Style of the Season


A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook this morning and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I sat down with my coffee and let the memories come flooding back. I owned the dress with the bow on the waist, and actually described it in my book Ghosts on the Sand
My mum didn’t buy the dress, but made it for me. It was in this exact same color. Of course it didn’t look quite like this on me, I was five years old, and wore it to present a bouquet to a very important lady. The occasion was the Grand Opening of a village hall in a small village in County Durham where I lived.
Curiosity made me google the Village Hall, which was built in the early sixties, and I’m happy to say it still stands.
I wonder if anyone remembers the little girl in the yellow dress?

Dipping in the Frying Pan


In 1962 I lived with my mum in a small farm cottage in Summerhouse, county Durham. We were poor. The cottage came with the job, along with a meagre wage. Bacon was a luxury, and usually given to us by the farm mum worked for. End pieces that didn’t sell! It was delicious. Mum made it last. When the bacon was gone, she’d save the fat and many days I went to school after a breakfast of stale bread dipped into bacon fat. I didn’t complain, I LOVED it.
When I cook bacon now, I look at the fat left in the pan, and remember.
Mum, wish you were still here!

My Addiction to Travel – Piercebridge

PiercebridgeCottagesMy addiction to travel surfaced when I was ten years old, it would hit me in about March. I’d get itchy feet. You can’t go far when you’re ten, but I’d take off on my bike, usually on my own, and have a little adventure. I’d visit villages I’d never been to, or just pack my lunch and enjoy the countryside. I lived in a picturesque little village in Northern England called Summerhouse. It was safe to be on your own back in 1967.


My first solo trip found me in Piercebridge and brings back happy memories. It was quite a ride! I should go back and visit, see how things have changed, but its a long way from Colorado, and this is where I ended up. The travel bug was a family affair!



Colorado – It never lets me down

I was born and raised in England and lived in Shildon and Summerhouse, county Durham before moving to Brompton on Swale, North Yorkshire. I got married to a British Soldier and moved to Blandford, Dorset before spending a couple of years in Germany. Worthy Down, Hampshire and Chatham, Kent came next. All of these locations were great places to live, surrounded by beautiful countryside, but nowhere compared with Colorado. It never lets me down.










Good Morning Colorado!

My surroundings help me write, my new novel ‘Dead of July’ is now available on Amazon and can be purchased by clicking on the book cover below.

Dead of July_Cover_in-template

The Glory of England

My Childhood Home

My Childhood Home

My mum worked here as a housekeeper.

My mum worked here as a housekeeper.

Many long happy days were spent on the farm

Many long happy days were spent on the farm

Easby Abbey - Richmond In 1977 I was married here.

Easby Abbey – North Yorkshire. In 1977 I was married here.

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle

Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Richmond, North Yorkshire.


Preview Dead of July

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Before I publish my book ‘Dead of July’, I am taking a trip down memory lane and remembering what made me the person I am today. My Childhood was spent in the North of England. When I visited my old haunts a couple of years ago, I realized just how beautiful it was, and how lucky I was to have started my life there. Over the next month or so, I am going to share more images of my past. I hope you enjoy them.

Sandra Thompson interview.mp4

Dead of July (Small)

















I love to eat and I love to travel so I thought it would be nice to share both with you. I was born in County Durham, in the north of England. My first recipe is a favorite there. It was always on the menu in traditional pubs too. ‘The George’ in Piercebridge’ is a lovely example of an English country pub. 

Toad in the Hole


  • 1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 scant teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb of bangers (an English sausage made with pork and breadcrumbs), or good quality pork or beef sausage links (in casings)


1 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour with the salt and a pinch of pepper. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in the eggs, milk, and melted butter into the well and whisk into the flour until smooth. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.

2 Coat the bottom and sides of an 8×12 or 9×9 casserole dish with vegetable oil. Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Put the empty dish on the rack. Preheat the oven with the dish in it to 425°F.

3 While the oven is coming to temperature, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high. Add the sausages and brown both sides.

4 When the sausages have browned, and the dish in the oven hot, pull the oven rack out a bit, put the sausages in the casserole dish, and pour the batter over the sausages. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the batter is risen and golden.

Serve at once.


This looks very ordinary, but tastes spectacular. Goes well with a glass of stout.







