Wednesday 29 June 2016


Phew! The Poldark books have arrived by Fedex just now, from my publishers, in time for the book launch on Saturday 2nd July.

Last year they arrived the day before the launch which was cutting it a bit fine, but at least we've got a few days' grace this time.

"Aren't you excited?" asked Mr B this morning. "The trouble is," I said, "you send it off to the publishers when you're really close to it, and by the time it comes back, you tend to be involved in other things. I looked at it just now and think, Is this mine? Did I really write this? And I just feel - a bit confused, to be honest."

However, come Saturday, and the first book launch, in conjunction with Celia Creeper's lovely posters and paintings of the Poldark walks, I'm sure it will become a lot more real.

So any of you who are around on Saturday, please come along to the Loft Studio, Churchtown, St Agnes from 1030 - 1230.


Wednesday 22 June 2016

A Course in Confidence

I did a sailing course last week, which was sort of work as the purpose was for me to write up my experiences, but it turned out to be useful in more ways than the obvious, which was brushing up my sailing skills.

The course was attended by a group of Seniors, mostly with no sailing abilities at all, and one who had bought a boat and needed to learn how to sail.

It was interesting to see that some started the week pumped full of over confidence, and it took a week on a boat to realise that there is a lot more to sailing than they might have imagined. These people ended up, if not contrite, more aware of themselves and how much they had to learn. The others, lacking in confidence (and I include myself in this category), were nervous and only too aware of what they had to learn. We ended the week renewed and full of vigour, confidence in place and eager to continue learning and sailing. So everyone's abilities - and confidence - levelled out by the end of the week.

It's done me a lot of good and having got over the mid week slump (not dissimilar to mid-book slump or mid-article slump), things got a lot better, to my relief. We had our first long sail yesterday in Serenity and both loved it.

So the motto of this preamble is - when things get tough, hang on in here. If you hang in long enough, it will get better. And then you feel so much better.

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Live, Laugh, love

This is a mirror image along the river Dart, where I was walking Moll at the weekend when up to see my dear Mum, who is in considerable pain, although she doesn't complain. The saying 'getting old isn't for cissies' is certainly true, oh so true...

I went to see the film of Me Before You last night. I loved the book, Jo Jo Moyes' best, I think, about a young quadriplegic and his decision to end his life at Dignities, despite falling in love with his carer. It was based on a rugby player who also became paralysed and feeling constantly in pain and with no quality of life, decided to end his at Dignities. It sparked a furore with people saying why hadn't his parents stopped him?

This is something I feel very strongly about: that we have the right to do what we want with our lives. We should try and make the most of them (though there are times when that's a struggle) but if things get too much, I believe we are entitled to put an end to it. After all, we wouldn't expect our animals to suffer.

Someone very dear to me took his own life - first of all when I was 18, and then 18 months ago someone else I cared for very much did the same thing. He didn't tell me what he was planning, but I understood why he did it and I wouldn't have tried to stop him had I known. I miss him very dearly, but it was his life and I respect that decision.

I know the argument for euthanasia rattles on, and I also believe each case should be judged individually, but life is to be enjoyed. What's the point if we're not?

IN the meantime, let's live, laugh, create, adventure - and love. For love is the greatest gift of all.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

The book, the boat and the wobbles

This was me last Friday when we had a wonderful morning's sail. Moll also was allowed on deck as it wasn't windy and she loved it too.
Actually it doesn't look as if she is there, but once she'd settled, either on Mr B's lap or found her own little sunbathing spot, she was very happy to be in the sunshine with us.

I have a huge amount to learn, so told Mr B that he must be patient. Being shouted at can result in a paralysed panic which makes matters far worse, but on a boat everything needs to be done quickly, so it's a matter of keeping calm. When you don't know what you should be doing, that's tricky. But I'm hoping the course I'm going to do will help.

Yesterday I went to meet Celia Creeper, the artist who's done paintings of each of the Poldark walks, and is making posters of those. We are to share a book launch/exhibition and I've just finished proofing the book back from the publishers so that's going to the printers today or tomorrow. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm pleased. Or excited. Actually, I've been having such a confidence crisis that I'm filled with anxiety. Is it good enough? Will it make any money? Will people be disappointed? And so on.

The confidence crisis stems from having a lull in work. As anyone who's self employed knows, this is something that happens from time to time. I'm fortunate that I;ve usually had regular work but at the moment I haven't and that fills me with terror. I'm not usually a worrier, but at the moment I lie there at 3am thinking about never having any work again (you know what it's like at 3am), whether I'll have to work in Asda at the checkouts for who else would employ someone of my age and experience?

I keep telling myself that it will pass. And I'm extremely busy - preparing the launch party invitations, organising the venue, working on a talk for the Penzance Literary Festival - all stuff that is time consuming and interesting, but doesn't bring any money in. And this anxiety and lack of confidence seeps into every area of my life. It's like sitting in a pub watching a pint of beer that's spilt on the table, how it soon covers the surface, then slides down the sides, before dripping persistently onto the floor, where it spreads still further. Before you mop it up.

So I guess the motto of this post is to mop up any wobbles before they get any bigger. So here's to happy mopping.