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NEWMARKET RACES AND HOW NOT TO DEAL WITH FOOD ALLERGIES

Two months ago, my son and I, who own our own Racehorses, booked a day out at Newmarket races in the Hospitality Suite, which included lunch and afternoon tea in the Summerhouse Restaurant. The Package looked very nice, which is some ways it was, but in others it was an absolute mess. Two months before we were due to go, we were asked if we had any food allergies and we said we did. I’m allergic to coffee and my son has a very bad allergy to anything with nuts in. Now you would think that people would think that they would take this seriously. Exactly, that’s what we thought until we got there.

We arrived in the Summerhouse Restaurant and were shown to the table, which was ours for the day. It was supposed to start with a Champagne Reception which turned out to be one glass of Champagne at your table. Fair enough. People did wear masks, others didn’t. Again, fair enough. Then there was the matter of ordering drinks. I asked for a Brandy and Ginger. I was expecting a Brandy and a small bottle of Ginger Ale. No. What I got was a Brandy, and a glass of Ginger Ale in another glass, complete with ice, but this Ginger Ale was cloudy, and more like Ginger Beer. It’s the way the ordering machine reads things we were told. The starter was very nice and our main course. The pudding did leave a bit to be desired. One of those lemon things that was so sharp it left you cross eyed after every monthful. Being lunch, you were in and out a lot for the races. Once again fair enough and it was a bit scrappy. Did you want to wait for this and that. Then came the Cheese Board. A nice selection of Cheeses, chutney, celery……….complete with NUTS. Having been told that my son had a nut allergy. My son though isn’t like me. He isn’t one to make a fuss and dealt with it brilliantly by making sure that what he ate was well out of reach of any nuts.

On to Afternoon Tea and this is where it went just one step to far. Up came some finger sandwiches, a couple of scones and what should have been cakes. This is when Mother here decided that enough was enough and Newmarket were going to be shown the error of their ways when it came to a dangerous food allergy. I got a couple of tiny little meringues you could hardly see and this little piece of miniature chocolate Swiss Roll. Up came a Waitress, plonked, and I use the word plonked, down a bowl of strawberries, in front of my Son, not a sign of cream to make them special, and said ‘There are no substitute for Cakes without nuts so we’ve given you Strawberries” and off she went.

Now nobody is going to get away with that excuse when I’ve paid well into three figures for a day in the Hospitality Suite for this day.

“Bring the Manager and do not tell me that my Son is to be given a bowl of Strawberries because you cannot be bothered to find him some cakes”.

Yes, I admit I am feisty but I will stand my ground when I need to because these people had known about his allergy for two months and all they can come up with was strawberries that they had cut up.

Not a chance !!!

“I’m sorry” says the Manager looking like a crocodile ready to strike. “There just isn’t a substitute. Nothing we can do about it”

“You can bring him an extra scone” I smile “We can’t” she insists

“You do realise that you knew about my son’s allergy two months ago and that his allergy can kill if someone makes a mistake when they have been informed”

Still insisting there’s nothing they can do, they must have checked to see if we were just trouble makers and found our request for nut free food had been registered and she had to apologise. And just to make her day even worse the Chef had to make him his own little batch of warm chocolate brownies.

I’m not putting this up as a Yes we got one over Newmarket Races post. I’m furious because we told them two months earlier about my son’s allergy and they didn’t even bother and had the cheek to pass him off with a bowl of strawberries. Not even would you like some cream, to make him feel a bit special.

It did make me wonder though if some places really take Food Allergies seriously? It was an attitude of well, we’ve got nothing he can have, so what? Just one of those things. Well, it embarassed him because people were looking at him, and are we really becoming a Society with all these so called Chefs of ours that we can’t come up with something suitable.

Years ago I was told I was Gluten Free before I was Diagnosed with Diverticulitus. I was taken for Afternoon Tea at a large hotel in Eastbourne. When I asked for a Gluten Free Tea you would have thought I’d landed from Mars. There is no Substitute for a Sausage Roll the Dining Room Manager said. So have an Eton Mess instead.

