I get some of my best lines from mixing with tarn folk you know. At my recent book launch a lovely woman said to me ‘Just to let you know you’re better looking in real life’. Which is the point at which a compliment should stop, shouldn’t it? You’ve done your duty and delivered an ego boost. But no, she went on ‘…because some of your photos – OOOOF’. Ha. Ego in the bin. But a line written mentally for my next book.

I thought it was lovely of We Are Barnsley to put a post up that it was my 60th birthday and I do thank you for the lovely comments that were added to it, because when something goes up on social media, you always worry about trolls and I’ve had my fair share of those. Someone (a bloke of course) wrote underneath ‘From the tone of your books I would have thought you were eighty’ so he’s obviously read them all for him to comment so critically. Must be quite sad getting your kicks being a keyboard warrior and imagining people tittering at your remarks, when in fact they’re really not. And another amusing comment (another bloke) who said that the lack of men commenting was because they don’t read fairy tales.

Someone else who has read my books, you know all the ones featuring fairies because I write loads of those. In fact my books are teeming with them – pixies, goblins, the lot. I did want to ask ‘Mr Fairy’ if maybe he has got me mixed up with Hans Christian Andersen, or the Brothers Grimm – or maybe J.M.Barrie, all men who seem to have done rather well by writing fairy stories. Certainly fantasy has served many male writers well – Tolkein for one, I’m sure many men have read him. Or was Mr Fairy reading Jack Reacher books from birth?

Can he even read books without pictures in? But he may be interested to know that what gets huge book sales at present is erotic fiction featuring fairyfolk . Authors – of both sexes - are making a hell of a lot of money writing it. Fairies are serious coin-spinning business. Had I been male if these two cheap shots wouldn’t have occurred of course. We women writers are quite used to the misogyny (god it’s boring). Alpha males, proper men, of course, are above such things. Thank you everyone else for your lovely, kind and thoughtful messages. I’m truly touched.

It is a mixed time for me: the merriment of celebrations alongside breaking up the house in which I grew up in preparation for sale. I once wrote a book about clutter clearing and when you undertake to do it, you have to be brutal. It is easier said than done when everything you touch has a memory attached. Dad’s glasses, mum’s glasses… I took them down to Raison’s opticians this week and almost changed my mind at the door. Mum’s dressing gown that I last saw her wearing at the hospital (and trust me I don’t want anything to remind me of that place and what she endured there).

The suit that dad had made for my wedding – I could have had it turned it into a ‘memory bear’ but it would have wasted a suit that could serve another gent well. The ghosts of my childhood echo through the rooms, the laughter, the Christmases, mum’s home cooking and dad’s Motown music. How long does it take before tears turn to smiles at the memories because it feels like such a long way off yet?