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Au Revoir

If I write any blogposts it will be on my website Au Revoir!  
Recent posts

Rose Cleary - How to be a French Girl

  I interviewed Rose Cleary on 30th March 2021 in what was still the lockdown periods. I chose to do podcasts at the time to widen my narrowing world. Rose Cleary has her debut novel out now called  How to be a French Girl . Rose Cleary, born 1990, is an author and writer from Essex. Her writing has been previously published in the New Socialist, The Southend's Twilight Worlds, Hyperallergic and TOMA. She has exhibited her art internationally at galleries including Nahmad Projects and The Vaults in London, and Backlit Gallery in Nottingham. How to be a French Girl is her debut novel. You can follow her on Instagram and visit her website   3:AM Magazine has printed an extract from the book here . Read a post by Rose on the London Review Book Shop where she talks about the process of writing the book   here .

Galleywood Historical Society 'Past Times' No 82 Sept 2023 (Note forthcoming talks on page 4)

This may be of interest to people living quite local to Galleywood too.  

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

I've got lots of news to shout about. 1. Just one day to my talk at Keene Hall, Watchouse Road, Galleywood. The talk will commence at 8.00pm, please arrive about 7:45 if you plan to go. Fun fact! I was actually born seventeen years to the day after Basildon New Town came into existence. Basildon New Town was born on (so to speak) 4 January 1949 and I was born on 4 January 1966. Don't you think that is odd?! A bit spooky! 2. A lot is happening behind the scenes towards Basildon Writers' Group's second anthology. Very exciting! But it's not my place to say more, except that I have a story in said book. 3. My musical son has a lovely voice, just thought I'd get that in there! I recently thought of when I was in the community play for Basildon in 1989 called  Beorhtel's Hill,  that was thirty-four years ago now! That is history, relatively speaking. I sent some photos to the  Basildon Heritage Group  for their archives. Photographs from behind the scenes and the

You are invited to....

 The talk will actually start at 8pm, you can pay at the door so be sure to get there a bit earlier.


  Bas-Arts-Index is, as they say on their website, a home for Basildon's creatives to connect and collaborate.  Having been a member for some time I decided to ask them some questions, with the aim in mind to expose to the general public and anyone who is interested in the local arts, all the good that the Index do and how they help give exposure to their members, amongst other things. They are Basildon's first interdisciplinary, artist-led directory/network.  With the mission to provide an online space for Basildon's creative individuals, groups and organisations who are either born, living, working in or making work about the Basildon Borough.  Their hope is to connect local creatives which in turn will generate activity, collaboration and to help support a cohesive arts ecology. There are currently six Bas-Arts-Index members in the working party.  This consists of Ben Stewart, Anthony Marriage, Laura Whiting, Aaron Shrimpton, Maxine Newell and Shaun Badham. The members w

Galleywood Historical Society are really impressing me!

Imagine my surprise when I was looking through the July/August edition of the Village Emporium and on page 8 I find Galleywood Historical Society's advert for my forthcoming talk about Basildon Through Time and Lost Basildon for Wednesday 13th September.  The date had been fixed but I had no idea of the extent of their advertising.  Then, yesterday, I was working at Chelmsford Library and in a quiet moment I decided to take a look at their community adverts and I see a poster by the historical society advertising my talk!  Wow!  How lovely!  How industrious and hard-working! I'm very impressed with the Galleywood Historical Society and will do my very best to put on a good show. A reminder: - The talk is to be held on Wednesday 13th September at Keene Hall, Galleywood Historical Society, The Common, Galleywood, Chelmsford. CM2 8TR It starts at 8pm and are people are asked to arrive about 7:45.

Future Talks

I have committed to doing two talks in September about my books Basildon Through Time  and Lost Basildon. For the Galleywood Historical Society on Wednesday 13th September at 8pm (I believe it's advised to arrive 7:45 for 8pm start) Keene Hall, Galleywood Heritage Centre, The Common, Galleywood, Chelmsford. CM2 8TR The talk is free to members, guests are welcome at £3 per person. For more information email And also.... at Billericay Library for the general public on Saturday 30th September (time tba) 143 High Street, Billericay. CM12 9AB More information to be supplied at a later date.

