Simon Whaley

Author | Writer | Photographer

Category: NEWS (Page 1 of 12)

2017 Relax & Write Short Story Retreat at Cirencester

Thank you to Lois, Liz, Sally and Daren for all their hard work at last weekend’s Relax & Write Short Story Retreat, which I was running at the rather impressive Royal Agricultural University, near Cirencester.

© Lois Maddox – Relax & Write

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Snappy Snap

It was a tad blowy up the top of Ragleth Hill today, something you can judge for yourself here:

But as you can see, there were blue skies, so I took a photo too. I tried uploading it to the BBC WeatherWatchers website, but couldn’t because for some strange reason there was no 4G signal on top of the hill, like there usually is. (It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered we’d had a power cut, hence the 4G signal problem.)

I nearly forgot to upload the photo I’d taken, but I remembered when I stopped for lunch. I uploaded it, before tootling off to the kitchen. So I was a little surprised to see, while sitting down in front of the news with my lunch, a certain picture jump onto the screen. They don’t hang about these weather presenters you know, when they’re looking for a piccy!

Grey April

Sometimes you wonder whether it’s worth snapping a grey sky image. Then you discover, it is!

Diamond Is A Diamond!

This morning, I had an email from my Icelandic publisher, Gunnar, whose dog, Diamond, graces the front cover of the Icelandic edition of my book One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human. (Well, there have to be some perks to being the publisher’s dog.)

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262,468 Thank yous!

My thanks go to the 262,468 people who bought a copy of One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human, since it was first published in 2003. It always amazes me how the book is still selling so well. And this year, I’ve even had royalties from the Italian edition!

100 Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human

Snapping Sunshine

BBC Midlands Today 15th March 2017

Well, I wasn’t the only one out snapping photos in the glorious sunshine today but, and I know I might be slightly biased here, I think she saved the best until last 😝

(see video below)

Out of Place – Senior Travel Expert Competition Runner Up

Senior Travel Expert Website


My entry into last year’s Senior Travel Expert ‘Off the Beaten Track’ competition has just been published. To read the full entry, click here.

Weston Park is a fabulous place to stay, especially for that special occasion. But there’s something for everyone: historic house, fabulous gardens, children’s play area, miniature trains, amazing church, artisan food outlet and cafe … You get my point. To plan your day out at Weston, visit:

Snapper Simon Snaps Snow

Snow and fog in one photo today. Well, it was probably low cloud, rather than fog. But it was flippin’ freezin’ up on the top of Ragleth Hill today. Still, the fact that Midlands Today liked the photo enough to use it, shows it was worth the climb!

Snowy Snapper Simon

Woke up to a light dusting of snow and fog this morning. Thought I’d head up Ragleth Hill, just in case I could climb above the fog. Didn’t. 😞 But I did take this photo and uploaded it to the BBC WeatherWatchers website. An hour later Matt Taylor was using it on the BBC News Channel, and then Nick Miller used it on BBC1 😃.

Teatime Tales

My next collection of short stories, previously published in a variety of women’s magazines and other outlets, is now available, as is a box set of both volumes.

Teatime Tales Series


Scrooge’s Alter Ego

Scrooge's Alter Ego - best of British - December 2016

Scrooge’s Alter Ego – best of British – December 2016

Hollywood came to Shrewsbury in 1984, to film an adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. My article in the December 2016 issue of Best of British magazine takes a tour of the exterior film locations, including St Chad’s Church where it’s possible to find a real gravestone for Ebeneezer Scrooge. Don’t believe me? Well, check this out:

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Stormy Weather


The weather yesterday was horrendous, resulting in a lot of flooding across Shropshire today. People said I was mad to go out on my daily walk, but I think Shefali was pleased I did 😉 The photo does sum up the day’s weather.

Alfie Dog Stories


Two of my short stories (Fledgelings, and Wiggle, Waggle, Woggle) have gone live on the Alfie Dog website today, for you to download to your reading device for the princely sum of 39p each! Enjoy.

Senior Travel Expert Competition Runner Up

I was delighted to discover that my Out Of Place entry in the Senior Travel Expert website’s travel writing competition was placed as a runner up. And lovely to see some names I recognise in the runners-up list with me too!

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Autumnal Ape Dale


Shefali liked my photo of Ape Dale, near Church Stretton that I snapped today, while out on my walk.

Meet The Author – Wellington Library – Saturday 22nd October


It’s Meet the Author day at Wellington (Shropshire) Library this Saturday. Come along and say hello. And you never know, you might find that perfect Christmas present for someone! (Eek! The C word. Sorry!)

Harley’s Mountain


Climb the mountain that isn’t a mountain, in the November 2016 issue of Country Walking magazine (out now). Harley’s Mountain is near Lingen, in Herefordshire, is the focus of this route.

Those with TrailZilla access should search for code: TZID31191

October Sunshine Snapper

The Stretton Hills on the BBC Midlands Today lunchtime broadcast

The Stretton Hills on the BBC Midlands Today lunchtime broadcast

Lovely to see Shefali using my October sunshine image on the lunchtime regional news programme today.

(and it also appeared on the BBC Shropshire news website).


Letter Feedback


It’s always nice when a reader writes in to a magazine’s letters page to comment on an article you’ve written (hopefully, for the right reasons!). So I was especially delighted today when my copy of Writing Magazine fell through the letter box that two different readers had written in to say how much they’d enjoyed reading two different features I’d written for the August and October issues of Writing Magazine. My thanks go to Annie Percik and Caroline Smith for taking the time to write in to the editor.

Summit Missing


BBC Midland’s Today liked my photo of the Stretton Hill’s missing summits today. (Felt like November, not September!)

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