How to set up a home office

Writing room – home officeWhether you’re a creative writer or a freelance journalist, you need your own space. In an ideal world, as Virginia Woolf asserted in 1929, this would be a room of your own. But many of us don’t have that luxury, so it’s fortunate that a home office is effectively any space you can go to and feel business-like (even if you are wearing pyjamas!), productive and ready to work. Continue reading

Short story: Rock Thoughts

Rock, Cornwall mainThis short story by Judy Darley was originally published by Fiction 365 and is posted here with their permission.

I once went on a silent meditation weekend in the Brecon Beacons, and this feels a bit like that, just sitting around listening to my thoughts getting louder and louder in my head until I’m desperate to have a good shout. The retreat was supposed to last from Friday night till Sunday afternoon, but I wigged out on the Saturday, pretended I was going for a ‘soul-cleansing stroll’, stuffed my overnight things into a rucksack and never looked back. Continue reading

Slavonia: the undiscovered corner of Croatia

River Danube, CroatiaThe following extract is part of one of my travel features, and can be read in full at

That night we stayed at Hotel Dunav, an exquisite family-run hotel set on the shores of the River Danube – Dunav in Croatian. With its own sandy beach, a multitude of outdoor seating and even its own pleasure cruiser, this is a popular spot for vast wedding and Christening parties, as well as providing a tranquil getaway. I woke shortly after dawn and meandered along the riverbank in the early light, watched by a flock of crows that flapped their way from tree to tree as I passed.

Ilok city walls

From here it’s just a short journey into Ilok, Croatia’s easternmost town (pictured above), with 1km of intact medieval walls, a lovely old stone church and a state-of-the-art museum, one of the few in Slavonia with displays in English as well as Croatian, overlooking the river to Serbia. Continue reading