Monday, December 29, 2014

Secret Diary of Lynne (aged 9 and 22 days)

I was searching through my school diary to see which secrets I wanted to share with you. March 1st seemed apt because of the picture.

There’s a problem with the second line of this entry. We have not had it (sewing lesson) for a few weeks. You cannot hear the joy in those words. My great-grandmother sewed for a living. In her later years her hands were swollen and mis-shaped from arthritis, curved as if they were still clutching a needle. The sewing gene wasn’t passed on to me. I remember those lessons and my hot and sweaty little hands trying to grip the needle. Miss Tipper used to let me go out of the classroom to wash my hands under the cold tap but the freezing water didn’t work any magic. I still don’t like sewing.

To draw a picture of a classroom, or any of my attempts at sewing would have required the drawing of people so I opted out and added a bit about my brother’s Meccano set. This is the ‘apt’ bit because Tracy Baines recently gave the LSO the name of Meccano Man, saying that if he was cut open his heart would look like it was made of Meccano now that he has so many stents in it.

My music stand? I wanted to play piano but we didn’t have one. When we did get one my Dad told me not to write about it in my diary. Why? I’m not telling. Oh, well, maybe later.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I do not wish you a happy Christmas

No. I don't. I'd like to wish you all a happy day every day.
I don't like Christmas and don't celebrate it but if you want to then it's fine by me. Each to their own. I do not understand those people who, on Escape To The Country, want a dining room that will be good for Xmas day. What about the other 364/5 days a year? They are all important so here am I wishing you Happy Days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Post something controversial

Post something controversial, says Brian Feinblum.
on his list of blogging suggestions. So here it comes. The following is from an NHS feed that arrives on my laptop, and has done since I bought it.

The global surge in ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] diagnosis has more to do with marketing than medicine, according to experts. .
ADHD is being medicalised – that is, for a variety of reasons, children who may be simply "naughty" and high spirited are being misdiagnosed with ADHD, and are wrongly being treated with powerful medications such as methylphenidate, better known as Ritalin.  
This study concludes that the "global expansion" of ADHD and its subsequent medicalisation has been driven by five major causes:
drug industry lobbying
  • the influence of US-based psychiatry
  • the adoption of looser criteria for diagnosis
  • the influence of ADHD patient advocacy groups
  • the growth of information on the internet
This is a well-researched and interesting article which reflects current concerns about the medicalisation of symptoms that might be viewed as part of the human condition, rather than a disorder that needs drug treatment.

At the end of this it said it was an opinion piece and not the last word on this controversial subject. Here’s the last (controversial and maybe even tongue-in-cheek) word from me.
There were a couple of kids when I went to school who would be diagnosed with ADHD now. They were fortunate and got cured. The Headteacher’s cane worked a treat.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Counting Blessings

Andy tells us about the school play. His daughter, four year old Amelia, is a Townspeoples. (No, I haven’t spelled it wrongly.) He wasn’t too sure what that meant. He had also thought that the main parts in a nativity play belonged to Mary and Joseph. Not in this one. The Innkeeper’s Cat stole the show.

Just one of the many things that have cheered us over the past three days. Colin is now home after having another three stents. He now has nine in all and has to go back for another next year. These are keeping his arteries open and his heart working. Once again the heart ward was full of men who didn’t smoke and weren’t overweight. Colin’s problem is hereditary.

We have had so many lovely messages from friends and family. It’s made us realise once again how lucky we are.

Thank you to everyone who sent us good wishes.

Monday, December 01, 2014

December giggle blog

The LSO has a habit of asking me questions when I am in the middle of my ablutions (good old fashioned word). ‘Why do you always want a conversation with me when I’m cleaning my teeth?’ I asked him.
His reply – ‘It’s the only chance I get to speak.’

I don’t need subtitles but I love reading them because they hold so many silly mistakes. How about?
Zoe Ball : ‘That’s a lovely tie.’
Subtitle : ‘That’s a lovely Thai.’
And what about this little gem?
Who or what was meant by Pepsi cans it? (Find the answer after Sue’s giggle.)

