Category Archives: neighbours

Where be the happiness?…

(Held over from yesterday as Blogger broke …)

Life News:

Lordy, what a week. I have to say it’s been pretty bad really and I do feel quite depressed. Groan. I think the fact that, as per the doctor’s instructions, I’ve been slowing coming off the HRT to try to solve the cyst issues, and this is my last week of having it hasn’t been helping. The HRT really lifts my mood but, without it I feel utterly overwhelmed by everything and basically tired and tearful. Poor K …

Neither has the fact that I’ve had to work Monday, Wednesday and tomorrow (Friday) been easing the confusion – I don’t really know what hat I have to wear in the mornings, and I just get used to the work hat when the home hat must be worn and vice versa. And it’s so ruddy busy and difficult too in the office, there’s hardly a moment to breathe. God, what a moaner I am. No change there then.

In addition I’ve had a screaming/swearing/shouting/sobbing match with the other consultant and AXA Healthcare, as they for some unknown reason have involved me in the fact that the consultant hasn’t been paid yet – as AXA say he’s not sent them the report and GP letter which enables them to pay my bill, though the consultant’s secretary says they have sent it, so I then went back to AXA who say they haven’t got it, and could I ring the consultant’s secretary back to get them to fax it to them, and no they can’t ring the doctor’s to get their fax numbers direct as they’re too busy to do that (as if I’m lazing around doing nothing, eh, eh …) and I must do it even though yes they understand that I pay for their ruddy private health cover and I’m the client. By which time I’m barking mad and so tearful I can barely speak to the sodding phone-idiot. Eventually he tries to ring the doctor whilst I’m sobbing on the phone but he says (liar, I’m sure) he can’t get through so I must ring back and get the fax number. So I put the phone down on him and ring the consultant’s secretary again by which point I’m beyond reason and shout at her to give me the effing fax number without any chit-chat as I don’t have time or energy for this kind of thing which in my view she should ruddy well be doing anyway. I get the fax number, ring AXA back, chant it to them, tell them to sort it out if they haven’t got paid without involving me again because I’m the sodding patient and I can’t be arsed with their stupidity and put the phone down on them too. Plonkers. If I never have to deal with (a) ruddy AXA Healthcare or (b) the other consultant’s secretary again, then frankly it won’t be a bloody moment too soon.  All that whilst at work too – no wonder Ruth took pity on me and got me a coffee, fully-caff. Ruth is an angel. No argument about that.

But really, no wonder I’m pissed off …

Not only that but the troublesome absentee neighbours in the middle flat are causing a fuss about K very kindly paying their share of the house building insurance for them as it was due and we thought the building should really continue to be insured (well, it seemed logical to us …). Anyway, they’re querying the long-standing division of costs, the rebuilding costs, the lease, the contents, what we might do if we decide to flood them (oh the temptation, don’t even mention it …) and anything else that springs to their troublesome minds. In addition, they have now started questioning the very lovely downstairs neighbours about whether she has been using their lawnmower (um no, she hasn’t …) and whether the garage she owns is in fact hers (it is. We know it is as this flat sold it to them in the 1960s and so it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the ruddy middle neighbours, who really just try to get their facts right or simply butt out of what is none of their business). The crux of the matter is I understand they hate us (we hate them too so it’s fair dues) but why they have to interfere with the perfectly innocent downstairs neighbour is way way beyond us. Perhaps they are just insane? It’s a definite possibility.

So, what with all this, I’m now deeply worried about what will happen and what problems they might cause if we ever get a buyer for our flat (academic question at the moment as dammit but no-one’s come near the place and it’s been a week already, sigh …) and whether they’ll decide to block the sales agreement (their right as a one-third freeholder) and therefore prevent us from selling at all. Maybe I’m over-dramatising, but yes I am worried about this. Whatever happens, I do not want to be in this flat for my next birthday in summer 2011. I’ve really seriously got to be out of here by then, if only for reasons of mental wellbeing, even if we have to abandon it and simply buy a similar property elsewhere. I fear Flat 2 might become an albatross round our neck we’re never going to be rid of and therefore the dream of an extra bedroom we might use as a study plus a garden and a garage might be vanishing away. And if the neighbours won’t let us sell it, then they’re unlikely to allow us to rent it out either, further sighing … If all this has taught me one thing and a thing I will freely share with you now, it’s this: never ever buy leasehold, no matter how lovely the people are you’re sharing it with – as things move on and other people come in, and you can never ever tell what might happen. Still, I hope it doesn’t come to this, as I just want us or them to leave. Yes, I’m probably being paranoid, but it’s been a difficult week and getting perspective is really really tough. On the brighter side, I’m sure (sort of) that the middle neighbours must want us to leave – why wouldn’t they?? After all, from the evidence of this paragraph we are of course insane … In the meantime I’ve started to take 2 St John’s Wort pills per day instead of one to try to bring back the happiness though – I’ll let you know if it works, ho hum.

