My paintings

Here are a couple of my paintings, this is the kind of thing I do but it takes me a long time. ??I also paint or draw houses. ??My favourite pictures are those which contain some suggestion of movement, I enjoy the challenge of capturing a moment or something difficult like moving water. ??I also like images which take an unusual angle or there the framing is a little unusual.


Writing Club for 10 Year Olds

I have been having a great time with a writing club that I have set up with support from my sons school. ??Like a lot of his friends Eric had developed a great love of reading but was finding it hard to generate any enthusiasm about writing. ??I wondered if this was anything to do with the fact that we often enjoyed sharing books together but the writing we did together was limited to his homework and this was regularly an ordeal. ??This meant he often saw the adults around him enjoying books but not writing. ??

The problem was that 10 year old children see through any attempt to make anything good for them appealing and are more interested in doing things with their friends than their Mums. ??So I asked the school if I could set up a club for the reluctant writers in his class and their families, the idea was to give them a boost of enthusiasm before they go in to their last year of primary school.

The key elements were: that activities focus on having fun rather than writing; that adults carry out the tasks alongside their children; that short activities are carried out at home and that all writing is done to help each person remember their best ideas which we then share, rather than the writing itself. ??

The most fun way to do this has been role play, we have been spies, top chefs,??palaeontologists, explorers and next week we will be superheroes with unlikely alter-egos. ??I can’t wait to find out what ideas they have come up with, I have been so impressed with how enthusiastic and creative the children and their parents have been. ??I can really recommend doing something like this at your school and I’m pleased to report that not only have we had great fun but Eric tells me he is enjoying writing at the moment. ??This may not be due to the Writing Club but it certainly hasn’t done any harm.

Mootated Milk Biscuit

This is my only previous mark in cyberspace, a giant malted milk biscuit that I made with friends for the Pimp That Snack website. ??I was interviewed by a tabloid journalist about this project, who later phoned me to ask if I would like to make an attempt at the worlds largest mince pie. ??Sadly the world record currently stands at much larger than would be possible in a domestic oven. ??He then rather desperately ask me to ring him if I was planning on doing anything else interesting. ??It must have been a slow news week even for those papers who don’t need news to waste page space – I did not keep his number.


Wedding Buns

A selection of the wedding buns made for my sisters wedding in lieu of a wedding cake. ??They were almond buns (good for keeping fresh), each one individually stuffed with marzipan mixed with orange??liqueur and orange zest. ??If you are thinking of doing anything like this allow much more time than you think and have extra hands on deck. ??I am still thankful for the emergency help supplied by my sister Laura and brother-in-law Robert. ??We made over 100, some extra in case of accidents.




We used a hair drier to speed drying out the icing cement which fixed the flowers on and later collapsed on the grass with cups of tea. ??



Made my families own houses and the church my sister was married in for Christmas presents one year. ??It was my last year as a full-time Mum (I returned to the world of work the following February) so the conditions were ripe for such a??ridiculous endeavour (the kids were old enough to give me the time I needed and we didn’t have any money). ??If you are thinking of doing anything like this it would be worth noting that you need really good photos of your proposed building, start with a cardboard model, doing more than one is madness and while you can make the gingerbread in advance the sticking together has to be done the night before you are presenting it. ??I would not recommend attempting a building with the roof at different levels, at least not without thinking carefully about internal support.