The life of a would-be writer is full of ups and downs. More downs than ups, to be honest; more disappointments than successes. But I am restored, re-affirmed and renewed by every positive response.

A couple of days ago, a very good friend from over the bridge shared a thank you letter with me. She’d bought a copy of ‘Valletta and the Year of Changes’ from me as a Christmouse gift for a child. My main character, Valletta, seems to have struck a chord with Tilda, the recipient of my children’s book.

This morning, Mr B had a back and shoulder massage to try and deal with the muscle pulled in his recent emergency fencing activities. The donkeys had escaped, for the third or maybe the fourth time in recent history. They had eaten a gap in the hedge, made their way across the lane, down the farm track, through the yard and back to their old stable – a distance of about three hundred yards. The old stable is now used for storing logs…and the apparently very tasty sheep feed. Having feasted until all was gone, Treacle, (greedy donk), was relatively easy for my daughter to catch and return to her new stable. However, the other donkey, Honey , is not governed by her appetites. She is inquisitive, adventurous and unpredictable. Honey began exploring and made her way into one of our two boiler sheds, which houses the huge biomass log boiler for the Pole Barn. The door closed behind her and she was locked in. Muffled braying could be heard and it took quite a while to find her…

Which brings me back to the need for improved fencing. Mr B’s day was reorganised yesterday after the donkey’s exploits. The lady who visited our cottage this morning to try and deal with Mr. B’s back issue, said, as she left us to return to her family…oh and the girls said, make sure you ask her when the next Valletta book is coming out! A little appreciation goes a very long way.