Monday 31 December 2007

Happy New Year - especially to J & S xxx

I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2008 and hope that it is a healthy, happy and fulfilling year for everyone.

Thank you to everyone who has kept me company and read my (almost) daily ramblings. Also thanks for all the encouragement I've received this year and for the messages posted here, please keep them coming.

Dh, the boys, Grumpy and I will be spending the evening eating a Chinese meal, consuming a bottle of champagne and saying a toast to absent friends/family members who are busy elsewhere. I look forward to ds and dd - who are enjoying a holiday snowboarding in Austria - returning home and telling me all about it.

HERE'S TO 2008.......................

Sunday 30 December 2007

Reading Paige - Draft 1 - Finished

Hurrah, I've finished my first draft of Reading Paige. I wrote over 5,000 words yesterday and thought that I'd finished for the day. However, one of my sisters phoned and chatted until 9.25pm and then wanting to catch the last half an hour of the divine Richard Armitage in the Vicar of Dibley (so funny and yes I know I shouldn't have a television in the shed but what can I say... I did turn the tv off as soon as VOD finished) and ended up working on my m/s until 1.05am this morning when I finally reached The End! I'm so thrilled because I had hoped to have it completed by the end of the year and to have done so is marvellous. I shall now leave it for a couple of weeks and carry on with my 101 other writing projects that I want to get on with, ie course that I've still only done three assignments on, redrafting other m/s, etc.

In celebration of the fact that I was too tired (not to mention nearly blind) to creep out to the shed this afternoon, dh, boys and Grumpy went with me to St Ouen's where we walked along the beach (see pic of Grumpy on his usual route march) and then sat outside at The Watersplash and ate lunch - very tasty it was too. It wasn't too cold in the sun either - as we know, I don't do cold.

I shall now light a fire and settle down to watch the documentary on JK Rowling (one can always dream) and "The Shadow in the North" with Billie Piper and then hopefully get a good nights sleep so that my eyes can recover a tad before starting work tomorrow.

Saturday 29 December 2007

Robin Hood Series 2 ends!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo! Okay so I know I'm a sad, pathetic fool but its been a long time since didn't have something to look forward to featuring Richard Armitage. Now that the Robin Hood series has finished I feel thoroughly fed up. I shall have to contend with gazing at my Sir Guy model and his faithful horse in my shed for the time being. Mind you I did watch a trailer on tv earlier today for PS, I love you staring my other hero - yes, I did say I was pathetic and I'm not ashamed - Gerard Butler. So I suppose I do have that to look forward to but it won't be the same not having the divine Richard gracing my tv screen every saturday night.

I have, however, after a week of very little work on the writing front managed nearly 5,000 words today and aim to finish the first draft of Reading Paige at some point tomorrow. It means that I have been rather anti-social today - not answering the phone and not joining dh and the boys when they went out today but they were happy that I disappeared off to the shed and I felt great at the end of the day for having managed to write so much. That was until tonight when my programme finished, of course.

I'm getting used to my ipod and spent a couple of hours listening to it last night when dh was out. The only problem is that I feel compelled to sing along to the tunes and my (unmelodic) voice singing along with the cast of Les Miserables sounded wonderful to my ears but made me think of all those contestants on X Factor that thought they could sing when in truth they sounded like strangled aliens or similar.

Thursday 27 December 2007

Blink & you miss it

Well, that five days off work flew by! What a shock to the system being woken at 7.15 a.m. this morning by my hated alarm clock. Mind you, even though it only takes fifteen minutes (during school holidays) to drive to work, I still only managed to race into the building at 9.25! Then managed to lock myself out of the computer system and when our fabulous IT chap came to the rescue and asked why I didnt write my password down somewhere and keep it in a safe place, I had to admit that I did but couldn't decipher which password it was - I have so many of the damn things.

Mind you, one coffee and a deep breath later and I was well away and didn't feel as if I had been away from the office at all. Great! Have now met up with step-sons, dh and my two, had a quick (if you call waiting 1 1/2 hrs for a pizza) bite to eat and have now returned home, packed a case and am about to take my two to their father's house. Grumpy is hysterical and if he doesn't stop barking I shall lock both him and me in the shed until all the excitement dies down. Four teenagers who haven't seen each other since August and who only have approx four hours to catch up with each other is rather exhausting especially for a bossy small dog and even bossier, rapidly aging woman!

Have not progressed at all with the word count and so shall work on that tonight and tomorrow for a bit. Mind you having now finished Stephen King's brilliant On Writing, I feel that I should start all over again immediately without finishing the last 10,000 or so words.

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Boxing Day - relaxation & walking the dog

Christmas Day went well - huge sighs of relief all round. Dd finally went off to sleep on Christmas Eve at 1.30am and woke us at 8am. One I had made cups of tea we ransacked the presents and were each duly delighted and satisfied with our gifts. My own consisted amongst other things of an ipod, that does films etc. I have no idea how to work this pretty object but have been assured by children that it is easy when you know how. Also, dd and ds - knowing me and my Richard Armitage crush so well - surprised and amused me with a Sir Guy of Gisbourne model and horse (with galloping motion!).

The children duly delivered to their father, dh and I went to enjoy a perfect lunch at The Atlantic Hotel with m-i-ls and f-i-l then having collected Grumpy ventured forth to meet up with various other members of my family that (as another member recently commented) remind one of characters out of a Mike Leigh film once the odd bottle of wine has been merrily consumed. I know every family sports the odd eccentric but I do believe that my family have rather more than their fair quota. However, I do thoroughly enjoy these get togethers and would not miss them for the world (probably because I fit in so well with the rest of them). These occasions are what feed my imagination so much of the time and are invaluable in so many ways.

Dh, Grumpy and I returned home, thoroughly amused and opened another inspired present. A jar of hibiscus flowers in syrup. You take one hibiscus flower, place it in a champagne flute adding a dash of the syrup. Then fill the rest of the glass with whatever bubbles take your fancy and watch the flower open up. It is not only pretty to look at and tasty to drink but you may also eat the flower that has a slight raspberry taste to it. See pic of mine.

Today we have taken Grumpy for an envigorating walk on the beach where a large alsation launched itself at him only to be hauled off by dh who is rather a large chap. Grumpy did his best to hold his own though so full marks to him for bravery. Dh let the lax owners of the offending canine know in no uncertain terms what he thought of them. I took some photos of dh and G (on the beach; not fighting) and collected a bag of drift wood. I've hung up several gifts in my shed to add to the rather eclectic collection I already keep in there and the children have returned home over-tired and irritated and now I have to somehow get them to help me pack their case for their trip away with their father.

Monday 24 December 2007

CHRISTMAS EVE, stockings & bubbles

Well, I've wrapped all the presents, prepared bedrooms for ds-s No2 & No4 who are coming to stay and partially packed a case for ds & dd who will be going on holiday with their father in a couple of days. Unfortunately this year their paths only cross for a couple of hours, which is a shame as they do get along so well and usually have approximately ten days of fun together.

