Monday, 31 March 2008

Broken Arms & No Heating

What a weekend! Saturday was enjoyable as R and I went out for a bite to eat at Blue Soleil. This is camp site - no let me finish - that has been recently bought by a very friendly couple and on site they have a small, immaculate restaurant (also shop, heated pool, various other amenities) where they serve the tastiest food at extremely reasonable prices.

We then came back home, lit a fire and spent a quiet evening watching tv and then on Sunday R & I were on our way to visit my brother - who is 30 today, Happy Birthday C - when R's mobile rang and it turned out to be his mother.

Poor m-i-l had fallen down the last five or so of her stairs and landed on her good arm (she broke her elbow two years ago and has suffered various operations since and had a replacement knee op only a couple of months ago). She somehow managed to get to the kitchen and knocked her phone off the table with her walking stick (R has given her a mobile to carry at all times but she can't be doing so) and thankfully as we were only a couple of minutes away, we arrived at her house in no time. An ambulance was called and they took her and R to the hospital. She has a broken arm but insisted on returning home and although she has close friends and R who is wonderfully helpful, I'm not sure how she's going to manage. She may be nearly 80 but she certainly knows what she wants, which is a good thing.

Having put all the clocks in the house and cars forward I was sure that I hadn't forgotten anything until this morning when I forced myself out of my warm bed and remembered instantly what R & I had forgotten. Yes, we hadn't changed the timer on the heater/hot water and so had to wait for everything to warm up and R tells me he intends turning the heating off next week. It'll have to be a darn sight warmer than this for me to do without heating.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Earth Hour & Ticking Clocks

Tonight, Earth Hour is inviting people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour from 8pm until 9pm in their local time zone. Cities around the world, including Copenhagen, Chicago, Melbourne, Dubai, and Tel Aviv are holding events to show their commitment to energy conservation. I shall be turning off my lights too. If you want to calculate your carbon footprint here and find out other useful information too.

Also tonight, don't forget to put your clocks forward one hour - finally, lighter evenings - it will mean less sleep but who cares if it will help us feel that Summer is around the corner. Okay, it maybe several months away yet but I think that this miserable, wet Winter has lasted long enough and I for one can't wait.

Talking of Summer and having caught sight of my frightening self in a full length mirror this morning - a sight to terrorise even the hardened of souls - and also nearly dying of lack of breath on the eighth floor of a multi-storey car park yesterday when I still had to go up another flight, I have to put in some serious thought to a gentle (nay maybe a tad rigorous) routine of healthier eating and certainly more exercise if I am to survive the Race For Life 5m distance. I shall be honest here and admit that a flight isn't as bad as it seems as they were only about 10 steps each and my daughter is still giggling at my horrendous display of complete lack of fitness.

Having S-S#1 to stay for just over a week and therefore having an excuse to eat out more often than usual, with the additional calorific overload due to chocolate Easter eggs, I am truly turning into a fair likeness of Moby Dick. I need to take action, now.

Just a quick congratulations too to my step-brother A and his new fiancee K who got engaged in South Africa whilst on holiday yesterday. So thrilled for them both, they make a great couple. X

Friday, 28 March 2008


Well the script has finally gone on it's merry way. I doubt I shall hear from it again but I mainly entered the competition not because I thought for a second that I could actually win but because I had never thought of attempting to write a script before and now that I have done, I'm glad I did. I even enjoyed doing it (although how bad it is I really don't know, of course).

I shall now get going with the redraft of Reading Paige (not sure about his title but will use it for now). I've been dying to go back to this m/s and had better get a move on as several of the Novel Racers have already finished their redrafts. I also intend sending it to the RNA as my New Writer's Scheme piece, which means that it needs to be ready for August.

I sent out some work to an agent (well two different m/s to two agents) eight weeks ago and haven't heard a dicky bird from either. I know this question has probably been asked thousands of times before but when can I send my novels out to other agents? Have I given the ones that Ive already sent it to long enough to consider it/ignore it/use it as a coaster etc.

J, S and I watched the last episode of Ashes to Ashes last night desperate to see what happened but not wanting it to end at the same time. We agreed that the ending was brilliantly done and were so thrilled to hear that there will be another series next year. Hurrah. Yes, I know I sound like a complete telly addict and I am. Have a lovely day. X

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Grrrrrr Ex-Husbands...

Am I the only one with a complete pain in the butt ex-husband? Now I already know the answer to that one. My ex-*^%* noticed a sticker on the back of my car (the one in the pic) that has been there for about four years and is sure that I have a house in Spain. I have three things to say to this:

1) It is just a sticker (a house costs a tad more than a piece of plastic)
2) I wish
3) If I did, which I don't, surely after nearly 10 blissful years since divorcing him I should be able to expect my every move not to be queried and questioned.

