Three ‘new-fangled-electronicals’ I never thought I’d love so much

1, We’ve just been up country to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday. This meant a round journey of 480 miles in one day.  Arriving home at around quarter to one in the morning I was blessing the ‘dear-old sat-nav’ for a problem-free journey.

Yes, a sat-nav! Yes, I am praising that much maligned steerer of artic lorries into winding, too-narrow lanes and jammer of large trucks around tight corners!

As over time our eyesight changed, being the navigator was becoming fraught with difficulties, what with the swapping between pair of specs to read the map and / or specs to read the road signs.  So our first use of a sat-nav was a real eye-opener. DSCF6972

We first used a (borrowed) sat-nav a number of years ago when taking #3 son to University in Brighton. This meant a long journey across the south coast of Britain, in and around town after town after city, after town. A long journey of roundabouts and bypasses. It worked like a dream … only suggesting a ‘off-course’ route along a piece of road we know so well we had no compunction in ignoring it , and when it gave up trying to turn us round, it soon recalculated and ‘got with us’ again.

Now, I would always like to have a map of the route handy, and to have looked at it before setting off – just because it is wise to know where you are heading in case you get an ‘odd order’ from the sat-nav [Drivers of Large Lorries please note !].  On the last trip the odd order was ‘at the roundabout go straight across and take the first exit’. The first exit was a turning left  immediately upon entering the roundabout (hardly ‘straight-across’) .. straight across was the only other turning and had the benefit of being into the village we were heading for.

So, Saturday, even with a navigator available, the sat-nav took away the stress, but with no navigator on hand – the sat- nav is a perfect god-send and one of those electronic items I never thought I’d love .. but do!

2, It seems this next is called a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) or DVR (Digital Video Recorder). Whatever it is called and whatever version you have, it is that thing that records the programmes you would otherwise have to miss – so you can watch them when you have time (and there isn’t anything else worth watching anyway) and does a few other very useful tricks besides.

You  may have gathered that I tend to be a bit busy… and that I also go to a number of different groups and clubs (plus committee meetings for some ) and so the few items I  actually want to watch are often on the wrong time for me to be there to watch them.

So to have something that will record them… and more to the point, be programmable so that I can set it to record them in advance (before I even know that I am going to be unavailable to watch them) is another great gadget that I really didn’t think I was too bothered about .. but find that I am! Add to that the facility to save time by skipping the ads when viewing, and to ‘pause’ live programmes when interrupted (as happens more often that you’d think) and I’m in love.


3, The last one probably won’t come as much of a surprise to you all. It is my ereader.  I, like a lot of people I know, LIKE BOOKS.. and I do mean I like real paper books, but I LOVE my ereader. OK, so mine is a kindle – but they are all essentially the same – a way to carry hundreds of  books in a slim, light-weight package, that slips into the back of your handbag (so it is always handy when you find you have the odd ten minutes to read) or so you can carry all your possible holiday reading easily and read the fattest and heaviest of tomes without making your hand ache with holding it!

What is more – I have mine set on a larger font (and sideways) so that I do not have to find my specs to read!! YAY! Another blessing ! I love my ereader!

Do you have all or any of these gadgets? Do you hate them or love them?

What ‘new-fangled-electronicals’ have you fallen for despite early misgivings?

Come on, don’t be shy .. do share – you know we all want to know 🙂



Canine-take-over – Bonny’s blog

Ann’s Blog BONNY’S BLOG    

Wo Wo.. (tail wagging)  Hello (smiles)

Don’t tell my pack-lady but finding the lap-top unattended I’ve grabbed the chance to stage a take-over to warn you about a video that my pack-lady’s pups made of me over the weekend!

I mean, there I was being exercised entertained as usual by my pack-lady, you know, my favourite game where she throws these rings for me, I’ve got five of them, love to gather them all up and gallop back with them to insist she does it all again.

She’s not bad at it, has a knack to make them whiz along the ground – I like to chase them like that! (It seems chasing these is ok, pack-lady doesn’t like it when I chase rabbits the same way – especially when I catch them!) But enough of that! Oh I was having fun, even though her pups were standing round getting in the way! Usually they are great fun, giving me lots of fuss and games, but that afternoon they weren’t playing with me.

