#smallpleasures in lockdown

Greetings from lockdown Scotland where we are still officially staying at home while our English chums have been encouraged to return to work if they can’t work from home.

But not if they use public transport and only if they stay alert. Or something.

File:M&S Food to Go, SUTTON, Surrey, Greater London.jpg ...This week’s treat on the #smallpleasuresmatter front was going to be a trip to Marks & Spencer’s Simply Food in Dumbarton. Boy, was I salivating at the thought… ooh, I’ll stare at the deli stuff and toss a dozen or so of those dinky little tubs in my basket! Perhaps they’ll have their marvellous dine in offer on, where I get a main course, two sides, pudding and a bottle of wine for a mere £12!

Hummus! Smoked Salmon! Cornish Cruncher Cheddar! The world’s best looking fruit!

Then, a news item popped up about how many diabetics were among the frighteningly high numbers of COVID-19 dead in this country. I reassessed the wisdom of coming into contact with that many people.

Oh well. Trump’s promising us a vaccine by the end of the year so maybe I’ll get to Marks & Spencer’s in time to stock up for Christmas*.


In other news, Sandy and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary earlier this week. Not with a meal out, obviously, but by walking around his golf course on a beautiful sunny day, sitting outside in the garden and drinking champagne, and rounding it all off with a nice meal.

And a short story I wrote earlier this year has been picked for a paid anthology that will be available on Wattpad later this summer. For the first time in my life, I signed a publishing contract. I even read it before e-scrawling my name on the dotted line.

Finally, after a lot of helpful feedback I have rewritten chunks of Highland Chances and hope to publish it in mid-June. Ebook sales have grown considerably, as you might expect seeing as many bookshops are shut worldwide and people aren’t ordering as many paperback deliveries from Amazon et al. I’ve noticed my own sales have increased, though I’m far off any time where I chuck the day job.

Here’s a picture of the lovely cover Enni Tuomisalo of yummybookcovers designed and the blurb.

3D book cover for Highland Chances by Emma Baird feel good fiction stories

“But, but, but what will you do with Highland Tours! No, not Highland Tours. Highland Handsome Tours, remember? Best Outlander experience in Scotland. You, number three on ‘the man my partner would give me a free pass to sleep with’ list and I don’t even mind!”

The Lochside Welcome is at the heart of Lochalshie—where the villagers gather to meet, gossip and eat Scotland’s finest pizzas.

Now, it’s under threat. The landlord’s ill, business has dropped away frighteningly quickly and the hotel at the end of the village keeps muscling in, scooping up tourists, weddings and even locals…

Can Gaby and Jack save the day? What with the ever-increasing work demands, rival hotel owners not above dirty tactics and the small matter of a life-changing event our couple are woefully ill-prepared for, it’s all hands on deck to try to ensure the Lochside Welcome survives another day…

If you love heart-warming, frothy fiction which comes with a side order of laughs, you’re in the right place.

Highland Chances is available for pre-order here.


*Like most sensible folks, I believe nothing that comes out of that buffoon’s mouth.


12 thoughts on “#smallpleasures in lockdown

  1. Congratulations Emma on signing the contract. Well done.
    I think it was a good move not to join everyone else for these small edible pleasures. I hope you can get some delivered if that’s possible, otherwise, trusted friends can hopefully go out and bring you the treats you crave.

    • Thanks, Gary. We have been able to eat well during lockdown so I shouldn’t moan and the extra time gives you the opportunity to try out more complicated recipes. Maybe I’ll try and make my own hummus today (I’m a big believer in homemade is best, but I’ve never managed to make good hummus. There was the one time I peeled all the chickpeas before pureeing but what a faff that was…)

      • Life’s too short in my opinion to faff too much Emma. I’ve enjoyed experimenting a bit more in my kitchen 😃

      • I think we’re both very lucky that we take so much pleasure from food – the making of it as well as the eating. Food prep is ever so soothing. And its a hobby that doesn’t need to be expensive and you can do every single day!

      • I’m so happy to have a knife in one hand and to be sticking my fingers in between tissue planes to separate muscle bundles 😃🤪👍

      • With your medical knowledge, you’ve probably got the advantage there! Talking of which, do you have a recommendation for a sharp knife that isn’t outrageously expensive? My Lakeland one is coming to the end of its useful life.

      • I really like my Dick brand knives. I have a Dick boning knife and Dick butchers knife. German made. Commercial quality and not overly expensive (at least compared to other knives on sale here).

  2. Is it really seven years! Congratulations. X
    I think I started following your blog when you were planning your wedding! Glad you had a lovely day. Xx

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