Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DJ Kirby - Author - Book Launch Special


Yes, it's all a bit different today.  Author DJ Kirby has penned another super novel, following the success of 'Without Alice'.  Everyone enjoys a good read and today it's raining here in Worthing - a perfect day to curl up and partake of DJ Kirby's captivating novel.

About 'My Dream of You'

Crime of Passion or Cruel Twist of Fate?  One summer's day, Betty let love carry her a step too far.  That exquisite sun dappled afternoon became one of her best memories, but also the catalyst for the worst experience of her life.  Now elderly, Betty has been running from her past since she was a teenager, and it's about to catch up with her.  Will the experience be as awful as she fears, or wonderful beyond imagining?

I have had the pleasure of reading My Dream of You and thoroughly recommend you purchase a copy and share my experience of this page turner.  The characters are well drawn, some to love, some to hate but all utterly believable.

My Dream of You has been published today as an e-book by Punked Books and is available from Amazon UK, the cost being £1.53.  Also available on Amazon US for £2.40.

Below are some of the comments by others who have read 'My Dream of You':

"DK Kirby writes with compassion and energy, creating characters you can really care about."  Sarah Salway (Canterbury Poet Laureate)

"Evocatively written, My Dream of You is an absorbing read filled with interesting characters, plot twists and emotion." Talli Roland, bestselling author of 'Build a Man'.

"A tale of motherhood, of hope and of love.  Truly touching.'  Caroline Smailes, author of  99 Reasons Why.

About Denyse

Do go and find out more about Denyse on her blog.


To celebrate the launch of 'My Dream of You', Denyse is holding a competition with some wonderful prizes on offer.  It's easy to enter.  Just go to DJ Kirby's blog (link above) and all the details are there together with the list of prizes.  Just to whet you appetite, the first prize is A Bothams of Whitby champagne afternoon tea hamper custom made for the launch party.  Mouthwatering contents include:

Apricot and Orange Tea bread
Butter Rice Madeira Cake
Apricot and Almond Jam
750ml bottle of Fratelli Berlucchi (2006) Brut
A signed copy of My Dream of You
plus more......

Go there NOW and get your name in the hat.  You have until midnight today, June 5th, to win one of the super prizes.

 is Denyse's website address.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The View below is taken from our meadow.  The cottage is hidden in the trees!

Please click on this to get the full effect.

Big News

At the end of the month, Jim and I are moving back to the UK.  Possibly for a while, possibly for good, we'll see how it all works out.  We are renting out our lovely cottage and have found the perfect family to look after it for us.  They have horses, 2 huge dogs and lots of other assorted animals.  Also 2 lovely children, a boy and girl, and they all fell in love with our cottage the first time they visited.

When we moved here, neither my big son nor Jim's children had any offspring.  Jim now has 3 small Grandchildren and my big son has added 2 Grandchildren to my collection!  We are keen to be good grandparents and the travelling back and forth has become a bit of a chore, reason one for our decision.  Also the house we have in the UK needs some updating, reason two.

Of course at this time of year, our garden is at its best and we have sat outside and felt sad at leaving, but we are also both excited about the new challenges ahead.  So at the moment it's packing, sorting, throwing out, etc.  We have also been working hard at transforming the last room here into a super bedroom or two.  The previously cold, damp room with a ladder to the upper level has now been dry lined, has a wooden floor and a super staircase, made by Jim of course.  I have filled, sanded and painted.  Here are some photos of the end result.


I have also taken some photos of the garden.  It looks so lush and green in its best spring attire.

This shows the arch and cherry tree and on the right is
the living willow fence and the road up to the meadow.

Doorus bird station and small rockery

A bee on one of the azalea

The rhododendron is coming into full flower

This morning these buds had frost on them


The cottage from the back at sunrise

I am painting the cottage red and white

I love this view of the steps up to the
 parking area

Sandy came to see what I was up to!

The Large Rockery

The frost had just melted on this aquilegia

 Lough Graney at sunrise today

We have had some beautiful weather lately, while the UK has been awash.  Perhaps Ireland is trying to tell us something!  It's gorgeous this morning too.

I am off to Suffolk for Jack's 7th birthday on 14th May.  I'm really looking forward to seeing him and Kitty - it seems far too long since my last visit.

I hope all is well with my blogging friends and I apologise for my infrequent visits.  Maybe I'll have a bit more time with our little garden in Worthing.

