Snickerdoodles are just small balls of cookie dough (made with a pinch of nutmeg) rolled in cinnamon sugar before you bake them. They’re very tasty – I had to shove some in a box before I could eat the lot yesterday!

I haven’t seen Message in a Bottle but then I’m not a Kevin Costner fan. LOL I tend to go for action movies or arthouse films – bit of a strange combination, I suppose, but whatever. Although I did watch an arty film last night and it went on for so long that I had to keep walking away from it to make some coffee to stay awake!

My other life… well, until pretty recently I was a teacher. I taught at university and then at high school – Ancient History to the undergraduates and History to the kids. I could rant for hours about the state of the UK’s education system but I don’t think you’d want to hear it. Suffice to say, it’s very depressing and I will be heartily pleased to get out of it.

At the moment I’m writing full-time while I make preparations for our Big Move overseas. We didn’t want to leave things to the absolute last moment. You never realise how much junk you’ve collected over the years until you come to move house, and then you start tearing your hair out, especially when you’re looking at £8000 costs for a half-container…

So I’m slowly weeding out all the stuff that doesn’t fit/hasn’t been used for 2 years/is broken/is just plain ugly and selling it on Ebay or in car boot sales. The aim is to reach a really Zen-like state where we take a few pieces of furniture and a few thousand books. The books are important – they’re incredibly expensive in New Zealand so I really have to stock up now and not read anything until we get there!

As for hobbies, apart from baking I like to cross-stitch. I haven’t done it for a while actually because we’ve been so busy, but I really relax when I can do a bit of sewing. I’m about a quarter of the way through cross-stitching a picture of a geisha in a green kimono. Cross-stitching is about the only time when I can do two things at once – sew and watch TV at the same time. Honestly, I am so bad at multi-tasking!

I try to get out once a week to visit various places of interest. I’m lucky to live in Yorkshire because there’s so much to see and do here. The medieval walled city of York is just over half an hour’s drive, and I love just going for a wander. Great shops, cafes, and restaurants, then there’s the Minster, more medieval churches and buildings than you can shake a stick at, museums, art galleries, ghost walks, parks, a ruined abbey, a crumbling castle, a saint’s shrine and tiny cobbled streets. It’s really a fantastic place.

Actually I’m looking forward to celebrating Beltane (the Celtic fire festival) at the start of May at Thornborough Henge, which is close to where I live. You’ll have heard of Stonehenge, but not many people know about Thornborough. It’s much bigger than Stonehenge (and if you’ve never been and you’ve heard people say how small it is, it’s true – it really is teeny-tiny); in fact, it used to have eight huge enclosures but now only three remain. When I lived in Edinburgh, I used to love going to the annual Beltane festival, so I was delighted to discover that they have one at Thornborough. They burn wicker men and dress up, bang drums and dance, and generally have a good time. Should be fun!

Well, Bonnie, my OH gets back today so I’ll have a busy weekend 😉 It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. Thanks for letting me ramble on this week.

Take care!

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