Christmas stockings are ready for Santa to fill and the fridge contains my favourite tipple! A tin of chocolates have already been consumed and I can't believe that we are almost ready for Christmas Day. Temperatures have lowered and sniffles abated and apart from rather a little over excitement and anticipation by some of the younger members of the family, everyone appears to be in fine fettle.

So, once again, I would like to wish you a hearty Christmas filled with all that you wish for and a fabulous, healthy, fun-filled, successful 2008 for one and all. xxx

Friday 21 December 2007

Shopping lists, breaking up & TBR pile

My bag, pockets and work surfaces are littered with shopping lists. I'm nearly there with the Christmas shopping, but not quite. I may not be organised but I am happy. Why? Simply because I've broken up! No work until next Thursday. Okay, I realise that five days isn't exactly a lengthy break but I'm thrilled not to have to go to work for a few days and spend some time at home.

I've been working hard on my wip and thanks to Lane and The Finishers have managed to write over 50,000 words. I never would have managed this without the incentive of having to admit my word count each Friday. Such a brilliant idea and a great help. I still have a few days to make more headway and now that I've nearly done all my jobs - thankfully I won't be the one slaving over a hot stove this Christmas so don't have to worry about feeding people - I can hide away in the shed and get on with it. So exciting. Then I shall take a break from RP and concentrate on the course I should have been working on and after that I can go back to it afresh and sort out all the mistakes and garbage that seemed so good when I first typed it.

Not many parties on the horizon, so hopefully this Christmas will be a calm, affair with no sickness - was ill from Christmas night until New Year last year, such a drag - rather a lot of delicious food, alcohol and reasonably decent tv and two tbr piles that reach my waist. Can't wait. I think I'll start with Lesley Cookman's Murder in Midwinter as I thoroughly enjoyed her previous two novels.

Thursday 20 December 2007


Grumpy is doing his utmost to look as handsome and appealing as possible in the picture on the left but then gave up and simply gave his best begging look!

I have a stinking head cold and feel lousy and this means that:

a) I won't be able to do the shopping I had intended doing today.
b) It probably serves me right for being so unsympathetic when the rest of my family have been suffering for the past ten days or so and I told them to brace themselves and get on with things.
c) I need to take more pills to stop the elf who keeps hammering away in my head.
d) I look even worse than I usually do - all puffy faced and ancient!

Nevermind, at least it's sunny outside and I don't have to go out there but can enjoy it from inside the house. Am going off now to make another cup of tea.

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Loss of idols, apologies & zero temperatures

What am I to do now? No Robin Hood until 29th December and Spooks is finished so no more of the delectable Rupert. I have to wait for the next series of The Tudors to enjoy Jonathan in his tights, or even out of them and even Cranford has gone so no more Philip to gaze over (even with the strange hairdo the hair and makeup department saw fit to give him). What a bore!

Mind you after several intense emails yesterday at work from one more senior to me - aren't they all. I'm way down the food chain in that place - I did receive a most unexpected apology. Stunned and not a little taken aback, I accepted it gracefully. After all it isn't often that one experiences apologies and I'm still rather dazed that it happened at all if I'm honest.

It is so cold here at the moment. We rarely experience such cold temperatures or is that just my convenient memory playing tricks on me again. It's been zero for most of the day and according to dh's weather system thingy (don't ask!) the temperature has risen slightly from this morning and is now 1.4 degrees. I should have gone shopping but couldn't face it. I still have so many more presents to buy and although I have wandered through the various shops in a vague way, I can't somehow chose what to buy. Is this age, or merely confusion? Both probably.

Tuesday 18 December 2007

RNA Novel of the Year Longlist

The Romantic Novelists' Association have just announced their longlist for the Novel of the Year Award. Here's the link, please visit the site and have a look at the list.

I took a picture of the glorious sunset tonight and if I was really technologically minded - which I obviously am not - I would have been able to edit it and show that there were also flying ducks (I think it was ducks, brain too frazzled after a nightmare day at work...shan't bore you with the details). The sun was huge and very beautiful, unfortunately my photography does not do it justice. However, my photo is a marked improvement on the one dh took this afternoon of three pheasants. You would have needed a microscope to try and decipher what they actually were. Looked more like rabbit droppings in the middle of the field.

I kept thinking it was friday today. Am I going to be utterly miserable when I have to get up and go to work tomorrow morning!!!

Monday 17 December 2007

Good news, bad news & tomato boxes

The good news is:
1. I've finished writing the Christmas cards.
2. The children break up tomorrow so I can get up later and don't have to make sandwiches for the next couple of weeks.
3. I have managed to buy all of dd's presents.
4. The white roads looked so pretty and glittery on the way to work this morning.

The bad news is:
1. I still have to post them and am bound to receive a card from someone I've forgotten and it will be too late to sent one to them - this happens every year without fail.
2. I have the children's friends staying and have to pick up, drop off and find them.
3. I still haven't bought presents for: dh, ds, father or godmother.
4. It's damn cold walking to work especially now that my office is five minutes further away from my car.

Never mind, just look at the picture and see what you can make with a couple of tomato boxes! This was dh's creation and made several years ago. He is most proud of it and it sits happily each Christmas on the mantlepiece.

Sunday 16 December 2007

Cold and frosty morning

Well, I braved town for four hours yesterday and bought very little - mind you, I suppose the fact that I spent over two and a half hours enjoying a marvellously gossipy lunch with two girlfriends probably hinded the actual act of going into a shop and buying gifts. This is all very well but now it means that I have to some how find the time during this week to work my way through my hideously long list! Great fun at the time though.

This morning I am off to a party for my three year old niece. The family have been invited for bacon butties and birthday cake. What a lovely idea and being a greedy guts I can't wait to go.

I've been working on my wip and my characters are taking me off in a different direction to where I thought they would. I shall go with them and see where it takes me. Only days now until I have to finish Reading Paige and I'm not quite sure how I'll manage to do it, but I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and shall give it my best shot.

I took this pic of the shed this morning, doesn't it look all cold and frosty. I had to trim it though because when I had a closer look at it, I noticed Grumpy having a morning wee on the nearby lavender bush. I didn't think that would be the prettiest thing for you to look at!

Friday 14 December 2007


Have managed to get rid of the underlining. Not sure how but who cares. Yay!

Decorations, card lists and queues

Although in senior school the children bring home yummy offerings (the pies were delicious and have all been eaten), I do rather miss the presents that came out of the primary school years (See pics). Every year various decorations come out of the boxes/bags kept in the loft and put up around the house. The Christmas tree decoration in the picture above is usually hung on our Christmas tree but this year the artificial one doesn't appear to be nearly as strong as a real one and so it has had to be moved to an alternative place.

I know it's late but it only dawned on me today that I haven't even started writing cards and I have to send one in particular to South Africa. Needless to say, a quick trot out to the shops at lunch time - complete nightmare of queues and the odd daredevil attempting to queue jump - and I've bought all that I need. I received a brilliant personalised card yesterday from two very close friends. Why is it that I never seem to find really clever cards!

Am not sure what I'm going to do tonight now that The Tudors has finished. I suppose I could work on the wip, but however good my imagination, it's not quite the same as getting a weekly fix of Jonathan Rhys Meyers in glorious regal action.

