Tag Archives: lent


18 Mar

I seem to be in a strange kind of limbo, writing-wise at the moment. I’ve finished my latest novel, The Sarcophagus Scroll, and I’ve given it to my editor and a couple of beta readers (at their request), but as my editor has just given birth and beta readers (in my experience) rarely do much reading, there’s no news. It almost feels as if I never finished it and it simply doesn’t exist. Continue reading


Counting My Blessings

14 Feb
Christian Aid's "Count Your Blessings" programme

Christian Aid’s “Count Your Blessings” programme

I don’t remember Lent ever starting before Valentine’s Day before, although I suppose it must have happened. It’s not a very good arrangement, since I have lots of lovely choccies and a nagging feeling that I’m not supposed to eat them. I will quash that feeling, however, since I haven’t given up chocolate for Lent and a woman whose husband books a boys’ holiday over Valentine’s Day deserves all the chocolates she can get!

This Lent I will neither be giving up something  nor taking up something. Instead, I’m going to follow the Christian Aid “Count Your Blessings” programme. At least, I am when I get the leaflet back. I blithely left it at work for other people to see, since Christian Aid’s website assured me that an app was available. It is, but it won’t download onto my phone so it’s back to the paper version.

“Count Your Blessings” give you little daily facts about the developing world or conflicts and asks for tiny pledges of money every day or two. For example: “At the end of 2011, an estimated 42.5 million people were living in a place to which they had been forcibly displaced due to conflict or persecution. Give 10p for every year you have lived in your current home.” While we’re struggling with a horrible recession it’s easy to forget just how much worse off so many people in the world are. Although I said I’m not giving anything up, I am saying “no” to the occasional treat to balance out the pledges from “Count Your Blessings”, which again makes me aware of just how good life is for me.

Back to Valentine’s Day, and the e-book of Foreign Encounters from Writers Abroad is now available. This is a collection of stories about relationships, written by ex-pats or ex-ex-pats (like me), and profits go to a charity that provides books to schools in the developing world. This also requires a tiny pledge of money: £1.90 on Amazon, or $2.99 on Smashwords. Look out for my atmospheric little piece, “Sounion”.