Post-Christmas lunch at The Duke of Cornwall hotel in Plymouth for the National Trust volunteers at Buckland Abbey where we will start the new season in February.  Potato and leek soup followed by salmon and then ice cream. Lovely to catch up with the Monday people as that’s my duty day and we are all raring to go.  Got back to my new story after a long break from it and read it from the beginning. I can’t leave these poor characters stranded so must get on with it and bring about a satisfactory ending although I have some way to go yet. It seems to have divided itself neatly into two parts and I have only just started Part Two.

Going through the edits for e-book ‘Through Thick and Thin’ formerly titled ‘Olivia’s Garden’. New title, new cover.  Got me thinking about titles and covers, some of which I have been delighted with, others not so much. The original title for ‘Village Wives’ was ‘The House at One-Mile Bridge’ but that was rejected outright because it sounded, according to the editor, like a thriller rather than a romantic novel.  The original cover for ‘Set to Music’ featured a lovely picture of Harrogate, undeniably Harrogate, but that was changed at the very last minute to a much more general one. I could never understand that.  However, I do have the artist’s sketch which I have framed. This may seem trivial and nit-picking but I feel we should not underestimate the power of the right cover choice. Are writers ever completely satisfied I wonder? Maybe not.  I’ve got a cold today which probably explains the grumpy mood. Dosed up on NIght Nurse medicine last night which knocked me out. Slept well but woke up feeling awful. It’s fine today so will have a walk later to clear my head.

Another year, another panto at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth where Gok Wan was the Fairy Gokmother! Typical panto fun and it’s wonderful to see the theatre full as usual. It gets such good support here in the south west with some great shows coming up.  Still busy with edits for the e-books but just finished ‘What Friends Are For’ which starts off in 1977 the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Year. I remember it so well and the street party we had up in Ulverston, Cumbria where everybody made such an effort with dressing up. I used this setting for the new story and it was good to be transported back to those days and that place. I loved our time in Ulverston.