A walk around Loch Leven

Blessed with a magnificent autumnal day, Moira and I decided to walk the thirteen mile trail around Loch Leven. We had walked most parts of the trail in stages but never the whole journey in one outing. We set off on a crisp, clear morning, beginning at Kirkhouse Pier and walking clockwise.

A map of the route

Soon we could glimpse the loch through the trees. As the ground rose, the scenery opened up to reveal panoramas with the Lomond hills in the distance.

The trail does not merely stick to the Lochside. There are lovely riverside walks too.

And sections through woodlands, including some magnificent Scots pines.

Autumn colours were in view all around.

Loch Leven is a famous bird reserve and as we walked the air was filled with pink-footed geese arriving from Iceland. They settled in a field and then, all of a sudden, rose as one in a flurry of wings, the sound of beating wings and honking filling the air. It was a magnificent sight!

Reviews

Thank you so much to those of you who have bought a copy of ‘The Things You Think You Cannot Do’ and the many kind words you have sent me.

I now have my first two reviews (***** too!) and thank you so much for this. Reviews are vital for a first time author as they help with the awareness of the book that is so critical to its success and, as I’m finding, so elusive!

So, please, if you enjoy reading my book, please take a moment to put a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads – a few sentences adds considerable weight to the review too.

Thanks so much for all your support! 😀

Publication day!

Finally it’s here – ‘The Things You Think You Cannot Do’ is available on Amazon as ebook and paperback. I’m very proud and excited having reached this stage.

Please consider having a look on Amazon and consider buying the book. Here’s the link:


https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08HSC1CM7/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

If you enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads – this is crucial to a new author. Many thanks!

Reflections two months on

It’s been fascinating and exciting reading through the proof file of ‘The Things You Think You Cannot Do’ prior to its forthcoming publication. As any of you who write will recognise, as a work nears completion you’re repeatedly checking and editing each section rather than reading the whole work again (well, at least I was!) So to read the text from cover to cover having laid it aside for two months was revelatory.

The book is set in current times and focuses on three individuals; having explored their back stories to see what events shaped them and how, we see them plunged into the coronavirus pandemic trying, as we all are, to make a way through it. Much has changed and continues to change since I completed the book and one of the main impressions I got was how much more of their stories remains to be told. These are incredible times and marked by huge uncertainties, which for many of us provide considerable challenges. I’m already writing the follow up stories to the lives in ‘The Things You Think You Cannot Do’ even though I have no way of knowing the landscape in which these stories will unfold and end. But I’ve always been one to focus on processes rather than outcomes so the words are still flowing!

The main change in my life since this lockdown began has been returning to work part time as a GP working in a COVID assessment unit. Thankfully, we deal with patients who are, on the whole, not seriously ill – most of them do not turn out, on testing, to have COVID. But what stands out is the fear of becoming unwell, what it’s like to develop a cough or a fever, have to be directed away from your normal health care provider and be examined by staff clad in protective equipment. This fear is something I bring out in the book and I believe a key part of successfully managing our current situation is balancing this fear with informed reassurance and, of course, appropriate and decisive action.

Certainly the most rewarding part of returning to work has been being part of an amazing team, pulled together from different disciplines, who learn as we go and support each other with wisdom, compassion and a degree of humour. I’ve met some amazing doctors, nurses, health care assistants and reception staff who have supported me back into work and looked after me. The likelihood is that we will remain in the situation in which we find ourselves, with low levels of infection and sporadic local clusters and outbreaks, for the foreseeable future. The question I’m most asked about my work, by far, is ‘will we get a second wave?’ Of course, I don’t know any more than you do, but it really does come down to how well we adhere to the advice we are given.

Rest assured, at least where I work, preparations are in place. The unit will remain open and ready to be scaled up if that is what is required. I’m certain that each area will have the same contingency plans. So, my humble advice is live the best life you can right now, listen to and follow the advice we all hear every day but don’t be scared; there are a lot of good people who will have your back if needed.

Stay safe! ☺️

The Things You Think You Cannot Do

The ideas in my first novel came from my work experiences as a GP when I witnessed ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges. It was obvious that the pandemic and the lockdown was the time to put these writings together in the back stories of three fictional lives and imagine how these characters would face the future. Here is the author’s summary for the book…


Even in the darkest days can be found courage, love and the answers to our dreams.
The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the world, tearing lives asunder. Huddled indoors, fearful, we watch and wonder when, if ever, our lives will be the same again. Against this unheralded background, three individuals face their own, unique challenges to survive.

Jess, a lonely, childless woman, clings to a young refugee who has become so much more than a pupil to her, as she longs for love. Then she meets the dashing Todd, who simultaneously both offers a tantalising hope and threatens to separate her from the only person who has given meaning to her life. The dilemma she faces would send her halfway round the world, away from all she has ever known. How can she possibly choose?

Kevin, a young man, struggling to find his place in the world, blighted by a loveless upbringing and bullying at school, now lives in London, a city gripped by dread. An introvert and loner at heart, he must form bonds with those around him to plot a way through lockdown, fulfilling a role which is vital to the future of the nation.

Daniel dedicates his life as a doctor to helping all those, good and bad, who pass through his surgery. The only person he seems unable to help is himself; he lives a solitary life, cocooned against the pain of loves lost. As the sheer scale of the pandemic becomes horrifyingly clear, he faces a choice with potentially devastating consequences.

Look out for ‘The Things You Think You Cannot Do’ coming on Kindle and in paperback soon!