Book News:

A Dangerous Man did really well in the recent giveaway at Jessewave Reviews, so I’m very pleased about that. It’s also now available at Amazon UK and also at Rainbow Ebooks, so that’s nice. Apparently people are even buying it, well gosh.

At Vulpes Libris, I reviewed The Book of Happy Endings by Elise Valmorbida – she’s an author I do admire, but I don’t think true short stories bring out any of her natural clarity and humanity, which is a shame. Neither are they very happy either, but hey maybe that’s my mood. Who can tell.

Meditation 449

Any miracle
leaves its mark:

the memory of poison
thwarted; bread

too numerous to eat;
an echo of wonder.

Meditation 450

If only all diseases
could be cured as easily

by this simple matter
of washing

and understanding
the subtle magic
in the earth.

Anne Brooke

Videos, poetry and some sad news

Let’s start with the sad news. Which is that, unfortunately, our middle neighbour in our block of 3 flats died of heart troubles earlier this week. He’d been waiting for a heart operation in hospital and we’ve visited a couple of times, but he never made it to have the actual op. I’ll miss him – he could be an archetypal crusty old gent of the old school, but he was always, always fascinating. He could also be extraordinarily generous. When we moved in 17 years ago, he left a bottle of very good champagne and two rather posh glasses at our front door to help us celebrate – a gesture that always makes me smile, even today. He loved high-class wine, birds (of both varieties, in spite of his age!), poetry and Spain – and who can argue with that? It leaves a big gap in our little house, which feels much emptier today. You can find two of his marvellous books (and he wrote just as he spoke, so was always a writer who was very much in touch with his voice) on Spain and flamenco dancing here and here. Both come highly recommended.

Keeping on the subject of death and what we remember, and indeed poetry, here’s this week’s poem (about my father) from my poetry course:

September 1977

We live
only four minutes’ walk
from school

and my mother’s car waits
in the car park
so I know my father is dead.

Hair blows across my face
and in the distance
I hear laughter.

The sky is so blue
and my schoolbag weighs heavy
across my shoulders.

When I take it off,
the fabric drags along the ground.
Without looking, I can name the books

that spill from it:
a Latin grammar;
Voltaire’s Candide.

They smell new.
The way spines snap
when first opened

is a memory
that prickles my skin.
I am so close to the car now.

I reach out,
take hold of the handle.
Breathe.

Turning to book news, I’m happy to say that Thorn in the Flesh is now available at Amazon US and Amazon UK. And I have uploaded the book trailer at YouTube.

Similarly, Pink Champagne and Apple Juice is now available with free worldwide delivery at The Book Depository. It too comes with its own book trailer – which is proving extraordinarily popular with 82 views since I uploaded it only a couple of days ago. Which just goes to show that the viewing public love comedy, jolly music and a pretty blonde girl. Must remember that for next time I write something new then!

And, finally, the latest chapter of The Prayer Seeker is now available for reading – it’s on anger, as Michael finds he has much to work through. As do we all, really.

But, to end (or almost …) with very exciting bird news, Lord H and I spent the day in Arne in Dorset yesterday – we saw some stunning sika deer, really close to, plus seven (yes, seven!!!) spoonbills, a couple of blackcaps, a few red-breasted mergansers – all of which were firsts for this year. Plus – the crowning glory and a lifetime first – a firecrest. Hurrah!

So, there are two haikus this Sunday for you:

The first signs of spring:
men on yellow bicycles;
a pink Fiesta.

It’s a conundrum:
how to persuade daffodils
to unfurl their blooms.

