Sunday, November 16, 2014


I heard on the radio a poem by Rupert Brooke which was all about WWI and was so moved I was prompted (as I do about a lot of things) to look him up on the net. Not only did he have an uncanny likeness to Hugh Grant, but sadly he died so young.

Here are a few words written by his closest friend upon his death...

...I sat with Rupert. At 4 o’clock he became weaker, and at 4.46 he died, with the sun shining all round his cabin, and the cool sea-breeze blowing through the door and the shaded windows. No one could have wished for a quieter or a calmer end than in that lovely bay, shielded by the mountains and fragrant with sage and thyme.

Profound words, and such a beautiful rendition of someone's death

I thought, with all the poppy fever and talk of the Great War, I'd share that one with you.

Do look up his poetry, especially the one about going off to war, it's pretty powerful stuff.


PS thank you to all those who have recently purchased my book.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather! There was me desperate for some comments and I got! Well...only one, but one is better than none! Thank you darling Haidee-Jo Summers, artiste extraordinaire, and suddenly winner of just about every prize going around lately. And if you don't believe me just look her up, she is a wonderful painter, and one of my faves. So thank you for that.

Well, now onto my debut into the acting world. Last night, it happened, yes, me and my thirty seconds of fame as I tripped - lights glaring - across the stage (to a half-filled audience) wearing a frothy black net skirt, crazy stockings and a black and white maid's outfit. And I loved it! I might even go back for more. I might even stop writing and take it up permanently! Three more shows to go! Hey-ho!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Sometimes I feel like I'm marooned on the top of an iceberg. I got loads and loads of people pass through (and hopefully read) my blog, BUT NOBODY BOTHERS TO COMMENT! Even a critique would be welcome. Come on everyone say hello! I'm so lonely I could cry :((

In my next blog I'll let you know about my thespian adventure; I'm afraid in this case I think I should really forget being the next Helen Mirren because it's bloody difficult. I have about two lines to remember and I can't even do that. So hats off to actors - they are in a class of their own.

Speak later...

Friday, October 17, 2014


After being coerced into watching Gogglebox I realised that I (and Peter) should be enlisted as "Mr & Mrs Grumpy Old Couple". Surely, all of us must have done something bad in a previous life to have to put up with the formulaic rubbish thrust down our throats at the moment. And I know what you're thinking: well bloody well don't watch it then; but the problem is, as repugnant as it is, like slowing down at the scene of a grisly accident, you find you've just got to watch it! And it seems after watching Gogglebox, the general consensus across Britain is the same. Take Cheryl(Fernandez@#*@$...or whatever the hell her new name is) sending the only girl packing in in favour of someone who sounded as though she'd just d overdosed on a helium-filled balloon. We all know it's fake; clearly Simon, dollar signs whirring like Catherine Wheels inside his eye sockets, instructed Cheryl to ditch her just for the hype. She was phenomenal. And did you see any nerves? I didn't.

I've had enough and have made a very constructive decision to never watch it and all the rest of the reality show drivel ever again. Instead, Brucey or no Brucey, shall stick to mi' Daz.

Anyway, rant over, miracle of miracles I am making some headway with my new book, and thought I'd put a taster on for anyone who's interested, but don't expect miracles,it's only a draft.

Chapter 1

Funny, the stuff that floats into your head when it’s not supposed to. Like now for instance: here I am about to have a sneaky little snog in the storeroom with someone I shouldn't be, and all I can think (having consumed a whole garlic and coriander nan to myself last night) is that my breath must stink like the inside of one of those human cattle trucks in Mumbai. When actually, what I ought to be thinking is: I am wife, I am mother, I am teacher of the English language, and this (which I know, with the mere flick of a wrist or wriggle of the arse, dear God, I could stop!)is nothing short of vocational suicide.

Let me freeze-frame for a minute while I explain.

Two words: Adrian Poncey.

