Special flower for June


Humility, chastity and sweetness are the characteristics of June’s special flower – the rose.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/bouquet-cloves-roses-romantic-1463562/

But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.
Anne Brontë

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/flowers-nature-blossoms-stems-2607771/

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.
H.L. Mencken

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/bouquet-flowers-pink-2187891/

I feel as if I had opened a book and found roses of yesterday sweet and fragrant, between its leaves.
L.M. Montgomery

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/book-book-pages-read-roses-1769228/

There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair.
Daphne du Maurier,

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/rose-autumn-flower-blossom-bloom-2842982/

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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5 Literary Quotes to Celebrate National Cabbage Day!

January’s special flower

Book of the Day

More details and a free sample to read at http://amzn.eu/hXgGQ6b

Wise words from a notebook


I write in Oxford Black n’ Red hardback notebooks, ruled and with spiral bindings. I buy them in packs of five from Amazon whenever there is a discount on the price.

Usually I tear off the extra bits of printed paper that are in the front of the notebooks and throw them straight into the re-cycling bin.

But something made me stop and read the bits of paper when I opened a new pack of notebooks this week. I was surprised to read that Oxford Black n’ Red have a manifesto!

I quote:

Success. It isn’t something that falls into your lap. You earn it.

It takes hard work, determination and the right tools.

And then, as you would expect, the manifesto explains why Oxford Red n’ Black notebooks are the right tools for achieving your goals.

I don’t disagree with Oxford Red n’ Black’s definition of the steps to success but I don’t think they apply to everyone. I can think of countless examples of people of mediocre talent and abilities who have achieved great success by being born in the right place at the right time to well connected parents.

The Manifesto ends with:

Never Give Up.

And that’s a maxim I agree with wholeheartedly as long as you have the good sense to know when you’re banging your head repeatedly against a log and realise it’s time to stop!

I’ve always liked

Winners never quit and quitters never win

which I thought could be attributed to Peter Mandelson when he resigned from Tony Blair’s government for the second time. It turns out that American football player and coach, Vincent Lombardi is credited with coining the phrase.

Anyway, back to Black n’ Red.

To help you achieve your objectives they quote these wise words from St Francis of Assissi:

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

St Francis is credited with arranging the first Christmas Nativity scene in 1223 after trying to negotiate an end to the Crusades in 1219; some evidence there that his wise words might be effective. In 1228 the Pope canonised Francis and he became the patron saint of Italy. St Francis was a popular saint when, as a child, I used to go to Sunday School. His association with animals and nature meant that hardly a year passed by when we didn’t have a picture of St Francis to colour in.

St Francis is also credited with:

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

Famously quoted by Mrs Thatcher on her arrival at 10, Downing Street in 1979.

You will have your own opinion as to how successful she was in implementing that ambition!

And the final words of advice from Black n’ Red:

The first step is to take one.

I like that!

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Hope you’re having a great Bank Holiday weekend.

If you’re looking for a good read  you might like to check out Leefdale #Kindle #KindleUnlimited.


Tick Tock Tick Tock


On April 8th last year I wrote this post: Does London need a garden bridge?

Yet by August 14th the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had called time on the project.

London garden bridge project collapses in acrimony after £37m spent

This leads me onto some good passing-of-time quotes which are nicely thoughtful for a Sunday morning.

I’m terrified of the thought of time passing (or whatever is meant by that phrase) whether I ‘do’ anything or not. In a way I may believe, deep down, that doing nothing acts as a brake on ‘time’s – it doesn’t of course. It merely adds the torment of having done nothing, when the time comes when it really doesn’t matter if you’ve done anything or not. (Philip Larkin in Letter to Monica)

I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory. (Julian Barnes in The Sense of an Ending)

People parted, years passed, they met again- and the meeting proved no reunion, offered no warm memories, only the acid knowledge that time had passed and things weren’t as bright or attractive as they had been. (Jacqueline Susann in Valley of the Dolls)

For children, childhood is timeless. It is always the present. Everything is in the present tense. Of course, they have memories. Of course, time shifts a little for them and Christmas comes round in the end. But they don’t feel it. Today is what they feel, and when they say ‘When I grow up,’ there is always an edge of disbelief—how could they ever be other than what they are? (Ian McEwan in The Child in Time)

I’ve read all the books that these quotes are taken from (via Goodreads Quotes) but although I don’t recall the particular words I do remember that each title was a stunningly good read. I was a teenager when I read Valley of the Dolls so I don’t know if it would stack up as such a good read today. However, as Valley of the Dolls has sold 31 million copies worldwide and is one of the best-selling book in publishing history it must still have a lot going for it.

