Lockdown Diary – 2020 – 55 – Start The Week

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church Sunday Online worship

Yesterday, the cake tins were empty, so I set about making my late Mum-in-Law’s favourite chocolate cake. She used to post them to her children and my husband remembers friends helpfully coming to tell him he was in receipt of a parcel that looked as if it might be a chocolate cake. I can understand the anxiety of his friends not to miss out.

Again experiencing the localised shortage of Bran Flakes and may have to venture to a BIG supermarket. Our trawl through the accumulated slides has now reached 1985. Will we continue after lockdown is lifted? We’ve been to Iran and Umbria, southern England and France in the last few days. Always with sorties to the Western Isles and innumerable Scottish mountains (DH and his pals, not me).

Ambitions for the coming week? I’d really, really like to write something publishable.

Had conversations with a botanical friend and also with crime novelist Olga Wojtas. Olga’s quirky crime fiction is worth your attention.

Try Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace.



Scottish Association of Writers – Annual Weekend School

Margaret McConnell Trophy







I’m just back from another lovely Weekend School of the Scottish Association of Writers at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld. The prospectus is up elsewhere on this blog, so you can see who the speakers were.

I opted for a workshop on Writing Memoir conducted by the entertaining and inspirational Catherine Simpson; one on the Metaphoric Table by script writer and wordsmith, Raymond Burke; a poetry session conducted by John Glenday and a most business-like talk on how to pitch and sell articles by journalist, Dawn Geddes.

I learned that memoir is not a list of dates; metaphors are not the only figures of speech; some people are better at writing poetry than others and it’s a mistake to write the article before selling it.

I chuckled through Simon Brett’s after dinner talk on Saturday, enjoyed the food, company and ambience.

Oh and, I won a competition. The delightful Shirley Blair, Fiction Editor  of People’s Friend was kind enough to place my story, Woman, Invisible, first in the Woman’s Short Story category.

It is also the case that Edinburgh Writers’ Club won the Friday night quiz for the second year running. On a tie-break, we earned a complimentary drink each from the Westerwood Hotel.

And I bought Olga Wojtas’s debut novel from the bookstore.

Miss Blane’s Prefect and the Golden Samover. Can’t wait.

The AGM almost began on time and proceeded in an orderly fashion to mark the departures of President, Marc Sherland and Vice-President, Jen Butler (who graciously presented the prizes on Saturday evening). they were replaced by Wendy Jones as Pres and Gillian Duff as vice-pres. Good wishes Marc and Jen and good luck Wendy and Gillian.