Friday, 30 May 2014

Celebrate the small things

With thanks as ever to our host Viklit and her team of co-hosts;

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy! I've been to London on a school residential. Lots of fun but exhausting! We packed lots in including, The National History Museum, The London Eye, The British Museum and Hampton Court. But the highlight for me was seeing the Lion King. I love the big West End musicals and I have never seen this one. I wasn't disappointed. The costumes and singing were amazing. 

We didn't have all that long at Hampton Court and I would love to go back again, maybe without loads of kids so I can fully appreciate it! There are some beautiful examples of stained glass and the rose garden smelled divine.

Other celebrations worth mentioning from the last fortnight are;
  • A night in a nice hotel with hubby. He was working but I got to enjoy this great view for the day!

View from balcony. Hotel was only 25 miles from home but felt like a real holiday as the weather was perfect.

  • The half term break to catch up on some sleep!
  • Two fun nights out with friends.
  • Cleaning the cooker (hate that job!).
  • Having a wardrobe clear-out and doing some recycling.
  • Getting a first draft completed. So pleased that I have be able to nail this over the last few days. I know there is work to do on it but hey for now I'm doing the first draft happy dance!
So, what's everyone else celebrating? I'll head round some blogs and find out. In the meantime, happy weekend to all.

We saw Stonehenge from the bus

I was pretty scared on the London Eye as I don't like heights!

A night time view from the Eye. Bit wobbly as I wouldn't go near the edge of the pods!

One of the many fabulous stained glass windows at Hampton Court

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Our Beautiful Child - Cover Reveal

Today I am very pleased to be able to help out the lovely Annalisa Crawford. Annalisa's new book, 'Our Beautiful Child,' is due to be published very soon. Congratulations, Annalisa. Here are the details and blurb, can't wait to read for myself.

Release date: 10th June 2014       
 Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press

“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn
for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”

… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her
nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and
Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th
century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.

Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs
refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who
threatens to ruin everything.

Three women. Three stories. One pub.

I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!


Monday, 19 May 2014


Visit DL HAMMONS for full details 

It's time to get back in the ring for the 2014 edition of WRiTE CLUB. The brain child of DL HAMMONS
head on over to his blog and check out all the details.You need to get your anonymous 500 word writing sample in by 31st May and the panel of judges will select 32 entries to proceed to the bouts! The winners of the twice- weekly bouts are then determined by the readers. It's a knock-out competition the final winner being chosen by a panel of publishing industry professionals including; Agents, Editors, Publishers, Marketers, and published authors! 

I entered the ring last year and made it through to the last 32, it was fun reading all the entries and being involved. Why not have a go, remember it's all anonymous unless you're crowned the winner or feel like sharing your identity once the competition has finished!


I will not be around for the rest of this week. I am accompanying a school party on a residential trip to London. I'm sure it will be fun but exhausting! Catch up with you all at the weekend. Have a good week.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Celebrate the small things

Thanks to Viklit for hosting our weekly celebrations

What's been happening this week? Well, I received a parcel from the lovely Leandra as part of a recent giveaway she ran to celebrate her 1st bloggy birthday. Leandra LOVES ampersands and vanilla in her pop! If you haven't meet Leandra yet I suggest you hop on over and say 'hi.'

The pretty pink ampersand is now sitting by my laptop. Thanks again Leandra.

The last couple of days have been warm and sunny, finally been able to go out without a coat on. Hoping it lasts a while. The sunshine always seems to make you feel more energised.

Following on from last week here are a couple of pictures of my daughter dancing in the Flora Dance. Sadly it was a wet day and some of the dancing had to be cut short but everyone still seemed to have fun.

Happy weekend everyone

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Helston Flora Day

May is a month rich in festivals and celebrations around the world. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will no doubt know that I live in the south west of England. My local town has a famous May festival and I thought some of you might be interested in hearing a little more about it.

Helston Flora Day held annually on May 8th, unless the date falls on a Sunday or Monday when it will take place on a Saturday, is a tradition that goes back for hundreds or years. It often sees friends and families travelling from around the world to be there on the big day. But the celebrations start even before the day itself with the town before decorated with bluebells, gorse and laurel. Shops and business take great pride in the decorations that adorn their premises.

