I cannot live in Black & White


I need blue skies

I need the yellow of a sun flower

I need the red of a pepper ready to eat

I need green as bright as new grass

I need the orange of a glass of juice, creating saliva in my mouth

I need purple as rich as blueberries and as bright as lavendar

I need brown like a bulrush

I need colour to survive as I cannot live in black and white.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang awakens the child……………………….


Written by Ian Fleming (widely known for James bond!), this film starring Dick Van Dyke came out in 1968 and my brother took me to the cinema in Tooting when it was first released – I was 7; it was also the year my beloved grandfather died and I think that’s why I loved Lionel Jeffries who played the grandfather in the film – although not a bit like my Grandad who was an old army man (my bulrush).

Anyway, the film and the music turn me into that little 7 year old again and I love it. Marty Whelan on Lyric FM in the morning often plays a song from it and my other favourite The Jungle Book and there I am in the kitchen eating breakfast, getting lunches ready and dancing around the kitchen.

Triggers, that’s what they are. Triggers which bring back great memories, the same way smells can do. The things memories are made of, and fortunately in this instance good memories. I love memories and the feelings they evoke, the wonderful thing is we have the power to control our memories and the feelings which are aroused as a result if we change the way we look at the events and memories but that’s for a whole different article.


So Chitty, Chitty. Bang, Bang……I visited Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria about 10 years ago which was the home of Mad King Ludwig and it is amazing. I think he would be delighted to know that the castle in the film and the Disney castle were both based on his castle, however when we visited it was the world cup in Germany and the place was full of mad football fans all sporting their colours including mexicans sporting massive sombreros – but the atmosphere was great.

So as usual I digress and wander but that’s what I love about memories they take you to everywhere and nowhere all at once. So….

“Oh you Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you……..”

Mont Ventoux – The Bald Mountain


Mont Ventoux is like a beacon in this area of France and is known, loved or hated by the thousands of cyclists who attempt to conquer it’s heights on a daily basis. There have been many who never saw the top, the struggle too great. It is a beautiful and cruel mountain and I’m always drawn to it like a ‘bee to honey’ but I’m a walker not a cyclist and I don’t have that need to kill myself in the attempt to tame it. I just love to be one with it. These are my musings………………………..

You stand proud like a sentry

Constant as time

The Bald Mountain;

A homing point on the horizon

You come alive when the sun hits you,

Your white top shining like icing on a cake

Your slopes turning black as the light changes.

To conquer you is the aim of many

Though I just love to be there

Among your trees or sitting on your limestone

Seeing what you see.

Petrach described his ascent and the view he saw

From the Rhone to the bay of Marseille.

It is still the same

With sleepy Sault and Aurel to the east.

“Giant of Provence” you are beautiful, mesmerising and cruel.

Your winds so strong they threaten stability – they are invigorating.

You draw people from near and far.

You stand alone, apart from your brothers and sisters – yet they claim you.

You are a beast, a “Beast of Provence”,

You are Ventoux.

From a selection of original poetry “Musings in Provence 2013

Too Much Detail………………..


I am loving writing my book, the story just flowing when I sit down to write. Events and happenings come to life that hadn’t even occurred to me before I sat down, twists and turns coming to life on the page.

My biggest problem is the research to make sure I have certain facts straight as it is based in history and therefore I need to have the period details and time frame correct. Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem doing the research, in fact I love it. My problem is that I can get lost in research, distracted. I want to get as much information as possible to make sure it’s correct and can end up with reams of information that has no bearing on what I’m writing. It is a failing of mine to have or want too much detail, making sure that everything is correct, that I have left no stone unturned in my quest for detail.

What’s the problem you may ask, isn’t it correct to have all the details? Well no, sometimes we can have too much and then we get lost in the detail and not in the story, or the happening if it’s real life. We are so hung up on the detail we cannot think or act spontaneously and that is when emotion no longer has any room to react to the situation and when the human part of us becomes defunct – might as well be a robot.

I am learning to pull back and restrain myself, as I had great training in a situation I would not have chosen to be in. My husband was diagnosed with cancer four years ago. When we went for the appointments before treatments and subsequent surgery, they only gave us a small amount of information each time and at the start I was infuriated as I wanted to know everything, but for once I didn’t sit down to google the minute I got home. In fact I learned over the couple of years that they give you just enough information at each step that you will be able to deal with. Dealing with the knowledge of the illness and what’s to come etc is so overwhelming by itself that if you had all the information and/or spent your time researching all the information you would not be there for the person concerned; You would not be able to support them or yourself. I learned that sometimes less is more and it is something I do my best live by now, sometimes I forget but I’m getting there.