Thursday 13 December 2007

Tis the season, frost & log fires

Have just collected dd from school and was most gratified to note that she had carried her cookery basket containing these little gems. Mmmm mince pies - have already tried one and very tasty they are too. Shall have another one (or two) later on. Her class also made small Christmas cakes as you can see from the pic. Last year I had the bright idea of dd and I making a Christmas cake for the family. Such hard work, all that stirring. I was exhausted at the end of it all, so was relieved to see her offering this year. Most welcome.

I wish I'd had a camera this morning to take photos of the frost, all white and crispy on the fields nearby. Lovely to look at, not so glorious to traipse through on the way to work though (not that I walk through the fields to work of course, I am not a dairy maid, I meant when I walk down the road from the car to the office). Unfortunately, my look wasn't all that attractive as wearing jumpers, jacket, coat and scarf, I looked at least twice my usual size! Roll on summer!

Never mind, at least we can enjoy a cosy log fire tonight. Unfortunately, as most of the family are otherwise engaged at the moment (strangely enough) it will fall to me to fill the coal scuttle, find the kindling wood etc all kept outside in the cold!

Wednesday 12 December 2007

Sadness, sand & solitude

I lost a very dear friend today. I shall miss her sorely.

As I was feeling rather down, I drove Grumpy down to the beach just as the sun was lowering and let him race up and down happily whilst I took in the beauty of the waves crashing about and the orange and gold sunset reflected in the sea. I nearly ruined myself, however, by attempting to carry a piece of driftwood that was rather heavier than I had anticipated. It was a wonderful piece of wood and determined as ever, I struggled on, back up the beach towards where I had parked the car. Once it has dried out I shall put it in the shed.

I am now going to lose myself in my wip.

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Pricked ears, word counts & indigestion

Can you guess what it was that made Grumpy prick up his fluffy ears in such a startled fashion? Yes? No? It was me! When I announced that I was going on a health kick (don't panic, not immediately) in 2008. I intend (there's that marvellous word that is preferable to 'promise') to lose 1-2 stones by eating healthily and walking Grumpy more often (hence the surprise). Usually I walk him at the weekend and dh is the one who walks him during the week. I know that I should start immediately but it's too cold!

My word count so far this week is abysmal thanks to my excesses at the Christmas party, being away and today... well, I've just been madly busy. So shall stop this right now, feed people and then make haste to the comfort of my shed.

Before I go, I have made a worrying realisation that each time I eat chocolate, I seem to suffer from indigestion. NOOOOOOO! What did I ever do that was so dreadful in a past life? Why can't my body be telling me to stop eating fennel, marzipan or meatballs or some other such revolting thing? Could it possibly be that I've spent my life over-indulging in the glorious delight that is chocolate and never touch the others? More than likely. Right, enough of that, I'm off.

Monday 10 December 2007

Queen Victoria, Tenors & Tiredness

Dh and I have just returned from a day in Southampton where we enjoyed the wonderful hospitality given by Cunard to witness the Naming Ceremony of their new 90,000 tonnes liner. I have only actually seen similar ships from a distance and this was my first venture on to one and memorable it was too.

The tastiest canapes were served continuously for several hours, together with copious amounts of champagne (I have to admit that apart from one glass I stayed faithful to the lemonade) to the 2,000 or so guests including such well-known names as Terry Waite, the Llewellyn Bowens, Babs and Robert Powell, various news readers, Amanda Burton, Susan Hampshire, the list goes on.

The guests then toured the ship, progressing into the specially built auditorium and were entertained by Sir Derek Jacobi, Katherine Jenkins when the vast curtains pulled back to reveal fireworks exploding,the ships horn blasting and the bow of the ship with the words 'Queen Victoria' directly in front of us. However, my favourite part of the day had to be the haunting Nessun Dorma sung magnificently by Alfie Boe, Jon Christos, Gardar Thor Cortes and the Choirs of Winchester Cathedral - positively spine-tingling. The Duchess of Cornwall performed the Naming and although the bottle didn't break, someone on the ship (you only saw a hand appear over the deck) smashed another bottle against the side of the ship.

It was a great day starting at 5am and delivering son No1 to the airport then dd to the bus, then s-s No 1 to the airport for his flight at 8am and ours an hour later. I have to confess that no writing has been done today!

Sunday 9 December 2007

Stormy weather, hangovers & critiques

Our forecast for today is simply 'Gale'. Apparently we are to expect force 9 to Gale force 10 winds today with intermittent showers. Grumpy raced out - as best he could against the harsh winds - to do his ablutions and thankfully made it back in time to miss the next shower. At least I don't have to venture out far - if anywhere at all - today. DH and s-s No1 were up until the early hours watching the boxing so are making the most of not having to do anything too.

I didn't blog yesterday as I was in hangover hell after my office Christmas party. As usual it was well organised with prizes, wonderful food and copious amounts of alcohol. Everyone had a marvellous time dancing and the evening was a roaring success.

I have joined This is a site where you can post your own writing and receive critiques and you also review other writers. I have received very constructive criticism and this can only be helpful to me. It's frustrating working so hard on a project and then to have to listen to/read criticism of it but that's part of being a writer. I'm also reading Stephen King's On Writing and it is as good as everyone says. I was finding my own wip very hard work and happened to reach the chapter where SK says not to give up when the writing becomes difficult. Well mine feels like I'm wading through mud that has been mixed with a very strong glue. I shall persevere though I sometimes think that if I had to be addicted to something why was it writing and not an easier passtime like collecting dodos!

Friday 7 December 2007

The Tudors, Funerals & Posh Frocks

I can't believe that I'm missing the last episode of The Tudors! I know that it's repeated tomorrow (I think that's when anyhow) and don't want to have to wait but it's just tough.

I went to a funeral today and was very good (am usually pathetic at weddings, funerals etc) I sang hymns and held it together even when a Major spoke about the Brigadier. The standard was brought out and then the Last Stand was played - and still I held it together, until the bagpipes started up somewhere behind me and I was off. Still it was a great send off to a gentleman that joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at a young age and saw sights in WWII that most people of my age haven't had to deal with.

Right, now I have to go and dress up in my posh frock. I don't mind doing these things so much on a warm evening but when it's almost gale force winds and even hail, I would rather stay at home and watch...The Tudors!

Thursday 6 December 2007


Sorry, no idea why today's post is underlined. It wasn't when I previewed it? Blast.

Ice creams, hairdressing & doing rather well

As it's a misty, blustery old December day, I thought I would post a summer picture, though I'm not too sure whether this will cheer me up or torture me. As my m-i-l would say "The nights are drawing in." However, she does say this from Midsummer's Day onwards... So here is a pic of Grumpy enjoying the last bit (only a tiny fraction) of dd's Dairy Milk icecream.

Talking of dd, she has asked me to cut her hair as soon as I've finished blogging. What, again? After all the hysteria when I cut it the last time? Does she not remember what she put me through when I dared to cut rather more than she had envisaged? Oh well, I shall give her one verbal warning then get on with it. Surely the fact that I visit a hairdresser to have my own hair cut should tell her how much confidence I possess in my own hairdressing skills.

