• Over fifties to self-isolate – huh!

    On Sunday morning I had a very rude awakening! I was listening, bleary eyed to my go-to radio station, Times Radio, when the female presenter airily commented that over 50s were going to have to shield. I suspect she was under 50 and not bothered about who she upset. But believe me I was suddenly wide awake and angry! This government have got a lot wrong but I’ve refrained from criticising them because this pandemic is an unprecedented situation and presents very difficult challenges. But when I heard this ageist announcement, I was ready to write to Boris! To decide that all over fifties are more likely to get and…

  • Domestic Goddess or Fed up with cooking?

    Did you enjoy cooking in lockdown?

    Or did it become a daily chore? I enjoy cooking. I like trying new recipes, as those of you who know me, are already aware. Every now and then I produce a meal and The Grey asks, worthy of a photo? And it ends up on Facebook and Instagram. I often end up sending the recipe to one of my followers. But during lockdown the whole eating thing started to become a chore It was day after day, evening after evening, the question, what shall we have for dinner? became eternal and prompted a long sigh. I began sharing ideas with friends: local restaurants doing take-aways (including Friday night curry);…

  • Work shoes or barefoot on the beach?

    Is part-time work a good idea?

    Getting a balance between work and play becomes more important as we reach midlife. We value our time more and might want to pursue new interests. Some decide to go from full-time to part-time work as a stepping stone to retirement In my latest novel, The Long Marriage, Roger is thrown out of a high- powered job at 60 and is all at sea – he has no clue what he wants to do. His immediate reaction is to get back into insurance where he was before and his attempts prove unsuccessful forcing him to re-think.To To go straight from a busy full-time job into retirement can be a bit…

  • When do you want to retire?

    When’s the right time to retire?

    Do you dream of retiring and having an easy life, or do you want to just keep going? I don’t see myself as ever retiring. I’m lucky in that being a writer and working from home I can just keep going. At least until the brain cells seize up! In my new novel, The Long Marriage, we meet Roger in the first chapter and he has unexpectedly been made redundant at the age of sixty. He had a high-powered job in insurance and was pushed out to make way for a younger man leaving his ego bruised. He certainly wasn’t ready to relax and go fishing! Sixty is a difficult…

  • Mid-life Women: Masters of Reinvention

    Mid-life women often get significant change thrust upon them. Whether it’s divorce, the menopause, losing a job, financial difficulties or losing a loved one. And there’s a sense that time is running out. What impresses me, is how many women deal with it, reinventing themselves and creating a new life. Perhaps they need to build their confidence first before they can move on. Happily, there is help out there and most women will be willing to find it. Then they can start to make positive changes and to select what they desire. As a fifty plus woman and having lived a little, you are likely to have a clearer idea…

  • Lockdown – great news for a writer?

    As the norm for me is working from home in my room with a river view, the idea of being confined to barracks shouldn’t faze me. So I told myself. Lots of time to get on with work. My weekly pilates class at Kersey Mill with coffee after is reduced to an hour on Zoom. (Plus fiddling about a bit beforehand and trying to get the camera facing me or the mat.) So much more time for writing! What I quickly came to realise is that having the freedom to roam is all part of the creative experience. A walk round the village every now and then was nice but…

  • Rom-coms: so much better now they feature oldies!

    I found myself watching the American Rom-Com – You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan the other day. That’s lock-down for you. It wasn’t bad. Kept me interested – amused even. If you haven’t seen it, or, you watched it when it came out in 1998 read on.. A quick reminder of the plot Meg Ryan owns the cute little Shop Around The Corner in New York offering personal service and children’s story telling. Tom Hanks is a member of the Fox family who own the large chain store Fox Books – and guess what they are building a mega store just up the street from little shop.Meanwhile…

  • Are you trying to live a glossy magazine lifestyle?

    Lock-down Moment I bought a magazine the other day – it was a kind of lock-down reactionary moment in the supermarket. Perhaps it was because so much was off limits at the time, due to the Covid 19 virus. But I could legally buy a girly mag for one of those chilling out moments when you might be in need of a bit of light entertainment. I won’t say which one it was because, let’s face it, they are all very similar, and I don’t want to single this one out. Magazine Perfection Having had a browse through, I noted a strange mixture of real-life-fight-for-survival type stories and content which…

  • Amazing Power to Connect

    Power to Connect Online Recently I have met an amazing woman who is also a writer who happens to live very near me and a lovely lively happy family from Leicester. Both through a website I use: Trusted House Sitters. Victoria, the writer, came over one evening with her husband and we chatted about our writing and publishing experiences as well as our pets and lives in general in this part of Suffolk. It was delightful to meet them both. For the family from Leicester we used Facetime so that we could catch a snapshot of each other’s lives on a Monday evening in the comfort of our own homes.…

  • Reduce Plastic Waste and save the Planet

    Reading Books can be a plastic-free experience I was thinking about books. They’re made of paper and Amazon usually deliver them in cardboard. Many readers are opting for e-books these days. Either option doesn’t involve plastic. But if you look around your home the amount of single use plastic is frightening. A trip to the Supermarket and you come home with copious Plastic Supermarkets seem to insist on wrapping everything in plastic even vegetables. You can buy three peppers in a plastic bag for about a pound or one loose pepper for about 60p. It just doesn’t make sense. The recent television documentary presented by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani…