National Bike Week

This is National Bike Week, from 9th -17th June (I make that more than a week, but I guess it is to encompass both weekends). There are many activities going on up and down the country to get people out on their bikes though sadly not much in my area.

However Cycling UK, of which my husband and I are members, are running a ‘7 Days of Cycling’ ( challenge and we have decided to participate in this. The idea is that you ride your bike on each of seven days and the trips don’t have to be heroic, it could just be a short ride to the shops or to visit a friend. You are then requested to post pictures of your rides on social media – Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Since I only do Facebook that is where mine go.

Bikes with Copmere through the trees

At Copmere (through the trees!)

Day 1 (Saturday) we just did a short ‘warm-up’ ride of 5 miles, round what we call the Pershall Loop which takes us via a local lake, Copmere. You can just about see the water through the trees in the photo of my hubby and our bikes. These are our modern road bikes and as you can see from the need for arm warmers it was a bit chilly first thing in the morning when we went out!

Day 2 (yesterday) saw us decide to go to find some better water to photograph and took us to Bromley Reservoir. This time we decided to go out on our tandem. We have only visited this spot way out in the countryside once before. Although it is only a 17 mile round trip you will see from the photo that it was necessary to take a map – those country lanes are not always signposted. (The trouble with sitting on the back seat of the tandem is that my view is somewhat restricted as you can see in the photo!) There is an old water-mill on the opposite side of the road past the reservoir and the water  runs through a ‘race’ under the road.

Tandem at Bromley Reservoir

Tandem at Bromley Reservoir

Stoker's View

Stoker’s View!








Day 3 (today) – no special scenery today, just a 10 mile jolly round the lanes. We are doing the Eroica Britannia at the weekend, a festival for classic road-racing bikes (of which more next week) so we went out on classic bikes today. My husband rode my old Motobecane, which is not the bike he will use for the Eroica  but which he has adopted, and I rode my Henry Burton, which I will be using, in order to check it out. As the photo shows it was a good job I had my personal mechanic with me as minor adjustments to the gear change mechanism were needed – mind you I’m not sure it is a lot better now. It ‘jumps’ in and out of gear in top gear, which means I try to use that gear as little as possible. I’m just glad it isn’t bottom gear! Once home again we also decided I needed new break blocks so a trip to a local bike shop was then in order – hopefully I will now be able to stop when necessary.

Running Repairs

Personal Mechanic at work!

Henry Burton and Me

Henry Burton and Me









We are not planning to do very great distances for any of our rides this week, yesterday’s 17 miles will probably be our maximum, as we want to be sure we have sufficient energy for the ride out in the hilly Derbyshire countryside at the Eroica – this three-day festival will be a fitting end to our 7 days of cycling challenge, bringing our total to 9 days by my reckoning.


Taking Time For Your Writing…and the Guilt That Comes With It

Oh yes, that familiar guilty feeling when you do what YOU want! . . .

A Writer's Path

by Lauren Sapala

If you’re a writer—and especially if you’re a writer who isn’t bringing in a significant (or any) amount of income from your writing—then you probably struggle with feeling guilty a lot of the time. I know I do. Because you see, I’m not just a writer. I’m also a wife and a mother and a good friend to a few wonderful people. I work a day job and I have a side business that I pour my all into. Simply put: I wear a lot of hats. I have a lot of other people counting on me.

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What the Nature Spirits (Elves, fairies, more) want us to know:

Having recently read The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird and having also re-read The Secret Life of Nature by Peter Tompkins I find this most interesting. I recommend sceptics read the two mentioned books before dismissing it.

Messages from Mother (TM)

[This list came as a very specific request from the Elves and Nature Spirit realms a week ago. They have asked me to distribute this. Thus I am. You are invited to share it also. xoxox]

What the Nature Spirits (Elves, fairies, more) want us to know:

  • They can’t stand leaf blowers. Lawn mowers are loud enough.
  • They ask that we PLEASE leave wild spaces on our properties. Even small corners. Respect these spaces as theirs’.
  • You are welcome to gift them with tobacco and sparkly things. But please leave them on the edge of their wild spaces and not come in.
  • They are wiser than humans.
  • They have been around longer than humans.

  • They want us to know they exist.
  • They are waiting for us to remember who we are and how we are meant to be in sacred balance with them, and all other sacred beings here on…

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Silver Fire

Any book by Freya Pickard is worth reading, especially if you enjoy Fantasy with a difference. Better still – this one is FREE so what’s to lose?

Dragonscale Clippings

Silver Fire is Volume One in my epic fantasy series, The Kaerling. It’s FREE!
When Otta finds Weird Stones on Weird Day, she is tasked with following the unicorn’s trail by an invisible yet powerful presence in the Shrine.
Her twin brother, Erl, loses his memory whilst hunting and can remember very little. Although Otta seems familiar, he cannot recall who she is.
Banished from their home and village, Otta and Erl follow the unicorn’s trail, seeking to evade those sent to pursue them. As they travel further away from home, their characters change and both must overcome the evil within them if they are to stay together.
In this volume, I explore how memory defines us. This narrative thread is not resolved by the end of the book but will continue into subsequent volumes. Erl’s loss of memory puts a strain on the twins’ relationship and Otta discovers that…

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I would like to share with you my Haiku that appeared on Pure Haiku yesterday under the topic ‘Ocean’.


Wind-whipped white horses
gallop atop the wild waves.
Spume-wraiths pound the shore.
Elizabeth Leaper 2018

Elizabeth Leaper loves words and the sounds they make; she just hasn’t decided on the best way to use them yet!

The imagery these words convey struck a chord with me – I particularly love the last line.
This haiku is part of my OCEAN series.

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How to Make an Old Plot New

Having been out all day with little time left to write something myself I am re-blogging this as it may be of interest to my writer friends.

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

Plots have been recycled ever since stories have been told, reusing themes like sacrificial death, the poor becoming rich, the ugly becoming beautiful, and other archetypes. Even great works like those of Shakespeare or Jane Austen can be traced to other influences, ideas, and concepts, but how do you make an old plot new? How do you avoid making it seem like fanfiction or a warmed-over version of something that’s already been done?

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warm enough
to thaw frost
but not my un-gloved


confetti. Trees
cast their riches.
Nature’s blessings on Autumn

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I love Autumn with its richness of colour. Coming up through France, back to the UK after seven weeks away, I admired the autumn trees and felt sure I would have missed the ones back home. I was thrilled to discover all was not lost, there is still plenty to see, plenty of leaves yet to fall. Golden in the sunlight they seem to fall like confetti.

Are You Invested in Your Book?

I’m back, but not yet ready to write so just thought I would share this with you. Would be writers read and take note, it’s a bleak outlook but sadly holds much truth! The writing is the easiest part. There is no easy way to getting published and selling books.

A Writer's Path

by John Briggs

When you finish writing your book, few people will doubt you’re committed to your writing. You’ve spent months or years putting it on paper, and hopefully poured your heart into every word. If the work is personal enough, you’ve invested a great deal of yourself. If nothing else, you’ve invested your time and talent.

But now that it’s done, are you truly invested in making your book a success?

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Write Your Way To Success in the Literary Industry

Another excellent article for my writer friends.

A Writer's Path

Are you interested in becoming a writer? Well, the bad news is that you’re about to enter an incredibly competitive industry. The good news is that there are ways to make things a little easier for you, ensure that you do stand out and who knows, maybe even get a publisher. The first step is making sure that you pick the right genre and subgenre for your book.

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