Hummingbird Hawk Moth

This fascinating creature fed on the Phlox in the garden on a sunny afternoon, hovering at each blossom, moving on around the bed of flowers, not at all bothered by my close observation or my photography.

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In the photograph below its tongue can be seen curled up in front of its face.


Decorating the Dolls’ House

Exciting prospect; decorating a plain, wooden dolls’ house. This would have to be done before it was assembled.


Front aspect with white window frames and eucre overhangs. I ‘assembled’ the structure to get an idea of what it might look like.


And decided to download free wallpaper; s6rather than buy children4adhesive. Tip: spray prints with hairspray to fix the colour. PVC glue adhesive. I slid the back of the house in place and marked out the rooms in pencil for the positioning of the wallpaper.


I worked out how to hang curtains while resting one afternoon; tiny metal eyes (prized from the attached picture-hanging rings), shirring elastic, a needle-threader and wooden beads. This will enable a change of curtains in the future. And a roller blind for the bathroom. That’s what having a rest can achieve!



I painted the plain wooden furniture and hung prints and paintings on the walls, these range from Picasso, to Rupert the bear with family photographs in between.

small complete

s71 With no time to make dolls, I bought a set from ‘Wooden it be Lovely’.

Decorating the dolls’ house has\taken me a full-time week to complete and I have enjoyed every second.


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Winchester Writers’ Festival 2014



Winchester Writers' Festival 2014

Winchester Writers’ Festival 2014


I was pleased and surprised to receive feedback by e mail from the literary agent I didn’t stay to see at the Winchester Writers’ Festival. It was good feedback, most useful and insightful of all, I wish I had been well enough to meet her. But on the plus side, I do have all feedback in e mail, better than my half-remembered scribbled notes.

 And yes! she wants to read the whole thing – after some of the character and back- story details are brought to the beginning. My novel, ‘ASH WEDNESDAY’, a working title,  was begun in 2008, during OU study within guidelines which appealed to maximum marks for the final assignment. It achieved ‘distinction.’ ‘Begin in media res’, had been the current advice. I took another year to complete the novel and I have since written another. No longer obliged to conform to certain O.U. guidelines, and with much more writing experience, I have become a better writer.

Angel (2)

It will be a challenge to apply my writing experience to a protagonist who may well have become very different from 6 years ago. I shall be able to concentrate solely on the art of writing since my initial draft is heavily illustrated.

 Now to reacquaint myself . . .angela12 022

PS – the Forensic Medicine book as recommended by . . . her name escapes me, at the Festival and which I bought for a few pounds from Blackwells, I had to leave open on a cookery book stand in the conservatory because the previous owner had been a heavy smoker. I glimpsed an image, had nightmares and threw the book in the dustbin first thing the next morning. Memoirs of a forensic psychologist was interesting but I did have to miss out the paragraphs which described violence in detail. That was a library book.



Bumpy Ride

Look-back at 2013.

I am very happy to have won the short murder story competition at the Winchester Writers Conference. And pleased that it takes pride of place in the 2013 anthology. Best-Of-2013-Cover

I shall take my prize, a place at the conference, next summer and look forward to it.
     Am I happy with my detective novel? No, I’ve not written enough. The detective agency is, at this moment, poised for the delicious ‘clashing together’ and final eruption.
     I blipped with marketeering.
    There was a bumpy end to my brief market career. Silverfinger publications are VERY particular about their venue and didn’t like being ignored or riffled through and abandoned. They learned to take with a pinch of salt, ‘positive venue thinking’, sooner than I did.

Netley Grange was my last actual market attendence. A supportive Writing Buddy took my stuff to both the Marlands and Mayfield Christmas markets, when I was unable to attend but had committed to, and did her best for me. Thank you!

The wet Winchester Sunday with a totally inadequate stall and poor position was the worse. I understand from other stall-holders that Winchester Guildhall was to be avoided at all costs.

Market Oct (9)

     blog5I created the Silverfinger Press as a result of marketeering, which is good and shows promise for the future. I published five Silverfinger books, four of them fully illustrated and twelfve sets of Christmas cards.
The ‘Didi’ books are a success with small children, mums and grandmothers. Positive feedback. The little book of Nursery Rhymes is also popular. 

