Just throwing in a mention that four of my novels are FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow! Simply click on the book-covers for more info. Here’s a clue to help you: one of the free books was co-authored by my dog (who has his own Blog). In fact, Sam needed very little input from me!

Touching on the subject of the protest march through Totnes last Tuesday:  it didn’t achieve the desired result. When the Traffic Committee met on Friday, they voted to keep the existing traffic system pending a further review in 2016. A pity in some respects, except that many people feel the traffic flow is best kept as it is – especially those with concerns about preserving our beautiful medieval buildings, which were coming under intense pressure when cars used the through-traffic facility as a short-cut and, often, a rat-run!

Exeter Cathedral

My afternoon in Exeter, between train journeys through Dawlish on Thursday, was great. It was sunny for a change and people were making the most of the sunshine, relaxing in the cathedral grounds or having tea nearby.

I had a Latte at the Boston Tea Party. I adore their coffees – and all their food, which is ethically sourced and affordable. They are focused mainly in the South West, which their owner describes as their spiritual home, but have recently opened up in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Sometimes, en route to visit my youngest daughter in Dorset, I call in for a coffee and snack at their Honiton shop. It never disappoints!

Tea in Exeter

Have a great Sunday!



Dawlish station

Yesterday, on a journey to Exeter, I took this picture from a moving train. You might be wondering why I’d be so keen to take a picture of Dawlish Railway Station. Well, it was because of the terrible weather back in January/February that had a devastating effect on the railway line at Dawlish (and on neighboring homes).

Here’s David Christian’s incredible video:  – and one from the DAILY TELEGRAPH showing the rail-track floating in mid-air as a result of the storms.

A promise was kept (against all odds) to repair the near-catastrophic damage and have trains back on the track in time for the Easter holidays. So it was great to take this scenic journey yesterday and see all the repairs in place! Here’s another picture, this time showing the renewed sea wall on the Exeter side of Dawlish Station:

Repaired railway Dawlish




Jonathan Dimbleby leads protest march

We had TV presenter Jonathan Dimbleby in Totnes on Tuesday, leading a protest march about the adverse effects on trade of the Experimental Traffic Order enforced a year or so ago. About 300 protesters turned out in opposition of the current one-way traffic system through the town centre, which they claim is responsible for a rise in traffic accidents as well as the closure of several businesses.

The Totnes Traders Action Group organised the event after a study found that about 50% of businesses had suffered a drop in trade since the reverse system was introduced. And 74% of shopkeepers said they don’t like the system.

Well, campaigners have now called on local politicians to support an immediate overhaul of the traffic order tomorrow, when the South Hams Highways & Traffic Order Committee meets to decide whether or not to keep the ETO in place till 2016.

Apparently the town council would like it changed, but the officers due to make the decision don’t live in Totnes! Let’s hope that Jonathan Dimbleby and his fellow protesters win through in the end.




Vintage Tea Rooms

At least the Vintage Tea Rooms in Totnes are staying put, as far as I know! A great place to go for tea, cake and a whole variety of treats, as well as beautiful pictures for your walls and other temptations. But I’m more a coffee person, so now and then will be telling of my favourite coffee shops. There are several here – and not so long ago Totnes won a battle to stop the arrival of Costa Coffee.


Vintage Living

Sad to say that Vintage Living, one of my favourite Totnes shops, is leaving the High Street at the end of April and trading in future from their warehouse on the industrial estate – oh, and online too, of course! I’ll really miss seeing them on my daily walks. Stolen From Susie, the handbag shop, will be moving into the premises. More on that anon …


UKs first cats cafe, Totnes

Just when you think you’ve seen everything Totnes has to offer, up pops the Totnes Cat’s Cafe! It has actually been around for a few months now, but I’ve been too tied up with other things to comment. I haven’t yet been in for a cup of coffee coupled with some feline therapy, but plenty of people have and the cafe seems to be a very successful enterprise already. Here’s some info about it, as displayed in their window:

Feline Therapy Lounge

And here’s the front of the cafe, so that you’ll be sure to recognise it when in Totnes:

Well, it had to happen!

Well, it had to happen!

Personally, I’m more into dogs than cats – as demonstrated via my new novel ‘Sam’s Story: It’s A Dog’s Life’ on Amazon. If you’re interested, this is where to CLICK!