One of the many decorations on a shop front

Lily of the Valley is Helston's symbolic flower (and the birth flower for May) and is part of the day's celebrations. The town band wear a sprig pinned to their hats while the dancers wear sprigs on their clothes.

The day itself starts at 7.00am when the crowds gather outside the Guildhall to hear the first beat of the big bass drum. A sound that brings tears to the eyes. The early morning dancers then file out behind the band and commence their dance around the town.

From 8.30 the spectacle of the Hal-an-Tow can be seen at various places around the town. This colourful pageant tells the history of the town with characters, including a dragon, singing and dancing. 

The children's dance starts at 9.40am and sees lots of children from the local schools dancing their way around the town, dressed in white. My youngest daughter is dancing this year with the senior school. Sadly I will be at work so won't see it in person but I will try and catch it via the webcam (see link below) and hopefully hubby will be there and record it for me!

The main dance of the day begins at the stroke of midday. This elegant procession leaves the Guildhall to the famous tune that fills the air for the whole day. The men dressed in their suits and top hats and the ladies in their long dresses, gloves and hands. They make their way around the four mile route to the delight of the cheering crowds. The names of those that are chosen each year for the honour of leading this dance are eagerly awaited. They have to have been born in Helston. Those not born in Helston can have the chance to dance further back in the procession. I would love to have the opportunity one day.

The last dance of the day starts at 5pm and is the same people who started the day at 7am.

The band are local heroes, walking and playing many miles during the course of the day. The tune is one that is iconic and much loved.

As I say I don't work in the town so our school doesn't get the day off! I will however be outside the Guildhall at 7am to hear the drum beat and watch a little dancing before grabbing a bacon sandwich and heading off to work. I should be back in time to see some of the 5 o'clock dance. Let's hope it is a dry day.

Happy Flora Day

For the first time this year LIVE coverage of the day can be viewed HERE

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Frustration an IWSG post

Thanks to our host Alex J. Cavanaugh

Thanks also to co-hosts Mark Koopmans, Joylene Nowell Butler, Elsie,and Lisa Buie-Collard.

My post this month is a short one about frustration which I'm sure is something many writers suffer from at some point. 

Frustration over the length of time things take, frustration about getting so close only to be knocked back again. Frustration when the words don't flow, frustration when there simply isn't enough hours in the day to achieve all you want to.

Anyone got any tips for dealing with feelings of frustration? 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Birthstone Unicorns - Emerald (May) & Celebrate the small things!

The gorgeous emerald is the traditional birthstone for those born during the month of May. A very fitting gem for the spring time as the colour green symbolises nature and the renewal of life. The word emerald is derived from the Greek word, smaragdus meaning green. They are associated with qualities such as loyalty, faithfulness and friendship. Thoughts that are very much echoed in the verse from the Gregorian Birthstone Poem;

"Who first beholds the light of day,
In spring's sweet, flower month of May,
And wears an Emerald all her life,
Shall be a loved and a loving wife."

Through history they have been linked to clairvoyance, memory and faith and have been reputed to be effective for a wide range of health problems including disorders of the eyes and spine, headaches, dysentery,fever, bleeding and panic.

Bluebell woods near our house, simply beautiful I had to share.

Worn by royalty in Babylon and Egypt. Tools dating back to 1300 B.C (reign of Rameses II) have been found in emerald mines in Egypt. Queen Cleopatra's emeralds were thought to have been mined in Southern Egypt close to the Red Sea.

Romans dedicated emeralds to the goddess Venus.

Early Christians saw them as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ.

In the Middle Ages they were believed to have the power to foretell the future.

Their magnificent green colour was said to relieve the eye. Emperor Nero is reputed to have worn eyeglasses made from emeralds to protect the health of his eyes whilst watching gladiator games.

Emeralds were a popular choice in Victorian jewellery.

Emeralds are also given for a 55th wedding anniversary.

Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about this gem, if you are celebrating this month I wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY. If you would like to meet, Emerald the Birthstone Unicorn, please click on the tab at the top of the page to read a short excerpt from her story. 

Thanks to Viklit for hosting our weekly celebrations. It's always good to reflect on the positive things in life.

This week I am celebrating,

 Another long weekend in UK! Hoping for some sunshine and the chance for a nice long walk. Also a little extra writing time.

Adding nearly 3K to one of my WIP's (a great weekly word count for me!).

The windows are finished and looking good.