It’s been a curious affair keeping my blog updated regularly through the past couple of years because the Bat-codes that were needed to open up the old website for maintenance were mislaid long ago, so I could only get in through the ‘front door’ as my first web designer called the blog dashboard, which feels like standing on one’s front step welcoming guests to a dinner party knowing that the house is locked. I can post more often now I’ve moved here, and for this most recent of the three batches of old posts I’m publishing, I’ve even found some of the original links and pics. Het me. I’ll be mastering HTML before you know it. Whatever that is.
Posted on 08/01/2015
Great excitement here. My latest novel, The Woman Who Falls in Love for a Week, has been soft launched today, a term which makes me imagine it floating gently towards readers on a lilo or hiding amongst the furls of a duck-down duvet, although it’s mostly winging its way through cyberspace, because it’s now available as an e-book as well as in hardback for anybody who wants to dive in without delay. The fabulous new cover which will star on the front of the paperback is still under wraps for now, so it’s currently dressed in its Antipodean dust jacket, which is a fitting touch given that there’s an Australian twist to the plot. The book nevertheless has a quintessentially English setting, a heavenly old rectory that my heroine Jenny is looking after while the owners are away on holiday. Action takes place during a heat-wave, and as I hug the dogs for warmth whilst typing this, I can think of nothing I’d rather escape to than a scorching summer day. I hope The Woman Who Falls in Love for a Week whizzes your way on its virtual lilo if you feel the same. Dive in!
January 2015 (2)
Posted on 28/01/2015
I’ve retreated to the old milking parlour at the Smallest Farmhouse in Warwickshire in order to write without interruption. I know this sounds rather romantic – and there’s a certain Hardyesque appeal to throwing on a big scarf and chasing my muse across a windswept farmyard – but it’s not without its drawbacks, namely:
Cold: It’s sub-zero in here; my current displacement activities include watching my own breath condense, counting my goose bumps and timing how long it takes for my knuckles to turn blue. A small oil-filled heater nicknamed Wall-E is now my constant companion, and I tug him lovingly around my writing lair. He’s fast becoming a rival in my affection for my writers’ sidekick and beloved old dog, Pudding, who has sensibly deemed it too cold to stay out here with me after dark. If Wall-E were to wag his flex and rest his chin on my knee, he’d top of my Bonio list. Not that biscuits, canine or human, can be brought in here for fear of attracting even more…
Mice (okay rats): They’re discreet, but they’re here. They mostly party on down when I’ve cleared off, and as I write later into each night, I keep imagining them hanging about outside, glancing at their watches and grumbling like a pensioners’ supper club who find the WI talk has overrun at the village hall. Sam has laid all sorts of dastardly poison and traps and thinned the Glastonbury main stage crowd down to a small side-stage gathering, but those remaining are a hardened bunch that won’t give up. We’ve ignoring one another for now.
Unreliable electrics (possibly as a result of above): If I crank Wall-E up too high, the trip switch flips. I now keep a torch beside me at all times and save and back-up my work with OCD repetition. In its post-milking life, the parlour was converted into offices for a hot air ballooning company, and there are an amazing array of dusty switchboards on the wall labelled ’24 hour Weather’ and ‘SOA Flight Info Line’, along with row upon row of plug points, most of which sport ominous red tape marked ‘Do NOT use’. I do not use them. Wall-E, the PC and I glow gently in one corner listening out for crackling wires and ratty scratching, which isn’t easy because of the…
Noisy cattle: These aren’t actually here in the milking parlour with me – the farmer only raises beef cattle these days – but half a dozen chunky Charolais crosses are being fattened in byres just a thin brick wall away, and they crash about companionably night and day, scratching on everything in sight and mooing at one another (I think ‘lowing’ is the technical term, but from my close quarters, it’s definitely more of a ‘moo’). Having experimented with music to drown out the sound, I’ve discovered Tom McRae has a wonderfully soothing effect on them. Handily enough, he has the same effect on me, and the words are flowing…
I’m therefore delighted to report that despite its eccentricities, the milking parlour in the SFW is at maximum productivity while Tom McRae shuffles, cattle are lulled, rats lie low, electrics hold up and this author has a novel bursting to get out through her fingertips. Pudding and Wall-E are even starting to bond thanks to a dog bed pressed to his sturdy, warm side.
