Hello to all you fellow motorhomers and welcome.
I hope you get as much fun reading this as I do writing it.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Super Thursday (Part 4)

 The final book in my small collection I consider to be a momentous achievement.


Because it was published by Hubble & Hattie a bone fide publishers. 

The company, based in Dorset, is small and part of Veloce, a larger publishing concern; "the home of fine automotive books"

The topics of the books Hubble & Hattie publish is animals. 

It was because I was accompanied in my explorations by my dogs that Hubble & Hattie offered me a contract.
Their experience of camping is not nearly so extensive but I can fill that gap.

The book is 

"Wonderful Walks from Dog-friendly Campsites Throughout the UK"

Whatever one may think of the content of my book there is absolutely no question that it "looks" fabulous. 
The editor certainly knows how to turn a boring manuscript into a attractive book. 

The book can be purchased from the usual outlets or from:

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Last Trip of 2020

What a year!  And it is only October.

Despite everything I did manage to research a few campsites for my next walking book


  • Lydford
    Lydford Caravan and Camping Park.  It was not on my list of campsites to visit as it was not next to a pub.                                 I I decided to visit for my first outing after lockdown because it sounded well organized and up to speed with Covid compliance regulations.  Also there was a pub just half a mile away in the village of Lydford.  As stated in a previous blog, I had a lovely time.
  • Me at Widgery Cross
    Fox and Hounds Hotel Campsite.  
  • This was just outside of the village of Lydford.  It was on my list of campsites to visit for my next book. With no mention of Covid on the website and some poor reviews I did not feel confident staying here without a reconnoitre.  This I did on one of the walks from Lydford Campsite. It past muster so I booked in for a several days.  It was wonderful. A track led straight up onto Dartmoor.                                        

 I climbed a tor to Widgery Cross

East Sussex

  • Runt in Tun. Campsite behind so named pub. (On my list).  
    Runt in Tun

    A really wonderful site with fabulous walks in Sapperton Woods. Toilet and showers were poor; just portaloos. Pub was lovely.  Unfortunately when I got home I was informed the campsite was going to close permanently. So I had to find another campsite in East Sussex. Very difficult. After very careful consideration I went to a campsite very close to Runt in Tun.

  • Horam
    Horam Manor Country Park. This is situated on the outskirts of the village of Horam.  It is part of the Country Park complex which also comprises workshops, fishing lake, nature trail and Bistro.
    This is why I decided this campsite would be an interesting addition in the next book.  Whilst staying there I discovered there is a pub just across the playing fields. Maybe Covid is responsible for its lack of appeal.


Bagwell Farm Touring Park.  This is located very close to the coast at Chesil Beach near Weymouth.  It is a very big campsite but the walks from it are fabulous. Again the pub just across a field from the campsite was closed when I visited. Maybe a victim of lockdown. 


Red Shoot Camping Park.  

Red Shoot
I had to revisit this campsite to clarify some notes
I made on my previous visit. I think this is a lovely campsite.  

A wonderful way to end 2020 camping outings.

With the probability of a second wave of Covid-19 during winter forcing us to stay indoors I have decided not to venture out again this year in my motorhome. 

I hope 2021 will be a better year for us all.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Happy Birthday to Pearl's first litter.

 Pearl had her first litter in 2017 on 10th October.
4 boys and 3 girls

So this year they were 3 years old.

I am thrilled to say 5 of her seven offspring sent birthday photos

This is Harley

This is Toby



This is Maggie

This is Tarn Bear

This is Lexi

This is Ernie

Thank you for everyone who sent photos of their dogs.

I hope you all agree; A fabulous group of dogs.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Super Thursday (Part 3)

 My second book in this small collection is also special to me because:-

  • It was the first book I wrote; a test case to ascertain whether or not I could actually write a book
  • The subject was my first dog Ruby; a memoire of sorts. If I could not write about her then writing about anything would be hopeless.
  • I self published this book; this is quicker than the usual route of using an agent then a publisher.
  • This book (as well as my magazine articles) were hugely influential in finding a publisher for my subsequent books. 
The book is 

My Friend Ruby
Anna Chelmicka  

It recounts
 how a dog can change a life.

It is true dogs can be of great help during difficult times, which is why so many people now during these uncertain times are getting puppies.

I have personally experienced how a dog can help during distressing moments.
Ruby, my first dog was not only a comfort to me when I was ill but was also hugely instrumental in life after retirement.  It is because of her I now write and take photographs.  

It was only when she went that I fully realized just how special she was and thought writing about her would be a good idea. 

Because I self-published this book (an extremely interesting experience)
I have lots of copies available. 

Details of purchase can be found on my website https://annachelmicka.me/writing/

Friday, 2 October 2020

Super Thursday (Part 2)

 The first book I wish to promote is unusual because:-

  • I did not write it.  Instead I am mentioned in it..
  • It is about my father; (at least the second half)
  • The book and the author were the impetus for me to start writing.
  • It reawakened my desire to read but non-fiction rather than fiction.
The book is 

Quiet Heroes 
Rita Cosby.

The author is a well known journalist in the States.  Her father is Ryszard Kossobudzki but changed his name when he came to the US. 

Rita Cosby unexpectedly discovered information about her father's wartime experiences in Poland, particularly during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. 
The book  recounts these and how it affected their relationship and why some people behave so extraordinarily. Hence the title.

My father was also involved in the Warsaw Uprising. His story is included because he became a close friend of Ryszard  when they met in a "hospital" during the Uprisings.  They became buddies doing everything together until peace-time.

I too knew little of my father's wartime experiences as he rarely spoke about them when he was alive so this book was a revelation to me. 

