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East Coast Story – the blog

My latest novel East Coast Road, which is published by Bluemoose Books on 26 November 2020, involves the story of St Etheldreda, the daughter of King Anna of Anglia in the seventh century. Determined to be a nun, she managed to keep her virginity intact through two marriages and go on to found Ely Cathedral. She travelled from Ely to Northumberland to marry a prince, then back again a few years later, pursued by her husband, the king.

The characters in my novel travel south with Etheldreda. I was absolutely delighted in 2015 when the Arts Council gave me a grant to travel with her too. It was five hundred miles and took five weeks in five stages. You can read about it here

Off on an adventure Thumbnail

Tomorrow I’m off on an adventure I’m working on a novel which touches on the story of St Etheldreda, the daughter of King Anna of Anglia in the seventh century. Determined to be a nun, she managed to keep her virginity intact through two marriages and go on to found Ely Cathedtral. She travelled from [...]

Newcastle to Chester-le-Street Thumbnail

  The man who checked our tickets on the train to Leeds this morning asked us where we were going – Newcastle – and what we were doing there – Walking. He looked out of the window at the rain and gave a chuckle – the sort that said, well you’ve chosen the right day for that haven’t you. [...]

Chester-le-Street to Murton Thumbnail

I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in a day in years. In the woods I nearly wet myself laughing at this photo of Poppy. At the side of the road the dog and I were playing with the lead and Poppy tripped over the dog (which she insists was my fault), and fell onto the verge. [...]

Murton to Hartlepool Thumbnail

This was such a long day. The walking was varied. The first three and the last four miles were awful. The twelve in between were OK, sometimes lovely. We left Murton. The only way to leave Murton is along roads. Busy straight roads with roundabouts. Neither Poppy nor the dog were impressed. To be honest I wasn’t either. [...]

Hartlepool to Great Ayton to Saltburn Thumbnail

It’s become apparent that Poppy and I have very different body rhythms. It’s not just because she’s younger and me and therefore gets up later and goes to bed later. It’s to do with energy patterns and food requirements. If it was only up to me we’d get up early, get ready to go, have breakfast and leave, [...]

Saltburn to Runswick Bay Thumbnail

Today can probably best be summed up with pictures. The sun shone and the day was beautiful. The sea was blue and calm, a vast expanse always there on our left, simultaneously calming and terrifying, beautiful and completely other. We left the Saltburn Spa Hotel, haven of white sheets and carpeted corridors which smelled of shampoo [...]

Runswick Bay to Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay Thumbnail

Betty finally got to play in the sea! Poppy decided that Runswick Bay was the best place she’d ever been to and that white houses make her happy. Generally a good start to the day. Bet found two boys who were happy to throw sticks for her. There were caves. The sea and the sand stretched out in the [...]

Robin Hood’s Bay to Scarborough Thumbnail

To me it was a no brainer. The landlady at our B&B said, when the tide’s out you can walk the first mile or so on the beach, missing out two steep climbs. A win on every front. Poppy said nothing. On the way down the hill we met two small boys who asked if we were going [...]

Scarborough to Filey Thumbnail

Whilst eating breakfast in the conservatory overlooking the sea, shining in the morning sunshine, we overheard an item on local radio. Yesterday a girl lost her footing and fell from the cliffs near Filey, at the Blue Dolphin Caravan Park. She was winched up and was being treated in hospital. This incident coloured the whole day. We were headed [...]

Off on our travels again … Thumbnail

We’re going to walk 79 miles in three days. Everyone tells me I’m mad. Johnny says I’m mad, our neighbours say I’m mad, everyone I’ve told says I’m mad. Poppy definitely thinks I am – but she must be a bit mad too as she’d agreed to come with me. The thing is, I felt great after [...]