Swallows and Amazons 1974 Film


It was wonderful to meet TARS members and some of the team who worked on the 1974 film of Swallows and Amazons on Saturday, 28th July at The Alhambra Cinema Keswick.

The Arthur Ransome Society President Sophie Neville gave a charming talk before the film, which added a little extra magic to the event.

She played the part of tomboy Titty Walker, displaying a lovely combination of vulnerability, exuberance and imagination that were entirely natural.

All the cast were magnificent.

It was especially lovely to see the amazing Zannah Hamilton when she was in the first blush of youth as a resilient and capable Susan Walker.

The late Claude Whatham who directed the movie showed exceptional mastery in the way he drew out comedy from this gentle period piece based on Arthur Ransome’s most famous novel.

His work was thoroughly complimented by orchestral music which matched the mood and followed every beat of a superb screenplay.

Afterwards the President of the Society signed her books for Arthur Ransome fans who attended the screening.  These included delighted children who had thoroughly enjoyed themselves on an uncompromisingly rainy afternoon!

One of her books is The Secrets of Filming Swallows and Amazons.  The Kindle version is extremely engaging with its video trailer of this work containing behind the scenes footage that happened as the film was in production.

To join TARS see http://www.arthur-ransome.org.uk/.

Why not subscribe to my newsletter?

Click the link for more about Poet.










Oscar and Arthur Detective Masters!

Anne Gaelan with Gyles Brandreth

Location: Chester Cathedral June 2017 Mr Brandreth very kindly autographed the Reading Gaol and Candlelight Murders.

The President of The Oscar Wilde Society Mr Gyles Brandreth has surely made Wilde in the twenty-first century with his Oscar Wilde murder mystery books.
In these books Wilde turns amateur sleuth and solves crimes along with Conan Doyle!
Entertaining, witty and eminently readable, they capture the essence of Wilde.
Mr Brandreth will be at The Platform in Morecambe in July this year.




The Mistletoe Haunting Legend of Minster Lovell


As we settle into autumn and enjoy the feast of ghost stories on offer, take a look at this elegantly written novel by David Slattery-Christy which moves between 1893 and the present day.   It will also make a wonderful Yule tide stocking-filler.

This great tale transports the reader to a gothic manor, in the grounds of which, is a sinister lake surrounded by swirling mists.

The familiar characters are present associated with this genre; the vapid suitor, a jealous schemer and the loyal, middle-aged housekeeper.  However, what makes this well-paced book stand out is the refreshing individuality and originality of all the characters including the supporting ones.

Nevertheless, Mr Slattery-Christy’s greatest achievement is in the portrait of his heroine.  Lady Ellen Forsyth, a Christmas bride, is surely the most engaging, delicate and feminine protagonist ever created by a man.

He also masterfully creates an insight into the limitations and paradoxes of Victorian society which led to many leading an unfulfilled life or risking a life of deception for success or survival.

As this story of betrayal and deceit unfolds, this work becomes a page turner as the pieces fall into place.

It is a work of distinction.  Don’t miss it.



Fluffy Coconut Pineapple Drop Biscuits — Sweet Dreams

Happy August everyone- wow July sure flew by fast! But before the rest of summer does too, I want to share with you my recipe for these incredible coconut pineapple drop biscuits! They’re drop-dead delicious, easy to make, and perfect as a sort of end-of-summer, tropical breakfast treat.

As summer is approaching I just had to remind you of these tasty treats which are just perfect for a summer’s day and absolutely melt-in-the-mouth!  They are yummy!

I am sure Arthur Ransome would have loved these tropical treats!  I am sure that the pirates of his beloved fiction would not have turned them down either.

They are very melt-in-the-mouth – but not particularly conducive to campers on Wild Cat Island, that Lake District haven!


via Fluffy Coconut Pineapple Drop Biscuits — Sweet Dreams