I’ve missed you!

 

Viva Italia!

 

Twice a year I go away with two lifelong friends for three nights. I used to take my laptop so I could work from 3am until they woke up, but then I realised that this was not only rude to my friends – face in plate, snoring by lunchtime – but also doing me no favours, so now I leave the laptop at home and force myself to unwind. (not 100% sure that makes sense lol! – forced unwinding, I mean!!!)

And yes, those bikes are as heavy as they look, and no, I am not sporty. My explanation to my very concerned family back home whenever they asked if I’d ‘fallen off yet’, was ‘so far, so wobbly’.  I only wish there had been someone around to take a video and then we could all have had a good laugh!

There is a distinct theme to my ‘happy’ places. I have never lived by the sea, but am drawn to the ocean – no surprise when the beach is as fabulous as this!

I prefer to swim in a pool where I can see what’s below me, so paddling’s my thing!

I think it’s time I had a hero and heroine running through the surf, then diving headlong into the waves like dolphins where all sorts of aquatic capers can take place 😉

Viva romance! ❤️❤️❤️ I had the most fabulous time with my friends, as we always do, (mostly laughing the entire time- on occasion at me needing the entire highway to weave along!) but I’m so glad to be back with you and writing❣️

Love to all,

Susan xx

 

Jibber-Jabber Day

 

Sometimes the need for a fresh pesto penne followed by a dish of mozzarella and tomato becomes overwhelming. It’s then I discover that it takes around the same time for me to fly from my local airport to Italy as it does to take the train to London.

And it’s still summer here in Italy❣️

Stay off the roads, though, because the only way to get around is on bikes Miss Marple would be proud of! Viva Forte dei Marmi❣️ Viva Lucca❣️ Viva Italia❣️

Love to all my intrepid readers, who like me, embrace a bit of adventure in their lives.

Susan xx

 

 

 

 

Monday Motivation

Leap out of bed. Ice-cold shower. 500 press-ups. Sweats on. 3-mile run. Juice a carrot, a celery stick, and a bucket of super-beans…

Or…the truth

Grunt at DH, who is a barrel of laughs in the morning and insists on ‘singing’ at the top of his tuneless, though beloved voice as he catapults out of bed and speeds about, showering, dressing, leaping downstairs to take the Betster for her first walk of the day etc etc etc – before stuffing down an enormous bowl of cereal and fresh fruit.

This is NOT good.

I cannot speak or function until I have staggered out of bed and taken a hot shower in the hope that I can wake up enough to switch off the steaming water at some point. I then dress and get myself organised – a couple of hours later – I stumble downstairs, still not in the mood to talk, grab a mug of builders and some porridge, or yoghurt and fruit, before entering enter the study, where I switch on my computer to start work bang on the hour of 7am. Did I forget to mention that DH is an early riser???

Seriously – here is my breakfast recommendation – and sometimes, like normal people, I just gorge on toast with lashings of butter with either honey, marmalade, or apricot jam – but if I am feeling yoghurty – I have to add berries, walnuts, Marks and Spencer granola and a handful of their muesli – no other brand will do. I can’t make my own, because I can’t, that’s all!  Having recently learned that egg yolk is good for eyes, because it contains lutein, which is supposed to block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, maybe preventing macular degeneration – I’m on a bit of an egg kick too. Poached eggs are my fave – just crack ’em open and dump in a pan of boiling water with a splash of white wine vinegar. Nothing fancy – no swirling or fretting – just drain, trim off a bit of the boring white stuff, and scoff down 🙂

And here’s something totally guaranteed to wake us up!

You haven’t read Christmas Nights With the Polo Player?  Shame on you LOL!

Or watched the video??? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lv3je22Gw1c

What is the meaning of this?!?! 😉

Love to all,

Susan xx

Really?

Sunday: Prepare for the week ahead with confidence and vigour. What was I thinking?

Oh, I know – ‘Stiff Gin’ – that was also mentioned!

I slump before you, ‘broken’, as my eldest refers to her children when they are completely and utterly exhausted. Five grandchildren is the most wonderful blessing, but you definitely need the stiff gin at the end of a 2-day visit. Only then, with your eardrums still ringing, can you contemplate the laundry and clear up to come.

But, fear not, I have a reviver for those of you in a similar situation. It’s called hot, raw sex – and it’s safely contained within the pages of a book. Or, in this instance, in a photograph that may give a clue as to why I love writing about men with iron thighs on board a horse.

Enjoy, ladies! This guy was my muse right through the Acosta series and he never let me down.

Love to all,

Susan xx

 

Dreams

I have the best job in the world. When I was a little girl, when I wasn’t playing the piano or reading, I would sit in my favourite chair and dream. My dreams usually involved horses, and palominos were my absolute favourite. Of course, I would be galloping across green meadows on these fabulous creatures – when I wasn’t flying on Pegasus across the city under a night sky of stars and a lantern moon…

The closest I came to these fabulous creatures was my once weekly riding lesson on old hacks, but I loved them just the same, and couldn’t bear to dismount at the end of the lesson so I used to ride them right into the stable block.

Dreams don’t leave us, unless we drive them away, or neglect them. I write about polo players now, and envy them their wonderful mounts as if they were real animals.

