The first thing you will notice is the revamped blog. I have taken the plunge and changed my image. Comments are welcome please. What do you think of the new site? And the new photos? Now I have left my paradise island and am living by the sea in Southampton, I thought it was time the lady in the hat disappeared and the 'New Penny' arrived.
Talking of the 'New Penny,' my thanks to Rob Innis who braved our chaotic home last week when he visited for the weekend. Rob took the photos for me. Rob is a freelance writer living in Torrevieja, near Alicante, Spain. His work, well worth a read, can be read on: http://robinespana.blogspot.com and www.spainrico.com
So, what have I been up to since the last blog, which I must say was written a long time ago?
The answer is that I have been very busy. I wish I could say it was all writing work. Some of it has been as I have been getting to grips with the Society of Women Writers and Journalists' (SWWJ) magazine, The Woman Writer, which I officially take over (as Editor) soon.
I joined the SWWJ's 'Day for Journalists' last Saturday at the New Cavendish Club, near Marble Arch in London. This was an immensely enjoyable and very informative workshop led by the knowledgeable and hugely likable Wendy Hughes. (For a slightly out of date profile of Wendy try this link: www.cajunmoon.co.uk/wendbibl.htm) The day covered such topics as writing for Trade Journals and how to approach new editors and was aimed at those of us who have experience in the field as well as those just starting out. I must say that such workshops are one unexpected benefit of my membership of the SWWJ (www.swwj.co.uk).
BT turned on our telephone earlier this week and then we found that we could make calls but not hear when people called us! This led to some fun as we tried to sort out the problem. BT, now almost fully automated, allowed us to listen to hints and tips to fix it ourselves, read by a disembodied voice. I know technology has advanced and the call was free, but I would much prefer to talk to someone, not be talked at by a robot.
Today our internet has gone on! Hurrah! I have been frequenting a certain coffee shop in the centre of Southampton and stretching an Americano as long as possible, while I try to keep up with the outside world. Now I have unlimited access and life can begin again. Isn't it funny, the World Wide Web as we know it has only been with us since Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues invented it in 1989. What did we do before that?
Some of you might remember I was featured in Country Life magazine a short while ago, in an article on adult learners. I am firmly convinced that I will still be studying when I'm 95! I have started a creative writing course with the Open University. A short while ago members of my group met at the University of Westminster for a day school. This proved to be great fun for everyone. My peers are not professional writers but several of them will, I think, make it. They are very talented. So far this course has been interesting and highly user friendly - A215 if anyone is interested, which is part of the two year Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing. For more information see www.open.ac.uk
In the meantime, Anguilla was hit by Hurricane Omar a short time ago. It would seem we had a lucky escape! Friends there tell me that there was not a huge amount of damage but several boats were blown up on the beach at Sandy Ground and Sammie's bar had to be dug out as it was buried in sand. The island lost its power but it could have been much worse. My thoughts are with everyone on the island.
OK all for now. Now I have internet access in my office at home, I promise I will blog more often!