Another writing course and a nostalgia fest


Daisy after her scan First things first – Daisy’s scan revealed she’s not got any little ‘labradunno’s’ inside her belly, thank goodness! I’ve got to say I’m a bit relieved, much as I love puppies. Apparently it’s all to do with her hormones so another visit on Friday 25th will help sort it out, phew!

The fence is being rebuilt this week, so hopefully no more escapades or mischief. The scan meant she had a little shave of her belly so she looks very strange underneath now – serves the mutt right! Lol

Secondly, sticking with dogs for the moment, I’ve got to show you this clip I saw on YouTube – the funniest bulldog ever! It’s doing the rounds on email at the mo. My brother David’s got a funny bulldog, so he’d love it.


Debbie and her writing group with Sue Cook Thirdly, I loved the writing course at the weekend – ‘Get Writing 2011’ in St Albans. It was nice to have Friday and Saturday off work too – makes a change! These courses are a true hobby for me – it always really re-energises my creative juices and means I catch up with my lovely pals!

Here we are with Sue Cook, the broadcaster and author, host of BBC radio’s The Write Lines (@TheWriteLines on Twitter). She gave us the low down on her own journey from researcher at Capital Radio to broadcaster then novelist and screenwriter.

My Tuscany writing posse Litty, Carolyn and Alix and I all enjoyed meeting her and had a fab time listening to publishers and authors and even the WH Smiths buyer for airports and travel outlets, telling us how best to approach writing a successful novel.

My successful 'pitch session'

The highlight for me was a three minute ‘pitch session’ when I got the opportunity to pitch my idea for my romance to the marketing director of independent publisher of commercial women’s fiction, Choc-Lit. 

I’m delighted to say she asked me to submit it once it’s finished – yay! So now the countdown’s on to get my SFD finished. And hopefully it won’t be too ‘S’! (Contact me on Facebook to find out what SFD stands for, or ask any author!).

Choc Lit also provided an impressive keynote session where thier top author Sue Moorcroft told us her story, and it turns out her first novel from this small publisher made it to top spot in the WH Smiths guy’s list, so they are on the up. 

My next course is in York at the end of March. Just search ‘Writers Workshop York’ if you’re interested too. If only you could get a best-selling book published by just attending enough courses.

Reliving childhood memories

Lastly, nostalgia has been the order of the week – replaying old kids’ TV theme tunes on YouTube. Loads of them! When the girls were here staying with me for the writing course, Litty and I played ‘guess the programme’. How many can you remember? These are just a few of my faves. Just search for these show titles on YouTube and add the word ‘theme’ and feel the memories come flooding back!

Favourite theme tunes:
• Double Deckers – one of the best shows ever!
• Robinson Crusoe – oh sooooo many school holidays spent in front of THIS one with my three brothers and sister!
• White Horses – fab fab fab song! Weird lip-synching.
• Lost in Space – never fear, Smith is here!
• Time Tunnel – loved the Titanic episode.
• The Tomorrow People – sci-fi ahead of its time. I later went out with a guy who had been a child actor in that one. I always remember the ‘what happened if the Roman Empire never fell’ storyline!
• Closing titles of Stingray – I wanted to BE Aqua-Marina! Lol
• Rupert the Bear by Jackie Lee – we had the 45rpm single of Rupert.

Now here’s a conundrum you might be able to help me with. In the dim and distant depths of my memory, I thought there was a version of Winnie the Pooh tune on the back of the Rupert single. But Jackie Lee kindly replied to me on YouTube to say it wasn’t that at all, bless her – it was a B side called ‘Going to the Circus’. Ahhh! I remember that now, but it means I don’t have any idea who sang the Winnie the Pooh song we had on a record when we were kids.

It’s not any of the versions currently on YouTube, not that I’ve found so far anyway. So if you can help me with my quandary that’d be great! By the way, it wasn’t the orchestral, choral style version, it was a quirky version with what sounded like a comedy voice singing the pooh lines! Leave a comment if you know.

Try it For the First Time club

Must think of my ‘TiFFT’ for this month too – could choose one from my hol, or do you have any suggestions for what I can do for the ‘Try it For the First Time club’?

It could be planting my Today’s Special Value magnolias perhaps? Although that’s a bit of a cop out – even though it would be a proper first for me to do it right for a change! Mind you, I’ve got a little cheat lined up for when my set of three bare roots arrive – I can watch Richard’s tips! By the way, I bought the TSV magnolia's using the new iPhone app. I was so impressed with as it took seconds to purchase, even quicker than QCut and there were no phone charges! Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

I posted on YouTube a bit of our gardening expert Richard Jackson’s show with Craig from Wednesday afternoon. Here it is if you need help too. Don’t forget the ericaceous soil! Only problem is it costs a lot of money to keep buying those pots to break up to put in the bottom as per Richards advice! Hehe!