Sue’s giggle blog

A group of us had just started looking around this stately home. One of the crowd was looking at a beautiful piece of furniture, a gorgeous chest of drawers. "Ooh I wonder what it says about this piece," she says, putting her hand on top and leaning forward to read the notice. She leaps back, blushing. "Please don't touch the furniture," the notice proclaimed.


Answer: Pepsi cans it = Patsy Kensit. Honestly!

Friday, November 28, 2014

4 beautiful things

Four Beautiful Things in one morning!

1. We have a surprise visitor. A long-time friend who we’d lost touch with until recently. Cayn Theakston was a top professional cyclist and won the Tour of Portugal in 1988. Cayn gives better hugs than anyone else I know and his crinkly smile lights up the room.

2. A letter from the hospital. The LSO’s appointment for his angioplasty is on Dec 8. It’s a relief to know the date.

3. The man who is building a house for himself on the plot of land next to us comes around to ask if we’d like our hedge cut. So grateful because the LSO can’t do it at the moment and it would have taken me a week a little bit at a time.

4. I put in a Cosmic Order for a parking spot near to the optician’s. ‘Turn left,’ I tell the LSO and there’s a space right around the corner.’ And there it was!

Monday, November 24, 2014

10 Reasons to visit a bookshop

I have pledged not to use Amazon for the whole of December but why wait? I stopped mid-November and had so much fun I may never use it to buy anything ever again. I realise, as writers, we need Amazon/Kindle in order to sell our own books but let’s hope someone with higher morals will come along to replace this company, or at least give us a choice.
On our Sabbath (any day of the week we choose to take off and do no work) the LSO and I visited Tewkesbury and called in at Alison’s Book shop. And my heart expanded as I realised what I’d been missing.

1. All those books to see, touch, feel, smell, try out…
2. Enough corners to hide behind so I could sniff the volumes in private.
3. An experienced salesperson to chat to.
4. Chairs to sit on whilst peering at the packed shelves or reading a few pages and making decisions.
5. A chance to listen to customers and hear how helpful the man behind the counter was. Examples. ‘Do you have a book of poetry – I’ve forgotten the title- but it has a poem about larks in it?’ ‘I’ve got some numbers for the books I want but they may have been written down wrongly…’
6. The joy of finding a favourite author and one of his books that I’d never read.
7. Discovering that the book is signed.
8. Getting a chance to discuss the author with the salesperson and discover he visits the shop to sign his books each time a new one comes out. I’ll be there next time.
9. To look at books that a certain company would never have recommended for me and find ones that I had never considered before.
10. The joy of wandering around with a bagful of books knowing that I had hours and hours of pleasure to come.

And a post-script. People who wander the streets, oblivious to others and to traffic, texting on their mobile phones annoy me so why did a guy walking through the shopping centre reading a book make me smile?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Coming Out. The LSO reveals his secret.

Yes. He’s come out. It’s no longer a secret that the LSO (Long Suffering One) is teaching himself to play the clarinet.
Last night he serenaded me with Love Me Tender.

Monday, November 17, 2014

75,000 Reasons to be grateful

Another of Brian Feinblum’s ideas for a blog is to comment on an anniversary of an important event.
This time eight years ago I was waiting for my Deal Or No Deal appearance to be aired. I’d been on for three weeks, opening boxes, and my actual show was due to go out on the 20th. I’d been asked not to tell too many people about the outcome so my winning £75,000 was a secret. The local pub was going to show my game on their big screen and friends had been invited. The LSO and I had said we’d pay for the drinks. ‘But don’t let it get over £50,’ the LSO told Dave, the landlord, making him think the worst.
When it got to the final two boxes – one with 10p in and the other with £75,000 – Dave groaned and everyone in the pub was shouting Deal to the offer the Banker had made me – Walk away now with £22,075. Of course, back in October when I’d played the game I’d said No Deal and walked away with the big money.
A few years previously we’d lost our business and our home and were re-building our lives when the LSO has his heart attacks. Sick pay was just over £50 per week so we were back to being broke. We’d borrowed the money to get to the studio in Bristol. Deal Or No Deal changed our lives. And I’m still making money out of it by giving talks on my experiences. 
Oh, that's not the LSO I'm hugging. It's the charismatic Noel Edmonds.
You can check out my game on Youtube. Put in Deal Or No Deal 2007 Lynn. (Wrong year and wrong spelling of my name but it gets you there.)


