Salted carmelitas

Following a parkrun milestone, a friend of mine shared the most incredible flapjacks that I have ever tasted in my life. I asked Helen Jude for the recipe, and she sent me the link to this blog post. I was astounded to discover that I was already following this blog. Seems like a double endorsement to me!



I first came across carmelitas absolutely ages ago, and although I can’t for the life of me remember where I remember thinking that they looked amazing but I was put off from baking them by the fact the recipe called for wrapped caramels – I didn’t know whether this meant soft or hard, or what type to buy, and I didn’t like being confused so I didn’t save the recipe or attempt to make them.

Thanks to Pinterest, carmelitas were recently brought to my attention again, specifically through a recipe posted on Cooking Classy. This version had added salt, and the combination of salted caramel, chocolate, oats and brown sugar was just too much for me to resist.

For those of you who aren’t in the know, carmelitas are a sort of oaty cookie bar, with a layer of chocolate and caramel in the middle that is deliciously gooey…

View original post 373 more words

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

Women v Cancer – Ride the Night

The awesome Jo RichardsWe have all had family or friends who have battled, or are currently battling, with Cancer. It is horrible!

My own mother was beaten by pancratic cancer in 1999, and I have several good friends who are currently fighting against the Big C. Without exception, these women are very positive and I am full of admiration for them.

Next Saturday, the 27th May, me lovely friend, Jo Richards will cycle through the night over a 100 kilometre route from the Royal Windsor Racecourse into London and back to the Racecourse. She is doing completing this challenge in aid of three UK cancer charities: Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

Cycling is not her normal mode of exercise. She prefers running. I think think that she is absolutely brilliant and tremendously courageous to even attempt this and I am confident that she will complete the course.

Route Map

I was one of the first to sponsor her. Many others have now done so and she has already been pledged far beyond her modest target. All I am asking you to do is to click on the following link and add to her total. She and her chosen charities need your cash more than you do! So whether you give a single pound or a thousand pounds, Jo will appreciate your contribution. Take two minutes to help her to smash her target. You  wont’ miss it but the charities will benefit.

What are you waiting for?


Posted in Cancer, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

World Famous in Andover!

Book Signing SMI know that this is just a grain of sand when compared to the mountainous achievements of some of my author friends in our blogging world, at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School and on many social media channels, but it hugely exciting for me.

The Andover Advertiser have featured my first ever public book-signing event on page 37 of today’s edition.



Posted in Book Signing, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Chris Cornell 1964 – 2017

My grandson, Ollie, was inspired by Chris and is devastated by this news. Ollie’s current [grunge rock] band is called “A Doubtful Sound”, which will mean something to New Zealanders and not a lot to Europeans and Americans. Anyway, if you listen to their music, you are sure to hear some reflections of Chris Cornell.
A sad day indeed.

Syl65's Blog

I was shocked to hear about the sudden death of Chris Cornell. When grunge rock took over the music scene in the 90s, Soundgarden emerged as one of my favorite bands from that era. Chris had such a powerful voice and style. He was part of Temple of The Dog, a band put together as a tribute to Adrian Wood, former lead singer of Mother Love Bone.

Chris also was a member of Audioslave, which had members of Rage Against The Machine. Prayers for his family and fellow band members.


Death is imminent

Expected and unexpected


If we have today

Then we should live

With every fiber of our being

We should live

View original post

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

#weekendcoffeeshare: WAW!

WAW! – What A Week!

As you join me for coffee, I can tell you about a week that has included a run in the woods, two birthday parties, a catastrophic car break down, a visit to Stockholm, the purchase of a new car, and anticipation for the week ahead.

Kenley Birthday


Last Sunday, we joined with extended family in a local gastro-pub to celebrate the first birthday of our great-grandson, Kenley. The food and the drink left a bit to be desired, but the company was good and little Kenley had a whale of a time, as you can see.


Harewood Forest

Monday was a public holiday in United Kingdom. In the morning, I joined 143 other runners for my favourite annual race in the South of England: the Harewood Forest 10k. It is a most beautiful course through woodland, meadows and bluebells. I finished in 78th plaec in a time of 58 mins 42 secs. Not too shabby for a sixty-one year-old.

In the afternoon, we set off to take presents and cake to one of our grandsons, Reife, in Basingstoke. Just as we joined the A303 dual cariageway at the top of Winchester Road in Andover, there was a bang, a puff of smoke appeared in my rear view mirror, and the engine died. I cruised on to the grass verge and call the AA rescue service.. Despite the public holiday, my knight in shining yellow van apeared only twenty minutes later. He soon imparted the sad new that my trusty [Skoda Octavia estate] car of ten years and 240,000 miles service had died. The engine had completely seized. He towed me home and my son appeared to collect the presents and cakes. Sadly, we had to skip Reife’s party.

Later in the week, I discovered that replacing the engine would cost me around £3,000, which was the trade-in price of the car before it conked out. I decided that I needed a new car and started the quest to find one.

Lake Solna

Lake at Solna

On Wednesday and Thursday, I went on a business visit to Stockholm to meet with senior managers from one of our customers, a large Swedish bank. The meetings were very interesting, although challenging, and I felt that the outcomes were positive. A big bonus was that I was able to go for a nice little pre-breakfast, lakeside run from the hotel in the morning.

Golf Estate

My new car

This morning, Sunday, I was able to complete the deal on a brand new VW Golf Estate which I can collect on Wednesday afternoon. I had time for a short break, so I called in to Coffee#1 for a gingerbread Americano. Mmmmmmm! I checked with the manager, Matt, that we are all set for my book-signing session in that cafe next Friday afternoon. I am very excited about it and hope for a high turnout.

If you are in the Andover area, why not pop in for a coffee and a small purchase of Eleven Miles or Knitting Can Walk!?

Book Signing



pingback: #weekendcoffeeshare: The One Where I Have a Week of Firsts

Posted in Personal, weekendcoffeeshare | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Waggy Tales Dog Blog

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Originally posted on Waggy Tales:
Hi everyone I just wanted to start a blog of some of the dog  stories I’ve experienced as a dog owner, foster of rescue dogs and  the rescue dog I adopted myself. Also friends and…

Rate this:

Gallery | 1 Comment

Books and Coffee

Poster 4

Exciting News!

The manager of Coffee#1 in Andover has agreed that I can sit and sign copies of my two novels, Eleven Miles and Knitting Can Walk!, in his coffee shop on the afternoon of 12th May. If you haven’t bought your copy of these inspirational fiction stories already, this is your chance to come along and drink some great copy while I write your personal dedication in the fly leaf of your purchase. It’s only £10 per signed copy, and is great value for money.

Some day, these books will become blockbuster movies. Think of the value of your original, signed copy when that day comes!

Please re-blog this post. Re-tweet it on your Twitter account. Post it on your Facebook page. Print off the poster and display it somewhere prominent (no fly-posting please!).

Thanks in advance for your help in spreading the word. Make this go viral.

Posted in Book Signing, coffee shop, Eleven Miles, knitting can walk | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments