Saturday 22 November 2014

Stormy Waters

The recent stormy weather has had quite an impact on the beach.

There are dozens of mermaid’s purses washed up with the seaweed.

And last Sunday we saw a seal swimming just off the shore. He was too far out to get a good photo and every so often he’d bob under the water and reappear further along. There is a colony of seals not far from where we walk Dusty, but this is the first time we’ve seen one.

Sea foam blows off the sea and rolls along the beach in little fluffy clouds. That’s quite unusual too.

But most of all, there have been dozens of cuttlefish bones washing up. It’s never been unusual to see the odd one here and there, but right now they’re scattered all over the beach. And there are tiny ones too, which is sad, as they would be babies and it’s very unusual to see baby ones.

The bigger bones all have teeth marks.

Cuttlefish have several predators including sharks and seals. I think the teeth marks look as if they belong to seals.

A little further down the coast around Mersea Island and Brightlingsea, a pod of pilot whales has been spotted.

Sad sight though this morning of a Harbour Porpoise on the beach. I crossed the creek to check if there was any possibility of it being alive, hoping to be able to get it back into the water, but it was dead. Poor thing had injuries to its tail and fins.

Dusty will take his last antibiotic on Tuesday – then we wait and see if the infection has been beaten or whether it will be another trip to the vet.

Friday 21 November 2014


Although he's written several historical stories for The People's Friend, this is the first time my son, Sam Curteis, is in the same issue as me and I’m that pleased. His lovely story, A Travelling Man, is the first in the magazine and Fiction Ed Shirley mentioned it in her blog

And my story – well that little grain of truth in my stories I spoke about on the People’s Friend blog – there is more than a grain in Sunshine and Showers.

Friday 7 November 2014

November Giggles

Driving along the by-pass, I saw a beautiful bird strutting about in the road ahead, pecking at the grit, as they do. I slowed down, hoping he’d move before I got there (he did).

My grandson saw and sat forward in his seat. “That’s a… it’s a … It’s one of those peasants!”


And one of my granddaughters was talking about a beautiful dog we sometimes see out on our walks. She confidently told her parents that he is an Elastic Malamute. I blame my accent!


Two of my short story books are on sale at 99p (usually £1.99) for the next six days. They should also be at a special price from

You Can’t Love a Stranger – all stories include an animal of some sort. Available from Amazon UK.

Haunted – all stories include a ghost. Available from Amazon UK.

And here’s Dusty cuddling up with one of his best friends – Bananaman.

Thursday 6 November 2014

The People's Friend Blog

I am absolutely thrilled to be a guest on the lovely People’s Friend “Getting to know you” blog.

You can see my contribution here.

There are some great posts on there and I’m so pleased to join in.

The picture with the post sums up summer for me – it was a great one wasn’t it?

Update on Dusty: He is much better (hurtling now into adolescence and all the naughtiness that entails) and has an appointment next week to determine if he’ll need a further three weeks of antibiotics.

Harley says: “Yes, I know he’s behind me sticking his tongue out (how rude). He’s still miffed about National Cat Day!”