I know, I know. But believe me, the man bears not the slightest resemblance to what the name implies. A mere unfortunate dint of birth. These things can happen. I knew a woman once called Annette Curtain.
Anyway, back to the plot. It all kicked off, this crazy situation, when Mr Hartburn, that’s our headmaster, or rather was, since he collapsed (in bizarre manner of Tommy Cooper)in front of an assembly full of shuffling, surreptitiously-tweeting, pimply-faced students.

Prognosis: stone dead.

Very unfortunate...poor, poor man.

Anyway, given the grisly circumstances, and with as little disruption as possible, a replacement had to be found. And to give credit where it’s due, even before the knee-deep swathe of flowers and bobbing metallic balloons and teddies portraying headmaster flat caps and half-moon wired spectacles, had been cleared and carted off in a giant skip, rumour was rife that the powers that be had dispatched a replacement, albeit temporary.

So there we all were, no one at the helm thus languishing in atmospheric slackness (copious mugs of tea, biscuit tin doing the rounds, feet on coffee table, etc) debating the usual mind-numbing stuff, i.e.pension cuts, uni fees, the ever increasing size of Carol Vordeman’s arse vs Ann Widdecombe’s pitiable demise on Strictly) when school secretary, Wendy Grenfell, mind-numbingly irritating at the best of times, stopped in mid-rant, dragged lash-less lids away from the embroiled conversation, and proceeded to soil her underpants.
It was in a sense like the second coming; in he drifted, a testosterone-infused vision of lean, loose-limbed self-confidence: tousled black hair with a delightful lick of grey at the fore, ten-clock shadow, dazzling white teeth to match an equally dazzling white shirt worn trendily out and over sack-arse jeans (as opposed to bri-nylon tucked into poly-poplin). Not for a second that I’m a huge fan of sack-arse, since it reminds me of the rear end of a matriarchal elephant at the end of her productive years. But on him oh God, to coin an American-and-never-to-be-repeated phrase hubba hubba hubba. in other words I FANCY THE F ****** arse off him.
Of course I’m putting tremendous effort into fighting the urge: talking really, really loudly, mimicking Kat off Eastenders, pretending I read Katey Price and Louis Walsh biographies, and even, God forbid giving the impression that I’m affiliated to that political party that are fond of bulldogs, tattoos and the Union Jack. But nothing seems to be working; in fact if anything, it all seems to be having the opposite effect because every time he sees me he keeps giving me “the look"; you know the one, that on anyone else would give the impression of an inebriated, double-chinned gom, but on him… Christ alive...

Hope you enjoyed. Please, please leave a comment if you have any constructive criticism.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Freebies are a wonderful thing, are they not? And isn't it amazing how everyone comes out of the woodwork at the merest sniff of one? I must confess I'm the same, love a bargain. Anyway, during my little window of generosity, during which time I gave away my book for free, I had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of downloads from around the globe. I was flabbergasted, yet at the same time filled with joy that so many people will now be reading and with a bit of luck enjoying the madcap escapades of the formidable Angie and ever-ballooning Hazel! Anyway, for those that have dipped deep in their pockets, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and for those that haven't, well I thank you from the heart of my bottom ;) Anyway, I just ask one small request: I'd love to get some feedback. We writers thrive on it, you see, so give me a tiny window of your life and go to my Amazon page (click on my book to the right to take you there)and write (preferably something nice)! Or, alternatively, if you'd rather write to me directly, here is my email address: - but please, please DO NOT CLOG UP MY SYSTEM while doing so ;) I'm working on a website too, so look out for that and there I will be able to tell you more about my next book and the crazy Rachel and soft-hearted Ellie who both realise, for totally different reasons, that they want to bump off their husbands... Anyway, that's all folks, so au revoir once again from a very sunny Rutland. Best wishes Janey

Saturday, September 20, 2014


As a special promotion my book WALKING ON MARSHMALLOWS is on offer for free, yes FREE!! Only for a day or two though, so be quick. It's a perfect day for it too since it's as dull as ditch water out there...well at least in England. Kick off your slippers, envelop yourself in a cuddly blanket and curl up with a plate of warm toast and butter and read about the (mis)adventures of Angie Darling and her quest to find her grumpy sister a man before she self-combusts from comfort eating! All yours, for free! Click on the book to the right of this page. Go on,you know you want to... Oh and don't forget, please, please, once you've read it, I'd love it if you would leave a review (especially a nice one...)thank you

