200 words a day


John Grisham suggests we write up to 1000 words a week and if we do that we can write a novel in 2 years. He likes lists and suggests:

  • Write 200 words daily or make sure you write at least 1000 words a week.
  • Read every sentence 3 times to edit.
  • Introduce a maximum of 5 characters in chapter one.
  • Write for 1 hour; same place and time daily.
  • Use words you know with few of those you’d like to know, never use words no one knows:

So my Argute heroine left her meeting after inflicting a recumbentibus on her boss who is a blathershite. She goes on to have a cacoethes and joins a group of trainee assassins….

Reflecting on what I’ve written, I may be in jeopardy of becoming an Aeolist.  Such is the joy of strange words I may not remember tomorrow.

Other advise suggests we should never tell people we are writing. Well, I don’t agree with that. Two years today I will turn 60 and I think it would be great to give myself a present of a completed manuscript.

I realise that I can write 200 words anywhere, anytime. And it’s about this long.

My guilty secret

Since a child I’ve held a guilty secret. I was warned that nothing good would come of it. That I would waste my life and life would pass me by if I did it. I used to hide in a shed in my garden to do it. Sometimes I’d take torch to bed to do it so no-one would know I was at it. My first time was a magical experience, the second was an adventure and the third … who knows by then I was hooked. When I lived in Paris I was so lonely I spent all my spare time – at it. When I started work it became weekends only. As my life became busier I would binge on holidays and never engage in it outside of those precious weeks. Now I’m somewhere I could do it all day long. No one would know. However, I still have that terrible feeling of guilt.

So my question? Is reading a book for pleasure pure idleness?


Mono Quilt update

A bit later than I’d hoped but I’ve finished the patchwork quilt top for the mono quilt. Its been a work of love and frustration. Not sure if I like the apparent lack of order. Something about the flocking birds makes me a little irritated as I would have liked a little more of that fabric to create a route for them. Like the semblance of order created by changing the pattern in the middle and on the edges. Will leave it now until I return to the UK to get the quilting done. Love that its completed. How does it make you feel? P1070123 mono best


So, its 35 years on and the Falkland Islands still has the legacy of the conflict. Mines on beaches around the islands. Some amazing work has been done by the defining teams. Its hard to imagine how many mines were placed here. The problem is being tackled and hopefully it will soon be solved. I’m intrigued by some coverage that suggests the islands would be better to retain the mines in order to protect conservation. I think the argument goes along the lines of; penguins don’t trigger the mines but if cleared tourists might trouble the penguins. Thats fine when the mines stay in one place but the fact is that these mines are moving as the sand and the coastline moves so we won’t always know where they are located. Surely its better to remove them?

The background to the current demining project can be found here

Mid Winter Swim

Lots of islanders turned out for the swim. With water temperatures of 2 degrees they didn’t stay in for long. Well done to all who participated they can now say, without fear of contradiction, that they are lunatic. It was a truly amazing day. Fresh snow, the largest waves I’ve ever seen in Surf Bay and sunshine. Some had enjoyed a tipple just before their swim they said it gave them Dutch courage. We have a Dutch team with us but not of them in sight so I assume none of them were mad enough to take the plunge. My best guess is that it was a tipple of Scottish courage. One woman wore a rather fetching ensemble of a fur coat and bikini – if there were awards for bravery combined with elegance she’d definitely be getting mine. I enjoyed being voyeuristic rather than a participant. I’ve resisted the urge to bare all and plunge into the Arctic waters in 1996, Antarctica in 2013 and the Falkland islands in 2017. Should I ever get to South Georgia I might rethink my strategy. For now enjoy some images of brave, mad and wonderful people having fun and raising money for charity.

Mono quilt


I’ve been working on a new quilt which uses fabrics from the Falkland Islands, Japan, San Francisco and the wonderful Tikki in Kew. Some of the fabrics turned out to be more stretchy than expected so its been harder than anticipated to create the new pattern I learnt from Wendy’s workshop. I now have to decide how to arrange the squares to best show the fabrics and what to use to bind or surround the patchwork. I’d thought about using a colour such as red or purple for the surround, but a close friend suggested I stick with the monotone palette. I hope to finish this quilt tomorrow so will post an update then.