Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. I hope that you'll return often and always find something of interest about my world and what inspires me to pick up a pen. (This is a figure of speech, unfortunately. My handwriting is terrible!) Here's what I've been up to recently...

Wonderful news!

I’m delighted to announce that SpellBound Books Ltd. has offered to publish my memoir of the summer I spent as a camp counselor and ‘riding the Dog’ across the USA. The Dog – or rather Dogs in question were, of course, Greyhound buses, which offered amazing value to young and cash-strapped overseas visitors.

The link is with Facebook, so may not work for everyone. If you’re struggling, please let me know in the comments and I’ll endeavour to send you the details by a different route. https://www.facebook.com/maggie.cobbett/posts/pfbid0cVfGUVuKw9rVkMRwwnKz2LvPufqQNAYxPP8rMYjumyWe1adKRychwBMCTxF6HuG3l?notif_id=1718893755043029&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic&ref=notif

20 June, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

Memories of Owen’s Park

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/nostalgia/its-very-special-place-end-29348843

I never expected to be featured in the Manchester Evening News and yet here I am. You’ll have to scroll down to the end, though, to find my contribution. There’s even a photograph, albeit creased, that once graced my students’ union card.

The photo of Platt Fields Park, on the other hand, reminds me of a tug of war that once took place during Rag Week. The rope was stretched across part of the pond and the women’s team had sneakily tied their end to some railings. Our victory saw some of the men falling into the freezing water and we had to run for our lives!

My two years ‘in hall’ were a very happy time, which is probably why my memories are still so fresh. At eighteen and living away from home for the first time, I couldn’t have been given a better introduction to student life. For the modest sum of £6 a week, I was fed and housed in a great deal more comfort than many of my contemporaries, some of whom lived in almost slum like conditions around the city. A much appreciated bonus was that Owen’s Park, being new and somewhat experimental, was a mixed hall of residence and therefore free from the restrictions placed on undergraduates – particularly female ones – by more traditional establishments.

The extracts that appear were taken from recollections sent to the University of Manchester Alumni Association in response to an appeal to former residents. 

19 June, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

A poetry book launched by one of our own!

Even without the inducement of drinks and cakes, Write-On! Ripon members would have turned out in force to hear our very own Caroline Matusiak reading some the poems inspired by her regular travels on the Number 36 Ripon to Harrogate bus route. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Copies of the new book are currently available from Caroline herself or from The Little Ripon Bookshop.

11 June, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

I get by with a little help from my friends!

So sang the Beatles and how right they were! 

Life would be so much poorer without friends and here are a few of mine, all connected one way or another with the Write-On! Ripon group. 

Thinking up something new to write for our weekly meetings in the Claro Lounge certainly keeps my brain exercised. The photo above, though, was taken at one of our social evenings, which took place at Silva Bells near the Cathedral. The food was good, the drink flowed and so did the conversation.

27 May, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

R.I.P. Reader’s Digest UK

I was very sorry to learn that a magazine which has published a great deal of my writing – anecdotes, end of article fillers, jokes, letters and travel pieces – has ceased to exist. The reason is, of course, financial, as it has been with so many print publications in recent years and my sympathies are very much with all the staff who have lost their jobs. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13363915/readers-digest-uk-edition-closes-financial-pressures-editor-tribute.html?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR2hDPAsrJWHSPLxdhLZ-6C8q9hj7vB1s29wdSvDgK5u5KRbTCHv71P8Lnk_aem_Afn_074L2VzEoTS56rJc–ZFwRO1K2kNsQOjhYn0gZYfnFwqW6ePijJuDtwrP7wVu5KjRgVHfCS-lbUU3kunrK3l

It seems that the May 2024 issue, in which I have a joke, is to be the last one, so here it is.

 

23 May, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

Swanwick 2024

Are you interested in applying for this or know someone who might be. Please spread the word!

13 May, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

Featured in Yorkshire Life

 

This double-paged spread in Yorkshire Life was written to help Ripon Community Link, my favourite local charity, and I hope that it will attract many more visitors to the wonderful Walled Garden.

The words – at least an edited version of them – are mine, but I was careful to submit a draft to RCL for approval before submitting the article to the magazine.  The photographs are part of a selection sent to me by the charity and I am pleased to see that the correct acknowledgement has been given.

21 April, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

Featured in Chat magazine

A little free publicity never hurts, especially when you’re being paid for it too!

18 April, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

Sister Act the Musical

REVIEW: ‘Dazzling’ Sister Act musical set to open at Harrogate Theatre – Your Harrogate

Always happy to write a review for local groups, I found attending the dress rehearsal of RAOS Musical Company’s dress rehearsal at Harrogate Theatre a truly joyous experience.

It’s a long time since I trod the boards there myself – as one of the Mamas in Fiddler on the Roof – but I could well imagine all the frenzied activity backstage. Well done, everyone! 

The link above will take you to the full review.

18 April, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

Featured in Writers’ Narrative

I’m pleased to have this article in the latest issue of Writers’ Narrative. It’s a great magazine and has helped to fill the gap left by the unfortunate demise of Writers’ Forum.

18 March, 2024 Make the first comment on this story

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