So maybe places like Newmarket Races will stop buying in bulk food, and actually start to think about people who do suffer from serious Food Allergies and not make them feel uncomfortable when they should be made to feel welcome.

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BRITISH ARMED FORCES RADIO VETERAN AND VETERAN TRANSPORT

I’d like to talk today about a new radio station and charity. Firstly, I can vouch for this charity. I know the person who started it and he is as honest as the day is long. What he does is run a radio station which anyone can listen to, music that is, and he raises money, and buys things such as wheelchairs for Veterans. Now sadly, he has come up against some very nasty people, who don’t like him running this station. As I always say, you spell jealousy with a Capital J.

You can find him on Twitter if you’d like to speak to him, or contact him and he’d be only to happy to chat to you, if fact I know he’d love to talk to you and tell you more about his charity.

Just go onto Twitter or Facebook if your’e on there and follow B.A.F.R. F and V.T. and you’ll find him. If you do go onto Twitter to leave him a message, leave him a retweet please as we’re trying to get him as much publicity as we can.

He is doing a fantastic job for Veterans out there, and I certainly wish him all the luck in the world.

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KNIT ONE PURL ONE DIE

Come and meet the ladies of the Newberry Knitting Group. If ever there is a force to be reckoned with, it’s these ladies.

They meet in their local Church Hall each week and knit. In the first of this series, they check their lottery ticket and one of them has won the jackpot. With their winninga, they decide to go on a Cruise of a lifetime to the biggest wool shop in the world, in Canada.

This cruise does not go smoothly for the ladies. In fact, it goes anything but smoothly! Drug smuggling, murder, kidnapping, but they do make it to the wool shop.

This is the first in the series about the Newberry Knitters. The second will be published very soon, and does have a Title.

It will be called Secrets and Deceit.

It’s available now on Amazon Kindle and Kobo

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THE CONSTELLATION DIAMOND MYSTERY

This is another fast moving thriller, with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. A young girl is quite happy in Germany running an antique shop, when a young man appears from nowhere, who she thinks is a customer, and suddenly locks the door, and points a gun at her.

As I said, this is a book with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy and this is where you will find your first one. The story continues with one of the most hard hitting story lines. Our main character is Giza. Our young criminal is Addler. Why is he so reluctant to tell her anything about himself? Because if he does he will make her a prime target for his handlers. They will find her and they will kill her. He has been sent there to get something that they know she has, not to fall in love with her. Why has this idiot young man fallen for her? Because she has shown him a kindness that no one in his life ever has. She has given him coffee, cake, and let him sleep for a while. Is she she evmad? Will he become her protector or her paid assassin?

Addler’s story will become more complicated than ever. Link’s to Political groups, Russian Billionaires, Drug trafficking, will Addler ever find out the truth of who he really is? Will Gisa ever be safe if she finds herself separated from Addler and what exactly is the Constellation Diamond?

Available now on Amazon Kindle and Kobo. If you go to the books section of my blog, you will find a BUY NOW button that will take you straight into Amazon.

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ALLIES OF CIRCUMSTANCE

This is a stand alone novel and crosses into two generations. Amelia Gresham is 18 years old. Happy, in love and looking forward to life with the man she will married when she is 21 years old. Neither Harry Beaumont nor Amelia could forsee World War 1 and the way it would change their lives forever. Harry and Amelia’s Father go away to fight for King and Country and one day Amelia receives a letter, which shakes her to the very core.

In the 1950’s a young man, working for his local Council is bored with his job and convinces his wife that they should move to the countryside to try something new. It isn’t long before their lives, and the life of Amelia Gresham become entwined via unexplained happenings in their new house.

A love story, a mystery, an espionage story of World War 1 and the truth will leave only one person to judge Amelia. That person is you. The reader of Allies of Circumstance. Would you have done the same in Amelia’s position ?