And, I did quite enjoy ‘being out there’ for a while. It was an experience, observing people not interested in books, or riffling through the pages, even reading a whole book of poems, commenting, ‘so true’, about ‘Poems for a State of Grace’, before dropping the carefully made Silverfinger publication and walking off. 
     I was so surprised at my first sale of Christmas cards that I mislaid the money, or perhaps even gave it back.
I have painted, mostly blue and gold, sea, sky. silver 004.
And I have made a friend and lost one, finally drew the line at posting my neighbour a Christmas card and tore up the one from a distant relative I have nothing to do with. I enjoyed both acts.

I also drove through a storm, visited London and cooked a Christmas meal.



The Summer Day

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Not quite summer but it feels like it. The garden is overflowing with light, warmth and colour, blackbirds, blue tits, dunnocks and two fat pigeons, cicadas, bumble bees.

I found this poem and love it, It matches both me and the day. Enjoy!

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?




‘Atlantis’- Mark Doty 2003

I know the current wisdom:
bright hope, the power of wishing you’re well.
. . .
Which is what makes me think
you can take your positive attitude

and go straight to hell.


There are different ways to see ‘positive thinking’

Ignore the facts,
that you really are suffering from; a certifiable disease; a slow fall from a very tall cliff.
Stick your head in the sand and hope for the best in the best of all possible worlds. All you have to do is Think Positive!!!

Face it,
and instead of imagining; a slow fall from a very high cliff or a lethal disease; alter your downward trend of thinking, because this is where you’ve discovered a hell of your own making.

for example . . . . . .

Woman Falls

Think Positive

Woman falls in park from a fainting. She comes to just as she floats, gentle as thistledown, to the gritty path. She feels nothing. Surprisingly, the park is empty. It’s usually full of locals walking their dogs, everything from basset hounds, to short-legged Labradors to whippets and Alsatians. It takes her a few minutes to gather herself and get up. She breathes deeply and gets on with walking the dog, a collie who had only been concerned that she was not throwing his ball.

At home, she makes tea and feels guilty for not pulling her weight in the community. But she’s tired.
Her friend calls, the only friend she’s got.
‘Meet you in town,’ she says.
‘When?’ asks Tired Woman.
‘Three, there’s a good film on at seven, time to do a bit of shoppin’, have a bite, then see the film.’
‘ I’m a bit tired at the moment,’ she knows that 30 mins will tire her out. Any longer and she won’t be able to drive home.
‘Oh, think positive. You’ll enjoy it once you’re out.’
Finding that ‘thinking positive’ in this way, is destructive, Woman bucks up courage and replies.
‘It’s not a question of thinking positive, it’s a question of facing up to the fact that I am tired and simply don’t have the energy.’
‘Oh, it’s all in your mind. You’ll feel fine once you get out.’
Deciding to be blunt, Woman replies, ‘I fainted this morning, in the park, no one was around.’
‘Oh well, do you good . . . take you out of yourself.’
Woman puts ‘phone down. It reminds her when she was left a mile from home with two bags of groceries from the Chinese supermarket where they sell big bottles of Tamari not the piddling little ones like in supermarkets just because the ‘friend’ didn’t want to pay the toll bridge fee. All the magazines which ‘friend’ had passed on, Woman dumped in the bin by the bus stop.
Woman didn’t care if she didn’t feel ‘normal’ and able to take part in ‘normal’ activities any more and was sorry she had done so in the past. It had never done her any positive good at all, in fact, just the opposite especially the Royal Wedding street party, even though she gritted her teeth and ignored inner warnings, mental and physical. But on the other hand, Woman was glad she did it and survived, even though it took her 2 weeks to recover.
So now she sits in the sun with tea and a hot crumpet dripping with butter, and when it rains, she will sit in the conservatory with lemon and ginger biscuits and talk to old friends and family on the ‘phone and watch the blackbird nip at the mealworm
fat-ball until she feels like ‘doing something’ else.


All that is beautiful
All that is worthy of praise
Let these be the content of your thinking
St Paul