Blogger has all changed and it's driving me potty.  I hope you can view it all properly.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lovely walk with Buster - photos.

Flagmount reflected in Lough Graney, County Clare. Please click on the image for full effect.

Hello again. Rain rain go away. It's an awful day today with thick drizzle and mist and wind. No chance of any gardening in this. I have managed to do quite a bit of weeding and digging over the past week or two between the showers.

Buster's wound has healed very well, although he then split the skin between his back paw. He's just hopeless. We took him out on the lead for a few days so that he didn't run off and that has now healed too. On one of these walks I went to our local lake, Lough Graney and the water was still and the sky mostly blue. I let Buster off by the water and he was fine. As soon as I showed him the lead he came back to me. I was pretty amazed I must say. So, here are some of the photos I took:

Buster reflected.

Rocks and clouds in the lake.

The evening was drawing in and these rather moody clouds arrived. You can see the fishing stand on the right.

Time for a drink.

Flagmount hill reflected.

Two moons.

On the walk back, the cows in Kevin's barn were curious. Their eyes shine in the flash.

This post was actually started some time ago. Now the weather is much improved and we've had some lovely mild sunny days. I love the garden at this time of year.


Jim and I took a 2 day trip to Dublin. The first day we wandered around enjoying the sites and sounds and in the evening we went to the Bord Gas Theatre and saw Madam Butterfly by Opera North. It was quite beautiful - the orchestra played the glorious music perfectly and Butterfly herself was superb.

These poles are outside the theatre, which is on the quayside. The poles lit up at night.

The Theatre, build during the 'Celtic Tiger' years, is a triumph.

We walked along the River Liffey into Dublin centre. What a weird building the one on the left was, here it is reflected in the water, together with an old boat.

An amazing bridge, shaped like a harp, straddles the Liffey. Can you see that old chair in the foreground?

I would have liked it!

Jim laughed at me when I became excited about this barbed wire! I have made this black and white. You can see the famine ship in the background.

A cup of tea had to be taken at Bewleys:

Yes, I'm growing out the colour in my hair at last. I actually quite like my grey!

Here's Jim in a huge shopping centre at St Stephens Green.

Here I am during the interval of Butterfly - you can see the poles lit up outside.

The following day we met up with some friends of Jim's from the Horticultural Society and spent the day looking at and learning about trees in Ireland. We were whizzed from one place to another in a coach. It was a fun and interesting day.

We drove through the Wicklow mountains, which were quite spectacular. It was a much sunnier day though quite cool in the mountain air.

We looked at how straight and fast certain trees grow for commercial use. At this place, called Avondale, 1 acre plots had been planted with different trees as an experiment - 100 years ago. What forward thinking.

Most of the group at Avondale - Jim is on the far left. Jim drove us home after that, via various mountain paths and pretty scenery. It was very late when we eventually arrived home, but we'd had a super 2 days break.

I will put the full sets of photos on Facebook if anyone would like to take a look.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crafting and Gardening Plus...

A Gift From my Daughter. See end of this post.

Hello everyone, I can't believe it's almost March. Have you proposed to anyone today? It's 29th February and of course it only comes around every 4 years, rather like the Olympics.

It's Jim's birthday on 6th March, another one already, 66 he'll be. Poor old thing sounds like a real 'old man' this morning. I took a trip to the UK to visit Jason, Sam, Jack and Kitty and brought back the usual cold. Nature took it's course and Jim duly caught it too. It's a real nasty with a hacking cough that just leaves you exhausted. I hope his clears up soon.

UK Trip to Suffolk

I visited Jason and co during half term week to get the most children time.

The UK had had quite a lot of snow. We didn't have any and it was quite a surprise to see it from the air. It was also very cold. I love the river in the above photo.

Here's Kitty in a lovely dress and jacket, bought for her by Granddad Ken. We were ready to go and visit Jason's Granddad Ivor and Nanny Maureen for the day.

Kitty showing me the sweet Great Granddad Ivor gave her, Jack chilling!

The children played 'pantomime horses' under this lovely blanket that Maureen had crocheted. Sam looks on bemused!

Ivor chatting to his Grandson Jason - they are very close. Jack in the middle engrossed in his Lego.

Back home and Jack is welded to his DS! Note he has lost his first tooth. He had fake tattoos on his arms from the school's Valentine's Disco!

