Monday 29 September 2008

Stockpiling memories

My mother did not believe in running out of things. After she died it took us three months to use up her stock of loo paper. Her mammoth roll of cling-film lasted me a year. It was twenty-two months before I needed to buy more ginger conserve ("Because they stopped making it one time, darling, don't you remember? We had terrible trouble finding it again.").

Silver foil, light bulbs, batteries.... I finished them all, one by one. And just this last week I blew my nose on the very last multi-coloured tissue in the very last box I unearthed from her airing cupboard (no, I never worked out why they were kept there either).

Rest in peace, Mum. Hope they've got a decent supermarket up there.

Hellibores moved from my mother's shade garden to mine when I sold her bungalow.
Rosemary Coulson: 4th June 1930 - 30th September 2005

Saturday 20 September 2008

I Love London

Now, I know I've lived in East Anglia for nearly thirty years, but London has always been my city.

It's where I was born, where I did all my growing up. It's in my bones. It puts a fizz in my blood like nowhere else in the world.

And it has its moments of sheer, unexpected surprise.

This looks like the interior of any church, looking out towards the garden, right?

But it isn't. Because this is St Dunstan in the East, in the heart of London, and this photo was taken from the outside looking in

The tiny church, bombed beyond reasonable repair during WW2, has been turned into a city garden. Instead of being demolished for redevelopment, it is now a small oasis surrounded by office blocks

I love London.

PS - thanks to Fiona Harper for directing my feet there

Sunday 14 September 2008

Black Box

I blame Liz Fenwick. See, this is my black box. (In a later post I'll show you what's inside it.)

But Liz found another black box. A black box created by Stray to promote a book by Caroline Smailes called - wait for it - Black Boxes.

The book is about choices. And the Black Box Widget is about choices too. In theory, the choices you make when you open it will connect you to a blog (or website) belonging to someone who also made similar choices.


What it really does is to steal away all your will-power so you can't help opening the little beauty over and over again. You start off thinking, "Hey, this is cool. All these nice blogs to land in." But after three or four hours, you're doing it because it's so bewitching watching the darling boxes rotate and open up to display more choices. And after seven or eight hours you're doing it because you actually are interested in all the choices you're making.

So, if you are on a deadline, do not open this box

Saturday 13 September 2008

Taking my mind off.....

Have just been to have troublesome upper tooth 'investigated'. This is dentist-speak for scraped out, prodded, tutted over and re-filled.

"It's much better," I said brightly when I arrived.
He looked at me. "But you told me last week that whenever you drank anything cold you felt as if your ears were being torn off."
"Well yes," I said. "But I've been limiting myself to tea. And red wine at room temperature."
He sighed. "Just sit in the chair."

Consequently am now numb from right cheekbone to right eye and having difficulty drinking my tea without dribbling.

So, I'm cheering myself up playing with the publicity-postcards that arrived today. Aren't they gorgeous? Can't decide whether I like the fan design on silver lamé or the casual block design on blue velvet.

It's going to be a real wrench to send them off to all the libraries in the Yellow Pages in the hopes of making a few sales.

But, hey, I can always order more!

Sunday 7 September 2008


Here it is! The final cover of Fair Deception

Available to pre-order from the Robert Hale website, or indeed Amazon or your local independent bookshop (but at the moment, ordering from Hale is much cheaper)

Aren't you just itching to find out what happens when gorgeous Kit rescues Susanna from the dastardly Rafe Warwick? If you haven't got time to read the whole first chapter, here is a tiny taster:

. He knelt next to the tub
and before Susanna could divine his intent, lifted her leg and lowered her foot into the cold water.
. Her gasp was less for the icy temperature than for the fact that his grasp on her calf had been disturbingly sensuous.
. “I beg your pardon, did I jar you?”
. “No, I - ”
. But he was frowning and gently stroking the red weal. “The ankle I saw you twist, but how did this happen?”
. “Mr Warwick has a cane,” said Susanna, twitching at his touch and thanking God that her foot was already becoming numb. “And an uncertain temper.”
. Her rescuer sat back on his heels. “As well you did not provoke it further. I have heard that cane doubles as a sword-stick.”
. Susanna stared at him in horror. “And you hit him with your bare fists? He might have drawn on both of us!”
. “That’s Mr Kit for you,” said the footman cheerfully. “Acts first and thinks later. Always has done.”

Now that's my kind of hero!

Friday 5 September 2008

When in, er, Cambridgeshire...


Now this really isn't something you see every day. Cyclists, yes. Cambridgeshire is full of cyclists. Cyclists dressed as Roman centurions complete with modern-day steel chariot, no.

So after I'd got over the shock (thinking that maybe he was a miasma brought on by Too Much Rain), I abandoned the washing up and rushed outside with my camera, just in time to see the centurion conferring with his support vehicle and deciding to head back the other way.

Apparently they are riding the length and breadth of the country for various charities, including the East Anglia Children's Hospices.

"But why as a Roman centurion?" I called as they disappeared into the unremitting drizzle.

I think he yelled back that it had seemed like a good idea at the time.