The Connect 4 league is doing splendidly. I say this because I had to have a play off against my Chairman - who beat me the other day - and I won! So I am now in the quarter finals. I've never managed to get to the quarter finals of anything before although that probably has something to do with the fact that I don't take part in any sporting activities. Apparently there are only two females (was going to say girls then thought better of it) against a load of men. They are so competitive. One chap can apparently can tell your next five chess. I just try and stay focused for the entire two minutes of the game.

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Worthy gifts, Maxim & failure

I've just received my first Christmas gift in the post. Instead of a Christmas present, Gerry made a donation on behalf of dh and self to Cafod. I have now received a Christmas card enclosing a certificate telling me that my gift is "worms for composting". I love this idea. It's through Cafod - World Gifts - and the gifts go directly to people living in poverty in developing countries. She does this each year. What a lovely thing to do.

I have attached a link very kindly sent to me by stepson No 2. I don't know what music you enjoy listening to - my tastes range enormously - I find this most inspiring in a haunting sort of way. It's Maksim, Nostradamus - hope you enjoy it

I said I would keep you up to date with the Connect 4 league. So far I've played three games. I lost to my Chairman, he lost to the Senior Marketing person and she lost to me... not too sure where that leaves us. We each have another person to play and have to do so by tomorrow afternoon, so I shall have to track her down and hope that she's even more useless than I am.

Tuesday 4 December 2007

Villains, donating & Christmas shopping

The divine Richard Armitage (I know, I know, I just can't help this adoration) has left a Christmas message on the Armitage Army site - see below for link should you feel inclined to visit - where he suggests donating to various charities at Christmas and also hints at a new role that he is unable to divulge further. However he does mention something about it being 'top secret' does that mean - I think - that he could be a future James Bond villain. Can you imagine how fantastic that would be? Or is it just me? Anyway, here is a pic of him (from the BBC Robin Hood home page) looking all heavenly and perfect as Sir Guy. Oh be still my beating heart.

There are so many of us in my family that my siblings and I decided years ago to simply buy one gift per family. I decided this year that instead of a gift I would send a donation to the Jade Stoner Memorial Fund, which is a fund launched in Jade's memory to help other families coping with the loss of a child - surely the most dreadful thing that could happen to any family.

I don't know about you but I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet and am not likely to now until at least next week. Stepson No 1 is coming over from uni in a couple of days time for a long weekend, which will be fun and I have my company's Christmas party on Friday night (yes, the one I blogged about the other day) and a funeral to attend of a distant cousin, a Brigadier in his mid-eighties that afternoon and another party on the Saturday night. Better stop blogging and get on with my word count while I have the chance.

Monday 3 December 2007

Kangaroos, Mummy bags & word counts

Took my car to the garage this morning (so inconvenient) and the very pleasant chap there gave me a loan car to drive. I had only been in the car several seconds when I reached a yellow line. A kindly driver waved me over, holding up a stream of rush hour traffic as he did so and after taking an age to figure out how to put the car in first (have been driving for years, so no excuse here) I eventually managed to get moving and proceeded to hold up the traffic as the car did an excellent kangaroo impression all the way down the road. Most humiliating but even I had to laugh - not sure if those behind me found it quite so amusing though.

Had to dash out at lunch time and buy my son a mummy sleeping bag. Felt a little foolish asking for one and it turns out that it's a sleeping bag with a hood. How clever is that? You learn something new every day - shame that in my case it's not how to drive a loan car.

Am working on that word count which is increasing slowly but surely. I only hope that what I'm writing is worth reading! Never mind, I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and as the deadline is Christmas Day - a date that is racing ever closer - I shall soon be in a position to edit thoroughly.

Sunday 2 December 2007

Christmas decorations, storms & temper tantrums

It's that time of year again when you thought you were already busy enough until you notice that Christmas will be here in three weeks time and not only have you not started your shopping for the masses but also the decorations need putting up! Up until this year, we have always had a real tree, however I've noticed the past few years that a) they don't seem to give off the lovely pine smell that I remembered and b) they are a pain to keep watering and clear up after. So, when my father offered an artificial tree that he has stored in his loft I hastily agreed. End of having to fight through the masses at the Garden centre and then pay exhorbitant prices for something that I shall only have (before burning) for a few weeks and much less clearing up afterwards. I shall give it a go and see how everyone likes it.

Dh and I got all prepared to a blustery walk along the beach with Grumpy when the rain decided to let itself lose rather more dramatically than we had envisioned. I had to explain to him that whereas we might be willing to wrap up and venture forth, the dog most certainly wouldn't be so inclined. It took a mighty lot of persuasion to get him to go out and carry out his morning ablutions as it was this morning. So I shall just get on with my wip instead. I went to sleep going over my plot in my head last night and confused myself totally, so will have to sit down and go through it once more before carrying on.

I'm experiencing a problem with my internet connection at the moment and have been doing so for the past few days. I hope this sorts itself out soon otherwise I can see myself imploding with irritation. The boiler collapsing I can cope with (only just), my car having to go into the garage as there seems to be something wrong with the alternator - whatever that is - is an inconvenience I'm willing to deal with (grumpily but nevertheless I shall be fine) but not my internet connection. That is going one step too far for my tolerance levels. So I shall cross fingers (as I'm not very au fait with technology) and hope for the best. Could be the stormy weather causing the problem? No? Maybe?

Friday 30 November 2007

George Eliot, Whispers & the Tudors

Pinned up in front of me on the shed wall is a card that my aunt, Gerry gave to me several years ago. On it is a picture like the one here of George Eliot and on it are the rather calming words (for me anyway) "It's never to late to be what you might have been". Whenever I feel thoroughly fed up and miserable that I'm not achieving what I want to with my writing, all I have to do is look up and directly in front of me are those words. They never fail to make me feel much better about myself.

So much for watching what I eat, I simply can't have enough of Whispers and cannot imagine why they will only be in the shops for a limited time. Maybe if they came back for good I could slow down (or maybe that's just me kidding myself!) The woman in the nearby shop told me that once they run out they won't be getting any more. Panic!

I have my stash of Whispers and was all ready to enjoy a cosy night by the fire (once I had added a few hundred or so words to my wip - have to do this before admitting to Lane how I've done this week - not bad actually, phew!) Anyhow, I digress (again) where was I? Oh yes, all ready to settle down in the warm on this horribly stormy night when ds announces that the bus won't be coming in our direction late enough for him and so I will now have to venture forth into the miserable weather and collect him. Honestly, there's always something to interrupt any peace and quiet I may have planned!

Thursday 29 November 2007

Chapters, Connect & Gerry Butler

Chapter five is going pretty well and when I've finished posting & making the supper, I shall press on with it once more. It's nearly friday and I have to admit how many words I've done, so better move myself.

At work they asked if anyone wants to join the Connect league that is being put together for fun. You know how it works, you receive the zillionth email of the morning (I take until at least noon to come alive) and click on either "Yes" or "No" and press "Send". Clever clogs here pressed "Yes", vaguely aware that it would be some fun thing that we were all taking part in. Not at all. Apparently out of 200 staff only 40 agreed to do it and not only is it going to be a proper league thing but the Connect game itself is one where you have to stand up to put the discs into it. I have the attention span of a gnat with a hangover when it comes to games - give me a romantic novel to read or six hours of North and South and I can concentrate with the best of them but games... So, yet again, not stopping to think is no doubt going to cause me abject humiliation whilst entertaining my workmates. Not a clever bunny!

