Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Wishing you all a wonderful celebration and may all your dreams come true in 2012!

This year seems to flown, I'm keeping everything crossed that all goes well with publishing my first novel early 2012. Saze Monnivan, a character from my upcoming novel, has launched her own blog. See it here.

What are your hopes for 2012?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Novel Cover - A First Leap into Self-Publishing!

I'm excited but super-nervous to show the cover for my first novel.  I've decided to self-publish and I'm aiming *crosses fingers and toes* to have the tale up and ready to go just after Christmas.

So, do you want to see the cover? Please, please let me know what you think! If the reviews are really awful then I may just have to crawl under my desk and hide. Either that or open the wine.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Versatility & Cake Marathon

I'd like to begin with a huge thanks to Jenna Quentin for nominating me for "The Versatile Blogger" award. It is my first ever blog award!

To claim this award I must share seven things that you may not know about me:

1) I adore vintage clothes. I love rifling through charity, thrift and vintage stores for hidden gems. I can spend hours scouring the pages of ebay for unique items.

2) If I don't eat grapefruit once a day I feel unhealthy. Weird, I know.

3) I'm always looking for something unusual to do with/to my home. For example in the lounge I've covered an entire wall with pictures of shoes and boots and made a lamp from a vintage hair-dressers head. 

4) I left the "Brownies" after a few visits because I hated being told what to do. Also hated walking on stilts fashioned from huge food tins and string.

5) As a child I suffered from a recurring dream where my staircase had a massive top step that was so difficult to climb. Dreams like this have followed me into adulthood. In dreams I'm often pacing buildings with disjointed stairs, irregular sized steps and such obstacles. 

6) Life feels lacking if I do not have a dog. I feel such rewards from my Siberian husky.

7) My fingernails never grow long. I don't bite them but they always stay short no matter how much miracle-promising varnish I slap on. (Gosh, that one was really interesting!)

I also have to pass this award to blogs I've recently discovered (I hope I've managed to pick people who've not yet received this!):

Lola Sharp at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword: Her blog about wanting a magical writing cottage has made me want one. Desperately. 

Samantha Verant : I totally agree with her about Eric over Bill. Her blog on L'ile de Porquerolles is beautiful.

Jamie Burch at Dancing Down Serendipity Street: It feels magical entering her blog-world. 

Liz Fichera: Always interesting to read, her Crock Pot blog has made me want to unpack mine and use it. It has been sitting in the cupboard for the past two years.

During the last fortnight I've been tied up in editing and cake making. Here's the cake I made recently for a cousin's 18th party:

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

'If I Could Be Anyone, I'd Be...'

Hello! Welcome! 

Pick up a glass and join me in celebrating the launch of 'Watching Willow Watts' by the fabulously talented, Talli Roland. Talli had the fun idea of a web splash: ‘If I Could Be Anyone, I’d be…’ Pop over to Talli’s blog for more details and to check out the other bloggers who’ve joined in.

About Watching Willow Watts

For Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father’s antique shop and nights watching TV, as the pension-aged residents of Britain’s Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when a YouTube video of Willow’s epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation gets millions of hits after a viewer spots Marilyn’s ghostly image in a frame.

Instantly, Willow’s town is overrun with fans flocking to see the ‘new Marilyn’. Egged on by the villagers – whose shops and businesses are cashing in – Willow embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and ramming herself full of cakes to achieve Marilyn’s legendary curves.

But when a former flame returns seeking the old Willow, Willow must decide: can she risk her stardom and her village’s newfound fortune on love, or is being Marilyn her ticket to happiness?

Head over to Amazon to welcome Willow into your home.

For my If I Could Be Anyone, I’d Be… I’ve chosen Lady Gaga!

Image CC Mark Holiday, MusicTrendsetter, Flickr. Here.

Why Lady Gaga?

Because I have hair not dissimilar? Maybe.

Because I adore her, crazy, emboldened, unique take on fashion? Absolutely! 

Because I wish I had the guts to wear whatever I wanted and not care if people laughed? Of course!

Okay, maybe not to wear the meat-dress, what with being vegetarian and all.

