Monthly Archives: June 2013

Cormorants at Portland Bill – Saturday Photo

Cormorants for Blog
A beautiful day at Portland Bill, the furthermost place on Portland. The sea like a millpond apart from the Portland Race which is always rough and dangerous. The three cormorants basked in the sunshine.

The following is taken from

Portland Bill is the graveyard of many vessels that failed to reach Weymouth or Portland Roads. From the shore you can see the Portland Race, a meeting of the tides that causes a continuous disturbance.

Portland Bill Lighthouse guides vessels heading for Portland and Weymouth through these hazardous waters as well as acting as a waymark for ships navigating the English Channel.


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Saturday Photo – Imposing Cliffs at West Bay


The following extract is taken from

With the stunning golden glow of the majestic sandstone cliffs and the shimmering radiance of Golden Cap, West Bay, Dorset is the Golden Gateway to the Jurassic Coast. Situated at the western end of Chesil Beach / Chesil Bank, the area forms part of the Dorset Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site within Lyme Bay.

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Selected Poem from the Heartfelt Book Of Poetry

Pic 2 for Jane

Sins Forgiven

Sins forgiven, not forgotten.
Memories still strong.
If each one can see past the hurt,
Then how can it be wrong.
Events in the spur of the moment,
That carry a lifetime of guilt,
Can only ever be conquered,
By a love that is rebuilt.
The joy received in forgiving,
Can mean so very much more.
And the joy gained from receiving,
A pleasure you cannot ignore.

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Quote for Friday 21st June 2013

I'm Stronger Than You!

The quote for today comes from Dr Wayne W Dyer’s book of Everyday Wisdom:

‘You, a person with a vision, are like a pebble in a stream, moving ever outward to infinity, impacting on all who come into contact with the ripple.’

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Review of Double Take by J P David

Double TakeDouble Take by J P David
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hank Hammond was a security manager in a department store, but through his involvement in busting a huge drugs trafficking organisation, he decides to quit and become a Private Investigator.

He rents himself an office from a mysterious Mr Green, and with the help of Lori, Mr Green’s super efficient PA, becomes embroiled in a case, which gets bigger by the day. The case involves missing vehicles, missing people, a wealthy old man, murder and much more. With Hank and Lori’s combined efforts, the case is brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

Hank is a believable character and with Lori as his sidekick, they make a great team. Offering many more opportunities for more books.

Easy to read, light hearted, entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Crackdown on Runaway Dads – my thoughts

Here I am again climbing onto my soapbox. The reason? An article in today’s Sunday Mirror called – ‘Crackdown on Runaway Dads.’

Of course I agree that fathers should be forced to sign their baby’s birth certificate, unless there are exceptional circumstances where it might put mother and baby in danger. But, when I see the quote by Labour MP David Lammy, who says,

‘We should have high expectations of all fathers, and help them to live up to those expectations. And we should be very clear that it is not acceptable for fathers to decide to play no role in their children’s lives ‘

I get very angry. All fathers and I mean ALL FATHERS should play a part in their children’s lives, so why has my son been excluded from his children’s lives for over nine years? Because his ex-wife refused to let him see them; brainwashed them into thinking their father didn’t want them, but all the time taking money off him every month for their support.

Why don’t MP’s take the side of decent fathers for once? Why don’t they create laws which stop these women from obstructing court orders? My son’s ex-wife has blatantly ignored all court orders instructing her to allow my son access for so many years now, that he has given up the fight. In my view, family courts are a waste of time and money. They make rulings, mothers disregard them, fathers repeatedly go back to court, the same court makes the same rulings, the same mothers continue to disregard the rulings and so it goes on; for years and years.

My grandsons have another man in their life who acts as their father, while their real father can only hope and pray that one day, they will realise there is another man in their life who has never stopped loving them and decide to come in search of him. Then, just maybe, they will come and see me, because I too have been denied access to my grandsons.

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Guest Post – Jane Riddell

Water's Edge
I would like to thank Jane for guesting on my blog.

