I don’t know whether it is another aspect of global warming – but this October has been exceptionally warm. Days of golden sunshine have been followed by unusually mild nights. This is in stark contrast to the last week in September which was bitterly cold. Many of us dived for our heating,in spite of the horrific rise in oil and gas prices, only to turn the heating off a week later. We are nearing the end of October now and I have a feeling these beautiful warm autumn days will leave us, and we will be back to November fogs and bitter winds. This good news on the weather front has been in stark contrast to the rest of the world’s news, which has been both dire and depressing. It seems there is a disaster in almost every corner of the globe. The war in Ukraine is as shocking ever, at times seeming almost unreal, as if we were watching newsreels from the 2nd World War. The worrying aspect is, that with Ukraine’s increasing successes, Putin becomes more desperate and his actions ever more threatening and dangerous. War crimes are being revealed everywhere and the great hope is that this terrible conflict can be brought to an end soon. The situation in the States is pretty dire too, with a divided country and democracy itself in peril.  And we have nothing to be proud of in the UK either, as we lurch from one rotten government to another.  Truss has left, with no apologies for her disastrous, but thankfully short time as Prime Minister. There was a moment of hope for a saner government when Sunak arrived. But this has been ruined by his terrible selection of ministers for his cabinet, his worst appointment being Suella Braverman to the Home Office. Her mistakes have become so quickly apparent she may not be with us long. It also left me wondering if the Home Office isn’t too big a job for one minister. It needs to be divided into two sections, with a minister to deal with all matters relating to security, and another minister dealing solely with immigration.  However, I don’t see any changes being made soon.

Meanwhile, I have had a busy month with a book publication. The last in my Rawlings Trilogy came out a week ago, QUO VARDIS E. G. RAWLINGS?A5 promo card Rawlings 3 For this publication I hired a marketing firm, and they did work hard for me, setting up endless zoom and radio interviews. I enjoyed these, but it remains to be seen whether they will make a difference to the book sales. If you aren’t famous, with a well-known name, it is hard to sell your books, however good the reviews may be. I dream that one day someone will pick up the Rawlings Trilogy and turn it into a television series. Then the books would sell in their thousands. Meanwhile, I remain an impoverished author and just rely on my loyal readers to buy the books – for which I am endlessly grateful.

So – what now for me? Indeed, quo vardis Jane McCulloch?  In all honesty I am not sure. I think I will take a short breather and then maybe think about writing a memoir. My life has been full of meeting interesting people and working in fascinating places, it could be a good project. I am being urged to set about it by many people and may start writing in the New Year.  Before that, we have the build-up towards Christmas, quite apart from grappling with the changing state of the country’s economy which will affect us all.

I will try and ignore all this by concentrating on my garden. I have just planted two new roses and attach a picture of the beautiful Judi Dench rose.