I admire her fearlessness, her passion for her fans and always enjoy her music. So below I’ve, err, attempted to recreate some of her looks. Maybe recreate is too strong a word. Looks inspired by Lady Gaga would probably be a better description. Laughing is allowed. As is consumption of bubbly drinks from the grape family or copious amounts of coffee.

Trying out Lady Gaga inspired make-up.

Donning Lady Gaga-style, I made the hat and painted it, choosing an eye for the 'watching'. Bag by Fuzzy Nation, feather cape from ASOS, vintage 80's dress teamed with shoes I decorated myself. (Featured in blog Unusual Shoes.) I am smiling even though it doesn't look like it with the strange lipstick!

Even the dog likes dressing up!

Attempting the leather jacket, cans-in-hair look!

The perfect way to end: A tribute to Talli's 'Watching Willow Watts' AND posing in a Lady Gaga type style!

Go on, take Willow home...Watts you waiting for?

And if you've missed them here are the links:
Talli Roland's Blog 
'Watching Willow Watts' on Amazon UK or

Monday, 12 September 2011

Cake, why did you let me down?

To celebrate my birthday I decided to make my own cake. Now this may be a little sad but I do need the practise as I am in charge of making a cake for my cousin’s 18th, at the end of this month. I partially squidged the top layer by accident while icing it and I was so angry! Being the rather impatient type I only spent four and a half hours decorating it. I know that I’ll have to be super-patient to create an artistic masterpiece for my cousin.

The three layers consisted of a heart-shaped vanilla sponge base and two higher tiers of chocolate marble cake, sandwiched together with butter cream. I made all the decorations, even attempting sugar flowers (which I have never made before).

I was super lucky and Husband treated me to a meal out on the Friday before my birthday. And my present? A kindle! Yay! I am so excited to be able to fill it with literary delights. Husband also bought me a gorgeous, amethyst dress which I paired with some metallic sandals I had forgotten about. Easy to do considering I don’t know how many pairs of shoes I actually own. Maybe three hundred? I think I’m a bit of a hoarder!

Dress & Shoes

Earrings & Ruffles.
Are you a hoarder? A collector of something unusual? Does your partner/husband/wife/parent/child stash vast amounts of something you really wish they wouldn’t?
Off now to attempt to make more sugar paste flowers. Must. Learn. Patience.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Adoration - Poem

I thought I'd share a poem I wrote for my father way back in 2009.  "Adoration" was previously published in a collection, joined by three hundred plus poems by other poets.  I must admit I have not read them all yet!


You used to read to me stories of mystery
With voices many and images bountiful.
Green elephants, peas, beans and bacon
Is it any wonder it’s the writer road I have taken?

You taught through your own disposition,
You with a book or paper always on chair arm
A rubber-grip pen flicking between thoughtful fingers,
Feet upon table bare.

From hands of creativity came paintings, benches,
Tomes and more,
From sanding doors to pastel chalked
And water painted pictures from mind so full.

Elevated to platform high
That mere mortals cannot even hope to crawl,
Fore upon it sits
An adored Father after all.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Reluctant Gardener

There’s nothing I love more than looking over, or sitting in, a lovely garden while writing.  Unfortunately I’m not too enamoured with the actual work needed to produce such wonderful, botanical delights.  My own garden is not particularly very large, more of a postage stamp size than football pitch and, owing to the dog, is never going to be picture perfect. 

With summer looming I decided that I really should take the matter into hand and donned my pink gardening gloves.  Plants have been rooted, patios painted and weeds wrenched.  I bought a teacup and teapot planter, several in guises of footwear, a light-catching mushroom decoration, and colourful ball lights plus I even painted an old pair of shoes and a stone donkey. Son has been ordered NOT to bounce his heavy, noisy ball anywhere near the new planters, cue the raising of one eyebrow (something that I’m sure he’ll use on girls in the future) and huffs of: “Where am I supposed to play basketball then?”, “You’ll have to move them!” and shrugs of “Oh well they’ll get broken.”

There’s still plenty to do, especially with the scrap of grass which has borne the brunt of Dog’s frenzied running antics but for this weekend at least I’m taking a break because it’s raining.  If it wasn't, I’d rather be supping a nicely chilled glass of wine on the patio not pruning the roses.

