Showing posts from July, 2019

Viking Wedding ~ the new book!

Advance news ~ I'm working hard on my new book. I've done a lot of work while I was on holiday, usually two hours a day, and  finally got the time scale straight.  It is a stand alone story but Flane and Emer, from Far After Gold , feature in it, which sort of tells you that it is a Viking tale.  This one is set in Stornoway in the 11th century.   I have another 20,000 words to write, and a difficult bit approaches, so yesterday  I spent some time  doing a cover, and though it may change - or be a more "perfect" version, this will basically be it . Oh - the title? Viking Wedding . The break from writing to playing with Photoshop gives my thoughts time to settle into how I want to proceed with the "difficult" bit. And when will it be ready? Another month should see it well on the way. I'll check back then.

A copy of Matho's interview

As part of the Interview My Character Blog Hop, Lynn Dawson interviewed Matho Spirston on her blog Blogging with Labradors and I liked it so much I decided to copy and paste it here. The pics haven't transferred, but you can always check back on her blog by clicking on her name. 15TH JUNE 2019  BY  LYNN DAWSON Matho Spirston Today at Blogging with Labradors I’m delighted to be interviewing Captain Matho Spirston. I first met Matho in  Abduction of the Scots Queen  by author Jen Black, which follows the young Matho on his adventures on the Anglo-Scottish borders in the sixteenth century. Matho has come a long way since his first appearance in  Fair Border Bride  and is beginning to make a name for himself in the service of the Scottish Queen Dowager. Jen Black gives the following introduction to her character: Abduction of the Scots Queen is rather a giveaway to the time and the place, not to mention the storyline! However, the story really begins with what I call the

Relaxing days in the Dordogne

Monday 8 th July Another cool morning but with 33 forecast. We cut some more hazels from beside the millstream behind the house and by the time we gave up I had sweat running down my face like Rafael Nadal on centre Court! Had a shower, then lunch and then enjoyed a lazy afternoon with a sparkly white watching Rafa beat Jao Souza. The sky is grey and it is so warm I’m expecting a thunderstorm this evening. Tuesday 9 th July The expected storm did not materialise though there was a lot of activity on the bolly between 1 and 2.30am because the security light kept flicking on and off. I imagined a fox could smell the herb sausages and salad we’d had for dinner and was trying to find the source of the smell. Poor fox! We left nothing. It might have been mice or lizards running around. Deer wouldn’t be interested in sausages, but we do see what we think is deer shit around the field and the drive. Plus the creature that digs a hole and then shits in it is around too; I did not get

Discovery in the woods

Sunday, 7 th July Overcast and blessedly cool morning, so we decided to go on a favourite walk while we could. Walks in France are called randonĂ©es and are marked by yellow poles with a yellow circular band at the top. If the walk turns right, then the pole will carry a yellow strip that looks like a | with a – at the top right, rather like an upside-down L. We followed the path easily, because the commune ensures that the grass is kept at a reasonable level and fallen trees etc are cut back. On the other side of the valley was an old mill, now a renovated farmhouse, with a thriving orchard neatly laid out in rows. We guessed the crop the farmer and his tractor were collecting was apples, but we might be wrong. The path followed the route of an old pound, now dry and covered in ivy. Once upon a time the pound would have taken water to the mill and on the return trip we discovered, buried among the trees, we found the old water wheel; a gigantic structure which must have

Sleeping naked

A dovecote? Thursday 5 th July Threatening another 35 degree day today. We were going to go to Lalinde but not in this sort of heat. We’ll wait til Monday, when according to the forecast, it will be cooler! Thursday 6 th July The trouble with the heat is that it builds on what has gone before. Before we knew it and despite all our precautions, the heat inside the mill shot up to 28.5 by midday. We were hot, but poor Tim was distressed again. We hosed him down twice and he had a splodge inn the stream, but he absolutely refused to have a wet cloth draped over him. I don’t know if air conditioning is as common in France as it is in the UK – that is to say, practically none-existent, but I suspect it is so except in the homes of the very rich and the big modern public buildings. The heat wave seems to have dropped out of the news once the highest ever temperature in France was recorded, but believe me, the heat goes on in the mid-high 30s day after day. We worked in the mil

No let up in the heat!

Nearby Gite Rural Sunday 30 th June Happily Tim seems fine this morning. He’s been out for two walks already, one around the neighbouring fields and it is only 10.30. No hesitation on eating his breakfast biscuits, either. The forecast is for 30 degrees today, so I may decamp downstairs into the mill room where it is so much cooler. We feel trapped by such oppressive heat; no trips out, no pcs; thank goodness for the pool! (13 lengths now plus lots of fooling/floating around. Monday, 1 st July . We took a late walk over the fields yesterday evening. Given several glasses of red wine, wellingtons -in case the grass is wet or the ground soggy or we might disturb a snake – rare but has happened - and the sloping ground, I staggered and stumbled as Tim tugged me up the hill. When I unclipped his lead, he shot off like a bullet, running in circles and that made me laugh more. Bill was ashamed of me, but I couldn’t stop laughing, though I admit I felt rather blah this morning when