Monday, November 10, 2014

Secret Diary of Lynne (aged 9 and nearly a quarter)

Another page from my school diary today. Library visits happened two or three times a week. I would read in bed, in front of the telly, while I was eating, when I was walking to school. My mother would tell me to stop sitting around and do something which is strange because she was an avid reader too. Maybe what she really wanted was for me to read something other than Enid Blyton but I was addicted.

When I finally began finding The Famous Five etc a bit on the boring side I asked Mom what I should read and she handed me a huge book – Hatter’s Castle by A J Cronin. There were no teen books back then so we leapt from kids’ to adults’ reading material. Hatter’s Castle was the most wonderful experience and I remember crying when I read how the author, once he’d finished writing it, had attempted to burn his book on a garden bonfire. It was saved by his wife.

After that Mom introduced me to Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury and my love of reading was ensured.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

November giggle blog

A bit late this month. That’s because the LSO had an angiogram on Friday. He already has six stents (sort of scaffolding holding open his arteries). Now he needs two more as another artery is blocked. It may mean a bypass but we’re hoping not. So what is there to laugh about? Well, he was told to rest for 48 hours so I’ve been on his case, giving him orders about what he can and cannot do. This morning I told him off for doing something – I can’t remember what – and his reply was, ‘I don’t mind doing what I’m told as long as you remember what you told me to do.’
We’ll be getting through this tough time with a lot of giggles and great friendships.

Over to Sue Blackburn -
My mum had a great sense of humour and could always laugh at herself. We were discussing perfumes one day.
 “Oh,” she said, tutting away, “I much prefer talc. Those perfume smells get right up my nose.”
 Cue hysterics from both of us when she realised what she’d said.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Go on. Reveal a fantasy.

 Reveal a fantasy -- Imagine what could be and let your words shape its reality.
This is the second suggestion for blog ideas from Brian Feinblum.

I’ve been giving this one some thought and, apart from the usual for writers- creating a best-seller – or for most people – winning the lottery, I can’t come up with a fantasy. Maybe it’s because I’m happy with life as it is. But here is a made-up one I came up with a few years back whilst at Writers’ Holiday.
The men sitting at our table were discussing the class they’d been to on erotic writing. One was trying to embarrass us. I don’t do embarrassed so when he challenged me, asking what my erotic fantasy was I told him – and he blushed. Want to hear it? It’s more silly than erotic and came off the top of my head but I always believe that if you say something with conviction it sounds true. Here goes –

I said, ‘I’ve always wanted to go on a child’s slide, a big one, and land in mud at the bottom. With no knickers on.’

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Writing Day

Many of you will know that I interview a writer each month for Writing Magazine's My Writing Day.  I've always fancied doing this myself and letting everyone know about my writing day but I'm probably not allowed to interview myself. Now someone else has asked me to tell them about My Writing Day. You can check it out here.

I've no idea why I'm in so much demand lately but I'm not complaining. And please don't give up after the first couple of sentences. I think if this magazine was paper the LSO would have thrown it across the room when he read the start of this. You need to read on at least until the top of the first photo.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What to blog about

Help! I don’t know what to blog about. How fortunate that Brian Feinblum gave me (and everyone else on the planet) a list of things.  Here’s his link and what he says.