The Radion Project Launch

I have just updated the blog on my author website and have realised that I keep choosing the same dress when I'm metaphorically wearing my author hat .  Note to self, wear a different dress next time! It was the Radion launch today, particularly for the lenticular screen, very recently the audio tour had been added which you access by scanning a QR code.  More info can be found at .   The Mayor was there, plus a few of us who had chosen buildings on one side of the lenticular screen and talked about those buildings on the audio tour .  Also, the schools were visiting, many schools in the area had done projects to do with nature in the area and had made leaf rubbings.  You can find out about that particular part of the project here .  The lenticular screen, the Heritage side The children's Nature side of the lenticular screen Information and QR codes. I'm with Ken Porter, Chairman of Basild

Three New Designs on LJHorner Redbubble Site.

Three new designs on my Redbubble page and more to come! Have a look if you care to: - Beach Café Greylag Goose Black-headed Gull Also, if you'd like to support me and follow/like my art page please pay me a visit  

Radion Project - Lenticular Screen and Audio History Tour

If you have ventured down the left-hand side of the Empire Cinema in East Square, Basildon you may have seen the lenticular screen.  If you viewed the screen from one side you would have seen a nature panorama and from the other side you may have noticed images of buildings, monuments and public art relating to Basildon's heritage. On the website it eloquently explains:- "Radion is a collaborative project that explores Basildon's past and present with a focus on nature and heritage within the borough.  Basildon Borough History, Basildon Borough Heritage, its volunteers and local people have been suggesting pieces of built heritage to be celebrated and remembered within the Borough.  These images have been used to create a panorama depicting an alternative skyline of Basildon from a chronological perspective. Students from ten local primary schools including Ryedene, Lee Chapel, Millhouse, Fairhouse, Pioneer Janet Duke, Noak Bridge, Great Berry, Northlands and Ghyllgrove Sc

Remembering Frances Clamp

It came to my notice that Frances Clamp passed recently.  She was a former teacher and Head of Year in a comprehensive school, and an author and an historian and I couldn't put it better than Sylvia Kent has on her blog .  She produced at least fourteen books and was former President of the Brentwood Writers' Circle and a member of the Society of Women Writer's and Journalists. I first met Frances when I became a member of the Basildon Heritage Project Team, I think this was 2006 or 2007. I was a researcher, and after the completion of the Basildon Heritage Trail Frances had her book Basildon, Our Heritage published in 2008.  I have my signed copy from Frances at home.  Frances and Vin and others visited schools as part of the project and brought children out to look a t parts of Ba sildon, discovering it's history.  The children also had the chance to take photographs. Frances was a knowledgeable, kind and professional woman.  So kind that she voluntarily ran Story C

Art: - Plans for another repeat surface pattern

Occasionally I do get a sale on Redbubble and often from a complete stranger.  Most of my self-publishing for my work on Redbubble on Facebook has been unfruitful so I don't tend to bother anymore. My most recent sale was two Ziggy Lime Green throw pillows  and the buyer was from America (Redbubble's head offices are in USA and Australia).  Inspired by this I looked at my latest piece of art I'm concentrating on at my art group and thought to myself that if I do a set of birds I could make a surface pattern on Photoshop.  This has at least inspired me to find a bit more time to get on with my art.  Hopefully it will be a pleasing result.   This photo shows me resorting to having to use a magnifying glass to do the details of this Greylag goose as my eyesight isn't great.  I have to squeeze my eyes together to see the time on the alarm clock on my husband's side of the bed, perhaps it's time I bought my own alarm clock! The image above is the completed Greylag Go

Art: - Finding a Balance and Art

Sometimes it is hard to do what you mean to do in life because of other commitments and distractions.  I am now getting on with my art since I joined a local art group.  So here are a few of my latest efforts... Billy Hundreds Fish n Tapas Restaurant, Southend Esplanade - Collage & Acrylic Billy Hundreds with Photoshop filters Collage and Photoshop filter of view of Hanningfield Reservoir from Visitor Centre Collage of view of Hanningfield Reservoir from Visitor Centre Quick pen sketch self-portrait

Geraldine Evans, One of the Basildon Heroes Celebrated in 2019

In 2019 Basildon in Essex celebrated its 70th anniversary and Geraldine was one of the named Basildon Heroes, and she is the lady I will be introducing on Monday to an audience at Vange Library in  Basildon.  Of all the people I have interviewed in research of my two books she has been one of the best storytellers to date.  Up there with Tom King former Chief Features Writer for Echo Newspapers and Vin Harrop, Arts Champion and of course Kenneth Porter, author and Chairman of Basildon Heritage in the Green Centre at Wat Tyler. This is what they said about Geraldine on the council website about Basildon at 70: - "In her role as a publican, Geraldine was a real community leader. She ran a successful local business for over 50 years and raised countless £1,000's for local charities - including the Vange Village Fayre that was run in conjunction with St Chads Church." In her retirement Geraldine has done talks at various places, Women's Institute's and U3A's for e

