Behind the scenes with Victoria Twead

Does Joe really scratch that much? What do the villagers think about the Old Fools books? What do I miss from England? What do I regret about moving to Spain? Would we ever leave El Hoyo? This chat filled a whole day and more, so grab a coffee before you read on…

Come and join us at WLM (We Love Memoirs) if you love a good laugh and want to mix with other readers and authors.

Victoria Twead Spotlight Sunday

Alan Parks: This is it. The moment you have all been waiting for. Victoria has been forcibly dragged into the Sunday Spotlight hot seat. Please give a very warm welcome to Victoria Twead, NYT times bestselling author.

Victoria Twead: Morning WLM, be gentle with me, hehe.

Cherry Gregory: Morning Victoria. What’s it feel like being in the hot seat at long last?

Victoria Twead: Morning Cherry, it feels terrifying! I’m expert at dragging other people into the hot seat but I’ve managed to slither out of it myself up to now!

Phil Cowman: Good morning Vicky, Hope you are not too hot in that seat!!! Firstly, How’s it going with the Mayor?, would you ever think of leaving Spain?

Cherry Gregory: I’m sure we’ll be kind!

Alison Charlotte Moore: So Victoria * looks over glasses and peers at the victim *…… Who do you like to read?

Victoria Twead: Morning Phil Cowman! If you’d asked me a couple of years ago, I’d have said No, not ever. But since Indy, my granddaughter arrived in Australia, I’m torn and can now imagine moving for the last time.

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson: Morning Victoria. How is life in your little village?

Kate Pill: Hi Thanks for being under the spotlight. I’ve just read your latest memoir and enjoyed it as much as the others. Do any of the people from where you live recognise themselves? I was thinking along the lines of the gentleman who is keen on you giving him English lessons!

Veronica Moore: When you co-founded WLM did you have any idea how well it would take off? By the way, I think I was one of your first members!

Julie Haigh: Morning Victoria! Great to see you in the spotlight. I wondered: were you always going to write a book at some time in your life, or was it just when you made the move to Spain that you thought about writing? Did you always intend your first book, right before you set things in motion for moving or was it later when you thought to write about your experiences with living abroad? Also- in your Camel book-Nadia Sawalha’s recipes-did you already know her or did you meet her when she was in Bahrain or something?

Frankie Knight: ‘Morning Victoria!!! No guarantees to be kind today after you dragged me kicking and screaming into the hot seat!!! To start, how are you managing to cope with the Spanish inability to see the big picture in anything they do? ie if I start to build a road, will I ever have enough money to finish it?

Victoria Twead: Alison, I’ve always been a Thomas Hardy fan, but now I just read memoirs, of course!
— Kate Pill, good question I get asked all the time. As far as I know, nobody in the village even knows I write books, let alone write about them. So far I’ve got away with it, but I’m always nervous that they’ll find out. I had no idea Chickens would grow to a series of 4 with more on the way.

Julia Merrick: Morning Victoria from stormy UK. Do you ever worry about repercussions from locals who take offence by your revealing a story about them?

Victoria Twead: Morning Gemma! Life is great here! Quiet this morning but the Ufartes were playing flamenco last night until 3.00 and kids were running round the streets all night. Typical summer.
–Hi Veronica Moore, no, Alan Parks and I had NO IDEA that WLM would take off the way it has. I didn’t realise you were a founder member! You must have watched it evolve with interest too! It’s been amazing, hasn’t it?

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson: Sounds idyllic! I wish I could have gotten out to Spain this summer. I have just been looking back at the pictures from when I visited my granddad last summer in his mountain village. X

Veronica Moore: Yes Victoria Twead it’s incredible how it’s grown – and what a friendly yet diverse bunch we all are!

Fay Kearney: Hello Victoria, just wondering what, apart from your family, you and Joe miss the most from the UK. Also how many animals have you at the moment? x

Victoria Twead: Julie Haigh, morning, great questions! I’ve always written, and I had some stories published in magazines in the UK. In fact my first book was written when I was about 4 or 5 and I still have it. It goes, “The Runaway Tadel. Wunce there was a runaway tadel and wen you put food on it it runned away. The End.”

Valerie Robson: Hi there – got and read book one in ‘set of 5’, bought 2 and 3, so will get 4 later… have a great day in the grilling chair! I will follow fred as best I can xxx

Julie Haigh: So Victoria Twead, when you decided to live in Spain did you think, oh, I’ll write a memoir all about this or did it just evolve later from eg.diary entries or your famous lists

Victoria Twead: Julie Haigh, in answer to your question about Nadia Sawalha… Her uncle Colin wrote me a sweet fan letter after Chickens. He’s a lovely man and a fellow cat lover. We started writing quite regularly as he’s also a foodie. When I was writing Camel, Nadia’s book was coming out, and he gave me Nadia’s mum’s email and postal address. We started writing, and Nadia gave me permission. So no, I’ve never met Nadia but I’m in contact with her uncle and mum!
–Frankie Knight, haha! You just get used to it, I think, don’t you?

Julie Haigh: Great, I’ve always wondered about Nadia-what a scoop getting her recipes included in your book.

Victoria Twead: Julia Merrick, yes, I do worry about that all the time.
–Gemma, you can definitely relate, knowing your grandad’s village.
–Veronica, you are so right! I always feel comfortable in WLM (except today, haha) because everybody is so friendly. Also funny, and hugely diverse!
–Fay Kearney, I think I miss buying stuff and having the instructions written in English. And not being able to have a good gossip. We get by in Spanish, but the subtleties are difficult.

Julie Haigh: Victoria Twead, does Joe ever sulk about some of the funny situations you want to put in your books involving him? Or does he say-yes, go for it!?

Charlotte Smith: Morning Beaky – I just managed to climb off the naughty step in time to say hello. Has WLM turned out how you hoped it would or is it even better?

Victoria Twead: Fay – animals… Three village cats that aren’t really ours but we feed them sometimes, and three very moth-eaten looking chickens. Because of travelling to Oz, we can’t really have animals.

Charlotte Smith: Nobody’s offered you breakfast? Boiled eggs ok??

Anastasia Georgiou: Would you ever move back to the UK? On a scale of 1-10 what is your quality of life living on the continent? (10 : excellent) xxx

Victoria Twead: Morning, Valerie aka our Zimbabwe representative! Hope you enjoy them.

Valerie Robson: Can you see me waving to you from here? xxx

Paul Hamilton: Just finished book 4. – loved it! :o)

Victoria Twead: Julie Haigh, writing the Old Fools series was a result of my writing and record keeping addictions! I keep records of obscure things like the day the swallows arrive, the first cuckoo in the valley, the first time in winter when we light the fire, etc. How sad am I?

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson: When are you planning on going back to oz to see that gorgeous granddaughter of yours?–Victoria I love writing lists too nothing sad at all about it. X

Victoria Twead: Thanks for the boiled eggs, Charlotte, can I have soldiers with that?

Charlotte Smith: List Lady!

Jo Howe Holloway: Hi Victoria, just popping in to say I’ll be very intermittent through the day but hopefully can join you later this afternoon. Can’t wait to read your books; so many people have raved about them!! Hope you have a great day in the hot seat. My advice: accept all and any delicious food and drinks offered, relax in the shade, and enjoy being in the spotlight! Must dash off in a mo but first, an offering to keep your energy up …


Charlotte Smith: Soldiers coming up!

Victoria Twead: Anastasia Georgiou – no, I can’t see me ever moving back to the UK. Australia maybe, but not the UK. But who can see into the future? Quality of life here is 9.5 I reckon.

Sandra Lee Kuns: Well, if your villagers find out you’ve written about them and start throwing eggs, you can move to Australia! I wouldn’t worry about any of them taking offence except maybe the mayor and Lola Ufarte. Lola stays too busy with all her men and dancing flamenco to read. As long as you don’t teach the mayor English, you’ll probably stay in the clear. I’m 58% through ” back in Spain” and really enjoying it. I’m glad to know you’ve got another memoir in the works.

Victoria Twead: Gemma Murphy-Sanderson, very much hoping to travel over to Oz to see little Indy and family this December. And nice to chat with a fellow listmaker.

Fay Kearney: Are there lots of mosquitoes living near you, and how do you cope with them?

Paul Hamilton: Can’t stay – off to work! Have a great day! :o)

Cherry Gregory: I liked your first story…I can see you had potential even then! What was your favourite book from childhood?

Victoria Twead: Jo Howe Holloway, thanks for the fruit basket *squirts juice on keyboard* –Charlotte… *sigh* not thoooose sort of soldiers.

Charlotte Smith: I just knew you were going to be demanding Beaky

Julie Haigh: So, Joe, does he like you including some of his calamities in your books or does he say ‘ you’re not putting that in!’ ? Got to reluctantly go in the shower very soon.

Eve Anderson: Any plans to come back to Blighty so u me and the gin twins can be reunited
Maybe we can go belly dancing lol x

Victoria Twead: I remember a book called Rascal the Racoon, Cherry Gregory. But later it was Paddington, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, all the usual suspects.

Jill Brookes: Good morning Victoria Twead, you’ve picked a hot one to be in the hot seat So I’ve made us some Sangria. I’ve enjoyed meeting you on here and love your books

Veronica Moore: I never make lists – does that make me listless?!

Victoria Twead: Those soldiers will do nicely, thank you, Charlotte. *dips into egg, drops yolk onto keyboard* My keyboard needs a serious clean.

Jill Brookes: Here it is x

Victoria Twead: Hello Jill Brookes, glad you like my scribbles, and that sangria looks delish…
–Julie Haigh, every time Joe does something stupid, he used to say, “You are NOT putting that in!” But I always do, and he’s got kinda used to it now. In fact now he just groans and says, “I suppose that’s going in…”

Julie Haigh: Hee hee! I could kind of imagine him saying ‘ you’re not putting that in’ when I was reading about all his escapades!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant: Good morning lovely lady – what I would like to know is why you are called ‘Beaky’ is it because you are nosey? That Sangria looks good!

Charlotte Smith: /578hh87

Victoria Twead: Hello Eve Anderson! (hug) Who knows? We were superb belly dancers, weren’t we?

Eve Anderson: Lol we were altho GT 1 didnt know her left from her right ha ha Happy Days xxx

Jill Brookes: Anne, it’s in one of the books, the Spanish in Andalucia pronounce the V as a B. So Veeky is Beaky.

Charlotte Smith: Sorry Beaky – that comment wasn’t some coded message for you. I was just cleaning my keyboard!

Jenni Barnard: Morning Victoria Twead, love the latest book! Dont know how you have the self discipline! I keep thinking of putting some of my escapades down on paper but always getting distracted….especially living in Spain, always something else to do, somewhere to go, or MORE visitors about to arrive. This area is getting more like the “new Abu Dhabi” as well….two more of my friends are now retiring here – must stop posting photos and tempting them all (only joking). X

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant: Thanks Jill – I must have missed that – will have to re-read x

Victoria Twead: Lol, Anne Wine O’clock Durrant! No, although I AM nosy. I’m called Beaky because I’m called Veeky here in Spain, but some Spanish people, particularly the mayor, can’t pronounce V so it sounds like Beaky.
— ]UYG2 to you too, Charlotte.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant: I am very nosey, also I make lists and forget to look at them

Victoria Twead: Lol, Jenni Barnard, I know exactly what you mean.

