I learnt to type on a heavy black manual typewriter at school in the late 1970's. Although I was keen to learn, I took a strong dislike to the messing about with ribbons, carbon paper etc.

Fennella Miller  

Thank you for inviting me to your blog and asking me to tell you about my life. They say that life begins at forty but for me it began at sixty. My dream was to become a published author before I was sixty and as time slipped by I was beginning to think I’d never achieve my dream.

 Fox Bill C

Despite the incipient thaw, the river was still partly frozen. January had been even colder than usual, the meadows white with snow and held in the grip of successive frosts.

Guernsey Joy L

The title intrigued me before I opened the first page…so a good start!

 Yellow Balloon

I was twelve when we moved to Dunby. Rosie was only young then, maybe two or three. She lived next door, with Mr and Mrs Smith - and she was lovely, with her brown eyes as deep as pools and her long, soft locks of deep auburn tumbling down like the feathers of a beautiful bird.

Balloon article

It all started many months ago. The company, Exclusive Ballooning, sent an intriguing e mail asking if we would like to take part in a cross London flight. It would be in aid of The Lord Mayor’s charity and all those interested should apply.


It was two months before Christmas, and Santa Claus sat in his workshop holding a list. He scratched his head and sighed. Rudolph, the chief reindeer, walked over and nuzzled his master's hand.

 Me for Traditions

I have been thinking about British traditions and have found one for each month of the year. Here’s a list of events you may or may not have heard of. Some ancient, some new and some downright quirky events that will, or have continued, to take place in Britain this year.


I hope you enjoy reading this festive story.

Argyll Jeanette Volunteering

When we came back to the UK in 2002 it was to move into a house we had bought four years earlier. We slowly got dragged into village life and never realised how our lives would change through joining our Community Council.

 Parcel Sharon

When Connie heard the loud throb of a van engine outside, she peered out of the window.

Tottie Blue Lagoon

‘And take your blue budgie with you!’ David’s last angry words rang in my ears as he slammed the front door of the police house in my face, and on my marriage.

Trouble and Strife

This short story is about a couple who keep trying get married, but things keep getting in their way!

Anne Williams new life

Do you know, since I decided to keep you up-to-date with how I’m taking on retirement head on, I just haven’t had a moment to tell you about it!

TLC Sharon B

As mentioned in the newsletter, maybe some of you like writing short stories for pleasure. If you would like to send yours in,  I will reproduce it on the website. The first one has been sent in from Sharon Boothroyd and is a light hearted romance. Sharon came up with the idea!

Pauline B Run for life

You are never too old have a go at something different, that’s what I try and tell myself.


I have written articles before about the love I have for my local choir - HEREFORD POP CHOIR Helen Vereker Singers.

Helen Vereker Singers

Photo by courtesy of Brian O'Donahue

The choir I belong to, Helen Vereker Singers make videos and put them up on YouTube. Our leader Helen Vereker makes a fantastic job of editing them.

 Sue and Sheila

Hi Sue, great to catch up with you again after a two year absence! I am delighted you have brought Sheila with you for a combined interview this time.

 Pauline Mason

Swanwick Writer’s School has been happening at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire each summer for 67 years. I first heard the name when my mother came in the early years, with members of Nottingham Writers Club.


About nine months ago I began looking for unusual gifts online.

 Lipogram comp

Thank you to everyone who took part in my Lipogram Competition. Two winners have been chosen. It was a difficult decision for the judge who enjoyed reading all of your superb entries. Lipograms are difficult to write, but highly satisfying to complete.

Bees Update

Back in March, I wrote a piece for OAPSchat called Getting the Buzz on Bees. Beekeeping is the perfect excuse to spend time in the fresh air, grow lots of flowers—and call it saving the planet!


Have you ever written a Lipogram? They are very difficult, but not impossible and can be a fun way to spend an hour or two!

Chris S boat

It’s launch day for Blue Nun, time to see if all the hours spent scrubbing every bit of her, hoisting sails (during which I managed to turn the boatyard air blue as I fight with one end of a flapping Genoa (sail) whilst Tom bellows instructions from the other) and the long, hard, expensive fight to install a sea loo have paid off.

Cat Cruising

Between 2004 and 2006, David Thomas experienced a series of disasters in his life, culminating in being told that he only had terminal cancer and only a short time left to live.

Tracy Burton

As a teenager, I always loved walking and secretly longed to go off backpacking, to explore pastures new and exciting. Unfortunately, my friends were more interested in fashion, boys and nightclubs, and it never occurred to me to find others with similar outdoor interests.

 Paul Simon

Copyright Columbia Records

On April 12th 2015, me and my husband (I can’t say my husband and I, or I would sound like the queen) left our home in Cornwall and set off ‘up country’.

