Gosh I am behind! I had a lovely week in Wales with a group of people who were on a landscape photography tour. We stayed in a wonderful converted chapel near Llanberis. It is in the Snowdonia National Park and is in slate country. I was the cook so it was my job to keep everyone well fed and to produce meals at the right time. As ever I enjoyed meeting new people and learned a little more about photography. My purpose in taking pictures is to us them as reference material for paintings. Having spent years using pastels I am trying out acrylics with varying success. I will post a painting when I have one I think is finished.
Today on the radio we talked though a Christmas list of beautiful books to give as gifts. It is difficult to choose as there are so many I could have filled a three hour slot by myself!
Those of you who follow this blog will realise that I have a son, daughter in law and two little grandchildren in Melbourne Australia. Those of you who listen to the Nick Coffer show will know I got back from a visit on October 25th. It was so lovely to spend time with the children and so hard to leave but strangely nice to get home. The flights are just interminable but a good time for getting stuck into a good book. Weather in Melbourne in Spring is much like here in spring but warmer. This little fellow was in the Wildlife Sanctuary in Healesville. We had a great day there.
Off to Wales tomorrow to cook for a landscape photography course for a week. Good fun and in a lovely part of the UK.
I mention because I have recently joined this organisation.
We have an exhibition coming up on May 13th at Basing House in Rickmansworth. I expect to have a painting in this exhibition. I am very much an amateur artist and there are some very talented artists in this group. If you are in Rickmansworth on that Sunday pop in and take a look. Entry is free.
One of the members, Andrew Schofield, has an exhibition at Chenies Manor in May, from this Bank Holiday Monday onwards.
is Andrews website.
This is such a beautiful time of year. I couldn’t resist this photo when walking in the woods yesterday. I just love the beech trees at this time of year, looking as if the sun was hitting them whether it is or not.
On a bright sunny day I drove across Dunstable Downs to the BBC Three Counties Radio station in Dunstable. As usual shortly after 1pm I joined Nick Coffer in the studio and we discussed the books I had chosen for today. I seldom have a them but occasionally one emerges and today it was definitely books set abroad. Of the novels, three were set in America, two of them historical and one between London and Brazil. I also recommended a couple of books that would make non fattening Mothers Day presents – The Collins Complete Book of British Birds and Dreamweaver, an adult colouring book by Olivia Whitworth. It is always enjoyable, nothing is more fun than talking about books!
You can hear the programme here . I start 78 minutes into the show.
So now the best part of my month is here – what to read next? I will have a look through my proofs and see what I have on Netgalley and probably check what the book groups are reading and go from there.
Just returned from a great trip half way around the world and back. We started in San Francisco where we attended my niece’s wedding in a lovely redwood forest.
Then we flew to Auckland where we spent a week walking on the Coromandel Peninsula with my brother. This was joyous on many counts: the scenery is just glorious – quite one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, the weather was perfect – warm and sunny but not too hot to walk, and we spent the time with my brother who lives in Turkey and who therefore we don’t see often.
From Auckland to Melbourne where we were met by No 1 son and our lovely 2 year old granddaughter. We then spent 3 weeks being hands on grandparents to her and her very newly hatched baby brother and we loved it! Grampy did lots of DIY and we both read lots of stories, even changing nappies was ok. Leaving them there and coming home to the dark foggy Uk was a great wrench.
We saw the World Dinghy championships in St Kilda and I saw penguins for the first time ever. That has been an ambition of mine for a long time.
Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing author of psychological thriller, Forget Me Not, Luana Lewis. We met in Gerrards Cross in the church above Gerrards Cross Bookshop. We had 30 – 40 people, many of whom had read the book and many belonged to local book groups.
I started by asking whether Luana had felt the pressure of writing her second novel, a task many authors find rather difficult. It was a huge pressure, especially as she had a deadline to meet. With the first book, you can write it in your own time but the second has to be delivered to meet the publishing timetable.
Luana is a clinical psychologist who sees patients with problems as part of her day job. Many of them have fractured relationships and that was the starting point of this novel. What happens when the relationship between a mother and daughter is less than loving? How will it affect both in later life if indeed it will? The story of Forget Me Not is that of a mother and daughter who do not get on. The mother Rose, is a single parent, working as a neonatal nurse with long shifts. This has an effect on her daughter, Vivian, who is lying dead on the bathroom floor as the book opens. Rose, having been a less than perfect mother, has not been a very supportive grandmother but when he daughter is found dead she hopes to make up for that by looking after her granddaughter, Lexi. Vivian’s husband, Ben, is uncertain about that. All the characters become suspects as you read the book. It is suspenseful and compelling.
Luana told us that she was character driven and that the characters came to her fairly fully formed. She knew the end as she wrote but had not meticulously planned the plot as some authors do. “Writing is the fun part of my life and too much planning would make it more like work”
You can read all about Luana and her two novels by clicking here.