Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sell the Pig - coming soon in paperback!

It's beginning to look a lot like a paperback!

Latest estimate is that Sell the Pig should be out as a real, hold it in your hand paperback book by mid January 2013. It has a brand new cover picture, which I hope you will all like, and there are some  images inside (black and white in this first edition) so you should finally be able to put names to faces.

I do hope you will like this new version, it has some minor changes from the Kindle version. Perhaps if you enjoyed reading it on Kindle, you might be kind enough to suggest the paperback to your friends.

Here's a quick sneak peek at what the new cover looks like:

and yes, for those of you who magnify it enough to read, I know there's a typo there, it will be picked up on the next round :)

I'll keep you all posted here, on Twitter and on Facebook, the Dark Side, when I get final confirmation of the release date.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What your Dog Wants - a must for dog lovers!

Those of you who have kindly read Sell the Pig will know that dogs are a big part of my life. I've had them since my late teens, usually German Shepherds or border collies. Meic, you may recall from the book, was a border collie.

Twitter wasn't around at the time of Sell the Pig, or at least, if it was, I hadn't yet discovered it. Which is a shame as through it I met the wonderful Karen Wild, @WildPaw, who talks so much sense on the subject of training and behaviour in dogs. She has a newly published book out, What Your Dog Wants, and I'm getting my autographed copy.

I'm sure it would have helped me a lot with Meic, and will do wonders with the current canine incumbents who are a pair of border collie hooligans.

I'm pleased to report that Sell the Pig continues to do well, thanks to all you kind people out there, and the many lovely reviews it has received, mostly 5-star. If you've read and liked it, please tell your friends. If you've not yet read it, why not give it a go?

It's available for Kindle from where it's currently in the top 100 for Travel > Continental Europe> France, from where, at the time of writing it's at no. 30 for Travel > Europe > France and from

No Kindle? No problem! You can download a very simple FREE app that lets you read it on your computer or posh phone. And believe me, if I've managed to do it, it must be easy.

It will be coming out in paperback soon, I promise, hopefully before the end of the year, and will include some black and white photos.

What would you particularly like to see pictures of?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Moving to France - why the Auvergne?

Faithful readers of Sell the Pig will already know that my decision to move to France's Auvergne had a lot to do with a certain drinks advert.

Back in the 1970s, Dubonnet was advertised with a slogan of, I think,  "Way up there" to the sound of the achingly beautiful shepherd's song Bailero from Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne. This link is far from being the best ever version of the song but it does have the advantage of showing you some of the stunning scenery of this very green region with its hopefully extinct volcanoes.

Having listened to the music, I'd long held a desire to visit the region and as soon as I did, it captured my heart. So I was amused on a recent guided walk round a little local town, Cunlhat, (and if you think it looks hard to pronounce, I can tell you the locals pronounce it nothing like it looks!) to come across this painted gable end, advertising Dubonnet!

It's rather ironic, as when I first began work as a cub reporter in Manchester, my editor was nicknamed Pissquick - you can guess why - and his wife was an alcoholic, whose favourite tipple was Dubonnet.

But that's another story - perhaps for the sequel to Sell the Pig!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A kitchen, a cushion and a lot of gingham

Because I couldn't get the blasted photo to swivel itself the right way round, here's a link to the blog of my good friend Fiona Ridley with some lovely photos of said cushion and all about how she made it for me. She's now taking commissions!

Thrilled to say that sales of Sell the Pig are creeping up nicely since the big giveaway last Friday. And it's also nice to see some more reviews coming in and especially reviews from people who are completely unknown to me. When one self-publishes, it's inevitable that the first people to buy and review tend to be family and friends so it's reassuring to hear that it seems to be going down as well with complete strangers as with those who already know, or know of, me.

In that greedy way of authors hungry for praise, would love to see some more so if you've not yet left a review, please do. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life in France after Sell the Pig

Thought it was about time I updated the blog as it seems to have gone very quiet on here lately.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook will know that, some five years after the end of Sell the Pig I'm still happily living in France, though no longer at the Pink House, I plan to stay here, and recently celebrated my 60th birthday here in my own little "grottage".

I enjoy giving as much as receiving on my birthday, so to mark the occasion I gave away copies of Sell the Pig for the first and only time. Some 400+ new readers took advantage of the occasion to get their free copies, so I very much look forward to reading some more reviews.

Since living in France I've discovered the delights of Twitter and Facebook and have made many new friends, some in the flesh, some still as cyber-friends. And it turns out I have some very talented friends, judging by the marvellous presents I received.