Saturday, September 6, 2014


When she was able to prize open her rigour mortised mouth, her quips were as fast as a Formula One lap and as plentiful as the eff words that tumble out of Lee Evan's mouth. Love her, hate her, but you have to admit there won't be many that can follow in her shoes. As a comedic writer myself I certainly will miss her. She didn't hold back did she? Hard to believe that she was riddled with complexes, particularly about her body. Then again aren't we all R.I.P. Joan, but as long as we have TV and internet and radio you'll never be far away. On a lighter note. I delivered my first batch of books to my local bookstore yesterday - Walkers in Stamford High Street, so get down there before they sell out ;) speak soon... Lots of love Janey PS if you can't get down to the bookstore, which of course you won't be able to if you are reading this and you live in far-flung places such as Canada or America or Russia or Timbuktu, you can download on Amazon...see right of this page at a ridiculously low price for lovely big funny lol read. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I nearly fell over backwards the other night watching Dragons' Den when one of the contestants presented herself in front of the dreaded poker faces and started touting a marshmallow business.

They are the latest craze apparently - marshmallows that is - not the stony-faced quintet. Everyone's gone totally cuckoo for them. Well I could have told you that. I've been waxing lyrical about the heavenly, powdery and oh so delicately scented confectionery for yonks. I wanted to scream: "hey der man I got there first, so get off o' my patch!" But then I started thinking 'hang on, this is great advertising for me and my book'. So, taking full advantage, for all  you fanatics out there, forget about eating them- read them! Get yourself a copy of Walking on Marshmallows. I'ts available to download on Amazon (just click on the big book to the right of this page to do so) and ta da, big drum roll, it is now, wait for it, available in Walkers book shops in both Stamford and Oakham high streets respectively. Yes, how wonderful, they loved it and hope to sell lots. So if you want the real deal, or think it might look good gracing your shelves, get down there and join the snaking queue; it's big and turquoise and showy, so you can't miss it!

Ta ta for now, must get on with my scribing, and my garden which is slowly taking shape, and the gallery which Peter and I are opening shortly. I sound a very interesting person don't I? But actually, I'm just your bog-standard woman with a penchant for dipping her garden-soil encrusted toes into lots of things, most to my detriment I think at times...

Oh, and I forgot to say, I've also joined an am-dram group. Yes, I know, utter madness! But more about that later.

Again, bye for now, let me get this bog off, I mean blog off  ; )

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Things have been so manic lately and I haven't had time to do a solitary blog. Peter and I are manic trying to get our new art gallery in Uppingham organised for 15th August, so do watch this space. On my next blog I will list the incredible stable of amazing artists coming on board. And when I say amazing, I mean AMAZING!

We're also having new paving put down in the patio area, so the place has been an absolute dust trap. Nearly there now though and so far it looks a treat. On top of that, we have been hacking out old trees and shrubs that have overtaken the garden. It looks a bit bare and we can see into next door's garden, but it was so overgrown and in desperate need of a fresh ... a bit like us really...  ; ) And our neighbour - also Jane - is so grateful since a few rays of sunshine can now find their way into her shadowy and dank garden and she can get her washing dry now!

I have however, in between, been writing, writing, writing and I'm nearly nearly a third through my next book - well a least a draft form. I'm sure much of it will change by the time I get to the end, that's the way it goes, and I'm never happy until I think it's perfect. I am also very chuffed to see that I have had two reviews on Amazon for my current WALKING ON MARSHMALLOWS - likening my writing to that of the great Helen Fielding who immortalized the much loved memorable Bridget Jones. Now that is a compliment!

So come on, read it now by clicking on the link below:
Walking on Marshmallows

 the book to the right of this blog. At GBP1-99/$4-99 a kindle download it promises to be a barrel of laughs for such a little outlay.

Have fun.