Cherry Gregory: Liked your childhood books, Victoria. I liked similar (especially Paddington Bear as I was, and still am, a bit of a teddy bearphile)! Still like reading them…always make me laugh.

Frankie Knight: I identify with you Victoria as my life in my Spanish village is just as ridiculous as yours. Some of the amusing things that happen could truly not be made up! I used to write about it all in my column in Costa Almeria News and I am sure people did not believe they were real!

Victoria Twead: Oh, in case anybody is wondering about the strange costume I’m wearing in the Spotlight pic above, it was taken in the Grand Mosque in Bahrain and all women had to wear that.

Kate Pill: I also love reading about Joe’s escapades and the way you add in the scratching as a measure of his concern is a hoot
–I also love reading about Joe’s escapades and the way you add in the scratching as a measure of his concern is a hoot

Frankie Knight: I keep a daily diary writing about what happens around me. This morning I got ready to go to market to buy veggies but found a car parked across my drive as there is a Time Trial for custom cars around the village. As that will not end until 2ish I now have n o veggies for tonight’s meal!

Jill Brookes: Frankie and Victoria, I know exactly what you mean

Veronica Moore: Very flattering, makes you look very holy and virtuous, Victoria Twead

Charlotte Smith: It must have been a terrible sacrifice to leave your village and go to Bahrain. If you could re-live your life would you do it again?

Victoria Twead: Lol Veronica Moore, as if!
— It’s a teeny bit too early for Jill Brookes’s sangria, so I think I’ll just have a coke, but which one? #indecision

Sandra Lee Kuns: In your most recent memoir you mentioned an incident when you misplaced the iPad only later to find it in the refrigerator. By any chance was the bottle of gin also left on the kitchen table instead of being put back in the refrigerator? It’s a good thing you don’t keep gin in the freezer!

Victoria Twead: Frankie Knight, that sounds typical.

–Kate, Joe’s scratching drives me nuts (excuse pun). Imagine if we women did that all the time!

Frankie Knight I notice no one has offered coffee and brandy this morning! Bit poor when you have to get your own

Julie Haigh: Does he really do it so much lol or did you exaggerate for artistic license?

Cherry Gregory: Ever thought of writing a memoir about your childhood and earlier years, Victoria?

Frankie Knight: I confess I have only read your first book, Victoria and could see many of the Old Fellas in my village in your characters…. I often wonder if they realise how funny some of their antics are…

Victoria Twead: Kate, this never fails to make me smile. I changed the name to Joe as it was so fitting, haha!


Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Good Morning VT from a nearly crispy reader (see post) I think I read somewhere that your village has been given a fictional name in the books, is that right?

Jo Howe Holloway: Frankie: this to you??

Victoria Twead: I have been known to exaggerate, Julie…
–Cherry Gregory, that question made me jump because I’ve just started writing a childhood memoir! How did you know? Only written 200 words so far, lol!
–Jennifer, correct. It is NOT the El Hoyo that people keep finding on Google Earth.

Frankie Knight: Thanks Jo!!!

Cherry Gregory: That’s so exciting, I love childhood memoirs as I had quite a weird childhood myself and always like to compare my own with the writer’s! Keep writing, I’ll read it for sure!

Frankie Knight: Victoria, what are you doing today to keep cool? I’ve got my feet in a bowl of iced water

Victoria Twead: Thanks Cherry, I’d definitely read yours! I’m wrestling with a title at the moment. I’d like Old Fool in it but can only come up with An Old Fool Growing Up.

Philip Whiteland: How about ‘No Fool Like An Old Fool’?

Victoria Twead: Frankie Knight, I have the ceiling fan on. It’s verrrry hot today. This is the temp in the garden at the mo.

Helen Lehmann: Good morning I think Victoria. I always look at our chooks (chickens) and think of yours. You always give them such personalities. Ours are just of band of garden destroyers.

Victoria Twead: Helen! How can you say that? They have bags of personality!

Alan Parks: Me with Auntie Eileen

Rachel Easom: Morning Victoria Twead, have you got any more adventures planned which could be the source of further books? Also have you ever thought of writing a fictional novel – from your other books there are certainly many characters on which to develop a novel – a sort of what happens behind closed doors?

Cherry Gregory: My mum is about to arrive for lunch and games this afternoon, so I’ll have to leave you now, but I’ll be back later. Have a great spotlight!

Frankie Knight: I may have missed this but has anyone asked WHY you started this group? And how long ago was it?

Victoria Twead: Rachel Easom, Book 4 (Spain Again) brought things pretty much up to date, but I’m keeping notes as stuff has happened already. Fiction, I’d love a go at it! How about you?

Helen Lehmann, Our chooks in 47 degree heat last summer

Victoria Twead: Frankie Knight, it was almost exactly a year ago when Alan and I formed WLM. (Probably needs marking in some way? Party?) We did it because we wanted a friendly place, with no authors pushing their books at readers, where readers and memoir authors could get together. It’s worked far better than we ever dreamed thanks to our brilliant mods and fantastic members. You all rock!

Rachel Easom: No Victoria Twead, I’m an avid reader but not a writer. Love people watching and perhaps wondering about people’s lives based on overheard conversations!
Love your books & like many people here hope that you find more to write about, whether factual or fiction.

Julie Haigh: Idea for childhood memoir title Victoria Twead- ‘Young And Foolish’ ? Well, it ties in with the ‘Fools’ bit for your full series

Helen Lehmann: It has given us a whole new world to escape to when we need a new read. I wonder if I will write one day but writing about school children is fraught with danger.

Valerie Robson: Oooh an anniversary, when is it? because it will take some planning, and we could all help in some small way! xxx

Sarah Ashley: Victoria Twead, Hello! May I ask, why Spain for you & Joe? I am married to a man who wants us to retire abroad, somewhere warm & lovely, but we just can’t decide where, let alone when. The mortgage here is nearly paid off & our daughters have now moved out, so the time is looming, but we just cannot settle on a place to….settle! He is incredibly handy so is looking forward to getting his teeth into a project. I just want sun,cats,hens & wine.

Louise E Fenton: And maybe we could use the anniversary to have some kind of meet up for all us WLM members in Spain and anyone else who needs an excuse to visit here? There you are Victoria a new mission for you! . I’m enjoying reading your fred by the way but everyone has already asked my questions!

Bambi Flanner: Good morning Victoria! What an auspicious day! I hope you enjoy your day in the hot seat.

Frankie Knight: Brill idea Louise!

Louise E Fenton: Sarah Ashley there are a lot of us WLM members living in many different areas of Spain. A good place to find out what might be good for you!

Bambi Flanner: Have a nice cup?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: just turned the genny on, will catch up. Morning sorry afternoon VVictoria

Jacky Donovan: I thoroughly recommend Spain Sarah Ashley tho I live a bit further south than Victoria Twead as I’m in Gran Canaria. It’s quite ‘cool’ here today compared to where you are Victoria A mere 41 on my patio, albeit in the sun, tho it’s 30 in the shade. I hadn’t realised WLM was so young. What a great achievement for you and Alan Parks to get such a bubbly and helpful atmosphere going in such a short space of time. How do you and Alan know each other btw?

Frankie Knight: How did you come to meet up with Alan Parks, Victoria? Or are you virtual friends?

Victoria Twead: Sarah, it was Spain for us because it is the warmest place in Europe, and property and the cost of living cheap compared with Britain. The wine is a bonus, haha! Are you thinking of Spain?

Bambi Flanner: How does Joe feel about moving to Australia? Is this something you’ve seriously discussed? Because Two Old Fools Down Under has a nice ring to it.

Victoria Twead: Louise, the trouble is that Spain is sooo big!

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: I am in and out today so I will catch up later if I have time. Have a wonderful day Victoria Twead I am sure we will all enjoy. Of course my big question is what happened to Lola.

Frankie Knight: Anyone contemplating moving to Spain should know that winters can be bitterly cold. It is warmer at the coast and the Canaries, though, but property is far more expensive there.

Victoria Twead: Jacky Donovan and Frankie Knight, Alan Parks and I have never met in person, though we chat online every day. We ‘met’ when Alan contacted me when he was ready to publish his first Seriously Mum book. We make a good team and we’re both very proud of WLM.

Louise E Fenton: Yes Spain is huge but we could go middle ish of the most of us! That’s real good English and the reason I read and don’t write!!!

Victoria Twead: Sharon, I don’t yet know what happened to Lola except that she’s now ‘catching fish’ somewhere else. I need to find out!

Micki Stokoe: Morning, Victoria! I’ve read & thoroughly enjoyed your books. Glad you’re writing another! Is there anywhere in the world (apart from Australia & Spain) that you’d like to live in for a while?

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Damn oh will I am sure you will let us know when you find out. When are you going to Australia Victoria

Victoria Twead: Bambi, Joe loves Aus as much as I do, so he’s keen to go there too. But it’s not as easy as that. The parent visas allowing you to live in Aus are hugely expensive, and since the crisis, I doubt we’d find a buyer for our house in ‘El Hoyo’.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Alongside ‘The Goatkeeper’s Veterinary Book’ ‘How to write a bestselling memoir’ is now my bible. It took away so much of the fear and ‘oh where do I start’. that puts you off getting down to it. So thank you very much , it has spurred me on. When you are on holiday or sitting in airport, what books do you like to read

Victoria Twead: Micki, it would have to be somewhere in Africa, I think! All those animals! Where would you choose?

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Also Victoria Twead housing to buy in Australia is expensive, especially at present.

Victoria Twead: Glad my ‘How To’ is helpful, Diane! You get writing, gal! In answer to your question, I am sent memoirs by new authors all the time, so I rarely get a chance to read my own choices. If I want complete escapism from memoirs, I like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, particularly the early ones. Not tempted to see the new movie at all! (Jack Reacher played by Tom Cruse? Phtt!) What do you read, Diane?
— I know, Sharon! A million reasons not to go there, but one very strong one that pulls…

Becky Corwin-Adams: Good morning Victoria! Just checking in before I leave for a walking event with my dogs. Have a great day!

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Of course I understand that, I have grandchildren that I miss but we all talk on Skype often. We will be going to Australia at least twice in the next 12 months which is good. But, when we lived in Australia I did not see them more than about 4 times a year because of distances. One of my sisters live in Perth 4000kms and my two brothers live a days drive away so we don’t see them very often either. Australia is such a big country.

Micki Stokoe: So many places! I’d like to spend some more time in India, though, volunteering with one of the NGO’s. I’d also like to go to Australia!

Victoria Twead: Yes, good points, Sharon. Amazing – 4,000 kms away, and Spain is only 1,500 from England, I think.

Bambi Flanner: Victoria I vote that Indy move her parents to Spain. Now. That’s settled.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: same sort of books, lee childs, mathew reilly, karen slaughter. Death and mayem really. I love Dean Koonz. But I love Memoirs.

Jacky Donovan: How amazing that you and Alan have never met. I had assumed you must be best buddies in real life to have got WLM off the ground so well. Technology and the virtual world are incredible!