Before I discovered Richard Armitage, my passion was (and I haven't forgotten him) Gerry Butler. I never managed to see '300' when it came out. None of the children would go and see it with me - too embarrassing, damn cheek. So I'm going to buy the dvd for myself and not share it!

Wednesday 28 November 2007

Editing, PE kits & being blonde

Usually when I write, I edit as I go along and therefore take months to do a first draft. As I'm attempting to finish this manuscript by Christmas - scarily soon - I don't have the time to do that and feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Onwards & upwards though. I have to keep going and I must admit that I'm thoroughly enjoying myself.

Dd announced - on the way to school - that she needs her PE kit for tomorrow. Not a problem you may think but after work I had the hairdressers to go to - yes, I'm blonde once again - and then by the time the washing machine has done its cycle and then the dryer, I would then have to take it in the car to her father's house (where she stays on a Wednesday night). So, for once, I said an emphatic, "No, I'm not doing it." The kit is in the washing machine as I type but I shall refrain from delivering it to her as I normally would. Maybe next time she'll be more organized...then again, maybe not.

Must dash, shed beckons.

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Writing Incentives & Looking Glam

This summer I attended an informative lecture by Alison Baverstock who told us about her writing space and discussed some of the objects that she surrounds herself with. For example a picture that may inspire you, a lovely cup to drink out of, that sort of thing.

I have a favoured mug with red chilli peppers (not the band, the veg). It's not at all pretty or delicate but I love it. In the photo, showing part of the shelf by the window in the shed, you can see a basket holding shells collected from the beaches by various children, a fossil (apart from the one sitting in the chair writing), the obligatory Midget Gems, lavender picked from the garden in a coloured glass wasp catcher (there's also a red and blue one further along) and a flag (it's called something else (is it an ensign?) but dh isn't here to remind me what it is.

Above the shelf hang coloured chinese lanterns and below is another shelf holding reference books, novels etc. On the opposite wall I have photos of family members/the dog etc and paintings by the children, a few crystals and various other bits and pieces that inspire me. It all helps create a very 'me' atmosphere in there.

I had a moment of horror earlier when I realized that next Friday (7th) is my company's Christmas Party. This doesn't leave me with the necessary time to lose the stone and a half that I had intended! After a brief panic and rather a lot of angst I have decided to go the Gok Wan way (tonight Ch4 8pm) be happy with the curves that I possess and enjoy myself anyway.

Monday 26 November 2007

Solitary Poppy, Midget Gems & WIP

Look what I found yesterday in the garden, a beautiful solitary poppy. I can't believe that there is still one left this late in the year, mind you we did have a late summer I suppose. Anyhow I had to take a photo of it. Sorry about the photography, obviously not a skill I possess.

After the usual Sunday morning doing the dreaded ironing, which actually didn't take that long, but seemed to take forever. I enjoyed an exhiliarating walk on St Ouen's beach with dh, dd and Grumpy. We strolled along watching the surfers and enjoying the fresh air as he raced back and forth attacking the odd bit of seaweed.

Then it was back to the shed and onwards with the wip. I ate so many Midget Gems that I felt rather sick but at least I managed to push on with the novel and naturally had no problem polishing off a tasty roast chicken supper prepared by dh who is only too grateful to have the house to himself whilst I'm in the shed.

The company I work for moved into a new building today. There are now 200 hundred staff over four floors whereas before we were in four buildings. It was all very strange, however, at each desk was a mug with our names on. Quite a thoughtful touch I thought and immediately found the kitchen and filled mine with hot chocolate!

Saturday 24 November 2007

Sir Guy of Gisbourne & Plotting Novels

Yes - he survived his bath. I just about did too.

What is wrong with Lady Marion? She has this perfection of maleness, all 6ft 2ins of him head to toe in leather and she kisses him (quick fantasy of self in her place...) then she turns round and tells the poor adoring soul that she's made a mistake and races back off to that damp wood with it's distinct lack of facilities. She then dresses (for want of a better word) in the worst pair of trousers that I personally have ever seen and I've had a few horrors sitting in my wardrobe I can tell you. Sorry, but I've been very restrained in the Richard Armitage devotion stakes for the last couple of weeks. I needed a fix.

I'm working on Reading Paige in between sending ds off to buy various items for a school camping trip in the next couple of weeks. I know, who the hell would want to go camping for three days in December. It is some sort of survival thing in a forest. What is it with forests?

My wip is coming along - was going to say "swimmingly" - but I'm confusing myself plot-wise and need to sit down and try and figure this out a bit. I've typed out a Synopsis, which I usually do and the story is taking off in different directions to what I had originally thought. Again, this is the usual state of affairs, but I've reached a bit of a wall, hence taking a break to watch Robin Hood and now blogging for a bit. I shall go back now and work through it.

Friday 23 November 2007

Word counts, wrestling & creased jeans

Well, I'm nearly blind but have managed to raise that pathetic word count from 6,000 to 11,213. Please excuse me posting the exact number of words, but each of them matter a great deal to me. The more the merrier, that's what I say. I'm only grateful that it's the weekend tomorrow and so the only computer screen I will have to look at is the one on my laptop and not the one at work.

Naturally, this doesn't mean that I can recline in front of the television just yet. I still have to wrestle Grumpy into the bath. I've been meaning to do this for a few days but have used first the cold as an excuse, then dropping off and picking up children, but now that dh has seen fit to feed him spagetti bolognaise, he is now sporting a not too fetching orange beard (the dog that is, dh doesn't have a beard) and so I have no option but to take my life in my hands and bath him. I'm sure this was a cunning plan devised by dh and one that has worked!

Can anyone enlighten me as to how an academically bright chap can manage to study for five 'A' levels, but not be able to work out how to pick up a pair of jeans from the bedroom floor once he has stepped out of them? Drives me crazy.

Oh well, enough of the delay tactics. It's off to the bathroom I go, with a distinctly reluctant schnauzer and several large towels to dry both of us off afterwards.

Thursday 22 November 2007

The Finishers, word counts & tea sets

I'm so excited. The good news is that I'm now a "Finisher" and therefore have to finish (or do my level best) my wip by Christmas. The bad news is that I only have 33 days in which to do it and having only achieved 6,600 words so far, feel I'm probably being a trifle ambitious. However, watch this space because as I've stated before, I'm a tenacious little devil (okay, so not so much of the little) and fully intend to do it.

I've just returned from work where I've been packing up my desk. How the hell I managed to fit so much junk into three draws I cannot fathom. Mind you, when you take out the various notepads -thousands of them. What is it about me and notepads; lipsticks - various shades of pink; mugs - will only use my own; paperclips - again 1,000s; crispbreads for those days when I insist I'm going to lose a stone; money - I find that I'm £1.45 better off than I thought and as I only had 57 pence in my purse today (tomorrow is pay day thank the Lord) it was most welcome and meant that I could buy a Whisper on the way home as well as a Jersey Evening Post.