; ) 
PS for those that have bought already many thanks for your support!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


I think, since Peter Barker - that's my gorgeous, lovely partner - is always waffling on about what a great writer I am on his blog,  it's time I waffled on about what a brilliant artist he is on my blog.

Feast your eyes on this!

I know...brilliant, isn't it?
And there's much more, You can see his much admired work on his website and blog. Here are the links.

His blog-write-ups are incredibly colourful too! I've told him: he should have been a writer! ; )
Speak soon

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I want to say a very big thank you to all those that have either bought the hard copy or downloaded WALKING ON MARSHMALLOWS on kindle, but I have a very big apology to make. I very stubbornly kept my book close to my heart so much that I didn't let anyone proof-read it other than myself, and of course you cannot proof-read your own work. Hence, a very dear friend of mine in south Africa bought my book recently, read it, loved it, but said, oh dear Janey there were some typos in it. Since then she has proof-read it thoroughly for me, and within the next few days the book will be uploaded again without the errors! For those that have already purchased, my humble apologies, and I truly hope it hasn't diluted your enjoyment of Angie's antics.

Speak soon...
a very red faced me...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Besides wolfing them down in huge handfuls, there's lots you can do with Marshmallows.

You can toast them next to an open fire.
You can sprinkle them on drinking choc.
You can dip them in chokky (ooo yummie...)
...Or toasted coconut.
Or make a nice cake icing out of them.
Or make a smiley face on top of said cake.
Or string them into a snazzy necklace.
Or even shove them up your nose for that matter.
But the best thing by far is to DOWNLOAD THEM!
Come on!Easy-peasy! Get to it! And that is an order!

WALKING ON MARSHMALLOWS is available on Amazon, and (unless you are a robot) promises to tickle not only your ribs, but every single part of your anatomy.
A great summer read to curl up next to the pool with, or for those freezing their butts off in colder climes, perfect for stretching out in front of a roaring fire.

Here's the link:

Now come on...
; )

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Here's a link below to us girls and boys at our local community choir last Saturday when we did our mid-year concert - yes I didn't mention that, did I? Not only am I a prolific writer, but an incredible soprano too! (My writing keeps me far too busy to enter into these current competitions doing the rounds at present...X-Factor, BGT, etc...great pity...)
Thankfully, I'm mostly hidden on the left front row by a bald head in the audience (not Peter's...although his was about three feet behind that particular one...) Occasionally thought, you might get a glimpse of me fidgeting and biting my thumb nail and looking gormless, and when the occasion rose, opening my mouth as wide as a hungry little bird about to fledge.

Bi for now
Speak soon...

Saturday, June 14, 2014


For those of you passing through and not taking cognizance of the pure literary genius a mere click away, here is a little taster below that I've plucked from Chapter four. And if you're wondering what is going on it's something to do with a blind date from hell, but that's all I'm saying. Get the book! It's only 2-99 on Amazon! Cheap as chips, and worth it's weight in gold. Well that is what I've been told ; )

Here goes...

Start of Ch 4

To be fair, delusions of grandeur quashed, close up he wasn’t too bad. This Angie valiantly concluded as the car pulled away from the litter-strewn apocalypse. At least, nothing that wasn’t fixable, especially these days, what with the onslaught of self-enhancement programmes such as Gok and Trinny & Suzannah, or that hoity-toity blonde with winged glasses whose name escaped her at present.

Teetering on this observation, Angie mentally catalogued his potential as they hurtled out of the crumbling estate and headed east towards the A47. For starters he could quite easily dispense of the facial hair and ponytail (both clearly an over-compensation for the lack of same on top) and with a quick fashion change, high-quality rug, built up shoes, head transplant.



What was left of Angie’s optimism plummeted. Not only was he the creepiest, most revolting man she’d ever set eyes on, but he was clearly committing the cardinal sin of wearing crocks over socks.

Oh Gad, why oh why hadn’t she insisted on a sneak preview? If she’d done that, like Matt suggested, none of this would have happened. Still, it was a bit too late in the day for that now. Now was the time for damage control, or rather to take control, because clearly from the constant rustling noise behind (Hazel pretending to tidy her already clinically immaculate handbag) there clearly was zero bonding taking place.