Victoria Twead: Micki – oooh yes! India would be awesome too. And I’ve always wanted to go to Sri Lanka.

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: I know it is amazing. We went to France a couple of weeks ago so had to drive through Spain. It took us the same amount of time to get to France where we were staying as it takes to drive from Canberra to Brisbane on double lane highways.

Victoria Twead: I wish, Bambi! Trouble is, Aus is a real land of opportunity for the young. Spain can’t offer anything close.

Frankie Knight: Canada in the Fall is something I’ve always wanted to see…..
— 52% of people under 25 unemployed here….

Victoria Twead: Diane, snap!

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Unfortunately the young unemployed statistics are rising in Australia at present which is very disappointing.

Jacky Donovan: You picked the wrong day to be in the hot seat Victoria Twead I just saw that it’s National Lazy Day today

Victoria Twead: Sorry to hear that, Sharon.

Ann Patras-Author: Good Morning Victoria. Good morning Everybody.
–. I am surprised Joe has any nuts left

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: Yes Victoria Twead although it does not impact on our family yet, if it keeps going this way it may impact the grandchildren
–Lol Ann Patras-Author

Ann Patras-Author: : I can see Charlotte Smith heading for the naughty step
— Victoria, haven’t you learnt ANYTHING about Africa from what I wrote?

Jill Dobbe: Just tuned in from across the globe in Honduras. I wonder what time it is there? Victoria Twead, looks like an enjoyable Sunday Spotlight. BTW, thanks also for WLM.

Victoria Twead: Jacky, really??? I like it!

Frankie Knight: Jill, it’s 1.30 mid day. Just about to have lunch!

Victoria Twead: Ann Patras-Author, I know. But I would like to try it myself.

Jill Dobbe: 5:30 A.M. here!

Jacky Donovan: Glad you’re enjoying your day Victoria Twead despite it being Lazy Day. I loved my time in the hot seat! But I hope you keep everyone in line as I fancy celebrating National Lazy Day myself so let’s not have anyone on the naughty step please or the punishments tomorrow will be greater than normal

Ann Patras-Author: Now that you’ve been in the hot seat for a few hours, have you now realised just how difficult it is to keep track of peoples questions? While you’re busy answering a question several more have popped in above your answer. Or are you ambidextrous?
— Time for a beer.

Maeve Mary Lee: I’ve started your latest book and enjoying it but I have to say I’ve been put off muesli (moths) lol x

Anne Chapman: Hello Victoria Twead nice to see you on Sunday spotlight everyone has asked questions i would have asked. As you know i have read all four of your books, and loved them all i so hope you will write another one.

Barbara Alfaro: Hi Victoria, How do you balance your social networking here on FB and other sites with your creative writing? Do you have a specific schedule that you pretty much stick to?

Victoria Twead: Maeve, we’ve never bought muesli again either.
–Anne Chapman

Diana Delahoy: How are the Ufartes?!

Victoria Twead: Barbara Alfaro, the balance is a struggle and my last book took nearly 2 years. Now that it’s published, I’m giving myself a bit of a rest and enjoying it!

Paula Hilston: VT delighted to have you in the spotlight….not even sure I remember how I first stumbled upon Chickens but it so delighted me bringing back such great memories. You were the first writer that I have ever contacted and when you began this group it was a little piece of heaven. Even though I am in and out more this year I still find time to read posts each day. Now adding your paper backs to my shelves because of their art work. I understand how you must miss Indy….and whatever you decide about living arrangements I know you and Joe will do it with adventure and Style….Hugs to you…..Thanks for all the shared adventures, rural Spain really hasn’t changed all that much since I first moved there in 1955….and thank you for all of the recipes….we have enjoyed so many of them.

Sarah Ashley: I remember how I found your first book. I put ‘chickens’ into an Amazon search & there it was! I read it, loved it, then posted on the Omlet forum, where I was admin at the time, & many many members read it & loved it too! We still have a recommended books thread, & your always crop up

Victoria Twead: Diana Delahoy, the Ufartes are as noisy and full of life as usual! They were dancing in the street last night, and the kids are playing outside now. It’ll soon be too hot, and they’ll vanish until this evening. There’s also a white van selling fruit parked outside at the moment. 4 melons for 5 euros. I’d buy some but we’ve been given loads.

Terry Bryan: G’morning…briefly can you tell us a bit about growing up…siblings?

Barbara Alfaro: Balancing the two is difficult for me also. “Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools” is at the top of my to be read list. Am so looking forward to it.

Micki Stokoe: I can relate to the moths – we have 2 types, but I still have no idea what they live on. They vanish when the tiny fruit flies appear though.

Victoria Twead: Really, Sarah Ashley? How lovely! Thanks so much for that!

Jacky Donovan: Your life in Spain is very different from mine. Looking forward to reading your books eventually. You’re seeing the ‘real’ Spain whereas I am in the ‘expats abroad’ community!

Victoria Twead: Terry Bryan, I was brought up in Germany until I was five (army family). I have an older sister and a younger brother. The whole family was sporty except for me. I just hid in wardrobes and read books, haha! Do you have brothers and sisters?

Terry Bryan: No, I’m my own family now.

Sharon Carter Figueiredo: I am off to have a wonderful lunch so I will catch up later. Have fun.

Victoria Twead: Jacky Donovan, I’m grateful for WLM, because sometimes I’d swap with you for just a little while so I could talk some English. At least I can do that in WLM.

Henry Butterfield: Vicky… Why are you such a damn good writer? Damn, damn, damn, damn it!

Barbara Alfaro: It’s breakfast time here in Maryland, almost 8 am. I did read the whole thread and will stop back later.

Victoria Twead: Henry Butterfield (hug) When are we going to see your memoir, Henry? Or are you too busy saving bees and running the wine cellar?
–Enjoy your breakfast, Barbara.

Jacky Donovan: I understand what it must be like to be surrounded by spanish speakers all the time. I chose the touristy expat community of Gran Canaria as I moved here alone, knew nobody here and spoke not word of spanish (apart from paella!) so being surrounded by brits was my comfort blanket. I’d cope better amongst the locals now that I can speak a little of their language. Are you fluent now?

Frankie Knight: Are there any things in your life that you’ve regretted? Any things you are particularly proud of (apart from being a best selling author!)?

Victoria Twead: Jacky Donovan, Ashamed to say, far from it. We get by and can hold a conversation, but it lacks the depth and subtleties you get when chatting with a fellow English speaker. Funny, the older you get, the harder it gets to learn.
–Oooh Frankie Knight – now you’ve made me think! Anything you regret?

Frankie Knight: Probably getting married, aged 17, as a means of leaving the parental home…..

Victoria Twead: Okay, I’m proud of the obvious things like my family, passing my driving test (3rd time) doing up this house, my NYT bestseller status, etc. I most regret not learning Spanish before we came out and being lazy about it since we’ve been here. #selfspank

Jacky Donovan: I totally agree Victoria Twead I was pretty fluent in French at university and spoke passable German after learning it for 5 years at school but my brain struggles to retain anywhere near as much Spanish

Lorraine Le Ceve: I know what you mean we have been here in FV for nearly 8 years and I am afraid to say that my Spanish is terrible I can usually understand what they say but to answer in Spanish other than yes or no is beyond me …Simon is better than I am

Victoria Twead: Same here, Jacky Donovan – French and German, but I struggle with Spanish, and am ashamed of it.

Lorraine Le Ceve: Plus here they seem to speak so fast and it is not the same Spanish as the main land…it is more like ye olde English and one word can mean about half a dozen things depending on how you say it

Bambi Flanner: Did I miss the answer about the novel? Have you thought of writing a novel? Because it seems like truth is stranger than fiction and it would be a tiny step sideways to create a great novel at this point.

Frankie Knight: I suspect that may be due to the fact that your ‘locals’ same as mine, do not actually speak Spanish but some sort of very local dialect. I did a year of Spanish in UK to prepare for moving here only to discover I needed to start all over again when I arrived….

Susan Joyce: Buenos días from Uruguay! My goodness Victoria Twead, so many books, so little time. I have a conversational Spanish lesson once a week for one hour only. To prepare for it takes me 2-3 hours. I’m making progress, but it’s slow. When you speak with the village people do you understand them? I find country folk much harder to understand.

Rosemary Kench: I had a raft of questions but had a surprise visit from my granddaughter! Ended up stuffing a teddy and making a bag for sprinkles! (Don’t ask!) you are bearing up marvellously Victoria! I know how you feel about Indie, because wherever my GD goes, I will be two steps behind her! She will be six next month!

Charlotte Smith: It’s a whole different language up here – even the Spanish from other areas struggle to understand the locals! I’ve found a brilliant little visual dictionary that I carry everywhere. Somehow we get by ……….

Victoria Twead: Bambi, I would LOVE to write a fictional piece, a novel. I think I’d like to do some kind of family saga.

Charlotte Smith: More lunch Beaky? That carrot can’t have filled you up!

Charlotte Smith: Or a hobnob perhaps?

Frankie Knight: Dirty Girl, Charlotte Smith, naughty step for you…..

Victoria Twead: Frankie Knight – exactly! Very thick dialect here, for instance they never pronounce an s, or v so that makes life difficult!

Bambi Flanner: Victoria, that would be so wonderful! I devoured trilogies as a young teen, books that went on for generations. I love family saga’s and think you could do it justice.
–Charlotte! Get thee to the naughty step!

Frankie Knight: Let’s face it, we will never be fluent at our age…..

Victoria Twead: CHARLOTTE SMITH!! Jacky, I think Charlotte Smith needs chastising…

Susan Jackson: Have things calmed down in the village?

Victoria Twead: Yes, Susan Joyce, I understand most of the time, though sometimes I realise I misunderstood later.

Frankie Knight: Good fun though, isn’t it?

Bambi Flanner: Charlotte Smith don’t forget your shirt first.

Victoria Twead: Susan Jackson, yes, pretty calm in the village at the mo. Very hot, and the village is full of people who only come once or twice a year.

Charlotte Smith: Sorry

Susan Joyce: Victoria and others living in Latin countries, how do you stand the loud noise? My ears hurt after festivities.

Victoria Twead: Charlotte Smith, I’m almost too scared to ask, but what is this Spanish visual dictionary??

Rosemary Kench: Victoria, have you met many members of WLM?

Frankie Knight: I stay away!!! After the first couple the novelty wears off and I live 2 klms outside my village so can sleep OK!

Julie Haigh: Hopefully it doesn’t have that photo in if Charlotte is wanting to ask for hobnob biscuits somewhere!

Rosemary Kench: How did WLM come about and how long ago?

Victoria Twead: Susan Joyce, I’m pretty used to it now!
–Rosemary Kench, I haven’t met any through WLM yet, but there are some members I knew before.
Rosemary Kench Did/do you find it difficult to adjust to the Spanish time keeping e.g. mealtimes etc.?

Victoria Twead: Rosemary, WLM was created by Alan and I nearly exactly a year ago. It was our idea to have a friendly meeting place for memoir authors and readers. We’re very proud of our baby!
–No Rosemary, I love the Spanish times! A siesta in the afternoon without feeling guilty? Love it!

