Quietly sweltering

More from Pete in Beetley. Typical of an Englishman to talk about the weather…


The weather is big news everywhere at the moment.

Tragic fires in Greece.
People dying in Japan, after record high temperatures.
Fires in fields all over the UK.
People suffering from sunstroke, in Britain.

And a man and his dog quietly sweltering, in Beetley.

It is now officially the hottest summer since 1976. No rain of any note in Norfolk for six weeks, and constant daytime temperatures in excess of 32 C (90 F) every day. Last night, it didn’t drop below 21 C, and we woke up to another scorcher.

I’m still not complaining. I still haven’t forgotten that long dreary winter, or those years of almost constant rain. I am doing my best to enjoy this rare treat, making me feel as if I am living in a different country. Yes it can be hard to sleep, even using a large fan to cool the room. Yes being…

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Writing Lessons 6

Writing Lessons 6

More advice on writing from Michael Jecks 😉


So you are sitting at your chosen location, your desk, your kitchen table, your spare bedroom – wherever it may be. You have your pen, pencil, paper pad, laptop or desktop computer, and you have some quiet music playing to tempt you into your best writing mood. You have been thinking about the next scene you’re going to write. You have your character, your basic scene. 

And you have that blasted blank page in front of you! It’s horribly empty! How on earth do you start to fill the page?

No, you don’t go on social media or start “researching” things on Ebay and Amazon. The main thing here is to stay motivated.

And it is astonishingly hard to do that. Because the way that the writer’s mind works is by seeking and finding distractions. You are creative and, believe me, a writer can put a huge amount of…

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The Verdict

More from Adam 😉


Maggie has a cancerous mass in front of her heart. It hasn’t metastasized at this point. However, it has invaded the sinus cavities of her heart.  Her prognosis isn’t good beyond a few months.

Of course, drastic treatment measures were offered. Chemotherapy, surgery, biopsies–none of them a certainty. The terrible verdict, we hoped not to hear.

She will be loved, these last moments, months, treasured.  I’m not ready to speak of her in past tense.

Right now, she appears so normal.  Sometime in the near future, the pressure on her heart and lungs will be too much, and her life will end. She is only seven.

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Does conscience make cowards of us all?

More from our girl Stephie in Italy 😉 xx


Hamlet is a loser. He turns out to be completely inadequate to the call to action of his father’s ghost, who wants to be rightfully revenged by his son. Yet, he had accurately chosen the most effective words to describe how his brother Claudius had atrociously murdered him and the “horrible“consequences on his body in order to stir Hamlet’s sense of indignation. Eventually, as if he doubted his son’s inclination to action, the ghost even warns him saying: “If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not“. If. He was not wrong in mistrusting his son, in fact, once alone on stage and soon after a first flame of rage Hamlet hesitates and ponders :”The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,That ever I was born to set it right!”

Can the words of a ghost, even if in the shape of a beloved…

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L’Art Caché – quatre 2018

More from the lovely Lea 😉


Being that this is my favorite art expo of the year, there is a sad parting. Alas, this is to be the last in the series of four posts from L’Art Caché in the charming village of Albas. 

Catherine Juge Thouroude has a number of pieces I enjoyed. Alas, there is neither an email address or website. Once again I shall direct any questions to the fabulous people who bring us this exhibition each year. Eurocultures: https://eurocultures.fr





There were several additional pieces that the artist delined to be photographed as they were a new variation she was working on. Perhaps at a future date I will find her exhibiting them when I can share the photos? 


Josiane Coste Coulondre is a textile artist. https://www.artmajeur.com/josianecostecoulondr





Josiane can also be contacted by email: jococoul@gmail.com

Patricia Maffli: Painter



I have just checked out her blog. https://patriciamaffli.wordpress.com/ and was thrilled to find much more than what…

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The Glorious Inefficiency Of Local Bookstores

Our Kevin talking about bookshops…

K Morris - Poet

“The elegiac atmosphere is part of the appeal. This bookstore, this artifact from a more literate past, serves as a reminder of values that have, in America, faded like pages in a weathered volume. The small, independent bookstore is simply a place out of sync with contemporary culture, chiefly because its very being emphasizes an appreciation of quietude, romance, and the kind of glorious inefficiency upon which the best of human life rests”.

At the age of 49, (my 50th birthday looms, should that be lurks? Ahead), I can relate to much of the above article. I can recall visiting such places in the company of my late grandfather and browsing. To this day I still relish the scent of bookstores.

Some 15 minutes walking distance from my home, there sits the Bookseller Crow on the Hill, a great independent bookshop, https://booksellercrow.co.uk/. Not only does the Crow stock…

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Artist Friend Joyce Eide

A little something from our Christine 😉 xx

Before Sundown

Sad news! Joyce Eide, age 87, passed away on December 13, 2017 after a long illness. She was born on September 21, 1930. Rest in peace, my good friend. She leaves an afterglow of smiles for us. Let the memory of Joyce be a happy one.

This is a repost from 8/10/2014 introducing Joyce and her art work .

In the late 1970s, I met artist Joyce Eide in the town of Lindos, located in the south-east of Rhodes Island. Lindos was famous for its white cubist houses packed tightly around winding cobblestone streets, and for its community of artists. I loved Joyce’s art work and we continued contact while we both lived in Greece, and then in California.  But we lost touch for many years. Luckily, I found Joyce on a Google search through Artexchange.com. Part of that write up is in this blog post. I’ve also posted a…

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Writing Lessons 4

Writing Lessons 4

Avast there ye lubbers, here be part four of Capn Michael’s advice…


So far this week I have written about how to get writing. I have suggested ways to invent characters, how to get ideas down and how to set them out.

Today I’m going back to first principles for all those of you who don’t have the faintest idea how to start. 

The first, absolute essential, I believe, is to have a place to work. My friend Jenny Kane writes her books in the local coffee shop, where she is such a fixture, they have put up a brass plaque at the place where she sits and types. Those who are lucky enough to have the money will often build a shed in their garden where they can work uninterruptedly, like Roald Dahl. Others will start off at the kitchen table – that was my own start point. 

However, when you are starting, you need to have a firm…

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Writing Lessons 3

Writing Lessons 3

The third in the series…


Right, this is the third piece on my short run of ideas about getting started as a writer. If you haven’t looked, please go and check the first two items from this week.

So how did you get on with trying out different scenes to throw your guy into?

I’m going to give you some basic ideas now about the first stage of developing a story. This isn’t rocket science, it’s just a way to try to get your mind working more creatively. 

The real problem most people have with writing is, that they have no idea how to develop a basic idea. All too often I have people who come to me and say that they have this brilliant opening scene, but just cannot move on from it. I used to get that, back when I was starting out.

My own history is, that I was a computer…

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