Spike the Jack Russell Terrier

This is Hattie, who I thought of when writing about Spike. Do you have a picture of a Jack Russell Terrier or a dog who might have travelled with Natalie through France and Spain? When I was choosing a dog I stopped many unsuspecting dog owners in the street and took photos of their dogs. I could have used anyone of them. If you have a small dog and a copy of my book, see if you can get a picture of your pet and the book, or your pet and your book and link it to the page.If you have a book staring a dog It would be fun to know about it.




It’s at times like these you realise that you are a better writer than photographer, but the dog and the book are there.

You can send a tweet to @brendahSedgwick with a photo. The pictures can be tranfered to my facebook and shared.










Millwall Football Club and Alan

The Den



Before writing Marriage, a Journey and a Dog I knew little of Millwall Football Club. When I realised they played Manchester United in the FA cup in 2004,  they were the perfect choice for Alan the football fan.

Alan’s obsession with football left him with girlfriend problems he didn’t understand. First his wife left him and then Natalie (heroine) didn’t fancy him – at all. Both big disappointments to him.

When he met Gerry (Natalie’s husband) they found common ground in having a sport obsession.

With the  two characters obsessed with sport, men reading the book have laughed as they relate to an all consuming love of sport. Women sympathise with Natalie for what she has to put up with and feels helpless to change.

I’m sure he isn’t typical of Millwall fans as his hygiene habits and communication skills are not good.

I follow Millwall on twitter and amuse myself checking on their results. It feels personal if they win or lose.

Millwall at Wembley 2004


Sri Lanka Floods and Lanslips

Today is a sad day for Sri Lanka. Yet again floods and land slips have destroyed parts of the country and killed an unknown number and displaced thousands.

My husband and I saw this type of devastation in 2010 when we were living in Kandy. A large rock hit the back of our house and our garden went into the house below us. Houses completely disappeared and people died as the earth and rocks landed on their houses. This was all a new experience for the protected Brits that we are.

Now the floods and landslips in Sri Lanka sound as if they have become more frequent. Climate change, population growth and more and more buildings all contribute. At night you can see lorries with illegal logs on them. I never buy mahogany furniture, although I used to.

We are privileged to put our small drop into the ocean of need in that place and in doing so, we have become attached to children and their families.

I know that communities will pull together. I am always challenged by the way they care for each other, and that included us in the landslips of 2010.

It isn’t just people caught up in this, but the  animals and insects too. Insects from the jungle above us invaded our house. We were lucky to be able to go to a hotel while our house was cleaned up. In the river a small dead elephant hung from a tree.

We will be sending to the people we know and trust in Kandy and as a part of that, profits from the sales Marriage a Journey and a Dog this month, will be added to our gifts.

The Tsunami in Sri Lanka has left its scars, but life goes on after tragedy and poor people more than most know that.

The 1st picture is where a whole family died just down the road from us. The 2nd shows the tools workmen have to clear land slips. The 3rd is our front garden that was. The fourth is the tunnel that is always having land slips and holding up traffic . The 5th is our neighbor’s house being cleared of mud with a simple basket. The window is our window and shows how close a land slip came.

We will return there in October this year. (We are not affiliated to any organisation or religion).

Henri Marcel. French artist 1938 – 1996

I have been asked about Henri Marcel, the French artist I quote in Marriage, a Journey and a Dog..

Henri Marcel is remembered for his quotations as well as his art. He was a part of the cubism movement that changed the face of art.

Pablo Picasso was credited with cubism’s creation, but there are other examples of this style of art. As with all artists and creative people there is a reliance on what you have learnt and your environment, mixed with your own creativity. It was Picasso that brought cubism to the forefront in art.

This is a link to cubism art pictures – Cubism Art

I came across these in Le Louvre. I’m not sure how old they are but they are described as ancient. 33-P100092134-P1000922

George Keyt 1901 – 1993,  is a famous Sri Lankan artist and as far as it is known he had no contact with Picasso and his associates.

George Keyt

George Keyt is worth knowing about – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Keyt

Henri Marcel was a part of the  cubism movement, creating his own distinguished style – hidden in many ways, but a great  discovery if you find him.

Quotes about Henri Marcel in Marriage, a Journey and a Dog.

This is where it all began.

This is when I realised what my life could be

                                     Henri Marcel. French Artist 1938-1996


Once outside on the pavement, I notice a small house, squeezed between the shops, on the wall there is a brass plaque to Henri Marcel. I have a book about him from a charity shop. He painted pictures then ripped them up, repositioned them and painted the new picture, similar to Picasso and cubism. The colours he used were bold and the reconstructed paintings vibrant. Some of his paintings are of people; others of buildings. So he lived here for twenty years until he died in 1996.