Being totally useless at any form of crafts and completely unable to thread a needle or cast on to knitting needles or whatever, I was amazed at the stunning hand-made crochet cushion from my clever friend Fiona Ridley, whose stunning crafty skills you can discover for yourself at her blog KnitKnatKnotUK.

 And another very talented friend who is closer to home is Christine Phillips, who painted a beautiful water colour of my favourite rose, Wild Edric, taking proud centre stage in this photo. Christine runs the wonderful B&B and gite, Les Hirondelles, at Chabanol, barely an hour's drive from here, and you honestly couldn't find a nicer place to stay if you're visiting the Auvergne.

Also in the picture is the gorgeous fan sent to me by my soul sister Kay, back in UK, because while poor old UK has been freezing and drowning, we've been languishing in temperatures well into the 30s.

As usual, I do hope you will take the time to add your comments here and please, if you haven't already done so, do please add your review for Sell the Pig on the Amazon site from which you bought it. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Famous author of Sell the Pig, Tottie Limejuice

Some authors have to wait for years after their demise to get this sort of recognition, but I just had to share what my friends David and Tiger have been up to ;)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another review of Sell the Pig from Goodreads

When it comes to all things t'internet, I'm a bit slow on the uptake, as you'll have gathered if you've either read Sell the Pig or followed any of my witterings on either Twitter or Facebook. Which is why I've only just discovered that there are some more reviews for Sell the Pig on the Goodreads site, including one which I hadn't yet seen myself.

So for anyone who doesn't have access for that site and who might be interested, I'll post it here. It's a kind 3-star review from Clair whom I don't know, I don't think, but who, like me, made the move from Lincolnshire to France. Clair says:

This is the story of a lady who makes the move from rural Lincolnshire - like myself - to rural France - like myself. Though the similarities between us end there. 
Whereas I came over here as a fresh-faced 22 year-old dragging a couple of suitcases along on a Eurolines coach, Tottie makes the move much later on in life, together with her 90-year old mother, who suffers from vascular dementia, and her brother and his depressed dipsomania. Oh, and we mustn't forget Meic, her epileptic dog. All of them, with a nurse and carer accompanying them for the trip, in a motorhome and an old van.
It's a very touching read that takes us back to Tottie's childhood and around the UK and France, as we learn about her family and her later quest for a new home, somewhere to live her dream and let her mother enjoy one final adventure. Tottie's style is open and honest, raising a smile here and touching a nerve there. 
I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed not to learn more about their actual life in France - this book is really about the search for their new home and how they make their move, but I guess that means that the adventures they experienced once settled in the Auvergne are all to come. Now I've followed them this far on their journey, I do hope that their is a future episode and we get to find out how it all worked out for them.

Thanks for the review, Clair, really appreciate you taking the time to write it, as one Yellowbelly to another, albeit adoptive, one.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book reviews - have your say about Sell the Pig

I know it can be a real grunt writing reviews on Amazon. I've had some really lovely kind ones for Sell the Pig there myself and I'd really love to reply to them there but incredibly, although I've bought things from the site under my pen name, it won't let me post replies.

It's probably because I haven't bought Sell the Pig from there. I gladly would buy my own book, just so I could personally thank everyone who's taken the time and trouble. But although I have an account (several, in fact) and have downloaded a Kindle app, I somehow can't get Amazon to see the right Kindle for the right account. It's almost certainly my fault because I'm a muppet, but I still haven't found out how to overcome the problem.

So I thought it might be a nice idea to reproduce the reviews here on the blog and invite people to add their comments. It's a much friendlier forum here so if you're a bit shy, this is a great place to have your say. And don't forget, I really need your feedback so I can start working on the first of the sequels or prequels or whatever they turn out to be.

I did mention in Sell the Pig that I had a working title of Biff the Useless Mention, which is still a possibility, although at the moment I'm leaning towards Is That Billinge Lump?

So come on, all you kind and lovely people, what are your thoughts? What would you like to know more about? Which bits did you enjoy most and what were the bits you didn't like? One reviewer thought it was a bit boring in places. Did you? If so, which places? I need you to work with me if I'm going to do better next time!

Meanwhile, here's the first of the promised reviews. I'll reproduce them in the order they appeared on Amazon, and this is from the very lovely @BubblyNatz with whom I chat often on Twitter. It's a 5-star review posted on  20 Feb 2012 and entitled Sell The Pig - bugger!!!:

If you are an avid reader and an avid reader of true stories then you will love Sell the Pig! It is both lighthearted and heartfelt! The author regales you with her tales of her mother and brother, beloved dog and touches on earlier and later parts of her life too! Which all in all leaves you wanting more.Please do give this book a go you won't regret it and like me will be urging the author to write more!