Never lose your dreams. I didn’t get to own a palomino or ride on Pegasus, but my dream gains strength each time I write about the horses I love and the men who ride them. There’s nothing manufactured about my passion. It runs through me like letters through a stick of rock, and I express it as passionately as I can.

Follow your dreams and accept that they won’t always follow the path you expect. Just hold on to them, and keep them close to your heart.

Love from one dreamer to all the other dreamers out there,

Susan xx

 

 

Book Day

Thoughts are in London today, but we’re not going to change, and we won’t be changed.

I’ve got quite a few suggestions for book day, starting with this amazing series by Angelique Armae. If you love fantasy look no further than this fabulous series.

If thrillers are your bag, try this amazing first novel by the celebrated journalist Frank Gardner

 

I’ve just finished another Jean Plaidy ❤️❤️❤️

I can’t recommend Caroline the Queen highly enough, but then I’m addicted to historical novels!

And if you haven’t grabbed a free Tsar – or an incredible box set for just £0.99 in the UK – get on it 😉

Hope there are enough ideas there to whet your appetite!

Much love to everyone,

Susan xx

Christmas Tsar

Grab a Tsar

 

 

 

 

Thursday is pet day

*weirdness alert* Those of a nervous disposition should turn away now!

Yep. We all know I’m a little bit obsessed by cats. I absolutely love them, and have never been able to share my home with one due to family allergies. Waah!

But I am the luckiest person alive when it comes to the wonderful dogs I’ve shared my life with – starting with Mitzi, my Welsh corgi when I was a little girl, to Betty in the present day I have never been without a wonderful dog to share my heart with as well as my home!

And here’s another of my passions – taken to the extreme in this instance – I adore birds and am absolutely fascinated by them. The most surprising thing about this encounter with an Eagle owl in Dubai was how light it was. The ranger explained that the birds have hollow bones, which I didn’t know.

Love to all creatures great and small❣️

Susan xx

Wednesday is surprising fact day

As a child I was painfully shy, so my mother decided there was only one thing for it – I must  act, sing, play the piano, and generally get out there and show myself, instead of hiding my head in a book.

This was my first stage appearance as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I can still remember my mother painstakingly dabbing glue on the pale green chiffon costume she made before dropping sequins on the glue. She was so much better than me at this sort of thing. When my children were small, if they needed a fancy dress outfit, it had to be something I could fashion out of a bin liner – the kids had some great Punk outfits, I seem to remember 😉

Here’s another pic of an older me in the musical ‘Lock up your Daughters’, based on an 18th century play, luridly entitled, ‘Rape upon Rape’. The modern version was a lot of fun to take part in, and, I’m guessing, not nearly as naughty as its 18th century counterpart.

My fellow actor must have been very tolerant to let me loose on her hair!

All the best from the Yorkshire moors – where it can’t decide whether to rain or not right now 🙂

 

Love to all,

Susan xx

Back!

 

And how appropriate that Tuesday is Jibber Jabber day. I’m great at Jibber Jabber. 😜

I actually spent an entire week away without a computer, or any way to write – unless I set to on my phone, and even I draw the line at that.

I ❤️ Majorca, especially away from the coast, where the countryside is so beautiful and the life is so laid back. We stayed on the coast so DH could swim in the sea every day, but it was great to explore the ‘real’ island.

I particularly love to be out on the sea. It’s just so beautiful and tranquil.

Happy to say, I returned refreshed and more than eager to join my latest characters on their journey to true love.

Such a contrast here in Yorkshire as autumn sets in, but beautiful in its own way…

 

But let’s say goodnight for today with sunset out at sea off the coast of Majorca.

Back soon!

Love to all, Susan xx

 

Really?

My *thing* is walking…usually across the wild and woolly moors. Today the beach, where I encounter the Towel Draper and the Scavenger.

Bearing in mind I was walking at dawn, imagine my surprise when a tense and harried looking man squeezed past me as I was exiting the hotel’s secure grounds to access the beach, where the hotel also has a number  – make that a couple of hundred or so – sun beds lined up in neat and very close together rows. (I’m freaking out at the thought of reclining on one for even part of a day even as I write that)  My first response was concern, thinking he must be hurrying to attend a relative or friend who had had an accident, so I kept an eye on things in case he needed help. But no. Glancing over his shoulder in the dim light of dawn, he quickly laid out his towels on what must be his favoured position on the edge of this sardine arrangement.

Now, forgive me if I sound slightly perjoritive here – but wtf??? First off, why make the focus of the day laying out in the sun courting skin cancer? And secondly, does the position of a sun bed matter so much that you have to forget you’re on holiday and rise before dawn to dash down to the beach to bag one?  I must be missing something here.

Then there was the guy with the metal detector going round the empty sun beds. I’d like to think that if he had found someone’s precious engagement ring etc, he would return it to the authorities.

Oh, and there was a thirdly – when I returned from the beach after around an hour, the Second Battalion Towel Drapers was frantically exercising its right to drape.

Do give over. It can’t be good for your health.

Love to all my fabulous and highly sensible readers, whom I know without asking would be too busy searching out shade to read a book! You are, without question, the absolute best.

Susan xx