Sunday 21 March 2021

Time for Charity

I guess that my life as a blogger has come to a pretty much complete standstill over the last few years.

Since I still sell some books, and want to keep giving money to charity I decided it was easier to give monthly by direct debit since proceeds are not that much.

So I now donate to British Red Cross, Comic Relief, Hampshire Air Ambulance, Shelter, World Vision and the WWF from proceeds of my own books.

And I am donating to Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, NSPCC,  and the British Heart Foundation for the Anthologies.

Every little helps... or so I have heard said!

Hope you are all keeping well.

Vanessa :-)

Wednesday 15 April 2020


This morning I was watching the news and saw the inspirational story of the 99 year old veteran, Tom Moore, walking for the NHS.

"Tom was born and brought up in Keighley, Yorkshire. He went to Keighley Grammar School and later completed an apprenticeship as a Civil Engineer. Tom went onto being enlisted in 8 DWR (145 RAC) at the beginning of the war, and in 1940 was selected for Officer training. He was later posted to 9DWR in India, and served and fought on the Arakan, went to Regiment to Sumatra after the Japanese surrender and returned to be Instructor at Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington."
Watch Tom on the move on YouTube channel:

I believe his aim was to raise £1000 at first, and as of this moment he has nearly raised £8,000,000


Truly amazing...

Let's do our bit and give him the best 100 Birthday EVER by getting him to £10 million raised for our amazing NHS!



Tuesday 14 April 2020

2020... not sure about this year at all

I realised the other day that the only post from this year was one full of optimism and positive thoughts.

Hmmm... Seems that when 2020 happened none of us knew what the year had in stock.

Solent view from the Isle of Wight, April 2020
I have read many blogs and articles that have commented on the crazy events leading to this point, but no-one could have predicted the Coronavirus pandemic - truly an event I would have thought to read about in a fiction novel, or seen in a disaster movie.

Is anyone else suspended in disbelief, hoping that as Dallas did with Bobby Ewing many years ago, we will all wake up tomorrow and find that it was an extravagant dream? Wouldn't that be amazing?

I keep thinking that now is the time to get back to writing fiction; I have so many ideas swirling in my mind. But, it is actually a great chance to get ahead on my teaching - so as some of you may have realised my time is not spent doing maths not english! But, maybe, just maybe... I can use this time to put ideas together and plan.

The question is what will you do to make your time in lockdown something you can look back on positively?

Personally, I am trying to do the following things:

  • Doing exercise every day - either a fitness class, walk or cleaning (this really does count)
  • Try to achieve something in the house - clearing a cupboard, baking (and eating - exercise needed definitely), or cooking
  • Spend time with family - talking, playing games or making a jigsaw puzzle
  • Watch some news (really have to control how much I watch here since it was getting silly)
  • Try to do some work... lots of maths just waiting!

Next week, I will be working from home again, so will have to get some lessons planned/ be there for students that need help.

I am also reading a series (on the last book)... so will try to post a review when I am done!

So for now, can I wish anyone that reads this good health and all the best during these troubling times.


Thursday 2 January 2020

Happy New Year 2020

2020 ... really?

Is it just me or is life just whizzing past, whilst giving me a cheeky face followed by a wink 😉

There are so many things to be grateful for - family being the most important for me.

Blogging really does not seem to fit it with what I am doing at the moment and I have definitely got back into teacher mode - this is my fourth year at my post!

But, this year is huge. My older children are taking major exams, with my eldest looking to move to Uni, my youngest is going from primary to secondary, and my husband and I are celebrating 25 years together, 20 years married! 😮 What a rollercoaster ride, and we’ve only just got to the top.

My hands have been giving me trouble, which is why writing has taken a step back for now, and it looks like I am teething (wisdom teeth 🦷 - really?!) but I am planning to keep up my with my classes at the gym - dance fit, anyone?

Anyway, whatever you get up to try to have a laugh 😂 and the occasional cry 😢 (both good for the soul) and make 2020 count for you.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday 27 May 2018

JOURNEY TO GIBRALTAR ~ Paperback now available

Since my last post... months ago... (I know my blogging is scarce and insignificant at the moment! So sorry) I am pleased to announce that I have reached another milestone.

JOURNEY TO GIBRALTAR now is available as a paperback, with a brand new cover & background.

I have also had two five star reviews and lots of lovely comments from family and friends that have made the time I spent on it so worthwhile. One of the reviews is from a top 500 reviewer... pretty amazed to get that one! Thank you.

My father is busy arranging the official book launch in August (Tuesday 7th for anyone interested). It sounds like it might be a busy event!

I also got featured in a GBC news program in Gibraltar - a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, I am so glad that it has finally come together. The challenge of editing, formatting, cover design, etc, is always HUGE! But, I am a sucker for punishment.

Getting up-to-date with A level work has also been taking its toll on me, but with Summer around the corner you never know... I might actually get back to writing one day!

Thank you for reading & all the best in your endeavours,

Saturday 4 November 2017

Journey to Gibraltar by The Beanland Family

I finally got this book ready! Just in time to celebrate my father's Birthday on the 14th November. 

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I have spent many months writing up all of the letters in this edition, and probably started working on it back in 2015! I definitely lost track of time...

The only reason I finally got it done was since this year, 2017, marks 150 years since the arrival of the first Beanlands on the Rock of Gibraltar, and I realised that after doing all the hard work I had to invest the time for the final leg of this journey to include the photos, edit, etc.

I am proud of my past and hope many from the North of England and Gibraltar find the letters left behind by my relatives of interest.

Thank you for taking a look & please share with anyone that might enjoy a window to the past.

The discovery of letters, diaries and a memoir, whilst clearing out the Beanland home in 1997, led to family secrets being revealed, giving us a window into the world of the 19th Century.

Bolton Beanland, born in Colne, Lancashire, leaves a life in the mills at the age of 18 to join the army as a Gunner and through his accounts we find out what it was like to be in service during 1861. Via numerous letters, mentioning events such as the death of the Prince Consort in 1862, during his time in Woolwich, and the conflict in Jamaica in 1865, we discover the life of a soldier during testing circumstances.

His marriage to Emma Saword, in Jamaica, in 1865, and subsequent posting to Gibraltar in 1867 are celebrated, in this publication, by the Beanland family in Gibraltar to mark 150 years since their ancestors' arrival on The Rock.

However, tragic circumstances befall the family and are described by letters written by his wife and brother, Emmett. In addition, Bolton's daughter, Harriett, brings these years to life in a vivid and beautifully written memoir.

Two dairies written by Bolton's youngest son, Charles, also recall life in Gibraltar during 1889 and life in England during 1895, when he visited his relatives in Lancashire and London.

We then get a glimpse of the Second World War in Gibraltar, through the eyes of Albert, the son of Charles, in 1942, and his warm views of his father on his passing in 1851.

Finally, recollections from Bolton's great grandson, Malcolm Beanland.

By meticulously reviving these accounts and the addition of numerous photographs, Malcolm and his daughter, V. J. Beanland, have managed to bring to life family history that would otherwise have been forgotten or lost again in time. Delve into the past and read accounts that were never intended for this world-wide audience.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Donations to Charity

After a few years, I finally have enough money collected to make some more charity donations from the anthologies I published some years back!

I had a lot of fun finding authors willing to give up their stories, and the hours of editing will hopefully  make a difference...

To find out more visit the anthologies page on this site that will direct you to the blogs with all the info!


The charities that have benefited are...

Cancer Research £10 for ... A FESTIVE FEAST

Diabetes UK - £20 for  LOVE IS IN THE AIR

British Heart Foundation - £30 for OUT OF DARKNESS