Christmas Tess

A Christmas Princess

Tess had a little vacation over Christmas, she stayed in Steamboat Springs. Doesn’t she look cute under the Christmas Tree. Thank you Sandra and Andy Hogrefe for taking care of Princess Tess while Joanna and Christian came to Italy.
We had a lovely time. Can you believe it is over already? It ended with two gorgeous days in Rome, eating, drinking, walking shopping…and wearing our masks as tightly as we could. Omicron isn’t keeping people indoors in Rome, so let’s hope they’re all being careful. We certainly were!

Stay safe everyone.

Aging the Write Way

Growing old

As I went to put the carton of milk in the oven this morning, and the croissants in the fridge to warm, I thought about my mum and laughed. Yes, I’ve become her. I used to make fun of her all of the time for doing these things. When I was in my teens and twenties, I thought I’d be young forever. Little did I know how quickly those years would pass. Old age creeps up quickly. Everyone seems to be younger than me now. I’m not quite sixty yet, but very close.

Nothing can slow down aging, its part of life, but life doesn’t have to slow down because of it. I’ve been writing since I was eleven or twelve. My head is full of stories.  Every single day is an adventure to me. The older I get, the more important, its become to share my adventures. Some will make you laugh, others, well you’ll think I’m crazy. There’s one thing for sure, I’m not going to keep them locked in my brain until I die, I’m aging the write way!


Dead of July is the my first novel. I published it 2013. It took a couple of years to write, and another year to edit and perfect. Give it a try. Its based on real events that happened to me when I was in my early twenties. 

The Occasional Writer!

A retirement to look forward to.

A retirement to look forward to.

I’ve been back at work for two weeks now. At last things are falling into place. I can actually stay awake long enough to be productive in the evening! Finally my occasional writing is happening more often. When I retire (and that’s a long way off) I’ll turn my hobby into a retirement career. My days will be filled with writing and travel….and of course a glass of wine in the late afternoon. My first novel “Dead of July” is currently sitting on Amazon. When it was first published I sold a lot of copies, not enough to make a profit, but enough to encourage me to keep writing. I got some great reviews too. Go check it out, maybe it’s a book you’ll enjoy. It’s never going to be on the best seller list, but I enjoyed writing it and everyone I talked to enjoyed reading it.

Dead of July

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Because I don’t have time for marketing, I’m going to reduce the price to $0.99 for the foreseeable future. Let me entertain you for less than a dollar. If you take the plunge, please write a review on Amazon for me.

Check out my other blog Stop Talking to Me for free reading.



The Last Leaves



I planted these Aspen trees over ten years ago. The were less than twelve inches tall at the time. I remember the day well. My husband was working in Mexico City and I cut through the sprinkler pipe with my spade. Drama, but I worked out how to fix it. Now these trees are taller than my house, and always the last ones to shed their leaves. Aren’t they lovely?

Now, sitting here at my dining room table, looking at my trees, marveling at their growth and longevity, I tell myself. “Keep Writing!” One day, when I’m dead and gone, my Aspen Trees will still grow and maybe I will be remembered for my books. Currently I’m working on the re-launch of my first book, Girl on the Beach. It should be published late this year or early next year. 

Dead of July – Amazon  Dead of July – Smashwords

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Easy like a Sunday Morning!


Trying to breathe deeply, relax and enjoy the view before I bury myself in my book edit.

Celebrating a wonderful daughter

On September 30th 1984, a child was born, in the British Military Hospital of Iserlohn, Germany. My child! That was almost thirty years ago. Today we are having an early celebratory lunch because she will be spending the thirtieth anniversary of her birth in Germany where her husband is currently working. I can’t think of any place better. She may not be in Iserlohn, and the British Military Hospital may not even exist anymore, but it’s still a wonderful place to celebrate.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter!

From this!









To This!

186 JoCh








It’s great being a mum!

Below is a link to a story I wrote about my time in Germany before my daughter was born. I’ve been told its a fun read, it was certainly fun to write.

Dead of July – A German Ghost Story

My Journey through the Week. TGISaturday

crazy-computer-womanDid you ever have a week where every day was worse than the one before? I just did.

I started the week tired after a weekend long fiction writers conference. A great conference, but exhausting none the less. Busy time at work with a large deal closing. I’m also remodelling my bathroom, which meant running around in my lunch times, as well as after work to choose and match tile, granite, cabinets etc. I’m not quite as young as I used to be, and it’s catching up with me. Yesterday I could barely get out of bed, but it was Friday, I made it.

At last the weekend is here, all be it crammed full with things that have to get done, but I can do them in MY OWN TIME. Who knows, I may even find time to write.


My work week was a little wild

I made it though to my surprise

The weekends here and I’m alive

For now anyway!

Check out my first novel Dead of July – a German Ghost Story

Maybe I’ll find time today to work on my second one.

Stop Talking to Me

Speeding up the Tale!



The older I get, the more urgent everything becomes. My passion (as well as travelling), is writing. The first book I published was a short story called ‘Girl on the Beach’. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. The genre was a little mixed, but I had a lot to learn….I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting there.

A couple of months ago I decided to re-write ‘Girl On The Beach’ and then re-launch it as a Young Adult book. Since making this decision, I’ve had visitors from England, a wedding and a very busy summer. In two days I’m attending a fiction writers conference and would love to share my book with some of the attendees, who knows, I may even get discovered……or maybe not.

I have ten pages to re-write! I can do it. Yes this blog is all about Travel Tales and Mishaps…..I’m simply speeding up the tale. Keep checking in, who knows, I may be a success story. I’d love you to join the celebration.

Dead of July, my first full length novel, is available on amazon. Check it out, read the reviews, support a hardworking old bird who is trying to live her dreams.


Market my girl Market

I love photography, cooking, wine, traveling and writing and try to do them all as much as I can. To take photographs you need a decent camera, I have one. To cook, you need a stove/grill/hob/pans and a flair for food. I have all of those. To enjoy wine…..well that one’s easy. Traveling requires time and money. I juggle them both. Writing is easy, its my passion, and what I love, but my friends tell me that my novel is my best kept secret…..I try.

Dead of July is my first full length novel and is available on Amazon. I’m proud of it! So far my readers have enjoyed it, I have the reviews to prove it. The Kindle version is currently on sale for $1.99 so buy it, read it, and tell your friends. Maybe you will be better at  marketing than I am. Dead of July_Cover_in-template

Hey Ho Hey Ho and Back to Work I GO!!!! (Unwillingly)

On June 20th I picked up my first visitors from Denver International Airport. We had a lot of catching up to do, and sat out on the deck until well after dark drinking champagne and beer (yes the guys preferred beer). It was lovely! On June 21st, same flight different day and more visitors. Cocktails and appetizers at a local watering hole occurred once they had checked into their hotel. For the last two weeks, evenings were spent partying, with a wedding somewhere in between. Now, two weeks later I’m on my own again, looking down at what was once a flat stomach……oh well, a couple of weeks of sensible eating and exercise will fix that (I hope!). Now on the eve of my first day back to work, I pause to think. Can I make my living writing? It would be my dream career, but easier said than done. Do I take the risk and devote eight hours a day to it? Not sure I’m ready for that, so I unwillingly prepare for my first day back at work. I like my job, but I like writing better… day!

Bride and grooms dudes

The Bride and a couple of the wedding party.

Take a look at my first novel Dead of July and if you like the look of it, purchase a copy and help me leave day job to write full-time.

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