Isn’t Gardening Brilliant?

2019-04-30 17.21.42.jpgGardening is brilliant. It provides exercise in the fresh air and sunshine and leaves you with a glow of satisfaction of a job well done. That is until you turn on the hose you haven’t used since last year. For some reason a split has appeared in the nozzle and cold water sprayed all over me rather than the garden. I now look as if I’ve wet myself and I do have to say that a wet t-shirt on someone a tad over, shall we say, 21 really isn’t the sort of picture I need to show anyone.

To add insult to injury the cold wet leg of my trousers upset the arthritis in my knee and it gave way leaving me stuck for a moment or two.

I did manage to plant out the magic beans as well as some peas and cauliflowers. I also cleared the path down the side of the labyrinth so it looks much tidier and I feel happier.


I had planned to use the time to think about a story I’m working on. (Translation of ‘working’ – thinking about.) Instead I became discouraged by the amount of work there is to do in the garden. So, I gave up and came inside to write. It may not be any easier but it’s certainly a lot drier.


Try one of these for size.



We are encouraged to write reviews about everything today. As a writer I understand the importance of reviews. They are the life-blood of our existence pointing people to new and exciting adventures hidden in the pages of our books. They massage our egos with glowing comments – or not, as the case may be. They are essential to promoting our work.

But what about butter dishes? Should we be expected to write a review about a common-or-garden butter dish? 2019-04-22 15.11.09

1. Does it come up to expectations? What do you expect from a butter dish? I expect that it will sit in my fridge/kitchen counter and not do anything that would be to the detriment of my butter. Is it likely to? Will it expel the butter all over the floor? Not without help and I have no intention of helping it.

2. Is it pleasing to the eye? I would not have bought it if I didn’t like the look of it. Anyway, it matches the toaster.

3. Would I recommend it to my friends? If they were asking my opinion on butter dishes, I suppose I might. It’s not really a topic that comes up when I’m socialising, truth be told. We chat about literature, politics, aches and pains, the weather but I can’t remember the last time my friends and I explored the merits of a butter dish.

We are all different with opposing opinions, likes and dislikes various. Book, film and television programme reviews give a range of opinions that shape peoples’ ideas and encourage them to decide whether they should investigate further. Butter dishes? Most of my friends use stuff already in tubs and give me old-fashioned looks if I mention I have actually own one.

I use a teapot as well but don’t tell anyone. Folk already think I’m related to Jacob Rees Mogg.2019-04-22 15.34.23




Check out the reviews on these. You may find something you’ll enjoy.

Looking for a good read?


TWWWNHW front cover[217]
Check out Brangwen’s story.

Well, you are lucky people. Perhaps it was played for, I don’t know, but if you haven’t already bought a paperback copy of my book you can do so from Amazon for 2/3 its original price!

I do expect a review for that, so be warned!

The book is selling so I would get my finger out if I was you and click away before they all go.

  • Of course, there’s always a Kindle copy if you’d rather. Electronic editions are so much lighter in your holiday luggage.




Before you leave take a look at these books. Build up your summer library ready for that long-awaited holiday.

If you’re in the writing mood Corona Books is now looking for submissions for The Third Corona Book of Horror Stories.  Check out the Corona website for more details.

You have until April 30th 2019. Good luck!





Have we had summer for this year?

2019-02-24 13.04.40So, it appears we have had summer – in February.

February is usually bitterly cold here, with a prevailing east wind that blows right through a body and frost enough to shatter anything optimistically left outside on the washing line. No need to thaw the underpinnings this year!

The conservatory became summer hot, so I left the doors 2019-02-24 13.05.13open in order for the scents wafting from my early-burgeoning herb garden to fill the house with fragrance.

Unfortunately, the farmer thought that it was a good idea to spread his fields with muck so what the house actually smells of is eau de cowshed/pigsty.

I forget who wanted to live in the country. I’m told it was me but I’m not sure I believe everything I’m told.

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As soon as the smell cleared I took my work outside. I do wonder if that and the fact I dug out the parasol has anything to do with the change in the weather.

It’s raining today and I have no excuse but to sit down and get on with some writing. Books do not write themselves. they need blood, sweat and tears as well as a pain in the nether region from sitting too long. Oh, and copious amounts of tea.

Corona Books has just put out a call for submissions for their third anthology of horror stories. It’s time to get tweaking and polishing.                 @CoronaBooksUK

What happens if you get an email from a fictional character?


TWWWNHW front cover[217]
Check out Deryn’s story.
My novel ‘The Woman Who Is Not His Wife’ is science fiction. the male protagonist is an alien so what can be more scary than receiving an email from him.

