Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Fabulous Blog Award

Many thanks to DJ Kirkby for this gorgeous (and definately fabulous) award.

The "Your Blog is Fabulous!" Award stands for: Integrity. Commitment to Excellence. Stubbornly Optimistic.

List five current obsessions:

1. My fun, busy and entertaining family consisting of a husband who never fails to make me laugh, and two children who are great characters, even though I can't believe they're now taller than me and seem to know more than I do about everything - or at least think they do.

2. My mad dog, who keeps me company all the time he possibly can manage to and spends hours dozing in his chair next to me in my shed.

3. My shed - where I do my writing; think; dream; make notes; gaze at photos, drawings and posters; and generally pontificate for far more hours than I probably should.

4. My writing - which is what keeps me (and probably the rest of the family) sane, and gives my imagination the arena to let lose those characters in my head who want to get out on to the page.

5. St Ouen's Beach - where I walk the grumpy one, chat to husband and teens, think (yes, more thinking), plot and plan (stories, rather than crimes), and generally breath in the salty air whilst pushing my feet through the pale, fine sand as I look out to the other islands.

I have to nominate five other bloggers, and have of course blogged eight. Well, I've never been good at numbers. I nominate the following:

Chris - Bucolic Frolics
Chris - Home Thoughts Weekly
Tom Foolery

Friday, 25 September 2009

Friday - At Last

The 'small one' seen here paddling in a rock pool at St Ouens is driving me crazy. I think it's all the coming and going that's been happening in our house recently. S-S#4 came for four weeks - the dog loves him - and then returned home, S-S#1 then came for a week - loves him too - then he went; J took cases out of the loft (Grumps hates cases) and these have been waiting to be filled ready for going to uni in a few days. He can obviously sense me trying to look calm, whilst not feeling remotely that way.

Helen has let me know that my review of Victoria Connelly's great book, Molly's Millions has been posted on Bookersatz. Please go and have a look and leave a comment letting me know what you think.

I've been tagged by the lovely Bluestocking Mum who I met recently at Caerleon. In fact we were on the same course as the fab and very talented Annieye. I have to give my five favourite film characters. So, here goes:

1. Phantom of the Opera - Gerry Butler version, of course. Can't imagine ever bawling my eyes out for the 1925 version starring Lon Chaney somehow. Call me shallow, I don't care. I thought GB was beautiful in this, and can watch it time and again. If nothing else, it ensures peace and quiet from the rest of the family, who never fail to groan in unison when they see me reach for the DVD.

2. Maxim De Winter from Rebecca - I love the Laurence Olivier version. All that angst, wonderful, especially on a grim winter evening when there's nothing else on, although I have to wonder how he could actually be attracted to such a simpering female is a little beyond me. I suppose it was because she was the anthesis of Rebecca.

3. Mr Darcy - I loved Matthew MacFadyen in Spooks and Enigma, but couldn't see him as taking over from Colin Firth when it came to playing Mr Darcy. So it served me right that I didn't bother going to the cinema to see the film, and ended up watching the DVD at home on our 42 inch screen, which, although fairly big, doesn't compare to how it must have appeared on the big screen. Again, loved all that angst and awkwardness, as well as those beautiful manners. Ahhh.

4. Mark Darcy - yes, of course Colin Firth had to come into this list somewhere. I loved Bridge Jones, and do hope they make another one, whether she's slim, fat, or green, I couldn't care less, I just love the prospect of a night out at the cinema watching a film with Colin Firth doing his thing.

4. Edward Cullin - played by the ethereal Robert Pattinson. This movie (and character) was a surprise for me. I'd heard all the hype and seen the photos, promos, etc, but didn't feel the need to see the movie, until finally giving in to my daughter's relentless nagging, sat down and put on the DVD. Well! Say no more, I am now a convert. My son thinks I've finally lost the plot, but I don't care.

Please feel tagged if you'd like to try this, I'd love to see other answers. Although I think I can make a calculated guess at one of the names on Claire's list, if she did one.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Thanks to the lovely DJ Kirkby for my, 'I made DJ Kirkby laugh' Award. Isn't it gorgeous?

This week has been frantically busy. Shopping, form-filling, and generally exhausting myself trying to get J to finalize all that he needs to do before going to uni next Sunday. He, on the other hand, is more interested in what party is being held where. I'm sure we'll sort everything out, but this week we also have my oldest step-son over as he's staying with us before going to stay at his mum's for his 21st birthday, so we've wanted to spend time with him whilst he's here and go out for meals etc, which has been fun.

This week I have Happy Birthday wishes for Dan, Tanya, Amanda, Chris, Jas, AmandaK, and I forgot my cousin's last week, so had to send belated wishes. Today I've had my nails done, whilst S was having her hair cut, been shopping, out to lunch and now I really should get on with some editing.

My editing difficulties have stemmed from changing one major factor about a third of the way through the novel, without realizing (such a dope) how much it effects the rest of the book. So various scenes now can't happen, but I think I'm pretty much there with how to make the changes. It's a pain though as I really was aiming to finish and send the damn thing out a couple of weeks ago. Never mind. As my grand-father always used to say, 'It can be done' and of course it shall be.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Twilight & The Boat That Rocked

It's been an exhausting few weeks for one reason or another, but one consistant has been my daughter's nagging for me to sit and watch Twilight with her. So, having been completely worn down, I finally gave in and sat down to watch the film.

