Writing from the heart – and by hand

Do you groan when you have to address an envelope by hand, or write something in a greeting card? Or do you welcome the chance to express your true self through personally-penned words rather than use the impersonal blandness of a keyboard?

Writing from the heart – and by hand

How many of us remember how to write by hand – neatly?

Recently I was chatting to my good friend Sarah Sibley who runs a business offering the most gorgeous personalised stationery, and we got on to the subject of handwriting and how today it has become almost a novelty in a world of text generated by keyboards that make everyone’s written communication look identical.

Much as I love the online environment because it offers so many varied opportunities to communicate via the written word, I can’t help wondering if its sheer “high-tech-ness” isn’t slowly strangling the poetry and romance out of writing that I, like all children born in the Ming Dynasty, experienced when writing before the digital age. [Read more…]

Written instructions: how to, er, prepare for your first puppy dog

Thinking of getting a fluffy puppy dog to brighten your family’s life? Here’s all you need to know to get ready…LOL…

Written instructions: how to, er, prepare for your first puppy

Even the cutest of small puppies have teeth like needles. A more positive option is to use them to drill holes in leather goods that need lacing up.

Buy a pair of really expensive shoes (Gucci or Jimmy Choo are ideal). Bring them home, remove from box and place on chopping board.  Beat several times with meat tenderising hammer, then clip around edges with pinking shears. Laugh and throw them away.

Take your best white shirt or blouse from the wardrobe. Put it on, go out into garden on a rainy evening and splash liberally with mud. Observe the “dry clean only” label and smile. [Read more…]

What writing help would be the most useful for you?

We all have to write whether we like it or not. I happen to love it to bits, but I know many of you don’t so need some help. Many of you do, but need some help to get it rolling.

What writing help would be the most useful for you?

How can we help you with your writing? Just say!

So, I want to start a monthly newsletter to make you folks more comfortable with whatever you want or need to write. No bullsh*t, nice and concise.

It will share tips from my vast range of utterly hysterical experience in writing everything from books to funny jokes on toilet rolls (seriously), plus that of many other writing experts from all over the world.

Now, never mind what I think we should share. What do YOU want some help with? For example:

[Read more…]

Letter to India: is your written and spoken English too good?

Dear English-speakers from India,
One thing that has struck me many, many times in corresponding with Indian people in English, is that the English you speak and write is so utterly perfect in grammar, syntax, spelling and general presentation. You have learned the language as it should be spoken and written, with the grace and elegance the language should still be using now.

Letter to India - is your english too good?

Is Indian English too good for everyday international communication?

The trouble is, the standards of English used for nearly all communication in the main English language markets have deteriorated. Proper, well-mannered and well-constructed English as so many Indian people speak and write is (sadly) viewed as old-fashioned and long-winded. In our modern throwaway society all but the essentials in language have become disposable, too. [Read more…]

Writing online: naked words work hardest

People say a picture’s worth 1,000 words. But a few right, naked words are worth much more than 1,000 wrong ones whether pictorial or otherwise. Especially online in blog posts, web text, and above all in social media posts and comments.

Writing online: naked words work hardestWhy?
Because even though we have images, video, audio, infographics or other gizmos online, what really reverberates is words. Text.

Despite the popularity of live video on platforms like Facebook, Instagram et al, can you be sure that viewers will retain your message loud and clear? Even if they’re a little bit distracted by your beautiful earrings, the potted plant growing out of your left ear, or the zit on your chin? [Read more…]

Writing From The Heart – goodbye, my young friend

If you’ve lost a close friend or family member to cancer, this poem of mine may resonate with you. I wrote it about our beautiful 37-year-old cancer group member who passed away in 2017, leaving behind an 8-year-old daughter.

My language is rude as usual, but this time I don’t apologise other than asterisking out the rudest words. I was angry, as we all are at such a cruel curtailment of a young life.

Writing From The Heart: goodbye, my young friend

RIP Deb, whose favourite colour was blue.


Who knows when your number’s up.
Three score years and ten, and then? [Read more…]