Thanks so much, Natz. So, everyone else, do you agree? Please leave your comments below. Thanks.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Book bloggers of the world unite!

If you're thinking of writing and self-publishing a book, be under no illusions. Writing it is the easy part. All the self marketing you need to do if you actually want to sell any copies is the real grunt.

Thankfully for writers, estate agents and various others, there are not yet any rules on either Facebook or Twitter that prevent you from shamelessly promoting your wares. But take care - people will soon jump all over you and say you're overdoing it.

It's actually ironic as often the ones who do are those who are guilty of tweeting each and every bodily function (if only I was kidding!), or sharing their particular passion with you in minute detail. Honestly, if I was remotely interested in snooker I would watch it myself. Therefore there is absolutely no need to describe to me each and every frame, or whatever they're called.

So huge heartfelt thanks to Sandra, of the book blog SS Book Fanatics, who has kindly given some room on her site for a mention of Sell the Pig. It's a blog by a book fanatic, for book fanatics.

Thanks to all of you who have bought and read Sell the Pig - I'm pleased to report sales are creeping up slowly and steadily. Got some lovely reviews too on the Amazon sites. The UK site currently has 26 x 5-star reviews and one 3-star. Bit light on the .com site  and the .fr site so please, particularly if you bought through either of those, do leave even just a few words to say whether or not you liked it.

Please be brutally frank. If you didn't like it, say so and say why, as I'm already churning round sequel ideas in what passes for my brain so any and all feedback is hugely helpful. What would you like to read more of in Book Two? What didn't interest you at all?

Come on guys, it's not often you get to collaborate with a book, so give me your feedback and I'll do my very best to do it justice.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Risk assessments - France v England. Vive la difference!

What was I saying about the weather? It's thundering, lightning and chucking it down once more! So time for a few more words on the blog, since there's no way I'm going out in this and the dogs, when asked, said something very impolite in French at the mere suggestion that they should.

Sell the Pig, of course, was the lead up to moving to France and brought us up to 2007. Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook will know that I am still living in France but no longer at the pink house. I now have my own place and how that all came about will, I hope, form the basis of a sequel to Sell the Pig.

I've now been in France just over 5 years, which means I can start the long and complicated application process to become a French citizen, which I intend to do. When I was interviewed recently for an ex-pat article and asked what I missed most about UK, the only thing I could think of was Thornton's Brazil Nut Toffee!

One of the nice things about France - although, as usual, I can only speak about the little corner where I live, in the Auvergne - is that they have a much more relaxed and common sense attitude to 'Elf and Safety, far removed from the obsessive stuff I had to learn in UK when training in risk assessment and risk management.

Jill and I were struck, on our visit to the region together, by things like going into places to get a coffee and having to climb over trailing cables and vacuum cleaners to get to a table. It struck me as so funny I did a little post about it today on Facebook. So for the benefit of the many of you who are not on there, I thought I'd reproduce it here, just for fun.

And I say again, right at the outset "tongue firmly in cheek, absolutely no disrespect intended to anyone"

English Risk Assessment: in store cleaning during customer footfall.
Risks Identified: Trailing cables - trip hazard.Measures to implement: Place prominent yellow hazard signs at all possible approaches to the hazard by customers, including overhead in case of abseiling from the ceiling. Signs should be in all languages likely to be spoken by customers to the store, including all the principle languages of the EU. An audio version should be available for the visually impaired, as well as signage in Braille. The warning should also appear in pictogram form for unaccompanied children and in comic sans capitals for those with reading difficulties.

French Risk Assessment: in store cleaning during customer footfall.Risks Identified: None - customers should look where they're going and learn to pick their feet up.

On that little note and on this miserable wet evening, I shall leave you with a picture of what my usual evening view is like, looking across to the Chaine des Puys and the Puy de Dome. As usual, do please leave your comments, about Sell the Pig, about this post, about France, about Life, the Universe and Everything. I always try to reply as promptly as possible.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Moving to France - first views of the Pink House

If anyone's thinking of moving to France just for the weather, think again! Today is just like the weather we left behind in Wales, only with nicer scenery. It's cold, it keeps raining and hail-stoning, and the sun is nothing but a fleeting visitor.

