Evidence that Fran has started the year a domestic goddess

Well, Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for following me during 2018 - your forbearance and long-suffering are much appreciated, as are all your comments. This year I'm meant to be writing and delivering to the publishers my diary-memoir 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' Watch out for news.

I thought I'd write about fish pie as it's the start of the new year and there are many, many reasons I am not the right person to write a blog about new year resolutions ...

I made a fish pie last night for dinner because there was a packet of supermarket pastry in the fridge that never got converted into mince pies over Christmas.

Why didn't I make the mince pies? Mainly because I knew that no one would eat them over Christmas because they'd all be stuffed to perdition with other goodies. So, if I'd made 48, I would eat 47 of them and then my husband, who's not a major fan (of mince PIES, you at the back!!) would wander into the kitchen in mid-January …

Reasons why Fran and Santa aren't speaking

Dear Santa

Thanks so much for the streaming cold, tickly throat and stuffed-up head and for delivering them all early so that I get to enjoy them throughout the entire Christmas period. Your thoughtfulness is touching.


Dear Fran

I assure you that I did not deliver you the streaming cold, tickly throat and stuffed-up head. I bear you no ill-will, despite the caustic letter I received from you early this year about last Christmas's presents and how disappointed you were that I could not source the recipe books you wanted.


Dear Santa

I am sorry if I over-reacted. But I was looking forward to receiving my copies of 'One-Cal Cakes' and 'Eat Like a Piggy: Look Like a Supermodel'.


Dear Fran

I understand you are a Dickens fan. Have you read 'Great Expectations'? I have a spare copy I could deliver, if you wish.


Dear Santa

How would the world's children react if they knew you had such a sarcastic edge to your tongue? That's like finding…

Reasons why Fran is avoiding the phone

My husband sent his flute in for repair a couple of weeks ago and has been waiting for the shop to call.

Just now, while I was watching TV, the phone rang in the hall and I went to pick it up. A man's voice said, 'It's the music shop. Can I speak to Mr Hill, please?'

I don't know why, but I said 'Speaking.'  I swear the menopause gives women a form of Tourette's.

'Oh,' he said, clearly surprised that Mr Hill had a woman's voice, especially as, in the shop two weeks ago, he'd had a deep bass voice, substantial facial hair, and was wearing a flat cap.

I wasn't sure how to backtrack.

'One second,' I said, and stepped into the kitchen where my husband was making bread.

'It's the music shop for you,' I said, thrusting the phone at him, keen to escape the embarrassing situation and get back to watching Homes under the Hammer.

'They'll have to hang on,' my husband said, making no attempt to keep his voice do…

Reasons why Fran is avoiding toffee

I broke a tooth the day before we travelled to the Lyme Regis holiday I posted about last Saturday. It was one of the big molars, right at the back, and already had a filling. And it wasn't just a crack - a large section of the tooth had snapped off and disappeared down my gullet masquerading as one of the cashew nuts I was guzzling indiscriminately at the time.

So I feared the tooth was doomed. But I haven't had an extraction since my childhood. I wasn't sure what to expect.

I decided to push my luck and see the dentist about it when we got back.

Therefore, on holiday, I ate carefully. (That's the first time I've ever used that sentence.)

'Oh, heck,' said Anna, my dentist, this morning when I turned up for my appointment.

This was after she'd looked in my mouth at the broken tooth, I hasten to add - not a negative reaction as soon as I poked my head around her surgery door.

She apologised after saying 'Oh, heck.'

'That's not exactly wha…

Evidence that Fran will never get work as a travel writer

I've been in Dorset for the week on holiday. Here's a flavour.

Mint choc chip.


I mean, here's a flavour of the holiday. In pictures and captions.

You know by now not to expect pictures of fields or beaches or sunsets from my holiday pics, don't you?

Reasons why Fran will be kept busy and off the streets for the foreseeable

I have something to share with you. No, it's not cake, so you can put your hopeful face away ;)

No, it's not biscuits.

No, it's not cheesecake.

No, it's not sherry trifle.

No, it's not a bag of chips.

It's NOT food. Honestly, does no one feed you lot?

Keep thinking ....

No, it's NOT a lottery win. More's the pity.

No, it's not a wise thought. I mean, since when ....?

No, what I have to share is a bit of recent news.

As you know, I am a very modest, self-effacing individual, so I will say it quietly ....

I am going to be a Proper Published Author!! 

Yes, it's true. Someone has actually agreed to take something I've written and turn it into a Thing One Can Put on a Shelf. (After reading it, of course.)

As you know, this will be my second book. The first one, 'Being Miss', I published myself on Kindle and in paperback. If you've read it, I hope you enjoyed it :)

So, the details about the next one. The kind publisher is SPCK and the b…

Reasons why the old should not be kept apart from the young

Have you seen the recent TV programmes and news items about young children being taken into care homes to cheer up the residents? What a fabulous idea. I wish my gran had had the benefit of this before she died last year. She loved the regular visits of the therapy dogs - great slobbery Labradors she loved to stroke and pat. She'd have relished visits from singing toddlers. On the couple of occasions I took in my grandchildren to see her, she grinned from ear to ear, round her head, and back again. 
I wrote a poem about it. 
Most stretched afternoons we are sat (don’t judge my grammar erroneous because I mean someone sits us) in front of Flog It, Homes under the Hammer, and, particularly cruel for those of us with months, not years, Countdown.
Tepid tea is served from a trolley forgotten in a corridor while Elsie Brown is rescued, trembling, from the lift. A woman with a headmistress bark speeds us through Bingo and crosswords as though afraid she left her iron on.
Today, …