Later I heard lots of laughing and music and sneaked my paws onto pup-twos lap, then worked my way up to see the screen pup-three was working on. There I was, catching my rings, as usual, but now a figure of fun for everyone.  Just look at what they did!!!

I appeal to you… don’t laugh at me .. I just love doing this, chasing and catching up my rings! (appealing look – waggles eyebrows)

I asked my pack-lady about the video – she said it was just a bit of Cornish fun… and she wanted people to find her blog  If that’s all it is I guess I don’t mind, after all my pack-lady likes to play and my motto in life is ‘play with me!’ 

What do you think??


Does this LOOK like a ‘diet’ to you? FWT? WEEK 10

If you are new to the FWT? blog-posts, welcome to Fat Woman Thinning? – a 52 week blog, which I started as pages to keep myself on-track and so my ‘primary cheerleaders’ (my sons) could keep up with my progress. Then, after three weeks, I felt brave enough to post it as a blog!  If you are one of my cheerleaders ! Yay! Great to see you again! If you are new to this blog – welcome!

Losing weight after menopause turned out to be a whole different game to losing weight before. What worked then, didn’t work now. A new strategy had to be found and as a very busy woman I didn’t have time to spend on long gym sessions or runs or cycles. This had to be manageable! I started out on Jan1st weighing 12 stone, now each Sunday morning first thing each week I weigh myself and measure my waist (level with the belly button) nude.  To lose weight I am using resistance weights as well as some aerobic and stretching, and watching what I eat, mostly watching the carbs (writing everything down as well) – but NOT DIETING !

Last week I set myself the challenge of photographing all my meals and snacks, as I could write down  ‘carrots, parsnip, beetroot’  for instance and I could be fooling you and having just one tiny piece of each, but the photos speak for themselves and I do eat everything on my plate. It turned out to be a bit of a food-prep lazy week as events meant I was short on extra cooking time and some short-cuts were made (Shortcuts usually result in ready-prepared or quick to cook vegetables (like peas and beans) which also tend not to be the best for you). If you took the time (why would you) to compare the lists of veg from this week and last you would notice the difference) Anyway – just remembering to photograph food was tricky enough! But here- goes … SUNDAY  MORNING THROUGH TO SATURDAY NIGHT IN PHOTOGRAPHS (All fine details can be found on the Week 10 drop down from the FWT? button on the bar)

and this photographic meal line-up is missing the glass of Vouvray (sparkling wine) and half a bottle of raspberry presse (sparkling fruit drink) both quite calorific, and my usual one-third milk topped with boiling water – two or three (or four)  times a day and water – of which I drink a glass 10 mins before meals and with exercise. And, yes, you did see a great chunk of plain chocolate there on Friday – terrible day – sorting out everything (and I mean everything) in my kitchen! I needed support, but only one chunk at a time 😉

I don’t know about you – but I don’t think this looks like a ‘diet’ – I eat plenty – and not too fussily – but the weight is moving off steadily. Due, I am sure, to the exercises that I have taken up since the start of January, and to not worrying about the fats and proteins but keeping a watch to make sure I do not Over Do the carbohydrates.

Oh, and the results for this week – another 1 pound off and another half inch off both relaxed waist measurement and pulled-in waist measurement. What is there not to like?

Recording this photographically was an interesting project – have you ever set about recording something simple like this and found it harder and more interesting than you expected?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Lastly – if you have not entered, or shared, this fantastic draw I am running for one lucky person in just one thousand to WIN a KINDLE get over to the blog-post about it and enter and share! Thanks! And if you already have a kindle -why not  enter for a chance to win one for a friend. By the way, did you know that Ann Foweraker novels are all available as e-books ?



Your Chance to WIN a KINDLE!

As of today … 10th July 2012 – All the places in this Draw have been taken. Thank you to all who have entered .. the results will be published on my blog soon!