Brian Feinblum, the creator and author of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, is the chief marketing officer for the nation's largest book promotions firm, Media Connect (, formerly Planned Television Arts, and has been involved in book publicity and marketing since 1989

Brian then says, ‘It always amazes me when some writers say they don’t know what to blog about. The possibilities are endless. Perhaps what they need is a template of general topic areas that will generate an idea of what you can write about. Here are 39 areas one can blog on:’

Number 1 is to share a memory so here goes. One night last week I gave a talk on How and why you should write your memoirs and I asked my audience what their first memories were. We had some good ones. Mine is when I was three and was bridesmaid at my Aunt’s wedding. I remember the scratchy feel of the lace on my dress and the soft velvety feel of the fake flowers on my Alice band. And I remember my Aunt turning around to look at me as we walked up the aisle and, seeing me trailing my posy of flowers down at my side, hissing, ‘Hold those flowers up.’ So I did, for a few seconds.  Just long enough for her to face the front again.

If you want to start with number 1 then feel free to post a memory here, or perhaps it’s something you could do on your own blog. There are 38 more ideas to come at some point. As they say, Watch this space.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Complete with photos and confessions.

Writing is not often considered a 'proper job'. Actually, being self-employed was never considered a proper job, by my mother. She'd keep asking when the LSO was going to get a proper job, and then she started asking if I was going to get one.
If you want to see a Proper Job nip over to the link below and see how beautifully Susan Jones has presented an interview with yours truly. (Complete with photos and confessions.)

Monday, October 06, 2014

Blooper headlines

Did anyone else think it was unfortunate that right next to the lovely picture of Victoria Hislop on the front cover of Writing Magazine were the words – MORE BOOM. LESS BUST? I immediately looked down at Ms Hislop’s neat bosom.

These little bloopers happen when positioning pictures and words and most people won’t notice. (Actually, a few more will now that I’ve pointed it out.)

I’ve made the same mistake myself. Many years ago, I was putting together a page of a newspaper. After being present at a council meeting I’d written an article about the number of homeless people in Worcester. I included a head and shoulders shot of one of the lady councillors who, I seem to remember, had rather a lot to say about their plight. All OK so far but I placed the photo directly beneath the headline which read GRIM PICTURE FOR CITY HOMELESS. I may as well have added ‘Cut out and keep’ underneath the photo.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October giggle blog

I’d been writing for so long that I realised people would think I was ancient so, a few years back, I came up with a cunning plan – I’d knock ten years off my age. Nice people would say I looked fine and not so nice might think, or even say, ‘She’s had a hard life if she’s only **.’
I then realised my daughter would have been born when I was ten so I told her to take ten years off too.  That meant the grandson, Dan, needed to drop a decade. I broke the news. He was nine at the time.
‘That’ll make me minus one,’ he wailed. ‘I don’t want to be minus one.’
He didn’t get a choice. The following year, on his tenth birthday, I sent his Mom a card saying, ‘Congratulations on the birth of your Baby Boy!’

And there’s more…
We’ve been laying slabs and stones around a tree stump and underneath it all placed a membrane which is supposed to stop a lot of weed growth. Yesterday we noticed that a large chunk of uncovered membrane was missing. It was semi-circular and looked as if something had chewed through it. Then, last night I spotted the culprit. A little fox. I shooed him away and then felt guilty. The membrane is soft and probably makes a cosy blanket wherever he lives. I wondered if he’d come back for the remainder of the roll. He could bring a mate and they could take an end each and carry it across the garden to the hole in the fence. I could even hear him saying (in Fox) to his mate, ‘Left a bit, right a bit,’ as they manoeuvred it through he gap.

