I have issues that mean I find it difficult to read other peoples expressions and feelings. What can seem like a fake smile to a someone else I will see as genuine. I can’t see it. I have tried but it is difficult.

I have very little facial recognition and have lost friends because I’ve ‘ignored’ them. I really haven’t. I just didn’t recognise them. So if you see me – give a wave and a yell. Then I will smile and wave and catch up.

But it is the people who don’t tell the truth about their feelings. Those are the people I don’t understand.

They are the ones that can lead to trouble.

I have some real genuine people that watch out for me, but sometimes I go out alone. And when I do I get nervous. I have to stop and breathe. And try to trust I will recognise if someone is being artificial.

I have met some predators in my time, written about most of them. My bad guys are so bad, because they are in real life… Saying that though I love having new experiences, so I continue to go out.

I wish I could tell a fake smile from a real one though. Maybe one day they will make an app for it. Or maybe I will one day have someone with me who can tell me they are lying. Until then I will hope for the best. And smile because I only ever do because I mean it.

Inspired by the daily prompt – artificial 


I had a choice – get a paypal button for the blog so people can ‘donate’ or a Patreon page. I decided to go with Patreon…

It feels better. I offer rewards for what people pledge.

Some will get physical artwork and some digital art.

Have a look…


Money is something I hate to think about. But the world requests it. So here is my attempt to make life a little easier.


There has to be that many artworks I have produced. Some are lost… Like the line of kingfishers I drew on a twig, all fluffy and sulky looking. I moved to Wales and forgot that the picture was in a shop. There they remained and now I have no idea where it is. Did it sell? Did the owner keep it? Did they burn it?

I don’t know. It is a lost artwork.

Then there are the ones I left at colleges and universities. The scraps that I did trying to get to the final piece. I have littered them behind me like a hundred falling leaves.

Sure I have some work from the past, but I can count them on my hands…

Most have been sold.

Some lost.

Some thrown away.

Some left.


All the pencil strokes and paint flicks… Millions of millions. The shavings and empty paint tubes. Bristles from brushes. Ink nibs.

They all litter my life and tell a story of creativity.

I was having a manicure the other day and I started to get self conscious. On my right hand my second finger is slightly twisted and has a build up of bone from all the art I have produced. I apologized.

“I’m an artist.”

She smiled and gave me no reaction…

But I think after all the drawing that was the first time I had admitted to anyone I am an artist in its own right. I say I illustrate my own books but I rarely say I’m an artist.

I write and I’m an artist… That is usual. But this time I left out the writing part. It was strange. And liberating.

What am I?




Can someone be both?

I sure hope so because I am an author. I am an artist.

I have just got a Patreon page for the art – please have a look if you want.

This post was inspired by the daily prompt – Millions



I was out walking with a friend in the New Forest and we were looking at an iron age hill fort. Of course it is in the New Forest so all we can see are trees and maybe a slight rise where the ring had been.

“You know if my mate were here she would find a knapped stone,” I say.

“What?” he asks and gives me a grin.

“A worked stone from the neolithic.”

He just shakes his head.

Then I spy it… Nestled in the path. Not a knapped stone but a flake. Knocked off the main piece. I bend down and dig it out. Then holding it up I present it to him.

He runs a hand over the edge.

“Careful,” I say. “It’ll be sharp.”

He winces as the edge scores his finger, not enough to cut but just the right amount to hurt.


“It would have made a knife,” I say.

He smiles and slips the stone fragment in his pocket. “To remember the walk.”

I smile and we carry on walking, hand in hand.

Sometimes it is the small things and a gift can be something ancient.

A memoir remembered because of the daily prompt – ancient.


Warming up

Yes, I have decided to put on a winter sale of my artwork on


but it isn’t open to everyone… Nope it is just for you lovely readers and viewers. Everything in the shop is

50% OFF

All you have to do is use this code:


And voila 50% off all the art.

Why? You ask…

Well, basically I’m working on a new set so once the sale is over I will start putting the new stuff up and getting rid of the old (putting it in store). So go have a look.

The code is good until the 18th Jan 2017…

Just two that are available at £49 and they are all original artworks…



Imagine a town under the ground… There are shops and people living. Small cottage industries like seamstresses and tailors make the place a bustling town. Everyone is working and the place is a hive of activity. Everyone is poor but they are all in the same boat.

Now, imagine that a disease hits, it’s nasty. It kills 50% of people. One minute you have a group of friends then half of them are just gone.

One day you get ready  to go topside and find that you can’t. The town has been walled up, trapping everyone under the ground.

A good story? Right?

It’s truth. It happened in Edinburgh in the seventeenth century. Mary King’s Close was walled up. It was actually a number of closes containing tenement housing which were sometimes seven stories high.

So, what if some of these towns had survived? What if they had thrived and what if a girl decided she wanted to go Upworld, but she was stuck in a world ruled by medieval attitudes?

Well, that is the premise of my book – Tunnels. It revolves around a girl who is about eight years old…


“Many years ago a band of people were walled up in an underground city. They are still thriving and using the modern world to help their community. None more so than Heather who is determined to use the Upworld to save her mother’s life and give herself a future, though she is forbidden to go.

Heather must travel to Upworld and brave modern day Edinburgh.”

Available on Amazon as a paperback, ebook and as part of Kindle Unlimited

Inspired by the Daily Prompt – Underground


Getting fit


Really! I decided to. Let’s put it this way, a friend wanted me to walk to the top of a hill. It was a fairly steep slope… It took me about 12 stops and I lot of time. He coached me all the way up and I made it. I was so proud… But this shouldn’t have happened.

When did I get so unfit? I used to be a conservation warden. I used to walk everywhere. I used to be fit. Of course I used to be four dress sizes smaller as well… But I can’t believe that I am that unfit.

Many years ago when I had just started to gain weight I made a promise with myself. I can do what I want but as soon as something becomes too difficult physically then I have to make a change. This is the first time I have come across this sort of problem.

Really? I hear you ask and the answer is yes, but then I have not sought out physical stuff to push myself. I have made excuses.

I live on a two acre smallholding and my dog has the run of the place. She doesn’t need a walk… but she sure enjoys it. So after the nightmare hill I decided to put in more exercise.

And this pup is helping…


I’m also incredibly lucky to live where I do… This is on Cor Caron or the local bog. It has a stillness and wonder that is just beautiful. Since the ‘hill’ I have been walking the dog every other day. I did the ‘short’ walk today of about an hour and a bit. I love this one for the isolation…

It was fairly dark an cloudy today but it was a great walk. And I am sure at some point I will feel better – but at the moment I just feel achy and tired. I am determined to get there though. There will be no more horrendous hills that will stop me getting to the top, or take too long.