Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Spring 2016

I have been somewhat quiet recently. This is simply down to a very busy period in my life. Organisation for has claimed much time. All proceeds well. We have over 300 bookings for the conference already and are almost full. Do go to the conference website for information if you are interested in coming.

 Now for an long delayed update on other aspects of my life. In February, I travelled to India. India is one of my favourite countries. This was my fifth visit. We visited Aurangabad so we could view the caves which cover the mountainside with scores of ancient temples Hindu, Buddhist and Jain. The Ajanta caves high on the hillside are magnificent. The structure of the temples and the carvings are superlative.

Temple Carvings

On this trip we spent a week in Mumbai, a city that truly is hectic and exciting, full of sights, exotic cooking smells, colours and museums. Finally, we passed several enjoyable weeks in South Goa. We always use Taj hotels which are excellent and provide a peaceful retreat from the bustling chaotic outside world of Indian city streets, and quieter South Goa is one area where you find fabulous beaches and beach shacks with good food.

Dhobi Ghat ( where all the washing is done)

A tea pot in the Victoria and Albert Museum Mumbai

Relaxing in Goa

April arrived too soon but this winter my daughter and her husband had their first child, a gorgeous little boy, and we are besotted. In mid April we set off for the Greek Mani- travelling through Holland, Germany, Austria and Italy. At last I saw Herculaneum which is well worth a visit lasting several days. After a few days in Tuscany, finally, we arrived in Puglia to visit friends.

Greek Easter fell on May Day weekend this year. It is a more popular event than Christmas in this part of Greece. There are Church services, pageantry and since it brings lent to an end, the cuisine at Easter is focused on spit roasted lambs. If you are vegetarian ignore!

I find my retreat here in the Greek Mani perfect for writing. So far, I have completed a commissioned short story for a collection 1066 Upside Down and finished the first draft of my new novel The Woman in the Shadows, a story set circa 1515-1525. It should be published May 2017 so I have time to edit it and begin The Silken Rose, the first novel in a trilogy about three medieval queens.

The sun is shining and summer is just around the corner. I hope my readers are enjoying a wonderful May. Remember, I do love to hear from you. Without readers there would never be books.