It is nearly five years since my husband and I took the unusual step of inviting strangers into our home for a weekend of cultural exchange, and we’re glad we did. Through a small charity called HOST we have welcomed some delightful international students from across the world and had the unique opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures from the people who grew up in them.
In June this year, I was delighted to receive the Mary Stott Award for my play writing. The plays are for all-female casts and are hired by NWR and other women’s groups.
It is wonderful to be able to combine my hobby of writing with raising money for two of my favourite charities. I’d like to thank the NWR groups around the country who hire the plays and keep them circulating by posting them on to each other.
Talent, financial success, fame and adoration offer no protection from the subjective experience of loneliness. There is nothing inherently problematic about solitude itself. Loneliness isn’t about being alone, it’s about not feeling connected. There is nothing trivial, comical or poignantly romantic about loneliness.
Of the top 10 books sold by Amazon this year, four were colouring books for adults.
Forget the idea that colouring books are for children. In a time-short world dominated by digital screens, many adults are now embracing the concept of the soothing art of colouring. Chosen for their creativity and the quality of the illustrations and paper, colouring books for adults are of an exceptionally high quality. They are designed to help calm, destress and focus the mind in the belief that exploring colour and space occupies parts of the brain that might normally be involved in anxiety.
At Rugeley we’re on the doorstep of Cannock Chase, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty boasting 26 square miles of mixed woodland with large areas of coniferous and heathland.
Its features made it ideal, throughout both wars, as an area for training the soldiers about to be sent overseas. We decided to walk a very small part of the Chase, one fine evening in August, to view a few of the historical sites that are still evident from the encampments of the First World War.