He then asked the children when I last went to Spain (because they insisted that I didn't have this imaginary house) and when they said 'about two years ago' he said that he hadn't known that R & I had gone there. I wonder why he thinks I should ask his permission?

Last week he was questioning the children on my working hours. It's not as if he isn't with someone as last year he married his girlfriend from when we were married (hence me wanting a divorce). You would have thought that by now he wouldn't have the slightest interest in what I do.

GRRRRRRR - the words 'get', 'a' & 'life' spring to mind.

Sorry about that - I needed to let off steam and shall now get on with something far more interesting.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Back To The Grindstone

Here's a picture of me yesterday (happy, relaxed, filled with joie de vivre) and one of me today (a large black cloud overhead, moody, sighing madly and best left well alone). I would like to say that the pic was drawn by one of my brood but they are far more artistic than I am and as such I wouldn't like to do them a disservice. Even several cups of cappuccino from the machine couldn't cheer me up, although I did manage a weak smile by the end of the day. I promise to be better behaved tomorrow. (Let's face it, it's not as if I work there for free and am paid to do what I do).

On the bright side I completed my tax form and both the form and attached documents have been photocopied and the originals posted off this morning - about time too!

Also, I've completed the script and apart from bribing various youngsters with pizza (they've over done the chocolate so can't be enticed by that) to act out the parts so that I can time it, I shall then leave it until Friday, check it once more for further mistakes and then post it off. Can't wait. At least then I shall be able to get on with my re-write that I've been wanting to work on for the past two months, actually three. Wow, how time flies.

As a few people have asked how they can sponsor me for Race For Life, I thought I would put a link here just in case you would like to. Please do not feel that you have to, I know what a nightmare it is to be asked to sponsor different causes and working in an office of nearly 200 people there doesn't seem to be two days that go by without having to contribute to leaving presents/birthdays/sponsors/your own children needing sponsoring for various activities, etc.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Jersey War Tunnels Ho8 & HAPPY EASTER

This afternoon I took J & S to the the excellent exhibition at the Jersey War Tunnels whilst R sat in the coffee shop and relaxed (making the most of some peace, no doubt) believing that we would be about half an hour. One hour later, armed with our Identity Cards (copies of actual cards) we wandered out of the eerie tunnels into the brilliant sunlight and came back from the occupied Channel Islands of the 1940s.

If you do happen to visit Jersey then this an experience that you don't want to miss. I've been several times over the years, only rediscovering it again with my own children and the atmosphere, displays and audio take you to a frightening but fascinating time.

Yesterday and tomorrow, Tania Szabo, will be signing copies of her Novel about her mother Violette Szabo of 'Szabó' – a new permanent exhibition within Ho8 dedicated to the life of Violette Szabó GC. The exhibition tells the harrowing account of her mother’s courage as a secret agent of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) who was eventually caught and executed at Ravensbrück concentration camp aged only 23. Her story was immortalised in the 1958 film staring Virginia McKenna, 'Carve her Name With Pride' and you can find out more about the War Tunnels and exhibitions here It's well worth a look. I went for some research for my script and took J & S along for their comments and thoughts. They were very useful too. The dripping half-finished tunnels disappearing into the distance from the main 100m corridors certainly fired up my imagination.

So whilst I go off and get working on the script (only 8 days to the closing date of the competition) I shall leave you with a picture of a miserable dog who had to pose with chocolate Easter eggs despite not being allowed to eat any. HAPPY EASTER.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Hope you have a Good Friday

Yesterday it was the Equinox - the point of the year when the days and nights are of equal length and today there is a Full Moon - the reason we have such an early Easter and when the Sun moves into Aries (I'm an Aries) and the start of the astrological New Year. According to Jonathan Cainer (I love his horoscopes) this is a clear sign that, if you truly desire a big change in the way you lead your life, you have every chance in the world of managing to make it happen. So here's hoping.

I shall be glad when it's Sunday and the Easter eggs can be given out and my sideboard (where they are sitting) can be cleared once more. We were all given an egg at work yesterday by our generous CEO and so I have a couple to look forward to. To be honest the very last thing this little dumpling of a person needs right now is more chocolate but I think I shall keep the 'changing my life' routine until after Sunday when I've managed to polish them off.

