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Book signing in Bridport.

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We had the most wonderful weekend staying at home this Easter.

Jokingly referred to as "Notting Hill on Sea" Bridport possesses all the ingredients together with a truly eclectic mix of people to satisfy most tastes. The Dorset town holds a market every Wednesday and Saturday stretching from East street and snaking all the way down South street. From locally grown produce, to skilled artisans and pre-loved stalls containing a staggering variety of antique/collectibles/jewellery/vintage clothes, its a fascinating way to pass a morning.

Monsieur P agreed to don a French beret and fix up some French bunting. (When I recalled the vintage bunting/flags I had virtually given away in France I nearly wept when asked to fork out for the nasty polyester version). Never mind, had I the ability to predict that I would be sitting on an old wooden French cart signing a book entitled 'Last Tango in Carcassonne' in Bridport one day I would be a self made millionaire. However, I was…

First Tango in Bridport

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Writing a book was one thing. Editing and proof reading was another matter entirely. I placed everything into the hands of the very competent and professional Philip from Column Communications. Not only did he steer me through the murky waters that a first time author can sometimes struggle in, but he also helped cut through the confusion. He sorted out for me the tangles that arose from the first attempt. The hard lesson to be learnt from that one was: Go with your gut instinct, if something feels wrong then stop and say so. AND, always have a proof copy in your hands before you press that publish button! I daresay I'm not the first and I certainly won't be the last that learnt her lesson the hard way...

It was with some trepidation then that I popped out a few copies of my book on my stall last week. Sales have been bubbling along nicely online and I had even gained four 5* reviews, one of which I am happy to share, (I would share them all, but I can be modest when pushed)

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Escape from the Chateau

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Finally, after what seems a lifetime, my debut novel Last Tango in Carcassonne is out on Amazon for Kindle readers, the paperback version is scheduled for release next Thursday, March 7th.
I use the term ‘finally’ with relief as it’s been a roller coaster ride with the ‘learning curves’ threatening to dismount me on numerous occasions. The patience of my close family and friends has been tested to the limits. Last year, as well as it being one of those landmark birthdays for me, the ‘Big 0’s’ that people seem determined to mark with endless celebrations, for me at least, I was anxious to end 2018 by putting my book project to bed and getting on with life. It had dragged on for far too long with excuses, false starts turning to bitter disappointment when it all went ‘pear shaped’. I’m the sort of person who likes to get all her ‘ducks in a row’. But my ducks weren’t ready to be lined up. You can’t rush these things. I wasn’t happy with the end result, so it was a case of back to the draw…

Bridport Hat Festival 2018

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There's something very agreeable about living in Bridport, West Dorset. Is it the general friendliness of the people, or is it the individuality and sometimes overall wackiness of the place that makes it so entertaining I wonder?

On Saturday we had our annual hat festival celebrating Bridport's Hat Heritage. When the trade routes to France were cut off during the French Revolution census data for people living locally revealed that people were listed as 'hat weavers' or flax doily weavers'. Although the industry died out after the revolution it is now gaining in popularity again.

Not only is it a terrific occasion and a chance to bring the town together, it also raises funds for head-related charities including brain tumour research, so it has a serious and worthwhile side too.

I decided we must join in the jollification fully rather than run our usual Saturday stall. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Mr P agreed wholeheartedly which I knew he would. For…

Out in the open.

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I'm reading this book at the moment, one of the very many piled up on the bedside table and, incidentally, picked up for a mere 20p from the local charity shop. It's called 'write that novel' or something similar. I would go and check its title but to get to it involves two flights of stairs and I've only just sat back down. One of the pieces of advice that resonated with me is that to become a writer you must sit down every single day for at least ten minutes and write. It then went on to suggest subjects to write about, yourself being the number one subject, and therein lies the problem. Whereas in a previous life I led a somewhat erratic existence nowadays I would describe myself as normal, placid, settled, sane and sensible. The picture paints a mundane '60 something' (just turned) struggling with extra unwanted inches and counting her alcohol intake whilst maintaining a cheery disposition and smiling benignly at strangers.
I did as the book suggested …

Hello Bridport

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What was I thinking of? Goodbye indeed to my ancient BlogSpot. After so many years of being together, writing has helped me through thick and thin, in times of need there is always the written word that helps heal. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part...etc etc.
It was time for a new persona. The old one was weary, worn out, bored even of being tarred with the same old brush. Sally's Chateau had a good run, Carcassonne Sally endeavoured to keep up the pace but they were never really 'home'. Home is where the heart is and my heart was never there although I put on my very best show. It was an adventure at the time but in hindsight I could have happily cut the time in half and that's being polite. Still I squeezed a book out of it which is currently being reviewed by an agent so we shall see.... Peter Mayle is dead so lets have some true hindsight into living in the middle of no-where and being British.
I occasionally struggle to be p…

Back in Dorset

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I am a very lucky person. Always have been, always will. If anyone lands on their feet it is me.

There are some people who know me well that might doubt my sentiments. They may gently remind me of  'past experiences' in my life that would have floored a lesser person. Not me. Pull back your shoulders, lift your head high and you will land on your feet. Cast aside negativity, rid yourself of people who doubt your ability. Say what you mean and move on. If people love you they will move alongside you, accept you for what you are. If they don't they won't. Life is tough.

My Father could never understand people that made such a drama of their lives, took every single incident or comment to heart. 'Why do people make such hard work of their lives' he was frequently heard to quietly bemoan. An intensely private man he knew how to behave and how to conduct himself when life flung some unexpected incident at you. And now he is suddenly gone and all of his words have c…