Friday, 28 April 2017


It's strange  how things happen really. How Serendipity that little muse pokes her head into your life now and then.

In a blizzard of day to day chores of cooking, car insurance and book research she popped in yesterday to say hello in the strangest way possible. My dear hubby is doing my book cover design for 1955 and came across some photos taken by a photographer who wanted to document London in 1955, he sent them to me, and this one surprised me.
Trafalgar Square, London, 5 November 1955 Because I am the little girl standing with my mum in the middle of the pigeons, you can just see my coat, sticking out from behind my mum's cream coat. To the left my Dad and Auntie Flossie and Uncle Ted are buying birdseed from the man in the white coat.

I remember that day very well, we walked back home and my feet really hurt but I wanted to be a 'big girl' and not get carried. Carol my sister was about 14 months old and was at home with 'Nanny Cooper' our grandmother. I was four I think. One of the things I remember about that day was a woman who had a pigeon fly into her face because it had been scared. Her face was black with soot and she was shrieking and wiping her face with a hankie.

Serendipity has struck twice in my life. The first time was with my first husband, when we were dating I showed him picture of me as a little girl on holiday on the Isle of Wight. Behind me and my sandcastle was another family with a little boy. My first husband's family, and he was the little boy!

Serendipity means happy accident.  I think it's also a gift, it reminds us how we are all connected whether we think we are or not.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Easter Hols...

We spent the whole of the four days working on the house, we decorated the whole place after giving it a good Spring clean. Each night we went to bed exhausted! We didn't watch tv much or use our phones or computers. We scrubbed and washed down, painted, scraped, re-organised and moved things around and the changed colours in the house. Washed the windows, put in plumbing, took delivery of our all singing and dancing eco bubble washing machine.  It really does sing!  some charming little tinkly songs to let us know what it's up to - brilliant. We washed all the curtains, rugs, cushion covers,caravan bedding & stored blankets, I'm surprised it didn't moan at us!  But it sung away nicely in the newly refurbished utility room.

We worked from dawn till dusk, we only had four days and we needed to get it finished. 

I am sitting in my lovely fresh relaxing pale cream and pale blue lounge, the kitchen paintwork is now terracotta to match the marble tiles behind the range cooker, (it was a trendy warehouse grey before), really brightens up the room. Looks homey now.

The bedroom is white,blue and teal, - all seasidey - the pictures are now of Cornwall, so I now have my little bit of Cornwall in my Cotswold home.

It's a bit of a fresh start.   Always good at Easter.

Usually Easters are spent at Basing House with the Sealed Knot, then followed by a week in Lyme Regis.  But we have been putting off working on the house, going out Knotting and visiting grand houses, picnics and walks, visiting friends.  Anything but getting down to work on the house. I don't know why we put it off, it was hard work ( I can't move today I'm so tired), but it makes me smile when I go into any of the rooms and think we did that!

I have just heard the post and my first paperback "cosy crime" novel The Hilary Long Compilation has dropped on the mat. I am in print AGAIN!  Brilliant!  Just have to get up and get it - oh that hurts - I have aches in places where I didn't know I had places!


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Well, what do you know?

About me that is. 

Sketchy, I suppose unless you know me personally. Even then I don't give much away. I've only recently learned to boast and sell myself!  

My mother always told me,1) don't tell anyone about yourself, 2) don't trust anyone, 3) be polite and open doors for people,4) be a good kind person, 5) don't go with strangers. 6) do not have sex until you are married. 7) Dress smartly, look respectable.

1) I blog, sorry Mum, wherever you are now.
(she died at the age of 46 from anorexia).