Have just come back from my neice's second birthday party. I had bought her a pink case with a china tea set inside and a pink gingham (what makes you think I like the colour pink) cloth to place it all on. I wasn't sure if she would like it and was thrilled that she did. In fact, when her mother insisted that she sit at the table for her supper, she (neice, not mother) took some tomato sauce from the side of her plate, poured it into one of the tiny cups and to her mother's horror drank it and looked most pleased with her accomplishment. Bless!

Right, enough chat. I'm now off to build up that word count.

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Writing Tips, Interviewing & Warmth (at last)

Being a determined little devil, I have various "How To" books to help me in my quest to learn this craft (writing, not blogging). My most recent purchase is the helpful, inspiring and fun book written by the talented Jane Wenham-Jones. As soon as I received "Wannabe A Writer?" I raced to the shed, stuffed a few midget gems in my mouth, locked the door and read and read and didn't come out until I'd finished. I simply couldn't put it down. I intend to put my newly acquired knowledge to work and keep going until one of two things happen, I either manage to get one of my novels published or I drop dead from exhaustion (well, maybe not that but old age hopefully).

I have to go now and put together some intelligent questions to ask a very generous lady who has kindly agreed to let me interview her as research for one of my WIPs. I'm a tad nervous as I don't want to waste the opportunity and forget to ask something that I may later need to know. We've never met and I hope I don't come across as some barmy bird. It must be so much easier doing this sort of thing when you've at least been published.

Oh and at last the boilerman has been. He did find a slight leak in the new boiler and I'm sure you can imagine my reaction to this news when dh dared to phone me at work and let me know the latest on our ongoing saga. He, the boilerman, has now sorted the problem and fired it all up and heavenly bliss, we now have a warm (nearly) house. Hurrah and double hurrah.

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Celebrities, Chocolate & fillings at the dentist

As we only had heat - pathetic though it was - in one room of the house, I relented and watched "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here" with my daughter (a voracious viewer of reality tv programmes) for the first time last night. I thought it would be interesting to see what all the fuss was about - I was wrong! I appear to be in the distinct minority amongst my colleagues at work when it comes to not watching these programmes. Well, all I can say is, a) Good for Lynne Franks (I think that was her name) for putting her hand, nay, entire body through all that goop, scorpions and various other unmentionables and, b) why on earth don't these celebrities (though why they are termed as such when I have no idea who half of them are) seek out the best hypnotherapist they can find and rid themselves of all their phobias before descending into the jungle?

Poor dd had to go to the dentist after school today for her first filling. It was such a titchy one that it was barely visible, anyhow I digress. We waited for a bit and then I went to the lavatory (boredom/cold what more can I say?) and when I came out she had been shown through to the consulting room. I followed and arrived in the room to hear the dentist say, "I shall just leave you for a moment to let that injection work." Shame, poor thing, dd not the dentist, it never occurred to me that she would need an injection. Thankfully, she is made of stern stuff and isn't bothered by dentists and was perfectly happily sitting there.

The only bad effect of her trip is that her face is slightly out of line as her mouth is numb and she is unable to eat her bar of Fairtrade crunchy chocolate. To be honest, I think the reason she keeps glaring at me is that I have so far eaten half. I promise to stop now and let her have the rest later, when she has got all feeling back in her face.

Monday 19 November 2007

Cranford, Philip Glenister & Frostbite

I was so pleased to see that Philip Glenister has won Royal Variety Club Award's TV Performance of the Year for Life on Mars. Its about time he received some recognition for that brilliantly portrayed role. Good for him. Enjoyed watching him in Cranford last night too. Great stuff. Perfect Sunday night viewing especially when one is tucked up with grumbling Miniature Schnauzer who can't get comfortable, a mug of hot tea, bed socks and tracksuit top over the old pyjamas.

I tell you this heating can't come on quick enough. I have to check emails, blog etc on the house computer as the shed isn't connected to the internet. I daren't have it connected either as I would never get any writing done and so the shed has to be strictly for that. My typing is getting slower and slower as I sit here as my fingers descend into what I feel sure must be frostbite. Okay, I know I'm being a tad of a drama queen but hey I simply don't 'do' cold. Like I don't 'do' Mondays, or early mornings.

Right, now I have to dash as Nigella is on television. I adore her, probably as she makes me feel better about my rather fuller figure and I do like someone who is not scared to eat.

Sunday 18 November 2007

Survival, spiders & Grumpy's fight for chocolate

I have survived the party/sleepover and energy that only 13 year olds can muster. Dd had a ball at the party thankfully, so that's that for another 12 months. The "sleepover girls" had been warned about the lack of heating and once duvets had been distributed - they danced and then slept in the lounge where a pathetic fire had been allowed to die down by her older brother who was supposed to keep an eye on it whilst we were partying. The next morning it looked like a bomb site but was soon cleared up.

Yesterday a massive spider ran across my bedroom carpet - probably looking for heat, like me. Thankfully it wasn't like the one in my pic. I took this recently of Dan and his dad (my dh) in London just outside the Tate Modern. Cant wait to go again!

This morning, tired and cold, I decided to treat myself to a lie-in... No such luck. Dh took Grumpy for his morning constitutional and once finished the little swine - that's Grumpy not dh - raced back up to the bedroom and lept onto the bed. Unfortunately as it is pouring with rain he was soaking wet. Once dried off - both him and me - I returned back under my duvet only to hear what could only be sweet papers rustling. Yes, the little devil had been into dd's bedroom, rifled through her bag and stolen a bar of chocolate that he was forcing as quickly as if it were an olympian sport down his throat. Ignoring my orders to drop the offending article, I then had to get out of my bed - again - and wrestle with him to retrive it from the back of his throat. Now you would think that a dog who is only 14 inches tall would have no chance battling a determined adult female...think again! I won, of course, I am after all both determined and female but hell it was one mighty power struggle.

I did manage over 2,000 words in my shed yesterday though, the only warm place I could find. Heavenly, and peaceful.

Thursday 15 November 2007

Chicken Pies, Horrid Books & Richard Armitage

I never thought my shed could possibly be warmer than the house in November but without heating this house is nothing more than a concrete ice block and the temperature is supposed to drop to 2 degrees tonight! SO out I shall trot and lock myself in with Grumpy and leave the children and dh to the remote control and dd's delicious chicken pie that she cleverly made at school today. Most tasty.

I have to say that having been out to lunch I didn't relish the thought of cooking tonight and cheered up dramatically when I spotted her with her basket after school. Needless to say, despite working my way through three courses at lunch time and being sure that I was far too full to either want or need further nourishment, as soon as I smelt the flavours wafting from the pie I managed to force myself to eat not one but two slices... I had better not whine about not fitting into my chosen dress for the office Christmas party in three weeks!!! I shall, of course!

Some of the books they choose for the children to read at school are ghastly. At the moment dd is working her way through "White Fang" about an indian wolf dog who is beaten by his owner "Beauty Smith" and made to fight other dogs. Thankfully after all his trials and tribulations, White Fang is rescued by a mining engineer who takes him into his home. Sounds horrible. Not my cup of tea at all.

