My Australian Journey 2022: #9 Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, Blue Mountains, NSW

I was delighted to visit Norman Lindsay’s property in the Blue Mountains. He was an extraordinary man who lived from 1879 to 1969 and he was a writer as well as a children’s writer poet and illustrator, a wartime cartoonist, a propaganda poster designer, artist, garden designer and sculptor. His home is now an artContinue reading “My Australian Journey 2022: #9 Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, Blue Mountains, NSW”

Book Review: ‘The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea’ by Lizzie Chantree

Today I am pleased to be sharing with you my review of ‘The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea‘ by Lizzie Chantree. I discovered this author through a Facebook support group for writers, and my decision to read this book is an example of how good feelings towards an author purely on the basisContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Little Ice Cream Shop by the Sea’ by Lizzie Chantree”

Book Review: ‘The Fever of the World’, book 16 in Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series

Today I review The Fever of the World by Phil Rickman, who is one of my favourite authors. Phil’s genre defies categorisation, but Amazon often kindly list him under Welsh crime, and he variously takes the tags contemporary horror, horror thrillers, paranormal, women sleuths, gothic romance, and mystery, the last two being the case withContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Fever of the World’, book 16 in Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series”

Book Review: ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard

This is a very intense, exquisitely observed book of nature observation, which took place over the course of one year at Tinker Creek in South Carolina in the USA. The author wrote ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek‘ back in 1972, at the age of 27. I was captivated by the way she relates her nature observationsContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard”

Thoughts on ‘Witch Child’ by Celia Rees

Today I share my review of ‘Witch Child‘ by Celia Rees, now out in a special 20th Anniversary edition. This is a compelling historical novel of the arrival of a group of Puritans in New England in 1650, of their encounters with the Native Indians, and a tale not only of religious intolerance but ofContinue reading “Thoughts on ‘Witch Child’ by Celia Rees”

Book Review: Spirited by Julie Cohen

Today I share with you my review of Spirited by Julie Cohen, published by Orion July 2020. I loved this book; I found it enchanting, and it gripped me throughout. Set in the mid nineteenth century in England and India, the story covers spiritualism, so-called “spirit photography”, the oppression of women in Victorian times, andContinue reading “Book Review: Spirited by Julie Cohen”

Book Review: ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell

I waited quite a long time for Waterstones to send me this book; and having received it, I spent the next few hours devouring this story of William Shakespeare’s family and the tragic death of his 11 year old son Hamnet. Living as I do near Stratford-upon-Avon I have visited all the Shakespeare properties aContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell”

A Walk in Jephson Gardens Leamington Spa to Lift the Spirits

We are lucky to have many beautiful places to walk, in Leamington Spa Warwick and Kenilworth, with gardens, rivers, castles, historical houses and parklands. Each time I walk in Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, I see new delights. Throughout this pandemic, the natural world has upheld the spirits of so many – and the imagination, hardContinue reading “A Walk in Jephson Gardens Leamington Spa to Lift the Spirits”

Favourite Feel Good Action Heroes in Books and Cinema: TinTin and his Universal Appeal

During the Covid-19 Pandemic and throughout the three lockdowns in the UK, many have sought the consolation of escape – into books or films.  Every so often I return to one of my top favourites – The Adventures of TinTin: the Secret of the Unicorn. To my mind this film exemplifies classic story structure; butContinue reading “Favourite Feel Good Action Heroes in Books and Cinema: TinTin and his Universal Appeal”

Revisiting the Christmas List

We’ve reached the time of year for the Christmas List. I’m revisiting my subject of the Christmas List for several reasons. Amongst these are the sheer poignancy of the subject, and the fact that since then I have published a revised version of the piece in a Christmas Anthology – available here to buy onContinue reading “Revisiting the Christmas List”