Thursday, 29 April 2010


Wild garlic soup with Judas Ear and deep-fried egg. Squid stuffed with duck terrine. The best chocolate pudding in the entire universe.....

Many people know Winchester's finest restaurant THE BLACK RAT where I had a delicious and laughter-filled dinner last night - but not everyone knows the famous dog which coincidentally shares the same name. Rats "Ratty" Nicholson. And what a dog! He is fearless and feisty and can terrify dogs twice his size - but underneath it all, he is just a big softie.

Here he is.
Rats hasn't been feeling well recently and so this is a get-well wish from me.

Do you know a dog as cute as Rats?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


This is HILARIOUS.....
(And the tune is unforgettable).

Just out of interest....which is your favourite Beatles song of all time?

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Even though I hated the recent film - I loved this window display of Alice In Wonderland, which I discovered recently while wandering around Covent Garden.

Everything in England currently feels as topsy-turvy as Wonderland - what with all the excitement being generated by our first ever LEADERS' DEBATE
One of the best things about it is watching old footage of the American equivalent. They are old hands at the sport - ever since the first live debate between Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon, back in 1960.

But are we blinkered or open-minded when it comes to politics? I recently took this test:

And suggested friends do the same.
They were surprised at the results......

Are you?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Yesterday, I walked over Waterloo Bridge (there's a wonderful old, black and white film by the same name - check it out if you can) and went exploring before lunch. There are two beautiful churches on the Strand and here is the first.

It's ST. MARY'S LE STRAND and is the official church of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRENS). Sadly, it was locked.

Venturing on a little further - I was struck by the most amazing sound of bells and realised that they were coming from a church a little further down the road, this one called ST. CLEMENT'S DANES. It's a beautiful little church and they told me that they are the bells featured in the famous nursery rhyme (though there seem to be rival claims to this!).

But I found myself singing it anyway - so if you're feeling nostalgic - here you are. You can sing it, too!

Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town

"Oranges and Lemons" say the
Bells of St. Clements
"Bullseyes and Targets" say the
Bells of St. Margaret's
"Brickbats and Tiles" say the
Bells of St. Giles
"Halfpence and Farthings" say the
Bells of St. Martin's
"Pancakes and Fritters" say the
Bells of St. Peter's
"Two Sticks and an Apple" say the Bells of Whitechapel
"Maids in white aprons" say the
Bells at St. Katherine's
"Pokers and Tongs" say the Bells of St. John's
"Kettles and Pans" say the
Bells of St. Anne's
"Old Father Baldpate" say the slow Bells of Aldgate
"You owe me Ten Shillings" say the
Bells of St. Helen's
"When will you Pay me?" say the
Bells of Old Bailey
"When I grow Rich" say the Bells of Shoreditch
"Pray when will that be?" say the
Bells of Stepney
"I do not know" say the
Great Bell of Bow
Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town


Monday, 12 April 2010


THE PRINCE'S CHAMBERMAID is on sale now and features the hero's older brother - King Casimiro (who is absolutely gorgeous!). A reader obviously agreed since I've just received a delightful email, saying:

Can't wait for the new book - you know, sometimes a character gets mentioned and you think "I hope the author writes their story"?
never in all the many years of reading have I felt so compelled that a character have their own story as I did with Casimiro in 'The Princes' Chambermaid'.

The good news is that I've already written it! It's called THE ROYAL BABY REVELATION and here's a sneak preview of the cover, set in Casimiro's lavish, golden-vaulted palace.

Meanwhile, I'm off to enjoy the spring sunshine (to inject life into my writing, of course!). Everywhere I look I see frills of saffron yellow daffodils and the pastel froth of blossom trees in bloom. So how could I not include the loveliest spring-time poem of all and be glad of the opportunity to say it out loud....?

by A. E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

What do you like best about spring-time?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


The magnolia is the most primitive flowering plant still living on Earth - and really quite exquisite. So here, to herald spring and to remind ourselves of natural beauty - is a photo sent all the way from Chicago - of the tree which blooms in Dan's neighbour's garden. Thanks. Dan!

Meanwhile, here in England - the General Election has been called at long last.
I love it! Four weeks of wall-to-wall debating, angst, anger and passion - in what is being called the closest campaign in decades.
Do you love politics - or do you wish you could close your eyes and wish it was all over?