A Very British Blog Post

I was tagged back in March by Jane Wenham Jones to take part in this Blog Hop….but what with the A-Z Challenge, it’s only now I’ve been able to post my answers! Lol…. Sorry Jane and thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

Courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at freedigitalphotos

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?
I was born in Catford, South East London, well, Lewisham hospital to be precise which is on the outskirts. But I spent my childhood and early years of my marriage in Catford, moving to Kidbrooke, then Eltham until in 1997 when we decided to move out of London and set up home in Kent. Now, I live in Rochester ๐Ÿ™‚

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at present? I’m a Brit through and through, but I’m not opposed to working from Italy if someone would buy me a villa with a pool?

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?
I LOVE London. What can I say *snigger* It’s funny because when you live there you don’t tend to do the touristy stuff, so I’ve seen more of London since I moved to Kent. I go back on a regular basis.

Q. Have you โ€˜highlightedโ€™ or โ€˜showcasedโ€™ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?
The book I’m currently working on is set in Blackheath (South East London) and Rochester where I live. My heroine lives here now but was brought up in London. Write what you know I say. All my characters come from “Sowf Eas Lunden” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q. There is an illusion โ€“ or myth if you wish โ€“ about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the โ€˜Britsโ€™ as โ€˜stiff upper lipโ€™. Is that correct?
Ha ha ha, damn right it is! My gran would say “it’s what won us the war!” Lol ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, seriously, the thing about the Brits is we’re determined, steadfast, proud and patriotic. Now, if that makes us stiff upper lipped, so be it ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€จโ€จQ. Do any of the characters in your books carry the โ€˜stiff upper lipโ€™? Or are they all โ€˜British Bulldogโ€™ and unique in their own way?
All my characters are South East Londoners, so I hope that comes across. One of my female characters is very stiff upper lipped I guess, because in the era it’s set women didn’t really complain. It was very much a case of “you make your bed you lie in it” (another of my grans favourite sayings). It’s only probably the last, what, 20 years, that women in general have had more choices. When I went to school in the 70’s & 80’s we got taught ‘Needlecraft’ and “Home Economics” where I was taught to iron a shirt (The Hubster will say “well, that didn’t sink in then!” Lol). My male characters are very British Bull Dog! Lol

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books
The one I’m working on at the moment is called “Still” ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a novel about love, regret, competition between friends and the consequences of past decisions. Set in South East London and Kent it’s the story of a mother (Laura) and her daughter (Ruby) who have been estranged for five years, and the journey each of them must now take.

Q. What are you currently working on?
See above….I’m on rewrite number 4 as I’m struggling with the structure ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I’m also editing my 2nd novel called “Tangled” which is about a woman who has an affair and the repercussions of that.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?
What leisure time? Lol ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ok, at weekends me and The Hubster like to get out and about. Museums, art galleries, historic houses and castles, that kind of thing. I find it very inspiring.

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?
Local definitely. Although, I’m very aware that nowadays you should write for a global audience. So if I ever get published in the States there will need to be a lot of changes lol

Q. Can you provide links to your work?
See above link for my ‘online’ work, but there’s not much. I keep meaning to upload more stuff, but never get around to it lol.

Now I’m spose to tag fellow Brits, but I don’t know which of you to choose lol. So I’m just gunna say, if you fancy giving it a go, please do, and leave a link to your post in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you enjoyed that? I did ๐Ÿ™‚

34 thoughts on “A Very British Blog Post

  1. Iโ€™m not British but am a Canuck and my experience with Brits (some of my best friends etc) is theyโ€™re the most relaxed people I know, or have met on my travels. And friendly. I never got the โ€œstiff upper lipโ€ thing. And youโ€™re correct. People who live in a place usually donโ€™t appreciate it. You being the exception. Of course. You havenโ€™t blogged much about โ€œTangledโ€ Iโ€™m intrigued.


