I am a crime writer, mostly 'cozy' crime but also some psychological thrillers. There are two sets - Cleo Marjoribanks Mysteries (set mostly in the New Forest) and The South Downs Murder Mysteries. There are also some stand alone novels. They are all on Kindle - if you don't have one, get the Kindle APP!
I am also an international travel writer so some of my blogs are about my travel.
I hope you buy lots of my books, enjoy them and enjoy my blogs.
Yes, it is June and supposedly summer although, as everyone in the UK agrees, wind
and rain is not summer weather.But for
my few days in Edinburgh
the weather was benign.A few light
showers on one day but otherwise pleasant for walking.There are hop-on-hop-off tours available for
those with mobility problems or with limited time and making their first trip
capital. The rest of us wear out our shoe leather.
My first time in Edinburgh
was in the late 1960s when I lived there for a short time.In those days traffic was not a problem.You could drive from home to the office and
park the car for free!Now traffic in Edinburgh is the same as
any large city - far too much of it.
To ease congestion between Waverley Station and the airport a tram
system is being installed. Obviously residents and shopkeepers are unhappy with
the road works that this entails, but tourists take it in their stride.Once the work is complete and the trams glide
along Princes Street
everyone will be happy.
But, back to 'what I did on my holiday' - to paraphrase the teachers'
favourite post-summer holiday essay subject.
The National Monument on Calton Hill.
I didn't go to Edinburgh Castle or Holyroodhouse
Palace as I know them
well.This time it was an occasion to
visit old haunts and do something I had never before done but always promised
myself I would.I climbed Calton Hill,
once (like the hill where the castle is located) a volcano and where the
monuments are.Actually it isn't as bad
as it sounds as, after climbing the first few steps off Waterloo Place, I then followed the
gently sloping path that winds its way around the hill.
From the north side are fantastic views of the Firth of Forth across to Fife.In other
directions can be seen the castle, Princes
Palace and Arthur's Seat
(another volcanic hill).On Calton Hill
are the Nelson Monument, the National Monument (in
honour of the soldiers killed in the Napoleonic wars), Rock House (home of the
19th century photographer David Octavius Hill) and the former City Observatory.
My old haunts included the Royal Botanic Gardens and the street called
Grassmarket.My memories of the latter
were of a large open space with pubs and a few shops. Now there are several
restaurants and, in the centre, is an area set aside for open air dining, seats
for relaxation and plenty of trees.A
I will write some articles to post on TheTraveleditor.com(www.thetraveleditor.com/authors/6261/Barbara_Bothwell/) - a case of
'watch that space'! There are already some articles on the site about Edinburgh
Castle, the Royal Yacht Britannia
(moored at Leith docks) and the Queen Mum Memorial
Garden (plus other garden areas of Edinburgh).
Don't you just love them?Those fellow hotel guests who seem unable to
close their door quietly?Especially
annoying when they come in late at night - after you are asleep - and proceed
to wake up everyone in the corridor.
Years ago when I lived in Spain one of the other problems was
stone floors and ladies in high-heels.Then, of course, along came the clogs.As a hotel rep I heard many complaints about noisy floors and
doors.It still surprises me that anyone
managed to get any sleep.Perhaps that
was why they fell asleep in the sun and got badly sunburnt!
If, like me, you live in a flat you also know of other noise problems such as loud radios/TVs/music.
But the biggest bugbear - as in hotels - is door
slamming.I can understand the click
when people go out, but when they come in?All doors have knobs of one sort or another so it isn't difficult to
close the front door quietly rather than push it to behind you.
My most unfavourite noise problem?People who don't close the bathroom
door.Think about it.
Now a please from all of us who experience door
slamming - please, please, DON'T slam that door.Just 'Shut that Door' quietly - as I'm sure
the lovely late Larry Grayson would have expected.
Oh dear, how typical in this country that the weather forecast for the
Diamond Jubilee Celebrations is cool and showery. Exactly the same as on Coronation Day (3rd
July 1953). Then people camped out along
the route for several days beforehand - the weather didn't put them off.
In the early 1950s only people who could afford it had television. When it was announced that the Coronation
would be televised sales rocketed. Our
next door neighbours bought one and on Coronation Day the room was filled with
people on chairs of all types - a case of bring your own. We children sat on the floor in front of the
The set? It was a small square screen
in a large wooden cabinet. It wouldn't
have been possible to see the picture without the huge square glass bubble over
it - the magnifier.
Until now the only moving pictures of the Royal Family that most of us
had seen were Newsreels at the cinema. A
few of us had been lucky enough to see King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the
Queen Mother) when they had either visited our town or driven through en route
to another destination.
On Coronation Day we settled down to watch the most momentous post-war
occasion in our lives. The Crowning of
our Queen, a beautiful young woman married to a handsome prince.
And it was the first time us children had ever seen the great Coronation
Coach - albeit in black and white. As it
drew out of the Buckingham
Palace forecourt and we
got a glimpse of Her Majesty wearing a gorgeous diadem a shiver ran down my
The cavalcade of carriages carrying royalty, presidents and other high
ranking personages from around the world was interspersed with soldiers,
sailors and airmen from the Commonwealth (as it was to become known) and, of
course, there were mounted soldiers and bands.
Watching the Crowning was breathtaking.
And, of course, The Queen wore a crown for the long, slow return journey
to Buckingham Palace.
It wasn't the one that she had been crowned with - the 1661 St. Edward's
Crown which weights 2.23 kg. - but the lighter Imperial State Crown.
Apart from the Coronation Coach probably the most memorable one was the
open Landau carrying the stately Queen Salote of Tonga and a smaller gentleman. It didn't matter that it was raining, Queen
Salote had a ball waving to the crowds, pointing to various placards held by
members of the crowd and laughing. A
very jolly lady. What an ambassador for
her Country. One that, until that time,
very few of us had even heard of!
The Coronation, was well as being the epitome of British Pageantry was
also a great learning experience. Not
just for the Service but also it brought the world to London
and taught us children that there is a lot more than Europe
out there to be visited.
Maybe that was the basis of my desire to travel!
I did once make it to Buckingham
Palace for a Balcony
Scene. It was the 50th Anniversary of VE
Day (9th May 1995). I was at the
railings by 6.00 a.m. and later saw Their Majesties, Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen
Elizabeth the Queen Mother and HRH the Princess Margaret on the balcony. And they joined in the sing-song being led by
Dame Vera Lynn, Sir Harry Secombe, Sir Cliff Richard and introduced by Bob
Holness. It was a morning that I will
cherish all my life.
HM The Queen during a visit to Croydon, Surrey
I do have an article about the Royal Carriages on