February has been a quiet month on the whole. Here on the Wirral we have not had the terrible weather that other parts of the country have experienced – although West Kirby and Hoylake got a battering from the sea before Christmas. I’ve just got back from a week’s holiday on the island of Madeira, with friends from the Bridge Club. It is a beautiful place and the weather was lovely. I wish we had stayed longer. We only managed to fit in one levada walk, though we planned to do several more.

Invitations to speak are still coming in. I shall be speaking to the Mid Wirral WI on May 28th and at the Penistone Festival on either Saturday, July 19th or Sunday July 20th.

Rather amusingly, I applied to the Lancashire Federation of WI’s to be on their list of speakers and they require me to do an audition! I’ve pointed out that I’ve spoken to a number of Cheshire WI’s and suggested that they might ask them how the talk went down – but no, they don’t trust anyone else’s judgement. I suppose I’ll have to go through with it.

Meanwhile, I am still working on my Matilda story. (For those who have just joined the newsletter list and don’t know what I am talking about, you can read my last newsletter on my website; I’m finding it fascinating to reconstruct the real person behind the various accounts left by contemporary writers; but it requires a lot of research.

APHRODITE’S ISLAND should be out any day now, so watch out for it in your local library.

Thanks to all of you who have written in with appreciation of my books.

Best wishes