Time for a sneak peek.

Neck rigid as a poker, Angie, rolled her eyes clockwise, did a quick scan then rolled them counter-clockwise again. Honestly, if Hazel could put any more distance between them she’d be perched on the sodding bumper. And if nothing she could at least spark up a conversation with the poor sod. Apart from a monosyllabic grunt when he stumbled his way into the back, she hadn’t uttered a single word since.

The air in the car was so thick you could slice it with a hacksaw.

And Matt wasn’t helping either.

Angie tried to snag him, but he was all poker-faced and staring rigidly ahead, the only vital signs of life a little tick on the side of his jaw every few seconds.

Typical, just bloody typical.

Oh it was no use. As usual it would have to be up to her to save the day.

Grafting a smile on her face, Angie twisted round and peered cheerily though the gap.

‘Everything alright back there in the stalls?’

Hazel impaled her with a homicidal glare then went back to her frenzied ferreting.

‘So Terry—’

‘It’s Trevor,’ enlightened Matt, dragging his eyes jumpily off the road.

...So, there you have it, lots of laughs and many, many more to come.
Do yourself a favour (and me the honour) and get a copy!
Speak soon...let me get back to the grindstone

Friday, June 13, 2014


Aha! I got a comment! Well that was long coming after such a dry period. Nice surprise and surprisingly a very complimentary one. So a quick blog to say "peoples out there, do contact me!" It would be wonderful to hear from those further afield, writers, gardeners, painters! Anyone! Communication is a wonderful thing. So chow for now - I'm practising for my choir concert for tomorrow. I can't sing for toffee (and wing it a lot of the time..) but at least I'm willing, and it's pretty uplifting, even though I sound like a frog with a sore throat. Bye for now I'm off to have a lovely, deserving
Speak later.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Quick jot of the day to keep the momentum going as I see I am getting lots of people dropping by, which I feel is a miracle since many are in far flung places - even Russia! But keep dropping by and I've decided to leave my email address just in case someone wants to drop me a line.

Sadly today I can't really write anything (altho' have done a quick bit of editing of yesterdays scrawl) I'm off today to visit a local artist, Josette, who crafts the most amazing stuff out of cardboard. For anyone who is interested, I will get her details so I can add the link. Later on I'm off to have a final practise with my choir since it is our concert next week, and I don't think I'm up to speed! The worst is, I'm right at the front, so if I make a mistake and start bumbling, or singing with the tenors (which did last year...this reedy little soprano cutting off in mid-warble) everyone can see!

In between that I'm going to drop more flyers around my local villages - the other day we - my daughter Olive and I -  dropped a hundred a fifty and it worked! When we got home I saw I had some sales - so there you go, marketing does work. It wasn't great shakes, but then I'm grateful for anything, and happy that I can make even one person laugh out loud, and as my darling Peter is fond of saying "hope, springs eternal..." bless him, he is a very enthusiastic person, smiles all the time...I think I mentioned that. Thank goodness he keeps me on the straight and narrow. Oh! Forgot to mention about the dog. I pushed one of the flyers in one of our village doors (very posh, monolithic frontage, Farrow &  Ball conservatoooire dahling, mink and manure oozing from the letterbox...) - when suddenly I hear this very deep almost sepulchral barking coming from the other side, and suddenly I felt the ends of my fingers (which were trapped in that bristly draft-resistant bit at the back) being nipped. I almost died of shock! I managed to yank it out, albeit half the flesh of my knuckles being left behind - evidence my dear Watson, evidence! Anyway, when I turned round my daughter was falling all over the place with laughter, even admitting as I staggered pale-faced up to her that she'd actually, literally (as the youth all say) pee'd herself!

I'm going now, my lovely freshly ground Taylor's from Harrowgate coffee is finished (I should get paid for that bit of advertising...) so I don't have an excuse to stay on here.

Here's my email address - do drop me a line, would love to hear from other writers and people that are fond of the planet!