Finally Kitty, princess indeed:

Ooops, perhaps I over indulged on the photos of the Grandchildren a bit. Ah well, it's my blog!


Back to Ireland and our weather's been quite mild but wet, as usual. I have managed to get out into the garden quite a bit though. Even at this time of year, it seems full of weeds. I had a walk round this morning and it's lovely to see everything bursting into life. One of our magnolia trees is just about to flower and the other one is covered in buds. The daffodils are all out and I picked some to put inside. They are so bright and cheerful, even on dull days.

Daffodils in the fireplace. The photos (on the fireplace) haven't made it to the wall yet!


Buster has had a trip to the vets with a tear in his chest. It's gradually healing up but of course he keeps licking it! Sandy is just Sandy! Lolling about most of the time with the odd trip outside. I knelt down to take a photo of my chicken and they both appeared behind me on the floor. I quickly snapped them holding hands? LOL.

Jim is now well underway in the end room. He has dry lined the walls and put in the 2 new double glazed windows. Now he's building the staircase. Not an easy job and because he's not too well he's had to take it slowly. Lots of thinking time!

One of the new, bigger windows and the staircase rises phoenix like from the ashes! Jim's gone off today to buy some more wood and supplies.

The sun's shining so I'm off out until later.

Hm, much later, it's now 11.40pm. I didn't come in until it was dark, then had some chores to do. Jim was back quite late too, then it was dinner time and the evening just goes.


Equinox Doll

I made an Equinox Doll for a swap with the Milliande Art Community for Women, which Jim posted off for me today.

Here she is outside in the garden. I made a basic rag doll then adapted it for the Autumn Equinox. I thought she was going to Australia, in fact she's headed to the USA.

This is her back with a 'cloak' of red, black and gold. I must say I was quite pleased with the end result. I hope the recipient likes her too.

Pete The Slug

Yes, I know, you think I've gone crazy. A pet slug? Well, it happened like this. I had an old piece of chicken wire and decided to do something with it. I played around with it and made a shape, which I then covered in papier mache and painted. I decided it looked like a sea creature and covered the back and sides with my hand made paper beads - a bit of a labour of love. Then I varnished them. The front I made into a mosaic with cut up food containers. One of the black pieces has 'Pete' written on it for some reason, so thus the name. Finally I covered the underside with dried leaves and seeds from our garden. Everyone says it looks like a slug so Pete the Slug he is!

All these leaves have stuck to him while he's trailed along! I am going to try and make some sort of 'tentacles' come out of his rear end! That sounds rude but isn't meant to. At the moment it's just a hole and you can see the inside. In the meantime he sits on our strange table 'Boris' to be admired, laughed at etc.


I am also making another woolen latch hook rug and here it is so far:

I am a bit of a sucker for Autumn colours! It's taking rather a long time but is soothing to do in front of the television. I just use any of my wool and chop it to size - ish!


You may just have wondered what I was talking about when I mentioned that I was taking a photo of my chicken. On Sunday 26th Feb, I went to an all day workshop and there we made a papier mache chicken. It was great fun, the tutor, Krystyna Pomeroy, was lovely and helpful and we all had a thoroughly enjoyable day. All this happened at Ennis Creative Arts Centre, which is now based in Tubber. They do classes on all sorts of things, knitting, crochet, altered clothing, sugercrafting to name but a few.

Here are the photos of the day:

Krystyna demonstrating a technique.

Chickens on parade. Mine is the 3rd from the left without eyes!

A close up of the chickens.

Krystyna checking out one of her photos at the end of the workshop.

My chicken, now complete:

Yule Present from my Daughter

Can you stand a little more? I had thought, before Christmas, that K was making something for me but nothing appeared so I thought no more of it. Well a few days ago she posted on her Blog and on Facebook about the present which is now completed. She has been working on it for a long long time and - well, you will have seen how lovely it is from the photo at the start of this post. Here's a reminder:

It will of course be framed and take pride of place on the wall. K also said these lovely things:

'I wanted to add but wasn’t sure how to word it… with every stitch I thought of all the lovely memories, the good and treasured ones; holidays, trips, visits, conversations, hugs… I wanted every stitch to be filled with those precious things. To share how special she is to me. I’m hoping she’ll feel it when she sees it. The piece is filled with my love for my momma, properly stitched in magic! xxx'

Well, there really isn't much to say after that is there? Lucky me.