Allies of Circumstance is available now on Amazon Kindle and Kobo or if you go to the Books Section on here, you will find a link to Buy now which will take you straight to Amazon.

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HOW DO YOU MEND A BROKEN DOLL

Amy is happily married to Riki, an Officer in the U.S. Navy, or at least she thinks she is. That is until his body is found face down in their local swimming pool one morning when Amy thinks her beloved Riki went out for an early morning swim.

Amy’s world descents into one of danger, fear, and the worst nightmare she could possibly imagine, when she discovers Riki plus his family were not the people she thought they were. Amy has something that powerful Governments want. The problem is, that Amy has no idea what that is.

She becomes a target, but for who? And who is going to help her now?

Find out what happens to Amy, the broken doll, and what these people want from her and who finally mends her in this fast paced thriller available now on Amazon Kindle and Kobo.

If you go to the section marked books on here, there is a link that will take you straight to Amazon, and I hope you will enjoy the book.

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THE HONOR MAYE MYSTERY SERIES

Honor Maye was the first of the Mystery series I ever wrote and sometimes I don’t feel that little bit you read about a book at the front tells you very much about a book, so I’m going to use my blog to tell you a bit more without giving anything away.

Honor Maye is a Cockney lady from London, who has decided to move to the country. She is a widow with a ‘no good’ son and that’s putting it mildly! Honor hasn’t got a clue where she wants to move to, but she takes a trip and ends up in a village called Farworth. While shes in the local cafe, she meets a man, and for some reason ends up buying his house.

And that is where the Honor May Mysteries starts and continues. Honor moves to Farworth, with her faithful Pug Percy and you will meet the friends she makes, and sometimes her enemies.

Along life’s path in Farworth, you will meet John, Ravi and Regina, Mr Wells, Jim, Allan, and Bert and Tilly, not forgetting Gordon and Jeannie, and the odd murder takes place as well.

So why not join Honor and the ‘gang’ as they have become known in the first of this series. It’s available on Amazon Kindle or Kobo.

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Being a Kobo Author

As lots of you know, I’m an Indie Author who publishes on Kindle, but I also publish on Kobo, so I’m going to make this post about Kobo and being a Kobo Author, become sometimes I don’t think that Kobo and being a Kobo Author get the praise they deserve. Kobo is German, rather than American and I know a lot of the bigger Authors, well bigger than me shall we say, who I’m not going to name because that’s not fair to them also publish on Kobo. The problem I feel with Kobo is that they just aren’t as big as Amazon so don’t get so much publicity.

So here’s my view of Kobo as an Author who does publish with them. They are brilliant. Other’s may disagree with me and that is fine with me, but to me they are always there for me. I can contact them at any time if I want to ask a question or have a problem. But, I can honestly say I’ve never had a problem with Kobo. I get my Royalties paid on time and they are fair. We have times when they have Chat sessions with them. Part of Kobo which I enjoy is there is a fun side to them as well. They’ve just secured a deal to sell our books, or their catalogue as they call it in Canada at no cost at all to the Author.

So all I’m saying is, Kobo is out there as well. And my personal treatment by them as been fantastic and I’m not going to say otherwise. Just because they’re smaller, doesn’t mean my treatment by them is bad. My treatment is fantastic and for that, I thank Kobo.

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MY LOVE OF RACING

Another one of my great loves is horse racing. I know a lot of people look at me and thing Oh my God, that’s dreadful. Well, no actually it’s not and I enjoy it and I own several racehorses, along with my son. In face we’ve got one running in this weeks meeting at Ascot. On Friday actually, called the Lir Jet. Before this pandemic we went to Ascot and the Derby but like everything some things have been cancelled. Jack, my son has been able to go and see some of our horses in their stables when he’s been to Equiprep which is where they go ‘on holiday’ or to recover their health if they’ve had an operation, which is where my Bob Pebble went when he had a nasty operation on his windpipe, or as I prefer to call him my ‘Bobble’.

