Tuesday, 20 May 2014

May Newsletter


The blog has been rather neglected of late while I've been in the deep dark tunnel of the "novel-edit zone". So now that I've escaped from there for a while, I thought I'd do a Newsletter-type post as a catch-up.

Port Quin

We've just spent a few days walking the spectacular cliffs of north Cornwall, while staying at a National Trust holiday property, Lacombe Cottage, in Port Quin. 

The area was used as a film location for the original BBC Poldark series.
With excitement mounting for the new BBC series, due to be screened next year, The Western Morning News reported disappointment that filming had started... in Wiltshire! 

But the producers insist that film crews will be arriving in Cornwall at some point in the near future. So will Port Quin feature, this time around, I wonder?

St Enodoc Church

To allow our legs to recover from the rigors of walking the South West Coast Path, the following day we took the more gentle stroll amongst the sand dunes at the end of Daymer Bay, near Polzeath, and visited the delightful church of St Enodoc, John Betjeman's final resting place.

The church sits in a 'trench' in the centre of its churchyard, which itself sits in the middle of St Enodoc Golf Course! From the 16th century until the 19th, the church was completely buried in sand, only accessible via a hole in the roof. The vicar and his parishioners would undertake this bizarre journey to ensure the church carried out its once-a-year service, which they were obliged to do to maintain the church tithes. It was finally dug out and the dunes stabilized in 1864.

Family History Secrets

On the blog at the moment is the story of my great-uncle Tom, Thomas Diggory, who fought at Gallipoli in WW1. His story must reflect that of many. Although he survived, the legacy of his participation lasted for the rest of his life. Read about it here.

Thomas Diggory of The 7th battalion, The Gloucester Regiment


The sunshine has brought on the garden flowers and we returned from our trip to find one of my favourite Oriental Poppies, Patty's Plum (bought in memory of my mum) had started its stunning display. Not much sunshine today but its beautiful subtle colour is still impressive.

The blue lupins are doing well and for some reason haven't succumbed to the aphids like the yellow version right next door to them. Obviously not as tasty!

We moved the Viburnum placatum last year so are delighted to see it has recovered nicely and is looking wonderful.

There's nothing quite like the froth of London Pride at this time of the year.

Currently reading

I'm about half way through Linda Gillard's latest novel, Cauldstane, the second of Linda's books I've read (the first being The House of Silence, which was excellent). The book's title is the name of a Scottish castle to which the protagonist Jenny Ryan is invited to interview the current owner, Sholto McNab, in preparation to be the ghost writer for his biography. McNab is a former adventurer with many travelling tales to tell but it's the mysterious history and dark secrets of the unlucky McNab family which force themselves upon Jenny in a way she could never have imagined, let alone believed. An intriguing and haunting story which I'm enjoying very much.


  • Our local Art Exhibition is on over the bank holiday weekend, showcasing some amazing talent from the surrounding district. 
  • My beta readers have been given their homework so I wait with baited breath (and not a little nervousness) as to their feedback on my latest Esme Quentin novel. More details to follow... so long as they like it!
  • The refurbished Exeter Library opens on Thursday of this week, after a £4.1 million face-lift.