I tell people what I do, can do, have done, will do.  
With regard to my writing - I have written since I was fourteen, my first short story was published in the teen mag Jackie. In my twenties I took a Writing for Pleasure and Profit course. I wrote articles/short stories for Woman, BBC's Ariel Magazine, and poems and recipes for inclusion in various mags and papers. I attended the BBC's Script to Screen Writing Course, and the BBC Creative Writing Course. After that I was published on-line for the first time on the BBC's brand new BBC Website contributing an article on their "Sense of Place" page.  I have always written, diaries, day books, to do lists. Currently, I have just finished writing '1955' a detective novel set in Scotland Yard. Out on Amazon soon.This is in addition to my other nine books already on my author page. My Hilary Long Compilation of Mysteries will be out in paperback after being proof read - so not long now.

In the 1980s I won a BAFTA for my camerawork at the BBC. I am still a pretty good photographer. 

I can make authentic looking 17th Century clothes, I can make most sorts of clothes, I'm working on a Jane Austen dress at the moment.

I'm a great cook, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st Century - as long as it's not fish - I'm very allergic - I can do most things - and later this year hope to have a 17th Century Cookbook out.

I also paint and draw, having had a painting given a "second pass" at the BP Portrait awards in 2015, which made me very proud.

2) Don't trust anyone.  I really should have listened to my Mum over this one. An actress friend I had known for years suddenly turned into a vicious stalker. The police got involved because she spread rumours about me that could have lost me my job, and my husband his job. She caused a rift between me and my son by telling him I only wanted to go to his wedding to stop it. That rift still exists. She followed me into my hobby The Sealed Knot and 
destroyed my reputation there. I still don't know what she said about me, but friends I had known for years crossed the road to avoid me.  It has taken me five years to recover. The woman police officer called it "mind rape." That's certainly what it felt like. I still don't know why anyone believed her rubbish.

3)Yes, I do Mum. I am polite when required, and never let a swing door shut on anyone.

4) Be a good kind person.  Anyone who is a friend knows I will help where I can. Hospital visits, in the past lending money when I had it, (stopped that now as no-one has ever paid me back!) Having get togethers and parties in lovely places to have fun with my friends, raising money for charity, I've raised thousands over the years. Volunteering my time to answer phones for Children in Need, and baking cakes to sell for Movember (a man's prostate charity). Supporting the Salvation Army and the Blue Cross and the Cat's Protection League. I can and do help, and try to be a good kind person.

5) Don't go with strangers.  This has saved my life on more than one occasion!  I was walking home from work when a man pulled up in an expensive car and shouted at me
"Get in the car!"  I kept walking, he followed me in the car, "Didn't you hear what I said?
"Get in the car."  Me: Plenty of swearing at him, then walking towards a beat copper coming towards me - phew that was lucky!  The man sped off.

6)Do not have sex until you are married. Mum was a Catholic, sex was a sin to her. Even sex after marriage, I think!  So I was inexperienced, and had to buy the best seller 1970s book The Joy of Sex. I was worried that my new husband didn't have a bushy beard like the illustrations!  Still I sorted it out - as you do.

7)Dress smartly, look respectable. I can do this sometimes, but I prefer to have a big choice.
When I was fourteen to sixteen, I was a Mod and a Rocker, depending who I was going out with at the time. Then I became a hippy, I loved the flowing dresses and the flared jeans with flowers painted on them, the long hair. Loved it all. When I was a camerawoman, lived in jeans and bowling shirts in the summer and jeans and jumpers in the winter, crawling over floors and hiking up pups,redheads and blondes (lights) on the rigging didn't exactly require smart clothes. Now I wear what I like, be it; Goth, Hippy, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th,20/21st century.

If you read all that you'll know me a bit better now. I keep busy. I'm not a stand still type of person - so now I'm off for Easter.  Have a lovely Holiday everyone. Speak later.xx


Thursday, 6 April 2017

What if?

Today I had a massive asthma attack, good old Spring!  Hayfever had started a few days ago, runny eyes, blocked nose - you get the picture.

Today I couldn't breathe. My nose was blocked, I struggled for breath, started to feel dizzy, ran and got my inhaler, took two puffs - no difference. Panic set in.  We have a Doctor's office about 5 minutes away from my house.  But no Doctors, the office was open, and luckily a nurse was taking her surgery. I raced round in the car gasping for breath, and avoiding delivery vans blocking the road by driving on the pavement.