Rosemary Kench: And so you should be! It’s the best on FB!

Charlotte Smith: This one Beaky. It has pages on hundreds of situations e.g. going to the doctor/ bank – brilliant little book Can I get off the naughty step now?

Jacky Donovan: Oh tut tut Charlotte Smith I was trying to celebrate National Lazy Day and now you’re about to force me into action. A very hunky security guard has just walked past my window with a baton and pair of handcuffs attached to his belt. Maybe I will send you to him…. Tho he is a bit too yummy to want to share to be honest. I could almost seek out the naughty step myself if he were the one dishing out the punishment

Frankie Knight: Just checked outside temperatures and it is 39C in the shade. I reckon we will reach 40 today!!! For those of you across the Pond that is 106F! Phew!
–I wonder how well he travels Jacky? He might like it on my mountain?

Victoria Twead: Jacky Donovan, do with Charlotte as you think fit… She’s frightfully frisky today, tsk, tsk.
–Oh, no, looks like Frankie Knight has gone all unnecessary as well…

Frankie Knight: Que????

Victoria Twead: *hands on hips* Don’t give me that innocent look, Frankie Knight! You bet Alison Charlotte Moore will be here next.

Frankie Knight: Hey a triple salco (or whatever!)…..

Susan Joyce: VT, I’m still catching up on this long interesting fred.

Irene Moyer Salazar: What are some things that were hard to get used to by moving to Spain? And which are still hard? How is your Spanish? I am multilingual and started German and it is doing me in! A hard hip from French and Spanish!

Victoria Twead: Nobody asked yet, Susan Joyce. Hello Irene Moyer Salazar – definitely the language has been the single hardest thing to get to grips with. I was good at languages when I was young, but I find it really hard now.
–Joe’s just made me lunch *faints with surprise* I’ll be back shortly.

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson: wow Frankie it is a good Job I am not out there with my babies then! my mum is with my granddad atm I think that they are at taberno pool today, either that or she is by the pool and he is playing Golf at Valle del Este

Susan Joyce: Which country, Victoria?

Bambi Flanner: Ok Charlotte, but you’re on parole. lol You can get up now.

Charlotte Smith: Thank you Bambi!

Victoria Twead: England, Susan.

Charlotte Smith: No afternoon delight after Joe’s lunch Beaky?

Victoria Twead: Okay, so I was served a plate of crackers and brie. And coffee. Lovely. He forgot the plates and knives but the thought was there.

Frankie Knight: Charlotte, you’re gonna be back there again…..

Victoria Twead: Charlotte Smith! *goes bright red* BEHAVE!! Tsk, tsk! Do you really want to spend the rest of the summer on the naughty step, eh?

Charlotte Smith: Sorry again

Frankie Knight: See, told you…..

Julie Haigh: Ha ha, Charlotte Smith, I was going to mention Afternoon Delight but thought better of it in case I got into trouble

Victoria Twead: JULIE!! Don’t you start!

Frankie Knight: Julie, I would never have thought of you as being chicken…..

Louise E Fenton: Too hot unless of course you have a fan or Air Con Mrs Twead?

Frankie Knight: I am being good, though, aren’t I?

Louise E Fenton: You’re enticing Frankie!
–Do you have Air Con Victoria or does your house have the thick walls and small windows to keep cool (ish!!!!)?

Victoria Twead: Just a ceiling fan Louise, far too hot to, er, do anything strenuous…

Ruth Giachino Zavitsanos: Top three things you about living there?

Victoria Twead: Yes, metre thick walls, and small windows
–Ruth, like or dislike?

Charlotte Smith:

Ruth Giachino Zavitsanos: LIKE! If you want to even out the scale you can give is both!

Frankie Knight: Hope you are drinking loads today Victoria – water, that is (crawl, crawl…)

Jacqueline Brown: Sorry I’m late! Been a busy day chutney making, marinating a goat and dog walking/dancing in the rain. It sounds like you’re all having fun my question Victoria is does the rain in Spain mainly fall on the plain?

Frankie Knight: She’s still at it Miss…. Talking about jiggy, jiggy again…

Louise E Fenton: Tell tale………

Sue Evenhouse King: I am typically a lurker on the spotlight but wanted to ask where the notion of the naughty step started?

Victoria Twead: Charlotte and Frankie, you are walking a fine line… Louise, you just make them worse *sigh*

Frankie Knight: No, I’m just being good…..

Susan Joyce: Sounds like you’re planning a move soon to Australia to be closer to family. Victoria, is Joe also wanting to move?

Charlotte Smith: Nothing wrong with a bit of jiggy Frankie Knight!

Victoria Twead: Jacqueline Brown, good to have a sensible voice here. Hang on… marinating a goat and dog? Perhaps I spoke too soon. *depressed*

Frankie Knight: Ooops, wrong symbol

Charlotte Smith: I’ve just found this lurking in Beaky’s bottom drawer. Siesta time!!!


Victoria Twead: Ruth – um – Likes 1) Weather 2) Cost of living 3) Friendly people 4) Slow pace of life 5) Ooodles of fresh fruit, veg and wine

Frankie Knight: Why are you fewtering around in Beaky’s bottom drawer Charlotte?

Victoria Twead: Sue Evenhouse King, I think we may have SuperNanny to thank for the naughty step, though she didn’t invent it. It’s invaluable to WLM as you can imagine. We also have straitjackets in case of emergencies. And Sue Clamp administers purple pills if called upon. And in really extreme cases, we rely on Jacky Donovan.

Jacqueline Brown: Hey, who you calling sensible? I mentioned I was dancing in the rain, but I forgot to say it was topless dancing……..

Charlotte Smith: Come and take a look Frankie – she’s got all sorts in here!

Frankie Knight: Go, Jacqueline, Go Girl!!!

Victoria Twead: Susan, both of us are totally torn about it. Hearts battling with heads, etc.

Frankie Knight: Oooh, now that’s interesting, Charlotte……

Bambi Flanner: Charlotte Smith is definitely heading for the straitjacket

Janet Givens: Good morning Victoria. Lovely to see you here this morning. So, I shall expect a Two Old Fools Down Under in a few years? Sounds lovely.

Victoria Twead: Charlotte, how many times have I told you to stop digging in my drawers? That little book is just old newsletters, nothing exciting.

Susan Joyce: Sue Clamp, purple pills needed.

Charlotte Smith:

Louise E Fenton: To be sensible for a mo, before we made our decision to move to Spain I went through the grandchildren bit but of course although I miss them loads they are only a couple of hours away, for you it’s different and I would be torn as well. I feel for you as the time difference is so huge. I can face time whenever and nearly always speak to Phoebe and wave to George. Good luck making the decision
–If you like Bambi, Victoria and who ever else I could pop over to Charlottes and put the jacket on her?

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Holy Cow! It is not even 10AM here in Michigan and you already have racked up more comments than others accumulate all day! You certainly have been a busy girl today. I will have to read through all this and will try to join in later. If you don’t hear from me, it won’t be because I didn’t want to be part of the fun. I just have a lot to do today. Anyway, I hope you have a great day.

Louise E Fenton: Nancy Gould Gomoll it’s 16.00 hrs here in Spain!

Victoria Twead: Louise, that would be very noble of you. Look out for Billy the Shi tzu, he may try to protect her. Charlotte Smith, Louise is on the way!

Bambi Flanner: Wait! Can Charlotte serve snacks before the jacket goes on?

Louise E Fenton: I can deal with little Billy! I’ll take my two hounds!

Bambi Flanner: I will have to catch up later. I’m having a friend for lunch Clarisse. lol. Actually, meeting her at Boca Grande, so I will miss all the fun. But will catch it later.

Louise E Fenton: Got to get back to my book by Ann Ann Patras! It’s sooo good!

Victoria Twead: Nice to see you, Janet. Yes, Two Old Fools Down Under is a definite possibility. Not definite though because finding a buyer for our beloved house here in Spain won’t be easy because of the economic crisis.

Frankie Knight: Tee, Hee,, Charlotte’s gonna get the straightjacket…..

Victoria Twead: Ah, Charlotte’s serving snacks! *dives in*

Barbara Alfaro: Over 300 comments! Victoria, are your typing fingers beginning to ache?

Victoria Twead: *wags finger* I’m sorry Charlotte, but you brought it upon yourself!

Cindy Canavan-Sergeant: I have to say I fully agree. Tom Cruise isn’t even six feet tall, how can he play Jack Reacher, Victoria Twead? Looking forward to reading your book 4

Victoria Twead: My typing fingers dropped off ages ago, Barbara, I’m now typing with my nose.

Barbara Alfaro: Okay, I’m laughing out loud!

Victoria Twead: Cindy, he can’t. Impossible.

Susan Jackson: What’s with the scarf? Where were you?

Susan Joyce: Lovely photo, Victoria!

Frankie Knight: Ooh, Beaky’s beaking it….

Victoria Twead: The photo was in Bahrain, at the Grand Mosque. We all had to be dressed like that. Well, not Joe and the men, of course.

Charlotte Smith:

Victoria Twead: Fingers gone. Nose typing

Barbara Alfaro: Is the little bird inspiring you?

Steven Whitacre: doesn’t everybody have a little bird muse?

Victoria Twead: It’s a chicken. Inspirational, and they lay eggs. Bonus!

Steven Whitacre: that’s an odd looking chicken… but I guess par for the course here in WLM!

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Do you feel then VT that it is perhaps time to move on from Spain? I know you want to be nearer that little sweetheart but can you bear to leave Spain?

Victoria Twead: Not as odd as this one, Steven.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: I am so predictably attracted to the ‘not guilty’ dog Charlotte Smith

Becky Corwin-Adams: I’m back from my walk. It is a hot day so we needed to drink lots of water.

Steven Whitacre: I would hold him and hug him and call him George!

Victoria Twead: That’s exactly the problem, Jennifer! We LOVE our life in Spain. And selling our house is not going to be easy anyway.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Try 3 months a year in OZ that is what my friend and husband have decided upon and it works for them, they have two summers lol
–As for selling the house, they are selling again here, perhaps not high end but normal prices are moving quite quickly.

Tony James Slater: DON’T try summer in Oz! Well, unless you’re going way down south! It’s insanely hot. We were counting the days over 45 degrees here (in Perth) this summer… and there were plenty of ’em!

Frankie Knight: Some friends who spend summer here in Spain and then summer in Adelaide are rethinking the whole thing as the heat there is so bad – very humid. I think my house must have been on the market for almost 9 years now and not sold. People don’t like the idea of being on a mountain and with no Brit ex-pats to speak to. I love it and am hoping my newly installed pellet burner stove will make a big difference to my winters,

Victoria Twead: Jennifer, yep, I think that’s how we’ll start, with 3 months in Oz, then back to Spain. As for selling, our house is valued at less than we bought it for in 2004, about £80,000! And we bought an absolute wreck which looks very different now! Tony, that’s like temps in Spain, lovely!

Jennifer Ziton Bendriss: I was about to jump into this conversation but the thread is making me dizzy. Just popping in to say hello!

