Meet the Authors with Anne-Marie O’Connor and Gael Lindenfield

Anne Marie O’Connor
Gael Lindenfield

We had a very special ‘Meet the Authors’ event at our latest bookclub, where we met Anne-Marie O’Connor, best-selling author of ‘A Lady in Gold’ and Gael Lindenfield best-selling author of ‘How to Feel Good in Difficult Times.’

Anne-Marie has had an illustrious career as a war journalist and foreign correspondent and has written for the LA Times and Washington Post. 

Gael Lindenfield

I opened the meeting by introducing Gael. For those of you who don’t know Gael,  Gael is a psychotherapist and the Uk’s leading confidence and self-help expert. She has written over 24 personal development books which have been translated into 33 languages and sold several million copies.

Gael has faced unbelievable tragedy in her life. She generously opened up about the things that have shaped her and made her the person she is today. 

Gael had an alcoholic mother and her early life was spent in children’s homes. She struggled with her mental health and had a series of bad relationships before having a complete breakdown and winding up in a psychiatric hospital. She built herself back up with the help of a couple of women she holds dear and became a bestselling self-help writer, inspiring and helping millions, all around the world.

I introduced Gael by saying, ‘that if you had to look in the dictionary for a definition of resilience it would have her name written there.  I also pointed out that, ‘success is to be measured not so much by the position one has achieved in life but the obstacles one has overcome.’

Boy, has Gael had to overcome a lot.  She talked about her early life and how her mother would hide her gin bottles under her bed, and how she was often left alone to fend not only for herself but to look after her younger brother and sister. Gael said one of her earliest memories was trying to cook potatoes for dinner for her siblings when she was very little and her mother was not there and how social services barged in and took them into care and laughed at her because she had not cleaned the potatoes.

She talked about her time in care and how despite it all she tried to maintain a positive attitude. How, she formed a secret society and hid things under the floorboards. She spoke of how she became quite tough standing up for her brother who was being bullied and how even though her little sister was her baby who she cared for, she was taken away and she couldn’t see her until she was much older.

After leaving care, Gael went to live with her stepmother, who in Gael’s words ‘did a Pygmalion on her,’ sending her to private school and ‘gentrifying her’ . Gael said she found this tough as she was very clearly working class when she started school and she got teased for it.

Gael finished school but not surprisingly she suffered a breakdown and severe depression resulting in hospitalisation. Out of the ashes emerged a phoenix. Inspired by those who had helped her, she started to study Psychology. After she graduated, she began using drama therapy and other psychotherapeutic techniques  to help others in her role as a psychiatric social worker and through her work with the charity ‘Mind’, which in its early days had a lot of clients but not much money.

She started writing self-help books for her clients. One of them said she should get it published. Her first book was ‘Assert Yourself’. Gael, like me, is dyslexic and I can totally relate to the fear she said she felt when she gave her husband the first copy of her book to read.

She needn’t have worried – it was an instant best seller and she has gone on to write 24 books which have been translated into in to 33 different languages. 

Gael said that ‘Super Confidence’, was her favourite book, as it was the first one where she really opened herself up and talked about her past. 

Gael describes her books as a practical ‘how to’ rather than ‘a how or what.’ She says that you have to trust that self-help will work.

Gael also worked in a large psychiatric hospital in her early career which contained a huge ward of over two thousand locked beds. She walked around with a bunch of keys. By the time she had left, almost all the wards were open.

Gael did a MSc on men and masculinity. She looked at how men managed their emotions. She went to rugby clubs in Yorkshire and steel factories in Leeds to learn and to understand how men coped. She found the most common coping method was sport and work.

It was suggested that men channelled their emotions through anger, Gael concurred, but said women also did this.  She herself had repressed her own anger and had problems dealing with it. This had informed and influenced her writing.

Ann asked Gael what inspires her? Where do her books come from? and whether they came from former clients?

Gael replied that she puts herself in people’s situations and looks at what they are going through. Her works are empathetically based and empathetically driven. The book of hers that we looked at, ‘How To Feel Good in Difficult Times,’ was written in the financial crisis of 2008 when people where literally killing themselves because of the financial and personal stress that they were under.

Gael’s philosophy and her form of self-help is down to earth. She wants people to know what to do and how to put it into action.

Rebecca asked how open do you have to be when reading a self-help book?

Gael said you have to be prepared to try and not be afraid of failing. If it doesn’t work, try something else that does.

Ann said her work was a breath of fresh air and a relief as you did not have to plough through lots of stuff to find out what to do .

