Monday, 30 September 2013

Ince St Mary's Primary School

Here's a Big HELLO to everyone at Ince St Mary's Primary School - I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow and hope that you all have a fun day... 

Today I'm busy writing, and researching, all about Christopher Columbus for a book I'm working on so I haven't got much time to write in my diary. I've been interested in Columbus and Explorers since I was in Primary School and one of my favourite books was this wonderful pop-up book all about Columbus's voyage to the new world. The cover of the book has a ship's wheel that rotates to reveal sections of a map. The middle of the book is a fantastic pop up of Columbus's three ships - the Santa Maria, the Nina and the Pinta.

Over the next few weeks I will keep adding little diary entries to say hello and to let you know what I'm up to and where I've been.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Blood Brothers

Right now I'm hard at work on a longer fiction book - and I'm having lots of fun writing it... I can't tell you much about it but I can tell you that the unlikely hero of the book is a young boy called Stanley Shrimpton... there are quite a few nasty characters in the book too - like Dr X (that's not his name but I'm not going to give that away at the moment) and his nasty side-kick Bananas (he's not really called Bananas but that's his nickname... his real name is ??? Hmmm... you will have to wait for that one too.)

As well as this, I'm doing some research for some non-fiction books - It's quite exciting to do this as it's not what I normally do...

We've had a busy weekend doing the usual boring things like shopping and tidying the house etc, but it's not all work though...
....on Saturday we went to the theatre in Llandudno - Venue Cymru - to see the most excellent Blood Brothers...  A marvellous, moving, musical play written by Willy Russell. If you ever get the chance to go and see it then we would highly recommend it... it's funny and sad and powerful - great entertainment.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Ed-Alleyne Johnson

We love living near Chester, it's an old and beautiful city, full of character, life and history. 
One of the many  things that add to it's life and atmosphere are the street performers and buskers - and there are some extremely talented buskers to be heard on the streets of the city.
One of the most popular and most accomplished has to be Ed-Alleyne Johnson, a very impressive electric violinist, composer and performer. We already had a couple of Ed's cd's but whilst shopping for a present for Vicky's birthday I thought it would be nice to get another (Echoes) and have him sign it for her.

If you're not lucky enough to live near Chester and hear Ed for yourself, give him a listen on You Tube...

Friday, 6 September 2013

A Postcard From Tenby

It's back to work and school for everyone now but I hope you've enjoyed the summer holidays as much as we have.
I've got lots of writing to be getting on with and quite a few school and library visits already set up for the coming months. If you are interested in having a visit to your school, please get in touch as soon before all the best dates get taken up. I've managed to get a bit of work done during the summer but we've also had a few nice days out together so over the next week or so I will let you know what we've been up to and let you see a few photographs.
We visited Tenby again this year and had a lovely time. The weather was great (most of the time) and we even managed to have a little swim in the sea.
We thought it would be really nice if we could go on a boat to see whales, dolphins, puffins and who knows what else, so we drove to Martin's Haven to board a little boat that would take us out on a bit of a sea safari. The water was calm near the shore but got a little choppier further out so we were given waterproof clothes and lifejackets to keep us warm and dry. It was roasting when we put them on but I'm glad we did as it was certainly a bit cooler out at sea.  
The boat whizzed across the water, bouncing along from time to time and covering us is spray as we headed to Grassholm - a small uninhabited island about 8 miles off the Pembrokeshire Coast. Although no people live on the island, it's the home to thousands of Gannets. From a distance it looks like the island is covered in snow but as you get closer you can see and hear all of the birds (when the wind is blowing in the wrong direction you can smell them too).  
As well as the Gannets diving into the sea and circling overhead there were seals soaking up the sun on the rocks below... it was quite a sight.
After leaving Grassholm, the boat took us to two other little islands - Skomer and Stokholm - to get a closer look at the seals and see the Guillemots and Kittiwakes in the nests on the cliffs. We caught a fleeting glance of a couple of Porpoises as they came up for air but sadly we didn't see any dolphins. The Puffins had all headed off to see a few days before so we didn't see those either but we still had a great time.   

 We spent most of the time just relaxing and having a wander round Tenby and some of the other towns and villages, but we did go and visit Pemberton's Chocolate Farm where we saw how they make all of their delicious, handmade, chocolates. In the picture above you can see some of their chocolate animals and eggs. We even got to taste some of the chocolate and make one for ourselves... Yum!