R and R

R and R. = Rest and rehabilitation.

R and R = Races and Recreation.


Hi everyone, I have spent an entire day having lots of the above. You may well ask. Why is this woman not sat working at her laptop, typing away at her next novel?    Good question.

I can confidently report that my second novel ‘Love, Secrets and Absolution’ is now completed and currently in the hands of my excellent publisher. Together, we have designed the book cover, although in fairness Anna –Lisa did most of the work. I am not saying that there is lots of time for fun and frolics. Quite the contrary, for as most of you know, the next stage of marketing the book can be relentless. However, Sunday, August 20th, there I was along with six friends at Southwell Races, located near Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire.

Ladies I was proud of you. And you too Gents. It was ladies day and what a grand spectacle it was. Royal Ascot ‘eat your heart out’ for the ladies of Nottingham are most definitely the finest fillies in the land.

The sun was shining, the Prosecco was out and the races began.  My husband and I had a small flutter on every race. For those of you not accustomed to the term, I refer to a small bet. Knowing nothing of horses or form, we just went with our hearts, betting on such horses as, ‘David John’ and ‘Old Harry rocks’. Both for sentimental reasons. Needless to say, that with these tactics, it wasn’t until the last race that I managed to back a winner. My friends were less sentimental. Interesting ending to that word! They backed the favourites to win and due to the laws of probability, managed to come away in pocket.

A good day was had by all. Thank you to ‘And Why not’ for organising this amazing day out.


Visiting the ancestors.

Having recently joined ‘The National Trust’ my husband and I decided to pop along and visit the relatives at Hardwick Hall. Well ! maybe that’s stretching things a bit too far. There is every possibility that one of our ancestors may have lived there, but most likely in the servant’s quarters.

Situated at Doe Lea in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, the Hardwick Estate is made up of stunning houses and beautiful landscapes. Bess of Hardwick commissioned the building of Hardwick Hall in the late sixteenth century. The first feature of the hall that caught my eye, was the huge windows of which there are many. The architect Robert Smythson designed the hall to allow maximum light and amazing views over the surrounding countryside. It is very much in the Elizabethan style of its time.  There was so much history to absorb about the first and last ladies of Hardwick. I would say that it is all about the women at Hardwick and from what I can understand, they were all formidable ladies.

We had a most enjoyable day, exploring the Halls and the gardens. Our ancestors below stairs would be happy to know that we had paid them a visit albeit more than four centuries too late.


Home is where the heart is.


Over the weekend along with my very good friend Janet, I travelled to the North Yorkshire coastal town of Filey. This is historically a fishing village, situated between Bridlington and Scarborough.  The purpose of our visit was to meet with another friend of ours, Susan. The three of us first met at the age of five, in the infant’s school and have a great shared history of our teenage years. Something that we can spend hours reminiscing over and returning to the joy of those memories. During the years of raising young children, we met infrequently. We have since made up for it, by organising days out together in Nottingham, to catch up over lunch and a spot of retail therapy.

However, Sue moved to Filey a few years ago, and although she still returns to her home town to visit her family, we thought it would be nice to make a special effort to meet our friend in her chosen place of retirement.

This made me think about all of the possible places, one could choose to live out retirement. Without a doubt, coastal areas are a popular location for the autumn years of life, all that bracing sea air and coastal walks. Alternatively, the countryside is also a popular location for a quiet peaceful life. It is indeed a brave plan to move away from your familiar surroundings as old age is around the corner. Of course, sometimes, when your family are living apart from you, a move from your area of long term residence to be nearer loved ones can be a great advantage.

There has been a surge in retirement properties over the last decade. No doubt to correspond with the baby boomers of my generation. This, of course, is becoming another potential choice in terms of living out your retirement.

So, here I am in my home office, currently surrounded by many books and research articles in preparation for my next novel. The familiar view from my window gets better every year, as I plant more and more perennials in the borders.This house is like a huge comfort blanket wrapped around me, creating a warm feeling in my heart. Yes. Home is where the heart is and for now and hopefully for many years to come. My heart is here in this place I call home.

Messing about on the river.

I felt compelled to share this with you all. My husband and I have witnessed many marvels of nature during our time on the British inland waterways.  There have been numerous occasions when we have observed the sweetest evidence of new life.

A few weeks ago, we set off for a four- day round trip from our mooring on the absolute best Marina ever ‘ Mercia Marina’, towards one of our favourite little villages along the canal, ‘Alrewas’ in Staffordshire. Our journey took us through the picturesque countryside where we decided to moor overnight by Branston Waterpark.