 And from Sue Blackburn
Well I was in a rush but even so…
I'd been cleaning (no that's not the giggle although it well could be) and afterwards was in the bathroom putting on a bit of lippy as you do, and doing the old hair before going out. Tweaked to relative satisfaction I duly sprayed it. As I'm reasonably quick on the uptake in some areas I knew immediately something was not quite right. I'd used the spray polish. And no it didn't make my hair lovely and shiny.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's so true

I am a big fan of  You can sign up and get a message from The Universe every weekday. Some I read and delete, others I keep. Some speak to me, others mean nothing. This one I want to share because it’s made me think so differently. I am always saying there isn’t enough time to do everything. Each month when it’s time for the giggle blog I tell myself a month can’t possibly have passed. It flew by and I did nothing. So The Universe came up with this. Do read right through to the final line which is the one that hit me.

‘There's so much time in a day, Lynne.
You could have breakfast, lunch, and dinner on 3 different continents.
You could outline the book you're going to write, start the screenplay adaptation, and watch "Gone With The Wind," before the sun even sets.
Spend a day at work, and still have 16 hours left over.
Or you could just think 60,000 different thoughts as you tool all over Malvern.
Hey, the record for climbing Mt. Everest is under 9 hours, leaving 15 to nap and go Yeti searching. There's so much time in a day, Lynne. So much.
You're rich,
   The Universe

Especially, Lynne, when one stops claiming there's so little of it, huh?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jan Baynham is a new follower of this blog see

And she has offered me a blog award which is actually handy as posting on my blog is on today’s To Do list and I had no idea what to blog about. If you want this award and would like to write seven things about yourself, go for it.
So now you get to hear seven things about me.

1.     Today I do not want to be a writer. I want to be a layabout and go back to bed.

2.     I have given up writing short stories because they are too close to real life now and I really enjoyed writing spinechillers and ‘weird’ stories.

3.     I am, and always have been, in love with Ray Bradbury.

4.     I have fabulous hair.

5.     It’s fabulous because I take it out of a box every morning. Once, several years ago now, mine all fell on the bathroom floor.

6.     I have finally given up watching Deal or No Deal.

And now the biggie and this is because I have been reading Ray Bradbury and he’s been telling me how to dig deep into my soul.

7.     I have a broken heart. Our son went out of our lives fourteen years ago. I love him.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I'm a Writer in Residence (without moving)

I really should have mentioned this on Monday because that was my first day as 'Writer in Residence' for the website, Creative Frontiers.
Oh, well, better late than never.
Pop over to  and you can follow my week of writing advice. (Not that you need it, you understand.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Thought For The Day

As I was dressing the bed this morning my brain asked, ‘Why do you waste time doing this?’ It’s enough to make the bed but I feel the need to add cushions and a throw. Why a throw? Because it’s lovely and soft to wrap around my shoulders when I sit up in bed to read.

And then came another thought.

The green teapot. When I discovered the handle was loose why didn’t I throw it away? It could never be used to hold scalding tea again.

Just like the bed I had to be creative with the teapot. Is it all a waste of time?

Then I had a big thought. What if everyone just wanted things to be nice? Not just themselves and their homes but their lives, their surroundings, their world. What if we could all be a little more creative?

Perhaps if we all made things pretty the world could be a better place.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August giggle blog

Ugh! We have slugs getting into the house. We’ve never actually seen any but each morning their slimy trails are across the living room carpet. Now that may not sound like much of a giggle but read on…
I sprinkled salt everywhere. It didn’t deter the determined gastropods. We laid beer traps. Our trespassers must be tee-total. The LSO filled a gap outside where they might have been squeezing through, though how they got in from the outside step is a mystery. It didn’t work.

So, what do we do in these techno-days? I turned to Google and discovered we are in huge company. Lots of householders were looking for a way to stop these horrible intruders but no-one had come up with a slug-stop solution.

‘You need to find out where they are getting in,’ said a helpful post.

‘How?’ I wondered and then discovered someone else had already asked the same thing.

The postee’s answer made me believe he was as thick as a doorpost. Or he was having us all on (and why did I assume it was a He?).

‘Get up when it’s dark, go into the affected room and catch a slug,’ he said. ‘Tie a piece of cotton around it and leave a long end then, when the slug leaves, you can follow the trail of cotton.’