And here's a pic of my flyers and my basket of wares ready for the onslaught-

Cute aren't they?
Speak soon, will be back with more jottings!
Did I say something about this being a very quick jot? I think I did, but from the looks of things it's probably the longest I've ever done! Oh Lordy, the hing is, I LOVE TO WRITE!
Bi again..

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Isn't this gorgeous...

This little pot of thyme is sitting in my porch basking in the sun and, if you look closely just flowering. See...yes, those lovely vibrant little purple flowers, so beautiful. I absolutely love thyme and have planted little clumps of it in between paving so that it not only looks beautiful when in bloom but will give off a delicious scent when walked on. And, of course, much better than weeds!

Now this pot has a history, having been transported in my container from South Africa. It, along with a chive pot, were given to me for mother's day by my daughter Lauren many moons ago and so I couldn't sell it like I did many other items. (Mothers keep some of the most bizarre items, don't they?)Sadly they both have lost their bottoms (perfectly fitting drip trays) so most of the time when I water it I get a flood of water dripping down to the floor, thankfully which is quarry-tiled.So no harm done...

Thought all you gardeners out there might like to share that one...

So there you have it: my jot of the day.
Speak later...Janey

Friday, June 6, 2014


...and nothing better than a few delicious treats to entice ; )

Today is "marshmallow campaign" day! Our aim, as you can see from the snapshot below, is to drop an advertising flyer with a little sachet of pink and white marshmallow treats attached, to every house in Rutland! Not today of course; it  might be the most bijoux county in England, but still pretty big and I should say will most probably take weeks, even month of (weather permitting) heavy trekking. So out with the wellies and bottles of water. We're off!
Oh PS, credit for this ingenious idea goes to my daughter, Olivia - sometimes dubbed as my little Olive - who has been my right hand throughout all this, and keeps coming up with more and more great ideas. Thank you, darling!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


If you know what one of these is then you'll be surprising to know that they really do exist..honesty...I mean honestly. Last night at nearly ten o' clock my tum started to rumble so I decided to rustle up an omelette. Realising I didn't have one single egg left after using them all up with my South African visitors of late, I was about to settle for a boring piece of toast. Then I remembered our wonderful honesty box belonging to our farming neighbours two doors down, rushed out, plopped one pound ten pee into the box and scurried back home. How wonderful - not only eggs on tap, but fresh, fresh, fresh, and delicious!

Oh I love village life; after the vast, dusty plains of Africa and state of the art security alarms and living behind iron grilles and high walls and fear, how nice it is to live in quintessential quaintness.  I used to live in Durban by the way and now live in South Luffenham, Rutland (England's tiniest county) in a little cottage with a wild garden and winding path...and a dreamy man with the most beautiful smile...could it really get any better than that? have a look on Google Earth ; )

Thought I'd share that with you.

Now nose back to the grindstone, or rather fingers back to the keyboard

Bi for now


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You are so kind!

Delighted to say that not only are my fellow Englishmen downloading my book, but I have had sales in America. How wonderful, and I'd like to say, if you have dropped by on my blog, a HUGE thank you and hope you are truly enjoying the English humour.

Bi for now

Let me get back to the grindstone!


Friday, May 30, 2014


Hurrah! The rain seems to have stopped, and there's even a hint of sun peeping through the clouds. With this in mind I've decided on a therapeutic hour digging in some plants that have been sulking in the conservatory for a few weeks. Then - having spent a wild, madcap, reminiscing whirlwind-of-a-day of a day with Bridgette and Gill my pals from South Africa - will get back to the mother ship. My next book is really taking shape and the characters are already taking over, dictating to me what they want to do and where they want to go, in spite of me being in control of the steering wheel.

Bizarre, but that's the way it goes. Ask any writer.
Must go, get my wellies on and get those plants in.
Chow for now


PS By the way, sun's disappeared again...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rain Rain Go Away...

Enough now!