The book I’m working on now follows a couple through the first ten years of their relationship, and continues in the same writing direction as The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week, which digs deeper emotionally than my previous books, but still has a furnace of warmth and humour at its heart. The Woman Who Falls in Love for a Week will be published in paperback in the UK and Ireland in early summer, but for anyone who would like to read it now then it’s already falling as softly as snow into laps and e-readers, and you can follow this link to find it. If you also find time to review it online, I’d be enormously grateful because it can make such a difference for other readers (and for one anxious writer in a chilly milking parlour in Warwickshire who will dance around her heater with glee if you enjoy it and are kind enough to pass the word on).
Posted on 09/03/2015
A blog about swimming pools, and why writing can feel like diving in at the deep end…
When my first book was published, I posed in Crouch End Lido for the Sunday Times Magazine. I had a lot of chutzpah and a waist in those days. Being a complete newcomer to the perfectionist whims of professional photographers, it amazed me how many hours it took. I was in the water so long that my skin went as wrinkly as a Shar Pei and my contact lenses felt fused to my eyeballs, but the excitement of having my own stylist on hand with waterproof mascara was thrilling, along with the rallying cries of my fellow swimmers who floated in and out of shot while we all broiled in refracted July sunshine. It was all a far cry from conjuring up metaphors at the dead of night.
Nowadays, in my less glamorous working motherhood era, any time spent in a swimming pool inevitably involves rescuing my Little Duckling Level 2 smalls who have bobbed off towards the deep end in inflatable rings with dragon heads, or swimming blind as I’m dive-bombed by the older ones, and then – very briefly, if I get a moment – doing a vigorous breast-stroke for a few lengths, chin high as a ship’s head (although if anyone gets a camera out, I sink below the surface faster than James Bond spotting a Russian periscope).
Yet I still plunge straight into the water with the same enthusiasm as I always have. I’ve never been a cautious swimmer. If I have to suffer the indignant sting of a belly flop, so be it. Being lifted up by that big blue expanse of deliciously cool water is far too tempting to resist. And now my family shares pool-time with me, I alternately dolphin my way alongside them and power off into a brief harbour of undisturbed water to float on my back and find peace.
I’ve always written in much the same way as I swim. I dive straight in and move as fast as I can until I adjust to the water temperature, then use that wonderful buoyancy in a more graceful way than I can ever hope to on dry land. Writing needs the weightlessness of total submersion. Having my children in the pool is a great privilege; I make no secret of the fact I write for them and for their future, but if I’m totally honest, I write best when I’ve struck out alone into quiet water for a while.
It’s perhaps no coincidence that my latest novel is a beautiful, shimmering blue rectangle of a book; I can’t wait to reveal its 2015 summer cover (with the next blog, I hope). While writing it last year, I was so totally immersed that I barely surfaced, my feet never touching the bottom. It tells the story of Jenny, who has a week away from her day to day family life and the wreck of her marriage, and steps into somebody else’s world instead, looking after their home while they’re away on holiday. She sets out to be the perfect custodian, but everything about the house she’s sitting, from its beautiful book-lined rooms and joyful family portrait to its luscious walled garden and turquoise pool, is not as first appears. The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week is a novel which finds the funny side in losing one’s inhibitions, and I hope it has great heart without taking itself too seriously. Admittedly it made me well up with hopeless regularity whilst writing it – as well as giggle in solitary, high-five delight in the early hours – but if I wrote a book that didn’t make me cry, laugh, whoop and stay up all night writing addictively, I’d never believe in it enough to let anyone else read it. The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week is one that I really believe in. I do hope you dive in and settle in a quiet spot for as long as it takes to fall in love. I’d suggest you set aside a week….
It’s out in paperback this coming summer, but if you want to read it right now, it’s available in both e-book and hardback.
New book jacket!
Posted on 26/03/2015
I’m bouncing up and down on my diving board with excitement to be able to share the new cover for The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week; I think it’s stunning and I hope you agree. Hannah, the clever designer at Sphere, has worked her magic to create something that reflects the book perfectly – it’s bright, warm and sexy, beckoning readers to dive straight in.
