Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Vive l'indépendence!

This time last week I dropped off my 15-year old daughter at school for her French exchange trip. In the dark, lamp-lit morning (4:30am), seeing her onto the school coach felt like a surreal experience. In a haze of orange street-light, I was sending off  into the unknown, to stay with a family I'd never met before. Instinctively, I didn't want to let her go, even though my head was telling me this was a good opportunity for her.

My daughter at ease with her new independence!
On the quiet drive home, I gave myself a stern pep talk. As a good parent, I needed to allow my daughter her independence and the freedom to try out new experiences.

Monday, 25 March 2019

The march of a million feet

The word march was a misnomer. It was more of a gentle stroll on a mild spring day. A great tide of humanity rolling through the famous streets of London - Park Lane, Piccadilly, Whitehall; everyone chanting and waving placards. This was the People's March, a historic protest against Brexit, with hundreds of thousands voicing their call for a second public vote.

Thousands of anti-Brexit protesters on the People's March in London
A constant stream of protesters
I woke up on Saturday morning undecided as to whether I should go. (We're currently planning a house renovation with an endless 'to do' list.) But then I watched a clip of Anna Soubry on Channel 4 News talking about the death threats she's received for speaking her mind on Brexit - vile letters posted to her home address. Soubry's closing words were: "Get on that march and show them we've had enough."

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Spring house makeover

At long last, spring is in the air! I can't say I feel the urge to spring-clean, but all this lovely sunshine is raising my energy levels on the house front. We moved into a period home last October and are in the throes of figuring out what needs renovating. The to-do list seems to keep on growing...

Fliers of exhibitors at the Henley House & Garden Show 2019
Exhibitors at the House & Garden Show

We could live here quite happily for another year or so without doing anything, but we're under pressure to get the heavy lifting out the way before my daughter takes her GCSEs next summer. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

The power of friendship

First page of a new novel
Chiselling away... page one!
Just when you thought An Author's Notebook might have died and gone to blog heaven... here I am! The reason for my absence has been book-related: I've spent January finishing my third novel. I'm nearly there (New Year's resolution - tick!) although I'm still tinkering around the edges.

I actually finished writing the book over a year ago, but have spent all this time chiselling away at it, refining sentences and teasing out themes. Most usefully, I've been addressing feedback from a small group of readers - most of them writers themselves. I've been so lucky with the people I have met through my CBC creative writing course, as well as a few supporters closer to home.