Follow me on Twitter: @janemcintyre12



I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday 18 February 2013

Wanna talk dirty.....?

...really dirty?

....wanna hear a little shiver...? Some deep breathing....a little panting....feel a body glowing warmer.... touch those little glistening droplets of sweat the body pushes harder......?

Yeah well you`re not going to get it. Because I need to explain why I didn`t get my run today.

And talk really, really dirty instead. wanna *see* well?

Cop a load of this, then:

Eight fag packets, four soft drinks holders, and half a dozen cans. Just a small sample of what I saw along a pretty, half mile stretch of road somewhere in Shropshire this morning. Half a mile`s not far ! And there was other stuff...including a neatly knotted (hmmmm...) carrier bag full of more cans, and a bottle or two. Just too gruesome and jaggy to include in my haul.

So......just what made the 20 or so litter louts who deposited this stuff, think it was ok? How tough would it have been to do something take it home?

Too hard? OK...I`ve done it for you. And I hope I don`t have to do it again. Because I was supposed to be running...panting....breathing hard up the hill....(yeh, that was me, you know.....running...and....)

Oh forget it, I`ve got a headache now anyway. other news....I ran up the garden when I got home...and saw this. Much prettier. Happy Monday :)

Comments on Twitter:   
: Talkin' Dirty... Read this blog. Absolutely filthy. You can even do it on your hands and knees...

 well said .. hate litter it's just laziness not carrying it to a nearby bin :(”<< thankyou!

 Two words.. Link bait. Or is that one word? Hmm.

 I'm saving it for later as it may not be safe for work!

 You're very welcome. This one depressed me. I see similar on country walks. Hate it

Retweeted:  and 

Comment by email from Nonny James: Great blog. I do enjoy reading things from people who write well. Just wanted to say that we take home rubbish from the beautiful Bromyard Downs. Usually cans and pizza boxes. Is it a generation thing? I was taught to take your rubbish home.

 (PS FROM JANE...find out more about Nonny...and what SHE

Monday 11 February 2013

Somewhere safe? Step inside....

I was in one of Shropshire`s many amazing bookshops this weekend. The cosy kind ; where there are three or four floors to browse, each linked by a steep, twisting, staircase; each level hiding room after womb-like room; each room lined with floor to ceiling shelves; each shelf packed tightly with treat after treat. And you tiptoe across the polished wooden floor, don`t you, because it`s quiet in there, and calm, like granny`s parlour, and you find yourself saying `oops, sorry!` when you step on a creaky board.

Sometimes, it`s rare to hear another voice. But this time,I could hear one, in a room on the floor below. Strong and clear. I thought it was the radio at first, or two customers chatting. But it was one man, alone, reading aloud, savouring every sentence.

As I crept back downstairs, I paused ,and caught a glimpse of him, standing in the middle of the floor, the chosen book in his hand; his back to the door. I carried on, not wanting to invade his privacy.

The shopkeeper said he`s often there. Can lose himself for hours, reading aloud, alone.She leaves him to it.

And I thought how hard it would be to do that in some shops, without being judged; gawped at, sniggered at, maybe.

But here, in this place, he felt safe and secure to read and relish the words; two floors and a world away from Saturday shoppers.

It got me thinking about how important is to have a place that makes you feel safe and secure, and how lucky you are if you have that. It might mean a roof over your head. Your own home. Or a refuge from home, if home`s not a happy place.

I can think of three people right now whose home lives are changing. Their feelings of `security` are probably all out of kilter.One`s going through the pain of a broken relationship; and has left the family home.One has a home, and had work, but is restless.She`s left her job, has bought a plane ticket, and jets off next week to live abroad for a while to look for a new challenge. And one appeared to many, to `have it all`--a city pad worth millions and a high flying, high profile job. The work has dried up, the apartment`s been sold, and he`s renting property again, scouring job ads, turning the clock back thirty years.

For loads of people I guess feeling safe doesn`t involve a place at all.You can feel `safe` just being with people who make you feel wanted, and loved, and valued. And for the bloke in the bookshop--by finding people who just allow you to be yourself.

