Thursday, 20 September 2018


The sudden fading of Summer comes as a jolt to the system after so many bright, sun-filled days and it’s all too easy to fall into a darker, more gloomy mood. News, both political and geographical, fuels rather than detracts from this state. As I turn on the lights I am reminded that from this day on my electricity bill will rise over a period of six or seven months as the days grow shorter and colder.

We have been working hard out in the garden, through and around the odd rain shower and drizzle, to take down a distorted old fir tree which was in danger of being toppled by high winds and crushing our neighbour’s fruit tree and greenhouse. Actually, it has been quite fun, although I haven’t been the one doing the donkey work. My job was to pull on the rope as each tall branch came down, ensuring its safe arrival on to our lawn without damaging the fence or my other half! With this large blue rope wound round my waist, I felt like a Tug of War participant! I hate seeing trees fall, but this was a necessity and the added bonus has been the lightening up of this area of the garden which previously suffered from damp and year-round shade.

Light – or its lack – plays such an important part in our mental health and well-being. When a close relative was suffering from both depression and bereavement at university, a small dark room – pleasant though its furnishings made it – was greatly improved by the installation of a ‘light box’ or ‘daylight lamp’. The effects of using this were good, and I now use a similar device in the bedroom first thing in the morning. The lamp lay idle during the Summer months, but this last week has seen it back in action.

Back to the garden, where a Dahlia I purchased early this year and which I had given up hope of flowering has suddenly produced this gorgeous bloom! The garden always holds back a surprise or two, especially at this time of year, and such bright cheerful colours can lift the spirits better than some other remedies for depression. I hope it lifts yours too.

Saturday, 8 September 2018


Why does everything happen at once? On Tuesday I underwent the first tests before cataract surgery. Included as a bonus (!) is the opportunity to experience a powerful and dazzling light being shone into one's eyes. I was struck by the irony of having suddenly become a victim of my own fiction, having just finished my second book in which the heroine - at one point - finds herself forced to stare for a prolonged period at just such a light.

And here it is! After two years of a real roller-coaster ride, I've managed to finish - and publish - the sequel to my first book. I think it's safe to say I've loved writing this one. There were gaps in time when life interfered badly with the process, particularly when I lost my mother, but the story wanted to be told and has forced its way into print.

Should you care to take a look, here is a link to the Kindle version which is for sale on Amazon, and where you should also be able to find the paperback.