Gael said she was trying to write for people who usually would not go to a therapist. Gael was completely pro people doing whatever worked for them and for trying different things until something was a fit. She had learnt a lot through her clients working out what fitted and what didn’t.

Gaels book, ‘How To Feel Good In Difficult Times’ can be purchased from here https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Feel-Good-Difficult-Times/dp/1789561779/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=gael+lindenfield+how+to+feel+good+in+difficult+times&qid=1589899090&sr=8-1

Her website can be found here https://www.gaellindenfield.com/

Anne-Marie O’Connor

After Gael finished her talk, we heard from our second author of the night Anne-Marie O’Connor. She is the best-selling author of ‘The Lady in Gold’. She is also a former bureau chief of Reuters in CENTRAL America,  a war journalist, a foreign correspondent and a contributor to such publications as the LA Times and the Washington Post.

The first time I met Anne-Marie at one of our book clubs she casually told me about the time she had interviewed Toni Morrison.

Anne-Marie began writing ‘The Lady in Gold’  in 2001 whilst she was working at the LA times. She started  writing the book at a time when a lot of people were getting retrenched and losing their jobs as journalists. When she was sitting in a café one day she saw a small article in a community newspaper about a woman,  Maria Altmann,   who had had her families possessions and art work stolen by the Nazis.

Anne Marie called directory assistance and located Maria who, unbelievably, was listed. She went to her house, had a Viennese coffee and heard all about her amazing life. Maria recounted how her family knew prominent intellectuals like Freud and Gustav Mahler and how her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer was painted twice by the famous artist Gustav Klimt and told Anne-Marie about her time in pre-war Austria. When the war came the Nazis stole the portrait done of Maria’s aunt Adele by Klimt and Maria wanted it back.

Anne-Marie soon came to realise that almost all women in Klimt’s paintings were Jewish and almost all his paintings that were hanging in museums where stolen.

Anne-Marie was introduced to Maria’s lawyer, a friend of her son called Randy who had a small office. He was to take on the establishment and win.

Intrigued, Anne-Marie decided to look into the matter further. She took two months off work and began listening to Maria, looking at photos and discovering the ‘paradise lost ‘ of turn of the century Vienna. It was a time of emerging art and the beginning of the modern science of psychotherapy.

One of the characters in Vienna during that time that is mentioned in her book is Felix Salten. Madeleine pointed out that her husband’s relatives had helped him escape from the Nazis.

When the Nazis came to power,  they confiscated many paintings and fine works of art and changed the names of the paintings to hide the identity of the subject of the paintings. The painting of Maria’s aunt Adele became, ‘The Lady in Gold’.

Anne-Marie finished her article for the LA Times on Maria and it was met with critical acclaim. Time passed, but she never lost touch with those she had interviewed who, despite being elderly, had minds as sharp as tacks.

It became increasingly apparent to Anne-Marie while she was researching her work that there had not been any ‘denazification’ of Austria. Viennese Nazis still often held public office long after the war. Anne Marie told us about a professor in a University in Austria who had jars of euthanised infants from the time of the Nazis in jars in his room. The scientist was turned out of the hospital in 1996 and stripped of his Austrian medal in 2000, but it wasn’t until a public outcry that the euthanised babies were buried finally in 2002.

Because of the growing publicity about these cases including Anne- Marie’s book, there has been a growing movement to return portraits to their original owners and hundreds of art works have been returned by European museums.

Anne-Marie did, however, tell us the tale of an art historian who shall remain nameless, who was demanding a percentage of the profits of recovered paintings.

Sometime after the publication of her article in 2006 at 2am in the morning, she got a call  to tell her that Maria had won her case in the Supreme Court and was going to get her painting back from Vienna. Anne-Marie went home, got a 6 pack of beer and banged out a book proposal .

She sent the proposal to two agents at midnight that night. The proposal was accepted, and she started writing her book. The rest as they say is history.

Her book became a best seller and she did extensive talks on the book, connecting with many friends and family whilst on the speaking circuit.

Maria Altman’s  story was then turned in to a very successful film produced by the notorious Harvey Weinstein and starring Helen Mirren.

We discussed the film briefly. Tina, who joined us from Germany was amazed that although she had seen the film twice on German T-V it was not yet published in German and there has never had a German translation. Tina said she would put Anne-Marie in touch with a German publisher.

When asked whether she liked the film, Anne-Marie said she thought the story was told well. They had, however,  taken one part of the story and focused on that and left other parts out. She didn’t berate them for this, but thought that this was a good way for them to reach their audience. She thought it was particularly well cast.