‘I am always doing what I thought I couldn’t do because I learn something’ is the quote under his name.

“Yes, Henri!” I say out loud. I mustn’t let Gerry see me talking to myself, and clasping my hands with agreement!


Alan might offend me when I’m vulnerable, so as much as he might be useful I decide to try this one on my own and hope I’ve benefitted something from my one and only past experience of cycling.

‘I am always doing what I thought I couldn’t do because I learn something’ I reflect on Henri Marcel’s words. ‘Remember Natalie, you made it through France and Spain’. I pinch myself at the thought.

As his paintings are held in private galleries they are not available on google. Maybe, one day there will be an exhibition.


“To tell the truth is often distracting, Make what you will of me.”  Henri Marcel.

Semiotics and Nonverbal Communication

Semiotics is about how meaning and understanding are created. It’s all about communication.

If you’re not a media student or don’t know about this subject google it and a whole new world of awareness will open up. It is important in every aspect of writing, from the written word, for getting the editing and presentation right, and for marketing.

It’s a whole lot of fun to discover and an important awareness exercise. I could write a hundred pages on the subject or more, but it would be a waste of time since it is all there on google.

Semiotics is part of nonverbal communication.

What I try to remember, and often fail, is that when someone is reading what I have written they can’t see my facial expression, they don’t always have context to refer to and they cannot hear my tone of voice. That’s strange because I can hear it in my head when I write. That’s a good reason for someone else editing. It’s why what I think I have written and what I have actually written can be two different things.

Paralanguage is an NVC – important in dialogue- pauses, the lowering of the voice or the shouting. I sometimes find this difficult to get absolutely right.

Semiotics goes beyond grammar. It makes context and description important. If someone wears pale pink or bright red lipstick it says something about them. I must stop there or I am off on all the stuff that is on google. (Google color semiotics)


In marketing semiotics comes up hugely. Branding, cultural association,  and when we are using social media and adverts.

Tweeting can be hard because of economizing with punctuation and explanation. Blogging needs good pictures (my Achilles heel). Covers and websites are all using semiotics.

It’s a fascinating subject and can be fun – really.




World Book Day. My Beautiful Library

2015-11-22 16.01.31

This school in Sri Lanka needed a relaxing and happy space which could be used by teachers and children so I set about a renovation.

In an overcrowded school for 1000 girls . I felt that a new library would give the school a heart and encourage the wonderful teachers.

We have given some books and are sending out more.

The parents of the children at this school have irregular work and reduced income.



Bureaucracy means that change happens slowly and with a shortage of money, nothing was getting done. I was grateful that they let me in and trusted me. I look forward to seeing the school again later this year.



Opening day.

What a privilege to see the smiles on the faces of the children and teachers.


2016-01-06 11.25.43
The classroom was painted and tidied


Another task. The toilets

In Praise of The Indie Experience

I became an Indie author to publish and sell my book. I have done both, but there is so much more.

Making friends and meeting people is top of the list. Online through twitter, @brendah Sedgwick, through this blog, and through goodreads and facebook. Then there are the talks and people you meet anywhere anywhen.”Yes, I’ve written a book – how about you? Do you enjoy reading or writing?”

The originality and variety of indie books exceeds that of celebrity books and well known authors. It takes a few extra minutes to find something you are interested in.

There many nonfiction indie books with information that is easily accessed by everybody. These books can be for small niche markets and important. Only available because of indie publishing.

Some indie books lack good grammar and need more spelling checks. Indie authors don’t have an army working for them. It’s the story that counts for me;  the pictures painted with words in them. It’s like a song well written but lacking life or a song full of life but with faults.

A whole room of people can write a professional blurb. An indie blurb will be written by one or two inexperienced people.

Give me an indie book and suprise me.

The covers have beautiful art work. Through indie books, covers have become the opportunity for more artists to show their amazing talents Remember the record sleeves that were works of art and have a monetry value in themselves? Can this happen to book covers?. Limited editions?


Will there be shops that sell only indie books that become a hub of activity with downloading facilities and book clubs only for self published authors,. Could they  be more fun than the conventional reading groups?

There is a new dawn for Indie books yet to be  seen. How many great books never made it past the agent’s desk? We know about Beatrice Potter and Lord of the Flies , by William Golding, etc  that only just made it. How many great stories went in the bin we will never know. Indie books may not be perfect, but there are more good ones  ones that will make it through to popularity by the indie route,  and will be around for future generations.