Honestly, this is ridiculous! We are now being swamped, and it's so grey we have had to put the lights on in our cottage otherwise we're bumping into each other (whites of the eyes the only means of recognition and navigation). The worst of it is: my friends Bridgette and Gill from South Africa are visiting today. Still I think they probably have enough sunshine banked up that they can put up with these incessant downpours.  That's me for today, am going to do an hour of book-crafting then am off to the train station in Stamford to pick them up. So excited...haven't seen Bridgette (who just happens to be my best and most dearest friend of all time) for years so lots of catching up and bleary eyes and ruby-tinged teeth in the morning from drinking loads of red wine!!
Bi for now ; )))

Monday, May 26, 2014


Yesterday I took the day off. Instead of spending hours hunched over computer bruising my fingertips, Peter and I went to Letchworth to deliver a painting of 'yours truly' showing just the teeniest hint of rude bits. Calm down, calm down...honestly...
To elucidate: when we first met, Peter was a bit trigger happy with the camera, catching me in all sorts of slightly...uncompromising positions. Then over-enamoured by a handful of them, he decided to immortalize them in oil and/or pastel; stunningly  crafted they are too, but then why wouldn't they, Peter is an amazing artist! Hell though, sod's bloomin' law, the gallery where one of them was displayed in all its lacy glory a few months back and then removed from, had an inquiry about it. So back we had to track again. But it was all worth it since it gave me the opportunity to meet Collette Hoefkens, the lovely owner of a lady who is utterly passionate about what she does. A couple of hours flashed by drinking coffee and eating sticky-toffee-pudding-cake and chatting about art and books and life. Thank you for the lovely day Collette!

Anyway, here's a photo of the painting, mind you....on second thoughts...maybe not...  ; )

Well, back to the drawing board. I've still got to earn a crust and get my second book out, so overwhelmed have I been with people trampling over each other at the bookshops, and begging for a sequel to Walking on Marshmallows...I can't bear it; maybe I should now become a recluse...

Warm wishes and a big smiley face

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rapped knuckles!!

I got my poor, already aching and bleeding knuckles rapped very hard this morning by Peter.
'Darling,' he said. 'You are a writer, so at least make sure you edit your blog before you send the darned thing out!' I had a go at him, and told him he was a bloody-great-big-fat...(impossible since his trousers are only 30" waist) know-it-all...then shamefacedly realised I had to eat humble pie and concede since he was right.

Oh dear. Not only did I send it out with one, but three blindingly obvious errors. But I had an excuse: I was tired. I can't sleep! Us novelists have things on our minds, don't you know. Obviously the plot for my next book is crowding my head, as well as thoughts of how my current Walking on Marshmallow is fairing. Well, I can sleep a bit better tonight on that score, because people are downloading, and leaving amazing reviews! I can't believe it, and after my incredibly encouraging face-to-face-verbal review yesterday I'm going to draw a big fat line underneath the word "worry"...well, at least try ; ).

Must go, I'm on the hoof. On top of getting my book published and recently moving house, Peter and I are also in the throes of opening a gallery - Peter Barker Fine Art - (did I mention he is an incredibly talented professional artist...) so watch this space for more news on that too!!

Bye for now


PS just in case you feel a download coming's the link to my book ; )
Walking on Marshmallows

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Am so made up!!

It's so nice when this happens, and I've got to brag a little - every author deserves it.

Last night...wait for it, drum roll ...a real live (not virtual) person came up to me out of the blue and said that she was so in love with my book she could not put it down! She said she lived, ate and breathed it for six solid days and is now mourning its departure because it's finished; she made me there and then promise to do a sequel! I don't think, for a debut novel,  it gets better than that, do you?

So come on, if you've been contemplating, or simply fart-arsing around with the intention, get onto Amazon now, I promise, you won't regret it, truly.

Walking on Marshmallows

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stress Levels off the Richter Scale

This writing/publishing/marketing malarkey is so hideously stressful that I've decided to take a tip from my daughter and have a drink of warm water and lemon every morning. Quote "whether you're a mom, a coach, a writer, a small business owner blah blah..." unquote. Take a look here at the link below.