Anne-Marie said she had nothing to do with the actual making of the film and did not get any money for the film. The film was one of Weinstein’s last films. She said that film makers have a growing tendency to look at works of non-fiction and buy the rights to the stories of living protagonists. They don’t pay the authors for the interpretation of that story, but argue they got all the information from the public domain.

Anne-Marie wasn’t bitter about this. She said she didn’t pursue it, as the movie did have the effect of increasing interest in her book and led to an increase in sales. Despite not being included in the film deal Anne-Marie felt her experiences of writing the book were extremely positive.

As well as talking about her book, Anne-Marie talked about her expreinces as a war journalist and foreign correspondent.

When asked what had inspired her to become a journalist, Anne Marie said she had faced a number of personal challenges at a very young age including having a disabled father. She got a full scholarship to university and started college when she was only 15.

When she was at college she was told she should become a novelist or artist. She took a year off and went to the San Francisco School of Art where Angela Davis, the black militant feminist, was one of her teachers. She got involved in a student documentary about the persecution of Chilean artists following the coup against Salvador Allende by General Augusto Pinochet in 1974. She then went on to study at the University of California at Berkeley.

When she was 25 Anne-Marie became a Reuters Bureau Chief of Reuters in Central America covering a multitude of things such as the war in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala–Everything she says was a ‘runaway train’. It was intense, and she loved it. However, she has to admit she also enjoys the slightly slower pace of life now.

Tina asked her about what it was like to be a war reporter as a woman. Anne Marie said firstly she was treated almost like an ‘honorary man’ anything feminine was not encouraged. The austere women was rewarded. Anne-Marie said because she was a woman, she could be a ‘fly on the wall’,  People had a tendency not to take women seriously and not to consider them a threat. Because of this she thought she had greater access. She also recounted a time she was given shelter when searching out a story, which she didn’t think she would have received had she been a man.

Gael asked Anne-Marie how she dealt with anxiety. Anne-Marie said she goes on walks and goes to the gym. She finds exercise helps. She does also believe in the power of fish oil as a good anti-depressant. (Gael added that she believe it is also good for arthritis) .

Thinking her life would settle down, Anne-Marie then left Reuters and went on to work at the LA Times – but then the drug war started.

In 2008 she went to Mexico City and in 2013 she went to Jerusalem contributing to the Washington Post. When she was in Jerusalem, she came across many holocaust survivors, some of whom had featured in her book.

She now lives in London where her husband is Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.

Gael asked Anne-Marie how she coped with all the peace of Hampstead after her frenetic life. Anne Marie said when she first moved to London she had wanted to live down town. However, she and her husband needed a garden for their dog and something came up in Hampstead. It was only later that they realised they were in the literary heartland of London. She said she had  adapted well to London and says it is nice not living in a place where there is lots of conflict like Jerusalem. She is enjoying this time in her life and is taking time to smell the roses. She has no FOMO (fear of missing out).

Anne-Marie said her life always used to be so busy but she didn’t regret it and she loved it, Now that she is living a quieter life in Hampstead she reflected that it is ‘a rewarding time for human growth’ and that it  ‘has  allowed her time to reconnect.’ She is valuing this time to be more introspective. She wants to write again, either fiction or nonfiction. She wants to have conversations without having to run off.

Jo asked Anne-Marie if she ever kept a journal or if she was currently writing anything. Anne-Marie said she has kept a journal but not diligently. She is currently writing some fiction. She says she finds writing fiction hard after covering dramatic real events and understands why Irish writer Edna O’Brien said she often drew on her own experiences for fiction, as she did in her novel ‘The Country Girls’. Tina reminded us that Charles Harris last week said there was a bit of him in everyone of his books.

Anne-Marie said a memoir would be harder to write because most of the protagonists in her life are still alive and she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or invade their privacy. She said this may be why people write memoirs when they are older.

Anne-Marie’s book ‘The Lady in Gold’ can be purchased from here

Anne-Marie’s website can be found here https://www.annemarieoconnor.com/

Thank you so much to both Anne-Marie and Gael for taking part in this fantastic event.

Upcoming books

Bookclub will meet on Monday 25 May to discuss ‘The Milkman’ by Anna Burns. I will report back on that meeting by the following Wednesday through this blog.

