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July was a month of surprises – not all of them good.

Posted on 30th July, 2022

On July 4 I went to St Malo in Brittany in France with my niece and great-niece. We had all been looking forward to this break – me especially as I’ve not been to France for years and it was the favourite destination for my beloved husband and I when he was well enough to go. Unfortunately we all went down with Covid. I was unable to function for thirty-six hours but the other two carried on regardless – of course we didn’t know we had Covid at that point. Despite this I loved the holiday and I’m hoping I can persuade them to go with me again next year, especially as I’ve discovered you can actually fly from our local airport.
Unfortunately it’s now almost 4 weeks since I got the wretched virus and I’m still not over it. Don’t let anybody tell you it’s just a cold – it isn’t – especially for someone of my age. I think if I haven’t had two vaccinations and two boosters it would probably have finished me off. That’s the bad news now for the good.

On July 26 my third book for Boldwood, Duty Calls at Goodwill House, came out and astonishingly it ended up at eighty-seven on the Amazon  chart. Not sure who was more surprised, myself or my publishers. The best I’ve ever been before is a hundred and forty-one so this was both humbling and amazing. I had the most pre-orders of any of the three books and think there were over three thousand. I’ve already got hundred and fifty excellent reviews.
I also handed in the fourth book, The Land Girls of Goodwill House, which will be out on November 2 and I am currently writing the fifth book, Reunited at Goodwill House – very slowly because of Covid – which has to be handed in at the beginning of October. I think I’ll make the deadline.

I’ve decided to have my garden redesigned and made into a dry/gravel garden which is sustainable, environmentally friendly but still full of flowers and all season interest. I have seventeen hanging baskets and fifty-two pots as well as 3 x 12 foot raised beds. I’m uncomfortable using so much precious water on these so hopefully will get all my trees and shrubs into the ground and have plants that will manage without being watered. Garden designer is coming on 1 September and hopefully the landscapers will be able to do it in November some time. I’ll give you updates and photographs when this happens.

I don’t think that anybody in the world can now deny that man has caused this catastrophic climate change which, if nothing is done immediately, will mean that half the world is uninhabitable in thirty years time. This won’t bother me but it will my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I had solar panels put in last year which not only protects me from the extraordinary price rises of gas and electricity but is also good for the environment.

Despite the fact that I’m feeling pretty ropey most of the time I’m still fortunate to be doing a job I love, to have family and friends who love me and I hope this will continue for another decade at least. One can but hope!

Here are the links for my two new books. mybook.to/dutycalls   mybook.to/Landgirls
Best wishes

Fenella J Miller