Heck, I bet Wordsworth never had those problems, on either count …

Anne Brooke – in fairly thoughtful mood
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal – where anger finds a voice

Unholy Affairs and nonsense verse

I have to say that last night’s Rusalka was absolutely superb. I loved every minute of it. Wonderful singing, wonderful scenery and utterly astonishing costumes. A tour-de-force indeed. You can always tell how successful the Glyndebourne operas are by how lively the queue for the ladies’ loos is in the interval. Dahhlings, they were buzzing. So much so that some of us forgot we were there to go to the loo at all and just kept talking excitedly about it all even when cubicles were free. Marvellous!

Anyway, despite being a tad over-tired today, here’s this morning’s poem for you:

Meditation 189

Worn-out sacks, patched-up
wineskins, ragged clothes,
old sandals, mouldy bread
and more than a dash
of good old-fashioned deceit

save the Gibeonites
from destruction,
making an eternity
of cutting wood
and carrying water

for the conquering
but foolish Israelites
a small price to pay
for life.

Other good writing news is that my short story, An Unholy Affair, is now up at Cynic Magazine and is of course ideal Sunday reading, ho ho. I’m also pleased to say that my rather more than off-the-wall poem, Blutherbung, is published by Every Day Poets. Enjoy!

Today, we pew-dwellers have nobly rebelled against ridiculous church Heath & Safety orders and we all shook hands at the Peace anyway, aha! We in the Shires are obviously not going to be mollycoddled by anything that comes out of Canterbury, my dears. The vicar said we were all a bunch of wild rebels, but in admiring tones, I have to admit. The revolution starts here …

Lord H and I have spent most of the afternoon having a glorious lunch with our middle neighbour, who is a wow at Indonesian food, and insists we drink buckets of wine. Ah, it’s a tough life, eh. And I’ve got to grips with the engine and tyres of my new car, and now know roughly where the oil and water containers might be, and what my tyre pressures are. Always good to have some kind of control over one’s transport.

Meanwhile, Dreamspinner Press are having a month-long Summer Fun Sale for August, so if there’s something you wanted to buy, now is most definitely the time! And today’s Rainbow Extravaganza focuses on Lara Zielinsky who is a fellow PD Publishing author, so feel free to pop in and see what she has to say about her award-winning work. Great stuff.

Oh and I’ve had a short story rejection (sigh …) and have therefore sent it out again into the great unknown. We battle on, eh.

This week’s haiku is slightly Shakespearian and more than bizarre:

Days of quietness,
but in my dreams I’m pursued
by trains and wild bears.

Really, I do have a strange dream-life at times, I can tell you.

Today’s nice things:

1. Opera memories
2. Poetry
3. Short story publication
4. Poetry publication
5. Church rebellion
6. Boozy lunches with the neighbour
7. Dreamspinner sale
8. Haikus.

Anne Brooke – living a purely unholy Sunday – again …
Vulpes Libris: have a roaring time with a fabulous chic lit ghost

Rocks, reviews and requests

It seems to have been a day of getting things done and pleasant surprises on the whole, which is always nice. Let’s start with this morning’s poem:

Meditation 187

When the puzzle,
the parable, the shadow,
the mysterious everlasting dance

of the spoken word
is laid to one side
for a while

all that is left
is love: naked,
defenceless, perfect.

First off, in terms of literary matters, I’m pleased to say that my short story, The Rock, has now been republished by Einstein’s Pocket Watch – so if you didn’t catch it at the first publication, now’s your chance!

I’m also thrilled to say that Pink Champagne and Apple Juice has received a Five Diva review from Dark Diva Reviews, which can be found at the previous link and below:

“As I started reading this with my good ol’ cuppa joe on a lovely Saturday morning, Pink Champagne and Apple Juice was probably the first ebook that had me chuckling every two minutes. Anne Brooke must be a comedian at heart because right from the start you have the main girl, Angie Howard, running from her own mother to get on the train to find her Uncle John. Trouble and mishaps followed her nonstop. Angie wanted to have her own life and not have a sheltered life with her overprotective mother. Angie’s character is so easy to like and anyone can relate to her because all she wants is to have her freedom and live life to the fullest. She really does when she finally arrives at her Uncle John’s home, which is rather a racy nightclub with cross dressers and gay people relaxing and being themselves. As fun as it was for Angie to partake in Uncle John’s The Den, every vibrant character worked against her. She had to go through challenges and learn about her own flaws, as well as the family tension between her mother and her uncle. The ugly truth later rears its ugly head, but the endless twists kept me wondering how the story will end. This lively story was amazing in descriptions and situations, so it was very easy to play the story in my head like a movie. It fondly reminded me of the movie called The Birdcage, and the transvestite uncle John was very much like the one and only Nathan Lane, but was set in England and with raunchier innuendo. The French waiter gave Angie the time of her life, while the yelling German chef constantly fought with her due to his passion of cooking. Never diss the mushroom ice cream! Her uncle John was constantly the proverbial keeper of secrets and seemed to hide behind his cross dressing personality, Jolene. John/Jolene often caused trouble for Angie and the twists he caused kept me on my toes. This story had other twists, so much that I got caught up in all of them and was wowed by the final twist. It floored me and I kept saying ‘wow!’ when I finished. Anne Brooke truly mastered the art of keeping her readers drawn in and distracted so the ending isn’t predictable and boring. Her imagination was totally endless and hilarious. The only drawback in this story was some of the British words. It took me a moment to figure out what she meant, but the general idea was caught on. It was easy to follow for the most part. Overall, Pink Champagne and Apple Juice was a great, laid back story with many twists to keep you laughing. The fast paced flow of the wacky story was undeniably fun. I say that if on a rainy day or just when you need to laugh in a ‘The Birdcage’ feel, this book is for you. I recommend for anyone to read this book, and also the mushroom ice cream done by the German chef. He was a riot! Rated 5 Delightful Divas & Recommended Read.”

Many thanks for that, Karen – so glad you enjoyed the read! The other great surprise of this morning was a request from Amber Quill Press to submit something to them – so I’ve sent them The Gifting and will see what they think. I suspect it may not quite be what they’re after, but heck there’s no harm in trying, eh.

Meanwhile, the extraordinary miracle has happened and I have actually finished the first edit of Hallsfoot’s Battle – well double gosh and hurrahs and somebody pour me a brandy. My next stage is to print it out and send it to The Literary Consultancy, as really I can do nothing remotely decent without them and they are Worth Their Weight in Gold (Capitals Deliberate). Phew though – time for a summer break from novel-writing, I think.

Also today, I have been to my Alexander Technique lady, who tells me off for falling back into bad habits, alas. And there was me thinking I was doing so well … but hey what do I know? And I’ve had a lovely chat & tea with the neighbour and his daughter, so am now fully caught up on Life in Godalming, hurrah.

Tonight, I really have to turn my attention to doing a whistlestop clean of the flat, though I am fairly up-to-date with the ironing so at least we are not facing a crumpled weekend. For once. Domestics – they never really go away, do they?…

Today’s nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Short story publication
3. Champers review
4. Publishers requests
5. Finishing the Hallsfoot edit Part One
6. Neighbour chats.

Anne Brooke – having a significant Champagne Moment or two
Vulpes Libris – Adventure Week comes in from the cold

A day with the birds

Here’s today’s meditation for you:

Meditation 181

Today I take
a fresh sheet
of paper
for my thoughts –

the creamy space
waiting in its emptiness
for the inky pattern
to come.

Like the ancient stones
Joshua places
in the conquered Jordan

as a marker
of everything
to be remembered

and everything we seek.

A lazy start to this morning, which has been nice. How I do love a lie-in. We’ve then spent the rest of the day in Titchfield Haven enjoying the rather nice weather (not much rain! occasional sunshine, well gosh!) and admiring the birds -which have been more numerous than we expected for this time of year. We managed to spot green sandpipers, common sandpipers, black-tailed godwits, common terns, dunlin, a wren, whitethroats and willow warblers. Marvellous. The only slight downside is we forgot to buy sandwiches so had to have cappuccino and a cake in their distinctively horrible cafe. Honestly, I don’t know how a cafe can make cappuccino taste like dishwater that’s seen better days, but they managed it. And I also don’t know how they can make the comfy side room smell like a toilet, but they do. Sigh. It’s probably a work of genius.

This evening I’ve had a chat with the neighbour opposite and have caught up with what’s happening on the road. And tonight I’m planning a bit of Hallsfoot’s Battle editing and some TV. Depending on what’s on. Apart from that, it’s all been fairly quiet, and I’m enjoying the unexpected sense of peace. Here’s hoping it continues. Ooh, and a jay has just flown into the garden – how lovely.