I was happily writing away – or playing cards – one or the other but my mind was not on emails when I was notified of a message from a Deryn.  My protagonist is named Deryn. (Okay, it’s Welsh and the Welsh aren’t alien but I liked it.)

While seeing a glowing box in the dark late one night did not particularly scare me the email did.

The Corona Book of Horror Stories
See what happens should you find a strange box on your window sill.

I could avoid a ravenous box. I could hit it with a hammer if needs be. (Not that that did much good in the story.)

What if I was living in a nightmare of my own making? Had I inadvertently created a new life form?  New life forms are usually up to no good. Its the main plot of all the sci-fi/horror films I’ve ever seen.

Was he coming to take his revenge, angry with what I’d put him through in the book? He didn’t have much luck, come to think of it.

Scary was beginning to be replaced by a sense of adventure until I opened the email. I help out with the local parish magazine and it was from someone with the same name enquiring about placing an advert.

The adventure was over before it had even started.


The Box?

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I had a bit of a moment the other night. I was just settling down in bed with my kindle, which was providing the only light at the time. As I turned over to make myself comfortable, I noticed something square glowing on top of the chest of drawers.

The Corona Book of Horror StoriesFor those of you who don’t yet know, I wrote a story entitled ‘The Box’ a couple of years ago. If you wish to read it you’ll need to get yourself a copy of ‘The Corona Book of Horror Stories’. Well worth a read, if I do say so myself. ( /

The box in the story is not very nice, (I’ll not spoil things by telling you more as I know you’ll want to get your own copy) and I suppose I should have been frightened. However, 1, I don’t frighten very easily, and 2, I wrote ‘The Box’ and know it isn’t real. Or is it?

In this case, the glowing box turned out to be a gold painted 2019-01-24 13.10.44presentation box which had held some jewellery I had been given some years before. I rather like it and so still have it. Those of you who know me well will understand that this is perfectly normal. I may have forgotten what jewellery was in it but the box is shiny and very useful for keeping things in.

The light from the kindle was shining on it and making it glow like some spectral entity – which it was not.

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I even had my top ready to go.



So, there was no chance of being involved in some scary adventure, more’s the pity.

I shall just have to lose myself in writing such tales instead.

The Second Corona Book of Horror Stories

4635013429_262x400[1]Congratulations Corona Books for not only being nominated in the Critters Annual Readers Poll in the best anthology category but coming in the top 10. A lot of care was taken when selecting an eclectic range of stories for this book and it is only fitting that this has been rewarded.

Okay, I know I’m biased as I have a story in it but there are 16 other brilliant tales well worth a read. These range from the classic Hammer-style horror to modern technology developing sinister predilections.

My personal favourites revolve, as always, around the psychological and what could happen in real life. I suggest Drum Lessons and Masterpiece if you need something to keep you awake.

For those of you who prefer your horror to be a little off kilter try Back to the Soil or Domestic Disturbance.

It has mirrors too. Mirrors are scary. I can’t look in a mirror after dark since I watched American Werewolf in London and Dark Reflection does nothing to alter this.

If you like this you can go to and check out other books published this year, which include;



There’s a treat for a cold dark night.

Christmas Myths

I have had time to ponder this Christmas; pondering, beyond how to remove glitter from soft furnishing and dinner plates. (See previous post)   Now that the twelve days are almost over I find I have come to the conclusion that there are some serious myths surrounding the festive season.

Myth 1: Sprouts need to be put to boil until reduced to a pulp

2019-01-03 18.10.30This is indeed a myth. Owing to a series of unfortunate incidents (see previous post) my sprouts were still growing in my garden as late as 12.05 pm on Christmas afternoon and not boiling away as they should have been.2018-12-25 12.08.59

Result? Gorgeous sprouts served without any fussy dressing after a gentle 15 minute steam.

Well, we liked them and there were none left.

Myth 2: Christmas is expensive.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

My sister brought me a cup of tea in bed. I never thought I would have a cup of tea brought to me in bed, the right side of a hospital ward, ever again.

I rate a cup of tea in bed beyond diamonds. It was simply the best present this Christmas. Thank you, Linda.

Myth 3: Goodwill to all is for Christmas

Last year I missed a snowflake on the kitchen door when taking down the decorations. Once noticed,2019-01-03 18.14.05 I decided not to remove it as it reminded me that goodwill should be extended to all throughout the year and not just at Christmas.



God bless us, everyone. May your New Year be everything you wish.