A Bit About Me

It’s been years since I wrote a blog and I’m wondering if a) I have anything to say and b) there’s actually anyone who’d be interested in reading it if I did.

If you don’t know me and have stumbled across this by accident, I will try to sum myself up in a nutshell. At the time of writing, I’m in my early fifties. I was born in Lancashire, but I’ve gone over to the dark side and now live in Yorkshire. I’ve lived in loads of other places too: the Netherlands; Germany; and most recently, a beautiful canal boat moored in West London where I was very happy, if a little cold.

I’ve had two main careers. I have taught music, mainly in primary schools, and I’ve made television programmes, mostly for the BBC. Would you have watched anything I’ve made? Well, the most recent programme I worked on was Songs of Praise on BBC1 so possibly. I’ve had a few other jobs too – teaching Dutch language evening courses, directing operas and doing admin for a busy NHS mental health team, to name but a few. The first money I ever earned was from writing a computer programme which was published in Practical Computing when I was 14. I still have a copy of that magazine somewhere but it’s a bit dog-eared.

I’m also a published author. My first book was about teaching music in primary schools and my second was about how to have your dream wedding on a budget by being a ‘DIY bride’ and doing everything yourself. Both books are out of print but you can still buy the wedding one here. (NB: it’s published under my previous name – Jenny Hopkin).

Ironically, in the same month as my wedding book was published, I split up from my first husband. Soon afterwards I began to do internet dating. Thirteen years later – yes, thirteen! – I was living on that lovely canal boat in West London and had almost given up hope of meeting the right man when the wonderful Hermi came into my life. Thanks, OKCupid! As in all good romance novels, there were obstacles to us living happily ever after. The first, he didn’t like canal boats. The second, his enormous collection of board games (which is probably the reason he didn’t like canal boats; you can have a large collection of anything if you live on a boat).

By that point, I was in my late forties and suffering from a lot of migraines. Hermi had taken early retirement so I decided to do the same, and we moved to a lovely old farmhouse near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.

And now, it’s 2020. I’m writing this in October and we’ve been isolating ourselves since early March as I am high risk for coronavirus due to the medication I take.

With all this time on my hands, I’d like to try my hand at writing a novel, embark on a fitness regime, learn to cook more elaborate recipes and perhaps pick up another language. But I’ll probably just continue as I have been doing: spending too much time on Facebook; worrying about things I can’t do anything about; and watching too many episodes of Come Dine with Me.


  1. Great stuff Jen… looking forward to following your blog..
    Onwards and upwards..

  2. Love this jen
    I’m following you

  3. I went back to look at our time on CBC’s 6-week course, Edit and Pitch your Novel. You’re my inspiration not to give up no matter how many self-doubts, and rejections. Love The Little Board Game cafe. Emily is my granddaughter’s name, I hope she’s as brave as your Emily.

    1. Thanks, Donna. Honestly, don’t give up. I know it’s hard – had my fair share of rejections before I got lucky. I think the title had a lot to do with me eventually getting my book deal and I didn’t even come up with that myself! Emily is a pretty name – if I’d ever had children of my own, Emily would have been my first choice for a girl!

  4. just readvtwo of your books, The Little Board Game Cafe and Love Letters of Hazel Lane.
    I normally love Sophie Kinsella and Carol Mathew’s, the first I was disappointed when I passed halfway through the book…did not want it to end!

    The second, will they won’t they…..could not wait.

    very, very enjoyable when the rain is pattering on the window and you have a cold.

    1. Thank you. So glad you enjoyed them! I have a new one coming out on 6th June so please do look out for that.

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