Frankie Knight: Victoria, when my house was first valued for sale back in 2004 it was just under €200,000, now it’s on the market for€100,000!!!! If pellet burner works I will not be selling anyway…

Terry Bryan: Henry Butterfield, I know the answer…when reading her books it’s as if you’re having lunch and she’s talking with you. That’s what makes them fun to read.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I’m doing the same Jennifer. the signal is iffy as I’m on my phone now. but I’m here waving at everyone and enjoying this

Victoria Twead: Gosh, Frankie, scary isn’t it? We have a wonderful wood stove that keeps us really cosy all winter, and we cook on it. We have another in the living room but rarely light it because the kitchen one warms the house.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Ahhhh…re house prices, we bought in 2000 just before they increased so much. However, we will be looking for a slight life change and moving into the village with an apartment at the beach I think the village house will be rented, it makes life so much easier

Frankie Knight: OK, if you have a Joe to get logs in – I cannot do it any more….

Victoria Twead: Hi Jennifer Ziton Bendriss, yes, the whole fred is a bit daunting, isn’t it!
–Ah yes, I understand that, Frankie.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: You need a ‘wine’ break’ VT

Jacqueline Brown: You opened a bottle Jennifer?

Julie Haigh: I was just thinking it’s high time we had some wine too

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: It is 5.21pm here and indeed my husband is pulling the cork and we are going to sit in the shade with a glass of ice cold white wine
–Jolly hot here so need the liquid

Cherry Gregory: My mum has left and I’m catching up with the thread now…love the sound of that cork being pulled, Jennifer H-W! Almost as good as the “glug-glug” of wine being poured into a glass.

Victoria Twead: Well, it would be rude not to join you for a glass, J, J and J.

Susan Joyce: Not quite wine time here. Here’s to Victoria and all in wine time countries.

Jill Brookes: We’ve had our pellet burner for 2 winters now and it’s made a big difference. Lovely dry heat and very economical so far, so good luck Frankie Knight.

Veronica Moore: Victoria, following on from the success of WLM why not start up another group We Love Chickens? Here’s my brood


Victoria Twead: Lovely chickens!! Actually , we ought to take a photo of our favourite ornament. *rushes off to get camera cos she doesn’t have a posh phone*

Valerie Robson: Uh oh, nearly broke my screen trying to get to that delicious looking platter… xxx

Louise E Fenton: Charlotte Smith are you going to behave?

Steven Whitacre: wait a minute.. £80,000? even with the conversion to US dollars that is super inexpensive compared to here I think it’s time to move for sure! (oh wait.. just bought a place.. ok.. give me 5 years, then I’ll move

Louise E Fenton: Frankie Knight I think your pellet burner will keep you cosy enough unless you have a mansion! We were lucky buying our house in the dip of prices! We have a detached 3 bed with a fair bit of land for not much more than Victoria says hers is worth now. Houses priced right are selling well here.

Victoria Twead: Yes, Steven Whitacre, £80,000. It’s far cheaper than UK property too. We LOVE it here but if somebody came along and offered us that, we’d probably take it.

Becky Corwin-Adams: My grandma had a collection of chicken figurines. Veronica’s photo reminded me of them. I do have one white milk glass chicken candy dish.

Cherry Gregory: Victoria, did you travel much as a child?

Victoria Twead: Yes, Cherry Gregory, more than most people in those days. 5 years in Germany. Visits to other countries in Europe. Now it’s commonplace but in the 50s and early 60s it was quite unusual.

Cherry Gregory: Yes, it was unusual. In the 60s, the furthest I ever got to was Wales!
–Do you think that’s helped your adaptability when it comes to moving to another country?

Veronica Moore: I feel ashamed that I’ve been all around the world but I’ve never been to Scotland!

Frankie Knight: Thank you Jill and Louise, I am keeping fingers crossed to having my first winter where I do not need to wear more clothing inside my house than out! Steven, doubtless my house will still be for sale in another 5 years and I might even be thinking of moving out then…..

Becky Corwin-Adams: Joe is definitely well known for scratching………..

Victoria Twead: Cherry Gregory, I’m sure it has made a difference, but I think I’ve also inherited a little of my explorer uncle’s itchy feet, or Horizon Fever.
–Nancy McBride, that just looks soooo yum!

Nancy McBride: Horizon fever. I like it. Much better than Horizon deprivation that my prairie friends feel, here in the hills and forests, when you can rarely see beyond the next copse…
— T’was. Note past tense… They sucked that “Baby” down!

Victoria Twead: Becky – I don’t think he should be proud of that, do you?

Nancy McBride: The blueberries came from my local daughter’s…
–Hey, some people are good at some things, and some people are good at other things…

Alison Stokes: All these pics of tapas and wine is making me hungry and thirsty!!!!

Frankie Knight: Me too, now what can I have for dinner tonight?

Victoria Twead: Uh-oh, an Alison has arrived. How did you escape from the naughty step?

Alison Stokes: lol I have my naughty step all set up – lap top – small fridge full of diet coke – cushions…..its rather nice!!

Frankie Knight: Is the other Alison still incarcerated then? That seems bit strong? I think we need a petition to free her….

Victoria Twead: Have you tasted the diet coke with lemon, Alison Stokes? We bought some by mistake and it’s really nice!

Alison Stokes: Yeah do you have Diet coke with cherry too? I love it. I had to detox from it all recently – was going through at least 2 litres a day ……….only have it for a treat now – my treat today because I finally finished an assignment!!!

Frankie Knight: Coke, diet or otherwise, is not good for you, especially as you get older as it affects joints badly….

Cherry Gregory: Loved Horizon Fever, Victoria. A great read. I had a lot of eccentric uncles but none as adventurous as your uncle Archie.

Victoria Twead: Does it, Frankie? How?

Alison Stokes: Oh I kow Frankie Knight I have rheumatoid Arthritis so knew I needed to stop/cut down.
–Think its the sweetner Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead: Oh, really? I have about 2 cans a day in the summer, is that too much?

Frankie Knight: Aspartame is the culprit! Nasty…. Glad you cut down Alison
–Victoria, one can a week would be acceptable. Do you have any joint pain?

Jan Kennedy Totally agree since I gave it up I have no more pains in my knees and legs.

Victoria Twead: Thank you, Cherry, I’m pleased you enjoyed Horizon Fever. I know some people find it far too old-fashioned but that’s the way they wrote in those days.

Alison Stokes: Hasn’t made a noticeable difference to me – but it also contributes to brittle bones…..

Nancy McBride: Easy to get addicted to… hard to go cold turkey… not good for you in any way, but yummy to some…

Victoria Twead: No joint pain, but I didn’t know that! Why is everything really nice bad for you?

Valerie Robson: Got Horizon Fever for later on… xxx

Jacqueline Brown: Dark chocolate is nice and good for you!

Nancy McBride: I was going to say, dark men, too, but decided against it…

Cherry Gregory: You’ll enjoy Horizon Fever, Valerie Robson! I liked the old-fashioned style because it felt authentic. Good to read of adventures from a different place, in time as well as geographically.

Victoria Twead: Dark chocolate isn’t nearly as nice a milk chocolate

Valerie Robson: Cannot drink real coca cola cos of diabetes, and now coke zero full of poisons… to hell with it all, am gonna die sometime so will just enjoy what I want… xxx

Victoria Twead: Hope you like Horizon Fever Valerie.

Nancy McBride: Give me citrus any time…

Charlotte Smith:

June Binyon: Am looking after my neighbour’s chickens next week – any tips??

Valerie Robson: Victoria – have a way to go before I read HF.., but am looking forward to it… Xxx
Victoria Twead: *teacher voice* Oh, all right then, Charlotte Smith, but only if you promise to behave. Look at Alison Stokes now, she’s been really good for about 20 minutes. Learn by her example.
–June Binyon – food and water, that’s it! Easy-peasy.

June Binyon: Hi Valerie – I’m reading it right now – really enjoying it – can just imagine what it was like back I the “early days” – mind you, don’t think the roads have improved much in Africa since that time!!! lol!

Frankie Knight: Awww, was going to organise an escape party for you Alison. Had it all sorted, Julie, Cherry, Alison (not you) and my good self were going to scale the battlements and break you out! You’ve spoiled it now *sulk*

Victoria Twead: I think Alison Stokes has learned her lesson now, haven’t you, dear? *pats Alison on head*

Susan Joyce: Charlotte, I’ll help. Imagine yourself FREE and flee. xo

Valerie Robson: Roads huh, we do not talk about roads… mostly just a series of posholes… and such fun dodging them xxx

Victoria Twead: Ah, Valerie, no change there then. Hope your river crossings have improved.

Valerie Robson: What the hell are posholes? Sounds rood… think I meant potholes… lol xxx

Frankie Knight: Valerie, they have posh holes in Africa?

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Post holes are holes for posts

Victoria Twead: We’ll have to ask Ann, she’ll probably know about posh holes too.

Frankie Knight: Yes, but what are posh holes?

Victoria Twead: Opposite of rough holes.
–Or uncouth holes.

Jo Howe Holloway: Are you sure you didn’t mean goat holes?

Frankie Knight: Veggies roasting in oven and salmon defrosting, glass of the red stuff in hand … does life get any better?

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: My goodness Charlotte Smith and the Penguin video would like this……too hot in our pool this afternoon, 34c that is NOT refreshing–Husband (he who must be blamed) will leave the floating cover OFF tonight

Valerie Robson: Suspect it was the cane and zero typing then… am going now before I seriously disgrace myself…
*reading wot i wrote carefully now*
night all, see you tomorrow xxx

Frankie Knight: I’ve had my feet in a washing up bowl with iced water in this afternoon… I am a poor pensioner and cannot afford a swimming pool….. (all donations gratefully accepted)

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Are you tired yet our VT?

Frankie Knight: She must be gasping as alcohol is very noticeable by it’s absence here….

Nancy Gould Gomoll: I think posh holes in Africa are “clean squatty potties” – as opposed to some pretty nasty ones I have had to use!

Frankie Knight: Oh, do tell, Nancy….

Victoria Twead: See, WLM is a fount of wisdom!

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Tell you what Frankie Knight there was no relief from the heat in ours just now, it was cooler to clinb out then get back in lol
–Is 447 posts a record yet?

Charlotte Smith: Help yourselves

Victoria Twead: Jennifer, nope, not too tired yet.

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: ahh goat holes. just spent the last hour shouting at 68 goats as they disappeard through a goat hole onto a huge hill. they are back but my voice has gone

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Whisky please, totally bored with this white wine
–none in the house…bummer
–453 and counting

Frankie Knight: I’ve got whisky, Jennifer, or wikky as they say in my village…..

Nancy Gould Gomoll: This has to be a record! I will read thru it tonight. Just finished trimming a large ornamental tree in the front of my house and cutting down 5 25 foot tall dead saplings behind my house (all by myself!!!). I am too exhausted for anything right now!

Victoria Twead: Oh dear, higher in the fred I said we had three chickens. It seems we don’t. Joe has just come in and announced that poor Serena has gone to the big chicken coop in the sky to join her sister Venus. Can we raise a toast to her perhaps?

