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I know what you’re thinking – that I’ve abandoned Sam and Martha and given up the ghost.  But I haven’t: I’ve just been away on holiday.  I did think that I might have time to write, or at least make useful notes, while away, but let me tell you that a barge holiday on a canal is not half as relaxing as you might think – those locks and swing bridges don’t open and close themselves, you know.

But what I am doing this week, and I’ll admit to getting a bit excited about it, is giving a talk to a local Women’s Institute group about self-publishing.  I was approached by them when I was taking part in that library event back in September last year, but they’re so popular with speakers that it’s taken seven months to get a date!  (I know that the WI is experiencing a real resurgence at the moment; I tried to join my local group and was told that there is a long waiting list, so it’s dead woman’s shoes and all that.)

Anyway, I’ve prepared my notes – twelve index cards with bullet points on them – and drawn up a poster for display with the books.  I’ve decided on my “deal of the day” (each book for £7 rather than £7.99, or get both for £13) and stocked up on £2 and £1 coins for change.  Now all I need to do is decide what to wear – something with a loose waist, I am thinking, as they have promised me lunch and cakes.  I’ll let you know how it goes.