Very Hansel and Gretel.

I told the gift-son. ‘Oh, do it,’ he urged. ‘I’d love to see the LSO’s face (he doesn’t actually call him that) when you wake him at two in the morning, present him with a reel of cotton and ask him to tie it around a slug. I’d love to hear his response. It’ll be in his best Welsh Windsor Davies It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum voice.’

The LSO did refuse to tie cotton around slugs. He said it would slide off them.

‘Not if you loop it around their ears,’ I pointed out.

‘And what bloody colour would you like me to use?’ boomed this Welsh Windsor Davies It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum voice.

Well, what colour would you use?


And from Sue Blackburn –

Well, I know I was slightly harassed, things whirling around in the old brainbox (although I am beginning to seriously feel said box is emptying rapidly) Nevertheless, I was somewhat disconcerted to find myself trying to switch off the electric fire with the TV remote control.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Where my genes came from

I hope the 'dress sense' gene missed me out. This is my family circa 1900 (I think). No, it must be later. Ankles are on display.
The proud gentleman with the fine whiskers is my great-grandfather. I just about remember him when he was very old and his whiskers were nicotine stained and he paid me 3d to give him a kiss. His mahogany bureau sits in our living room.
The man on the far right - according to my Grandmother - died of a broken heart after his wife died during childbirth. The baby died too and he lived for six months after the tragedy.
I wonder who the others are.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's all lies! Lynne, aged 9 and 1 month and 1 day.

Forget the friends and the rubber mice. OK, the mice are lies because they weren’t real but they aren’t the big fib.

Kids at most schools had to write diaries. My Gran said it was because the teachers were nosy. My mother lived in fear of me telling some home truths. Me? I just wanted to entertain my teacher but I also knew when to censor my own work. And now we get to the bit about the hospital and waving to the patients. That’s the censored bit.

What really happened was this – Colin Page told us he had seen a naked woman in one of the hospital windows so, after school, a big group of us went to see if we could be so lucky. I don’t think any one of us had ever seen a naked person in those days. We didn’t that day either. Or any of the following ones but I knew that I couldn’t give the real reason for me and my friend peering over the hospital wall so I came up with an acceptable alternative.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Interviewed by Creative Frontiers

In case you want to know more about me and my take on life pop over to

And do leave comments there and not here. It'll look better.
Thanking you in anticipation. (Who remembers having to type that at the end of letters?)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A question for writers?

Can you be creative at more than one thing at a time? I can't. When I'm not writing I've been heard to tell the LSO that we have goats' cheese, mint and pears encased in filo pastry and served with a medley of green vegetables. Creative description. Creative cookery.
Lately I have been decorating and not a word, apart from emails and they don't count, has passed through my laptop.
My writing room is getting a new look. I couldn't decide between classy or fun but opted for fun when I saw this so suitable wallpaper. So I am being creative with d├ęcor but I will get back to writing.
And here's a close up of my 'pencil-end' paper.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

August giggle blog

Four year old Amelia had already had dinner when she came to see us. We’d invited her parents to eat with us but didn’t want to leave Amelia out so when it came to pudding the LSO asked, ‘Would you like a sliver of treacle tart?’

‘What’s a sliver?’ asked Amelia.

‘A little slice,’ the LSO told her.

She thought  for a moment, smiled up at him and said, ‘Please can I have a big sliver?’

And here's Susan Blackburn's giggle -

I was trying out my new phone/camera and was somewhat disconcerted when all I could see on the screen was not what I wanted to photograph but the rather lovely view of the seashore - behind me!
I had it set on 'gallery!'  I was looking at a photograph I'd already taken.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Limerick found

I've been tidying my writing room and found a yellowing and crispy slip of paper with the following on it -

An erotic writer called Maud

Wrote books that were simply adored

‘Til the head of Black Lace

Saw the hairs on her face

And said, ‘Sir, you’re not Maud.