Time to update the blog and probably high time you saw some pictures of the "pink house" as we saw it first, although it wasn't really pink at all, anywhere other than in the estate agent's online pictures!

"Both on paper and in the flesh, so to speak, this one looked very promising. According to the internet details, it had seven bedrooms and three bathrooms, was on three storeys and had a good-sized garden. We nicknamed it the pink house, as the photo showed the rendering as a pale rose pink, although in reality it was a lot paler and more washed out."

Our first view of "the pink house"

"They do warn house viewers to try to see past existing décor to what the place will look like once you've stamped your own mark on it. Sound advice. The decoration in the pink house was truly hideous. Very nineteen seventies. The sitting room had two very strong contrasting patterned wallpapers, which didn't go together, neither of which was very nice even in isolation and in unison presented a full frontal assault to the senses."

The retro sitting room

"But the layout was practically perfect for what we wanted. On the top floor was a bright, light three-bedroomed apartment with shower room and loo and some open space to create a small cooking and dining area. Ideal to let as B&Bs or a self-contained flat. It had very nice south-facing views, and the possibility to create a sunny roof terrace on top of the roof of the room below, which jutted out in front of it."

View from the top floor flat

And, Just because it's a very cold day today and there's still a lot of snow on the volcanic peaks all around, a view of what this part of France can look like in winter!

Don't forget, kind readers, I'm relying on you to tell me what photos you'd like to see. Hope you will enjoy these, will post some more on the next rainy day, which won't be too long, if the weather forecast is anything to go by! Do leave me your comments here, about the book, or the blog, or France, or Life, the Universe and Everything.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Not just any other family moving to France

It's a cold, wet, miserable day in the Auvergne.  Yes, we do get them. In fact overall our weather isn't that different to that of the UK, only more extreme - our hot is hotter, our cold is colder.  So I thought I'd go and rummage round in the attic for some more photos for you and I suddenly came over all nostalgic and found some family ones.  Not sure if they are what you want to see, but thought it might help you will picturing the family behind the move to France, before dementia, depressed dipsomania and downright dottiness set in.

As ever, I'm in your hands, dear readers, to know what you would like to see.  Do please let me know.

I thought it would be nice to start with one showing a relatively normal family scene, Mother, Father, Brother and me, with my brother's godfather, Fr Leo Rakale CR on a visit from Bulawayo, where my father had met him during his wartime service there.

"Mother certainly had her share of admirers. In fact she went out with the man Auntie Doris went on to marry, before her younger sister did. I have no idea why she waited so long nor eventually made the choice she did.

Recently, when age and dementia have removed inhibitions, Mother has taken to looking wistfully at her wedding photographs and saying: “That was the day. I wonder if I did the right thing?”. A sentiment I have certainly shared throughout most of my life."

Parents' wedding, April 1947 

"My father's job as a newspaper editor came with a heavy social engagement schedule. There were endless civic receptions, cheese and wine parties, film premiers and other such delights to attend, for which mother would put on her finest gowns. And they did make a handsome couple, it has to be said." 

Wilmslow Civic Ball 1962

"Mother was a real looker, with beautiful blonde hair so long she could sit on it, who surprisingly didn't marry until she was 30. Doris was the dizzy blonde who made the good marriage."  

Mother (left) already well into her 80s, with younger sister Doris

Mother (right) in 2004 with older sister Ethel in the lovely home in St Helens

Right, that's your lot, lovely readers.  Sorry the spacing went a bit funny, think I've now sussed what I did wrong and will do it better next time.  As ever, do please leave me some comments and request any pictures you would like to see.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another wonderful review of Sell the Pig on The French Village Diaries

I always appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave their comments on Sell the Pig either here, on Amazon (where there are now 21 x 5-star reviews in total) or on their own blog or website. Reader feedback is so helpful in deciding whether it really is worthwhile bashing on with a sequel.

Don't forget to have your say, let me know what you thought about Sell the Pig, what photos you'd like to see here on the blog and what more detail you'd like in a sequel.  I always try to respond to each of you personally, and certainly to post the pictures you ask for - just ask Carl Legge!  He asked for the photos of the Lincolnshire grottage - I've done the befores, here are a few afters.

In the meantime, here's the link to the Sell the Pig review on The French Village Diaries .Thanks so much, Jacqui!

Back garden - after

Kitchen - after

Sitting room - after

My bedroom - after

Don't forget, you're in charge of this blog. Tell me what you'd like to see or to know and I shall post it. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Moving to France - why the Auvergne?