Interesting to see how long it lasts; )
....I can't live without caffeine....

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Overnight success

I'm excited to announce that my book has become an overnight success!
...well, not quite. but it's sort of ticking along, so again thank you to those wonderful people buying it. Today my lovely talented daughter, Olive, created lots of incredible marketing brochures and business cards and I thought I should share them with you. So have a look here.

Aren't they brilliant! A little business card for me to thrust into unsuspecting people's hands, and advertising flyers. So, if you see us limping in and around Rutland looking none the better for wear, spare us a thought and offer us a nice refreshing beverage.
I'm going to sit down now and watch the BAFTA's - can't resist a bit of Graham Norton.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Today is a very special day for yours truly: first and foremost it is the third birthday of the youngest man in my life - happy birthday Remi! Secondly, I saw for the first time my actual (not virtual) novel in book form, all blue and pink and fluffy, just like it's title. Truly lump-in-the-throat stuff...

Now, I have to sell a gazillion copies! Not a bad start so far - I've had a steady stream of sales over the last ten days, and a few really encouraging comments on Amazon, even from as far flung as America!

In light of that, a huge thank you to all those of you who have bought a copy, and I hope you are enjoying the dizzying antics of Angie and co; if so please post a comment in Amazon's review section:  Walking on Marshmallows  Click on reviews next to the star rating and then click in the little box that says "create your own review" - easy peasy!). A positive review to a novelist, believe me, is like being told you've won the lottery.

Bi for now, and I shall be back with more news soon!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014



My novel has now been published on Amazon, and for all the thousands upon thousands of you out there, eagerly awaiting yours truly's much anticipated masterly crafted tome, click on this link: Walking on Marshmallows but please, please not all at once, we don't want the Amazon website to crash!

A few finger-clicks away, and it's available to download on Kindle. Or for those of you still loathe to ditch your brick-sized mobiles, transistor radios and mother-ship computers it's also available in ...(pause for X-factor-type drum roll)...actual, solid YES....SOLID PAPERBACK FORMAT!

So there you have it!

Here's the blurb to give you a little taster, and they also let you have a sneak preview before buying.
A word of caution though, it is not recommended for the faint-hearted, therefore I suggest you read the warning sign clearly posted at the start of the book, just after the "Acknowledgements" page ; ) 
“She’s always making a total arse of herself.”
If Angie’s heard this once, she’s heard it a thousand times. But does she care? LIKE HELL, and why should she? Life is bliss! She has a delicious new husband, a gorgeous little Victorian “doer-upper” and the opportunity of becoming rich beyond her wildest dreams.

Alas, the same can’t be said for grumpy sister, Hazel who’s not only lost her job, house, libido and waistline, but the will to live.

Poor Hazel, darling Hazel; it’s eating away at Angie and she simply has to do something about it.

Oh dear, famous last words…

In typical “Angie” fashion, she devises a cleverly-crafted plan. But like the back end of a dragster racing car, her Good Samaritan act horribly backfires leaving her not only floundering in a murky pool of malicious accusations and misunderstandings, but trying desperately to hold onto her perfect life.  

Friday, March 7, 2014


Hello everybody! It's been ages since I've been on this blog malarkey.
Sorry, and I know I've had floods and floods and floods and floods of people asking where I am?

Seriously though, isn't it a gorgeous day out there; sunshine is flooding my kitchen and the pavements are damp from a soft shower of rain? Oh and glory be, the daffs are out in the shops (a pound a bunch from Waitrose...ridiculous, I've got them all over my house!) and a clear sign we're heading for Spring. 
So, what better for a new beginning!

Yes, and here it is! I am about to finally launch my book on Amazon! It's been a long haul because I have other irons in the fire - (to be publicized at a later date) and those have frustratedly kept me from the task at hand. But it's about to happen! Yes! Definitely, honestly, truly! And hopefully within the next week or so, so BRACE YOURSELVES! And promise me faithfully you will read it. Although, you have been warned: if you suffer from any discriminating ailments in the er, the southerly direction, best not take a chance,

and rather stick to your Mills & Boon...