Saturday 9 February 2013

....and the winners are.........

....A couple of blogs ago, I was writing about the delights of having a sea view...and whether, if you had one.... you`d ever tire of it. I asked what kind of sights YOU could see from where you live or work--and what kind of view you`d like to have. And I promised a chocolatey prize from the amazing Shropshire chocolatier Julia Wenlock (@tootsweetsshrew) for the winner.

Well there was a fabulous response--so thankyou!

And because I`m so chuffed that you took the time and trouble to send pics, I`ve decided to award two main prizes instead of one...and a sweet treat from Julia`s shop for everyone whose picture appears on the blog.

So...a box of freshly made chocolates to Nita, for her beach views of Pwhelli (and the view in her room of Livia doing *yoga*), and another box of freshly made chocs to Kerry of Shropshire, for her views of beaches in Wales and Cornwall, and her favourite view of all, little Luke.

And for the `runners up` chocolatey thankyous : to Mike in Folkestone, Judy in Warwickshire, Alec Dyche (man on the move), Roy W (man hearing moooos), Tracey the HoboFlorist from Oswestry, Cathy Brown with her view from a London office, Scott from Scott`s Snack Shack in Shrewsbury, and for sheer impudence, Mr Ian Perry for *his* shot of the Sydney harbour bridge, which fooled nobody, but made me laugh.

I`ll pop the prizes in the post on Monday--so if your name appears above, please email me your address.

And thanks so much for taking part!

ps. Julia Wenlock`s shop can be found at Shrewsbury Market Hall. I defy you to pop in and not buy something!!

Friday 8 February 2013

20,000 and counting. Why I (still) love Twitter...

Yeh. So I did 20,000 tweets. I couldn`t help myself. So to mark this momentous er...moment, a re-post of one of my blogs. Because it`s all about why I love Twitter so much. If you`ve started `following` me, or always have, or if you read my blog, then thanks. Great to tweet you.

Here it is then....a line or two from October:

October the debate`s raging again. This time in my local paper, The Shropshire Star. Is Twitter a good thing or bad? A waste of your time and everyone else`s--or a fresh, effective way of linking up with friends old and new?

Well--it can be both. But if it`s the former, then as the song`s my `favourite waste of time`.

As a radio journalist and programme producer, a tweet was a fantastic way of reinforcing news you`d just broadcast, researching a story idea,or gauging opinion on all kinds of local issues--and a great way for people with a story to reach you, too.

That`s how Twitter started for me.

But then one weekend, my daughter and  I had a hankering to escape for a couple of days to the Welsh coast; breathe some sea air. I mentioned on Twitter that we needed some ideas for last minute accommodation--fast. They came; and we booked, and had a great time. One of the tweets that weekend was from someone on the Lleyn Peninsular, offering us a place to stay in her home . We`d never met ! And although it was further than we wanted to go, Nita became a close friend.

In fact when she went into labour ....a small group of Twitter friends who, again, had never met....ended up `virtually` pacing up and down the hospital corridor as the hours ticked by. We kept each other updated, sent our love, and messages of support and celebrated when beautiful Livia entered the world.

Livia`s 18 months old now, and was here at my place the other day, sorting fir cones into neat groups for me. It kept her busy while her parents were in the other room, having a holiday nightmare (no ferries....).They dropped in mid way to Portsmouth because they desperately needed a computer (and coffee). I`ve stayed at their place too; a stone`s throw from the beach. We had fish and chips and much better coffee than they ever get here. We`d never have met without Twitter.

The people you meet on Twitter...!

Nita`s one of  a whole bunch of new friends on Twitter, some of whom I`ve met, and some I`ll probably never see in `real ` life, but who`ll share a joke, an idea for a movie, or a moan about what`s bugging them.