I love living in Colorado, and would never move back to England, but I do miss the traditional English food. It really is better than it’s reputation.

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North Yorkshire – County Durham – London – Colorado

Here I am back in Colorado. I have been up since before five o clock because there are always so many things to do when you get back from a two-week vacation.

I wanted to share one or two more photographs with you before I call my vacation ‘officially over’. As I sit here and look at my digital photo display, I realize how green England is, and how beautiful. I am not saying I would like to move back there, we all know I love my home in Colorado, but it is nice to see all of the greenery.

Richmond Castle

This was at the beginning of our vacation, we walked around Richmond Castle. Richmond is a cobbled market town and was the closest town to Brompton-on-Swale, the village in which I was raised.

The castle ruins

The castle is mostly in ruins, although the ‘Keep’ is still there. We climbed to the top and took beautiful photos of the countryside.

Lovely views.

We took lots of photos from Richmond Castle. Joanna enjoyed it there immensely. This is where she bought a real sword for her boyfriend. It worried me how we would get it back on the plane with all the security there is now, but we checked it and told them what it was. We got a strange look, but no problems!

We visited Summerhouse, where I was raised.

My mum was a 'housekeeper' for this farm.

I have mentioned this farm-house several times in my story ‘Girl on the Beach’, it is where my mum was a housekeeper. The Hodgson’s were a nice family and treated both my mum and me very well.


The Raby Hunt Pub

The ‘Raby Hunt’ Restaurant used to be a small pub. We tried to get lunch there, but unfortunately they were getting ready for a special event and were closed.

My house

It brought memories flooding back to see the house I grew up in. I loved the garden and the surrounding fields. Not much has changed over the past forty plus years!

After a week in the North Country, we drove down to London, where we visited old friends and walked the city. It was a very exhausting vacation!

Some things never change

London Bridge has a nice new coat of paint, but other than that, it hasn’t changed much.

New buildings on the Thames

The buildings to the right took me by surprise, they certainly weren’t there when we left in 1995. They are modern, but beautiful buildings.


The waterfront is now a modern, bustling ‘upbeat’ area with waterfront bars and old buildings revamped and made into modern lofts.

In many ways London has improved, but I did notice that not many people who served me at restaurants and bars, spoke English. Not a bad thing, but a little different from when I left.

Summerhouse and Ice Cream

Missed the lambs and sheep

Terrible wifi signal today, but I will try!

We took a ride to Summerhouse today, which is where I lived from around 1962 until 1967. Lovely little village. Nothing has changed much and unfortunately the farms are doing badly, a couple are no longer there and the buildings are in total disrepair.

The house I lived in is still there, along with the swing on the big old Chestnut tree in the middle of the village green. The Raby Hunt Inn is now a fancy restaurant, but it was closed.

After Summerhouse we went to Butterknowle and drove past where my Grandma used to live. We also passed the house my evil cousin lived in. The least said about that the better.

On my brother’s advice we stopped on the way back at Archer’s Farm. It was the best part of the day so far. I had the most delicious ice-cream I have ever eaten….(seriously), made from Jersey cream. It really was wonderful. Lester also tried the home-made soup. Just delicious. Joanna went off to Newcastle with her cousin (my nephew) Will and isn’t back  yet so I know she is having fun.

Tonight is our family meal at the Indian Restaurant. Do you get the feeling I may be on a diet when I get back?

I am having no luck with this wifi, can’t upload anymore photos so I will do it tomorrow from the hotel where I may have  a better signal. BT (British Telecom) are as bad as ever. (Its their wifi)


Traveling to learn

Quick post before I leave for the day to my AuthorU event. Looking forward to mixing, networking and learning.

Not traveling far, just a short trip to Aurora Colorado to an event arranged by the very successful Book Shepherd’s.

Also hoping to get a review on my two Novella’s.

My first novella is set in Brompton on Swale, North Yorkshire, England. I moved from Brompton in 1977, when I married my Husband.

My second Novella (below) started in Blackpool in Lancasire and ended in County Durham, where I lived as a child. Now I live in Colorado so travel has always been a big part of my life. You can download ‘Girl on the Beach’ free from  Girl on the Beach (free) Smashwords

Both books can be purchased from Words from beyond or from the links below.