Jo Howe Holloway: Here’s my offering, Victoria, by now you must really need an iced coffee! I know I do …

Victoria Twead: To Serena, she was a good chicken. *clink*

Alan Parks: #sadaboutserena

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Oh poor Serena Put a little Baileys in that iced coffee to mourn her passing.

Frankie Knight: I raise my red stuff to Serena….

Jo Howe Holloway: Of course Baileys, Nancy Gould Gomoll … or Amarula, for uz Effrikens!

Karen Guttridge: Ooo just woken up (don’t ask…) What have I missed here chaps? xx

Nancy Gould Gomoll: Actually Jo my favorite is Afri Koko! Never seen it here in the States but I have gotten it in Kenya and Tanzania.
Jo Howe Holloway: Nancy, never heard of it but it sounds good! …?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: I raise my water bottle to Serena. I still miss Mrs Iolanthe Cluck. she died of old age and literaly fell off her perch dead before she hit the ground

Frankie Knight: Water Diane? It’s alcohol o’clock now….. It is sad to lose any pet and we all become so attached to them, no matter what species they are…..

Micki Stokoe: Sad about Serena.

Victoria Twead: Serena didn’t seem unwell, but she wasn’t eating yesterday.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: Frankie Knight we are not too far away from each other are we? I am Competa

Frankie Knight: How long have you had her, Victoria?
–Lot further along coast and inland Jennifer – Almeria Province!

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: sorry, out with the goats at the moment. I will make up for it when I get home. I can’t see much on this phone but once the genny is on and as long as Victoria hasn’t fainted away, I can catch up. I cried when Maurice the house mouse finally passed away, even though he raided the kitchen at night

Alison Stokes: Poor chicken – I raise my glass of diet coke to her x

Frankie Knight: Hottest day of the year and b*$£dy water has gone off…..

Ann Patras-Author: I’ve just raised my glass to the late Serena. Clink. Now did someone mention my name earlier? I disappear for a couple of hours and when I get back my inbox is full of “Re; (WeLoveMemoirs) This is it. The” It goes on for about six bloody pages!
Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: My husband and I have just had quality time together discussing the bloody toads which have invaded our garden this last few weeks. Miss Daisy could be at real risk from the ‘spitting toads’, sorry chaps, nothing or nobody threatens Miss Daisy! Some drastic action is needed
–Sorry VT did not mean to put this on your fred, was meant for new one

Victoria Twead: Frankie, we bought her and her sisters when we came back from Bahrain, so three years ago. That’s quite old for these Spanish chickens.
–No prob, I’m interested in toads. Are they wanting to swim in your pool?

Cherry Gregory: Poor Serena. Drinking coffee at the moment, so I raise my mug to her memory! Was she good at tennis, Victoria, or was that her sister, Venus?

Susan Joyce: lol! Cherry!

Charlotte Smith: Poor Serena

Lorna Penfold: Awww sad to hear about Serena

Susan Joyce RIP Serena!

Charlotte Smith: Off to flamenco now. Great Spotlight Beaky – hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as me!

Victoria Twead: Cherry Gregory, we called them Venus and Serena because we got into such bad trouble for what we called our first pair of black hens. I know everybody here is far too refined for me to repeat their names here. The only complaints I’ve ever received for my first book, Chickens, was because of those names. *sigh* So we chose *safe* names for these two.
–Charlotte, we don’t have to go out for flamenco, it’s in our street right outside our door. Or will be tonight. Thanks for coming to my fred though!

Judi Bedford-Keogh Sorry got side tracked today and to be honest it is too hot in the office where the computers are. I have read it all and can’t think of anything I want to ask. Love your books Victoria but I think your poor hubby gets a rough time

Frankie Knight: Crazy how some people are so easily offended….. Need to get a life….

Victoria Twead: Yes, Judi Bedford-Keogh, haha, he would agree with you.

Fiona Kate: Joe, get a hard time ? I’m sure he is like my hubby, lets me think I’m in charge but in reality manipulates things to suit him !!! These chappies play hapless very well !!! eh Victoria Twead?

Shirley Ledlie: Hi Victoria, I know I am so late! Been working non stop since 6.30am. I am sad I have missed today. I will enjoy reading through all this mammoth fred on Tuesday. Have a great evening xx

Becky Corwin-Adams: My aunt has a rooster named Obama. She once had a dog with a name I can’t say here. Luckily she lives in the country so she never had to call the dog.

Cherry Gregory: Yes, people are sensitive sometimes. Can’t help names though, I find that with animals they just emerge because of their particular personalities.

Victoria Twead: Thanks for pooping by, Shirley Ledlie

June Binyon: Hard time? Nah – as long as you make sure they think whatever it is has been their idea you’re laughing!! Mind you, I got rid of mine some years ago – best thing I ever did!!

Victoria Twead: Oops! I meant popping…

Frankie Knight: You’n me both June!

Becky Corwin-Adams: People have criticized my dog’s names, too. No one can understand Beezus’ name. It’s from a book I loved as a child.

Shirley Ledlie: I haven’t had time for a poop either! Will this be a record for posts?

Fiona Kate: Pooping, love it Victoria Twead, Freudian slip ?

Becky Corwin-Adams: Victoria says, “Thanks for ing by”.

Victoria Twead: Becky, Obama is a good name. What letter does the other dog’s name start with? The unmentionable one?

Becky Corwin-Adams: Yes, Victoria.

Victoria Twead: Yes what?

Ann Patras-Author: When I was a kid one of my friends had a dog called Nigga. Could you imagine that now, if their dog got loose on the street?

Becky Corwin-Adams: That’s the name, Ann!

Victoria Twead: I meant popping, popping, popping… *sigh*

Becky Corwin-Adams: I never thought much about it as a kid since I led a sheltered life. Now I realize how offensive that name was.

Alison Stokes: Lols

Ann Patras-Author: But it wasn’t considered offensive then, not in our area anyway.

Becky Corwin-Adams: It wasn’t offensive here, either.

Victoria Twead: What name? Am I in a twilight zone?

Becky Corwin-Adams: The one Ann said.

Ann Patras-Author: For goodness sakes, Victoria, READ your fred!

Victoria Twead: *scuttles off to read it again*

Becky Corwin-Adams: All of my dogs have “B” names (and no bad names). My guinea pigs also had “B” names.
Ann Patras-Author: All our dogs (barring a couple of inherited) have been called after drinks!
–That should have been ‘named after drinks’. How’s my English.

Victoria Twead: Scoured it, Ann. Can’t find a single rude B word. Never mind, I’ll invent one instead. Befuggle. There! *pouts*

Ann Patras-Author: NO Victoria, it wasn’t a B word, it was an N word!
–And stop sulking!
–It is an “N” word, Victoria. You are in the wrong section of the dictionary. LOL

Victoria Twead: Oh.

Ann Patras-Author: Well I’m glad we cleared THAT up.

Frankie Knight: Heat’s got to her! Told you to drink lots of water, didn’t I?

Cherry Gregory: Victoria, how much do you feel boarding school influenced you?

Becky Corwin-Adams: I have changed a lot of my dog’s names to “B” names after adopting them. They had names like Cinnamon, Honey Bee, Sue Bee, Dandy, Fiona, and Rags.

Victoria Twead: No, it wasn’t offensive when we were young.

Becky Corwin-Adams: I’ll pull Beezus away from the water bowl now so Victoria can get a drink.

Alison Stokes: lol

Victoria Twead: I think boarding school influenced me quite a lot, Cherry. I think it taught me to get on with people because we lived in close proximity, and to accept authority. But I don’t think they are a good thing for kids.
–Were you talking about me, Becky, or is that lovely dog really called Victoria?

Susan Joyce: Victoria, great fred! Time to walk dogs before it starts raining again. Thanks for your time! Really enjoy your books! Great fun!

Victoria Twead: Thanks for coming, Susan Joyce. Enjoy your walk.

Cherry Gregory: Victoria, it’s interesting that boarding school helped you accept authority because my own boarding school experience made me into a bit of a rebel…and a writer because I used to hide in the boiler room all weekend and fill up my exercise books with stories! I don’t think they are a good thing either. Never ever would have sent my own daughter to one. Would have home-schooled if no schools nearby.

Nancy McBride: Victoria, my kid-a-lees are back to Iona’s, I loved having them all, and now my back is shot and my feet are up… What is your memoir writing style, gobs of stories, then cobbled together? Outlined, then filled in? What is your process, or has one developed along the way…?

Becky Corwin-Adams No, the other dog’s name is Blackie (Black Beauty). My cousin is named Victoria and she had the dog with the questionable “N” name.

Veronica Moore: I once worked in a sewing thread factory and one of the colours was called N*gger Brown – we were made to change it . . .

Sue Clamp: Hiya! Sorry I’m late to the fred but I’ve had a house full of visitors today and I wanted to read through before I asked any questions – it’s taken me aaaaages! Victoria, as you know, I’ve recently escaped from the classroom. Is there anything you miss or missed, even for a while, about teaching?

Candy Baird: Do you travel to promote your books? Have not read your new book but look forward to it.

Victoria Twead: Okay, Nancy – in answer to your question, I always work the same way. I grab a big sheet of paper, hold it landscape, draw a big line across, add the beginning and end, then scribble in stuff along the time line. So it’s kind of chronological, but then I weave the stories in and out (like the Ufartes’ story, and Lola). It works for me.
— Sue Clamp, you’ll understand my answer perfectly… I loved making a whole class laugh, I miss that. And I loved that all too rare eureka moment when a child suddenly understands something. The laughs in the staffroom. Those things I miss. The stress and endless paperwork and school politics I can live without.

Victoria Twead: Candy Baird, no, I never promote my books, except online. I’ve never organised a book signing or anything like that. I probably should, but I prefer people to find my books by recommendation, if possible.

Nancy McBride: Good to have a plan…I have done that, kind of with themes… I’m so out-of-the-box, to squeeze me into a beginning, middle and end is the challenge… It’s coming… You writers give me courage to take these next steps…

Frankie Knight: Soon, soon….. Maybe?

Alison Charlotte Moore: Nancy I can’t wait to read what you write!

Sue Clamp: Ah yes, the staffroom silliness! I’m planning to keep in touch with many of my colleagues and I’m sure I’ll miss those moments in the classroom, just like you. It has got even crazier now with paperwork and assessment and the target-driven culture. I feel sorry for the children going through the system, being constantly measured, and the teachers who have to constantly justify what those children are achieving. So far, though, I’ve been far too busy to miss anything.

Ann Patras-Author: Finding a woman sobbing that she had locked her keys in her car, a passing soldier assures her that he can help.
She looks on amazed as he removes his trousers, …..
Rolls them into a tight ball and rubs them against the car door.
Magically it opens…….
“That’s so clever,” the woman gasps. “How did you do it?”
“Easy,” replies the man. “These are my khakis”.

Nancy McBride: That, too, is encouraging… I like to write like I talk… I find it is easy to formalize the speech, punctuation, tighten up, and lose spontaneity, so prefer just writing when inspired, and worrying about the structure, later…

Ann Patras-Author: I make no apologies. It was sent to me. I don’t see why I should be the only one to suffer on a Sunday!

Victoria Twead: Ann. Naughty step. Now.

Nancy McBride: Ann, that’s EXCELLENT… Ba-da-boom!