Take the Olympics--and our desperate search for tickets. Stuart got plenty..but also tipped me off on Twitter every time more were released. And although we never made it to London, it was still glorious to watch on television, and even better with six hundred `friends` on my sofa, reminding me that the 100 metres was on in five minutes on the other side. I choose not to follow celebrities--but followed team GB and just couldn`t help tweeting good luck to Martyn Rooney. (To get a tweet back from him after the games encouraging me on my morning mile was just amazing. Yeh, I`ve kept that one !)

My sister won`t tweet. She doesn`t get it. I`ve tried to explain that it`s sometimes the virtual equivalent of a party. The room`s full. There are loads of separate conversations going on. And you can move around the room, opting to stop and chat, or move on. You can share wine, dance, shout or sing. And leave whenever you please.

`You`re going for coffee with someone you met on TWITTER?` she asked, aghast, some months ago. And more recently...``re going to GLASTONbury? With someone you`ve never MET? Oh tell me you didn`t meet them on Twitter too? ` Yep, big sis. I did.

That`s the thing with Twitter. Fast, intimate, friendly , funny. A great place to meet people, help people, and learn about people. And always there when you need a smile.


 I love your blog. It's the only blog i've actually found enjoyable.

Dave Matthews ‏@Delta79
want to read a great blog, you will find one here  written by 

 nice. i will buy you ice cream.

    and for pictures of children in shopping bags...

    Heh! Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it......

 love your take on twitter :) x

 Loved your latest blog. Summed this - and us on it - up perfectly for me!
 thank you very much. A pedant`s praise is praise indeed.
 Not sure what's come over me. Won't happen again!

 a virtual room, I like that x Anyway, I'll be in the kitchen, grazing, if I'm required. Probably* with a beer. *definitely

 and 4 others retweeted you
So how much do YOU love Twitter?! 

Monday 4 February 2013

What`s your view? Win chocolate !!!

Harlech`s perfect. Don`t tell a soul. 
Say you lived in a beach house. Maybe you do. Every day, you wake up and see wintry waves crashing against the shore, or shining and shimmering in the sun.

It`s dynamic; you`d never tire of it, right? Or can you have too much of a good thing?

This train of thought rolled in on a chilly, bright walk along the seemingly never-ending stretch of sand at Harlech yesterday. It was a bit of a change from my regular haunt at Aberdovey, but if you time it right at either beach, it`s just you and a dozen or so other people -- and a few dogs darting in and out of the water.

Harlech, Wales.
And I always look back at the nearest houses with envy, thinking that if I could pick my favourite view to wake up would be this one: sea and sun, clouds and rain but always a calming, mesmerising seascape stretching into infinity.

And then I heard about a couple I know,who`d had just that. An incredible house, high on a hill, not far from where I was standing, with a clear view of the sea. They`ve just sold up. In their early sixties, they started wondering how much of a comfort the coast would be if they fell ill. So they`ve moved inland, to a town with a hospital, shops and a station close by.

I remember sitting with friends beside the pool in their idyllic garden in rural France. Over a barbecue and a few glasses of wine, everyone gazed at their enviable view--bucolic, beautiful, unbroken.....but..boring? `It IS lovely`, said our friend. `But it never really changes. We know it so well now.` I didn`t get it. It seemed like paradise. They`ve sold the place now, and, admittedly for all kinds of reasons, are back in Britain.

`Top of the Rock`, NYC.

Fast forward a couple of years to New York and the observation deck at the Rockefeller Center. Call me fickle and pitch me a one woman tent on top and I`d be pretty happy waking up to that view, too. Ten seconds of the stunning sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps gets  my blood pumping faster than an espresso triple shot. One of the most exciting places on the planet. . But then .......looking out at London--my birthplace, has the same effect. And Paris. Oh, actually, and the Cumbrian fells. See--I told you I was fickle.
Shropshire: up my street.
Maybe it`s just a case of the other man`s grass being greener. Or just nicer than no grass at all. When I was stuck in suburbia I dreamt about living in a place like Shropshire. In a little house with trees front and back. I`m here.

So how about you--what`s the view from your home or office right now? Does it inspire you or depress you? What would be your perfect view?

