From The Balcony – Friday

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With normal life currently suspended I’ve been spending a lot of time on the balcony recently. The balcony looks directly into the woods, and because I’m on the side of a hill I’m looking into the tops of the trees.

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Wildlife surrounds the whole house in this isolated spot, there’s always something going on, but this morning was precious. I had noticed our resident red squirrel (known as Squiggle) the other morning leaping through the trees, then he or she went behind a thick tree trunk and never came out again. I waited and waited but nothing, so I decided he or she had gone down the back of the trunk. This morning I spotted movement in the same place that Squiggle had disappeared and I grabbed the binoculars. There were two squirrels, moving cautiously, and I quickly realised they were babies. Beautiful little russet twins with white chests. The fork in the big old tree had been an ideal place for a nest, facing away from the house and built in such a way that you’d never have spotted it.

The babies experimented, climbing up and down and around the trunk and the small branches close to the nest for about five minutes, then went back into the nest. It wasn’t long before one came out again and did a bit more practise. I managed to grab the camera and take a few shots but good close-ups were not possible given the distance.

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There’s always something going on here whether I’m perched on the balcony with a coffee, or gazing out of the kitchen window while I do the dishes. Given the current world situation I feel incredibly lucky to be hidden away here in the heart of nature.

It’s Been A Very Long Time

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Looking back I see my last blog post was December 2018. I had come to feel too tied to blogging; the responsibility of replying to comments and visiting other people’s blogs because they followed mine. Don’t get me wrong I made some great friends and enjoyed many great blogs, but in the end the routine of blogging was hampering other things I wanted to do. It probably didn’t help that I had a Photography blog and an Author’s blog as well as this one.

My life changed fairly dramatically in March 2019 when my husband and I decided to separate, we had been together for sixteen years, married for just short of fifteen. He went back to England and I stayed here in France. This last year has been somewhat challenging at times, living very isolated and not having a good grasp of the French language. Emotions have been up and down as I analyse a second marriage going down the drain. Is it me? I ask myself. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be forever.

Towards the end of 2019 I had become filled with a great sense of freedom; a great urgency to move on. The gate on the horizon was open, swinging gently in the wind on rusted hinges. One thing I knew for certain was that I did not want to stay in France. The French chapter was over, it had been great, and the people had been wonderful, but I knew in my heart it was finished. There was only one place that called to me – the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, where I had holidayed with my son in March 2019. That first morning as we drove away from the old hunting lodge I simply fell in love with the land, the colours, and the changing light. I remember saying to my son ‘God, I could live here!’ That feeling stayed with me.

I started to look at property on Skye but found it out of my price range, then quite accidentally a property popped up on South Uist, one of the southerly islands of the Outer Hebrides, also know as The Western Isles, further west than Skye. I researched South Uist, North Uist, Harris and Lewis and eventually decided that Lewis was the right place for me. It’s the most northerly island. Many people have looked at me as though I’m mad when I’ve told them where I’m going to go. ‘But what about the weather!’ they say, and ‘Why would you go to such a desolate and isolated place?’ Well yes, the weather is described as savage, even by the islanders. Hundred mile an hour winds and horizontal rain! But it’s so alive! So much energy. I went there in January, so I know!

To be Continued …

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Hello Again

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Author Blog Post

Hello Again!

Hello again, I can’t believe that my last post on here, and on my other blogs, was approximately one year ago. I had intended to take a break from blogging for a couple of months in order to work on the sequel to The Sleighriders, but somehow I haven’t got an awful lot done, and on top of that I never restarted any blogging again.

A number of things happened this year mostly due to birthdays. It was my 70th, my hubby’s 60th, and my son’s 40th. Mine was in February and I have to say was probably the best birthday I ever had, starting with a brand new motorbike, a stealth black Ducati Monster 821. I rode it back from the dealer on my birthday, in the rain, but that didn’t dampen my spirits one bit. It really is a fabulous bike; light, manoeuvrable, fast, and has that wonderful Ducati sound that only bikers recognise. I reckon it will keep me young!

In March my lovely son treated me to the most memorable holiday of my life on the Isle of Skye on the west coast of Scotland, an incredible week staying in a beautiful old hunting lodge on the side of a loch. Michelin star meals! We toured around Skye which is utterly beautiful with its Cuillin Mountains and rugged coastline.

 

In May I flew to Calgary for two weeks and visited my wonderful Irish friend, Joan, who I’ve known for fifty years, and then on to Kaslo in British Columbia to visit my other equally wonderful friend Joyce who I met in Calgary in 1971. Wonderful times just spending time together, drinking coffee and catching up.

The summer drifted by here in France with a lot of biking, visitors, relaxing and doing everyday things. And I never wrote a darned thing, nor did I do any photography. Now a year has slipped by and it’s nearly Christmas again and I’ve done no promotion of my books, something I find really hard, but should of course have at least been trying to get The Sleighriders out there since it’s a Christmas story. Must do better. Anyway at least I’ve now written a post, and I want to try and continue with some regular blogging from now on.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to all of my lovely followers, have a marvellous 2019. And if you fancy an excellent Christmas tale The Sleighriders’ is on sale on Amazon on Kindle and in paperback.

 

‘The Sleighriders’ Just Out in Paperback for Christmas!

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I’m on a winter break at the moment working on the sequel to my fantasy Christmas novel, The Sleighriders. But I also recently prepared The Sleighriders for self-publishing in paperback and was so excited to get my proof copy arrive a few days ago, – just ready for going live for Christmas. So I’m shamelessly posting in hopes that some of you somewhere may have a son or daughter, niece or nephew, who may like a book for Christmas! It’s a full length fantasy novel, 442 pages, full of elves, trolls, magic, strange creatures, and adventure.

So here it is and thanks so much for having a look. If you should decide you may like a copy then you can find it here on Amazon. It’s also available as an eBook.