Another reason for not getting across the agent’s desk is age. It takes a lot of money and time to promote someone and they want lots of books and a long future. Older people can write amazing books that are a good read for all ages and in all genres..

Recently I have read writers who have a mainstream published series to their name, and the authors are coming up to middle age. Unfortunately, I have found them lacking in story content after the first one or two. Some indie book stories I have found to have originality and to be buzzing with life.Books that will stay in my memory.

For the value of indie books and writers to be appreciated readers must be willing to experiment, and accept that some books don’t make the mark anymore than mainstream books do.

You can meet your author on twitter,on  websites, through blogging and on Facebook pages. There’s an author’s page for books on Goodreads and about the author on Amazon. So much background to be discovered before and after you read the book. You can even ask an author questions.

It’s no longer about a book or an indie book, but it comes with information that makes the reading experience  more interesting.

Book clubs could, perhaps should, have an indie night now and again, when they read different genres in indie publishing and find out what the overall response is.

If you can’t read a book where you think a comma is wrong, then stick to the mainstream published books or try to write one that is perfect in every way.






Leaving a wife at a petrol station

So Alan the Millwall Football Club fan, in Marriage, a Journey and a dog, left his wife at a petrol station I wondered if readers would find  it plausible. As the book is part comedy I decided it was OK, and in the back of my mind I remembered hearing a similar story on the news.

Today another story. A tourist and his son drove 60 miles, in Brazil, before realizing his wife wasn’t with them, he had left her at a petrol station.

Do some men have problems focusing on more than one thing? I remember the horrific story of a man heading for the squash courts in America and forgetting he had his two small children in the back of the car. The heat killed them after he rushed off to the courts. How does anyone repair their life after that?

My book is a comedy, with a serious side. I listen to wives and girlfriends who take second place to their partner’s interests; sport or otherwise.

At a golfing party there was a woman who left her husband with the children regularly to play golf. Regularly means 4/5 times a week. He wasn’t happy. The fact is women aren’t happy in this situation either. A sporting nature means wanting to be good at it and being good means practice and constant thought..

I’m not a relationship psychologist;  experience tells me to fill your own life and don’t wait for change.

My husband is a glider pilot and it works well. I enjoy social visits to the club now and  then and we are both happy. If a family situation comes up, it’s easy for him to change his flying time. This works because we are retired. Gliding families don’t always work. If your family time is reliant on the weekends and – usually he –  wants to glide, there is no time left.

If you have a sport driven partner, you are far from alone. You will feel lonely in a relationship..V66Regionls20091280~1024imgres


Any answers?







Natalie’s Journey in Pictures

Flemeno Danicng
A wild Dance Barcelona

This is a blog with an ongoing life. A blog where I can  update pictures and videos at different times to enhance the reading experience. In due course I would like to add a facility where readers can add comments on the places Natalie travelled and add pictures of their own.

I hope to meet you here.

This is where Natalie lived, in Eastleigh. Her journey starts:

Natalie's street
Market Street. Eastleigh.


The type of car she drove. In her turquoise Fiat Cinquecento

280px-Fiat_Cinquecento_front_20081127 (1)
Like Natalie’s car

Hattie, who inspired the character of Spike.

Spike the Dog in Marriage Journey and A  dog

Portsmouth, where Natalie caught the cross Channel Feryy to travel to Le Havre.IMG_1221

From Le Harve to Paris..17-P1000983

Sacré-Cœur, Paris 

 Basilica in Paris, France
Moulin Rouge and can can dancers. An artist sketched her.


The River Seine at night, where Natalie and Spike sailed on July 14th and joined in Bastille day celebrations. Year 2004



Through the roof of Le Louvre.


Mona Lisa in Le Louvre. Natalie stared at her  in silent conversation. Sharing the experience of being a woman.




The Venus de Milo, Goddess of Love, in Le Louvre. Where Natalie stood and stared at her wanting the spirit of love to touch her marriage.


The River Charente. Where Natalie went boating with newly found friends.



Brandy. The bottle Natalie dropped.The glass she warmed the brandy in her hands before tasting.

The place where Natalie first met her busker, travelling companion John/George Lennon/Bush

Bordeaux. Food and Wine. The map of where she was lost here was to too complicated to be interesting. No wonder she was lost.








Lourdes. At the foot of the Pyrenees. The place where she parted company with John/George Lennon Bush a busker travelling companion.

Lourdes where Natalie went with the busker.



A mountain village in the Pyrenees.



Gliding in the Pyrenees






Tour de France

Honfluer France, where she walked with Gerry before returning home.
Market Street
Eastleigh in the South of England and home