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My New Project


Well, it’s not really new (for me) but I guess it will be for you. I have mostly finished writing the first draft of my new project – there’s just a couple of things that need ironing out – and I’ve almost finished the very first and very general edit of it too.

After writing a novel I wanted to try something a little different. And in the long run I want to write both novels and non-fiction history – and this is what this new project is. [Both of which will concern the same over-arching subject of the history of the British Empire.]

I have a working title of A Show Called Empire which examines the way that the British Empire is represented in historical movies. A lot of people’s knowledge of history, rightly or wrongly, is gleaned from historical films and while we know they cannot be wholly trusted to be true to history, it is interesting to see how the British Empire and its players come across, and the over-riding impressions that audiences are left with, and how this has changed over time in the post-imperial era. So I have examined and researched a number of historical movies for this book – and some not-quite historical movies too like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

As I said I’m basically at the very start of the editing process – so it may be a while yet before everything is ready to share but I’ll keep you up-to-date with my progress.

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A Month of: A photo a day

Wow it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog, but last week I was pretty busy (on holiday!), firstly I had my partner’s PhD Graduation Ceremony (well done him!), then travelling down to the beautiful Cotswolds for my friends wedding, and then down to the south coast of England at Torquay for a few days.

Luckily for me though I had plenty of photos to choose from to post as my ‘photo a day’.

17th july

Photo taken Friday 17th July. I had to take this photo. For weeks – if not months – this train, the train I catch on my way home on Fridays from work, has always been late. I don’t mean by a minute or three, I mean fifteen plus minutes, once even forty minutes late. So I took this picture as pure shock when it was on time. I couldn’t believe my luck and so I simply had to take this photo to remind myself that this train can run on time.

18th July

Photo taken Saturday 18th July: With wearing glasses I found it immensely difficult to find some sort of fascinator to wear for the wedding. So I made one myself. I bought a plain metal clip and attached two fake flowers with cotton thread. I was pretty impressed with it, so I took a photo of it. It stayed intact for the entire day even the dancing on the night time.

21st july

Photo taken: Tuesday 21st July. This is my other half celebrating in his fancy robes on graduation, throwing his mortar board into the air to celebrate his achievement of receiving his PhD. After four years of hard work, he finally made and can call himself Doctor!!! [His PhD is from the Materials Engineering department from the University of Sheffield.]

23rd july

Photo taken: Thursday 23rd July. This is my beautiful friend and her very proud and emotional father walking down the aisle. She looks absolutely beautiful and so is the place where she and her best friend, her now husband, tied the knot. Congratulations to them both!

25th july

Photo taken: Saturday 25th July. This photo was taken in the picturesque village of Cockington. It is a very quaint English village, complete with thatched roofs and stone buildings. It is the perfect spot for afternoon tea of cream and scones.

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A Month of: A Photo a Day

13th july

Photo taken: Monday 13th July. I took this photo as I walked from town to home. Even though I basically pass this car park every day, I hadn’t taken the time to appreciate how pretty it is lined on three sides with trees. Even though it’s obvious that a car park is there, it does make it much more attractive to passing traffic.

14th july

Photo taken: Tuesday 14th July. I live in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. One of the most iconic images of Chesterfield is the Crooked Spire Church, which was built in the 13th century. The Spire was built straight, but built with green timber and with 32 tons of lead tiles on top of it, may have caused it to ‘twist’.

16th july

Photo taken: Thursday 16th July. This was taken along the side of a main road running through Chesterfield. There’s so many flowers along the sides of roads throughout our towns in England, and when you look for them, you’ll notice just how many they are.


A Month of: A Photo a Day

Just one photo for you today: taken from Wednesday 8th July.

At work (the library) we held a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party event for pre-school children to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

The event itself went really well and the children who attended loved it and were really sleepy after all the excitement. They loved eating all the different tea party food (we have jam tarts of course). playing pass the parcel, cheating at ‘pin the smile on the cheshire cat’ with one girl stating hilariously innocently as she lifted up the blindfold ‘But I can’t see!”, and other fun, games and music.

Here’s the photo of the decorated table before the mayhem:

8th july

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A Month of: A Photo a Day

So for my 30 things to do before 30 challenge, I’ve challenged myself to take a photo a day for 30 days:

I have taken one everyday, however I lost the first few when my phone broke (I know!) so I’ll have to re-take them. Luckily, I guess, it’s just the first two days. The others are on my partner’s phone which I have, as yet, not transferred over.

So here are my others, so far:

Be warned they are pretty random:


These were dangling from the ceiling in large sections along one length of Meadowhall Shopping Centre, outside of Sheffield. I thought they looked really pretty. [Photo taken 4th July 2015]

20150705_145402This is a homemade concoction based upon my mother’s Banana Bread recipe. Self-named Protein Chocolate Brownie Banana Bread. With added whey protein powder replacing some of the self-raising flour. This is a great example of what most of my recipes are – a kind of make it up as you go along. [Photo taken 5th July 2015]


This sculpture sits upon the centre of a roundabout and welcomes drivers into the market town of Chesterfield (where I live). I captured this image on my way to the gym. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t fantastic, but it’s still a sight worth documenting. The flower is influenced by the flower of the pomegranate tree and also features a wheel or cog to represent the town’s industrial heritage, and was commissioned for the Chesterfield Gateway Enhancement Scheme. [Photo taken 6th July 2015]

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A Month of…30 Day Challenge


Well well well, another month has been and gone, and so has another ‘a month of’ blog theme. So what’s next? Another theme! This time I’ve chosen to include one ‘task’ from my 30 things to do before I’m 30 List; to do something everyday for 30 days. Most 30 day challenges tend to focus on fitness, muscle toning or losing weight, or giving something up, but I’m planning on doing something rather different and a bit more creative…

And for this month and this ’30 day challenge’ I’ve chosen to take a different photo everyday. I’m anticipating this to be much more difficult than you or I may think. To take a different photo everyday. And I’m not a naturally prolific photo taker, I rarely take photos so to firstly remember to take a photo will be the first challenge.

What’s more, I’m not the most naturally artistic person when it comes to taking photos or to sketching, painting, art etc, so this will be an added element on the challenge, to take photos as artistically as I am able.

Why do this challenge? We all tend to lead busy lives, with little time to actually look about us, and I’m hoping this challenge will open my eyes more to the world around me. To force me to stop and take a moment to find something worth taking a photo of.

I will only be using the camera on my phone, as it is something which I always have with me, so the photos won’t be high-spec professional looking photos where I’ve waited for hours for the right light to take my photos – I simply haven’t got time to do that. But enough reasonings and pre-excuses…lets start the challenge!!

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A Month of: This Day in History

On 29th June 1881 in Sudan, Muhammad Ahmad, a Sudanese Sufi sheikh, declares himself to be the Mahdi, the messianic redeemer of the Islamic faith. From this date until the fall of Khartoum in 1885, he led a successful military campaign against the Turco-Egyptian government. His announcement of his claim as the Mahdi was made to prepare the way for the second coming of the second Prophet Isa (Jesus).

In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi “guided one” is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine or nineteen years, according to differing interpretations.

The end of his ‘reign’ came in 1885 at the Battle of Omdurman against British forces.



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