Isn’t this cool?  A whole new website; scary though because the blog is up front so you’ll see at a glance whether or not I’ve updated it.  Based on my past record that’s a bit of a worry, but I’m a reformed character now (no sniggering please)!  I really am determined to get to grips with this blogging business because  I’m  quite stirred up about a lot of things right now.

For five years, back in the 1980s, I wrote an opinion column in a group of newspapers here in in Western Australia. In those days I was quite happy to air my views to anyone who wanted to hear them and quite a lot who didn’t.  Decades earlier when, aged 16,  I told my parents I wanted to be a writer, my Mum said that wouldn’t do at all because women writers are bossy, interfering and opinionated. So guess what –  I proved her right –  at least in my own case.  And now   my inner columnist is  ready to be let loose again. I hope you’re going to help me with this and start responding –  I don’t want to have to do this all on my own.

And I’ll also be using this space to talk everything from politics to food porn, sexism, feminism, ageism, makeover culture, education, reading and writing, about books, films and favourite television programs. Which reminds me that I recently saw Best Exotic Marigold Hotel –  which I loved (and not just because Bill Nighy was in it)!  The week before I saw the film I read the novel on which it’s based.  The book has several more major characters  and some of the characters’ story lines have been merged into others on the screen.  It’s a terrific example of why adaptation is so challenging. To cram a full length  book into a 90 minute film is a big ask.  Something’s got to give if a novel rich in characters and action is to make a successful transition to the screen. The book is by one of my favourite authors, Deborah Moggach,  and was  originally published as These Foolish Things but there is now a new edition with the same title as the film. If you’re interested in the adaptation of novel to film this is a particularly interesting example.  Let me know what you think of either or both.

Before I wind up I just want to say a big thank you to Mark Harding of Momentum Books who built this website for me and put up with my not knowing what I wanted and changing my mind all the time.  I’ll be publishing a long essay on ageing with Momentum Books online in a couple of months time but in the meantime have a look at their website  I will never give up on print books which are my great love, but there’s no doubt that the future is digital and provides terrific opportunities for new writers.

Anyway – that’s all for now, do check in again soon.