Its summer time in the UK with annual sporting events entertaining us, such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament and the tremendous result of England winning the cricket World Cup. In-between my working days, I have been enjoying sunny trips away.
I went south to Falmouth, in Cornwall, for a Sea Shantie Festival. This was a first for me and we spent three perfect days listening to a variety of shantie groups from as far away as Brittany, Holland, Spain, Canada and Ireland. They performed their unique take on sea songs and shanties at different venues in the coastal town from quaint pubs to main stages.
Falmouth has a long history as a safe port of call for deep water sailing ships and tired Capehorners and Clippermen crews, who may have been at sea for months, would stop here and entertain themselves at the many alehouses, with tales and yarns. Their shantie songs are kept alive to this day and locals say if you listen carefully as you walk along the 17th century streets, you can still hear them singing.
The picture below shows the shantie group, Fisherman’s Friends, who inspired the movie of the same name. They were brilliant.
The beaches in Falmouth are stunning, I enjoyed several sunny walks along this one below, at Gyllyngvase, there’s a gorgeous cafe there too!
Another trip was to beautiful Norfolk. It’s lavender season in this eastern county and fields of the stunning crop give a purple haze and heady scent as you wander through the countryside.
Norfolk beaches are also lovely, this one is at Hunstanton where relics of fossilised trees can be seen at low tide.
Poppies are in abundance too and the Norfolk coast between Sheringham, Cromer and Overstrand is known as Poppyland, a name first given to the area by the writer, Clement Scott, in the 1880s. I love poppies and am told that the common poppy has been voted the county flower for Norfolk.
We visited the Queen’s private home at Sandringham House, a country house in the parish of Sandringham. The Queen’s father George VI and grandfather George V both died here. It is a beautiful building standing in a 20,000 acre estate in the Norfolk coast area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is listed as a Grade II building along with the gorgeous landscaped gardens, park and woodlands.
The house is open to the public in the summer months but closes in October to enable staff to get ready for the Queen, who stays there from December to February. You can wander through the private rooms and have a fascinating guided tour in what feels like a much-loved home. I never tire of Sandringham and always enjoy a visit there.
The lovely folk at Amazon have discounted my novel: Coffee, Tea the Caribbean & Me, throughout July and August and if you fancy jetting off the Caribbean with a feel-good read that has been an Amazon best-seller for some time, grab a copy now at the heavily discounted price of 99p in the UK and Europe and $1.24 in the USA. Happy reading!
My recipe this month is a favourite with my family. Coconut and Raspberry Slice is an easy tray-bake that is great for picnics.
If you scroll down on the link, you’ll also find a recipe for Toffee Vodka. This was shared by a friend recently and I have to say it is addictive! You make it in your dishwasher! Check the link to see how: Toffee Vodka.
Lovely Amazon is also promoting my debut novel in their Prime Reading during the summer and you can grab a copy there for free. Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me is a popular read and gets wonderful reviews. It was E-book of the Week in a national UK newspaper and reached #3 in Women’s Fiction on Amazon when it was released.
I was invited to chat to presenter, John Gillymore, on his popular BBC Radio show, which was broadcast from the fascinating Harris Museum in Preston, Lancashire. The Harris Museum is also a public library and art gallery and what better place to sit and chat about books and creativity.
The founder of the museum, Edmond Harris left a legacy to create this historic building and it officially opened in 1893. The Harris is an important regional museum and holds fascinating collections of fine and decorative art, costume and textiles, history and photography, many of which are of international significance.
The RNA (Romantic Novelist’s Association) conference was held recently and I enjoyed spending time catching up with writer friends and listening to some excellent seminars. The RNA is a great organisation to be a part of and the conference is a brilliantly well organised affair, offering a great deal to its members.
Audio books are entertaining me more and more. I find I listen when I’m driving, cooking or ironing and I’m currently enjoying The Other Wife by Michael Robotham. It’s a cracking thriller. I’ve just downloaded a new audio book by the brilliant Deborah Moggah, author of many of my favourite novels, including the Best Marigold Hotel. Her latest, The Carer, looks like it has ‘best-seller’ all over it and I can’t wait to listen to it.
Have a wonderful July lovely newsletter friends. I hope that you all enjoy some of your favourite things this month.
Warmest wishes and happy reading,
with love from
Book into The Best Boomerville Hotel this summer!