Today’s nice things:

1. Poetry
2. A day with the birds
3. Chatting with the neighbour
4. Editing Hallsfoot
5. TV.

Anne Brooke – enjoying the quietness

Gin, grief and medicine

My first review as a fully-fledged Book Fox for the Vulpes Libris review site is now up and is the gloriously dark and deliciously chewy Kill-Grief by Caroline Rance. Read and enjoy – it’s a classy book.

Speaking of words, I must say how utterly wonderful yesterday’s programme on Milton’s Paradise Lost turned out to be. I was gripped. Even Lord H was gripped and expressed a desire to read the great poem afterwards (even though he hates poetry) – well gosh! We were all gripped. Full marks to that unexpectedly dark, rich and passionate presenter, Armando Iannucci, for telling it how it is and letting Milton’s astonishing words live and breathe to the full. It was electrifying television and if any of you were unfortunate enough to miss it, do please rush off now and activate your BBC2 i-players. It’ll be the best hour of factual TV you’ve seen in a long, long time. Now if only they’d hired Iannucci to present the John Donne programme as well, then that would have been absolutely perfect too.

I was also amused – and strangely heartened – to hear that when Milton (after about 20 years of writing it) finally got round to publishing Paradise Lost, the two initial reactions he received were (a) “Did you realise it doesn’t rhyme and that’s not very commercial?” – from his publisher; and (b) “It’s all very nice, but why didn’t you write about paradise regained?” – from his best friend. Ye gods, and there was I thinking I was hard done by as a writer … It’s enough to make you want to take your trusty quill pen and poke their eyes out with it. As Iannucci said: how rude!

Tying nicely in to matters spiritual, here’s this morning’s poem:

Meditation 135

Midday heat.
The scent of water
on the skin.
The waiting air.

A woman walks,
framed in sunlight,
towards a man
she has never known

and known for ever
while words rest
by the well
under the tongue

as the moment turns.

Oh, and I must say that I’ve been desperately squeezing the last of my toothpaste out of the tube in increasingly vigorous efforts over the last couple of days whilst accompanied by suitable swearing at modern manufacturers – I do so hate waste – but this morning after Lord H had left for work, I dragged myself to the bathroom and found that – yes! – he’d already squeezed it out for me onto the toothbrush to save me the effort and left brush & paste balanced on the flannel. What a super-hero indeed. Of such gloriously miniature moments is a modern marriage made …

This morning, I’ve added more to that last battle scene of Hallsfoot’s Battle and I think they’re working towards closure now. I know roughly in my head what’s going to happen (which is, as you know, rare), who will die and who won’t. I feel quieter and less desperate about it at the moment – a good thing for sure – and the panic to get to the end has faded slightly. So I’m taking it as it comes and trying to write what I think needs to be written. I hope, eh.

So, I reckon I’ve deserved my Clarins massage this afternoon – it was bliss as ever. The only thing was at the end I realised (which I did know about but I’d forgotten, shame on me …) that it was my last session with Hilary as she’s leaving for pastures new and next time I’ll be seeing Alice. I felt suitably traumatised for having forgotten and not having bought Hilary a leaving present – honestly, I am indeed crystallising into a self-centred, thoughtless slapper in my middle years. My mother was right after all then, hey ho. Sometimes I forget that there’s a world beyond my own head, sigh …

Anyway, back home, I briefly caught up with the neighbour who’s now out of hospital and looking stronger, double hurrahs. I’ve then spent the rest of the day improving on the book trailer for The Bones of Summer – it’s been niggling at me for weeks so today I’ve gone in, knocked it around a bit, added another image and got the music to end where I want it to, just about. I’m keeping that trailer under wraps for the moment as the novel isn’t out until the middle of June, but watch this space. I’ve also been adding a Vulpes Libris page to my website, which took some time as I forget to update the actual link whilst putting it in (sorry, techno talk, sorry …) so had to go back over each page and do it again. I think it’s right now though, but if you do see something odd – well, odder than usual on my site – please do let me know. I’ll be most grateful.

Tonight, Lord H and I will be glued to Springwatch, and then it’s Graham Norton for me. I’m such a classy broad. Oh, and – stop press! – Surrey actually has news, ye gods and little fishes, which you can find out about here. Well, gosh indeedy. News in Surrey that doesn’t happen on a Friday – how rare! Who knows: it might therefore even be possible for the Surrey Advertiser to put it on its front page tomorrow in the right week for once. We wait and wonder.

