Murder on Tyneside

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Friday, 26 June 2015

Weighty Problems!

Six months ago I made a New Year's resolution that I was going to lose some weight! For one reason or another I'm afraid the diet never got off the ground. However I am delighted to say that at last things are beginning to move!

Over the last three or four weeks I have lost 9lbs! I seem to have managed to get a grip on the diet thing and thankfully the pounds are slowly dropping. Now all I need to do is to hang on in there and carry on with the good work. Those of you who have even the smallest weight problem will understand how difficult that can be. There are so many lovely things to eat nowadays. One of them is ice cream - I adore ice cream. I know ice cream has been on the go from way back yonder. But it seems to be more delicious, more creamy and... more fattening than it used to be.

Anyway, I thought that if I wrote it down here and told you all how well I was getting on - albeit six months late - I might manage to stay with it and lose another 7lbs or so.

Another piece of good news is that all nine copies of my novels placed in the Borders Book Festival shop were sold. I was absolutely delighted when the lady sent me an email telling me about it. There were some big names at the Festival, all giving talks or workshops and selling their books. I would have been pleased if I had sold one copy, but all nine - that was brilliant.

The Festival which ran for four days, was held about two weeks ago and all local independent authors were allowed to place a restricted number of books in the shop. I took 3 copies of each of my three novels.

This afternoon I am popping around to a neighbour's house for a chat. We live so close, yet I haven't seen her to talk to for ages. I wonder whether we should have made it an all day thing. Will there be enough time to say everything we have to say in one short afternoon?

Well, I think that's all for the moment.

Have a great day wherever you are - enjoy the sunshine - if you have any. Still pretty dull here.


Sunday, 21 June 2015


On Friday evening, we were watching Graham Norton's chat show, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was introduced. He was quite fun and game for a laugh with the other guests. But suddenly I found the years flying back to when Phil and I were on a whirlwind tour of California.

The tour was great and we saw everything it was possible to see in the two weeks we were there. We even flew over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter - a wonderful experience, especially as I was sitting up front with the pilot. There was glass on the floor of the helicopter and I was able to look out down to the Colorado River below.

But I digress, what I wanted to say was that when we went to Los Angeles, we saw the Chinese Theatre where Hollywood stars have imprinted their hands/feet and signatures into the stones on the ground. In the photo, I am looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger's contribution.

Of course since seeing the show, I have been thinking back to that wonderful time in California. Though I have to say it was very hectic. We lived out of our suit cases for the entire trip, but it was worth it. It was Brilliant!!

Isn't it amazing how one little thing can trigger off a whole load of memories? I feel as though I have been back to California since Friday evening...

 But I suppose I will have to come down to earth again. For one thing I will have to organise a plumber next week as the tap needs changing in the kitchen. Well it certainly needs something doing to it. You very nearly break your hand when trying to turn it off!

Hopefully my friend and I are going to try to get to Newcastle this week. I also hope to meet up with my sister, who I only seem to see once in a blue moon.

Our gorgeous nephew was two years old on 20th June. I can hardly believe that he is two already. The years are flying past far too quickly.

I don't seem to have anything else to talk about at the moment, so I suppose I should go and do some ironing - not a pleasant thought, but it needs to be done.

If you are interested in reading the Prologue to The Trojan Project I have included it on the appropriate page on my website.
I just thought I would whet your appetite - who knows, you might even want to read more of this suspense thriller.

Have a wonderful day wherever you are and enjoy the longest day of the year...

Chink! Chink!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

This Week, So Far!

Another slow week!  Can they get any slower? Yes, I suppose they can. It depends on what you call slow!

This week we have had a couple of appointments. But don't you go thinking that this has been an upbeat week, because you would be so wrong. By a couple of appointments, I mean that on Tuesday we had a guy here servicing our boiler. Yes it was that time of year again!

Fortunately all is well on that front and we don't have to rush out and spend money on a brand new boiler. But then we have it serviced every year and parts are still available if it should break down. Perhaps I should have whispered that last remark, because if the boiler people picked it up they might decide to throw all spare parts out of the window in the hope of selling a new boiler!

Well, perhaps not out of the window. There are fines for that sort of thing now. On the other hand, aren't there fines for all sorts of things these days. You almost have to call in a member of the council before you decide which bin something needs to go in! Woe betide you if you should put something in the wrong bin or if your bin is too full. What is seen as too full? I gather nothing is to peek out from under the lid. So what if it does? What are we paying our council tax/rates for?