Talking of food, s-s No 1 is over from uni at the moment and we've just come back from a lovely lunch at Pizza Express (I'm so full, I can hardly breathe and doubt I shall ever be slim again). Tonight is the last episode of Moving Wallpaper. I love this programme and the ghastly character that is Jonathan Pope, brilliant and will miss it. Now if I'm to fit a few hours into the shed, I had better stop doing this and go and get a move on.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Pretty Shiny Things

As J is in sixth form he wears a suit to school, except Wednesdays as that's the day they do sport. Today he left one of his suits in the car ready for me to drop off at his father's after work to save J from having to lug a great carrier bag around school. However being the disorganised chap that he is, he had forgotten that today he was attending a speech or something at the States Buildings and therefore needed to wear the suit! So by 8.55am I had already received a phone call asking me to drop the damn thing off at school in order that he could change. So that was my lunch 1/2 hour used up.

All was not lost however, as on the way back I passed the Opera House where I had been told to collect my cerificate from the Jersey Eisteddfod and as luck would have it (usually not at all lucky parking wise) there was a free space almost outside the beautiful building. I raced in and collected it. Isn't it lovely and something else to add to the shed.

Apart from that, my day was exceedingly frustrating. I spent most of the day bookkeeping. It has never been my strong point - I see numbers back to front, not mirror image but 54 instead of 45, if you get my drift - so now I'm a bit switched off. well, even more so than usual.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Richard Armitage In Spooks - Sheer Bliss

As much as I love watching the beautiful Rupert Penry Jones doing his thing as Adam in Spooks - and I do, I really do - I'm beside myself with excitement that the divine Richard Armitage is joining Spooks as an agent called...wait for it... Lucas North (taken from North & South??). I can't wait for the series to air in the Autumn and if you want to read more you'll find it here

Now all I need is for the Tudors to return and to learn that they've commissioned another series of Ashes to Ashes and I shall be over the moon.

Right, back down to earth now as I have to go back to town and meet with four teachers as it's ds' Parent's Evening tonight...oh, the joys.

Still haven't done my tax form. Maybe tomorrow...

Monday, 17 March 2008


Happy St Patrick's Day.

I've finally managed to finish editing T&OL - quelle relief - and now am going to take my weary-eyed self and relax for this evening. I do get on my own nerves though. I can edit a 330 page manuscript without too much of a problem, but can I find the time to fill in my Income Tax form? Nope.

I am going to have to sit down and face the damn thing once and for all. The strange thing is that it doesn't even take that long to do (lack of income, stuff all investments, that sort of thing) and I know I'll be so relieved to be able to pop the thing in the post back to the Comptroller to do whatever it is that he does with it. So why can't I force myself to do it??? I promise that I'll make time for it one night this week. (I've actually been saying that for the past two months).

Maybe I should have a glass of wine to celebrate St Patrick's Day and then have a go...then again, maybe not.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Virtual Assistant & Going For Gold

If you've read Katie Fforde's brilliant book, Highland Fling (and if not then you've missed out on a fabulous read) then you'll have read about a Virtual Assistant called Jenny. Well, I have a friend who runs Papavar Business Solutions (based in the UK, not in Jersey) and if you or anyone you know would ever need help typing up a manuscript, planning an event, form filling, or any other secretarial assistance why don't you check it out at This business is run by the superbly clever and efficient (not to mention most useful) Andrea Harrison.

To be honest she was the brains and most of the work behind several large summer parties that we've held here for the past three years and has helped me resolve various techno problems that I couldn't quite manage (I am a complete technofool). I would recommend her business wholeheartedly and have linked to her website as you can see from my links below.

Also, you may remember that I entered a piece in the Jersey Eisteddfod's Adult Literature Class, well yesterday dh persuaded me to be a brave bod and tootle down to check out how I'd done. The awards range from Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper (and also none at all - too horrible for words) and I skulked in and found the display only to find I had been awarded a GOLD! Hurrah! I checked the back where the Ajudicator gave his/her comments on the piece and so once I have it back and have made a few adjustments I shall send it off somewhere (not too sure where as yet).

Right, better get off to the shed and continue with this editing now that I've done the ironing, checked emails, painted toenails a glorious 1940s red and can't think of anything else I can busy myself with to put off doing it.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Race For Life

This year I'm taking part in the Race for Life event which is where women of all ages walk, jog or run 5k in the UK's largest women-only fundraising event. You can find an event nearest you here and register online.

I shall be taking part this year in memory of my great friend, Cindy along with a group of women from work and my sister in law. Despite this being a serious event that never fails to make me take stock of how very lucky I am to have my health, it is also fun and a tremendous feeling of camaraderie.

You can do the 5km as quickly or in my case at a more leisurely pace but either way you'll be supporting a wonderful cause and have fun whilst doing it.

