The Story of Ermintrude – an interview with the author

One hundred Years of Ermintrude videoThis interview with Tom Evans and reading by Debbie Tarrier was recorded by the amazing Neil Fairbrother of

It’s hosted on – click the + icon to see how you can dynamically interact with it with your web cam

Watch, listen and enjoy

Creating your Marketplace on Lulu

lulu logoLulu is possibly best known for its print-on-demand service which provides a cost effective self-publishing option for authors. There is no doubt that print-on-demand is not only a serious option for any author but it also is a green option. It means there is less pulping of books and the ability to test market short runs.

Slightly less publicised and obvious, is their facility to host your own customised marketplace. This is especially useful to authors without their own web presence or the ability to take revenue on-line.

You can create paperback and hardback books on the fly from your own documents or sell digital media such as audio books and PDF’s.

They also have several interesting marketing promotional tools and your home page can display RSS feeds (such as this one)

In the usual “Blue Peter” tradition, here’s one I made earlier where the e-versions of the 100 Years of Ermintrude series can be purchased.

My example storefront on Lulu

102 Years of Rhoda

This is the latest collaborative poem with a stanza each from the minds and pens of each of the attendees of the Unleash the Book Inside Workshop – this one saw the light of day in Guildford on the 16th April.

A big thank you to all the attendees for lending your cumulative life experiences to make such a composite, and fun, life story – you are now all officially published authors.

1 year old

12 months old, 150 degrees, on a camel

What re we doing in the Negev, dressed in flannel

At least this time we’ve kept our clothes on

Naturist antics in the Sun would burn

3 years old

Rhoda, Rhoda, show us your leg

To stop us having to beg

But you are only a child

So please don’t go wild

5 years old

Rhoda, Rhoda, high in the tree

From your vantage, what do you see?

No care in the world at 5 years old

The future, the future, what will it hold?

10 years old

Rhoda dancing and prancing

Changing her mind

Being awkward

Not being cute

Who am I?

15 years old

Birthday cake, candles, 15

Young Rhoda smiled and felt serene

Last night at the village dance

She saw a man remove his pants ..

18 years old

Eighteen was the time I became more advanced

Sneaked a peak at John Cleese in his underpants

Learned to write poems and even ride a horse

Kept myself busy with a correspondence course

21 years old

As twenty one approaches fast

And choices for Uni study passed

Attention towards a future role unfurled

Visions of motherhood and being a girl

Passing into reality … becoming true

So the years and events taught her what she knew!

30 years old

Simon’s in trouble, found picking fruit

Gone of the Beatle in court in a suit

Went on vacation, Goa’s the place

Rode on a camel – a smile on it’s face

40 years old

Rhoda, Rhoda, so strong and petit

You would have smiled at John’s son’s, practically Chinese

A mind full of knowledge and experience to match

To tackle an International would have been a great catch

50 years old

Who said life begins at forty

I can still think pretty naughty

Just because I’m knocking fifty

I’d still love to tackle Andy Ripley

60 years old

Some memories now are so clouded & so dim

That baby showed much promise – what happened to him?

Why didn’t I go to Paris? Why didn’t I live in France?

What stopped me, why was I so afraid to take the chance?

70 years old

I, Rhoda, am now seventy

And you would have thought I have learned a-plenty

But to you the only wisdom I can bring

Is that, always remember, thoughts become things

80 years old

Rhoda, so worldly, so wise

Sprung a french speaking naturists’ surprise

Which was a bit near the knuckle

Because it involved Andy Ripley’s tackle

90 years old

Well what a year for a ninety year old whatsit

I even made Twickers in full rugby kit

Then got to sing in the massed WI choir

In the Royal Albert Hall, never sang higher

100 years old

A telegram arrived today

The Queen had really made my day

I wonder if she’s be quite so chatty

If she knew I was a part-time naturist – and batty

102 years old

At a hundred and two, a new lease of life

She may be crinkly but still sharp as a knife

She rode on a camel and had a bundle of fun

“I want to these things while I’m still young”

In honour and homage to Rhoda, may she rest in peace or be back on this or another planet having another life experience .All references to Andy Ripley are made in good spirit and the context is completely ficticious and in no way refers to any real Andy Ripley, living or dead.

If you enjoyed this poem, you might like to read

104 Years of Sydney

100 Years of Marion

The Big Panty Woman and the Barefoot Man

and even get a signed copy of the book that started it all – 100 Years of Ermintrude

Do you want to experience what it’s like to work collaboratively like this and how when your conscious mind gets out of the way the words just flow? This is just one of the fun exercises we do on the Unleash the Book Inside workshop –

Check out our workshop schedule here –

The Big Panty Woman and the Barefoot Man

I was sent this poem today by Ian Kent, the Treasurer of the Surrey Business Club following our meeting last night at Waterstone’s in Guildford, where I was presenting on how to publish a book to promote your business.

Ian was insisting he couldn’t write, I think like me you’ll disagree. What he sent me made me smile and realise that Chartered Accountants are people too !

I hope it will bring some sunshine to your day too – thanks so much for sharing Ian

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For you, Calypso rhythm I hope it won’t offend,

An air of buxom woman with a big rear end,

And the prospect of paradise where size reigns supreme,

On a diet of excesses, peaches and cream,

Something to hold onto, something to caress,

Oh, Big Panty Woman! Ample Goddess!


But has the man lost his marbles with his socks and shoes?

