Monday, 31 December 2012

Will this rain ever stop?

Here is the promised pictures and at last I can look forward to spending real time out here every week. Even on the coldest day it is warm and cosy and once the sun comes back I can look forward to creating a 'quiet garden' to share with friends old and new. When will this rain stop? At the momnet I am sitting in Pigeonholes in the warm while the wind and rain rattle the window panes. I think at heart I am a hobbit, this small space is all mine, it is only ten feet by eight but here I have all I need, a small stove filled with glowing coals, a large desk, a comfortable chair and for my friends a small sofa. On the walls there are two oil paintings, one of a wave crashing on the shore while on the horizon sunlight has broken through the clouds, the other painting is of a tan sailed, gaff rigged fishing boat battling its way across a choppy sea. A pencil drawing of the chapel at Haslar Hospital and a scraffito plate by Tiffany Scull are here too. On top of the stove is a copper kettle and on the floor to one side are two glove puppets - a lion and an elephant. And there is still room for two book cases for no room would ever be complete without books

Monday, 17 September 2012

While I am doing battle with some new web software my dream house is taking shape.  The roof tiles are waiting to be picked up tomorrow and the window and door frames will be here in the next couple of days.  By next week I should be able to post a picture of the Pigeonhole and move in.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The frame of the first wall of The Pigeonhole is ready and waiting for the cladding.  If we have another dry day tomorrow the first wall should be up with the other three in place before the weekend.  I'm taking photos at every stage but the new blog won't be launched until I have something to show you. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

I have to confess that I am past my sell-by date and I was beginning to feel that there would be no point in starting anything new.  Climbing up from my hut on the beach was beginning to be a slow and exhausting business so I have put it on the market.  At my age, I thought,  perhaps I should just accept a bit of stiffness, put my feet up and pick up my knitting.  Then along came my daughter, 'What you need,' she said,' is a hut in the garden.'
Only twelve days since my last entry but already a hidden corner of the garden has been cleared, the footings are in and the floor is laid.  At the moment all that is covered over with a blue tarpaulin but on Tuesday work will begin to build the walls.  In less than two weeks my garden studio should be ready for me to move in.  It is little more than a Wendy house, just 10ftx8ft but my ancient desk will fit in and I’ve found a very small green velvet sofa in a charity shop.  In the middle of the back wall there will be a black electric let’s-pretend wood burner stove so I can work out there on cold winter afternoons and I’ve bought a bucket full of spring bulbs as part one of rejuvenating the hidden garden. 
The next question was what to call this retreat?  All but one of the dolls’ houses I’ve built have names and each has a plot ready and waiting for its story to be written.  ‘Phoenix House’ was published last summer and will soon be launched as an ebook.
I woke this morning worrying that I was spending too much on myself but a voice in my head answered firmly 'This hut is a fraction of the cost of a new car and it be like a mgic carpet, taking  you to places you would never visit without it.'
My first task will be to publish a collection of short stories as an ebook which I shall dedicate to Jude who came to my rescue.  ‘At last you seem to be getting your life into some kind of order, what you need now is a pigeon hole.’  So there it is – The Pigeonhole.  I am now working on a new blog for The Pigeonhole and in my next posting I’ll tell you how to find it.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sharing life with a new partner requires adjustments as you grow used to each others habits, needs and dreams.  So far we have shared a study - we call it The Garden Room - there is plenty of room for two desks, a filing cabinet, a tall bookcase and an old primary school table designed for two small children, it's just right for dumping things on as you walk past.  But that is not all.  My lovely new man has discovered the joy of painting in oils.  At first he was content to paint  in a bedroom but we soon discovered that even with a dust sheet in place oil painting on a pink carpeted floor is not a good idea.  To me the obvious answer was to move the easel downstairs to The Garden Room and find somewhere else for my desk.  No room in the house but perhaps a corner could be found in the garden?  If it works I will be very happy with the solution - - -  

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

New Year Resolutions

New Year resolutions are easy to make but keeping to them is another thing altogether. So far I am doing alright though getting up in the dark leaving a warm bed and sleeping husband takes a lot of will power. I have gone back to one of the two novels I was writing in 2006 and edited all twelve chapters in pencil. Now I have to transfer all this to my computer and then, in theory I should be able to go back to the world I was creating. I shall have to relearn the art of persuading my friends that although I am at home, I am actually working and gossiping over coffee is not on the agenda until the day's word count is complete!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Past and Future

2011 - a year stuffed full of events and surprises as a slice of Christmas pudding filled with fruit and treasurers, still topped with the flickering flames of brandy as it arrived on my plate. Among the raisins and cherries was the glint of a wedding ring, a silver ship, a car, a greyhound and a treasure I had always dreamed of but never expected to find, and tiny silver book. Five treasures in one year, such riches all handed to me on a plate.

The greyhound? I have heard it said that in a life time of living with dogs one will be more special than the rest and Muffin has found the key to my heart, he has been my constant companion through some very difficult years. I have never spent so much time in a car, computers and mobile phones are great aids to courting but the time comes when you want to meet face to face and courting over two hundred and seventy miles would be difficult without a car. The ship took us to far away places as we took time out to get to know each other. The wedding ring became mine in October and the book? My first novel, Phoenix House, was published in July. It is for sale on Amazon as well as in some of the shops in Dorset.
Being a new comer to all this I have a lot to learn about advertising and PR. I had read that I should have a presence on Youtube but had no idea how to go about it and spent much of the night before a pre-Christmas Book Signing in Weymouth lying awake and worrying. It was a vile day, bitterly cold with sheeting rain so few people had ventured out. Only half a dozen people came to the event but among them was a knight in shining amour. At least that is the way I saw his rain soaked coat for instead of a sword he was carrying a video camera. You can see the video on Youtube if you go to and look for Carenza Hayhoe.
The story of Phoenix House begins for my heroine Ginny on the day of her grandmother's funeral. After a year filled with adventures she discovers that her grandmother isn't so very far away after all and that she has inherited her talent for writing. Now I have the problem of making sure I make time every day so that I can fulfill all Ginny's ambitions!

To find out more about Portland and Phoenix House go to