Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oh no! Not another new release!

Dudes, I promise, this is the last one until the end of August.

'Biscuits and Bunting' is my take on a behind the scenes look at a village getting ready to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It's a big deal here. Our village is hurling itself into the festivities with a lunch on the village green or, for the well-heeled, you can pay £60 a head to eat in a marquee in the middle of a field. The village brass band (one of the finest in the country, believe me) will  be having a concert on the green in the evening. There's all kinds of things going on. You can go to the village shop and buy a celebratory bottle of Pimms with a Union Jack all over the label,  or a 16-pack of crisps (potato chips) also emblazoned with our national flag. If you really want to throw yourself into the spirit of the occasion, there's Union Jack bunting (see above picture) for sale.

Being an anti-social old fart, I'll be staying at home and writing. I'll listen to the celebratory chimes from the church. If Friday night's bell ringing practice is anything to go by, they need to tighten things up a little, but it'll sound glorious because our bell ringers are good. It wouldn't be a Friday night in the village without the faltering chimes of practice. I may also give in and buy a bottle of Pimms so I can make Pimms cocktails to toast Lizzie's health and all that good stuff. I'll need something to wash down the salmon and cucumber sandwiches, trifle and Union Jack crisps.

It's a very British occasion and 'Biscuits and Bunting' is a Very British book. There's food porn and naughty bits. There's gossip in the village shop and someone running amok with a cricket bat. What could be more British than that?

To whet your appetite, here's a little teaser:

Neil pulled the car up in front of my house. “This is the part where you ask me in for a cup of coffee, I accept, but…somehow…we never get round to having the coffee.” He put the car in park and turned off the ignition.

I did a quick mental inventory. The bed sheets were clean. I’d just changed them that day. There was coffee, nothing lying around that shouldn’t be there, a bottle of lube and condoms in the bedroom cabinet. “Would you like to come in for a coffee?”

He grinned. “I wouldn’t say no.”

We climbed out of the car. Mrs Bramley’s net curtains twitched. I didn’t care—I was too busy fumbling for the keys.

We tumbled into the house. Like a good host, I took Neil’s coat, hung it up and backed him to the wall.
He plunged his hands into my hair and kissed me greedily. The silence was occupied by sighs, gasps and soft moans. Denim scraped on denim. Neil smelt of wood smoke and tasted of wine. He pushed back until we reeled across the hall towards the stairs.

“Where’s your bedroom?”

“Usual place, top of the stairs…you know.” I took his hand and led him up the narrow staircase.

Pssst! If you like it, you can buy it here

So, here's the give away question: What thing/person/whatever comes to mind when you think of Britain?
Best answer wins a PDF of 'Biscuits and Bunting'. :). A winner (or winners depending on how many entries there are) will be chosen on Wednesday, 30th May.


  1. First off, I'd like to answer your question missus...

    The first thing I think of when I think of Britain is "Open Door". And I don't mean that in a bad way either.
    When the EU floodgates first opened - it was a massive change to have all kinds of different countries folk coming to work with us at our factory. Now - well, now I have gotten to know some truly lovely people from all over the place and life is better for that.
    I could have said the usual...roast beef, union jack, Queenie...but there's more to Britain than that! It's not called "Great" for nowt is it!

    Now then...on to slighty more important matters! PIMMS!
    Is there a Morrisons store nearby that you can get to? A ltr bottle of Pimms is now only a tenner! Going round there in a bit to stock up for "summer"!

  2. when ever i think of Britain i think of home. although i am a Canadian by birth practically my whole family are immigrants from the UK. My mother and her family are Scottish and my paternal grandmother is English. In addition i still have family living back in the UK. i have been to the UK a couple of times and loved each visit very much :)

  3. Well, two things, actually. My first answer would obviously be Doctor Who, because that was the first thing I KNEW was British, even as a child. I wanted to live there to have cooler TV shows.

    The second thing (person) would be my cousin's grandma. She was the quintessential uptight British grandmother and she used to repeat over and over again how much she HATED the States and wanted to go home. We'd go to visit and she'd serve us crackers with lemon curd and I was sure the UK was the most EXOTIC PLACE EVAH.

  4. Boo! Cyndy beat me to it! Of course The Doctor.

    My second choice is PG Tips tea. Our local grocery store has a tiny selection of imported food, and once I found PG Tips I knew I was hooked for life. *sips from steaming mug of PG Tips and hits "post".

  5. Okay, I'm apparently too slow, because OF COURSE I AM THINKING DOCTOR WHO!

    However, I'm also thinking British Humor, because it's often dark and just a tad twisted, meaning right up my alley.

    On which note, I need a TARDIS so I can come over more often. :)

  6. I was in London many years ago, and there are visuals that have stuck with me: the grim coldness of the Tower. That they had to work to protect all those glorious churches and monuments from the damage of smog. The overpriced and understated woolens in the chi-chi shops. The biggest and most wonderful bookstore I'd ever visited. (Two stories, with Monica Dickens aplenty.)

    In the end, though, I'd have to say the sly British sense of humour, as exhibited in your snippet. In this case, though, I'm thinking of the Ministry of Silly Walks by Monty Python.

  7. I always think of a proper tea. My mother is an Anglophile and raised me on tea. Fancy china, scones, and good manners. Lots of people in the states don't understand that I would rather have tea than coffee. I dream of going to England and seeing the sites. I take a British history course and am dying to see it!

  8. Now, when I think of Britain my mind immediately goes to... Sherlock!! lol... I LOVE that show SOoooooooo much. Ah! I really do...

    Before though, I used to immediately think of the Royal Guard and their fluffy hats. lol..

  9. When I think of Britain, and what I think of as being typically British, steam fairs spring to mind. Steam fairs and their ilk (country fairs, church fetes, etc..) There's something wonderfully British about traipsing around stalls selling hand-made jam, knitted goods, cakes and other what-nots, either in glorious sunshine or drizzly rain, with the wonderful smell of coal smoke and engineering oil mingling with the aromas of candy-floss & doughnuts. Its amazing how much time you can spend looking at somebody's prize collection of tractor seats (I kid you not) or sifting through piles of rusty car bits.

  10. Being British its not something i often think about directly - but i'll proably go with a visual of eating fish &chips out of a paper bag on a wintery seaside promenade!! ( too close to home!)
    Littlesuze at hotmail dot com

  11. Well, what DID I think of when you mentioned Britain?

    Chinese food.

    Why? Well, that should be obvious.

    Britain = 19th century sea power = wooden ships and iron men = the movie Master and Commander = staring Russel Crowe = also starred in Gladiator = directed by Ridley Scott = also directed Alien = awesome alien popping out of chest scene = while eating chinese food.

    Therefore, Britain = Chinese food.


  12. My most immediate thought goes to the memory of eating a slice of "pizza" from a place called Shawarma Orient, after having passed through the New Year's melee in Trafalgar Square. This was lo, many years ago. So long ago that when midnight struck, I was in the process of kissing my way down a line of stalwart bobbies who were guarding the South African embassy from the then-ever-present apartheid protestors.

  13. Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner, folks. There was a slight technical hitch with my blog, which is now cleared.

    All of the answers were great and, in the end, I went with the trusty random number generator. The winner is Bryn! Congratulations!

    If there was a prize for the most imaginative, really-stretching-it answer, it would have to go to Rick. However, from my recollection of that scene, I didn't think it was Chinese food. I thought it was just plain old bean sprouts. ;)

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by and taking part.

  14. I'm not here for the late. But still wanted to comment, as the excerpt looks wonderful!