I’m so happy that I have a Kindle to give away to one lucky person

but to start with I need to let you know that this draw is ONLY open to residents of the UK, sorry, to all the rest of the world, but this is an actual, newly purchased Kindle and will be posted to the winner. Having said that, you still might like to re-tweet or re-post to give all your UK friends a chance.

How to enter the draw to Win a Kindle!

Just ‘SUBSCRIBE via email’ to this Blog (Ann In the box on the left. Important: Notification of the draw and of the winner will be made via this blog

Done that? Then your name’s in the hat!

Want to have your name in the hat again?  Just go to Ann Foweraker, Author page on FACEBOOK  and ‘LIKE’

There – your name is in the hat twice!

What? You’d like your name to go in THREE times? Ok! you can also Go to the FB page for (my slateware business) and ‘LIKE’ that page too!

Now your name is in the hat three times!

Oh? On TWITTER as well? Go on then …. To get your name in the Hat yet again you can go to @AnnFoweraker on TWITTER and ‘FOLLOW’

. . . . . and as a bonus I’ll follow back!

How good it that? Your name in the hat Four times for a chance to win a Kindle!


Here’s a great chance to win a Kindle. Go to So Simple  #Win a Kindle

The Prize is This model of Kindle CLICK HERE for details


So here is the New Prize Line-Up!!

The first number drawn will Win the Kindle.  

The second number drawn will Win a Nero Slate Cheese board from

The third number drawn will Win a copy of Divining the Line (in pdf form so you can read it on your computer or use calibre to convert it  if you have an e-reader)

The fourth number drawn will Win a pdf copy of Nothing Ever Happens Here and

The fifth number drawn will Win a pdf copy of Some Kind of Synchrony



So, here’s wishing everyone good-luck in the draw !!

The Fine-Print (in case you want to know):

When the draw is closed a random number will be generated by RANDOM.ORG which will be used to select the winner

Your details will not be made public nor used for any purpose other than delivery of the blog and selection of the winner.

No members of my family may take part in this draw (sorry folks, but if your number were to be the one selected by it still might look fishy!) But please post / re-tweet as a favour to me anyway – because I know some of you have an awesome number of UK contacts who will be eligible!

To be in the draw you must have subscribed via email to this blog ( and still be subscribed when the draw is made. You may then enter additional times by liking the FB pages or following the Twitter profile

The draw will be closed when the targets are fulfilled – basically the quicker more people sign up the quicker the draw will take place.

If you already Like the FB pages or Follow the Twitter profile then these will count as entries as soon as you subscribe to the blog ( Thank you for being connected already!

I promise you will not get spammed by me on either Twitter or FB after the draw because I do not use automated posts or tweets and don’t have the time to sit here sending them out all the time either ! Until the draw takes place, however, there will be a number of FB/ Twitter posts a day of the message that got you here, please re-tweet or re-post as often as you like as the faster the draw fills up the faster the draw will be made!

Twitter peeps – I’ll also Follow back

And why am I giving away a Kindle – well I’d just like everyone to know about my ebooks – it’s that simple

Notification of the draw and of the winner will be made via this blog ( All  prizes must be claimed within 2 months of notification. I shall make all reasonable efforts to contact the winners directly and through this blog

If you have any questions about this draw just contact me here at the blog.

Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for entering!

* * *

Message: to post or tweet or both (please add any you think will expand the reach – thanks)
Thanks to prizefinder for extending the reach! ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions Thanks to the lovely people who have posted this on other competition sites including MSE! Keep Sharing – after one month half of the places on this draw have been taken! Lets get a thousand people to enter fast so the draw can be made soon!

Here’s a great chance to win a Kindle. Go to So Simple  #…….



As of today … 10th July 2012 – All the places in this Draw have been taken. Thank you to all who have entered .. the results will be published on my blog soon!



