Beguiling Miss Bennet

So, the book launch has happened and the book is now sailing out on the waters, just waiting for you to buy a copy!

If you wish to read my thoughts about the launch or about the story itself, pop over to stuck-in-a-book @ where Simon very kindly allowed me in for a cup of tea and a spot as ‘guest post’.

Meanwhile, here is a poster showing some of the highlights*

*the picture with the bath towel… now there’s a long story behind that one…

Chawton House Library

Chawton House Library

It was a beautiful evening after a day of showers, and the gathered throng happily celebrated this delight of a book – a perfect bedside book with stories to please almost every taste.

At just £8.99 it will solve those Christmas present quandries and bring pleasure to all who read it! (And I don’t say that just because of the royalties!)

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Jane Austen, and all that

Life has been pretty exciting just recently – as one of my stories has made it into a beautiful little publication from Honno press on behalf of Chawton House Library. Here’s the press release:

Beguiling Miss Bennet Press release

And here’s the book:IMG_3965

Mine is a little back-story to Nurse Rooke from ‘Persuasion’ – she always intrigued me, taking, as she did, an important and, in some ways, pivotal role in the unmasking of William Elliot. A very slightly drawn figure, she nevertheless appeared to have two significant human traits – compassion and a love of gossip. It was great fun to imagine her history and to give her a few moments in the centre stage

You’ll find her toward the end of the book – so enjoy the many other stories on the way!

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And now it’s nearly August!

It’s been a busy month – not least, in the garden. Watering through a dry season has now been overtaken by bailing out after a lot of rain. The pond – which had disappeared under a tangle of plants – was released from its bonds (by dexterous use of cutters) and has been topped up by Nature’s deluge. All the plants are looking much happier after heavy rain – and the weeds are looking threatening!

It’s too cool to lie around in a hammock, so cutting back and tidying up keep us busy. Sherpa is impressed, anyway! And, if I’m honest, so am I – well, the agapathus is brilliant this year, anyway. I have counted 20 blooms – hugely more than last year’s puny 7. And the blooms are not yet fully out in these pictures!IMG_3873 IMG_3874 IMG_3875

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July already?

Yes, and a week in I am still wondering where June disappeared!

June was ‘fair time’ with lots of opportunities to visit village fairs and fetes, flower festivals and feasts – an alliterative time of year – and fun fun fun.

IMG_3761 IMG_3769IMG_3767IMG_3693It’s all been pretty glorious – with lots of sunshine (amidst the odd storm) and fine examples of floral and patchwork art – not to mention mass production of plastic milk container birds (thanks to the Eden Project) and other bird-like creations.

I wonder what July will bring?

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On the cusp

As I write, May is about to turn into June – so the rain is steadily watering the garden and storms are forecast for Monday night – just the sort of summer weather so amusingly described by Angela Thirkell in her Barsetshire novels.

I am coming to the end of a marathon reading challenge – reading through Angela Thirkell’s books in chronological order – spurred on by an equally enthusiastic reader who is (I confess) a good five or six books ahead of me.

Thirkell’s descriptions of the dismal wartime summers, followed by equally dismal post-war austerity summers, set me thinking. I know that Thirkell loved hyperbole and caricature, but there was probably more than a element of truth in her descriptions. This set me thinking ‘why?’ Was it the massive detonation of bombs which affected the climate? Has anyone researched this subject? Just a thought.

Meanwhile, the days are growing ever longer and the longest day is less than a month away. Perhaps – just perhaps – true summer is on its way?

In the meantime, here are some pictures of my springtime garden – some of which were taken on a sunny day! IMG_3584 IMG_3181IMG_3583The two taken from the Canary-coloured caravan were taken just over 4 weekIMG_3179s apart.

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What a change a few weeks can make!

May has settled in and, apart from a few days of icy blast (NOT welcome) we can see the massive surge forward of the seasons as everywhere has ‘greened’ around us.

These pictures, taken last weekend, give an idea of just how much growth there has been. They depict stories: The Robin showing the way (The Secret Garden), Hattie learning that she is an orphan (Tom’s Midnight Garden) and Mrs Tiggy Winkle from her eponymous story. To find out more about the story garden go to:


The installations were part of a special ‘open’ weekend at Honey Pot Books, and the garden happily received its story characters as they nestled down in the shrubberies.

That was last eekend – but since then, it has rained rather a lot! The garden keeps growing, so this afternoon has been dedicated to mowing the lawns and sorting out some flower pots. You’ve got to grab every opportunity over the next few weeks – or you’ll need Prince Charming, sword in hand, to hack a way to your front door!

Time for tea now!IMG_3345IMG_3347

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Beautiful places

IMG_3020 IMG_2924 IMG_3010The wonderful variey of Pembrokeshire – chill winds at times (in late March) but plenty of sunshine too! I can thoroughly recommend it as a perfect place for rest, renewal and ‘play’!

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