Like many tales, Out of the Frying Pan was inspired by a true story. The people coming to dinner were friends (and not at all scary), and I didn’t need to dress up and cook fancy food, but otherwise the story is pretty much as it happened. They were early, the onion kept burning and I went to borrow a spare form my neighbour (complete with an arms-and-legs-flailing fall in the garden), and the baby did what babies do. Unlike Becky in the story though, I could laugh about it on the night, and knew straight away it was a story in the making.
Hive Talking was born out of a lesser reality. We do keep bees and often go out to talk to them (sometimes literally!), but mostly, we just watch the hives, to see that the bees are active, that they’re carrying in pollen (to feed the baby bees), and nectar (to make the honey). We have three hives, housing up to 180,000 bees in mid summer, but you wouldn’t know it; they are as gentle as anything – I’ve been stung only once in seven years – and they make gorgeous honey :o) The Singapore connection came from a business trip I made many years ago. The gin slings at Raffles Hotel were the highlight of the job – and I’ve always wanted to go back! But there the reality ends: I’m not the world’s worst nag (honest), keeping domestic bees is not profitable, and I certainly don’t keep a tidy house!
You can read Out of the Frying Pan and Hive Talking now on kindle.