Right, I'm going to make the most of a peaceful evening before the hoards of teenage girls descend and take myself off to the shed with its walls covered with photos of Richard Armitage, Gerry Butler and that doctor bloke from Grey's Anatomy who's name escapes me as I shiver at this keyboard.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

Burst Boilers & Bodyguards

My dd is now officially a teenager - gulp! She excitedly got up (without having to be called twenty times (a miracle in itself!) and began ripping open carefully wrapped presents and producing notes from generous family members when I noticed water on the floor in the utility room.

That was at 6.15 am and I have -at this moment in time - been mopping and squeezing seven old towels for 6 1/2 hours! My hands look like wrinkled old prunes and still the tiny pipe keeps leaking. Where the hell does all this water come from? Apparently the plumber is on his way............! To be honest he is a good chap and usually very quick but had an even worse catastrophy to deal with first. Ho Hum! I shall just have to keep mopping. Have moved Grumpy's bed - he is not happy!

It could be worse, at least I'm at home and can intermittently pop off to the shed to write in between the mopping up. Have reached a sticky point with the novel and not sure which way to veer so think I shall just push on and hope for the best.

A dear friend of mine is dating the most divine bodyguard and all though it's early days yet, Andrea and I are most excited and champing at the bit to go shopping for hats. However, we have been told to calm's hoping!!!

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Sorrento and the Queen...

Today has been cold. Very little sun interspersed with driving rain, so I thought I would put a picture of where I would love to be right now - Sorrento. Mmmmm, one can dream!!! Had a glorious holiday there with dh earlier in the year and can't wait to go back again - though I'm not exactly sure when.
It's my daughter's 13th birthday tomorrow and like the Queen, she will be celebrating throughout Wednesday, Thursday and enjoying a party for 18 on Friday culminating in a sleepover for several of her invitees. She can't wait...I can't wait until Saturday morning! Is that mean? Or simply honest? No doubt my son will barracade himself in his room. Hoards of noisy thirteen year olds are not the best fun in the world when you are a sixteen year old boy!
Grumpy and I will bear it as best we can....

Monday 12 November 2007

Lists, lists and yet more damn lists!

For those who have read this blog for a while you will know that Mondays are not my best days. My children have just returned from a trip to the UK with their father and where I thought I was busy before, I am now drowing in lists. Booking flights for various school trips (in a few weeks that no one thought to mention before), then the lists for the equipment needed, lists of ingredients for cookery, lists of injections needed for a trip next year (the list has to be cleared with the doctor as some of the illnesses I've never heard of before), lists of requirements for a party/sleepover at the end of the week, and on it goes... I also need a list to make sure that I have dealt with all the aforemention lists!!!

Never mind, it will soon be the weekend.

I did make great progress on Friday with my WIP but very little on Saturday and even less on Sunday and that always drives me mad. I start with great intentions and then get bogged down with the day-to-day job of dealing with everything else first.

Never mind, I shall now leave them all to homework/tv/phone calls and hasten to the sanctity of the shed with a mug of tea and Grumpy in tow!

Sunday 11 November 2007

Lest we forget

I don't think I can add any words today to convey the feelings of remembrance more vividly than a picture of Flanders Poppies.

Saturday 10 November 2007


Feeling a bit blurgh this morning but at least its Saturday. Spent several productive hours in the shed last night - hurrah - until the creaking and strange noises wound their way into my consciousness and spooked me (there you see, Spooks again) and Grumpy and I returned to the solid walls of the house and settled down for The Tudors - great stuff. All that testosterone flying about - arm wrestling between Jonathan Rhys Meyers and the divine Henry Cavill (who comes from dear old Jersey), feminine wiles and thundering around on magnificent horses. Marvellous.

Today, I'm about to take a large mug of Earl Grey tea and meander (even though it's a straight path but feeling slightly dizzy - yes more so than normal) to the Shed and get on with the latest WIP. One of these days I shall write something that someone else wants to read but until that time I shall keep plodding away and at least I enjoy writing it.

Where's that tea?

Friday 9 November 2007

Grumpy & The Tudors

Here's Grumpy sitting on his chair in the shed. This is where he dozes as I'm plodding away on my laptop for hours at an end. Occasionally he'll bark - just the once - to let me know that he needs to visit a tree or whatever but generally he snoozes away blissfully, only too thrilled that the children aren't in the shed trying to cuddle him or play with him. He's so anti-social...probably why we get along so well!
The photo directory at work has now gone live and although you can tell that something is amiss, by my confused expression (all Bob's fault) I don't look as ghastly as I thought I would. Needless to say some of us had a good giggle at the pics before remembering where we were and then settling down once more to get on with our work!
Right, I have to produce 1,000+ words before 9pm and sitting here blogging isn't the way to go about it. SO, the shed beckons once more... Have a great Friday night. Have to press on other wise I'm going to miss The Tudors and I can't possibly do that.

Thursday 8 November 2007

Sir Guy of Gisbourne & The Hard Drive

Drama of dramas!!! I'm out on Saturday night and have to meet the girls at 7.30. Quelle horreur! Not another Saturday when I shall miss my dearly beloved in his full black leather finery sorting out the peasants! Record it, I hear you say. Well obviously, I reply in haste...if I could. In our house I'm the one to do the recording of programmes - usually because I'm the sad fool who can't bear to miss certain programmes. The rest of the family have no idea how to even switch on the hard drive and couldn't care less about the video recorder. So I shall be left with no alternative but to start the recording and bribe dh to remember to turn it off at the end (otherwise the hard drive will be too full to record next weeks episode).

By the way, I loved A Room With a View but found the ending rather sad nevertheless.

Have become completely addicted to blogging and love reading them, but there are so many out there, you could lose hours and I certainly have. Unfortunately, I've been so busy being nosy that my word count this week has fallen dramatically so I shall have to give myself a talking to and try and catch up.

Apart from my writing lapse, novel No 4 is coming along rather well and I'm certainly enjoying writing it. So I shall now sign off and get on with it.

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Persuasion & Pulling Faces

Sorry, I know that I've only posted a pic of the lovely Rupert very recently but needs must, as they say (this one is for Andrea!) How magnificent he looks striding along in his breeches!

Today I had the distressing trauma of having my photo taken at work for the database - they need to know who we are or something... I am usually the one behind the camera shouting "Cheese" or "Leeks" or other variations to get the poor soul that I have focused my lens on to smile appropriately. However, today was my turn and was it a good day? Was it hell! You know how it is, some days you feel remotely acceptable to be seen without a paper bag over the head, this naturally was not one of those days! The operation was hindered by my colleague Bob who insisted on pulling faces at me as I did my best to hide my worst features (difficult when one is having one's face and shoulders photographed). I ended up having to have several pics taken and although I could have had a look at the end result, I decided against it. Too depressing. I just know that I shall end up looking as if I have some infliction to my mouth'

So I shall have to just wait and see when we "go live" how ghastly I look on my photo. EUGH!

Why can't we simply wear name tags/badges? Why a photo on the company site where nearly two hundred people can laugh at it? Why? Why? and yet another Why?????

