One Year of Babbling! Wow! That’s gone quick. I have in the last fifty two weeks lived in Bermuda for a big chunk of it, visited Australia, twice, New Zealand, twice, New York, twice, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Honk Kong, twice, St. Lucia and am preparing for South Africa and Canada in next few weeks – no wonder I’m tired! I hate to think of how many miles I have flown.  

I have also had published Clover’s Child, A Christmas Wish, A Little Love, Something Quite Beautiful, The Game, Ten Pound Ticket and have written Will You Remember Me? (out July) and Christmas for One (out November) and am half way through my novel for release Jan 2015 which is under wraps – Sssshhh… but lovely to be meeting and mixing with a whole new set of characters. I have seen my books released in German, Turkish and Polish, and have enjoyed lovely book success all over the world including Australia and New Zealand.

We have moved house three times (Urgh!) We have had one marriage, (my brother Paul to the fabulous Stevie), many family birthdays and the Husband has retired (kind of) after 30 years service in the British Army.

I would like to thank everyone that has read my Babbling over the last year and am happy to announce that next week heralds the start of something new and exciting in terms of my Blogs – watch this space! All will be revealed.

A MASSIVE thank you to Rhi who has posted my blogs with the addition of her very own inventive and amusing captions and photographs, thank you Rhi very very much. You are amazing. You too Ally! Who gives me a shove if I am late in delivering. Love you both xxx

It was also my birthday this week. Urgh – I hate my birthday and trust me it is nothing to with the inevitable aging process. I consider every year I get older to be an extreme privilege. I simply don’t like the fuss, hassle, gifts etc – when I was thirteen my parents gave me a surprise party and I hid in the bathroom until everyone had gone home. I know - I’m a weirdo. That aside the day was lovely, thank you so much for all the very kind messages. I have managed to keep my birth date under wraps for ever – but I share it with a friend who then posted on FB a message of congratulations. And that was it! Cat out of the bag! No names, but thanks Tids!

I decided to let the boys choose how we celebrated so we ended up eating pizza and going to watch the X men movie, not quite my first choice, but as everyone with kids knows, if they are happy…

The best present came from the Husband, and is a flashy/health monitor thing that I wear on my wrist. If I look at a doughnut or a bag of crisps it starts beeping. Well, not quite, but it is brilliant for monitoring how many steps I have taken in my 10,000 steps a day goal. Both evenings since having it, I have been short on my goal and have marched around the block a few times to make up the difference. It’s a real motivator. Especially when your job involves sitting and writing for hours at a time – it’s good to be told to move.

The boys are still mid exams – I for one will be glad when they are all over. I took their dinner jackets to be dry cleaned after their big do last week. Margery the lady behind the counter eyed the grubby offering and sighed, ‘what did the do in them? Mud wrestling?’ I shook my head rather than confess that yes that is exactly what they did in them.

I spent a glorious afternoon with my now famous nephew, Noah, we played ‘hide a fish slice in the garden’ and then took it in turns to find it. Noah watched where I hid it, every 28 times, peeking through splayed fingers, he would then put his finger on his lips and make a great show of looking elsewhere saying ‘let me see – could it be here?’ before going and retrieving it.

I must confess to getting a little bored after an hour, when Noah put his face an inch from mine and said, ‘we have to go in now, but we can come out again after our tea!’ it was like he had been trying to keep ME occupied not the other way round. He is two and already far smarter than me… I know I know, not hard.

Right a day of writing beckons – don’t know how I’m going to cope with all the D Day celebrations this week. My grandad Joe, proud RAF man was my very favourite thing and every time I see or hear a veteran recounting their experiences I miss him so badly that I burst into tears, waterproof mascara is the only way methinks.

Love love

Mandy x