Send me a picture of the view from your window today, or the view you`d love to have, and I`ll add some to the blog. And because I`m feeling generous and happy after my seaside escape, there`ll be a  prize of chocolate for the best one; from gifted Shropshire chocolatier Julia Wenlock, who runs at Shrewsbury Market Hall. OK?

Please send your pic and a note about your view... to:  . Pictures from anywhere in the world would be just great, and the more the thankyou in advance.

IMPORTANT (quite large, actually ) SMALLPRINT: If nobody sends me anything, I do, of course, reserve the right to eat all the chocolate myself. Every chunk. And I`m dieting.So save me. 


Judy Mansfield: nr Banbury

From Mike Howell in Folkestone :
Hi Jane
You wanted pics from people`s houses. Ok here are 2 views from my flat in Folkestone
View 1 (left) is looking over the English Channel, on a clear day I can see across to France.
The second view (below) is overlooking the town towards Caple le Ferne the site of the Battle of Britain
Museum and statue.

Thanks Mike. Envious!

And these from Kerry in Shrewsbury:

Kerry says: This (above)  is my favourite scenic view - I just have to look at it and I feel instant relaxation - It is at Llandanwyg Beach, I go down the road towards that beach and it feels like I am going home, even now just thinking about it I can feel  the waves of relaxation taking over me.  To sit there and the big rocks at the entrance to the beach and just look out over into the sea, listening to the waves gently rolling in, bliss! :)  Saw a Dolphin in the bay the last time I was there back in September, that was a fantastic sight. 

But she adds: This is my favourite of all views, never fails to bring a smile to my face, I will never tire of this view :)

And Kerry`s third pic; added because: " I thought I'd better include another of my favourite views - This (below)  is Porth Beach just outside Newquay in Cornwall, Sunsets here are beautiful!" Thanks Kerry! And Luke!!

Thanks to Scott Stephenson (aka @wasinthenavy on Twitter,)  for this picture, below . Scott`s description: "the view from Scott's Snack Shack in Shrewsbury!... Not the most picturesque"... (but thanks for sending it,`re also in the draw!!)

Nita`s in Pwhelli. Which, in spite of having blog readers in Taiwan, Russia, Malaysia, Texas, New York, Uzbekistan and Germany, is the closest (SO FAR) to an international entry. Nita braved subzero temperatures, (she claims...) to net these gems (er...and the one of her laundry, which has its own charms...) Anything for chocolate, probably....!

But like Kerry.....Nita`s not averse to having a go at the awwwwwwwww factor....Here`s little Livvie...`dong yoga with the Waybuloos` !! 

And back to bucolic. Or possible Friesian.`s peeping through the kitchen blinds at Roy Williams in Longdon on Tern in Shropshire. No privacy, sometimes, is there?!

And thanks to Cathy Brown for this one.She might live in Shropshire...but today she`s a city girl in the smoke, working close to one of the capital`s most beautiful landmarks. Cathy says: " Can't see it from my desk but the wonderful sight of St Paul's Cathedral will greet me when I go out :-) 

How about yours? ( Come in, Belize.....over....) 

Oh. Not Belize, really, or anywhere near it...but *this just in* from another (nearly) foreign correspondent who loves chocolate but clearly thinks I was born yesterday. Yes, Ian, you may have used a telephoto lens but this isn`t *the view from your window* and you`re fooling no one ;) 

OK...back to reality now...and chilly winter driving, with a picture from Alec Dyche from a different kind of of window. Here`s what he saw, and what he has to put up with as he clocks up the miles.

And a couple of late entries from Tracey, who runs Hoboflorist in Oswestry . I`ll put Tracey`s pictures in the `views I`d like to have` category --as they hold special memories:

"Allan and I married at Niagara Falls in Canada.We walked up past the Falls the day after we got married back up to the Botanical Gardens where we were married outside in the rose gardens. On our way we saw the "Dalai Lama" and his friends, followed 5 minutes later By a family of Mennonites! Wonderful memories!"