Does he not know what he’s missing? Oh, if only he could choose,

A woman of perfect proportion is the answer to his dreams,

Beauty, style and elegance is what he’s missed it seems,

Barefoot man with all your sass why do you act supreme,

But then of course what can we expect you haven’t met Claudine

© Ian J Kent 18/12/98


(Thoughts on hearing BIG PANTY WOMAN by THE BAREFOOT MAN, a recording made popular by Sarah Kennedy on BBC Radio 2)


104 Years of Sydney

This is a collaborative poem with a stanza each from the minds and pens of each of the attendees of the Guildford Unleash the Book Inside Workshop on the 12th March. Thank you for lending your cumulative life experiences to make such a composite life story.

0 years old

Suddenly her comfort went

The waters broke and out she came

‘Twas Tuesday in the midst of Lent

She coughed and cried and lit her Flame

5 years old

I’m quite grown up – in fact five year’s old !

I’ve started school and can tie my shoes

I paint and sing – my style is bold

I know everything now I can read the news

10 years old

For my first decade, I am a big girl

Daddy takes me to the Royal Opera House in a boat

My Mummy’s singing put my head in a whirl

Out there on the stage was soaring to make me float

16 years old

Sweet 16 and never been kissed?

Not on your life as I’ve been blessed

I’ve been here before and not a trick missed

I sure can kiss along with the best

21 years old

Sydney had come of age

Didn’t want to live in a boat

She had to find a regular wage

And so thought about milking a goat

30 years old

Now I’m 30 and feeling flirty

When will I meet that man to get down with & be dirty

Never mind, an early night and erotic story

I hope he comes before I’m forty

40 years old

When her birth certificate had passed 40 summers

Sydney’d sculpted and sung about chickens in prison

And caused such reactions that blew off their feathers

She found an erotic missions staring back from the chasm

50 years old

I promised myself I’d become a Divemaster

Couldn’t do it before because I had asthma

Broke throught that one, just a limiting beleif

So beautiful, the coral, the fish and the reef

60 years old

Now I’ve got grandkids,

What should I teach

Opera singing for sure

The high notes to reach

70 years old

I laid in a tomb inside a pyramid

I know you won’t believe it but it’s something I did

The climb to the tomb was steep and uphill

But nothing in my life has compared to that thrill

80 years old

I look in the mirror and don’t know the person staring back at me

Yet looking in her eyes, I see a soul whose life is rich in experiences & love which rings so true

And moving beyond the greying hair and paper parchment skin of my physicality

I see the spirit of adventure and joy that ensures I endure and keep following through

95 years old

As Sydney reminisced about her four and a half months in jail

She had spent her time on a boat sculpting patiently with love

Her lover, the opera singer, long ago her alter ego male

Now long ago it seemed 10:30am, 7th March as she now moved above

104 years old

Born Monday 7th March, 1904

Sydney’s been around longer than anyone I know

She lived through the Blitz and the First World War

What’s her secret? Her daily fix of the Richard & Judy Show


If you enjoyed this, you might also like another poem from another group called 100 Years of Marion 

and of course, the poem that started it all plus an interview with the author, 100 Years of Ermintrude 

100 Years of Marion

One of the fun things we do at our writing workshops is an exercise in collaborative writing

We take a subject, sprinkle in some real life experiences and each participant writes a bit.

We tried this out earlier this year based on the format of 100 Years of Ermintrude and this was the result …

100 Years of Marion

100 years old

She thinks she’s reached her ton

She can’t be bothered counting though

Too many old folks to visit today

Someone at Buck House ought to know

90 years old

Marion’s 90 and still going strong

Like a bird singing an endless song

She faces new challenges every day

And rises to them all, come what may

80 years old

The other day, I turned eighty

I’m beginning to miss sex greatly

So I contacted my daughter

& we discussed what I ought to

70 years old

Marion had a lie in today

So she’d have plenty of energy to go out and play

Then she put on her rings

And went to the swings

Where she reached for the sky in a sway

65 years old

“Come on Marion,” he says, “don’t stop.”

We’re nearly at the top

I’ll make it just to enjoy the view

It’s always nice to see something new

60 years old

The children had grown

My life was now my own

It’s time to make my plans

To experience & do all I can

~ ~

It’s time I took another leap

I want to experience a steam engine to keep

I’ll stoke it up & play about

That will get me off the couch

55 years old

At 55, not even half way there

Hardly any original colour left in my hair

Tonight I will take my place in the front row stall

Where my son will sing at the Albert Hall

50 years old

Worrying about the childrens’ health

My daughter just doesn’t look after herself

But I’m off to drink at the rugby club

Better get ready – then give Val a hug

35 years old

Marion had a family fine

She lived a life to serve her time

She raised them all to great success

Couldn’t say which one she loved the best

25 years old

Today I passed my driving test

25 lessons & one little bang

It feels great to be apart

Of the ever growing motoring gang

16 years old

Marion was full of joy

On Saturday, she’d met a boy

Sixteen now, world at her feet

This was the perfect time to meet

10 years old

At the bottom of the garden, she’d built a den

From where they planned adventures for the days,

Waging wars against imaginary armies,

With troops made from imaginary friends

5 years old

School was fun today

Mrs Shields gave us glitter

Candles and cakes at play time

And a clown made us twitter

2 years old

What’s that in front of me?

Who are you? I want to see.

Mum, mum, let me out

If you don’t I’ll bawl and shout



If you enjoyed this, you might also like another poem from another group called 104 Years of Sydney

and of course, the poem that started it all plus an interview with the author, 100 Years of Ermintrude