Mum, blogger, crafter, reviewer, writer, traveller: I love to write and I am not limited by form. Here, you will find stories, articles, opinion pieces, poems, all of which reflect me: who I am, what I love, what I feel, how I view things.
Bad Book Reviews
When I am not writing on here, I am reading. When I have finished reading, I write a review of what I've read and publish it. I do this for all books I read and I do it for ARCs through Reedsy Discovery and Book Sirens. I then share my reviews through Amazon, BookBub, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and my own blog at scuffedgranny.com. From my blog, links to these reviews then subsequently get shared to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr.
The Muse, The Last Stop and The Slow Road to Deadhorse - books worth reading
As a book reviewer and avid reader, I am fortunate enough to be given access to books for free as long as I write a frank and honest assessment of the book in return. This is no hardship as I have written book reviews for a long time, after having discovered that I was losing track of what I was reading and was, occasionally, picking up the same book to read again without realising that I had discovered and enjoyed it already until some pages in. This log has morphed into something that means my words are published far and wide with the added bonus of reading material to which I would not be exposed as well as indulging in a passion whilst spending no money to do it.
A letter before I leave
Dear Mother, It seems strange writing to you when I know that you are downstairs but I wanted to talk to you just one last time before I leave and we all know how that goes. I try to say something, to try, as I always have done to get through to you and you just don't care: you're dismissive or more likely cruel and mocking. Whatever. I'm not sure what you're thinking and as you never share, I can't see it being any different. Who am I kidding? I know it's not going to be any different.
Easily distracted leaders
On my way to school in the mornings to drop off my little darlings, I regularly tune in to the headlines on the radio bulletin, just to keep abreast of what is happening in the wider world. Currently, it is dominated by the troubles in Ukraine as it should be, along with the rising cost of living and the continued presence of Covid-19. In Britain, it is also dominated by politics although don't be deceived into thinking that this means staunch, involved debate on tougher issues. No, discussion of politics can be in the form of dirt digging on party leaders as well as the latest cat to be welcomed at Downing Street to non-payment of speeding fines by those in politics who like to move fast.
The Burden of Proof
I am experiencing a new sense of optimism at the moment of which I am reluctant to let go, even though it would appear that there is much out there that is trying to rip it away from me. I am talking about the prospect of some travelling; a holiday in the sun, much deserved and for which I have patiently yearned. But, as per usual, there are hoops that need to be jumped through and it seems like the ones presented to me at the moment are not only too small for me to leap through easily but may as well be made of fire as they seem impossible to get past.
- Runner-Up in Ship of Dreams Challenge
Mr SmithRunner-Up in Ship of Dreams Challenge
Author's note: this is a story of fiction based on what little is known about the last moments of Captain Edward Smith's time on the Titanic. I have read some of the theories of his proposed demise or his survival and have crafted this story around these. This is an imagining of a man who escaped. Whatever the truth, the death of Captain Smith has become the stuff of twentieth century myth.
I never thought that I would write an article about my enjoyment of extreme sports but here I am, regaling you with the fact that I have had a fantastic evening of skiing off-piste down mountains and leaping in the air with my skis crossed. And as if that wasn't stimulation enough, I visited Zion National Park, Utah for the second time and careered over ledges and scrub while the sun was going down, on my sports bike. No shuttle for me!
The Dissection of English
I have to admit that I am conscious of how controversial this opinion might sound. It will certainly be viewed as a strange thing for a previous high school English teacher to propose, perhaps even a little subversive but it is something that I have been thinking about for a long time - why does the English government feel it is essential learning for children in primary education to know the components of language?
Go-karting is for girls too
I am the mother of two boys who love go-karting. And I can see why as it is fantastic fun. It is also an activity that we can do as a family. I have to admit that I probably don't take it as seriously or indulge as competitively in it as the male members of my family. I am sure that they would argue that I go really slowly, driving like I'm on my way to run an errand rather than racing others at breakneck speed. My arms and shoulders tell a different story after a karting session. You see, to me, I am pushing the limits, trying my hardest to drive fast, following the driving line and generally, feeling the need for speed. I love it!
Travel in the time of Covid
I'm not overly keen on flying. Being sandwiched with strangers into seats for slim buttocks and short legs is hard and as I don't have elbows which like to stay firmly tucked into my rib cage for the whole flight - well, it can make for an uncomfortable journey. And this was what it was like pre-Covid. Adding to that a mask that MUST be worn at all times and a wariness about the person sitting next to you, developed from an innate need to stay healthy and there is no doubt that Covid has definitely added extra elements to the experience.