish you the same.
And finally... Two writerly news items: The result of the Coastal Romance Christmas Blog Hop has just been announced.  Congratulations to the winner, Lisa Wohlgamuth. And, should you feel like treating you…

A Christmas Treat

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Here's a little something to help get you in the mood for Christmas.  My publishers, Choc Lit, are currently giving away twelve romantic stories for the festive season and today it's my turn with my beach hut inspired story, Present Perfect. Only another three stories to go, so get in quick!  Merry Christmas!

12 Christmas romances with discount codes for House of Dorchester Chocolates.
Simply email info@choc-lit.com with the subject heading XMAS TREAT! You can also add your Smartphone number and get a text each day telling you that your Xmas TREAT! has been sent - plus a link to read on line from your Smartphone. No ereader required.

In a Flash

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‘Yesterday,’ reads the email, ‘we came up with the idea of the Twelve Days of Choc Lit Christmas.’ Then follows an invitation to get involved by writing a 500 word ‘Chrismassy and romantic’ short story. ASAP.

This is what my dad would have called a ‘free’ job and, as a carpenter, he was never short of people offering him work without payment. Writers too, I’ve noticed, get a lot of free jobs which we tend to accept if there’s any chance at all of increasing our ‘discoverability’ (what a word). The fact is there are an awful lot of authors out there pushing an awful lot of books and a glance at my royalty statement, which also happens to come in this week, tells me I could do with increasing my discoverability quite a lot.

It’s fortunate then that the rewards of writing, for me, are to do with that alchemy of creating something out of nothing; locations that seem real to me, characters I live with during the writing process and who often remain with me afterwards. The sh…

Coastal Romance Christmas Blog Hop

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As a member of the Coastal Romance Facebook group, I’m taking part in our wonderful Christmas Blog Hop, organised by talented author, Annie Seaton. There are giveaways between now and Christmas Eve and a chance to win 26 great stories and a $100 Amazon gift voucher. But first this is what the coast means to me…

I’m far from being a natural sailor. I’ve sailed round half of Britain with my head in a bucket for the sake of a man who is never happier than when he’s surfing through molten glass waves with the wind filling the sails. I’m grateful for my creature comforts and that doesn’t mean a strip wash in a bucket or waiting for my teeth to stop chattering so I can pray for my freezing sleeping bag to warm up.

How strange then to discover that it’s only through being completely out of my element, sailing this beautiful and wild coast of West Wales, that I have felt most alive. The artifice is gone, the modern world recedes, the soft support systems stripped away; you come face-to-fac…

Paths, Tracks and a Hop

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Stepson Two and I are spending the day in Oxford whilst Tom attends a study day at the Faculty of Music. We wander into the Bodleian Library where there’s a small but rather lovely exhibition celebrating 800 years of Oxford’s contribution to the art and science of medicine. I’m particularly moved by the original manuscripts there; Thomas Sydenham’s careful and caring observations of his patients (written in John Locke’s hand), Dorothy Hodgkin’s letter to her husband as she worked to unlock the structure of penicillin, and a host of neat notebooks which convey a vivid sense of immediacy despite the faded ink and yellowing paper. 

At the Ashmolean museum, I take myself to see ‘Flesh and Bone’ a stunning exhibition which bring together works by Henry Moore and - a personal favourite - Francis Bacon. I enjoy the Bacon paintings very much but leave feeling faintly covetous and wishing I could take Pope Innocent X 1965 home with me.
There’s also plenty of time for Stepson Two and I to drin…