August 3 2018: Re-issue, new name


It’s like watching one of your children suddenly looking all grown up…

It’s ten years now since publication of my first novel, The Accidental Time Traveller.   It sold  – and still sells – reasonably well, was translated into a number of languages and I still get  e mails from enthusiastic readers all over Europe.

And now she’s having a second outing…

My publisher Avon  have given her a  new name  – Time of My LIfe –  a smart new cover and re-issued her on Kindle so she’s out in the world again, hoping to make a splash.

In some ways, the story – about a 21st century journalist who finds herself back in the 1950s without hairstraighteners, Lycra, the Pill or much equality- is even more relevant.    There’s been an upsurge of nostalgia for the so-called “good old days” of the 1950s.

But were they really that good?

Read  Time of My LIfe and decide for yourself…


August 1st 2018: Summer hols


Are they bored yet? Have they beaten each other up, painted the cat, flooded the bathroom and driven you mad with pleas for outings/sweets/Netflix or a new computer game?

Summer holidays are such fun.

Estimates on how much it costs to entertain children over the holidays range from £600 to £7,000  (£7,000 per child?  Who ARE these people?).  But the idea of “entertaining” children over the holidays would have been totally alien to earlier generations, when children were just turfed outside with a jam sandwich and told  to get on with it.

There were no childcare problems because children looked after themselves.

Sometimes they played games  but quite often they spent their days just mucking about.

Whatever happened to “mucking about”?

Children now  barely pass a moment without adult supervision.  But that doesn’t mean we have to  provide non-stop entertainment, like manic  hi-de-hi Redcoats.

A little boredom does  no harm.  In fact, it’s positively beneficial.

Coping with boredom is a vital life skill that we should help them develop from an early age. Call it mindfulness if it makes you feel better.

True, it can backfire. A friend who  left her bored  sons for a an hour or so came back to find them lighting a fire on the kitchen table “to see if it works.”   It did.

Grown ups find it hard to cope with boredom – especially without their phones – so children definitely need more practice.  If you can  shut your ears to their whining you’ll be doing them a favour.

And saving yourself a fortune. It might inspire them to read a book, write a book, invent a game or dig an elephant trap. Or just learn how to cope.

Turf them outside and let them “muck about” without you.

But better keep a close eye on the kitchen table.…