Escape to Little Britain

Posted on 02nd April 2012 | in Community , News

Some people don’t take no for an answer. One of those people is Judi Gray, who moved to Amble a couple of years ago with a head full of stories and a desire to write.

Like many aspiring authors, Judi’s hopes of seeing her first book in print hit the brutal “thanks but no thanks” rejection notes of established publishing houses. But, unlike fledgling novelists of years gone by, Judi saw an opportunity to publish her own book and is using new technology to bring her dreams to life.

It was a chance encounter with a BBC Breakfast programme about self publishing using the new electronic books format which caught Judi’s attention. Encouraged by the experience of two authors on the show, she decided to try publishing her book on Amazon’s Kindle direct publishing platform.
“A book is only a book if someone reads it,” said Judi. “This gives some people the opportunity to publish what they’ve spent so much time on.”

Escape to Little Britain is the story of how Judi and her husband left their lives in Cullercoats to relocate to France, first to Calais and then Brittany.

“We both had day jobs, but we also bought and did up properties and let them out. This was around 2005. But we had several bad experiences, including one tenant who made off with everything, and in another property, we discovered – once we’d bought it – that the previous owner had used the loft as a cannabis farm! In the end we decided to sell up and move to France. The book is amusing and full of anecdotes of things that happened. It also gives an insight into some of the pros and cons of moving to France.”

But, missing their family and some aspects of British life, in 2010 Judi and her husband decided to buy another house back here in the North East. They chose Amble, and now spend their time travelling between the two properties. “Amble attracted us because it is very similar to the place we have in France,” explained Judi. “Both towns have a fishing port and are next to some lovely countryside.”

To buy Judi’s book, go to and type “Escape to Little Britain” in the search window. It is only available to download to a Kindle reader, but you can follow her journey for the bargain price of £1.
Anna Williams

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