Today’s nice things:

1. Caroline Rance’s kick-ass wonderful book
2. Milton programme
3. Poetry
4. Writing Hallsfoot
5. Clarins massage
6. Book trailer updates
7. Website work
8. Happy neighbours
9. TV.

Anne Brooke – knows a good book when she sees one
Cancer Research Race for Life – still time to give!

Butterflies, birds and Basildon Park

Another day in the country today, though a different part of it, hurrah – but I did manage to get today’s meditation poem squeezed in before we set off:

Meditation 121

Beyond the river
everything crystallises
into the possibility
of truth.

Flesh and bone
solidify dreams
and what is written once
will be written again

in fire.

Then it was a quick turn-round and an equally quick coffee and chat with the downstairs neighbour’s daughter (hello, Gisela!) before making our way to Dinton Pastures Country Park in Berkshire. Which took rather longer than it should as we, somewhat foolishly, decided that the quickest route would be through Reading. Hmm. My advice is if you ever at any point in your life think that the quickest route to anywhere (apart from Reading itself) is through Reading, then think again. The signs are crap and the roads are worse and, thanks to my less than top-notch navigational skills, we actually ended up in Oxfordshire. In the Chilterns. Ho hum. However, the plus point is that, due to my complex set of detours, we did spot a red kite, which is our first one for this year, hurrah! So every cloud, etc etc … And when we finally got to Dinton Pastures itself, it was a grand place indeed. With loos, which is always vital, I feel. Rather too many dogs for my liking though (I don’t mind dogs – well, no, actually, I don’t like them at all, but that doesn’t fit in with my next phrase – but I couldn’t eat a whole one) but still a very pleasant walk. We spotted some sandmartins and common terns (both new for this year in this country, though we did spot terns in Istanbul earlier in the year), and several orange tip butterflies. I love orange tip butterflies. Small and white and it looks as if their wingtips have been dipped into marmalade. Wonderful.

We then drove (with roughly equal amounts of confusion) to Basildon Park. Lunch was fabulous – full-on roast turkey followed by treacle tart and custard at very reasonable prices, though we did seem to enter the restaurant via the back passage (as it were), which confused everyone. Especially us. We then did a quick tour around the house – the Octagon Room is amazing and the Library is very cosy indeed. Though Lord H did point out that they didn’t have as many books as we do – which may indeed be true but theirs are more neatly filed at least. He also stood in front of a picture showing a Classical soldier holding his headgear and opined: “Ah, the typical portrait of a soldier admiring his helmet …” – which forced me to exit quickly from the room in question before hysteria set in. Thankfully, the rest of the folks around us seemed to take it seriously and nodded in agreement, but I fear that once word gets round, we may have our National Trust membership forcibly removed. I’m already known as the Woman Who Laughs at Jelly Moulds (found in every NT house across the land, sigh …), so we may indeed be in injury time. Honestly, I can’t take Lord H anywhere twice. I daren’t …

Anyway, moving rapidly on, and suitably fortified by essential English stodge (where would we be as a nation without it?), we set out on the full Park walk. Hmm, I wish now I’d taken the more genteel Park Walk. All I’ll say is that was a bloody long four miles, Carruthers … I was beginning to lose hope of ever seeing civilisation again, though at least the bluebells were good (though not quite as stunning as Mother’s Essex bluebell wood offering). My feet are now utterly exhausted, dahlings. Still, I’m sure it’s good for me. Isn’t that my exercise ration for the month?? Oh and the joy about Basildon Park is they have a really, really good second hand book room where you can pick up whatever you like for £1. Wonderful. I purchased two books I’ve been meaning to read for a while, so that’s saved me some money at least.

Tonight, I might do some more to Hallsfoot’s Battle, but I’m not going to stress out about it too much. If it happens, it happens, eh. And here’s this week’s haiku:

At the division
of the paths, the wind blows through.
Hedges, fields, hills, sky.

Today’s nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Birds
3. Butterflies
4. Sunday lunch at Basildon
5. Books
6. Hallsfoot – if I get to it
7. Haiku.

Anne Brooke
Anne’s website – taking the slow road, whether she likes it or not
Race for Life – help support people with cancer