#NationalWritingDay

As Twitter informed me that today, 21st June, is National Writing Day, it seemed as good a time as any to tip-tap on the old keyboard and write a blog.

Radio (or would that be Blog?) silence once again, for which I must apologise. Although I’m only a little bit sorry as it was mainly down to me getting ready for, then going on, then mourning being back from, my holiday! I spent a lovely week in the sun – and to be fair I can’t overly complain about missing it as we’ve been very lucky with the weather over here recently. Unfortunately, as I live in England I do not have a swimming pool to jump into when I get too hot or air con to help me sleep at night… But hey ho!

Anyway, more on that later, as you’ll be glad to hear I read one and three quarter books, started learning a little bit on the piano, and wrote something from the point of view of my cat, so once they’re all typed up and I fully shake myself out of the post-holiday blues, content will once again be forthcoming!

And now back to the matter at hand – as it is National Writing Day I thought I’d take this post to share what I like about writing, and why I do it.

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Book Review: The Secret by the Lake by Louise Douglas

When news comes that Amy’s grandma is on her deathbed, the family she nannies for in France encourages her go home to Sheffield. After her grandmother passes away and Amy has found a new job, she receives a message from Julia, the woman she used to work for – her husband Alain has died, and her and her daughter Vivian have been forced to move back to Julia’s childhood home in England, Blackwater.

Grieving and destitute, Julia asks Amy for help. But when Amy arrives at an unloved and desolate house, she finds out that the ghost of Caroline, Julia’s older sister who died at the age of 17, haunts the whole village and Julia herself, so much so that no one will speak of her, and if they do it’s with hatred and disgust.

Soon though, Vivian says she talks to Caroline and strange things begin happening in the house. Is Caroline haunting Blackwater in more ways than one? Soon, it’s not just Caroline’s secrets that Amy is uncovering, but the whole of Blackwater’s…

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Adulting Proper

Yikes!

I know what you’re thinking: ‘well, that new year’s resolution about blogging regularly soon went up in smoke’. Well I suppose it did, though not through any fault of my own. It’s funny, you don’t realise how much you rely on the internet until you don’t have it.

You see, I have finally become a proper adult and moved in with my boyfriend, and unfortunately connecting the internet took a little longer than expected…

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Book Review: The Bone Field by Simon Kernick

DI Ray Mason gets a call from a man named Henry Forbes asking him to meet him at his lawyer’s private residence. He  says he has information about Kitty Sinn, his former girlfriend who vanished without a trace from Thailand when the pair were travelling. Forbes claims that Kitty is dead and her body is the England, in fact he says its her remains that have just been unearthed in the grounds of Medmenham College.

Forbes refuses to say anything else until Ray can guarantee he will be protected – Kitty was killed by a ruthless group of people and they will come after Forbes once they know he’s started talking.

While on the phone to his boss, masked men enter the house and kill Forbes with Ray only just escaping with his life. As Ray and his colleagues begin to look into Forbes’ life, infamous former police officer turned PI Tina Boyd reveals that days before his death Forbes instructed Tina to find a woman called Charlotte Curtis, and she needed to find her fast.

Soon, both Ray and Tina are being sucked into a very dangerous world.

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Just Keep Going

Already we’re in the second month of 2017 and the chilled out attitudes from Christmas have well and truly evaporated. Now is the time to evaluate just how well the New Year’s Resolutions are going, and whether we’ve managed to create the good habits and kick the bad.

My resolution was that I wanted to go back to the motivated individual I used to be when it came to different activities, one of which was exercise.

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Discovering Lyveden New Bield

Lyveden New BieldLocated near Oundle, Lyveden New Bield is unlike any other National Trust property I’ve ever visited. The vision of Sir Thomas Tresham, Lyveden was supposed to be a beautiful addition to his manor house for guests to enjoy, with the intention being they’d begin at his home and walk through orchards and gardens overflowing with colours, smells and textures until they eventually reached the garden lodge.

Unfortunately, Sir Thomas’ dream was never fully realised and to this day Lyveden has remained unfinished, and perhaps more amazingly unchanged from when the workers downed tools upon hearing of Sir Thomas’ death in 1605.

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Book Review: The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

Beth takes her eight-year-old daughter Carmel to a storytelling fair, and when Carmel gets frustrated with her mother’s overprotective nature she convinces Beth to let her roam a book tent without holding her hand. In the flurry of people mother and daughter are separated, and when Carmel goes looking for her mother a man claiming to be her estranged grandfather tells Carmel that her mother has been knocked down by a car while looking for her.

After taking Carmel to live with him and his partner Dorothy, he delivers the grave news that her mother is dead and her father wants nothing to do with her. Soon Carmel is in America with her grandfather, Dorothy and Dorothy’s two daughters, and she’s been told her hands have special healing powers.

Meanwhile at home, Beth and Paul are growing frantic wondering if they will ever see their little girl again.

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The Joy that the Theatre Brings…

It’s receiving rave reviews, with Charlie Stemp’s portrayal of Arthur Kipps being praised by critics everywhere.

Based on the semi-autobiographical novel Kipps by HG Wells, Half a Sixpence tells the tale of apprentice draper Arthur. As a young man he leaves his childhood home to work, giving his childhood sweetheart, Ann, half a sixpence to remember him by. Fast forward to the present day, Arthur hasn’t been home to visit much and has become quite taken with Miss Helen Walsingham, a customer at the shop.

When Arthur is knocked over by Mr Chitterlow, an eccentric playwright and former actor who reveals to him that he’s the heir to a fortune, Arthur is soon rubbing shoulders with the richer folks in town, and while it allows him to get closer to Helen it also puts him on a different path, and it isn’t one he’s sure he likes.

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New Year, Old Me

Now, I know what you’re going to say. ‘We’re five days into 2017. Number 1 isn’t she a bit late with the motivational new year’s thing?  And number 2 old me? Why old me?’

Well, number 1 today is the 12th day of Christmas, so y’know, New Year can start tomorrow, and number 2, my rather lovely other half gifted me with a trip away and tickets to a show as part of my Christmas present. That happens to be taking place this weekend, so really New Year is starting on Monday for me.

And with that in mind, from Monday I am striving not for a new me but for the old me.

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The Royal Treatment – Bake Off Final

This is it, this is the end of The Great British Bake Off as we know it. No more puns, no more Mel, Sue and Mary, and most importantly for the 2016 series, no more Candice, Jane and Andrew.

For weeks these three have been giving the nation some truly heart stopping moments (for both good and bad reasons), and now it is time for their final challenge.

And naturally for bakers of their calibre, Bake Off gave them the Royal Treatment.

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