The following morning, while sipping our tea, we glanced across to the opposite side of the towpath, where we spied a moorhen sat serenely on her nest.  Very quietly we opened the side hatch doors of our boat and gently threw small morsels of five seed grain bread out onto the gentle ripples of the water. Sure enough, mother hen and her six newborn chicks swam towards the bread. The chicks were tiny bundles of black fluff. Amongst the uncontrolled sticky out fluffy feathers, bright red and yellow beaks dazzled in the early morning sunshine. A vivid shade of red that contrasted brightly against the murky grey water of the cut.

What happened next was the sweetest of sights. The mother collected the small pieces of bread and one piece at a time she re -dipped the bread into the water then popped it into the beak of the first chick that was in line. She then proceeded to repeat this process for each chick. Without having any food herself, she ushered the chicks back to the safety of the nest, where she promptly sat on them to keep them warm, after their early morning swim.Satisfied they were safe, imagine our delight when she returned for her own share of the food, which we promptly provided.

Our journey continued taking us along a small section of the River Trent, towards Alrewas. Approaching the village, I jumped off the boat to open the lock that we were approaching. As I walked along the towpath, windless in hand, my husband called to inform me that a Pidgeon was stuck in the water and struggling to get out. As the Pidgeon flapped and struggled towards the bank, I knelt down on the grassy bank, reached out as far as I was able to stretch and gently hooked the windless underneath its belly, slowly pulling the bird close enough to the bank for me to lift out of the water. The Pidgeon was ringed, suggesting ownership. Immediately on terra firma, it hopped towards the hedgerow to rest and dry out.

I’d like to think that it was able to complete its journey, whatever the destination, as we completed ours, later that day.

Do you have fun messing about on the river?  Do tell.

Look at me!

As per my previous post, I don’t wish to go on, but “Look at Me” Today, I used my bus pass for the first time. Now, some of you can be forgiven for thinking “why is this woman so obsessed with this retirement issue and her bus pass.”

The truth is, that like so many women born in 1953 and beyond, we have had our pensions (and bus pass) deferred due to changes in government policy. I don’t intend to go all political here except to say. “GO WASPS GO”. You know who you are.

So you ask. “Where did this woman go on this austere occasion with her Virgin bus pass”?

Along with my husband, we went to the historic town of Lichfield in Staffordshire. Our boat was moored in the pretty village of Alrewas, a bus ride away from Lichfield. So off we set, two young at heart senior citizens, to explore this delightful city. We were not disappointed.

The city centre was alive with activity as bunting gently swayed and buskers played a variety of music. We made our way to Lichfield Cathedral, the burial place of Saint Chad, the Anglo-Saxon missionary. This medieval cathedral is a sight to behold with its three majestic spires.

After eating a traditional Sunday lunch in the oldest pub in the city, we made our way to Beacon Park. A festival was in full swing with many events taking place, including a classic car display.  I thought that I caught a glimpse of ‘Jeremy Clarkson’ driving by in a vintage sports car, but alas. My husband informed me that as usual, my imagination was in over-drive. Very appropriate I thought, considering the car theme.

I particularly enjoyed watching the Police dog training display, which reinforced my views on the importance of Police dogs.

Although we didn’t have time to explore the rest of the city. Plans are already in place to return and visit the many other interesting places. For example The Erasmus Darwin House and the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum.

Still, there is plenty of time for that. Oh! Did I forget to mention that I am now retired.


Goodbye, farewell!

Goodbye, farewell to an era.

As I said my poignant goodbyes to work colleagues on Wednesday, June 28th, I was also departing from my long and wonderful career with the National Health Service. A dedicated career that began April 1972.

Nursing career - KL Loveley photo 1I am about to embark on a new journey. A pathway that has been taken by many before me. It is an interesting word that describes this new and exciting time, although the noun ‘retirement’ does not reflect this.

The Oxford Dictionary describes this as giving up your regular work because you are getting old. “Oh dear me, how that could be misinterpreted.”

Apparently, the practice of leaving employment has been around since the eighteenth century. Prior to this, the life expectancy was on average 26-40 years of age.

Already I have been receiving junk mail about retirement homes, financial advice, pension advice and e-mails enquiring if I am worried about retirement. “I ask you, is there no end to this constant reminder?”

I digress. My retirement from formal work was celebrated in style with a delicious meal and celebratory drinks at Rossini Italian restaurant, Mansfield Woodhouse, where a wonderful evening was enjoyed by all. I sincerely thank everyone for the many gifts and cards I received.

A special thank you goes out to the patients who came bearing gifts and farewell cards over the last few weeks. The kind words, the many hugs and well wishes will remain embedded in my memory forever.