And by the way, he’s doing great 🙂

Morning ramble

This morning I thought I would just ‘Free write’. Sit down at the laptop and start and see what comes out. It could be a load of hogwash or there might be something in it. I had set the clock to get up and work on my book but realised I hadn’t blogged for over a week and I was feeling disconnected.

I’ve gotten into the habit of getting up very early each morning to do an hours writing as if I don’t the promise of writing during the day does not happen. Plus my mind is unhampered first thing in the morning when everyone is still in bed and even the dog just raises his head to look at me but goes back to sleep.

Our little dog is spoiled rotten but is incredibly good in return. He makes us laugh with his antics and gives so much love in return. He’s smart and knows how to let us know exactly what he wants. To those of you who say that animals forget, bullshit! We could be sitting watching tv and he’ll go and stand at the door staring fixedly at one of us until we open it. He will go to an exact spot to get whatever it is he wants….a particular toy, to drag in his bed or a drink.

This morning I think I’m going to make crepes for breakfast with fresh berries and yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. I love my food but good food. I want to eat and feel good afterwards in that my body wanted and liked the food, it did me good so yes I’m fussy about what I eat and take outs are a very rare treat. Yesterday we were going to treat ourselves to one after work as our dependents were on a sleep over but instead I cooked fillet steaks with lemon butter, real potato wedges (as in not out of a bag) and veg, delicious…..and of course a nice bottle of wine. What a treat, easy and quick to cook and great. We then sat down and watched Body of Lies with Russell Crowe and Leonardo Di Caprio – great film about the lies we weave and their consequences.

If I’m going to cook crepes for breakfast I had better get up and do it. Have a great day everyone 🙂

I always thought this was mine!!!!


“Keep your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you” is something I have begun saying over the last couple of years and I thought it was original, as in mine. But it appears that Walt Whitman stole it from me years ago!!

As I have never read any of Whitman (yet) I wonder how these things happen. Did I hear this somewhere and was it stored in my subconscious and then just popped into my head one day when it was pertinent? Or did an similar event or feeling happen to me as Whitman and did we come up with the same sentence? Or are either of us a time traveler who stole it from the other, and as it’s widely known as his quote I have to let him have it?

Our mind – particularly the subconscious constantly amazes me. Considering 98% is the subconscious mind who knows or will ever know the true workings of it.

Dogs are awesome!



I love dogs. And there’s a dog shaped hole in my life right now. As some of you know we lost two dogs this year, plus my mother, who lives right next door, said goodbye to her elderly dog, Bronte.

Our big dog Manny drowned last winter after falling through the ice on the river, after chasing a duck. Our medium dog Olivia recently came down with a kidney/liver disease and died after a couple of weeks of veterinary attention. Sad times.

Not having a dog all of a sudden makes you realize how much of your life is shaped around having a dog. I miss Olivia and Manny, in particular as I loved those dogs very much, but I also just miss the company in the morning, throwing sticks in the backyard, and taking walks through the woods. I know you can hike without a dog. I get that…

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The Vineyard Snail


They appeared in the distance coming down the track

Carrying large trays.

Disappearing one by one into the vines as if never there.

The heat of the day still an hour away,

but the sky and light as if.

The only close observers sitting on the plants in ones or hundreds,

Totally still, unalert; having moved there at some hour, together or alone.

Hanging precariously here and there; on top, below, between

Small white shells with a single eye staring but not seeing.

The workers leave as quietly as they came,

Re-appeariing along the track, bunches of grapes picked and carried in the trays.

Still the observers remain until the heavy rains which fall wash them off,

And leave them waiting to begin their climb again.

From a collection of original poetry “Musings in Provence” Sept 2013


I do not want to get old!


I do not want to get old!

I do not like watching the onset of old age on someone who was so lively and able, now regressing and finding it very hard to deal with. Just simple tasks like putting on socks are now tiring, the whole task of the morning shower a mammoth job which leaves them exhausted for a couple of hours.

I do not like watching them struggle to do the smallest of things like buttoning a cardigan, the dexterity gone from their hands and the frustration evident on their face.

I do not like watching as they struggle to eat a sandwich, unable to hold this simple item of bread and filling together without it falling on the plate, aware that they have made a mess again.

I do not like the sense of despair they have, so able and active in their minds, but knowing that this is now where they are; they didn’t think it would come to this.

I do not like that this is the natural progression for all of us, I am not happy one bit. I do not want to get to this I want to escape early.