Victoria Twead: Nancy, I want to read whatever you come up with! And also anything Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera writes!

Candy Baird: Well your doing great if your on the New York Times Bestsellers list. Keep up the great work and because of that word of mouth I get to enjoy your books and be part of your Facebook. Thank you

Victoria Twead: Thank you, Candy.

Sue Clamp: What’s your favourite tapa, Victoria? I have two: boquerones en vinagre and berenjenas con miel. Actually, I’m lying, I like loads, but those were the first two that came to mind!

Victoria Twead: Oooh, too many to list! Love calabacín y champiñones con salsa dulce.
— Sue, do you cook much Spanish stuff for yourself?
–Just off to pretend to be a good wife and feed Mr Grumpy. Back soon.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone: above and beyond today VT have a good relaxed break

Sue Clamp: I do like to cook Spanish food – my favourite dish at the moment is carne en salsa de almendra. My mum makes the best paella ever, something I’ve never attempted to do but J filmed her trying to teach me a few years ago. It’s hilarious! I want to learn how to make cocido. While I’ve got my mum captive here, I’m going to make her give me the recipe. We made churros con chocolate here yesterday – delicious but not a good way to lose weight.

Louise E Fenton: Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone I live quite close to you if you’re in Competa. We live in Villanueva del Trabuco!

Karen Knight: Just read through the mammoth thread. RIP faithful chicken. I was in the first 50 members on WLM, thanks to Alan. Have loved all 4 of your books Victoria, hoping there will be a fifth. Sorry I am late but circumstances have prevented me. This must be a record thread, and so many questions answered. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work (some days you are my life line) thank you all xxx

Jill Brookes: 565 comments! Is this a Spotlight Sunday record Mees Veeky?

Louise E Fenton: Just raised my White wine spritzer for poor Serena.

Alison Stokes: How many comments did that crazy 2 word story get?

Victoria Twead: Sue Clamp, that list would make my mouth water, but I’ve just had my dinner, so I’m ok. Could manage a churro with chocolate, though.
–Karen Knight, nice to see you here.
–Jill Brookes, I forget how many comments that crazy 2 word story had. That was great! Nancy McBride, can you remember?
— Louise, I’m sure Serena appreciated your raised glass. I can see a tiny white chicken on the ipad but just a little square on the laptop. Can you do a black chicken?

Sue Clamp: Only one churro? I’m sure you could find room for more!

Victoria Twead: *sigh* you are right. I can always find room for more churros.

Sue Clamp: They’re virtual churros in your case, so you can have as many as you like!
Victoria Twead: The only calorie-free churros.

Alison Stokes: Oh they look great!! Nom nom

Cherry Gregory: They look delicious! At the risk of sounding dim, what exactly are they?

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: hello hello, im back. just used for the first time skype to my daughter. wow amazing. anyway Victoria I am on the case with my book now. I have used your formula to work the stories out. I am working on it, even if its for half an hour a day. So Nancy lets just do it!!! oh god just seen the churros. I am so hungry.

Alison Stokes: Straight doughnuts

Victoria Twead: Cherry, Alison is right, Spanish doughnuts. You dip them in chocolate.
–Fab, Diane, I shall be nagging you at regular intervals.

Samantha Vérant: I fear I’m too late. And I’m confused. Pooping. Churros. Beezus. Could that be a sentence!!! Anyway, I hope Victoria enjoyed her tapas? What did you feed Mr Grumpy???

Nancy McBride: You’re ON, Diane!

Cherry Gregory: The churros sound gorgeous! But I’m glad I’ve not come across them or I’d be even plumper than I am now!

Victoria Twead: Hello Samantha, Mr Grumpy was served omelet tonight. He seemed satisfied.
–You see why I struggle, Cherry? *sigh*

Wanda Lee Gallimore: I am so very late, but busy all day and didn’t want to miss saying hello to Victoria Twead and tell her how much I enjoyed her books. I love your easy writing style, it makes for easy and relaxing reading. When I am reading I tell people I am in Spain, don’t bother me.

Louise E Fenton: Sorry Victoria theres only a white chicken on the iPad. . At our fiesta in September we have Churros stuffed with melted chocolate! Mmmmm so nice but I would imagine a million calories a bite so they have to very restricted!

Nancy McBride: And a million calories is a problem because….?

Louise E Fenton: It makes you fatttttt!

Victoria Twead: Or fatterrrrrrrr

Nancy McBride: Victoria, once I can get one of these buggers nailed down, without more than the usual drama/giggle fest, I’ll send you a taste…They are currently in a sort of self-imposed purgatory.

Victoria Twead: Hello Wanda Lee Gallimore, I nearly missed your lovely comment! Thank you, very happy you like my scribbles.

Alison Charlotte Moore: You still yacking woman?? Wowee! Lol

Victoria Twead: Now, I wonder what happened to Frank Kusy and Janet Hughes who were threatening to give me a hard time today? *taps toes*

Karen Knight: Hi Alison , where have you been?

Sue Clamp: They’re probably having a glass of wine or five, Victoria.

Alison Charlotte Moore: Pottering and stuff! Karen

Karen Knight: Hope you haven’t been too affected by the storms Alison ?

Alison Charlotte Moore: No, rain here and there but nothing drastic

Lucinda E Clarke: Only just got here Victoria and the OH is on his way to bed, so can’t stay long. What i wanted to ask you, having only read the second half of the thread, and that took ages and ages. you say you only promote on the web, and you are #1 on NYT best seller list , which is just so amazing and impressive. how did you do it? apart from writing brilliant books that is?

Victoria Twead: I’m not #1, Lucinda, wish I was! I reached the list twice, once last year and again this year in April. I only reached #14.

Ann Patras-Author: Come on Victoria, don’t be shy. We’re all sitting here with baited breath – and a glass of vino, of course.

Alison Stokes: Only!!!! Lol

Lucinda E Clarke: How did you do it? Do they take the rankings off Amazon or something? No modesty now
–Has Victoria gone to bed? Wouldn’t blame her this is an amazingly long thread wow!

Nancy McBride: It is late there, but with your siesta? How may of you UK expats to Spain have taken on that poco ritual?

Karen Knight: It’s 22.31 in England!

Lucinda E Clarke: ~I siesta occasionally. here it is 23.32 pm that is!

Julie Haigh: Still early yet then Karen

Nancy McBride: Right. 11:30 our time. To me that is late.

Lucinda E Clarke: I’d stay up till 1 or 2 but OH disappears about now and I don’t like to desert him too often.

Victoria Twead: Lucinda, Ann, I think the NYT list is drawn up of top selling books in Amazon, Band N and places like that in one week, Sunday to Sunday. It was a week where I was promoting, lowering the price of my book.

Julie Haigh: Victoria has been an AMAZING ‘Spotlightee’-who would have thought this-lots of us have read her books and we talk to her most days on WLM-we would have thought we knew lots about her and would have been a bit stuck as to what to ask-but-there’s SO much more to Victoria that we didn’t already know about-she is quite the WONDER WOMAN!- and we’re so glad to have her around!

Victoria Twead: Nancy McBride, yes I do sometimes take a siesta, too hot to do anything else.

Alison Charlotte Moore: In the uk we seem to be doing ‘napping’ the
English version of a siesta.a lot of my younger teacher friends do it a lot!

Julie Haigh: Yes Alision Alison Charlotte Moore-a quick power nap

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant: Here here Julie – well said. We do appreciate you Vicky – even if we play you up sometimes –

Lucinda E Clarke: Well however they do it that is amazing and I think you are so amazing to get right up there. I so admire you.

Nancy McBride: I took one this afternoon, my second in a week! Nice! And the phone didn’t ring once…

Lucinda E Clarke: Ok once we can write books as well as that, we need to find out where Victoria is promoting ha ha

Ann Patras-Author: I don’t usually take siesta but like everyone in southern Spain is saying, it’s been quite hot lately. Yesterday I had TWO. That is because for the last couple of days I had been awake until almost 3.0am – that is in the early hours of the morning folks! – reading the BRILLIANT novel Amie – An African Adventure by the above mentioned Lucinda E Clarke. It was just so engrossing I couldn’t put it down. I know it’s not a memoir, but I can tell you it is just SO true to life – really tells it like it is – that you just have to read it if you’re the slightest bit interested in things African. Just sayin…

Victoria Twead: Sorry, keep dozing off, thanks for the kind words and for all being so awesome. If I wake up in an hour or so, I’ll be back.

Karen Knight: Good knight from Brighton, Victoria, thank you, you have been awesome xxx

Lucinda E Clarke: Wow! thanks Ann. I’m gonna say goodnight as well. OH is already in bed and I can hear low grumbles coming from the bedroom [we have a very sn
–gggrrrrrrr very small house. Thanks Victoria for a really great thread, magic

Christine Leonard: I’ve just finished your book and as i expected it was fantastic, I’ve left my 5* plus review it should be published in the next couple of days. please please do another book, xx

Diane Eliott ExperienceOlvera: Well I have enjoyed today so much. Its been a job to keep up with it all as there has been so many questions. It is time for you Victoria to go and sleep. What a day. So I will say goodnight from Olvera, Andalucia. and good night to you all, i am sure we will meet up tomorrow on the ‘boring fred’! x

Cherry Gregory: Thanks for you fascinating thread, Victoria, and for answering our variety of questions. Hope you’re not too exhausted! Goodnight from the UK!

Charlotte Smith: Three cheers for Beaky!!!

Betty Sue Brewster: Good-night from the west coast of USA – enjoy a good rest after your strenuous day!

Linda Kovic-Skow: OMG! It’ll take me all night to catch up with this thread (now that I finally have internet). It must be a record! I can’t wait to get started Victoria Twead

Rowena Cardwell: Hope all went well last night Victoria Twead. I’m sorry I couldn’t join you last night as we had my daughter’s birthday celebrations. I’m exhausted but happy that she had a great day. Hope you did too.

Susan Joyce: Victoria Twead, thank you for a wonder-full Super Star Sunday! FAB!

Micki Stokoe: Thank you from me too!
Terry Bryan: Victoria Twead

Next day

Samantha Vérant: Thank you!!!!

Frankie Knight: O.M.G.! However did you do it Victoria? I was with you from the beginning and, although the spirit was willing, the eyelids weren’t and I couldn’t stay with you to the end! Amazing fred! Really enjoyed being nosey and able to ask so many questions. Sorry, if it all got a bit hysterical at one point – think heat may have got to us! Hope you are getting a well deserved lie-in this morning! Thanks for a Great Day, Victoria!

Alison Charlotte Moore: I will catch up at lunch time but hell woman, that’s a long fred!

Sue Clamp: Incredible fred, Victoria! I’m sure you are exhausted and I hope you will have a well deserved lie-in this morning. Thank you so much for being a fabulous Sunday Spotlight!

Victoria Twead: Ok, I’m up again, refreshed and my typing fingers have grown back. And I’ve now read all your lovely thank you messages, and your sweet message Christine Leonard, thank you! You lot were truly awesome yesterday and I thank you for keeping me company and making me chuckle all day!