Christina bees

Keeping bees is both an art, and a craft. It teaches you the benefits of patience, organisation, record keeping, hygiene, and safe food handling. In a good year you’ll get honey to eat and wax to make into polish, soap and candles too.What more could you want from a hobby?

Janice H

Today I am interviewing best selling novelist Janice Horton.Good morning Janice and thank you for agreeing to answer some questions for us.

 David Rob

You have to hand it to Flatcap. With the weights gone and the jogging forgotten, he’s found new ways to get into a shape other than round.

Kathy Rollinson

It was the year 3015. During the last 1000 years, Earth had faced many disasters, mostly man-made. Global warming projections had proved devastatingly correct. Rising sea levels meant almost a third of the planet was underwater. In fact, you could take a glass-bottom boat to view part of New York under the sea – hailed as the New Lost Atlantis.

David R Flatcap

Allow me to introduce you to Flatcap. He’s been around in print and audio for some time, and now he has his own comedy video channel.



Ever thought about taking up Quilling? I am interviewing Tina K Burton today and am about to find out for myself!


Hopefully, you are reading this because you like reading! I know that I would be lost and very fed up if I couldn't read! Books, ebooks, newspapers, magazines, leaflets, posters, google search, the list of reading devices seems almost endless.

Cat Lynx

We finished season 4 of our ghost hunting show, Calamityville Horror in style – on board the luxury passenger ship, the SS Great Britain.

In 2013, it was reported that worldwide, digital music is selling globally better now than it ever has. All types of music from way back in the forties and fifties to the present day are being downloaded.


Early spring is always an anxious time for the dedicated water vole fan. Each year, some colonies come back as strongly as ever, some might disappear, while others decide to shift themselves along the water course and pop up where you didn't expect them.

Fiona Joseph

Hello again and I hope you’ve all enjoyed the first week of December.

For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for taking photographs. The first camera I owned was bought in British Homes Stores and cost less than five shillings. It served me well for several years, however the cost of a roll of black and white film and the developing was always a problem. With my meagre pocket money I would save like mad so I could afford a 12 picture roll film and then before I knew it, I had finished it!

Giveaway Georgia H

Jan has invited me to tell you a little bit about each of the three books I am donating as a 'giveaway' on the website. They are all available to buy on Amazon

shooting guns

Living in the countryside inevitably brought us into contact with – my younger two boys in particular – guns. There are plenty of guns in use by country folk: clay pigeon shooting, shot guns (to get rid of vermin) and air rifles (for target practice), in particular. And it didn't take long for my younger two to pick up on this from their local school friends. Another (seemingly unrelated, but very much related in this case) countryside activity is bartering.

Phil Probert

Music had always been a hobby. But today my hobby has become my work and travel the UK and Europe doing it. How did that happen? I've been playing jazz since I was 15. Over the years I've been fortunate, as a semi-pro, to work with a number of excellent bands, but always as a paid hobby.

sue rosser

Today I am interviewing Sue Rosser of Sue is a very talented artist and I am delighted that she has agreed to answer some questions for us.

Joy L prize

They say that traits and talents can lie dormant for years before emerging, and there’s some truth in that. Some families are musical, blessed souls, with little Johnny taking up the bassoon like his granddad (or the other way around); others adept at a myriad other pursuits, but with most folk busy earning a crust, they don’t have time to follow their dreams or fancies (down lads).


I used to be a pretty good (well, good anyway) footballer, but this little tale is only indirectly related to my previous. Through my connections with the small rural infant/junior school my youngest two boys attended, I became chairman of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA – designed to raise money through extra-curricular activities to buy much needed supplies and equipment for the school).

Georgia H Workshop

Photo copyright Marilyn Rodwell

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, romance novelists can belong to a professional writing organisation called The Romantic Novelists’ Association. The RNA gives support and encouragement to writers, organises really useful conferences, a chance to network and holds fabulous parties.

Joy Lennick

Age, or rather ageing, is a strange concept to get your head around. Twelve-year-olds can't wait to be a teenager; teenagers can't wait to be eighteen or twenty-one...but many forty-nine-year olds seem terrified of reaching their half century: fifty!

Rosy Victorian Wedding

Photo taken by Janice Rosser

Most women love a good wedding! Me included. The clothes we wear, the Church, the nervous bridegroom, the vows, the tears, the reception, the champagne, and of course The Bride And her Bridesmaids, and the Eternal question 'what will they be wearing'?!

Jimmy Bates candlesBates

We always kept a stock of candles 'just in case'. After all, we were in the middle of nowhere – and you never knew whether or when the electricity supply would be interrupted (and how long it would take to be repaired if it did). And so I was always prepared – but not for what happened next!