Travelling with IBS

I’ve just had the best weekend in Amsterdam. I wanted to go to Floriade, a horticultural expo which only runs once every ten years. It was stunning, and I combined it with a family sightseeing weekend. It was my first trip back to Holland since a three-day school excursion to Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands.Continue reading “Travelling with IBS”

A reminder to be kind, always

I’ve read many books this month, giving the majority a five-star rating. What links them is their exploration of relationships. How we are treated as children, as adults, and then as we deteriorate with age can profoundly impact the quality of our lives. In these books, there are horrific acts, humour, kind deeds and everythingContinue reading “A reminder to be kind, always”

A fast-paced historical romance

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Sister Returns by Joanna Rees, which has more twists and turns than a scary rollercoaster. I didn’t read the first two books in this series but it works as a standalone novel. We are taken to New York, Los Angeles and the UK, entering theContinue reading “A fast-paced historical romance”

A book you need to read this Summer

I’ve just read A Normal Family by Chrysta Bilton as part of a Random Things Blog Tour. The quote on the back says, “Absolutely riveting from beginning to end,” and I completely agree. It gets five stars from me. This memoir is about chaos, addiction, and two little girls brought up in an unconventional household.Continue reading “A book you need to read this Summer”

Hopping across the pond

A June reads round-up. Just three books this month, spanning the 1900s to the present day – in the UK, Central and North America. Rarely for me, more fiction than non-fiction although American Dirt felt very real as I was reading, and disturbingly so. Small Eden by Jane Davis If you like UK-based historical fiction,Continue reading “Hopping across the pond”

Are we ever ‘fixed’?

I’m just one of the many writers who has penned a memoir saying something like, hey, I had something terrible happen to me but I’m ok now and you can be too. The reality is that none of us is ever completely fixed are we? Granted those writers who are in remission from cancer orContinue reading “Are we ever ‘fixed’?”

How to add sculpture and texture to a garden

I love grasses and clipped topiary in a garden. They add sculpture and texture and when they are contrasted with floaty, fluffy flowers my heart sings. I visited The Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park last week, where I saw some great examples. Above are swathes of molinia grasses, which sweep across the lawn nextContinue reading “How to add sculpture and texture to a garden”

May reads – taking me from Louisiana to The Lake District

I increasingly find myself drawn to non-fiction these days. I love learning from the experiences of others and there is always space on the bookshelf or in the e-book library for another health or nature memoir! I was pleased to fit in a Stephen King book this month. I have his Stephen King On WritingContinue reading “May reads – taking me from Louisiana to The Lake District”

Dopamine & dedication at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is colourful, inspiring and an assault on the senses! I arrived at about 8.10 am on Tuesday, RHS Members Day, and walked through the iconic gates – this year decorated in dried and fresh alliums – to get my first floral dopamine hit. The first of many. I love theContinue reading “Dopamine & dedication at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show”

When it comes to the menopause – knowledge is power

In my memoir, The Cactus Surgeon, I mention the possibility that perimenopause could be causing some of my health symptoms. I wrote that section about nine months ago, so here’s an update… Earlier this month, I picked up my first HRT prescription. It’s taken me seven months to get it, and I had to standContinue reading “When it comes to the menopause – knowledge is power”