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas day has come and gone and I have just a few minutes to write before the second wave of visitors. Today we will be one more for lunch at 12 as my brother, his wife, my niece, nephew and his wife arrive! So before they do I’d just like to share a few photos and pictures with you. The Dog had a new toy under the tree, a squeaky space-hopper. Now she has never had a squeaky toy before (can’t usually stand them myself) but this is meant to be one of her outdoor toys and it has gone down a bomb with her, Not sure if she likes the squeak or is trying to find out what is inside the thing that wants to get out, but she has found it great fun!

As anyone who comes to this blog via AnnMade will know AnnMade makes slate plates and this year we used slates for our starter of smoked salmon and prawns, and before serving I took a few quick snaps – looks yummy doesn’t it?

As usual out Christmas cake wasn’t quite a typical snow scene (though I have done some with snow on). I decided to do a map of the world with places marked where people with us over the Christmas break had immediate family. Though I had planned this earlier I ended up doing the final bits on Christmas eve with Son #3s girlfriend helping make the masses of holly leaves. The result was quite effective though hastily finished. Tasted good!

And in the New Year I shall be editing my latest novel, ‘The Angel Bug’ as I have heard back from Tim Smit of the Eden Project and he is happy to be featured as the only real person in the novel – so I am ready to move forward now with this. Look forward to publication in the spring. And if you have a new kindle (or other e-reader) and you’d like to feed it with my current novels you’ll find them all on AnnMade Books where you can have a New Year present of All 3 for just £5!*

So today is the great Turkey and Ham pie day, and I must away to make the rough-puff pastry. Here’s wishing you all a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

How did your Christmas go? What are your hopes for the New Year?

*(Offer until End Jan. Extra paid refunded)


The first Novel now available on

Now you must understand that this isn’t my first novel, the first will probably never be distributed, but this is the first to be available to the public in many e forms, as Mobi for the Kindle users, in EPUB for the SONY readers and NOOK and as a PDF for anyone else – I guess.

The novel is called Nothing Ever Happens Here and would, (if it was forced to – see my blog about genres) be in the crime and possibly the romance sections. The blurb reads:

Living in London suddenly becomes too uncomfortable for the attractive Jo Smart and her sixteen year-old son, Alex, after he is beaten up, so when they are offered the chance to take an immediate holiday in a peaceful Cornish town they jump at it. But not all is as peaceful as it seems as they become involved in a murder enquiry, drug raid and abduction.

DI Rick Whittington has also escaped from London and the reminders of the death of his wife and child, and through his investigations finds himself meeting Jo and being drawn into the events surrounding her.

This is a love story set in the early 1990s which combines the historic Cornish love of the sea and smuggling with hard faced twentieth century crime and detection.

So take a look – you can read the first three chapters free as a pop-up PDF * HERE *


publish on Amazon .. even without an ISBN!

Oh! My! I have just found out that it is possible to publish straight to kindle through Amazon, with a 30% / 70% deal and without even having an ISBN number – that is amazing and great. Why? because ISBN numbers are generally quite expensive if you are buying only a few… (they get much cheaper per number once you are buying a thousand plus) and each different version requires a different ISBN number!  Amazon give your e-publication with them an Amazon number instead. So – new plan – after I publish on ANNMADE BOOKS in Mobi (for kindle) in EPUB, (for Nook and Sony Ereaders), and pdf (for anyone else) I can then also publish on Amazon for kindle!

I have to say, I am really excited about this idea.


I have seen the future…..

I have seen the future – and the future is Kindle.

M.  bought a Kindle and it was a revelation! Now I am sure you have all seen an advert for one if you haven’t yet got yours or been shown someone else’s. I was blown away with it, and I speak as a lover of books, real paper books, an avid reader who likes to be able to look up things in depth, take a book with me in the bath, on the beach, even on exercise bikes and cross trainers (when I did that sort of thing – but that’s another story)

I have enthused so much that at least one friend went home and ordered one straight away. I raved about the easy to read page, the lack of eye strain without the back lit screen, easy to enlarge the print too, turn it to landscape if you like, check-up on the meaning of any word in the text by just hovering the cursor over it and getting a real Oxford English dictionary definition, complete with etymology! (you see I really am a word freak!)

What blew me away was the fact that I could now see a way to publish my own books – straight to ebooks.


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