Friday, 14 March 2008

What Type Of Writer Should You Be

I've come late to this meme and have pinched this from Wordtryst . I love these quizzes, they are yet another way I can faff about and not get on with the writing waiting to be...well, written. I especially like where it says " would make a talented romance story writer..." but unfortunately remember completing similar quizzes in teenmags where it assured me that I would marry Simon Le Bon, and look what happened there.

You Should Be a Romance Novelist

You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart.

You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer...

And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories.

As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it.

Right, enough procrastination, I'm off to the shed now.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Been Shopping - Again!

Someone in the house was given a WHSmith voucher to 'buy one get one half price' from the Richard & Judy books and left it on the kitchen table (I have a sneaking suspicion that dh is to blame for this, so it's all his fault). Now I'm never one to look a gift horse in the mouth and so off I trotted during my lunchbreak to WHSmith where I chose The Rose of Sebastopol and The House at Riverton.

Unfortunately, I have very little self control when it comes to shopping where books are concerned (and chocolate/handbags/shoes) and was nearing the till when I spotted Pillow Talk, the novel that Freya North won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for just last month, so naturally I had to have that too. Then delight of delights I happened to find a display of Little Black Dress books, with a "buy one, get one free" offer - sheer bliss - and as I've already enjoyed several of their brilliant books including the brilliant Decent Exposure and Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley, I bought The Men's Guide to the Women's Bathroom by Jo Barrett and Falling Out of Fashion by Karen Yampolsky.

So I now have an even bigger tbr pile (well, three tbr piles...and a smaller one hidden in my bedroom, oh yes and the one in the shed (shhh). However, I refuse to be distracted and fully intend sitting in my shed, laptop in front of me to finish my editing, if not tomorrow then at least on Saturday because if I don't get this script sorted once and for all I shan't have anything remotely worth sending into the competition and the closing day for entries is 1st April - 17 days away.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Wind? What Wind?

This is a photo of the car park opposite where my brother lives yesterday morning. What the pic doesn't show are the two cars that floated and went into other parked cars. The small blue cottage on the left was only renovated last year or so.

Here is how badly damaged the sea wall along Victoria Avenue was by last night's tide. Incredible when you think how powerful the sea is. Beautiful but deadly if not respected as it should be.

As Victoria Avenue is the main road that is used to get to town from the west it caused chaos during rush hour when it had to be closed due to flooding. High tide was at 8.10 (great timing) and thankfully I was early (for once) and just scraped through before being caught up in all the traffic jams. It took me 25 mins to get to work and the children 1hr and 20mins - they were not thrilled!

I was worried about my shed - of course - but so far, it's fine. Such a relief that we replaced the roof too. Grumpy didn't think much of the howling gales and spent most of yesterday barking, nearly driving the rest of us nuts.

As much as I want to waffle on, I should really make the most of the quiet (one youngster in front of the tv and the other at a meeting) and get on with the rest of my editing. Hope you haven't been too effected by the ghastly weather.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Tired But Satisfied

Well, I'm nearly blind but certainly happy as I've edited 76 pages this weekend and only have another 65 (out of 330) to work through. Strangely enough I still love the characters and feel so emotional when horrible things happen to them, which they have this weekend. I just hope that I'm managing to put what is in my head down well enough onto the page.

S and I have spent some of today re-potting - yes, again. This place is starting to resemble a scene from 'The Day of the Triffids' and I really have to give some of these plants away soon if we're not going to be completely taken over by greenery.

I'm going to settle down and watch the last episode of Wild at Heart tonight, although when Sarah (Amanda Holden) chased after the cheetah into the smoke at the end of last weeks episode, S said, "Well that was pretty dumb, everyone knows that a human can't catch a cheetah." I did explain that it was probably a bit of artistic license and that she had to die somehow (I'm presuming that she does die, of course). Then I think I shall watch Lewis and if my eyes keep working long enough I want to start reading Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella as I adore her books.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Potato Panic & Going Great Guns

The potatoes are growing beautifully in the greenhouse and even the ones outside in the vegetable patch have broken through. I was most excited at the prospect of potatoes for Easter (our usual treat) until dh threw a panic when watching the weather forecast. Honestly, you would think he would be more bothered about the plants in the garden rather than a few potatoes being damaged by a puff of wind (still finding Liz Fenwick's post funny from yesterday so am now having a giggle).

I'm going great guns with the editing - after a few useless days - and am up to page 220, although I shall be trotting down the pathway to the shed after finishing this to add a few more pages to the total.