The following morning I woke up feeling bleary eyed and surprised that I had woken up at exactly the same time as on a working day. Two cups of tea later, I heard the letterbox rattle and guess what? My concessionary bus pass had arrived. Confirming that I am indeed an OAP, or to be more polite ‘a senior citizen’.

As I now enter a new period of life that some describe as the’ autumn years’ there will be no leaves falling from this tree. I plan to be as busy as ever with the many plans my husband and I have in place. I hope to continue with my writing for many years to come. Watch this space there may well be a few surprises in store.


Book review: Blink by K.L Slater

Having read ‘ Safe with me’ I immediately purchased Blink and Liar ( on pre-order) I am now hooked on K.L Slater as an author of psychological fiction.

Blink is a fast paced thriller with believable characters and a twist around every corner. I was very close to the ending before I had worked out the lot.

K.L Slater tricks the reader into assuming the perpetrator of the crime is a character that she has involved extensively in the victim’s life. However, the ending is most unexpected and actually quite shocking.

Well done to K.L Slater on a remarkable and well-written book.

Blink by K.L. Slater

Churchill film 2017 review of a new perspective.

This week, my husband and I went to see a long awaited film. ‘Churchill’ who was First Lord of the Admiralty in the first World War and the Prime Minister in the second World War.  My husband along with many others believes that Winston Churchill was the greatest Britain ever. I am afraid that I have not been so generous in my beliefs.

This film does not do Mr Churchill any favours, in terms of the portrayal of his character and his decision making of D-Day.

Brian Cox did a fine job representing his character and although I was aware of his heavy drinking, smoking and his black dog depression. The film brought home to me a picture of an old, unhealthy leader who was not in touch with the modern warfare of the time. I understood the symbolism of the seas of blood, relating to the disastrous attempt to open a second front at Gallipoli during the First World War. It was clear to see, this had a wounding and deep psychological effect on Churchill as he had backed this campaign, much to his regret.

Danny Webb as General Alan Brooke, John Slattery as Eisenhower and Julian Wadham as Montgomery gave a good performance as supporting cast coming across as far more decisive than Churchill who appeared as a dangerous irritant and a very loose cannon.

By contrast, his wife Clementine, played by a rather good Miranda Richardson, is portrayed as a strong determined woman, who will not take his nonsense.

There was one scene I struggled to either believe or understand. King George V1, played by James Purefoy was portrayed as visiting Churchill to dissuade him from his plans for them both to sail alongside the men to the Normandy Beaches. Kudos to Churchill for wanting to stand by the brave men of Britain. However, I question did this actually happen? If so, it would have been an act or irresponsible lunacy on both parts.

In summary, I enjoyed the film very much and it certainly gave my husband and me, a lot to think about.

Are you planning to visit the cinema any time soon? Let me know via Twitter or Facebook !





Boats, sunshine and a beautiful wedding

Special occasions are always memorable. Some are unforgettable. On Saturday June 17th my husband and I were invited to our very first boat wedding. Yes, my friends, you read that correctly. The register office wedding had been conducted the previous day. As you are aware from my previous blog posts, we have a canal boat that is moored up at an amazing Marina in Derbyshire. ‘Mercia Marina’

On the day in question, two of our friends who are moored on the same pontoon as ourselves made an amazing commitment to each other underneath a flower covered harbour on the back of their lovely boat. Their boat, along with many others, sailed on a short journey out of the Marina towards the village of Willington and moored beside a wooded area, known affectionately as ‘ Dingley Dell’.

The Humanistic ceremony was the most touching wedding ceremony I have ever witnessed. The lady who conducted the ceremony did so with great professionalism while at the same time portrayed the symbolism of marriage in a most profound way. The bride and groom had written their own vows, each with their own unique characters embedded in the meaning.

Wedding on a canal boat

Surrounded by Family and friends, the bride and groom enjoyed a wedding ceremony and celebrations that reflected their love for each other in a beautiful and touching way.

The celebrations went on well into the night, as we were sat in the Dell under the shade of the trees. A marquee was set up in a small clearing, where Live Music was performed by a local band. ‘Moore and Moore Beer’ the pub and party band played throughout the night  The bride, a member of the ukulele group on the Marina, played a set of tunes along with other group members. In addition, her daughter and partner along with other guests played and sang music throughout the evening. A disco was played between sets, making for an evening filled with entertainment.

Wedding band

My husband with his wry sense humour claimed that he felt like Robin Hood in the forest enjoying a medieval banquet. I agree, as we were sat amongst the trees, swathed in white bunting and fairy lights, there was a feeling of magic in the air. I felt truly at one with nature.

I wish my friends Carol and Keith a long and happy life together, full of joy. May all of their dreams come true as they sail along the British waterways together?