For those of you who have read Sell the Pig and wondered why the fascination with the Auvergne, I thought I'd include some illustrations to show its beauty. Surprisingly, my own collection of photos is too poor to do it justice, so I'll include some links to far better pictures than I have taken.

As I explained in the book: "And then there was a song buzzing round in the back of my mind. Those of you who may remember an advert for Dubonnet in, I think, the seventies, with the strapline “Dubonnet - way up there,” will know the one I mean. It was the hauntingly beautiful shepherd's song Bailero, from Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne."

And for those who want to know what my brother looks like, here's a picture to show that he really did overcome his acrophobia and make it to the top of the Puy de Dome.

"We went for a run-out after that, westward to the Monts Dores then back via the Puy de Dôme and finally found the navette (shuttle bus) running, so took the white-knuckle ride to the summit for the incredible views.

The journey up certainly rattled my brother so he decided he couldn't possibly face the return journey on the navette. There is a pedestrian route up the Puy, an old mule track, but it brings you down to a car park a long walk from where we had left the hire car, near to the navette car park.

The direct route down to the navette car park is prohibited to pedestrians. The road is too narrow for more than one vehicle to pass at a time, so the navette drivers use what the French call talkie-walkies to synchronise their departures from either end, so they only meet whether there are designated passing places. And despite the steep gradient and plunging drop to the side, they rattle up and down as if they were in the Monte Carlo rally. Any pedestrian in their way would be toast, in very short order."

And here's an idea of what the Puy de Dome  looks like from the air - it's 1464m to the summit - and a side view

Do please let me know what else you would like to see photos of. Perhaps you might like to share which bit of Sell the Pig you find most interesting/amusing and I'll find some photos to go with it. Any and all comments always very gladly received and I always try to reply personally. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A review of Sell the Pig by Susie Kelly, author

It's always so gratifying to see what readers say about Sell the Pig in their reviews. It currently has 20 x 5-star reviews across three Amazon sites.

It's particularly flattering that the latest such review comes from an accomplished and published author, Susie Kelly, whose works include Best Foot Forward and Two Steps Backward.

Susie very kindly posted a review on her blog under the title Belated Blog Reviews as well as on Amazon, for which very many thanks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Leaving home in the UK to move to France

Just to prove I do listen to my kind readers and respond to their requests, here, especially for Carl, are some of the pictures of my "grottage" near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.  Affectionately known as "The Hammer House of Horrors" when I bought it because it was in such an appalling state, having been largely lived in by animals for years.

As ever, photographs are accompanied by relevant text from my book, Sell the Pig, for the benefit of those who have not read it and to link things together for those who have.

"I wasn't particularly thinking of buying a property at this stage in my life, and certainly was not certain that that area was where I wanted to put down long-term roots, having been there barely six months. But, like the Elephant's Child, I am full of “'satiable curtiosity”.

"So when a neighbour told me horror stories of a cottage in the hamlet that was coming up for sale, I simply had to go and take a look at it. She told me it had been repossessed by the mortgage company when the former occupant, who apparently had some mental health issues, fell behind with payments and became unable to live there on her own any more.

"According to my source, the house was in very poor condition, as she'd kept all of her animals indoors for years – and I do mean all. Apparently the menagerie included dogs, cats, chickens and goats."

  Main bedroom

"It's hard to say which of our senses was assaulted first. The smell was indescribable. But my eye was immediately drawn to the tell-tale dark brown stains all over the floors and the door frames, wherever we looked.

"Before we'd even stepped over the threshold Mother was already saying “No, oh no.” But Auntie, who was surprisingly intrepid, was bumbling about peeping into rooms and cupboards and following me up the stairs and round the bedrooms – very brave, as parts of the upstairs floor boards had been rotted away with presumably several years' accumulation of animal urine."

First impressions on entering - the "kitchen"

...."I loved my cottage, now promoted from grottage, with a lovely garden, all created by my own hands. My predecessor there obviously had some very serious issues as, once I started digging in the mass of nettles and runaway lonicera nitida which was all there was of a garden, all I came up with was endless pairs of tights inside Walkers' crisp packets.

"Not sure which flavour. The blue bags. I only like the plain ones so I don't know the colours of the different flavours. But whatever the former resident had been trying to achieve, I can tell you that no matter what soil you plant that combination in, it simply doesn't grow into anything."

The garden, as I saw it first

That's your lot for today, but I promise to show you some of the "after" photographs, after the promotion from grottage to cottage.  Do please leave me your comments and as ever, this blog is driven by you.  What yea ask for shall be given unto thee, or something like that.