Anyway best I get off my soapbox about that!

Back to the two appointments this week. Wednesday's appointment was to take the car to be serviced. Thankfully there weren't any problems and after about a couple of hours we were able to drive away safe in the knowledge that all is well for another year. Fingers crossed on that one! The mechanic even gave the car a quick hose down, which was good because it needed it.

On Friday, all being well I am going to pop around to a friend's house for a chat. I suppose that means I have three appointments this week, not two. But as things crop up unexpectedly, Friday's chat is classed as being in the distant future!

Our gorgeous nephew, will be two years old on 20th June. I still can't believe how fast the time has gone.

Our niece and her husband took him on a week's holiday to Whitby recently and I gather they all enjoyed their stay. I asked them to try to find Dracula's grave, which is said to be at the top of the cliff overlooking the harbour. Phil & I have been there two or three times and although we have looked, we have never found it. Okay, I know it is a myth that Dracula was buried there. Dracula was a figment of Bram Stoker's imagination, but I can't help thinking I might find something one day - and then I will yell YES! before taking a photo and passing it on to everyone who is interested in learning the secret. Who knows, Bram Stoker might just have hidden something for his followers to find in the years to come. Have I stirred your imagination? I hope so! Mine is running at fever pitch at the moment!

Well that is my week in a nutshell. However, if anyone reading this has any further news regarding the Dracula thing I would love to hear from you. Replies have been rather sparse of late.

In the meantime, have a great day wherever you are!


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Special Offer!

I have nothing to tell you, except that my novel ONLY TWELVE DAYS is only 99c/99p to download. The offer lasts until midnight Friday 12th June. So if you have not read this sweet, old-fashioned love story, then now is the time to download your copy!

The story is set in 1979, before computers and mobile phones had taken over the world and tells how Bill, a widower and Sally, a rather shy 21 yr old meet quite unexpectedly and fall in love. But their fate lies in the hands of two people - Sally's over-protective father and Bill's young son, Joey. Will it work out for them...?  Read the book to find out. And Please pass on this info.

Also, who do you think would be good in the part of Bill, if it were ever made into a movie?  No prizes, I'm just curious!

My niece and her husband have taken my great-nephew on holiday to Whitby this week. I asked them to try to find Dracula's grave. He is said to buried in the churchyard high on the cliff in Whitby. I have looked on the two or three occasions I have been there, but haven't found it. Has anyone else heard this story and if so have you ever seen the grave?

Well I think that is all for the moment!

Happy reading!!


Monday, 1 June 2015

Highlights & Lowlights!

The highlight of my day is.... Drum roll... Sainsburys are going to deliver my shopping!

How sad is that, when you have to admit the highlight of your day is a delivery from Sainsburys? On reflection, I suppose there are worse things I could be sad about, but at the moment that is the only thing I am thinking about!

On a brighter note, my young nephew will be two later this month. How those two years have flown. It doesn't seem that long since he was born, yet already he is two years old. At this rate, it will only seem a short while before I hear about his first day at school.

Can you remember your first day at school? I can! I remember mine because I cried as my mother watched me being left in the hands of a complete stranger. Don't get alarmed here, the stranger was my new teacher and was really quite nice as she led me across the classroom to a pile of toys. But I wanted my mum.

Do kids still cry on their first day at school? Or are they more outgoing these days? Are they able to cope with leaving their parents at the school gate and blend in with the other youngsters without a backward glance?

I suppose all children are different. Which is just as well, because we can't all be the same. What I mean is, if we all were exactly the same and we all wanted to go to the theatre on Wednesday, then we wouldn't all get in, would we?

One of my neighbours has just been to collect the money I promised her for running in the Edinburgh marathon. Good for her. I gather that there weren't any records broken because of the strong winds the runners had to contend with as they ran along the route. But she finished the course so a big well done to her! She said she was floating on air at the moment and I have to say I would be, too if I had just run 26+ miles. But I'm afraid I am not up for that any more. Actually come to think of it, I don't think I have ever been up for running 26 miles in one go. So another big well done to her!

Well I think that is all for the time being. Hopefully I will have something really exciting to tell you the next time, but best not hold your breath.

Have a great day!


Chink! Chink!