My mad year so far (as in crazy, busy, celebratory mad) Well, mostly!

I kept trying to pen a news blog prior to this. January and February flew past and as with my novel writing, the will and the want were there but sadly I couldn’t convey any actual words, or at least the right words.

Having finally opened up over the last few months to my loving family and closest friends, my patient supportive publisher and equally supportive GP that I’d been struggling to cope, the relief has been enormous and as much as it sometimes feels a bit two-steps-forward- three- steps- back , the mixture of medication and therapy, including a confidence workshop, has given me some clarity about my priorities going forward. It’s a work in progress as we say in the writing world but one that I’m hopeful is moving in the right direction.

What has been fabulous about 2018 so far is the catalogue of uplifting family events and celebrations we’ve enjoyed.

A special birthday for Mum kicked off the month of March in style and although we were thwarted by the snow and ice that day, we made up for it at the weekend with a lovely family lunch and much cake and fizz.

Mid-March saw the arrival of our dear little great-nephew, Henry David, and I know I’m biased but take a look at this beautiful face!


So wonderful for Mum and Dad to become Great Grandparents in their Diamond wedding anniversary year. 60 glorious years. Such an achievement and a congratulatory card from Her Majesty the Queen which thrilled them both. We’re all so proud of them.


M&D 2

Naturally, we celebrated this momentous occasion with a great gathering at my younger sister Karen’s with family and friends, a delicious spread of food, bubbly aplenty and lots of laughter. Mum and Dad received some delightful gifts and cards including a fantastic memory book our niece put together with written  contributions and photos from all the family, some funny, some sentimental, but all created with love and gratitude for the influence and impact they have both had on us all.


April brought more excitement with a glorious family wedding to celebrate the marriage of our lovely Nephew Andy and his beautiful bride Alison. What a great day we had. Dressed in our finest threads and willing the weather to be fine, which it was, the venue and setting were superb ~ Surrey National Golf Club  ~ and with an evening reception to match, I haven’t danced so much in ages and it was good to catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while. A triumph of an occasion for sure.


We’ve still some celebrations to come with a big special birthday looming for Dad at the end of April which I shall report back on next time round.

I’ve not done much reading lately but two books I did want to mention, one fiction one non-fiction, are the following:



That Summer At The Seahorse Hotel by Adrienne Vaughan  ~ The title alone made me want to dive into the story. Adrienne’s talent for creating engaging, entertaining characters, some of them warm, some witty, some wonderfully wacky, but all memorable, gets stronger with every book she writes. The stunning Irish setting and grandeur of the family home holds lots of hopes, fears and secrets and the drama, whether recounted from the past or firmly in the present, never lets up as each story thread unravels. Loved it!


Clarity  by Jamie Smart ~ A lesson in how to de-clutter the mind in order to  reduce stress levels, improve confidence and to think and communicate more clearly. It’s one of those books which I read straight through without trying to analyze every detail as I went and found so inspiring and helpful it really brought home to me how your thoughts can control you and leave you either dwelling on past events you cannot change or pondering the future to the point where you can miss out on appreciating the present. Something about the simple, non-baffling way the writer of this book explained things really resonated with me.

A bevy of blooms I’ve delighted in these past few weeks, some sent to me, some observed, some bought, all of them loved and appreciated …


Well, that’s all for now. I told you lots had been happening.

Until next time.

With much love,



Posted on April 11, 2018, in Jan's Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. A fabulously honest, yet positive and upbeat post, Jan!! Thank you for sharing the downs as well as the ups. So many people are cheering you on!
    Lovely hearing all your family news, too. (How can you be old enough to have great-nephews??)
    Two super book tips are a perfect finish. Xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Inspirational to read about how you have found a route through difficult times. Jan, I always find your support reassuring – you are so generous with comments. Thank you for sharing your story. Let me know how I can support the new book when you are ready. Great decision to escape to Adrienne’s novel.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Jan, thank you for sharing this with us! It oozes positivity and good-will. I love your updates, and there is so much to celebrate this time! Gorgeous photos as well.
    Cheering from Italy,
    Isa xx

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Smashing post, Jan. Thank you so much for sharing all these lovely family memories. Seeing the group photo at the family wedding and your gorgeous new g-nephew shows us where you get your loving disposition from 💟.Glad you’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel re clarity/confidence issues, we can all identify with that. Hope to see you ‘for real’ one of these days soon. Agree with you, Seahorse, is a great novel.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fabulous post Jan – so proud of you – as I am sure all your lovely and loving family are! It’s great to be able to celebrate the big things but you never forget the smallest of celebrations too, like the joy of the simplest posie. Your posts and pictures of flowers always lift my heart and your positive ‘can do’ attitude shines through – you’re truly an inspiration! I’m also thrilled and honoured ‘That Summer at the Seahorse Hotel’ featured in your month and chuffed you enjoyed it. Thanks for being such a wonderful supporter all these years – with loads more to come from us all, I hope! X

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ade, your loving words of support are much appreciated. I agree, you can’t beat a few snaps of blooms to lift the spirits. You’re more than welcome re the mention of Seahorse – it was an absolute joy to read. Xx

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I didn’t know you were going though bad times Jan, I’m so sorry, you always seem so well and upbeat, I just wish you health and happiness going forward. What a wonderful blog post, I loved all your family’s joyful exploits, and the fantastic photos. Take care Jan and good luck with the new novel. X

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It sounds like you’ve packed a lot into a couple of months, Jan, and life can be overwhelming at times. Sending a virtual hug as I know how hard it is to be ‘kind’ to yourself and accept that sometimes you need a little breather. The world never sleeps and yet people do. I’m just delighted to hear that you did the right things, at the right time. Sorting out one’s priorities sounds easy but I know it isn’t because it means making difficult decisions but afterwards it’s like a burden has been lifted. Take care of YOU, lovely lady! Lxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Jan, I’m sorry you’ve been struggling, if you ever agree down Soton way I’m free for chats and gossip. Keep smiling lovely lady, keep mindful, lots of love Xx❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lu, your comments are of great comfort and I really appreciate your friendship and support. Next time I’m in Southampton, we will have that catch up! Xx


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