This book has not been published in the UK so is not available in the usual bookshops. 
The majority of the copies online are rather expensive as many of them originate in the USA. 
Fortunately I have a few copies, which are available from my website https://annachelmicka.me/writing/

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Super Thursday (Part 1)

 Few people will have heard of Super Thursday unless like me you happened to see the item about it on BBC News in September.

It is a day (first Thursday in September) when publishers issue b
ook titles specifically for the
Christmas market.

These are typically "coffee table" books such as 

  • Antiques Roadshow: 40 Years of Great Finds by Paul Atterbury
  • Classic FM's Big Book of Classical Music;  1000 years of music in 366 days by Darren Henley, Sam Jackson et al
  • John Craven's Countryfile Handbook by John Craven

Then there are the plethora of books; both fiction and non-fiction by "celebrities".
Go into any bookshop and they are displayed at the entrance to entice you to buy one as a present or even for yourself.

Those pundits who say books are a thing of the past should visit

  •  a bookshop 
  • a book fair.
A little while ago I went to the London Book Fair. 
The number of stands and books was mind-blowing

For me Thursday 1st October 2020 is my Super Thursday.
This is the day I launch my campaign promoting my 3 books.
To sustain interest I am going to do this over 4 posts. (This is Part 1)
Each of the remaining parts will focus on just one book.

Like most people 2020 events where I was to promote my books were cancelled.
These were;
  • 2 literary festivals
  • a motorhome show 
  • Countryfile Live
As a consequence I have several  boxes of books.
I can pop them in the post to any interested people. 

On the other hand you could purchase them from Amazon 
I know many who would rather you did not.
You may not know but Amazon sell books as a lost leader 
(at a loss but to encourage you to purchase something far more profitable; 
for example Amazon Prime).
As a result authors get very very little for their books.
They only make money if they sell millions rather than a few thousands.
Authors get a better return if you purchase from elsewhere;
preferably a bookshop or even direct from the author or publisher.

If you cannot wait for Part 2, 3, and 4 to find out what selection of books I am offering
please go to my website https://annachelmicka.me/writing/

Prices quoted are special Christmas offers.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Acquiring a Dog

 Rescue Dog or Puppy from a breeder

This is question that pops up when a family want a dog.

This question makes me feel a little guilty on two counts;-

  1. I have never had a rescue dog.

  2. I am one of those people who breeds dogs occasionally
    (a guilty pleasure).

My reasons for having a puppy;-
  • Training a puppy is easier and more effective.  I enjoy the training and the bond it creates between the dog and me. 
  • Rescue dogs bring baggage with them.  It is often difficult understanding why they have certain behaviours. Modifying these takes a long time, sometimes never fully succeeding.  I am not sure I could make such a commitment.  I admire hugely those who do.

What I do not understand though is with the number of dogs in various rescue centres in this country why do so many people get rescue dogs from abroad?

During my campsite visit just recently I discovered most of the people I met walking their dogs were rescue dogs from overseas.
I would be very interested to know the reason people adopt dogs from other countries.

Whatever dog you do get they offer so much.

How we came to acquire Ruby was really strange.
Despite this she was the most amazing dog which is why I wrote abut her.
(If I could not write a book about her I would not be able to write books).
She changed my life


Monday, 28 September 2020

Photo(s) of the Month (Sept 2020)

 September's Photo of the Month reflects the Read of the Month
(The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben)

I love trees; everything about them but especially the different shapes they make.

Choosing just one photo has been difficult so I have selected 5 photographs.

Which is your favourite? A  B  C  D  or  E

                                       Tree Stumps

             Small Group of Trees at Sunset

             Twisting and Turning

                       Is it a photo or a painting?

                   Landmark: Line of Trees

Monday, 21 September 2020

Off Again

 No post again this week.
Off again doing research for my next book.

This is a sequel to my previous one
"Wonderful Walks from Dog-friendly Campsites"

No matter how much research and preparation I do before I go I always find my expectations are exceeded; frequently in a good way but occasionally not.

So it was with my visit this time to East Sussex.

I went to the Runt-in Tun Pub which had a campsite behind it.
What a lovely place, especially for dogs.
The back of the campsite led out to some fields and an amazing wood.

Considering the ReadoftheMonth quite appropriate.

It was a huge wood with amazing trees.
The wood had obviously been left untouched for years if not decades.
As a consequence there are many fallen trees which together with the living ones create intricate and unusual patterns and shapes

I assume to engage with younger people someone had
"decorated" the wood.
Apparently at the bottom of some trees were doors;
 entrances for fairies.
When the doors were opened
the name of the fairy was inscribed on the inside.


Unfortunately I did not find any doors

but I did find
painted spiders and
wool spider webs
and excitingly a "black bin",

So if you go to the woods perhaps YOU will find the "Fairy Doors


Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Read of the Month (Sept 2020)

 The reasons why I have embraced non-fiction books is because they

  • increase my knowledge 
  • expand my understanding of events
  • allow me to look at things from a different perspective 
Most importantly so many books illuminate the wonders of the world

This is especially so of this month's Read of the Month

The Hidden Life of Trees


Peter Wohlleben

The author is German.  
It has been translated by Jane Billinghurst

He is a forester and talks about trees as a "carer".  A most unusual way.
What he said I found surprising and at times even emotional.

I now look at all trees in a completely different way.
Also I now feel trees are as important to our plant. 
They need to be preserved and nurtured just like a lion or any other animal.

I wish to learn more about trees;
  • the different types
  • the flowers they have
  • the fruit
  • how they are different
  • how they are the same.