Next week, Daisy’s sister Gracie the puppy dog goes swimming! Jill Franks told me about her bulldog having hip dysplasia and how hydrotherapy has helped him. So hopefully I’ll have a hilarious clip for you to see on next week’s blog!



P.S. I’ve also left some new replies to your comments on previous blogs, and on the main blog (where the monkey names ones are). Oh and on the comments section found when you click ‘read full biography’. Best to leave any new general queries on the ‘main’ blog though.


  1. Louise February 24, 2011 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs
    Good news about Daisy. If she had been pregnant, it would be nice for it to be planned and with another labrador. We got Oscar and Rosie with the intention of breeding them, successfully as it turned out. The joy gained from breeding is indescribable.
    Reading your blog re tv tunes, I’m currently into that right now. My favourite is The Unknown Stuntman, from The Fall Guy. Whilst on the computer I play it continually on Spotify. Did you see The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, with Dolly Parton? Well I’m playing the songs from that film via the same medium. Brilliant!
    I’m also watching Batman – again – the 1960s series. Ham acting has never been so forgivable; it makes the series.
    Take care and speak soon.

  2. Jean February 25, 2011 at 8:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    You mentioned that Daisy was not having pups and it was her hormones, that is what will cause a phantom pregnancy, you have to watch them when they get that as they get a build up of milk.
    Like the video of the Bulldog, he is having fun. Yes the water should do Gracie some good, well I hope it does, they use it a lot for dogs and especially racehorses when they are recovering from an injury. I know our Labradors always head for the pond when we go on a certain walk, you cannot keep them out. We throw some dummies out for them to swim out and retrieve. They always shake themselves just as they reach you, in the working tests that we do, if they drop the dummy when they come out of the water before they let you have it, which they must do without dropping you loose five points. Yes the training for tests is hard work but rewarding. Lots of dummy retrieving, but they must respond to your whistle at a distance and when you want them to stop. You also get them to learn, get over when they go over a ditch or into a wood or over a fence. Go back, that is away from you. Get out, that is left or right. Mine take longer to train sometimes as I train with love and not harsh treatment like a lot of people.
    Glad you are enjoying your writing, when is your first book out.I think you could write one on Daisy and title it how a labrador should not behave.
    Speak soon. Take care.
    Love Jean. xx

  3. Susanne Fitzpatrick February 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm -  Reply

    Where are the Kipling monkey names, Debbie? They don’t appear to be on your ‘main blog’ page as you stated – have been looking for two weeks, on and off. Can you send me the link please?
    Thanks muchly
    Susanne x

  4. debs flint February 26, 2011 at 1:20 am -  Reply

    Louise – yes I know, having puppies was one of the most magical times of Lauren and Brad’s childhood! holly had 8 in 01, then Patch, one of the pups, had two small litters few years later but nothing from either since! There’s a rude joke I usually tell about paying for stud fees for my dogs but I won’t on here! lol. Facebook me and I might tell you it! hehe.
    Ref the series – loved batman too. Have just seen ‘pogleswood’ on someone’s twitter name, so must look that up too!

  5. debs flint February 26, 2011 at 1:22 am -  Reply

    Jean – training sounds intensive but fun. I’m lucky at the moment if either of the pups come back at all, even with a training treat! Must book doggy obedience classes once i settle gracie into her swimming. I dunno – they’ll be having more of a social life than I do! lol

  6. Di February 28, 2011 at 12:38 am -  Reply

    Hiya Debs,
    Loved the Double Deckers, gutted when it finished.. My other shows I watched were:
    Mary Mungo and Midge
    Mr Benn
    Hong Kong Phoey
    Rubarb and Custard
    We are the Champions
    Murphys Mob
    Jossys Giants
    Oh happy days, don’t make kids programmes today like we had..
    Luv Di xxxx

  7. debs flint March 1, 2011 at 3:27 am -  Reply

    Di – great list! I remember talking to the Jossy’s Giants creator when I was introducing it on Children’s BBC! Great theme tune too!

  8. Janice Gradwell April 6, 2011 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Hello Debs, Just wanted to thank you for your superb presenting skills. I am so grateful to you because you always pay special attention to the sizing of garments and I find this tremendously helpful when I’m ordering clothes. You and I are the same dress size so your experiences of wearing the dresses, for instance, is just great.
    Have been reading about you and I see you are a dog lover. I have a bearded collie named Robert; he’s crazy but I love him to bits. Take care, stay safe. Jan

  9. Diane Barker July 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    I have been shopping with QVC for about 5 years. I do have wide feet and buy my shoes, sandals & boots from a well known catalogue and a well known high street shop as they go up to a very wide fitting, Depending on style of footwear, I can get on an E fit to EEE fit. The only shoes I buy from QVC are Birkenstocks and I only get the ones which I can adjust at the front as well as across the instep, I don’t like toe post they are uncomfortable for me. I would like to see more wider fitting shoes on QVC. Good luck Debbie in trying to get wider fitting shoes on QVC

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