Tuesday, 24 November 2015


This was Widemouth Bay just as the sun came out.

We’ve just got back from reviewing a very lovely cottage at Whitstone, near Bude. We had a bit of trouble finding it on Friday night, because I’d lost the directions, and it was raining and pitch dark, (you can imagine Dark Mutterings from Mr B as the afternoon became evening and there was still no sign of our cottage). However, having found Bennetts Court Holiday Cottages (quite easy when you know the way), we were taken to a lovely snug little Bramble Cottage where we lit the woodburner and snuggled in for the night.

Mr B took it upon himself to cook for the entire weekend which was lovely, particularly as I’d been feeling rotten all week. But despite the downpours at times over the weekend, we had a lovely break.

The cottage was warm and cosy, and our hosts couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly. We explored Holsworthy and Bude on the Saturday, and on the Sunday walked along the beach at Widemouth Bay, then along by the canal and saw the most fabulous sunset.

On the way back we encountered a young deer, who’d obviously been hit by a car, and was lying dazed and trembling in the middle of the road. We drove back to the nearest farm, where a lady there wasn’t sure what to do either, so we headed back to the deer - only to find it gone. We were somewhat relieved at not having to make any decision over it, though its chances during that cold night, and having concussion, weren’t good.

The next morning dawned frosty and bright, so we explored a hill fort and then drove over to Stepper Point to do another walk for the book.

There is plenty to amuse children here - an outdoor swimming pool, playground area, resident rabbits, alpacas and guinea pigs to name a few. There is also a large paddock for exercising dogs so we had a run in here while the alpacas stared at us in amazement. All in all, if you feel like a quiet break, with or without children, it’s a wonderful spot. We can’t wait to go back!

Sykes Cottages

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

More walks

This wonderful angel was standing outside a house on the Lizard, expressing its gratitude for the wonderful day we'd had, when I walked past here a few weeks ago with Fiona and MollieDog, doing a walk for the new book.

Since then it appears to have rained non-stop, and life has been somewhat dominated by a not very well Mr B, resulting in medical appointments and a lot of stress. But life is ever thus - we get the good bits and the not so good bits. I'm very glad to have a new project to work on, and one that I enjoy so much.

Here are a few more pictures from the other weekend, taking pictures for another walk, near Tregonning Hill (not far from Helston). A wonderful, magical,misty afternoon....

And Germoe church, taken from the mediaeval Germoe chair - both small and beautiful...

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Another book!

Apologies for recent silence but life has been ever busy.

The good news is that my publishers have commissioned me to write another walks book which is very exciting!

I did my first walk last week and am writing it up at the moment with my able body of proof readers and researchers. Well, Mr B is helping me research and I have several wonderful friends who proof read. This one will take a lot of researching so it's all hands on deck to completely mix metaphors.

To celebrate this news, we had a much needed break at Gwithian which was wonderful. Even if we did spend a fair bit of time driving round selling my current book - which is all part of being a writer!

It was heartwarming to receive such good feeling about this current book.As any author knows, we spend so long writing our babies, then they're out in the wide world and we feel extremely vulnerable, so when we get good feedback it makes all the difference.

As I write it's raining and cold, back to winter, even if it may officially be autumn. But I have planned a few breaks - which will be needed - and look forward to getting on with this exciting new project.


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Walking weekend and Promoting a book

Last weekend my dear friend Av and I went walking along the coastal path near Crafthole. For once (our last weekend it poured, all weekend long), the weather was not only kind but fabulous, so we had a sunlit walk around Portwrinkle on the Friday evening, then spent the Saturday walking to Freathy and back. Yes, we managed to get lost more than once, but this was for once NOT MY FAULT. Well, only partly my fault....

It must have been the hottest day of the year, and we walked for about 5 hours or more - just wonderful, and the scenery was at its very best. Neither of us know that area (near the Rame Peninsula) so it was an added bonus to stay somewhere lovely and explore the area.

Back to real life and I gave a talk at Flushing Sailing Club on Tuesday evening which went down very well. What a very generous and attentive audience, who bought books, too! We were given such a warm welcome by the Commodore and his wife, who organises the talks, and we will certainly go back.

Promoting a book is hard work. I;ve been asked to do quite a few talks now, which is great, because we constantly need to get our books out there, in order to sell them, when most of us would rather shrug and not ask people. We're shy, most of us writers, and don't like to keep harassing people to buy our work. But nowadays we have to - so bear with us. We're just doing our job!

I was very touched when a 2nd year student at Falmouth University came up to buy a book, saying how inspirational I was. To have stuck out for doing what I want. I was so touched I could hardly speak. It quite made my evening....

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Time for a break...

This picture is of Gwithian, as in a few weeks (on Saturday) we will be there for a mini break, and I can't wait. This year's been busy with lots of ups and recently, downs, and apart from a week in February, I haven't had a holiday this year.

Having said that, I'm having a few nights away with my dear friend Av this weekend. We're going to stay at Crafthole and walk along the cliffs - and the beaches now they are dog friendly once more - and have a good catch up. We try and get away every few months but it's been much longer than that this time so we are owed a good girls weekend.

It struck me that however much you love where you live and what you do (or hate it for that matter!), it's very important to have a change of scene. I'm just re-reading A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi which has given me an incredible yearning to go to Venice. Before that I read the brilliant The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, set in Amsterdam (though that didn't make me long to go there - though I would, of course) and Prague is on the list, too.

The list is actually very long but curtailed as all my current dog sitters are away at the moment. One's in Norfolk, one's in Crete and another in Portugal (as of Monday). So for now I'm not venturing any further afield than Torpoint....

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


This was taken several weeks ago when out with Sally, playing around with our cameras. Well, she was giving me a lesson! Falmouth Bay on a sunny August afternoon...

Life has been a bit stressful recently, but the other night, eight of us went to see Kneehigh's Version of Rebecca at the Hall for Cornwall. It was amazing - I'm a huge fan of the book but the characters were just how I imagined, the sets were amazing and there was the right balance of humour, drama and pathos. I hate to say it but frequently when seeing plays I get the fidgets.

This time I was transfixed, glued to my seat, couldn't take my eyes off the stage. It was really one of the best pieces of theatre I;ve ever seen - and we all agreed on that.

So if it comes to a theatre anywhere near you - do go and see it. I can promise a truly wonderful evening.

An event like that takes you out of yourself - you forget about your worries and are transported to another place and time.

It really was theatre at its best. And life is that much easier afterwards, when granted a few hours escapism, in the hands of professionals.