Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Monday, 14 April 2014
Why would any writer want to research the past on the internet when they could spend half an hour chatting to this wonderful lady over a gin and tonic?
Dolly started working at the hotel in 1940 when George V1 was on the throne, Churchill was Prime Minister and Britain was in the grip of the Second World War, according to articles in The Times and the Daily Mail recently.
'I love the work and I love the people,' she said. 'It keeps me going and it's better than sitting around.'
She has little time for sitting around, however, working three lunchtime shifts a week serving customers, polishing glasses and clearing tables.
Dolly gave up working full time six years ago when she reached the age of 94, and admits that her own two children are happily retired.
Over the last seven decades she has served many famous faces, including James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, former Prime Minister Ted Heath, footballer Stanley Matthews, singer Vera Lynn, ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn and actress Elizabeth Taylor.
And in all that time she reckons she has served more than two million pints!
You can read more on: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2601755/She-definitely-deserves-tip-Worlds-oldest-barmaid-celebrating-100th-birthday-no-plans-retire-pub-started-working-1940.html#ixzz2ytsafHcC
And in the meantime - where's my satnav? I might just take a trip down to Buckingham.
Monday, 7 April 2014
|Yes- it's those curtains again...|
I've got a confession to make. I've just put my 34-year-old daughter's nursery curtains up in the spare room. They are for my gorgeous granddaughters when they visit, I hasten to add, but why did I do it? Because I love the past. I love anything nostalgic, anything that evokes happy memories. And that includes furniture.
Now this is where I have to disagree - how can our heritage be described as waste? How can we not be interested in where we came from, and what the world was like when we were born? In my writing den I have a photograph of my grandfather's discharge papers from the 2nd Royal Guernsey Light Infantry in 1919, plus a national newspaper cartoon of my father at the Café de Paris in the sixties and a collage of my own daughters when they were growing up. The past influences my writing as it has with many authors, humble or famous.
Adds Sansom: In 1948 CS Lewis wrote to a friend that he was attempting to write a children's book "in the tradition of E Nesbit". The children's book he wrote was, of course, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, published in 1950, and one of the Nesbit traditions he borrowed was the magic wardrobe. Lewis uses his wardrobe to enter an entirely different realm - his destination is the Celestial City.
Like wardrobes, beds act as transports for the imagination also. Writers in particular love to work on the horizontal. Milton's Paradise Lost was mostly written in bed. As was much of Winston Churchill's history of World War Two.
Now this is where Mr Sansom and I begin to agree again. I also find it very therapeutic to write from my bed. But that's another story.
Talking of bedrooms - where have I seen that pine dressing table before? It definitely looks familiar...
You can download my debut novel here. Baggy Pants and Bootees
Thursday, 3 April 2014
You can also download my debut novel here: Baggy Pants and Bootees
Monday, 31 March 2014
SCOTLAND TO BAN PAPERBACK BOOKS
Do you live in Scotland? Do you, like me, have a huge collection of paperback books? Then buy while you can because from September 2014 Scottish residents will only be able to download new e-books : the printed versions will banned.
In the capital today crowds gathered in front of Edinburgh Castle where the Minister for Reading, Mr Carnt Wright gave a long, drawn out speech.
'The only way to make Scottish Independence work,' he declared, 'is to limit our spending.
I therefore have no choice but to ban the printed word..'
Thousands have already signed a petition calling for the ban to be reversed. Please download your copy and vote NOW (before lunchtime if possible.)
Monday, 24 March 2014
According to a report in The Times recently, 'A fridge that belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, is marking it's diamond jubilee. The Frigidaire, which was made by General Motors, was bought in 1954 for the Castle of Mey, the Queen Mother's home in Caithness.'
And now, the memory of this household appliance has been brought to life by 24-year-old Sophie Wainwright, the 1960's cub reporter featured in my debut novel.
|Type||Division of Electrolux|
|Industry||Major appliances, Small appliances|
|Products||Clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, ranges, room air conditioners, dehumidifiers, microwaves ovens.|
My protagonist Sophie is extremely wary of men. After witnessing her mother's disastrous relationships during the grim post-war era, she refuses to feel anything other than contempt for good looking office Romeo Steve Sibson. Keen to understand her, and determined to thaw out their relationship, Steve gives Sophie the nickname 'Frigidaire.'
'I love this nickname' says one reviewer. 'It really brings the romantic relationship to life.' Find out more at
Friday, 14 March 2014
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
My Writing Process – Blog Tour
Suzie, who writes fun-packed romantic fiction, is the author of Going Underground and Little White Lies and Butterflies which was short listed for the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize in 2013. You can read all about Suzie here
Meanwhile, I've been asked some interesting questions as part of this blog tour, so here goes:
Later I began to read books such as Other People's Marriages byRosie Thomas and Erin Pizey's The Watershed and finally realised that these were the kind of novels I wanted to write.
I write because I want to and, now that I’ve had my debut novel published, I hope that more people will continue to read what I write. But if they didn’t, I would still write. It's a simple as that.
Peter was born in Guernsey and I was lucky enough to meet him at the first ever Guernsey Literary Festival where he read some haunting poems about his island home.
Meanwhile, Jack Barrow is known for his controversial views. Jack, wholives in Hertfordshire, England, writes about popular philosophy in modern life. He says: 'I have a particular interest in the way people are rejecting mainstream religion and creating their own philosophies from the bottom up. These ideas cannot really be described as theological in the way that western religions are and they seem closer to eastern mysticism, such as Buddhism or Zen, while being dressed up with symbolism drawn from folkloric sources.
Jack's first novel, The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil is now available worldwide after receiving excellent reviews in the UK. He is currently working on a travelogue, 'which is distracting me from working on the second novel about an end of the world religious cult, Morris Men practised in the martial arts and the accidental destruction of a literary festival...' Find out more about Jack on:
Friday, 28 February 2014
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!
Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The Plowboy is whooping-anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
The rain is over and gone!"
- William Wordsworth, March