Posted in Holidays, Madison Harper, Psychological Thriller, Update, Writing

SAYING GOODBYE TO APRIL

Here we are, once again, saying goodbye to yet another month. We are now a third of the way through 2022. Where has the time gone?

On the writing front, I’ve had a complete overhaul of my writing timetable.  I had planned to have my ms ready for editing by the time we go away in May. That is now definitely not happening, which has had a bit of a domino effect, pushing the publication date to later in the year.  I’m now looking to publish in early September.  Having agreed this change with my editor and formatter, as you can imagine, it’s taken a whole lot of pressure off me. The delays which have caused me to fall behind have been due to health issues. Nothing serious, but it has definitely impacted on my writing.

Note sure whether any of you know, but I live in a village on the eastern side of Bath. We’ve been here many years and have been lucky enough to look out onto open fields at the rear of our property.  When we first moved in, a farmer rented the field and we had a herd of Friesians as neighbours  Then it was sold off to someone in London and there was talk of them wanting to sell it for building.  We realised that things change and although not ideal, this could well happen.  A retired businessman not far from us used to pay for the field to be mowed twice a year and then, last year, we heard that he’d managed to purchase it.  The great news now is that it is now being developed as a nature reserve.  Last September we noticed seed being sewed and automatically thought it was meadow flowers. However, with the arrival of spring, it’s clear they were planting different types of grasses.  This week a team have arrived and given an oak tree, which stands a few hundred yards away, a bit of a makeover, cutting out the dead wood.  In addition, young trees are being planted in small copses around the field, which when established will provide a useful habitat for wildlife.  

 

I think everyone in the road is relieved that any new neighbours will be of the fur and feathered variety rather than the human kind.  Living in an area of outstanding natural beauty and having been incorporated into the Cotswolds it’s a relief to know the area behind the houses will be preserved and won’t be given over to another extension of suburbia.

Our first holiday is imminent. We are spending a week in Cumbria and have chosen a location which gives us the benefit of being able to visit the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales.  We’ve not been to the Lakes since the 1980s when we stayed at Ambleside.  I have to admit to not ever having visited the Dales, so a new adventure for me – and hopefully plenty of photo opportunities!

And finally, my April reads. I went slightly mad this month. The problem was there were so many good titles to choose from. I ended up with seven in all, which I set out below.  Although I enjoyed all of them, two in particular became favourites – Gone To Her Grave by Wendy Dranfield, the fourth in her Detective Madison Harper series. One which I have to say gets better and better with each book.  The second was Out of Her Depth by Lizzie Barber.  A gripping read, helped by the wonderful Tuscan backdrop which brought back memories of holidays in places like Florence,  Sienna and San Gimignano. 

So that’s it for another month.  The next time I’m in touch, I hope to able to post some holiday shots. Until then….

Best wishes

Jo 

Posted in Holidays, Update, Writing

MAY UPDATE…

The end of May is here already. How has that happened? The month has sped by, despite the way life in general has shrunk due to Covid-19 rules and regulations.  So what have I been up to? I’d love to say I’m enjoying getting back to normal life but unfortunately that’s still a way off.  In the meantime, I’m listing my May milestones 

 

Follow up with Consultant: Carried out over the phone. I’ve made a good recovery. I’ve healed well, am eating well and exercising regularly. It’s all good news but there will still have to be regular checks. 

 

An opportunity to travel farther to exercise: Yes, I know I think we could probably have got away with this earlier, but we played by the rules.  Now the daily walk has extended to a couple of local villages where we park up and take a walk.  The warm weather has been a real bonus.

 

Holiday: Our trip to Norfolk won’t be happening. Instead the travel company have allowed us to switch to another date in 2021 and we’ll be charged 2020 prices. Sad not to be going back to Wells Next The Sea (this would have been our third stay here since 2007) but it’s given us something to look forward to. I know a lot of people are keen to get away but until they develop a vaccine holiday experiences, like shopping are going to be vastly different and maybe not so enjoyable.

Birthday: A very surreal experience this year. Normally we’d be out celebrating either together or with friends. Instead I cooked and OH bought some bubbly. Not sure even if restaurants had opened up I would have enjoyed it, given the social distancing and other safety measures that have to be put in place.  Still there’s always next year to look forward to.

 

Writing Now: Cover finalised. A big shout out to Jane Dixon Smith for yet another fabulous cover!  Manuscript away with editor. Formatting booked for later in June. 

Writing What’s next: I have a partially written novel which I’m proposing to resume work on once I’ve taken a short break.  Watch this space.

 

 

Until next month, stay safe everyone…