A bee enjoying the roses.

New planters, my favourites are the shoes!

Garden decorations and a new plant (I have no idea of its name).

Mosaic sparkling mushroom, ball lights and painted shoes.

An old shoe painted for decoration and a lizard ornament.

How the patio used to look (note the bike tyre marks courtesy of Son) & how it now looks.

The donkey I painted.

My beautiful roses in bloom which I never prune.
Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Unusual Shoes

It's been a gorgeous, sunny Bank Holiday so far.  Son and I visited the nearby town of Broadstairs, ambled on the beach, enjoyed ice-cream and coffee .  I bought Son a polished agate egg to add to his fossil/gemstone mess, sorry collection.  As for me; I have these:

Hope you've all had a wonderful long weekend!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

What to Zoo

Having been so incredibly fortunate in the sunshine stakes during the recent school break, Son and I visited one of our favourite places.  Howletts zoo.

We bought a Howletts "Passport" which meant for the price of one-day tickets we can return to the zoo for the next twelve months, what a fantastic offer!

Howletts, The Aspinall Wild Animal Park, is a wonderful experience.  Son loves the gorillas and monkeys, I love the Lynx, Capybara and the African Hunting Dogs.  We both adore the Canadian Timber wolves and were fortunate to snatch a picture of one, usually they are hidden in their enclosure.   There was a young European Bison which I cooed over and young monkeys.

To read about Howletts, The Aspinall Wild Animal Park click here.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Tuesday in Broadstairs

For the second day of Easter break Son and I headed to Broadstairs.  Broadstairs is one of my favourite places in Thanet.  The main sands are always picture perfect, the shops full of interesting pieces and the ice-creams are always tempting!  I love walking up the winding slope and past Bleak House, where Charles Dickens once resided, with its shell embedded wall.  

We bought books from one of the charity shops, picked a cake from the bakers, licked ice-creams from Morellis and basked on the sand.

The day was ended with a jaunt to the park, where I attempted to play football with Son while wearing highly inappropriate footwear (flip-flops) and keep control of a bouncing husky who, surprisingly, laid down long enough for photos!

Matching colours!

Softie ice-cream from Morellis...yum!

What a shame it doesn't last!

I love the vibrancy of these leaves.

Beautiful blue Broadstairs sky.

Viking Bay with Bleak House in the distance.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Just A Sunny Monday

Easter break has descended fast and the weather has been glorious.  Son and I made the most of the sunshine and spent Monday morning mooching the shops of Deal and relaxing on the beach at Walmer.  Son loves the pebbled beach and could happily spend hours picking through the pebbles for perfect round ones (rollers) and smooth, flat ones (skimmers) or uniquely shaped discoveries.  He presented me with one shaped like a heart, "This one's for you, Mum!"  Wind whipped over the walls of pebbles but not enough to warrant jackets.
We returned home for the afternoon, collected Dog and ambled to another beach closer to home.  Dog and Son braved the frothy surf of Botany Bay and Foreness Point to dip their toes, I ventured in but the sea was far too numbing and I quickly hopped back onto the warm sand.

I think we three are destined to enjoy a beachy break this Easter time.  Well it beats Son having his head stuck pointed at his new computer console!

I decided the sea was too cold for toe-dipping!

Mountains of pebbles at Walmer Beach.

Son discovered this pebble for me! Awww!

Son and his "Rollers".

Rapid waves, sunny but still a chill.

My Kathy Van Zeeland bag (a Mother's Day gift) looked
fittingly nautical.

Warm yet windswept! 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Spending time with my boys!

I thought I'd share some of the photo's I took during half-term, last week.  We visited Deal with it's pebble beach and interesting shops, took a stroll around Broadstairs and browsed for vintage collectibles.  The dog enjoyed long walks and playtime with my son.  The week flew past and Son is now back at school.  

My Siberian husky licking clean a pot!

My son, skimming pebbles at Deal beach.

A sunny, hazy view looking back at Deal from the pier.

A much welcomed sunny morning at Broadstairs.

Broadstairs beach, sunny but not yet warm enough for sunbathing!

Walking my dog, I adore him!

The pebble beach & pier at Deal.