Thursday 25 February 2021

Rosamunde Pilcher and Thank you NHS

Because of my own Walks in the Footsteps of Rosamunde Pilcher book, her publishers contacted me and sent me A Place Like Home, a new collection of short stories, originally published in women's magazines many years ago. The stories are a wonderful romantic read - written with her usual passion and warmth. They transport us to a time when life when there was no social media, or mobile phones, and seemed a lot simpler.... or was it? Whatever, it's a perfect read for lockdown, so enjoy it.

I am about to have a day tended to by the NHS. The wound near my eye hasn't healed properly, so I am off to the clinic at Treliske this morning to see what can be done about it. Fingers crossed they can help sort it, as it's three weeks now and I'm fed up with it! Also I can't wear to wear my contact lenses again...

Then this afternoon I am having my first Covid vaccine, with my second in early May. Hooray and thank you NHS! You are doing a fabulous job and all workers deserve a huge pay rise. ( I wish, and I'm sure they do, too.)

And lastly, I am going to meet my pen friend for a walk next week which will be exciting. There was a lovely piece on Radio Four the other day about a woman who wrote to a male friend who was undergoing chemo etc for cancer. She wrote for two years, during which time they became very close friends. Such a lovely thing to do.

In this case, we have been emailing for about six weeks. It's a real joy, particularly in lockdown. We started adding a few pictures when out on our walks (we both have rescue dogs). Then last weekend we actually spoke! And again yesterday. So we are going to meet for a socially distanced walk next week. When will partly depend on if we get any reactions to our jabs - he's having his tomorrow, but also on the weather, which is forecast good at the moment.

I'm sure we will get on well, but as both dogs are rescue, and a bit nervous, we will have to introduce them carefully. But either way, it's lovely to have some things to look forward to.

If you feel so inclined, do take the time to ring or send someone an email. It could make all the difference to their day. And you never know, it might make a big difference to yours....

Thursday 18 February 2021


Life has been partly on hold over the last few weeks because I had an accident that resulted in a wound just above my left eye.

To cut a long story short, I looked like I'd been in a fight with a real shiner of a black eye (it didn't actually hurt but it looked impressive) then, because I wasn't given antibiotics when it happened, it got infected. So I had to go to Treliske to get it properly cleaned out then stitched up. That didn't hurt either, and the whole thing took 20 minutes and no waiting!

I've never - touch wood - had many accidents. The odd bump and scrape like us all, but I took it in my stride. Then the second week it started to really get me down. Not helped by the fact that last weekend it deluged, non-stop. And that we're in lockdown (though as I don't really want to see anyone looking like this, that's probably a bonus). My eye looked like it was getting better, so I thought oh good, I can wear my contact lenses again. So I put them in but they didnt feel right. And a few hours later I took them out. My wound started swelling up again and a bruise formed and I thought oh NO.....

Isn't it typical that just one thing going wrong can knock your confidence, send it tumbling like a card house? I started doubting my ability to write, to train Lainy, to do anything. I was really worried about driving up to Devon to help sort out my Mum's house prior to her moving. About how Lainy would react to a strange environment with lots of strange people. In short, I started worrying about everything. Which again, isn't like me.

By Monday morning I was crawling along the bottom. But it had stopped raining. Hooray! I rang the hospital and they said come up, we'll look at your eye and it was just bruised, no infection. PHEW. Then I had a lovely long email from my Pen Friend on the Lizard. Yes, in these strange times I have a lovely Pen Friend who also has a rescue dog and loves walking so, as we can't meet, we exchange plentiful emails. They are keeping me going, too.

I was too short on sleep on Monday to write anything, but I realised that and gave myself the rest of the day off. I made notes but didn't actually try writing, and rested and read. So by Tuesday I was able to write again. My eye is healing - just more slowly than I would like. And today, although the forecast for Friday and Saturday is horrible, today the sun is shining.

We really do have to be grateful for the little things in life at the moment. Even going to Treliske was An Outing...... So to all of you out there having horrible days, I do so feel for you. We are all going through it at the moment. But we just have to remember, spring is coming. The days are getting longer. We won't be in lockdown forever. Keep going.....

Wednesday 3 February 2021


Well, I think the whole world is mourning Captain Sir Tom Moore who embodied everything that we love and admire. He was brave, optimistic, funny, had a great twinkle in his eye and, to misquote Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, "he makes me want to be a better person".

One of the things that Pip hated was people Being Small, as in small minded. Tom Moore was about as big minded as you could get, by the sound of things, and listening to the news this morning, he had an indefatigable curiosity about how things worked - apparently he was fascinated by the film crew who first came to film him, and wanted to know all about the editing process. He wanted to know all about the young reporter who interviewed him: what was her background, what she was doing now. And was she warm enough?

If this were a book, Tom Moore would definitely be the hero, regardless, or perhaps because of his age. But he's a certainly my hero, and I think his views and outlook could be adopted as a benchmark. While this country - and the world - seems to be becoming increasingly divided, wouldn't it be amazing if we could all think a bit more about how Tom Moore treated people?

There could be a Tom Moore Guide to Living, and if we were ever in doubt about what or how to do something, we could stop and think, "How would Tom Moore do this?"

So here's to Tom Moore. Our hero, who sounds like one of the best people you could ever meet.