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Out and About - May 2019

I've at last started writing House of Bastet, the sequel to House of Scarabs. I had a bit of time where I just couldn't fit the story together in my brain. I'm trying something new this time and hand-writing it. Mainly because I can't bear to be stuck in my office on glorious sunny days and so far I'm pleasantly surprised with the results.

A Mid Century Milestone and Scotland Ahoy..

​​I haven't been out much this month as I wanted to focus on my work but at the end of April I celebrated my fiftieth birthday - yikes where's the time gone??

My family gathered the night before my birthday and we had a lovely birthday meal - my younger sister brought these two whopping great balloons to make certain I couldn't forget how old I was. I'll get her back - just two years until she hits the same mark! In the meantime the balloons are now doing a great job of frightening the crows and pigeons away from our veggie plot!

I'm not alone in hitting the mid-century mark this year most of my friends are too so we'd planned a weekend get-away to celebrate - luckily for me our trip coincided with my birthday. We hired a castle in Scotland near Loch Lomond. It was a large group that had flown in from all corners of the UK. Click on the slideshow below to see more of the castle.

Invergare.... wow. Word's fail me - never great for a writer. It's a Victorian castle which has recently been restored, we were the first people to rent it, and it's breathtaking. We spent much of the weekend planning a future in which we would combined our purses and buy something similar. We dreamt of creating a commune of friends and whiling away our geriatric years disgracefully. It's good to dream big.

It was a great trip - we visited beautiful places and had tasty food but it was the warmth of friendship that was the highlight of the trip.

Strictly Come... Mania

​​For those of you outside the UK we have a TV show here called Strictly Come Dancing (the American version is called Dancing with the Stars) where celebrities are paired up with ballroom dancers and learn new dances and routines every week and are then judged on their performance. I am a manic Strictly Come Dancing fan - I watch it every week, I watch the daily companion show (It Takes Two), I follow all the social media channels of the show and the professionals. So when the chance came to see some of my favourite dancers in person - well nothing was going to stop me.

When I heard Burn the Floor was coming to my local theatre and three of the Strictly dancers were performing in it I immediately flashed some cash and got tickets. Now a ballroom dancing stage show sounds pretty lame - even to a Strictly addict like me, but I really wanted to see my favourite dancer, Kevin Clifton, who headlines the show and was last season's Strictly champion. I dragged my mum and sister along... not exactly protesting but not overly enthusiastically.

​It was sensational - one of the best shows I've ever seen and I've seen most of the big West End productions. The music was superb, the dancing sublime. Somehow every dance told a clear story and I didn't even focus on the dance form it was just superb entertainment. You could tell everyone on stage was having a ball and that translated into elevating the audience. I left the theatre floating about 6ft above the ground - I felt so energised and happy. If you every get a chance to see Burn the Floor - do so, it tours world wide.

Devon Ambles

Aside from writing my greatest passion is for my dogs and some of my happiest moments are when we go out on ambles in the glorious Devon countryside. Having been raised in a house in the middle of woods, nature has a way of calming and inspiring me like nothing else can. I have two rescue Rottweilers who are beautiful. Inaccurate media representation has demonised the breed, so other dog owners and people can react negatively to my little darlings. Consequently we often hire a private field on the top of the rolling Devon hills with its own enclosed woodland. There we are free to roam peacefully and free.

Anyway next month sees me returning to my soul ground of Egypt - very excited to go back to my heart's second home. I'll share highlights with you next time.

I'd love to know what you've been up to. What books have you been reading recently? Drop me a line and let me know or leave a message in the comments below.

Bye for now and happy reading....

Hazel xx

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