Dragon Sighted in Tuscany!

Yes, that’s right, I was in Tuscany last week enjoying the first holiday I’ve had in a couple of years and the first we’ve had as a family for more than three years.

Tuscany is a very beautiful part of Italy, full of breathtaking scenery, interesting, historic buildings and incredible landmarks. One week was no where near enough time to experience what was on offer.

We arrived late at night, causing our villa owner to have to leave his bed to let us into our villa. It was an old Tuscan farm house, full of lovely old Italian furniture and was set in a rural area on a hill with fabulous views all around us. 

We all like to swim so we spent a lot of time in the pool cooling down as the temperature was hotter than we’re used too!

On the Monday we went into Lucca our nearest town for breakfast. Lucca is a lovely old walled town, with narrow streets and open town squares. We ate out side a small cafe in the shadow of large marble fronted church, Duomo di San Martino.

After a brief look around Lucca we headed north to visit the Grotta del Vento which is a large cave that runs deep into the mountain side. It was fascinating, the stalactites and stalagmites that had formed from water flowing through the rock where unbelievable. They hung in ribbons from the roof of the cave and grew up from the cave floor. The water that had gathered in pools along the cave floor was crystal clear and apparently after heavy storms it can flood in places. 



On Tuesday we decided to visit the beach, but the  one we had been advised to go to was mostly privately owned with only small strips of ‘open to the public’ areas. These areas were so crowded it was difficult to see the sand!

We all wanted to visit Florence, so we got up early on Wednesday morning and caught the train. We weren’t disappointed! Florence is such an beautiful city, you really need a whole week to begin to take it all in. We would have loved to look around some of the many museums and cathedrals, but with only a day we decided to just walk around and soak up the incredible sights.


The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or The Duomo as it’s ordinarily called was just stunning! The pictures I’d seen of it before going just didn’t do it justice at all. The queues to go inside were massive, so as we wished to see as much as possible we just walked around the outside and gazed up at it in awe. We all desperately want to go back and spend a lot more time in this wonderful city.

Piza was only a forty minute drive from where we were staying, so on Thursday we went to see the famous leaning tower. This too was more incredible in real life.  We didn’t go up the tower, but we did go into the cathedral which was breathtaking.







I have to say it has been one of our very best holidays and we were all sad to leave Italy behind and return to wet old uk!



Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was thrilled last night to discover I had been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I have been nominated by the very lovely S.Z.Williams. I have been following her blog S.Z.W.ordsmith for a little while now and its always witty and interesting and I was truly honoured that she thought of me!! A massive big thank you! If you haven’t visited her fab blog yet you should check it out, I particularly loved the awesome video of hoop dancing on yesterdays post, breathtaking!

The Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Nominate other bloggers you think deserve the award, and post on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated.

Severn Things:

1. I hate shoes and handbags! I hate handbags because they always slip off your shoulder at the worst possible moment, but that’s nothing compared to my loathing of shoes! I have very narrow feet, UK size AA, which meant as a child I could never have the nice fashionable shoes the other kids were wearing. As an adult I have lived most of my life in wellies  or boots as good fitting shoes are very hard to find and as I spend most of my time walking around fields, not very practical.

The only shoes I ever wear are soft flat ones and only when I’m really forced to. I can’t wear anything with a heel as I would definitely break my neck.

My favourite kind of boots are cowboy boots because they are soooo comfortable. The ones in the picture are my very favourite ones!

And this is my favourite pair out of all the other kinds of boots I have 🙂





2. I have a level 3 pass in interior design and soft furnishings, which means I can design you a great room and make all the curtains and cushions to go with it. I haven’t ever used this qualification in a job or to earn money and if you saw the lack of any decent  curtains in my home you would really doubt this fact. This is quite strange because I do enjoy designing and making things and find sewing therapeutic but then this probably brings us to no: 3

3. I am a terrible procrastinator. I used to have a plaque hanging on my wall that read ‘If it wasn’t for the last minute nothing would get done!’ and this is very true of me. I seem incapable of just getting on with the job at hand if I haven’t done at least 10 other unimportant, waste of time things first.

4. I was, for a number of years, married to a farmer and used to play an active role in the day to day work. I have spent many a long day on a baking hot tractor baling silage (my ex husbands idea of air con. was to take the door off!). I also spent a lot of time helping with the care and welfare of the animals too. It’s an incredible feeling to help a ewe in trouble bring her lambs into the world.

5. I do love all things fantasy and a couple of years ago I visited the memorabilia show at the Birmingham NEC with my daughter. Much to my daughters embarrassment I found and bought a replica of  Eragon’s sword Zar’roc, it’s a copy of the one they used in the movie.

I do love medieval and fantasy type weaponry and swords are a particular favourite. I have since bought a copy of Zorro’s sword and my daughter now refuses to go to those type of shows with me any more!

6. Apart from reading and writing, my two most favourite things to do are horseback riding and archery. I have been riding horses all my life and ride both english and western style. I only took up archery a few years ago just to say I’d had a go, but I loved it so much I now own three bows and shoot as often as I can. My next step is to combine the two and take up horseback archery. I haven’t as yet broken this news to my horses though!

“If she thinks she’s going to shoot things off my back she can think again!!”


7. I am at this moment sat on the edge of my seat, because earlier in the week I ordered a box of copies of my book Vortex.(These will be the first ever copies of Vortex printed).  When I checked UPS’s website this morning it said they were due to be delivered today!! So to say I’m a little excited is a bit of an understatement!!

So lastly I need to Nominate some other wonderful bloggers for this award. I visit many many fabulous well deserving blogs but these four bloggers are truly awesome.

Sophie E Tallis, Sophie’s incredible posts take you on awe-inspiring journeys to breathtaking places and she is looking forward to the launch of her first novel White Mountain!

Kay Kauffman , Kay writes lovely poetry and has just finished editing her fantasy novel The Lokana Chronicles! Well done Kay!

Kate Jack, Kate has just signed a contract to have her book Land of Midnight Days Published. Very excited for you Kate!

Will Macmillan Jones, Will has been a massive help guiding me through the jungle that is Amazon! A well deserved nominee of this award!!