Wednesday 22 July 2015


I was in the ladies changing rooms at Total Fitness this morning getting ready for my swim and one of the women said, ‘So how are you?’

‘Fine,’ I said, ‘Finished my manuscript and sent it off to my agent.’

‘How many is this now?’ she asked.

I had to think. Was it 35 or 36 books I’d had published? So this one must be number thirty-seven. I found it hard to believe that I could have written at least a million words over the years.

‘So what will you be doing today?’ She wanted to know.

‘I must do my blog and then I’ve got to start getting stuff ready for the new website my middle son Tim is going to design for me. The one I have now hasn’t been brought up to date for over a year as my youngest son Daniel who designed and looked after it for me is still on his travels somewhere and as we haven’t heard from him we can’t get into it.

Big Mistake was not asking him for a password!

Anyway, back to the changing rooms. I was telling the women how the draft I had sent off was my fourth and one commented on the spelling mistake she had found in a book.

I said, ‘Some mistakes slip through. In my case this happens despite reading back every day what I’ve written the day previously before continuing with the story. Then it gets read right through again. Then my agent will go through the ms more than once, then I’ll go through it once more, taking note of her comments, then my editor at the publisher’s will read it and I will go through her comments, then it will be printed and we’ll both go through every page checking for mistakes, note any printer’s errors and then go through the final copy as it will appear in book form. By then one would think any errors would have been spotted but as we all know that aint necessarily so.

Take my last blog for instance. I was reading it through this morning to remind myself of what I had written and there at the very bottom I had made a glaring error. I can only apologise to Bob Stone and Holly Bushnell of WRITE BLEND, book and coffee shop on South Rd, Waterloo, for typing WRITE BREND. I have to confess I was in a hurry to get the blog out there and as an old song goes We All Make Mistakes When We Hurry. Or should that be Worry?

Can scarcely believe it’s just over a month since I wrote that blog and so have been wracking my brains to come up with what to entertain readers of my blog this time.

The first idea that struck me was not the above (which I’m now wondering might have been a mistake) but something my husband read out of the Liverpool Echo to me. Apparently the River Mersey is now so clean that you can eat the edible fish you catch in its waters.

This reminded me of the times I’ve described the Mersey as being khaki coloured. I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers when it was a dirty oily greeny shade of blue. Although having said that many a crab survived in the rock pools washed by the tide at New Brighton and the same could be said of the jellyfish that could be seen on both sides of the river.

I confess to missing the sight of the old liners, tugs, cargo ships, dredgers and the New Brighton ferries that used to crowd the Mersey. Container ships and these huge cruise ships just don’t have the same magic in my eyes. Although, no doubt, my mariner ancestors probably had mixed feelings about the passing of the old sailing ships and the arrival of the steamer. Life before the Mast in Victorian times was no fun.

But at least every now and again there is a week when the modern tall ships arrive and there is something beautiful about a ship in full sail.

I can recall when the Liver building was blackened with the smoke from thousands of chimneys. When in winter the smog was so bad, you really couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. In a way it was thanks to the deadly Great Smog in London in the fifties which killed hundreds, that the Clean Air Act was passed.

Over the years some buildings which should have had just a face lift were demolished in Liverpool. ‘Whatta mistaka to maka’ as the Italian captain used to say in “Hello, Hello!”. But there were other buildings, such as St George’s Hall and the India, Liver and Cunard buildings that were given a good scrub and power wash to emerge from beneath the scaffolding and plastic covers to look as good as the day they were built and now give pleasure to thousands, if not millions, of visitors.

I am reminded of these things because of the manuscript I have just sent off called MANY A TEAR HAS TO FALL which was a hit for Cliff Richard in the sixties and before then it was a hit for Tommy Edwards, known as the silky-voiced crooner, in 1958. My story features characters, who like all of us, make mistakes but come through in the end.
        P.S. Must add that this Friday at 7.30pm I'll be going with John and Iain to Write Blend to A Midnight Nightmare to listen to the horror writer, Ramsey Campbell. Already I can feel a shiver down my spine.