Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas is coming...too fast!

I have never been so behind with preparations for Christmas! Partly its due to being busy and having no time or energy to get sorted out, but for the first time ever I feel its all too much. I feel resentful sending cards because of the postage costs-but I buy charity cards for Dystonia so its a bit of a catch 22 situation! I haven't a clue what to buy people-and feel much of it is a waste and that people won't really want it...but too embarrassed to say lets not bother in case I sound a Scrooge! Crazy really! Bah! Humbug!

On the bright side I had a cracking day at the Dock museum

It was brilliant to meet all those authors and have a chat as well as look at their books. It was interesting to compare notes on publishing, selling and marketing. Came to the conclusion that writing is the easy 
bit! lol

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Return to London

I had a happy return to the capital city this week. My husband Harry and I were invited to an evening at the House of Lords, by Lord MacDonald of Tradestone along with other volunteer fundraisers country wide. We all raise funds and awareness for the Dystonia Society. Dystonia is the second largest movement disorder after Parkinsons but not as easily identified or recognised. We have been working hard for 15 years but its a hard task-we have to compete with many other better known conditions and good causes. Apparently things are improving in the awareness department and thanks to the Dystonia Society we are better known and there are moves to increase research. (see

It was very enjoyable and we got the chance to do a bit of sight seeing and it brought back memories of when we lived there. We had a walk in Baltic conditions along the South Bank, browsed the goods at the Christmas market and ended up at St Paul's Cathedral where we went for lunch. It was over all too quickly and whilst I wouldn't want to live there again,  it was great to visit again.
St Paul's Cathedral

Bond Street

To get me in the Christmas mood I was delighted to attend the nursery performance of my grandson Noah. He was a star as a shepherd-even if he did have an unhealthy interest in the Baby Jesus' gifts...but he sang like an angel and we spent the day together. What a lovely day and how blessed I am.

                                               View of the Lake district hills from Birkrigg

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Fairs, freezing, fighting and Faffing about

Well after the rains comes the frost...I know EH have reassured us-after sending surveyors down, that the Abbey has not suffered lasting damage after the floods...but the pessimist in me thinks otherwise. I cannot see how-when the initial problem with the foundations is due to degeneration of the oak floats, that more rain  in one day than is usual in a month is not damaging. Then fast on its heels is this ice and frost...I dread to think what is going on in the soaked foundations now! However, I will wait to see the outcome of the next meeting. I have to say I don't buy the comment "its in a valley" either-the monks definitely didn't spend 400 years paddling about in wellies...they managed the water course and this has investigations must be undertaken to see what has changed to fetch copious amounts of water straight in to the abbey precinct and cloister.

With the ice I had a treacherous journey to Whitehaven on Thursday!Twas terrifying and I was not keen to be skating off black ice... the journey took 2.5 hours instead of 1.19 as described by the AA. It was all worth it though because I had a wonderful day at ST Begh's Junior School doing my author thing! The staff and the kids were so friendly and welcoming and I had great fun!Thank you for inviting me!

It was busy busy busy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday... I had to present certificates for the "Six Book Challenge" at Jubilee House for people facing massive challenges from all kinds of issues. They were inspirational and I was proud to be there...we could all take a leaf out of their books...if you will pardon the pun? 

Embarrassingly, the same Evening Mail photographer followed me down to the Dock Museum where I joined fellow authors for another photo -publicity for the Author day on Saturday. It looks exciting because there will be 22 local authors all under one roof. I've long cherished the notion of such an event and I am delighted that the Dock Museum are innovative enough to embrace it-and it will be brilliant to showcase the local literary talent. The event will be from 11am to 4pm and authors and poets will be reading from their works.

oldest and youngest members of FAF

Saturday was hard, hard work...we had a Christmas Fair for Furness Abbey Fellowship. It was sparsely attended and we did not make much money-but it was our first proper event. 

Sunday-today was perishing cold but that did not stop our intrepid group, Comely Media and the re-enactment group Iron Shepherds and help from Bjarni Thorvaldrson a local "viking" from braving the cold to present a Living history camp. They showed medieval food, crafts and activities and gave fight demonstrations throughout the day. Thanks must go to Stuart Appley for organising and Abbey Mill Cafe for supporting us and for the warm drinks too. This is just the this space!
The gangs all here

Anna, Martin and Stuart

Bjarni tucking in to some lunch