Top Twenty Visited Posts on this Blog

It's nice to see when a post does well and gets a lot of visits, and sometimes I can help it along by posting it on a relevant site, for example the top visited post on this blog, and I have a lot of posts now, is Yardley London Celebrates its 250th Anniversary as we Remember Yardley's in Basildon .  This has reached the grand total of 1557 views.  I have shared this on the Basildon Memories Facebook page and it got a lovely reception.  So below are the top twenty visited posts of this blog.  You can click on them and view the post if you so wish. 1  Yardley London Celebrates its 250th Anniversary as we Remember Yardley's in Basildon - 1557 views 2  Pete's Place is Packed! - 1022 views 3  Noting the Changes to East Walk and East Square - 799 views 4  Article in Essex Life Magazine January 2020 - 526 views 5   Irie Perera - Poet & Avid Charity Fundraiser S1 E10 (podcast) - 502 views 6   Sylvia Kent - A Prestigious Lady - 283 views 7  Sylvia Kent's Top Ten

Ingatestone Musical and Operetta Group shine again in Spamalot!

Once again Ingatestone Musical and Operetta Group aced it!  Lets call them IMOG for short.  This group who started in 1970 in the village of Ingatestone have metamorphosised over the years as times have changed.  Recently they have won not one but two NODA Regional  Awards for best panto, one for Aladdin in 2019 and one for Sleeping Beauty in 2022, that is quite an achievement and well deserved. I have been in a few productions since October 2017 with them,  Sister Act and Nine to Five , Aladdin and Betty Blue Eyes .  The group are friendly and welcoming and when you're involved in the rehearsals, there are often lots of laughs to be had.  But I will say, although they are classified as an amateur dramatic group they are very serious about getting brilliant, memorable results.   In Spamalot there were several notable actors who did their parts brilliantly.  King Arthur played by Mark Walker was excellent, he was also the king in Sleeping Beauty , a natural king.  Patsy was pl

Fog - A Story Inspired by a True Life Hero

Doctor Chowdhary's house and surgery, Laindon High Road Doctor Chowdhary's amazing life has been such an inspiration to me that I was inspired to write a story which was based on him and how he affected those who knew and loved him, which was pretty much the whole community of Laindon at one time.  I've got information from people who were his patients, his daughter who has written on Laindon & District Community Archive and other local history books.  I asked his daughter if I could write about him in this way and send it up to a women's magazine to be published, and would she fact check it.  She did and was honoured in fact.  Sadly my story didn't get into the magazine but it is here for you to see. FOG "Doctor Chowdhary will be so terribly missed!  Yesterday, when his funeral procession went through Laindon High Street there were so many people weren't there Polly?  Crowds of us standing on the pavement, hardly a dry eye amongst us."  Pa said

Come and see Geraldine Evans at Vange Library.

On the 22nd of May from 1pm onwards I will be at Vange Library with the amazing Geraldine Evans who will be giving a talk.   I will introduce Geraldine, who's family ran The Barge public house in Vange for 70 years.  Geraldine, who was RADA trained and spent some time as a Redcoat at Butlins before she joined her father to run the pub also became a Justice of the Peace later in her life.   It was said today that I will be Author in Residence at Vange Library, as I will be there for quite a few Mondays over the next few months.  I will try not to let it get to my head!

Amazing Interview of author, Linda Green.

This is a great interview, I read Linda's book and thought it was deeply moving.  The hardback was out in February 2023 and the paperback will be out in August 2023.  I have since read two more of her books which didn't affect me quite as deeply but were still brilliant.  I have just read 'One Moment' by this author which was also brilliant.   One Moment  'Ten-year-old Finn, a quirky, sensitive boy, is having a rough time at school and at home.  Outspoken Kaz, who has a sharp sense of humour and a heart of gold, is working at the café when Finn and his mum come in.  They don't know it yet, but the second time they meet will be a moment that changes both of their lives forever.....'   A wonderful book, sharing Linda Green's deep compassion for human beings in all walks of life.  Written in a way I haven't read before but making it compelling and an un-putdownable read.