You’re a fraud.’

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bucket lists and why I won't be making one

 I am not afraid of flying but I am terrified of being locked in, no matter how big the space. It could be a small cupboard or Wembley Stadium. I have always said that I would fly around the world if I could do it in an open topped plane, Biggles’ style, wearing a leather helmet and goggles. I suppose you could say that going up in a Tiger Moth was on my bucket list so imagine my surprise when one of those Special Offer companies who send out daily emails gave me the chance to do just that. I had my credit card at the ready and was about to sign up when I thought I should read the small print. It said no-one with a back problem would be allowed to fly. That’s me out. With only one lumbar disc left it would be silly to entertain the thought of goggles, helmet and Tiger Moth flight.
I asked my sister for her opinion. (Glynis Scrivens.)

‘As for the bucket lists and people doing crazy things in their old age - my take on this is why jeopardise your mobility? It's a “nothing left to lose” attitude, which I'd probably  adopt if I had a terminal illness. But these are risky activities and there are often reports of mishaps on the news. It's definitely an age to decide what we want to do with whatever time we have remaining, and things like holidays can't go on being postponed. Or writing a book. Or having a website. Or catching up with old friends. But why invite a life-changing accident?
Not for me.’

Nor me, Sis. So I won’t be making a bucket list but I have been helping an older friend with hers. Last year we went to An Evening Of Clairvoyance. She was able to tick that off. Now she tells me she’s never been to a Bingo Club. Online ones won’t do. I’m hoping she’ll ask another friend and I won’t have to accompany her on that one.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What I'm reading now

I’m in a book club. We get a varied diet. Two months ago it was an old classic – London Belongs To Me by Norman Collins. It’s not been out of print since it first appeared in 1945. It was 750 pages long but enjoyed by all, which makes a change.

Last month it was a biography of some woman who’d done very little but was egotistical enough to think the public would be interested. All but one agreed about the egotistical bit. It was 350 pages long but seemed a lot longer than Norman’s.

This month we are going to be reading The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. After the last two it was a wise choice as it’s a brilliant author and only 124 A5 sized pages.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Words of writing wisdom

More from me on Creative Frontiers. See

and please post any comments there. Take a look around while you are there. For writers there’s lots to see and do.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Tour de France - Stage 1

Cycle racing is a bit of a mystery to most Brits so it was lovely to see so many turn out in Leeds this morning. Our family have always been involved in the sport. That’s why I wrote Racing Start. It’s aimed at pre-teens but a lot of people could learn about the sport from it. Not a long read, at 27,000 words, and you might enjoy Le Tour more if you knew more about a cyclist’s life.
Racing Start - an Amazon best-seller. Fast paced cycling fiction for 8-12 yr olds
OK. It's another plug for my book but you have to admit it's good timing!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

July Giggle blog.

This made me giggle. You probably don’t know Betty and what she’s like (very funny) but I hope you can see the funny side too.

When I went to visit fellow writer (Elizabeth Moulder who writes for Woman’s Weekly) she told me about her new laptop. Finally, after many years’ service her ancient desk top computer failed. She’d taken it to a computer shop where it had been declared dead. ‘Why did it die?’ Betty asked the whizz-kid behind the counter. ‘Because it’s so old,’ came the reply. And Betty, in true writerly style, said. ‘But I’ve only dusted it twice.’

 Extra info. The computer shop mentioned above is not what Betty and I call Pissy World. The large national store got this name after a call from a telephone company wanting Betty’s business. A nice Indian lady tried to persuade her to change telephone companies with the offer, ‘You get special coupon for place like Deb And Hams and Pissy World.’

 And there’s more. While I was typing this the church bells began to ring. The LSO checked his watch. ‘It’s ten past nine,’ he said. ‘I wonder why the church bells are ringing.’ And my reply was, ‘Perhaps we’re being invaded.’