I’m an absolute pain for a designer to work with because I have a rudimentary but dangerous understanding of Photoshop, a passion for amateur art (I’m addicted to The Big Painting Challenge right now) and I’m a terrible book jacket snob. When a new cover is sent through by Sphere with a proud ‘tra-la’ after many hours of in-house think-tanking, image research and hard work, I inevitably reach for my mouse with indecent haste to rearrange it, whirling the selection brush, eyedropper and rectangular marquees like a tabloid picture editor adding thigh gaps to fashion spreads. I can never stop myself doing this although I’ve long since realised that it’s just a part of the psychological process of letting go. It’s hard for published authors to accept that we’re only responsible for what is on the inside of books, not the outside, especially when market forces mean not all book covers can be beautiful, unique works of art, but must by necessity fall into derivative trends. Having seen so many wonderful female writers’ books drown in a sea of cartoon pink when Chick Lit was at its height, I’ve also developed an illogical twitch about covers that look alike, but right now I keep standing back from this one in awe. I truly love it. Looking at it feels like high summer has arrived early.
Not that I’d wish spring away, this magical, bud-bursting turnaround when we start accelerating towards longer days, painted toenails and balmy evenings. Last weekend my arms were finally liberated from long sleeves in the sunlit garden of the future forever home where we’re battling brash, woodworm, damp and an ever-dwindling renovation budget. On reflection, wrestling brambles in a polo shirt was probably a mistake given this season’s first freckles are now cross-hatched with red scars from wrist to elbow, but they’re happy reminders of the life waiting outside while I work in the dairy of the Smallest Farmhouse in Warwickshire on creative night shifts. My writing base at the forever home will be a small room behind the garage, and I wistfully stand in the spot where it will be every time I visit, much to the consternation of Ted the resident guinea fowl whose exotic bird brain can’t fathom why the woman who should be feeding him keeps roosting amid piles of hard-core and rubble close to the septic tank. It’s where my imagination will take off, I tell him. And in years to come, after many months of sitting in that spot day and night, alternating between despair and delight as a book takes shape, I hope the end result gets to wear a jacket as lovely as the one I’m revealing today.
I must quickly add a footnote about the quote from Jojo Moyes, who’s been so generous in her praise for The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week, which is a huge compliment. Her book blog recommending it amongst other fabulous reads is here . I’ve adored Jojo’s writing since I stayed up all night over a decade ago to finish a proof copy of Sheltering Rain (which later became the inspiration behind A Horse for Emma, an addictive read that every character in Tongue in Cheek drops in the bath and feels is their own private discovery). To be bigged up by such a terrific writer is one of those ‘whoop’ moments that no guinea fowl will ever understand, but I know lots of readers – and authors – will appreciate is very special indeed.
Posted on 04/06/2015
The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week has shrugged off her hardback dust-jacket and is beach ready – now out in gorgeous, holiday-friendly paperback, hooray! Along with the percussion of flip flops, the scent of suntan cream and the shimmer of a heat haze over a Saturday getaway traffic jam, the lure of the holiday read burning a hole in one’s bag is a heavenly sign of summer. And this one is bursting at the suitcase seams with love and laughter.
Whatever your plans this summer, I really hope you enjoy escaping with Jenny Rees in her sun-scorched week of high jinx, finding love the second time around. You can read an extract here – and the Amazon click is here. Or, if you’re anything like me, you’ll trolley distractedly past it in the supermarket, reverse thinking ‘that looks good for the holiday’, throw it in, and then find yourself reading it addictively whilst unpacking your shopping an hour later, then in bed, then during your lunch-break, then in the car waiting for school pick up, then in the bath. I’m crossing my own bath-wrinkled fingers that The Woman Who Falls in Love for a Week joins you on the beach, by the pool, on the train or in the garden. Wherever you find her, I hope Jenny becomes a friend and ally, and that her story moves you and makes you laugh.
Lots more news from me soon. For now, may the sun shine, the days be long and happy and the books you read take you to the best places imaginable. I hope The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week is amongst them.
