Coping Mechanisms 9 – A Wee Holiday

A Bastide town

We booked it eons ago, cancelled it, moved it, re-booked it. At last, we were able to visit some friends at their lovely house in the Dordogne. This picture is of a nearby Bastide Town where we wandered about in the sunshine and ate lunch outside in the square.

Despite the paperwork and the hours of mask wearing, it was a treat beyond price.

A work in progress

Museums are a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for artistic types. When next I think I’ve got a touch of writer’s block. I’ll look at this and marvel. In due course a mediaeval tradesman would turn it into something similar to the glorious completed windows I saw elsewhere.

A modern touch in an ancient craft.

That’s what I was doing last week. Loads of wonderful door pictures. Be patient.



SEPTEMBER ROUND ROBIN – Other Genres apart from fiction

Having been away from base this last week I didn’t write a blog on September’s subject, but my lovely fellow robins did and you can find their words here:

Marci Baun

Victoria Chatham

Skye Taylor

Connie Vines

Dr. Bob Rich 

Judith Copek

Rhobin L Courtright


I’ll be back later in the week to tell you what I was up to.


Diary of a Writer – September Prompt

Illustration – Gerard Fay

Nothing succeeds like success and that mantra is no different for me with the publication of my fourth serial for DC Thomson’s The People’s Friend than it was for the first.

In A Class of Their Own arose out of the reading and researching I did for serial 3, City of Discoveries. 1869 was a bumper year for anyone looking for ideas and I highly recommend it to you. Writing pompts there in plenty.

It is about Sophia Jex-Blake and the struggle for women to overcome prejudice and false perceptions in order to train and qualify as doctors of medicine.

Illustration – Gerard Fay

It is also about the Stevenson sisters who were Edinburgh ladies of comfortable means and formidable intellects and drive. Edinburgh folk recognise Flora Stevenson’s school in the north of the city but perhaps not who it is called after. My own knowledge of that comes from a pamphlet I borrowed years ago from my local library. Written by several Edinburgh women, it celebrated the lives and work of some of the female pioneers.

Transformed into the Begbie sisters for the serial, Jane Begbie sets up a peripitetic school for teaching the children (read girls) how to cook and feed a family. Fast forward to 2021 through Atholl Crescent and we arrive at Queen Margaret University.

And the prompt? There’s an idea bubbling away. Seeing the lovely illustrations by Gerard Fay week by week remind me – YOU CAN DO THIS.

What’s on your writing horizon? Take a compass reading, raise the sails and lift anchor. (enough with the nautical stuff, Ed)