This book can be purchased from here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Milkman-Anna-Burns/dp/0571338755/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+milkman&qid=1589905127&sr=8-1

Our next ‘Discussion with the Author’ will be on the 1st June when we will be meeting with Michelle Harris to discuss her book ‘Gayle’s Secret’ . Again, a blog should appear shortly after that event. Be warned however – this book comes with a warning on Amazon that it contains graphic sexual content – should be an interesting bookclub!

 It can be purchased from here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gayles-Secret-Who-Can-Trust-ebook/dp/B086VPS2Q2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=gayles+secret&qid=1589905244&sr=8-1

Other news

Lisa mentioned that she is taking evening classes in creative writing at Imperial College from 6-7pm on Zoom. She says they are amazing fun. She says however that it looks like registration ended for this coming term, but they have a full slate of liberal arts offerings.  Here is the link . https://www.imperial.ac.uk/evening-classes/

Lisa is also looking for somewhere in Hampstead or the surrounding area for her and her husband and two sons to stay for a summer vacation. If you have a place for rent, (preferably with a garden),  this summer, please send a comment to me in the comments section of this blog and I will put you in contact with her. 

TV recommendations and theatre

I haven’t seen it but ‘Seawall’ from the Old Vic is free streaming, it stars the Hot Priest from Fleabag https://www.timeout.com/london/news/watch-andrew-scott-in-one-man-show-sea-wall-streaming-for-free-this-week-051220 What’s not to like?

If you haven’t seen Fleabag you must – it is on BBC Iplayer

Ms Americana – Netflix – Taylor Swift.

Hospital on Iplayer – Showing how the Royal Free is coping with Covid

Charlie Brokers Anti Viral Wipe – Also on Iplayer

Good Causes and things to make you smile

Please support this call for an immediate cease fire of all global hostilities by the president of the United Nations. We need to focus on fighting the virus not each other.

For those who are home learning and don’t forget to contribute to the big night in,  its not too late.    

‘The Breaking of Liam Glass’ by Charles Harris

This blog is my personal recollections of discussions we had at a recent book club. They are not written in my capacity as co- chair of that book club or as a member of any other club or organisation. They are purely personal. As well as a report on discussions on the book this blog contains useful information for people living in North London on things that might help them during the lock down. Anyone is welcome to read this information.

I have only referred to my friends in the book club by their first names to protect their privacy and identity. I only refer to the Authors we are discussing by their full name.

We met on the 11 May to discuss ‘The Breaking of Liam Glass,’ We had the great honour of being joined by the author Charles Harris.

Anne Marie welcomed Charles to the meeting and Charles gave an informative and elucidating talk, both about his book and the interesting life experiences that have helped shape him and his writing.

For those of you who are not familiar with the work of Charles Harris, he is lives in Hampstead and is a bestselling writer, a director and script consultant.  He has appeared on BBC, ITV, radio and Chanel 4. He worked on the Today Program , World At One and The World Tonight. He has written a number of non-fiction works including, ‘Teach Yourself  Complete Screen Writing Course,’ and ‘Jaws in Space: Power Pitching for Film and TV’, which is required reading for many MA courses. He has also directed plays in the wonderful Pentameters Theatre in Hampstead, a theatre I strongly encourage you to go to once lock down is at an end.

Charles Harris

‘The Breaking of Liam Glass’,  is his debut novel. It was published in 2017. It has been exceptionally well received by the public and was a number one best seller on Amazon. It has been nominated for the Wishing Shelf Literary award and an Eyelands international Literary award. The novel tells the tale of a young boy who is stabbed and the racial tensions and cheque book journalism that ensues. Its main protagonist is a young journalist called Jason. It is a biting satire of the times we find ourselves in and an expose of just how far journalists will go to get the story.

When the floor was opened for questions I jumped straight in – My father has always been telling me to read ‘Scoop’ by Evelyn Waugh, which he states is the seminal satire on journalism. I know That Scoop is somewhat dated and I know that Waugh’s depiction of the fictional African country of Ishmealia is meant to be quite colonial and racist, I was sure that Harris’ depiction of racial tension in North London was much more nuanced, however I was interested to ask him if he had read Scoop and if The Breaking of Liam Glass was inspired at all by Scoop and if it was a  ‘tilt of the cap ‘ to Waugh.

Charles said that when he writes a book, he always has at least three books that inspire him. For this book he said those books were Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and Scoop  by the aforementioned Waugh. He was delighted that his book has inspired me to read Scoop and said I really must – it is now firmly on my list of to dos!