Thanks, Shirley, for inviting me as a guest blogger.
I am a Scottish writer of contemporary novels, based in Edinburgh. Although I also write short stories, generally my ideas lend themselves to works of book length, and I find it difficult to downsize.
I underwent several metamorphoses before becoming a full time writer. For a long time, I worked in the NHS, initially as a dietitian, then as a health promoter. During those years I wrote as a hobby but was never caught up enough in it to work on something for more than a couple of hours at a time. My first novel, Seychelles Song, was rejected by Mills & Boon as not being up to the high standard their readers expect. In it I committed the cardinal error of having the heroine make a move on the hero when they found themselves sharing a bed. And apparently the setting dominated the plot. We live and learn! I would cringe if anyone were to read this book now….
In 2006 we decided to move to France for several years. As I was unlikely to find paid work there because of my limited French, I knew I’d have more time for writing. What I didn’t know was that we would end up homeschooling our son…. a story in itself and one which prompted the writing of various articles. Several months before we left Edinburgh, during a Saturday afternoon at the gym, I found myself on the treadmill, listening to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas singing Dancing in the Street, and thinking: I’ll have a go at becoming a serious writer.
I completed my second novel, Chergui’s Child, while we were in France. I also wrote the first draft of what has become my debut novel, Water’s Edge, e-published by ThornBerry Publishing in April 2013.
In terms of possessing a writing identity, it wasn’t until we were halfway through our time in Grenoble that I found myself able to tell people I was a writer, without wrestling with my internal critic, which would say: A writer? Who are you trying to kid?
When we returned to the UK, I studied for a Masters in Creative Writing which I attained in 2010. Around that time, I began blogging: Papillon – any thoughts rattling around my head, and Letters from Bakhtin blog – about a Russian cat who aspires to be a writer. In 2011 I set up a small editing business, Choice Words Editing, being particularly interested in working for non-native English speaking clients.
Writing is something I have to do. There’s definitely a sense of deprivation if, for some reason, I can’t write, though this rarely happens. If I’m away from home for one night even, my laptop accompanies me. We have done a fair bit of travelling in our Renault Trafic van and as soon as the scenery becomes dull, or darkness falls, I am writing or editing away on my laptop. On a perpetual effort to lose weight, I write or edit with my laptop perched on the handlebars of my exercise bike. Eccentric, or what?
Writing is a space I can go to that is completely mine, in which I have total control: it’s not dependent on weather, colleagues, money. Additionally, as I tend to set my novels in ‘foreign’ countries, I have the chance to escape to a sunny climate when those around me are enduring yet another blustery, wet, Edinburgh day.
I am currently completing a rewrite of Chergui’s Child which I hope to submit soon. My editing guide: Words’Worth – a fiction writer’s guide to serious editing will be published by ThornBerry Publishing in July 2013, and will be available in paperback from Amazon.
The task for me – as well as continuing to write novels – is to learn how to promote/market my work, something publishers are far less involved in now. I thought that becoming published was the final summit. How naive!

Readers can connect with me via:
my author’s website:
my editing website:

If any author would like to ‘guest’ on this blog, then please contact me – and we can discuss it further.

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Review of Water’s Edge by Jane Riddell

Water's EdgeWater’s Edge by Jane Riddell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On the surface, this was a book about four siblings invited to the hotel run by their mother in Switzerland, for a family reunion. All very innocent, making you wonder where the story was going. But then, you gradually realise that Magdalena’s three daughters and son all have problems which rise to the surface and have to be dealt with. Meanwhile Magdalena has her own problems, which she has hidden from her children since her husband’s death. The story revolves around each character’s point of view. How they are forced to confront issues in their life, how they feel about their siblings; their relationship with their mother, who suffers a great deal of guilt at having sent them to boarding school as children. The characters are believable; sometimes irritating and annoying, but that is the skill shown by the writer. I thoroughly enjoyed this character-led book.

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Photo for Saturday 8th June 2013 – Trebah Garden

This is one of the stunning views of Trebah Garden, a sub-tropical paradise set in a beautiful Cornish valley.

For more information visit

If you like this photo, please sign up for my blog for more great photos of the South West of England

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Quotation for Friday 7th June 2013

I'm Stronger Than You!

The quotation for today comes from ‘The Magic’ by Rhonda Byrne –

‘If you practice gratitude a little, your life will change a little. If you practice gratitude a lot every day, your life will change dramatically and in ways that you can hardly imagine.’

Today, I am grateful for the lovely peaceful walk I had with Bailey (that’s him pictured above). The lunchtime I spent with a very good friend putting the world to rights. The books I have sold and the Euro Millions Lottery Ticket I bought which is bound to be a winner!

What are you grateful for today? Let me know, I would love to hear.

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