Posted on 16/10/2015
A year ago, I excitedly blogged from the Smallest Farmhouse in Warwickshire to say that I was starting work on a new novel. At the same time, work began on renovating our Forever Home, a lovely but dilapidated cottage tucked high in the hills of what was once the Forest of Arden. I made a bet that I’d deliver my book by the time it was ready to move into in April. The race was on…
The Weekends of You and Me tells the story of Jo and Harry, who escape to a remote holiday hideaway, Morrow Cottage every year for a ‘just the two of us’ break from parenthood, work and family crises. It follows their weekends together through a decade that takes them from passionate fling in 2006 to make or break weekend in 2015. It was a technically difficult and rewardingly emotional book to write; Jo and Harry became my allies, and the intensity of having just two characters on the page for so much of the story meant I grew to care about them more than almost any couple I’ve written since Tash and Hugo (who some readers will know I’d bring back in every book if I could!). I also loved creating Morrow Cottage, the remote Shropshire bolthole that waits for them year after year, and in which they leave the outside world behind.
It’s probably no coincidence that Morrow Cottage has a roaring wood-burning stove which must be lit as soon as Jo and Harry arrive, because the old dairy in which I write at the SFW gets very cold indeed in winter. Despite a brace of electric heaters at my sides, I spent more than one late night through the early months of this year with my breath clouding in front of a monitor as I typed after hours. The imaginary Morrow wood burner kept me warm, along with the thought of having somewhere toasty to write at the Forever Home that I don’t share with quite so many spiders, or any rats, and that doesn’t have Hereford bullocks kicking the other side of the wall all night like neighbours demanding I turn the music down. The ‘Mummy shed’ – part of a new timber-framed garage – will be heated courtesy of the cottage’s eco-friendly new bio-mass boiler.
I delivered The Weekends of You and Me in May, but I still won my bet. At that point, the Forever Home had no kitchen, no working loo and a lunar landscape of dust and debris in every room – and my cosy writing space was nothing more than a sketch on a piece of paper. We hastily revised our moving date to the summer holidays.
Modernising a lopsided, half-timbered cottage that’s as damp as a riverbank and sits skewwhiff on its sixteenth century oak sole place is a mammoth undertaking, and none of us had appreciated the horrors hiding beneath the historic layers of paint and paper that covered every wall (and in some cases were the only things holding them up). It doesn’t stop us loving the place – it is so filled with character and kindness – but it meant our shoestring budget has had to stretch to lace up more and more holes, and our dreams of moving there before the roses blossomed around the door were always under threat. Getting in before the flower-heads turned into hips became our priority, and I clung onto my dreams of autumn plotting and proof-reading in a snug study.
The old dairy at the SFW was far from cold when I edited The Weekends of You and Me through June and July, and the pungent scent of cattle byre that floated through the windows provided authentic rural inspiration as I gratefully reshaped Jo and Harry’s decade of love and drama in the Shropshire Hills, happy to be lost in their world.
By the time I delivered it back to my publisher and the girls broke up from school for summer, the Forever House had gained one working loo and a succession of skips overflowing with builders’ teabags and fly-tipped white goods. Not one room in the cottage was habitable. My writing shed remained a distant dream, along with the garage that would house the eco-boiler. We pushed the move-in date back to September. I no longer felt quite so jubilant about winning my bet.
We all mucked in through the holidays, beadily observed by resident guinea fowl Ted and his hareem of lady pheasant friends. While Sam trundled around them in a mini digger moving mountains of soil, I designed a budget kitchen which almost fits, as long as we breathe in when we walk past the fridge and don’t mind loading the dishwasher with the door at a forty-five degree angle. The girls and I then painted every wall in sight – and a lot of ourselves – in chalky emulsion, only to find the plaster all had to be cut back when big patches of damp showed through. Outside, a large concrete slab was finally laid where the garage, boiler room and Mummy’s Shed were going to be erected. We all jumped for joy on it until we discovered that it had been set out to the wrong dimensions and the timber-framers would now have to completely redesign it to fit there. We nudged our moving in date back to October.
As soon as the girls went back to school, I worked through the second edit of The Weekends of You and Me and found Jo and Harry’s story waiting to be shared, full of life and love and reasons to be cheerful. For readers who have been kind enough to spur me on by sending emails asking me to hurry up and write the next one, I promise there’s not long to wait now. It’s currently with the proof reader – the final stage before typesetting – and it comes out early next year.