 Over to Sue Blackburn
Sue’s Giggle : I felt ever so chuffed when what I thought was an evergreen plant suddenly sported some really pretty pink flowers.
I felt ever so silly when the 'pretty pink flowers' turned out to be petals that had drifted down from the hanging basket above!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Snippets of Conversation

Me : Are there any slug pellets in the shed?

LSO : If there are they’ll be out of date.

Me : So?

LSO : They won’t work.

Me : If we eat out of date stuff we get sick. Who cares if the slugs get sick? They might even die.

 (Now, I am not usually cruel to animals but slugs…? If anyone can tell me what use they are then I won’t feed them out of date goodies.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My name is Lynne and I am a technophobe

OK. I’m a technophobe, or maybe a Luddite, and I may live to regret it. On the computer I only ever learn what I need to know and I know I never want Windows 8.

I have a mobile phone that cost me £10 many years ago. It’s a Pay as You Go which means I put £10 on it every couple of months. All it does (you may need to sit down for this bit of info) is make calls and send texts. The texting bit is obsolete now as I refuse to text anyone. It a major cause of ragged fingernails. Last night there was a catastrophe. My mobile seems to be giving up on me. It crackles and hisses after being used for longer than a minute. (Anyone who knows me will know that I cannot talk for less than a minute.) I may have to get a new one. (Cue nightmares!)

I don’t have an iPad or any of that other stuff and guess what? My life goes on without any hitches.

We now have a box for the tv where the signal comes down the phone. It reminds me of our first black and white 12 inch screen tv from when I was a kid. You switch it on and it takes ages to warm up. The only difference is the early set stayed blank whereas this one keeps telling us that it’s getting ready. Getting ready for what? To air a brand new drama that isn’t crime would be good.

And here’s my radio. Isn’t it gorgeous? And it works.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

F&Ms or Dads' Day

One of the big pub chains is advertising Dads’ Day. Presumably they mean Fathers’ Day and perchance they’ve used Dad as they can’t spell father. At least that’s what I suggested to the LSO as we drove past.
‘Maybe they think there’s an R in it,’ I said.
‘Wouldn’t that make it Fart(h)er?’ said the LSO.
‘Well, that would suit most.’
‘And what if they start putting an R in Mother and making it Martyr,’ said the LSO, not sensibly and venturing onto dangerous ground.
Then I remembered the martyr streak that tends to run through our family. My mother used to do everything clutching her head or her stomach. One day I caught myself clutching my back and doing an exaggerated moan as I took out the rubbish (not my job!). I realised I was in danger of turning into a martyr too. 
Happy Dads’ Day, if it applies.
This post is dedicated to Farters and Martyrs everywhere.


Saturday, June 07, 2014

I'm a Believer

Got thirty seconds to spare? Pop along to Creative Frontiers and read the first of my tips on writing.

Monday, June 02, 2014

It can't be June already. Time for another giggle blog

My daughter had a cleaning business many years ago. One man phoned up and asked if she also did ironing. She said yes and he could drop it off at the office she ran the business from. The man duly turned up with over thirty shirts that needed ironing.
I’m so glad he explained about them because I would have always wondered how a man has so many shirts and I’d never have got a short story out of it (published in That’s Life! Australia).
His wife had left him and he could manage to do everything apart from ironing. And how come he had so many shirts? He owned a gentlemen’s outfitters and every day he’d been taking a brand new shirt from stock.

And now over to Sue Blackburn who’s been having more problems with her spec’s.

 I've had it up to here with glasses. Well up to my eyes anyway - when I can find them!!!
Realised this morning my glasses weren't in their customary place hanging on cheery, red cord around neck! I'd been on the computer where I use a different pair so hadn't missed them.
I couldn't find them anywhere. Not by my bed, not in my Snug, not in the bathroom. They were nowhere to be found. 'I really am going mad' thinks I.
I retrace my steps.I couldn't have could I?
I had.
I'd put them on my bed whilst getting dressed and, when I checked, there they were all neatly tucked in from when I'd made it!!