Guest blog on camping in France

Very occasionally, I do guest blogs for people about life as an ex-pat in France.  Here's one I did earlier. Aquitaine Feature

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Have dog, will move to France

As promised, I decided to start this blog to support my book, Sell the Pig. Those of you have read it may like to see photos of the main characters, to put faces to names.  And those who have not yet read it might enjoy reading a few excerpts to see if you might like to.

A very brief recap, it's about the, some would say, bizarre decision for my rather unusual family to up sticks and move to France together. Unusual in that the family consisted of Mother, aged 89, and pleasantly barmy with vascular dementia, Brother, a manic-depressive alcoholic with a double decker bus as a plaything, Meic, my larger than life border collie, and me, a decidedly dotty middle-aged freelance copywriter.

For those of you interested in dogs, here's a bit more about Meic.  For those not interested in dogs, my usual advice - look away now.

"I hadn't exactly intended to get Meic. When I'd left my riding centre in Wales, in the early 90s, to move to Dorset, I had a small black collie cross named Mady. She came from a rescue centre, where she was called Mandy, but she was so definitely not a Mandy, I just dropped the N and she became Mady."

"She was very happy as an only dog. She was a very easy and biddable dog, though inclined to be a little bit bossy with other dogs. She did on one occasion up-end my friend's lovely Staffie, Camilla, whilst giving away a huge amount of weight in the contest. That's how tough and determined she was."

"I wasn't in the market for another dog. There was no danger at all of my wanting one when Anna-Lou showed me the remaining two puppies. But then I saw Meic. Or Mott, as he was called at that time. And something cracked. To Mady's intense disgust, she found herself sharing the back of the car on the way home with a squeaking, peeing, puking puppy who had not had much experience of car travel."

Meic, aged 5 months

"I'm sure there are those amongst you, if you've read thus far, who will be thinking why not just put him to sleep and move and get a new dog once installed in France? Trouble is, I'm a bit of a softie with my dogs and always apply the Toy Rule – as long as a dog is still quite happy to play with a favourite toy, there's too much life there to extinguish, in my humble opinion."

Meic, demonstrating the Squeaky Toy Rule

So there you have a couple of doggy faces to put to names.  The rest is up to you, dear reader.  Tell me what you would like to see photos of and I shall do my best to post them here for you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A book about moving to France

I know I said I wouldn't blog every day but here's a little bonus as I'm just off for a long weekend.

When I started this book blog, I was thinking of people who have already ready Sell the Pig, so they could leave their feedback and suggestions for a sequel. Then I realised that wasn't very fair on those who haven't read it. So I'll include a few excerpts on here to explain what the photos I post are all about.

Again, as Mother is so central to the book and is the reason behind its title, I thought you'd like to see some more photos of her.

"Then there's mother, now aged 89 and going through some glorious second childhood where she likes to say 'bum' and 'bugger' as often as possible." ......

'The fixation with bums is harder to explain. The other day when I visited the nursing home who are, allegedly, looking after her, I was most surprised to find her apparently absorbed in a rugby match on television, as she has never shown any interest at all in sports, particularly neither team games nor contact sports.

Rugby, mother? You?” I asked.

Yes,” she replied, without peeling her gaze away from the heaving flesh of the Australian pack as they went into a scrum. “Look at all those big fat bums".'

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A blog about a book

Well, I've finally done it. After writing many blogs for clients, I've given in to pressure and am starting my own. Those of you who have kindly read Sell the Pig have all said you would have liked to have seen pictures of the people and places I wrote about, and are looking forward to a sequel.

This blog is the place where I hope to give you some snippets. It's where I also hope people will pop in and feel free to leave their comments, good or bad, about Sell the Pig and to tell me what things in particular you'd like to read about in the sequel.

I'll try and post some pictures but I'm not very techie and it will take me a while to get the hang of this. I'm also not the sort of writer who thinks it's essential to blog every five minutes. So I'll probably only update it about once a week but I promise to try to keep an eye on things and respond as quickly as I can to your comments.

If I don't, just give me a poke on either Facebook  or Twitter!/tottielimejuice and I'll come whizzing back to respond.

Those of you who have read Sell the Pig will know that Mother and my dog Meic were two of the most important characters, and central to the whole business of moving to France. So it's only right that my first picture should be of the two of them together, long-suffering Meic in his role of Santa's little helper, visiting Mother in the home in St Helens where she was so well looked after.

Thanks for following me on my little blog and thanks for all your kind interest in both my book and my somewhat unusual family!