This is my last blog from the Smallest Farmhouse in Warwickshire, where the apples have dropped for the second time since we started living here, and the windows are once again steaming up. We move out in just over a fortnight. I can’t wait to get started on the first of many novels I plan to write in the Forever Home, although I think I’ll be working at the kitchen table for the time being…as long as nobody wants to open the dishwasher. The old cottage is far from ready, but it does now boast two working loos and there’s a shiny eco-boiler under a tarpaulin in the timber-framed outbuilding. Let’s gloss over the fact that building hasn’t yet got a roof, internal walls or power and the Mummy Shed still lacks finishing touches like doors and windows. They’re all on the Moving House To Do list, along with ‘Write Your Blog’ which I can now tick off. I apologise that I do this so sporadically, but I hope today’s update makes up a little for its randomness. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who visits my website, and I really hope The Weekends of You and Me brings lots of pleasure to readers when it’s published in 2016. It can be pre-ordered it in hardback here and ebook here.
I wish you all a wonderful autumn!
Posted on 16/02/2016
A blog about weekends away, lucky omens and pastures new:
I’ve just swept three months’ worth of old receipts, pen lids, rosettes and dog treats off the dresser so that I can share a snapshot of the advance copy of The Weekends of You and Me which arrived this week. Isn’t the jacket lovely? It’s published in hardback and e-book in the UK on the 10th March.
When I was writing The Weekends of You and Me, my computer’s wallpaper was a photograph of a track leading up through rolling fields to woodland. Hidden out of sight on the hilltop amid the sweet chestnuts and Scots pine, I imagined an old stone cottage. It’s here Harry and Jo first get together for a wild weekend of second-chance love and make a vow to come back the following year. The novel picks up their story each year for a decade as they escape to the cottage for a few days, determined to put the outside world on hold and recapture the spark, no matter how complicated family life gets.
I really hope you come to love Jo and Harry as much as I do, especially those of you only too familiar with that life stage in which children, careers, ageing parents and cheek-by-jowl domesticity makes it all too easy to forget the heart-lift of loving someone for who they are.
By coincidence, the hardback was waiting here when we returned from a weekend away, and the girls are hugely excited by the illustration because we’ve been staying in a little stone drover’s cottage up a track by a brow of woodland: ‘That’s our half term cottage! You wrote a book about it!’ It was actually a last-minute booking somewhere we’ve never been before, but the fact it so closely resembled my fictional romantic bolt-hole – it even snowed on Valentine’s Day just as it does in the book – did make it feel like a bit of much-needed kismet might just be at play, and it doesn’t stop there. I have to admit here that I’m so superstitious when a new novel is about to come out that I look out for lucky omens everywhere. When Well Groomed was published, I counted horseboxes like magpies on every trip; with The Summer Wedding, I spotted bridal cars and hot air balloons with similar zeal. This time, it’s starlings – you have to read the book to understand why – and I’ve been enormously cheered to find a small gang of them staging a regular and noisy fly-by over our garden. But that was nothing to the moment we drove to the Welsh Marches last Friday and Sam almost left the road, pointing to the horizon where starlings were swirling in their thousands like smoke. When you read The Weekends of You and Me, which I truly hope you will, you’ll appreciate why I still have a bruise from pinching myself. (In case you’re worried that it’s a Hitchcockian feather-fest or a steamy tale of amorous twitchers in hides casting binoculars aside, I should point out that neither Jo or Harry are bird fanciers and starlings have a purely walk on/fly in part.)
When I last wrote this blog, we were about to move from the Smallest Farmhouse in Warwickshire to our forever home, a lovely if chaotic ongoing project which still has a resident builder, a skip outside and a half finished writing room full of timber. What I didn’t know then, as I packed fifteen different Fiona Walker novels in multiple formats and languages into cardboard boxes, was that I’d soon be moving publishing house too. The Weekends of You and Me marks the end of my tenure with Little, Brown. The team that has published Kiss and Tell, The Love Letter, The Summer Wedding, The Country Escape and The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week is a family that I will miss enormously, and I leave them with a love story that I hope is my best yet. You can buy The Weekends of You and Me here.