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Room With A View/Lindt Bunnies

As I have already seen tonight's episode of Spooks and because I couldn't bear not to see the gorgeous Rupert Penry-Jones in Joe's Palace on Sunday - still dreaming about him - I shall sit in front of the fire tonight and watch the Andrew Davies adaptation of A Room With A View.
I can't see how the 1985 version with the divine Julian Sands (see pic borrowed courtesy of as George Emerson can possibly be improved or indeed equalled although I shall give it a fair viewing. Was I the only one last night who felt let down by the ending in Doc Martin?
My daughter has just arrived home and announced that she is going to work really hard at school to gain as many credits as possible and hopefully be awarded a Lindt chocolate bunny! My son found this amusing and said, "Only you could be encouraged to work harder with the thought of chocolate". Now here I have to disagree. How clever her teacher is. This is surely why I was so lacking in drive whilst at school - no one thought to entice me with chocolate!

Monday 5 November 2007

Bonfires & Fireworks

Tonight of course is Bonfire Night and I have to admit I do enjoy a good firework display. Last night I watched fantastic bursts of colour from one of our upstairs windows and tonight there is a huge bonfire and display arranged just down the road from us.

A fabulous read involving fireworks is Christina Jones' Heaven Sent. I've sadly just finished the book and wholly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a thoroughly entertaining story with vibrant characters that will make you completely forget any problems you may have.

Of course, the only member of the family who simply hates this time of the year is poor Grumpy who barks incessantly and stresses dreadfully over all the loud bangs. So I shall be staying at home with him and making the most of the final episode of the brilliant Doc Martin and keep the volume turned up to cover most of the noise outside. Scarily I found a rocket just near the shed on Sunday morning...wood & fireworks simply don't mix so I shall have to keep an eye on my 'writing place'.

Happy Bonfire Night.

Sunday 4 November 2007

Phew, What A Week That Was!

Well, I'm so glad that last week is over! I received so much depressing news that I wished I could lock myself in the shed and not come out until it was all well and truly over. The trouble is that with all that has been going on I have not been in the best mood to write, though thankfully have pulled myself together and am back on track once more with the greatest of vim and vigor.
Poor Grumpy is exhausted by all the comings and goings of this past week and has taken to his bed more than usual - the one in the picture is not in fact his - and for a dog that seems to spend so much of his time in a relaxed state, this was extreme even for him.
So with thoughts and mindset positive I shall take myself off once more to the shed and plough on with my new wip. I shall keep you posted as to progress but so far so good. Here's to a great week ahead.

Wednesday 31 October 2007


And Happy Birthday to Andrea too! I'm fitting writing today's blog in between helping my daughter get ready for a Halloween Party that she's going to.

Honestly, I thought I took an age to decide what to wear. She was supposed to be going as a bat but doesn't want to now and is going as a cross between "Jason" and "Freddie". She has the "Jason" claw hand and hat and the "Freddie" mask and cleaver. At least, I think that's what she said. She has just gone to my wardrobe to find a suitable top!??!?!? I'm not quite sure what that says about my taste in clothes. I know that I can look slightly un-Elle MacPherson-like on the odd occasion (several years older, feet shorter and rather rounder) but to suggest that my attire has shades of a known psychopathic killer is somewhat disturbing! Maybe its her subtle way of suggesting that I need a makeover!!!

I shall drop her off and then race home to watch the National TV Awards and hope that the divine Richard Armitage puts in an appearance. Mind you I gather that Life on Mars is on the shortlist so even if he doesn't all won't be lost if I get a peak at Philip Glenister. Bless him! I don't know who enjoyed Life on Mars more, me or the children. My son kept saying how he envied me living in the seventies and wouldn't believe me when I insisted that my life consisted of going to school in Jersey and was not nearly as thrilling as the racing around in an orangy/brown Cortina somewhere in Manchester as depicted in the series.

Enjoyed watching next week's episode of Spooks last night and seeing so many of the places that the husband and I visited last weekend. So exciting! Have just been told that I have to be ready to leave in 5 minutes as I'm now collecting one of daughter's friends... Enjoy your evening.

Monday 29 October 2007

Overdoing it and paying the price

Yes, as I was saying London was exhausting - all that hopping on and off the underground and trying to cram oneself in with too many other people like antisocial sardines was more than a little ghastly. I have no idea how people manage that every day to and from work. They have my total admiration. Rob and Dan saw a night scene of a couple in a cafe being filmed in Russell Square (or was it Bloomsbury Sq) with - I think - Adrian Dunbar, though knowing how brilliant Rob is at names it could have been virtually anyone at all apart from perhaps Alma Cogan whom he would recognise.

Did the madly touristy bit of going upstairs on a double decker bus - the underground where we wanted to get on again, was closed - such fun and eating a very tasty lunch at the Crusty Pipe, Covent Garden whilst listening to a string quartet. Well, that's what they were supposed to be but there were about eight of them?! Excellent entertainment though. Did the usual Tate Modern - stepped over the crack in the cement floor and saw paintings by Jackson Pollock, Dumas, Kandinsky and Matisse - fabulous! Then there were the strange ones such as a light switch reflected on the wall, child-like drawings, an artist's ghastly unmentionables in a tin etc - I completely missed the point..! I suppose it's all about perspective, or something. Walked over the Milennium Bridge - doesn't sway anymore, which is a relief. Saw the Globe Theatre - beautiful.

Went to see Woman in Black. Yes, I know I've already said so but it was brilliant. Two very talented actors - Dominic Marsh and Michael Burrell playing several parts, very spooky. I would see it again without hesitation.

Talking of Spooks, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who isn't enjoying this series as much as the previous ones. I also prefer the different stories each week and hope that should they film a seventh series that they will revert to the old format. Nevermind Rupert is there to hold the fort!

Missed Robin Hood - I know, still haven't recovered but there was nothing I could do. I was out at the Coal Hole with the divine Pete and Andy and their lovely friend "Stella", sorry that's Stacey. I drank far too much as I usually do when I'm with them and had to travel home yesterday with the hangover from hell. Serves me right!

Sunday 28 October 2007

Sooooo tired!

Hello there, just wanted to say that I've not forgotten about my blog - thanks for the messages by the way - but have just returned from three days in London and so will post tomorrow. I'm just not used to all that walking!

Had a great time though and if any of you get the chance to go and see The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, do so. It was wonderful.

Till tomorrow...

Thursday 25 October 2007

Yay - its the weekend (for me anyway)

After a completely vile day at work I have now thankfully finished for the next four days. Sheer bliss! It couldnt come quickly enough either. Have been writing madly, well not like a mad person or anything but getting those words from brain (mushy though it is) to screen and am thoroughly enjoying it too. I wish I could do this all day and not the day job!

Am off to bath and blow dry (with hairdryer, not personally) the poor dog. I don't know who hates it more, him or me. Well, I suppose it must be him but tough. Sometimes we have to do things even when we don't want to and when you're only 14 inches tall you don't stand much of a chance against a determined female who is 51 inches bigger than you happen to be!

Happy Friday for tomorrow. The shed beckons so bye for now.