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?