Charles said he loves writing books and characters that have comic presence. He pointed out it is often the disjunct between what the character believes and what the reader believes, that causes the comedy. In this book Jason thinks he is the greatest journalist in the world and we, the reader, know that he isn’t.

The book challenges you as you want Jason to overcome the obstacles put in front of him but then think badly of yourself for wanting him to succeed. The book particularly resonated with Tina , who as we found out at the meeting had been editor of a major publication in Germany for 6 years in the 1980’s – a real achievement for anyone – but particularly a young women in the heady chauvinism of the 1980’s. Tina told us that she encountered a person when she was working as an editor who invented stories. It started off small and just snowballed until it got completely out of control. She could see the pressure they were under to make a name for themselves and to publish. We also talked about the movie ‘Shattered Glass’ that came out in 2003 about Stephen Glass the reporter from the New Republic who invented stories until he was found out. 

This led to a wider discussion on  journalistic ethics. We discussed the photographer who took a picture of a starving child about to be attacked by a vulture and how he was so traumatised by what he did, that he eventually killed himself. Charles talked of the time he was filming and had to get a shot of a child being intubated,  and how his wish for the child to be intubated quickly, conflicted with the need to get the shot, which if he got,  could then be used to train doctors and save more lives.

We also questioned whether tabloids undermined democracy or enhanced it. On the one hand we could say that Brexit is a result of patriotic jingoism perpetuated by papers (is that the rule of three or alliteration?- its late Monday night and my writing style is getting a bit ropey!). On the other hand the press is what holds the politicians to account (or should do). In the tabloids defence, Charles also mentioned the number of public campaigns that papers like the Mirror had run, which had made a real difference in people’s lives

Are people inherently bad?  I think there is a strong theme of redemption in this book. Jason made choices he shouldn’t have and then regretted them. I used to be a criminal lawyer in my misspent youth and one thing I realised is there is never one narrative. I’ve met rapists and murders who have all done a lot worse than Jason and even they were children once. Its very rare that you meet someone who is ‘all bad’ and beyond rehabilitation – the obvious exception being sociopaths or psychopaths who can’t feel (or be encouraged or taught  to feel)  guilt or remorse. I am a big believer in the nurture side of the nature / nurture debate.

Charles’ favourite character is Royston, probably because it reminds him of the people he meets when he teaches Aikido, another of his talents. He told us that the character of Royston inspired the main character in his next book ‘Room 15’ (due out July)  about a white rapper who is mislead into being involved with a bogus charity fund raiser. He talked fondly of his local Brent community gym and not so fondly of the man who tried to close it down. He took great pride in telling us that this man’s name appears in all of his books – (in this one he runs the pawn shop). Another character, the PR agent Tony Potts, Charles said has elements of the late and notorious Max Clifford.

Charles did extensive research for Liam Glass, and spoke to journalists at Ham & High and the Camden New Journal. He said that the Ham & High didn’t review his book probably because they thought the book was about them. As Charles said, ‘if you want publicity then don’t piss off journalists.’

Charles finished writing the book in 2013 – so any similarities of Jamila to our local member Tulip Siddiq are entirely coincidental.

Ann asked about whether Jason could feature in a TV series. She mentioned the Malcom Bradbury book ‘The History Man’ set in a university (another satirical novel- this one based on a  self-serving university academic). This novel was very successfully turned into a series. Charles said it might work as a TV series but he wasn’t sure it would lend itself to film. His main reservation is that he didn’t want to see any of it cut out.

Anne Marie, as one author to another, asked him how he psyched himself up to write and what inspired him and what helped him find his bonne mots and finely nuanced phrases and sayings.  He replied by quoting Phillip Pullman who said, ‘he didn’t know where his ideas came from but he knew where they went. They went to his desk and if he wasn’t there they went away.’ Therefore, Charles said the only way to write was to put your bum on your seat and sit there and write or the ideas would float away. The other advice he gave to aspiring writers was to use the software Scrivener which can be downloaded for a free trial from here https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview. He said he felt it must have been designed by writers and he found it incredibly useful.

When asked if he writes chronologically or ‘from the middle’ then adding padding around it – he said he wrote logically. He said you have to create a ladder and start there, you can’t work out how a character got to where they did, if you don’t. However, he also said that sometimes the book just writes itself.