    • He he he, I had to Google ‘Canuck’ Sue lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I think there was a turning point for us Brits when Princess Diana died….never before had there been such an outpouring of emotion in our history. Up until then we would normally just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get on with it. In 1997 it became acceptable to cry openly in public, so I think the stiff upper lip thing is probably more generational now….I’m not sure my kids have it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ahhhh, yes, Tangled is an MS that has been sitting on my laptop for 2 years waiting to bed edited. Looking back now perhaps I should have used it for Faber. It has got 2 time frames (only 6 months apart though so not the 25 years Still has) and the structure was very obvious from the start. Perhaps it’s true what they say about first novels not being the first a writer publishes ๐Ÿ˜‰



  2. Great post. I really haven’t seen as much of London as I should have really. I’m only two hours away on the train. I may make it a resolution to visit a bit more, although I get a bit anxious about being somewhere I don’t know well. There’s a lot of places I’d like to visit though.


    • Thanks honey ๐Ÿ™‚

      Oh you should! All the wonderful coffee shops, the FREE museums and art galleries, and then the parks, where you can have a picnic and a nice walk in the summer ๐Ÿ™‚

      I know what you mean, but, with my iPhone I use the map so no matter where I wander I’m never lost ๐Ÿ™‚

      Make a list!



  3. im only 30 mins on the central line away from the west end but having worked in Covent Garden and Oxford st for a few years it certainly took the gloss off of London for me. Recently though i head up there as much as I can to take in the sites and buildings


    • Ooooo, I’m so jealous! I’d love to be just a tube ride away ๐Ÿ™‚

      I worked in London for a year but many moons ago, so I know what you mean…I feel out of love with it. I’m just pleased that didn’t last long, it’s a fantastic city!

      Good for you!



  4. Very interesting post and I’ll be pulling for you for the Italian villa and pool…lol. My mother has oft used the saying, “You make your bed lie in it” too. In the South in the US, we don’t call it having a stiff upper lip, but it means about the same. Women try to handle so much and not complain. My daughter and I have gotten excellent at saying the southern, “I’m fine”, even when we’re really not.


    • Ha ha ha thanks Sabrina ๐Ÿ™‚

      If I manage to get one I’ll make sure it’s big enough to offer writers retreats for my friends!

      Ahhhhh, yeah, *nods* that’s exactly what we’re like….we’re always fine lol



  5. Loved your A-Z blogs and glad Jane got you to do this. Love you Kent writers, even if from Sowf East Lunden (?right?). I was dragged up on West/East Sussex border. Lived for some years in Quebec Province and yet never explored it enough – friends in Montreal had never left the city. And while In Lewes never visited Anne of Cleves house, just the castle.


  6. Ah yes, the old stiff upper lip. Where I grew up in Brooklyn, NY you might say we had “fat” upper lips. I am a first generation Italian, born and raised in Brookyn, migrated to Manhattan for 20 years and then went to Florida to what we call New York “South.” I love this post and the insights you provide. Since I am a true lover of diverse culture and language, it’s fun to know more about you and where you came from.

    However, and I repeat … However … I grew up on British mysteries starting with Agatha Christie. I love noir Americans and modern mystery series, but my first and always love are British mystery writers. I have for over four decades supported numerous public channels because of Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery. Eaton who produces most of the series that come from Granada vis-a-vis British TV … is also one of the producers of Downton Abbey.

    It would take an entire post of my own to list the dozens and dozens of series that have traveled across the pond to delight American audiences and this American in particular. Gees, for over eleven years I followed East Enders and I absolutely do not like our soaps.

    I am telling you all of this because writing locally becomes for so many writers “global.” Brits, Irish, Italian and Spanish writers are huge here in the states. Millions of us mourned Maive Binchey’s death last year. I was crest fallen when Morse died. Write what you love, Vikki, and I guarantee that your global audience will find you ๐Ÿ™‚


    • My Great Grandparents were Italian Florence so I guess there must be some of that “fat” upper lip in me too ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Awwwww, good for you honey! I went on the Orient Express a few years ago which was fantastic!

      Oh wow, you watch Eastenders! Personally I think it’s pretty accurate in portraying the London culture, but, when we get angry we swear, so it would often have me laughing because the huge rows (arguments) would seem unnatural, because in real life we would be saying F this and F that if we were berating someone lol.

      You have a very good point honey, thank you! Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about the global thing so much then ๐Ÿ™‚



  7. Pingback: A Very British Blog Post | BRIDGET WHELAN writer

  8. Pingback: A Very British Blog Post | Hunter's Writing

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