My Scotland 2015 Highlights – Stirling by Night

There is something mysteriously exciting about being surrounded by mountains and lochs that draws me back to Scotland, year after year, in search for a slice of its peace and tranquillity. The apartment where we stay is beautifully set in the Trossachs National Park, not far from Loch Lomond, and you don’t need to venture … Read More →

Happy Birthday Bollo!

Bollo

The first time I set eyes on my hairy hound he was ten weeks old, a chubby little chap with deep brown eyes and paws the size of plates that he most definitely needed to grow into.

He slotted easily into our household and soon become the focus of much cuddling by my daughter, spoilt by long walks, fed delicious doggy meals and enjoyed many tasty leftovers and treats.

Jan  march 2010 Bollo 039

During his first year he went through three training classes and several pairs of wellingtons (his favourite teething ‘toy’ as a pup) and soon became the thirty-seven kilo lump you see today.

Even at five, he’s an effervescent soul that bounds everywhere and still takes off for his morning walk like there’s a party at the end of the village and he’s missing it. His favourite welcome is a head-butt as he tries to lather you in doggy kisses. When he does his business, he waits for me to gather my bag and lean down to pick up, only to step forward and shower me in tufts of grass in a feeble attempt at covering it up. But… he still manages to squeeze a smile out of me every day and my life simply wouldn’t be complete without him.

Bollo Beach Cornwall

In recent years, he’s not only been a treasured friend and companion, he’s always transformed into my very own partner-in-crime.

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Just Another Phase…

We’ve been busy decorating daughter’s bedroom recently. It seems to me that the life of a child is played out in phases, in her case characterized by the décor of her room. When she was young it was a Winnie the Pooh room. When old enough to express a preference we moved into a pink Disney Princess theme. Several years on, she was fascinated by the ocean, so we switched to blue and accessorised with all things under the sea. Now that she is a teenager we have moved on again and I’m sure that her purple walls will soon be covered with posters from her beloved Kerrang magazine.

As I stroked the brush across the walls, it struck me that navigating the creative world of writing feels quite similar in many ways. When I discovered fiction writing, all those years ago, I started with a few short stories. Then I dipped my toe in the water and decided to write a novel which eventually became An Unfamiliar Murder. I had a bit of a paddle with The Truth Will Out, still unsure of whether it would actually work. With my latest, I plunged myself right in at the deep end and immersed myself in it. However, since starting my fourth, I feel I’ve lost my way a little.

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Have you been to Scandinavia?

I’m taking a break from all the book talk this week to indulge in my other passion of travel, and share a little secret with you.

There have been whisperings in my household these past few days. You know those moments when you catch the edge of a conversation, just enough to tell you that something is afoot, that a plan is being hatched?

What they don’t realise is that I’ve caught the odd word. Well, actually it’s more like a few sentences. Enough to know that the discussion is focused on a surprise trip to Scandinavia.

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