The Joy of Jam

It began with the figs. All 3 kgs of them. Having had such a dry summer, our fig trees seemed to go completely mad. Sadly, we hadn’t had the opportunity to eat their prolific produce, so I was unexpectedly faced with a glut of deliciously ripe purple fruit to consume. With some apprehension, I googled... Continue Reading →

From Green Dragons to Ancient Shepherds

It’s been a long time since I lived in Cambridge (I won’t say precisely how long), but apart from the students looking younger, I’d have to say the distances between places seem shorter, too.

Inspirational Women – Berlie Doherty, writer

 ‘I remember and let’s pretend - I remember is where you start, it’s what gives the story vitality and truth. Let’s pretend is what the imagination does with it, the lies that a story-teller is allowed to tell.’ [1] There are not many people like Berlie: quiet and thoughtful, kind and gentle, extremely articulate, when... Continue Reading →

The Muse – Jessie Burton

‘Not all of us receive the ends that we deserve. Many moments that change a life’s course – a conversation with a stranger on a ship, for example, are pure luck. And yet, no one writes you a letter, or chooses you as their confessor, without good reason. This is what she taught me: you... Continue Reading →

Inspirational Women – Susan Elliot Wright

I’ve recently read a couple of articles celebrating inspirational women in Sheffield. This got me thinking about the many inspirational women I have met in my life, some of whom have truly helped me shape it. Most of these women have overcome obstacles in their own lives, often to achieve and succeed against the odds.... Continue Reading →

What makes a good book?

Or perhaps I should rephrase that as, what makes a book good? I have recently read The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2015. I must admit, that usually anything Man Bookery puts me off reading a book. Too avant garde, too clever, perhaps? When... Continue Reading →

Every story has a beginning…

Five years ago I began the rather daunting task of beginning to write my first novel. Like most writers, I've found various displacement activties to do anything other instead of actually sit down and write!  This include visiting Facebook and Twitter, Rightmove, gardening, cleaning the oven, tidying up drawers, baking, flicking through magazines, planning various... Continue Reading →

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