Sometimes you still have to go into a ballot for certain things. Jack did win a place in a ballot around Christmas time, watched one of our horses run and was then invited to have a drink with the other owners, and who does Jack stand next to? Sheik Mohammed. His one comment? That suit he had one Mum must have cost thousands of pounds! Well with Sheik Mohammed’s racing reputation I’m not that surprised. (Apoligies to the Sheik if I spelled his name incorrectly).

One thing I have discovered though is that Racing is definitely not a Male dominated sport when it comes to owning Race Horses. Fine, forget the Queen, because fair enough Her Majesty does own Horses in her own name, but there are a lot of Women Owners out there, who own the winning horses in their own names. Every time I check out the race cards I’m amazed. Jack and I own Flat Racers and Over the jumps although I will admit I prefer Flat mainly because I’m always afraid that one of our horses will fall and have to be put down, but maybe I should learn to harden up and not be emotional when it come my horses?

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DID YOU KNOW I HAVE WRITTEN A COOKERY BOOK?

Back in 1992, my son was at Primary School, and like all good Primary Schools we used to have a Spring Fair to raise much needed funds for the School. I used to run a home made cake stall and make the cakes and it always sold out, so for reasons that I can’t remember now someone suggested that I write a cookery book and someone else suggested that I write to ‘Famous People’ and ask them for their favourite recipes. Yes, I said thinking ‘Oh no, who came up with that silly idea?’ but took a chance and sent off a pile of letters to quite a few people, waited a while and then the replies started to come in, from people I never thought would ever bother from this ‘unknown’ Mum from a Primary School that no one had ever heard of.

The most wonderful reply that I received was from the Pope. Yes I took a chance and wrote to the Pope, who said that unfortunately he didn’t cook, but he would like to bestow the Papal Blessing on our school, the Teachers, the Children, and the Parents. The Head at the time put that letter on display where everyone could see it. I also wrote to George Bush, the then President of the United States of America. Mrs Bush sent us two lovely recipes and a beautiful hand written letter, and believe it or not I got a recipe from the Actor Clint Eastwood. I’ve got too many recipes to share on here in one go, so I’ll do it in several. I made it quite clear in my introduction to the book, this was not a book about me because at the time I hadn’t even published my first novel. This was a book about a school full of children. The most wonderful kids who were the future. One of those children is now a man and my Editor. A few we know what happened to, but like all children, most have gone their own ways. I’ve got my own copy of the Cookery Book still. I’m looking at it now so I can put up a few of the recipes. It’s a bit tattered. I actually called it Sugar and Spice and All Good Foods. Some of us ‘older’ shall we say might remember the older Celebrities, but enjoy some of the recipes if you do try them.

OLD FASHIONED BREAD PUDDING – BARBARA BUSH

8 slices raisin bread, lightly buttered

1/2-3/4 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 quart milk mixed with 2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt,

extra fruit to taste

Method

Butter a 9 x 11 inch baking dish

Cut raisin bread into quarters

Put bread into dish, and sprinkle with sugar mix and fruit

Continue alternating the bread, sugar mix and raisins until gone

Pour the milk mixed with eggs, vanilla and salt all over until puffy and light for about 30 minutes.

Now Mrs Bush didn’t give me an oven temperature with this recipe but I baked mine on Gas Mark 6 and watch it carefully but we all know our own ovens.

POTATO CAKE’S

PHILIP SCHOFIELD – CHILDREN’S T.V. PRESENTER

Peel and boil sufficient potatoes for the amount of people needed.

When done, mash in the usual way with milk and butter until smooth.

Add enough flour to make into a stiff dough.

Roll out on a floured board and shape into individual circles about 1/2 inch deep.

Cook near the top of a hot oven for about 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown

Butter and eat immediately.

This book is full of lovely recipes, so I’ll put them up bit by bit rather than put dozens up all at once, but if you do try any of them, you definitely won’t be disappointed.