I managed to catch Murder Most Famous today and was so thrilled that Sherrie Hewson won as I thought her book far more intriguing than the bloke (can't recall his name, but did feel sorry for him that he didn't win). How wonderful to write for three weeks and then know that you'll see your book published. Jealous? Who, me?

I'm nearly finished Paul McKenna's book - yes, I know that it is Change Your Life In Seven Days and I'm now on Day 14 but I do think it's helping. Take yesterday, for example, there I was sitting at my desk when it dawned on me that a large transfer that should have taken place hadn't done so. Normally when something dreadful happens at work, I panic (silently, of course, but panic nonetheless) and my brain shuts down and I can't think at all. This time - now promise you won't laugh - without thinking, I put my thumb and middle finger together and calmed instantly and was able to figure out a way to sort out the problem without nearly hyperventilating with fright. Okay, you can laugh now.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Confused, New Babies & Murder Most Famous

Can you believe these blossoms on my tree, I'm sure they don't usually come this early or am I just getting older and now going to say this sort of thing every Spring? My bottlebrush is also blooming (if that's the correct word for it) and I'm sure that should be doing it in the Summer. Oh I don't know and I'm too tired after an exhausting four days at work to look it up.

My clever friend Rach has given birth to her second lovely son and named him Harvey. If I'm honest I should admit that I'm not that partial to every baby I come across and remember once when one mother offered for me to hold her new born and I politely declined - well, I was young and never considered that she would be offended. It wasn't as if I had been derogatory about the baby or anything... However, back to Harvey. He is gorgeous and I wanted to have a cuddle immediately and did so for about half an hour. I love the name too. I think it gives him character straight away.

I haven't done as much editing as I should this week, too tired after work each day, but intend having a full day working at it tomorrow. Well that's the plan anyhow. I don't know if any of you have managed to watch Murder Most Famous, unfortunately I've been at work and have no idea how to go about taping it so have missed it all week. I shall try to remember to watch it tomorrow though. Do let me know it it's been any good.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Catching Up, Strange Gifts & Being Forgetful

I've so much catching up to do at work and a client over tomorrow for a meeting at 10am but not all the paperwork sorted out. I'll do as Paul McKenna says... though can't for the life of me remember what it is right now... but basically I'll attempt to not spend the evening worrying about the lengthy list of documents I have to prepare between 8am-10am tomorrow morning. It serves me jolly well right, I really should be able to read a calendar by now (I thought the meeting was on Wednesday)!

It's my father's birthday today and dd and I bought him a gift that we thought was lovely. We stupidly showed it to dh who grimaced and said, "Mmm, what's he supposed to do with that?" (It's a small wooden antiquey looking chest). I then called ds to have a look. "What is it?" Not wishing to throw said chest at his head (as that would be unacceptable...!) I replied, "It's a wooden chest, what the hell does it look like?"

Needless to say, my father phoned today to thank me very much, assured me he loved the gift and said that it would have pride of place in the living room and he would store dvds in it. Poor man has received so many obscure gifts from me over the years including: 1940 Bakelite German bunker phone (I haven't seen this since I gave it to him but he assures me it's somewhere very safe); Cactus skeleton (didn't realize they had them) made into a candle holder and come to think of it I haven't seen that for a while and a telescope that he never managed to work and offered to a friend.

I forgot to pass on the gorgeous Busy Bee Award forwarded to me by Tom Foolery - sorry, the brain is in too many places at the moment - and so I would like to pass it on to the truly busy annieye as she never seems to stop working.

Sunday, 2 March 2008


As you can see from the photo, I've been utterly spoilt with beautiful flowers from the children and Grumpy. J & S are with their father today as it's Sunday so they gave me their flowers yesterday.

This morning, Dh and I enjoyed a lovely stroll along Greve de Lecq beach with Grumpy followed by a tasty breakfast at Colleen's Cafe. We sat outside and enjoyed watching families with small children playing on the beach and one chap sat near us with his three small children enjoying ice-creams. To be honest it really wasn't warm enough - or is that just me - I think you would probably have to be under the age of 10 to enjoy eating ice creams in February. Inside I could relish one, but not outside, too cold for that. At least we had steaming drinks and hot plates of (hot) food.

Many thanks to Tom Foolery for my beautiful and much appreciated Busy Bee Award. I love receiving awards (I say this as if I'm always getting them) this is my second and very welcome. Funnily enough, the name Deborah means 'Bee' in Hebrew.

Now, I'm off to the shed and although my family always feel a little sad for me on Mother's day because I'm not with the children, I know that I'll have them back tonight and as far as I'm concerned a little peace and quiet to do exactly as I wish is surely the best present of all. So ta ta for now, the shed beckons.

Have a great day everyone.