Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Atlantic Sunset

What can I say - the sunsets were beautiful. What this picture doesn't show is the other 20 campers standing on the hill taking the same photo, we must have looked a right sight!

PS this is what happens when puppies don't finish their food - we were attracting so many crows and seagulls I kept expecting Billy Oddy to turn up with a film crew!

Away in a camper

We have been making the most of some of he lovely weather this month by getting away in the camper van. A couple of weeks ago we went through to Formby and had a lovely couple of days at walking the pups along the beach. The weather was so hot Dave and I went a beautiful shade of pink!

With the forecast set to fair we decided to venture down to Cornwall for a week and made for a site we have stayed on before in between Boscastle and Tintagel.

Just imagine waking up to a view like this every morning

If you squint you might just see a black spot on the top of the far hill - Dave told me he was just taking the pups for a little walk!

They were all ready for breakfast when they eventually got back

Friday, 9 May 2008

Writing for a living - I'm going to write a novel

When I left school I was in a quandary, should I try for a job with our local newspaper or take the job I had been offered with Barclays Bank? On the one hand I love to write and really fancied being a cub reporter with the Bootle Times Herald but without a degree I was told that I would be making the tea and collecting the wages from the bank rather than wandering the streets of Liverpool in a trench coat with a high powered camera slung around my neck.

Barclays on the other hand offered a career. Admittedly any career prospects would only have come in to play after my 25th birthday because as a member of the 'women's' staff it was presumed that before then I would get married and have babies and give up working to to find true fulfillment as a woman - (I kid you not, this really was how woman staff were regarded in 1972). Well at least I wouldn't be making the tea and I would be earning £12.00 a week.

So common sense and a lack of confidence set me on the road to a career in banking. And what was my first job? you've guessed it - making the tea - but it wasn't all bad and over the years I had some interesting jobs, made some good friends and found a husband all thanks to Barclays. I never lost my love of writing though and have always kept holiday journals and have even written school plays and a kids panto (for my sins). I have found writing regularly for Spanish Steps a challenge this year. It is amazing how much research is involved in planning a soap set in Spain, everything from the actual location of the set to choosing names for the characters can take ours of searching, to say nothing of the time spent planning plot lines and character development. But I think that it has been worth it and with a growing number of regular readers I can honestly say that I am a 'published' author.

So what's next? Well obviously I would like to start making some money from my writing and hopefully this will come in time but in the meantime I have a new idea. I would like to write a novel, you know the old saying that we all have one novel inside us? well mine is about to burst forth. Not one to take the easy road and lock myself away and just type in isolation I am planning to write my novel online. Instead of having conversations in my head about how I am going to plan and develop I will be talking 'out loud' to an audience of blog readers. I want to be able to explain why the characters are saying what they are saying and do what they are doing. I want to have this conversation and then write the novel in real time i.e the reader will see the novel grow as I am writing it, all the editing, all the changes and probably some of the foul language when I am sitting there desperately trying to work out what happens next.

I don't pretend that this will be some kind of literary masterpiece. I am after all just someone who loves writing rather than a proper writer but I can promise that it will be honest. I have always been fascinated how books are written, how the authors mind work, where they gather their information from etc and maybe if you feel the same you will enjoy reading about mine.

In the next couple of weeks I hope to get the new blog up and running - when I do - you'll be first to know

Sunday, 4 May 2008


Sometime there are television programmes that are so bad they are good and then there are programmes so bad they should carry a government health warning 'this programmes can seriously damage your sanity' Tonight's new drama on ITV Flood was so bad that it should be used to teach media students how not to make a television drama.

Imagine if you will that a huge tidal surge has hit Wick in Scotland killing 300 people - the Prime Minister is in Australia so his deputy flies North to see the devastation for himself. Within hours of him returning to London, a discredited scientist who is hated by the meteorological community because he thinks that the Thames Barrier is in the wrong place (keep up, it gets worse) tells COBRA that the barrier will breach in three hours because the surge is heading south and there is a spring tide due - it will come as no shock to hear that ALL the other scientists have been talking out of their bum and our weirdo scientist was right all along, the barrier won't be any use.

OK the scene is set London is about to be flooded. The surge is thundering down the east coast at a rate of knots and the mad scientist's son, who just happens to be a consultant engineer for the barrier, has to hot foot it up the river because the engineers on the barrier think that there is a fault that only he can fix, oh and by the way the chief engineer on the barrier is his ex-wife!

I think that I actually gave up the will to live when we were shown the surge belting along the Thames flooding everywhere in its wake but all we were meant to worry about was the fact that it was heading to central London. Well pardon me for caring but shouldn't we have been at least a tad concerned that everyone living either side of the river to the east of the Thames Barrier has just been wiped off the face of the earth never mind all those people living on the east coast of England!

With a cast that included Tom Courtney, Robert Carlyle, Joanne Whaley and David Suchett, I think the question we need to ask is were they all held hostage and forced to do this against their will or were they just short of money and couldn't get any voice over work?