I’ve never read David Copperfield but I love the imagery in this quote.

The rooks were sailing about the cathedral towers; and the towers themselves, overlooking many a long unaltered mile of the rich country and its pleasant streams, were cutting the bright morning air as if there were no such thing as change on earth. Yet the bells, when they sounded told me sorrowfully of change in everything; told me of their own age, and my pretty Dora’s youth; and of the many, never old, who had lived and loved and died, while the reverberations of the bells had hummed through the rusty armour of the Black Prince hanging up within, and, motes upon the deep of Time, had lost themselves in air, as circles do in water. (Charles Dickens in David Copperfield)

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/bells-bell-bell-tower-masonry-2413297/

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Hope you’re having an enjoyable weekend.

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Book Promotion

Leefdale by Michael Murray http://amzn.eu/dhYOHmW Special launch price of 99p / 99c until April 15th 2018.




5 More Cat Quotes


Leonardo da Vinci

The smallest feline is a masterpiece.

cat paintings
image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/student-pictures-exhibition-gallery-1258137/


Time spent with a cat is never wasted.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-clock-animal-domestic-cute-1113330/

Jules Verne

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/lion-safari-africa-landscape-577104/

Rudyard Kipling

I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-homeless-fall-outdoor-breed-1199245/

Abraham Lincoln

No matter how much the cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/kittens-cat-cat-puppy-rush-555822/

Thanks for reading my blog today.

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Book Promotion

How shall we find the concord of this discord?

Leefdale by Michael Murray http://amzn.eu/dhYOHmW Special launch price of 99p / 99c until April 15th 2018.


5 Literary Cats


Ernest Hemingway

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-animal-cat-portrait-cat-s-eyes-1508613/

Charles Dickens

What greater gift than the love of a cat.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/kitten-grey-heart-cat-christmas-1856133/

Mark Twain

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.

cat dog
image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/dog-cat-domestic-animal-animals-2281194/

James Heriot

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-sofa-lazy-cat-the-british-cat-2211076/

Albert Schweitzer

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-pet-sleep-sheet-music-2856353/

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

You might also like Accessories for cats 1960s style


Great film clip of Crufts 1938

Book Promo


Julia's Room by Michael Murray
Julia’s Room by Michael Murray http://amzn.eu/1HNhOws

Like a garden full of weeds


Today it’s Weed Appreciation Day.
No-one seems to know who started this special day to celebrate weeds.
However, it’s not meant to be a day to promote the virtues of marijuana although some people have taken it up for that purpose.
In 2017 I wrote a blogpost on my Cabbage and Semolina Blog about weeds but that was a couple of weeks before #WeedAppreciationDay.
So, I thought the post could have another outing this year and contribute to the 2018 Weed Appreciation Day celebrations!

Wishing You a Happy Christmas!

Hope you’re having a very Happy Christmas.

You might enjoy these seasonal quotes:

Bob Hope

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?

Helen Steiner Rice

Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

J K Rowling

One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.

G K Chesterton

Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.

Winston Churchill

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like to read Season’s Greetings from the #1950s #Christmas Fairy.

or check out my Christmas Book of the Day at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com/

Christmas 1



It’s National Tea Day!

cup of tea

April 21st is National Tea Day

and if you’re in London you can go to the official

National Tea Day

celebrations at Kensington Roof Garden.

I live miles away from London

but can offer two blogposts to celebrate the occasion.

You might like to know

How to make a cup of tea Victorian style.

And if you’re in literary mode you might like

5 Best Literary Tea Quotes.

The National Tea Day website recommends drinking four cups of tea per day.

I’ve only had one cup of tea this morning,

so time to put the kettle on!

Whether you’re a tea drinker or not, hope you have a great day.

Today’s book promo:

A Single To Filey

With such a baffling case to solve how can DCI Forward find time for “The Cherry Orchard”?

Follow this link to find out more and read a free sample: http://amzn.to/1FxHwct