Monday, November 7, 2016

What I'm Reading and Writing

A few years ago I read Ann Voskamp's excellent and inspiring book, 1000 Gifts. It really challenged me to be thankful for the small and everyday things in my life, and I recommended it to many people. I was thrilled, therefore, to see that she'd written another book--and one that seemed to speak directly into my life. It's called The Broken Way and its subtitle is 'A Daring Path to the Abundant Life'. The essential theme is that we need to be emptied to be filled, we need to give to receive, we need to lose ourselves in order to be found. It's thought-provoking and poetic--Ann Voskamp's style takes some getting used to, as it is more stream of consciousness than straight narrative. But I'd highly recommend this book!

As for what I'm writing... well, I've already written it, but the second book in my Willoughby Close series is available for preorder. It's called Meet Me At Willoughby Close and it's about a Manchester single mum and an Oxford professor and their unlikely, funny, and heartwarming romance. You can preorder it here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Holiday to the Highlands

This last week was school half-term and so the eight of us (my mum included) and our dog headed off to the Scottish Highlands. It was a trip down memory lane as well as up north,  as my mother organized a three week trip to the Highlands when I was thirteen. I have loads of great memories from that trip, and I wanted to recreate a bit of it for my mum, especially after my dad's death last year.

So we packed up and drove to Benderloch, a tiny hamlet outside of Oban, where we had a self-catering cottage.

We climbed the gentle but beautiful Ben Lora, took walks around the loch,

and then headed to Ardnamurchan, the westernmost point in the United Kingdom, to visit Mingary Castle, my family's home about two hundred years ago.

View on the way to Ardnamurchan
Sunlight gilding the mountains

Loch on the way to Benderloch

The trip to Ardnamurchan was gorgeous but slightly harrowing--thirty miles of single track road winding through barren mountains. I felt as if we were traveling to the end of the earth!

The next day we went to Glencoe and learned all about the massacre and then the next day went to Fort William and enjoyed several hours at the West Highlands Museum before taking a gondola up the Nevis Range (the youngest and oldest in our party were not up to a hike--well, in all honesty, none of us were!)

It was a lovely trip, and one I'm really glad we were able to take with my mum.