Towards the end of the meeting we discussed the difference between satire and parody.  Charles said he thought satire was a comedy about a theme and is character driven, whereas parody looks at a style or genre. It is making fun of the thing itself and it may or may not be satirical.  I mentioned the example of Chaplin’s take on Hitler but he said this was both a satire and a parody. Whilst writing this newsletter I delved a bit deeper as I am intrigued by this difference and found this interesting You Tube video that compares parody and satire using Family Guy and the Colbert Report as examples. It concludes that the difference between the two is in the intent – satire is a call to change  by using humor, whereas the parody is pure entertainment  that does not serve a higher purpose other than to make you laugh. You can watch the you tube video here

So, what is ‘The Breaking of Liam Glass’, is it comedy or parody? Perhaps the last word should be left to the author who calls it a ‘screwball comedy noire’. I certainly feel it is much more than something that just makes you laugh – so I think definitely satire.

Charles’ next  book ‘Room 15’  is out in July.  He says it ‘bounces between satire and thriller.’

Charles said he would love us all to write a review of his book on Amazon (even if it is bad)

Charles also asked us if we could post a link to his book on satire – Laughing in the Dark which has links to over 80 satirical books that can be read for free (Scoop is in there, if
you don’t mind reading on a computer screen). The link is https://www.satirebook.com

Other news

Rebecca is doing a virtual race across Tennessee. If you want to take part you can  still sign up

https://runsignup.com/Race/TN/Memphis/TheGreatVirtualRaceAcrossTennessee1000K

Jo was worn out from virtual clubbing. She has been doing live stream dancing listening to the virtual streams from the DJS of the Hacienda Club that was famous in Manchester in the 1990’s on  ‘United We Stream Stay At Home.’ Info can be found here https://unitedwestream.co.uk/ She is a bundle of energy and is  also doing virtual hula hooping with friends.

We all send our love and best wishes to Caroline who was unfortunately bitten by a dog and had to have her finger reattached at the Royal Free. It is good to note that she said that the Royal Free accident and emergency have a special dedicated non covid section and she felt very safe going there.

WHAT TO WATCH ON TV

Stacy recommends ‘The Outerbanks ‘– a movie about high school kids hunting a sunken boat. She also recommends ‘The Last Dance’ which is about Michael Jorden. Both are on Netflix

I recommend ‘Dereck’- it  is on Netflix it is another Ricky Gervais series about a man who works in a nursing home. Gervais often manages to be profoundly sad and funny at the same time,  (think The Office and Afterlife) , and this is no exception. Now, more than ever, it is interesting to see (an albeit dramatized and satirical version) of  the inner workings of nursing homes.

My husband Patrick is absolutely glued to the Netfix series ‘Wanted’ an Australian thriller staring the amazing Rebecca Gibney the second-best thing to come out of Australia after Tim Tam biscuits.

A number of members recommended the documentary ‘Becoming’ about the life, dreams, aspirations and work of Michelle Obama. 

Groceries

I think everyone is now managing to get groceries. If you are having any problems with getting groceries or medications and you are self-isolating please look the two things I would really recommend are the chop chop app by Sainsburys,  downloadable for free from the ap store and there is also this excellent website https://groceriesdeliveredtoyourdoor.godaddysites.com/?fbclid=IwAR3CeLiWrJUUXTSw3PDW9F_cXsjn17nOPLJO_ri7Dux2_2UIGchWE8mi7cM

Online Pilates

I mentioned my friend Olivia who is doing some fantastic online Pilates classes – they are  running Monday to Friday 9:30-10:30 am and on Mondays at 7:30 pm and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm they are only £6  a session you can join for as many or as little as you like. She is fully qualified. I especially look forward to the inspirational quote that she gives at the end of the session during the cool down. My favourite so far is – fall down 7 times get up 8. Her website is https://fitwoman.co.uk/

Just look at the tranformation my husband Patrick has made by following her classess.

Meet the authors

Next week I will be blogging about a meet the author event where Anne Marie O’Connor and Gael Lindenfeld, two eminent authors discuss their books, inspiration, motivation and the experiences that have shaped them.

Anne Marie is the best selling author of ‘The Lady in Gold’ and has had a prestigious and lustrous carrier as a foreign correspondent and war journalist, she was at one time a Reuters Bureau chief in Central America. She has contributed articles to the Los Angles Times,  Esquire, The Nation, and The Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Post

Gael Lindenfeld is the author of the best selling book ‘How to feel Good in difficult times.’ Gael is a psychotherapist and the Uk’s leading confidence and self-help expert  She has written over 24 personal development books which have been translated into 33 languages and sold several million copies .

Other events

I will be writing other blogs soon on

The Milk Man by Anna Burns and The Inheritance by Dani Shapiero 

Much love to you all – stay safe and stay connected Claudine x

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started