The nurse was really efficient and calm, which was more than I was!10 inhaler puffs later, shaking like a leaf from the adrenalin, and with a massive headache, I was feeling better. I sat for about an hour in the office.  I have to go back to the Doctor's surgery tonight, it's about 12 miles away, just to see what caused it.

What if there had been no-one at our village Doctors?  What would I have done? I can't drive down country lanes feeling as if I was going to faint at any moment.

Our village has grown by 500 houses, that's more children for the tiny school and more people for the Doctors.

But the doctors are cutting back, there are no new Doctors coming out of medical school who want to be GPs. Our practice can't even get locums to cover holiday leave for our Drs.

Soon our local hospital will close and the nearest A&E will be an hour away in the centre of Oxford.  With my allergies and the need for immediate treatment I wont live long enough to get there.  I'm not the only one in the village with health problems like this.

There is no more money for the NHS despite promises made during  BREXIT. It just isn't there.  My life was saved two years ago during an anaphalaxsis by a lovely Polish doctor.
The health service will be severely undermined if European health professionals have to go back to Europe.

What is the matter with people? We are all human beings, if we all pull in the same direction we will get where we are going faster.

I can't watch the News. It is the Despair Squid - (from Red Dwarf) of News.    
Image result for red dwarf despair squid

But I want to live be healthy and contribute to this world,and I want people to stop being such arses to each other - lets live on this little blue planet and have fantastic times while we still can - for some of us it may not be that long.


Monday, 3 April 2017

It's been a bit of a Parson's egg - good in parts!

Spent last week getting ready for the King's Guard Big Bash, training for the coming Sealed Knot season and a big banquet party afterwards with authentic music from a live band - which I love.

I made a dress for the event in two and a half days.It would have been sooner but for the cat incident, apparently a half sewn silk banquet dress is a lovely nest for a soaking wet muddy cat straight out of the garden!  Obviously being a cat, he had to break into the room it was in, to get it ruined, where's the fun in sitting on a nice warm cat bed in the lounge?

I washed it, it being silk it shredded to pieces, so I had to re-make it. The silk fell apart under the sewing machine's needle, so I hand sewed the difficult bits. Five hours on the Friday to get it done. Once I start something I have to finish it. I'm a bit OCD in that respect.

Happy, I was almost finished, just the tabs and ribbons to put on - so I stopped at midnight aiming to finish it when I got to the caravan site.

Woke up with fingers like fat sausages! Okay, I overdid the hand sewing.  I was going to be sleeping in a spring field in my caravan, so I took my new antihistamine.  My ankles had swollen up like little balloons - great - only I, could have an allergic re-action to an anti-histamine.

I had spent part of the time making Kofta meatballs for the party. They shrank to tiny little ball shapes. I was beginning to think I was having an Alice in Wonderland moment, with things shrinking and growing all over the place.  Apparently they tasted good, my husband ate three!  Before we set off for the party I realised that ten tiny Koftas were not enough of a contribution to the party, so went to my local butchers and bought 10 large sausage rolls that he'd made that morning and cut them in half to make 20 medium sausage rolls. Growing and shrinking again!

We got to the training in good time, but I couldn't do musket training as my ankles hurt too much. So I sat with my feet up finishing my sewing, while hubby went for drill.  His musket wouldn't fire - there was a fault with the mechanism, so he had to give his gunpowder back.

The party was a big success, I squeezed my big banana feet into my dancing latchets, put on my newly made dress, put the sausage rolls and koftas in the fridge and it was all fine.
I took half a pint of Bailey's Irish Cream in an authentic mug, thinking I'm going to hurt tomorrow, lets make it worthwhile!
Image may contain: 3 people, people standingOn the left is my friend Jenni and I'm on the right in my newly finished dress clutching an authentic mug of Baileys.

Life was fine, we were having fun, got the caravan back into storage, and were just setting off for home when the power steering on the car went!

So it was an up and down weekend, but parts of it were lovely!