I loved it. I can see now what all the fuss is about, and have to admit that I immediately snuck in to her room and pinched her copy of the book. To be honest, I also started to read it, but will hold back until I've finished Veronica Henry's, Marriage and Other Games, as it's a damn fine book and I can't enjoy them both properly if I'm going from one to the other.

I'm relieved that I left it so late to watch the film, as now I don't have to wait so long until New Moon comes out. I've even been checking about pre-booking cinema tickets. Sad? Moi?

Step-Son #1 arrived today, and this evening we sat down with J and R and watched, The Boat That Rocked. Brilliant. Can't wait to see it again.

We laughed all the way through, and as well as having a great cast (Nick Frost, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, etc) the music was pretty damn good too.

Now, if only I'd put as much time and emotion into my writing, I might also be telling you that I'd finished my editing. Nope! 'Fraid not.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Rear Gunner & Furze Fire at L'Etacq

Today is the Jersey Air Display and I was lucky enough to finish work at noon, R, S and self loaded 'the rear gunner' - as my father calls Grumpy - into the car and took him to St Ouen's beach for a walk. Also a good vantage point to see the planes/helicopters flying across the bay before coming into land at the airport.

We then decided to have lunch at El Tico - very tasty it was too - when S pointed over my shoulder and said, "Mum, look, there's a fire." The smoke was blowing across the bay and the fire grew rapidly, especially as it's warm and very windy today.

It doesn't look too bad from my photos - ancient, useless camera - but we can see the smoke from our house now, and live in the opposite direction from where the wind is going. It started somewhere at the top of L'Etacq and dipped down the headland. So much going on in one day. Shame it didn't happen next week as S-S#1 and would love to photograph it.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Sea Mists & Call Yourself A Writer?

It was such a glorious day today - 28.5 degrees & blue sky - that I couldn't wait to get home from work and put on my costume and a sarong. I raced upstairs to change and spotted fog - turned out to be a sea mist - over the coast of France.

Not wanting to waste a second, I went outside and sat reading Moonshine in the sun, bliss. S came to join me - telling me all about boring science, boring french and boring assembly. After a bit, I went into watch Land Girls, then noticed the house was completely surrounded by mist - as you can see from the photo - it's so thick I can't even see the field next door. I suppose that was summer?

The lovely DJ Kirkby tagged me for this CALL YOURSELF A WRITER? meme.

1. Which words do you use too much in your writing?
I have to concentrate on not using, ‘that’ too much.
2. Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
None I can think of.
3. What's your favourite piece of writing by you?
The first book I completed; it means a lot to me.
4. Which blog post do you wish you had written?
All the funny, intelligent ones.
5. Regrets. Do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn't written?I don’t regret anything I’ve written. I think to regret things is to waste emotions and time.
6. How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?
My writing helps me to express myself. I think my most important piece of writing was my first novel - again - because it proved to me that I can write a complete ms.
7. Name three favourite words
It, can, be, done (okay, so that’s four, but I’ve always been useless with figures).
8. ....And three words you're not so keen on
Not, good, enough.
9. Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
My writing mentors are my writing friends and groups I belong to. They're so supportive and an endless source of help and wisdom; my role model is my husband; and my inspiration usually comes from my family, or desperation when trying to find something to write about.
10.What's your writing ambition?
To support myself with my writing.

I am passing this on to anyone who fancies having a go at doing it.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Brighton Rock & Jersey Live

I had planned to continue with the never-ending editing, but had such a headache that I decided to sit and chill in front of the tv and watch Brighton Rock. I love the book and the film, althought the endings are slightly different. The one in the book made me think, and the one in the film was a great twist.

Still have to do a few bits for J to prepare for uni, but flights are booked, so that's the main thing for R & self. S is back at school and now she's in Year 10 seems to have so much more homework. Thankfully, she just gets on with it - moaning about it, of course, she's my daughter after all -

It's Jersey Live Festival of Music here this weekend. The organizers are excellent, and they were so good that a couple of years ago, the vicar of Trinity (no, I said Trinity, not Dibley) asked them to stop the music for an hour (or so) whilst he conducted a wedding, and they did. How good is that? The last music festival I went to was Reading, many moons ago (in 1980) when Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, and Def Leppard played. I had a ball, though can't think it would be my sort of thing now, not unless I had en-suite facilities.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Thanks, Back to Work & Christmas

Thanks to the lovely DJ Kirkby for my fab Wordless Wednesday Award (from last week, sorry for the delay in posting it). It brightened up my week in edit hell. Still not finished. Getting there, but veeerrrrryyyy slowly.

Received more forms to fill in with J for uni, and as he was at his dad's all weekend, asked him to be home at lunchtime yesterday to fill them in and get them sent out. "Yeah, yeah, no worries," came the reply. Yesterday arrived, J appears at lunchtime. "Great," I said. "Let's get this lot out of the way." "Sorry, mum, I promised to meet some friends at the beach." Needless to say, he had a great day at at St Brelades Bay on the beach (30 degrees, or so our temperature thingy said), and the forms are still sitting on the sideboard. Tomorrow maybe.

Back to work today. Right, enough said about that.

Rob made a delicious rhubarb crumble and an apple pie yesterday with fruit from our garden. Very tasty, and not so good when you're counting calories (and have no self control).

Sas phoned when I was at work to tell me she's found the perfect present for me this Christmas. Bless her. I said, "It's too early to start thinking about Christmas, surely." "No," she said, "It's only 16 and a half weeks away."