Just writing to keep in touch as life has slowed somewhat. The homework from the writing group this week is a ‘Time machine’ story. When I began I realised it had all been done before and trying to think of a new angle was not easy.

Not being prepared to do any historical research I decided to send my character into the future. With all the warnings about global warming it was interesting to imagine what might happen to the town we lived in.

Our weekend was enlivened by a visit from our son and granddaughter, who has become a young footballer! They showed us a photo of her in goal. She’s braver than I would be.

Mind you, the women’s football is one of the best things on TV at present as we don’t have Sky or Netflix.

No other news, except that I have managed to sell two more sets of the Penny trilogy. The proceeds are going to charity.


Book Review. How to Stop Time.

This book by Matt Haig has some mixed reviews but I thought it was great. It is about a history teacher who has lived for 400 years and is trying to find ways of enjoying each time without being threatened by witchfinders or scientists.

For once, I found the flashbacks worked well and the main character was very sympathetic. I intend to try more books by this author.

Having Covid has given me more time to read and think about our mortality. What do we do with our lives and why? If we don’t leave offspring how can we ensure we are not forgotten – and does it matter if we are?

The purpose of life must surely be to make a difference. We can leave memories of love, ideas, good deeds, discoveries, improvements or, as is happening now, damage and destruction. When I look at buildings and cars and planes I marvel at humanity and then I see hate and selfishness and mistakes and wonder how people can find cures for diseases and yet ruin the planet. None of it makes sense.

Each one of us can only contribute a tiny bit. I tried to help by teaching and writing books but I fear for the future.

Book clubs and reviews.

Having just read a post from someone in the USA I began to wonder if it would be possible to have an online book club. I suppose it would depend on whether we could all get the same book and maybe there ae some out there already. I can see there are a few reviews on wordpress.

Anyway, I am ready to share the reviews I write on Goodreads with readers here, if I find books worth telling everyone about.

I have just read David Mitchell’s book “Utopia Avenue” and enjoyed the fictional journey into the sixties, even if I wasn’t knowledgable about the musical details.

I don’t usually buy books and I haven’t got a kindle but am willing to share my opinions with anyone interested. If I can get books second hand or from the library, all the better.


For years I have been using Goodreads to keep track of books I have read but recently it seems that may not be possible. It looks like I will have to set up my own list. I review every book I read so probably it was getting a bit much. I wanted to have a record of my favourites so that I could look out for more from the same author. Now I shall have to read through the list and just pick out the ones I want to keep and hope I don’t choose the authors I did not admire, when I get books from the charity shop.( or, worse still – pick a book I read before!)

It’s a pity because they let me see the covers but, hey ho – times change.


I have got tired of tripping over boxes of books so have begun to donate copies of the Penny Tales trilogy to hospitals and schools.. I would rather someone read them than they curled up in the loft or the garage. However, I am slightly concerned that I get very little feedback since the first book. I don’t know if people liked the other two or were disappointed.

Even my granddaughter, who stars in the stories, has not told me if she enjoyed them so I suppose it was just too old fashioned a writing style. Times have changed and although there is plenty of action there isn’t the rebellious humour that today’s youngsters seem to like. Still, I enjoyed writing the little verses that the toads spout and had fun creating the Magic Land.

I have let the witch ride off into the clouds in case I ever want to return.

Craft Fair disaster

I should have known taking books to a craft fair was a mistake. Don’t they cosider writing books a craft? It was compounded by being in a local pub ( which I thought meant family lunch!) which had done almost no advertising and did not even have a banner outside to say it was on.

We only knew about it because we had a meal there last week. I think they put it on facebook but nowhere else.

It was a pity because the craft stalls that had booked were of a high quality, especially a painted glassware stall. ( but I don’t buy ornaments) I don’t think any of us did very well and I certainly didn’t as even the few children who came past didn’t even glance at my books ( or the dish of sweets I had put out to tempt them!)

So, another day with no sales. I feel the day of the book is past, except perhaps picture books. I’ll try to add a photo.

The Dodger – review

Tim Carroll has written a fascinating book about Churchill’s cousin Johnny Dodge who was part of the Great Escape.

I usually avoid non-fiction but this kept me engrossed, especially when it deviated from the film. The TV programme on at the moment reinforced my interest but the complex character in this book made it a compelling read. We think we know the facts but, boy, are we mistaken!

I had not realised the family lived quite close to my present home, or that poor Christopher Reeve was approached to play Dodge in another recreation of events that was even more inaccurate than ” The Great Escape.” I found the personal letters absolutely indicative of the time and thus, slightly unnerving. Otherwise the book is an excellent read for anyone interested in recent history.

Penny Tales relaunch

Back from holiday and spending all our time searching for a new dog but I must concentrate on relaunching my ‘Penny’ books for Christmas or I’ll be left with another couple of boxes to put in the loft.

I don’t seem able to start writing so have been playing with my phone and new tablet and a robotic hoover that our son has passed on to us. It’s so diffficult to get motivated.

However, I did take a photo of the Penny books, out of their wrapper and was pleased I didn’t have to bring the ones I took away back home with me. Now to design a new poster and look out for selling opportunities like Xmas fairs. I said I would update my phone but need to see the options in action so will pester the shops down town tomorrow to give me a demonstration. Mind you, I still haven’t found out all this one can do. I thought the boys would be pleased I had used Utube but it seems they don’t like JLS quite as much as I do!

Penny Tales

I now have all three ‘Penny’ books in a seasonal wrapper which Joan has decorated with the three toads.

These may be the last books I write so I am going to try to market them for Christmas.

This week has been so unusual . I have a medical condition that means I have to give up a lot of the things I like eating and drinking.

If it is caused by anxiety perhaps a holiday is required? I may not post for a while.

Back in the Swing

At last society is gradually getting back to normal. It feels a bit unfair when the rest of the world is still suffering so much but the need to meet up with folk is very strong and just one social occasion can lift the spirits for a week.

After seeing family on Sunday I then had the good fortune to be allowed to have a stall at the Summer Fayre arranged by Buddy’s in aid of Mencap. Such a lovely group of volunteers who had obviously worked hard to put on the event at short notice.

I sold eight books and won a couple of prizes on the tombola, as well as having a delicious bacon roll from the cafe when hubby came to meet me and help pack up.

The Worthing Town Crier attended , as did a lively singer and everyone agreed that it was wonderful just to meet again. We had outside stalls and very few people wore masks until they ventured indoors to the shop or cafe. This is the gradual way to get back to normal safely. I don’t know how much money they made but when we came away the raffle was in full swing and all involved looked content.