Maureen Haggerty-Langlois: Just finished reading a book of a thread. WOW ! So sorry I missed it. I did get answers too questions I had. You must be tuckered out. You are one very, very interesting and gracious person. Thank you for your books and WLM !!!!

Victoria Twead: Thank you, Maureen.

Charlotte Smith: Shall we continue until Tamara Essex arrives tomorrow Beaky?

Tamara Essex: Aaaaargh I missed the whole thing! Have been feria-ing (new verb) for five nights solid. Got in at 6.30am this morning. Why am I awake! Zzzzzzzzzzzz ……..

Victoria Twead: Tamara Essex, hope you arrive refreshed and ready to bare all tomorrow.

Louise E Fenton: God, we don’t want too much bared (?) Victoria! I already learnt way too much about her sex life when she did a talk to our Amigas de Casa last month!

Victoria Twead: Haha! That sounds like our Tamara! I think tomorrow will be a riot.

Kate Pill: I look forward to catching up on this fred. Thanks Victoria

Victoria Twead: I think I’ve chosen my two winners… Frankie Knight and Louise E Fenton. Can I tempt you two ladies with any of my books? I can offer you any of the 4 Old Fools series, Horizon Fever, How to Write a Bestselling Memoir, or Spanish Recipes. Failing that, choose a book from the header.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant: Well done ladies

Alison Stokes: Well done x

Marilyn Griffin Medici: Oh, Victoria Twead, I was away all day yesterday and missed this. Sounds as if you all had a good time.

Victoria Twead: I loved it! Was laughing all day, even tho Serena the chicken died in the middle of it. RIP Serena.

Fay Kearney: Have just enjoyed reading through the ‘fred’. Well done Victoria, sorry to hear about Serena! xxx

Victoria Twead: She was elderly, Fay, she’d had a good chicken life.

Louise E Fenton: Oh yes please, your latest Fools would be fab as I’ve not got round to buying it yet!

Charlotte Smith: Don’t know why you gave Louise E Fenton and Frankie Knight a prize Beaky – they were very naughty all day!!!

Victoria Twead: Um, pot- kettle – kettle -pot, Ms Charlotte? *raises one eyebrow*

Charlotte Smith:

Sue Clamp: Congratulations, Louise and Frankie!

Victoria Twead: Louise E Fenton, delighted to send you Spain Again – can you message me your email address please?

Micki Stokoe: Well done, Louise & Frankie!

Louise E Fenton: Of course! Thank you!

Tanya Stevens: OMG I am so sorry Victoria, I missed this, but we were out Saturday night did not get home until 8am yesterday and then out again yesterday afternoon. Will read later xx

Victoria Twead: Off to the beach for a swim, I’ll catch up later.

Nancy McBride: Victoria, I cozied up with my Kindle and your Two Old Fools…last night, and am just LOVING it. I feel like I am seeing and tasting your life, there on a GoPro! And then there are the recipes!!! Charming… Do you have photos of the house in the print version? I crave the layout of the renovations…

Lynne Cobine: Looks like I missed all the fun!

Frankie Knight: Thank you Victoria for recognising my excellent behaviour yesterday!!! As for that Charlotte, well – nah, nah, nah nahnah!

Philip Whiteland: Had another thought about the title for your childhood memoirs. How about ‘Be young, be foolish, but be happy’?

Frankie Knight: Well done to Louise , too. She sort of behaved….
–Victoria, please can I have the second of your Old Fools, [please? (all excited!)

Susan Jackson: Philip Whiteland, I like that title

Charlotte Smith: Frankie Knight

Julie Haigh: Congratulations Frankie and Louise! Enjoy your prize books! (And, Philip Whiteland- not sure about that title-that is a song title word for word-wouldn’t there be copyright issues?)

Susan Joyce: Congratulations Winners! Frankie Knight and Louise E Fenton!

Louise E Fenton: Thanks all! I now have the book on my kindle but have to finish the one I’m reading by Ann Ann Patras first but I’m about 50% through now!

Philip Whiteland: Yeah, probably Julie. How about ‘Young…Foolish…Happy’

Ann Patras-Author: No, no, no, Philip. What about “Growing into an Old Fool” Victoria?
–Oh, and Well Done to Louise E Fenton and Frankie Knight. Enjoy your new books. I’ve read ’em both, love ’em!

Philip Whiteland: Sounds like a good idea, Ann – I’ve been working on that for some time

Victoria Twead: Frankie Knight, just sorting out Two Old Fools – Olé! for you. Had to put the new cover on it. Nancy, DELIGHTED you are cozied up with my Old Fools – but which one?

Alison Stokes: Show off Twead!!!!

Victoria Twead: Tsk, tsk, come to cause trouble have we? One word from me and Sue Clamp will arrive with purple pills. And the marigolds to administer them. Be warned, young Alison.

Nancy McBride: Chickens and mule…

Jennifer Ziton Bendriss: Can this puppy hit 700 comments? Love the hijab, Victoria.

Alison Stokes: Sorry Miss…..

Victoria Twead: *hands on hips* you don’t look sorry…

Charlotte Smith: Alison Stokes shall we join forces??

Philip Whiteland: Did you notice that someone’s nicked both your rolls of lino, Victoria?

Alison Stokes: Yeah partners in crime!!!

Cherry Gregory: Well done, Frankie and Louise.

Charlotte Smith: Hee hee

Victoria Twead: Um… *scratches head* Sorry Philip, pardon?
–Charlotte! Stop while you’re ahead… *severe frown*

Nancy McBride: You DO know my middle name is Alison!

Frankie Knight: Err, ‘scuse me, Charlotte, but who are those two supposed to resemble?????

Philip Whiteland: Oh dear, I’m showing my age again! If you stood with your hand on your hip, they used to ask you if you knew that someone had nicked your roll of lino, Victoria. I wish I hadn’t started this

Alison Stokes: Lino…..did I miss something?
–Oh right philip!!! Lol

Victoria Twead: Nancy McBride – the pics you wanted to see.

1) Kitchen before

Frankie Knight: : Oh, so Joe can sit and do the washing up then?
Victoria Twead: Kitchen after:


2) Bathroom before

Frankie Knight: Oh, so Joe can sit…..

Victoria Twead: 3) Living room before


Living room after:

living room

Alison Stokes: Lol

Frankie Knight: And still Joe can sit….

Victoria Twead: 4) Garden Haha, I promise these are all ‘before’ pictures.

Frankie Knight: Awww, nowhere for Joe to sit then…..

Alison Stokes: I can see the vines!!!

Frankie Knight: Have to say Victoria, your crop of weeds is far superior to mine….

Nancy McBride: Oh, thank YOU! Your descriptions were right on. Now the transformation shots?

Victoria Twead: Hang on, I’ll find an ‘after’ pic or two…

Jill Brookes: The vines before Joe allowed Vicky to prune them

Frankie Knight: Incredibly, I recognise these…..

Charlotte Smith: What shall we play Alison Stokes?

Nancy McBride: I’ve designed several fantasy homes, including outside kitchens, and large wooden (permanent) yurts…

Frankie Knight: Me for bad twin, me for bad twin……
–Yurts? What’s a yurts Nancy, please?

Victoria Twead: Garden now, well in May actually.
Frankie Knight: This has to stop – I’ve got watering to do….. Oh, wow, Victoria, like that.
–Where, where?

Jill Brookes: Wow, that is fab!

Alison Stokes: Wow love the after shot!!!

Victoria Twead: Thank you!

Julia Merrick: Oh Victoria, what a transformation, perfect, just family and friends perfect

Charlotte Smith: Hey Alison – I’ve nicked Beaky’s hobnobs. Wanna share?

Victoria Twead: That is the famous vine, you know, with the *whispers* thongs…


Victoria Twead: Charlotte, stop trying to drag Alison down to your level, you know she’s already there.

Peggy Penn: Wow what an amazing thread VT! Enjoyed all your books and here’s hoping you write another. Thank you so very much.

Victoria Twead: Peggy Penn, thank you! I have 2 more in my head – number 5 when I find out what happens, and a prequel

Frankie Knight: Thanks Nancy! I obviously knew Tipis but had never heard of yurts before. Nice that I can be educated on this site as well as have fun….

Peggy Penn: Victoria Twead you must be exhausted after yesterday and today. Go pour yourself a large glass of wine, have a rest – cheers

Victoria Twead: Good advice, Peggy.

Nancy McBride: I want a large, one floor one with a porch, and wings for indoor, outdoor kitchen, large bathroom, and laundry, with back door for hanging out laundry, and a loft for company…attached garage with direct steps to kitchen. We have deep snow, here,
–And I just want field flowers and simple drib

Victoria Twead: Sounds wonderful, write your book and when they buy the film rights, you can buy the house.

Nancy McBride: Now that’s INCENTIVE!
–Guess that means I have to get off my bi

Susan Joyce: Go Nancy!

Ann Patras-Author: Are you having trouble with your fingers today Nancy?

Dodie Shea: Hi Victoria – sorry to have missed all the fun but just got back from camp this morning. Now I’m going to read the fred. Hope they came up with some questions to keep you on your toes! Just finished your book and hope you have another one swirling around in your head!!! Not to put any pressure on you of course:))
–Oh my word! 743 comments!

Ann Patras-Author: It’s nearly as long as the book Dodie, Ha ha.

Victoria Twead: Dodie Shea – I actually have 2 floating round in my head. The sequel and a prequel.

Sue Clamp: Love your garden, Victoria! Have the Alisons settled down now or shall I put my rubber gloves on?

Louise E Fenton: The straight jacket is sat here ready!

Frankie Knight: You’re just getting a tad kinky now….. Jacky, where are you?????

Sue Clamp: Nothing kinky about purple pills!

Frankie Knight: No? so what are the blue rubber gloves for then?????

Louise E Fenton: I need purple pills and sweets!

Sue Clamp: Just for their hygienic administration.

Frankie Knight: Up the jacksie????

Sue Clamp: Besides, they’re not blue! Jacksie? Whatever gave you that idea?!

Alison Stokes: Lol I am being good! I am I am …….no gloves pleeease!

Victoria Twead: Say it like it is, why don’t you, Ms Frankie Knight?
— Wise girl, Alison.

Sue Clamp: Glad to hear it, Alison. I only give out the purple pills in extreme circumstances!

Victoria Twead: I just think you may need to be on stand-by, Sue. You never know when the Alisons are going to flare up.

Alison Stokes: I notice the other Alisons have disappeared and I am left taking the wrap/rap…….oi ……..Alisons where art thou?

Victoria Twead: No, don’t call them!!

Charlotte Smith: Alison Charlotte Moore – YOU’RE NEEDED OVER HERE!

Julie Haigh: Hey, this is great-Spotlight Sunday is also turning into Member Monday-and we’ve got Member Tuesday tomorrow-a real feast this week!

Charlotte Smith: 1,000 comments by the end of the day? ;0

Victoria Twead: Exhausted…

Rosemary Kench: You’re a triumph, Victoria! A national treasure no less!

Charlotte Smith: Poor Beaky – go and put your feet up. I’ll mind the shop

Next Day

Alison Charlotte Moore: Woo hoo I’m home. What’s all the fuss about? Beaky being naughty?

Louise E Fenton: Charlotte I’m on my way with the jacket again!