I can’t wait to share news about my brilliant new publisher and our future plans, which I promise I’ll do on here soon; all of you who so generously bear with my blog silences to check back regularly (thank you!) won’t have so long to wait this time. For now, I can joyfully share the fact that my foot is firmly in the stirrup on a creative venture that takes me galloping to the best home turf – to rolling acres, village scandal, horses, dogs and country life in all its lusty, divot-flinging glory. I’m already so busy writing, I must apologise as always for my somewhat anti-social media. When lost to a new book, I fall off the twitter perch and don’t show my Facebook in public much, but I promise that I do reply to anybody kind enough to send a message, tweet or email and I am always tremendously grateful when my books get a mention. My greatest passion in life is to tell good stories. I do hope the starlings are right about this one.
Posted on 10/03/2016
A blog in which pictures tell a thousand words.
It’s publication day, which means I did a lot of anxious fretting this morning about what I should say on social media to share the news without coming across as too much of a bare-faced self-promoter. I love scrolling through timelines, but I don’t do it often – certainly not when I’m flat out writing as I am now – which means it’s always very obvious when I’ve been asked by my publisher to plug a book using my ‘social feeds’ (a term that always makes me think of trays of canapés). I usually sidle onto Twitter and Facebook a few days before the novel comes out to see how the land lies, favourite lots of things (that’s the easy part – I end up scrolling around for hours wondering why I don’t do this more often), make a few excited comments about neglected friends’ posts and then maybe post a photo of the dog to make up for the brazen launch day ‘tra-la!’ that’s coming. If you are a Fiona Walker friend or follower and you see a photograph of an elderly Weimaraner on my timeline, you’ll know that publication day is nigh. Here’s this year’s (eagle eyed blog readers will spot that I’ve added a cat for variety):
The thing that hampers my social media skills even more than my self-effacing Britishness is our terminally slow rural broadband speed. The only streaming that goes on around here involves the girls pulling on wellies to splash in the brook at the end of the garden. I used to love the idea of posting a regular vblog to share writing tips and news, but I was put off when my first video took about three days to upload onto YouTube and crashed every time the neighbour tried to watch Netflix – and that was when we lived in Worcestershire, with four times the speed we have here at the Forever House.
And yet social media is ever-more about being visual and writers are increasingly told: ‘Don’t tell people what the book is about – show them!’ The written word is now squeezed down to a strap-line beneath a constant feed of images, far too many of them taken in mirrors whilst standing in the bathroom in pants. I’m always fascinated by the loos in the background; the Margot Ledbetter in me wants to tweet back asking them to close the lid and fold a point on the end of the loo roll next time. But there’s no getting away from the modern maxim that a picture not only tells a thousand words, it’s quicker to share. Unless, of course, you live six miles from the nearest telephone exchange.
This may take me a while, but in the spirit of publication day ‘tra-la!’ing, I’ve got a few pics to share with you which I hope help to illustrate what The Weekends of You and Me is all about. It would actually take a hundred and twenty images to sum up the story on the thousand-word-to-a-jpeg ratio, but I have to leave something in the pot for the return of the pet photo countdown in August when the paperback comes out.
The Weekends of You and Me is an unashamed love story:
I hope it’s a classic one.
For women of all ages.
Who like a good laugh.
And who like a sexy hero…
…a really sexy hero…
…that loves dogs.
You can buy The Weekends of You and Me now by following this link to ebook and this one to hardback. Please, if you feel able to, review it, share it, retweet it and post about it. I’d love my words to have a chance amid so many pictures. Those of you who are brilliant at such things have my eternal gratitude. But I hope it’s not too old-fashioned to wish more than anything that this big love story is simply read and enjoyed.
Posted on 15/05/2017
Please forgive my long absence; I’ve been writing fiction at such a fast and furious pace all year that I’m amazed my fingers aren’t an inch shorter. I’ll wave them in the air between typing this now to excitedly announce that my latest book, The Country Set, is finally done if not yet quite dusted. It’s currently away being polished by my clever editorial team and will be published by Head of Zeus in hardback and ebook later this year. The novel is the first in a new series revolving around the residents of the Compton villages, the best kept secret idyll north of Oxford. I can’t wait to share an early glimpse of its characters and setting on here in coming weeks when I also look forward to revealing a new-look website to coincide with the series. The redesign will mark the return of a regular blog about my writing life, as well as lots of information about all eighteen of my books from French Relations to The Country Set. If there’s anything you’d like to see featured, or if you just want to say hello, I’d be delighted to hear from you. You can find me on Twitter @fionawalkeruk and Facebook, or simplest of all send me a message via the contact form here.