Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Monday, 31 October 2016
Last week I had the best time ever.
I know I've rinsed this so many times to my family and friends (especially my husband, God bless his patience!) but I've now dubbed last week - Jake Bugg Week.
It all started on Monday with my sister over in Birmingham to see Jake at the 02 Academy. See, I've been a huge Jake Bugg fan since his first album but this was the first time I'd have seen him live. It's fair to say we had a few drinks around the city and then wandered over to the Academy. Georgie was playing, which was cool, and then it was Jake.
Blimey, what a show!
My favourite (and everyone else's), Broken, but absolutely loved 'Simple Pleasures', 'Simple As This', and 'Slumville Sunrise', but in all honesty, I bloody loved them all.
On Friday, I dragged my reluctant other half to Nottingham for Jake's homecoming. Traffic was horrendous on the M1 but at least Jake was at the other end.
We checked into our hotel and explored a place I'd wanted to travel to since being a JB fan and I wasn't disappointed; I just wish we'd had more time, but anyway, again, there were a few drinks (!) involved and then on to Rock City for Jake.
Whoa! What a ball.
Not only did I see Jake, but also a fair few other folk I'd become fans of along the way of listening to Bugg - Billy Kennedy and Grant Bugg of The Flavells, which was quite something.
So, when Jake comes on, boy, they absolutely adore him. Clifton's very own homecoming king and he deserved it. He was quite simply brilliant.
Although his set was the same as Birmingham as expected, the awesome crowd made this intimate gig something really special. No, I'm obviously not from Nottingham, but I am from down the road, so to speak, a Midlander, but West not East, but the vibe this almighty audience gave to Jake that night made me hope he truly appreciated everything Nottingham and it's kind folk have done for him; their loyalty and admiration - my feeling is he is still just about humble enough to realise this.
To finish, because I could gush for hours, Jake Bugg is indeed very special (even my other half is kind of sold on him now!). He continues to inspire and change lives without really knowing it, from a boy to a man his songs gets better; he gets better.
I just hope the industry doesn't spoil him.
Saturday, 24 September 2016
I blog about this perfume every autumn - Jo Malone's Blackberry & Bay.
I discovered it about 4 years ago. I bought the candle and then the perfume; actually, I've had the perfume a few times now and I still love it as much as the first time I wore it.
I just love the marketing too. The rich vibrant colours of autumn including the girls auburn hair.
The berry juice on her hands
and feasting on the fruits of autumn.
It also fills me with happy memories.
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Sunday, 18 September 2016
I have never had myself down as a 'gin drinker'; I've always been more of a Bourbon girl: Southern Comfort and much later, Woodford Reserve, however, back in February we took our annual trip back to St Ives where we discovered one of the bars we used to drink in had become a gin bar. One cold evening before going back to our cottage, we decided for a laugh to try it out; the result - we ended up going home with a bottle of Tarquin's Dry Gin, local to Cornwall and teamed with Fever Tree naturally light tonic I was a convert.
But I can't drink just any gin. When we went to Whitby in North Yorkshire over the summer, in the local deli I picked up Yorkshire's local gin, Masons, but not just their ordinary gin, the one with a hint of Yorkshire Tea and now I've gone on a bit of a roll with it.
Anyway, I know they sometimes call it 'mother's ruin' and I think there's possibly some truth in that as far as I'm concerned (joke), but taken the correct way it's a lovely way to end the evening.
Saturday, 17 September 2016
I know that as many people who prefer the warmer months of the year enjoy the cooler days of autumn. As much as I have basked in the U.K's summer I am also excited about a slightly fresher climate.
When we lived in St Ives, Cornwall, my kids wore shorts to school the whole year. I don't remember frost and I think we once had a little smattering of snow, and OK I don't want cold weather all year round, but I do love the seasons, when they get it right of course!
Now we're back in the Midlands we experience the seasons, something my kids weren't really aware of before because the Cornwall climate is slightly warmer (which does have it's advantages of course). It always feels weird when I write fiction based in Cornwall and it snows - heavily, because this really is just, well, fiction.
Anyway, it's noticeably colder today. My youngest has his cosy socks on and my cardigans are becoming a regular fixture; we've also had a little rain and the wind has picked up, so today for me is a family day; a walk with the dog, a glass of red at the local pub, maybe even an evening fire, I know to some this is everything they don't want yet, but I am just gonna make the best of it.
Friday, 16 September 2016
Been looking through 'The Paperback Writer' photo archive and found this super cute one of my youngest boy, Jackson, surrounded by Cath Kidston in our VW Campervan holiday.
It may have been five or so years ago but he still loves his Crocs and he will still sleep anywhere!
Wednesday, 14 September 2016
This is what I miss most about living in west Cornwall: Godrevy Lighthouse.
It is my favourite view.
I love it so much I even had it designed onto the cover of my 2nd novel 'Hope & Jump' (artwork by Joe Armitage).
During the years we lived in St Ives, as a family we spent many hours camped out over at Gwithian just watching the sea and this lighthouse. Wherever we lived in the area, Lelant, Carbis Bay, St Ives, I could see the lighthouse and carefully counted 10 seconds between every flash of its light at night.
It will always represent a happy time for me.
When the kids were babies...
...and we had everything ahead of us.
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
So, over the next few days in my part of the U.K it's forecast to reach 27 degrees and I'm dreading it. Don't get me wrong, I love the warm summer sunshine, and I love early autumn sunshine even more, but not 27 degrees mid September.
OK, so lots of you will be rolling your eyes etc at what I've just written, but we have been blessed with what I feel has been a lovely warm summer but now I'm ready to curl up on cosy evenings, the nights drawing in, maybe the fire on watching autumn television (namely Poldark, Victoria, DCI Banks, and I can't wait for Midsomer Murders!).
As I've mentioned in previous posts; I love autumn. For as long as I've been writing it's inspired my work. There's something about the aroma in the air, the cool clear mornings and darker nights that scream atmosphere and, well, yes, love and romance, but maybe that's the dreamer in me.
Anyway, here are a few of the things that have inspired me over this special season:
The aroma of a real fire
The clear cool skies of St Ives when all the tourists have gone home.
The last sunset
A warming glass of red wine
The country pub
Cosy cottage holidays
Meals with the family
Wellies on and outside to collect the eggs and say hello to the ladies
A bloody good book and a reason to stay in bed on the weekend
So, despite my preference I will enjoy the next few days of sunshine and then look forward to some cooler weekend weather!
Monday, 12 September 2016
'white cottage and washing' by Sophie Harding
I absolutely love Sophie Harding's paintings. They always remind me of the years I lived in Cornwall, especially around the time we moved to a small village near the sea called St Erth, a pretty place situated in the west of Cornwall where cute cottages like Sophie's really exist. I loved St Erth because it was untouched by the seasonal behaviour common to Cornwall - tourists (yes, I know, we've all been one!)
Painting by Sophie Harding
I love these paintings so much they inspired me to write a series of novellas a couple of years ago, and even now when I read back over them I am transported to that small Cornish village with its cosy country pub and log burning fire; cobbled paving and waterside walks through the falling leaves, the village and these paintings simply reinforce why autumn will always been my favourite season.