Wednesday 31 December 2008


I'd like to wish all my wonderful blogger friends a very Happy New Year and hope that 2009 is all that you would like it to be.

Thanks to all of you, I've been thoroughly entertained, continually supported, and learned so much more (mostly about writing) than I did at the beginning of 2008.

This year has been a good year for the most part, and hopefully 2009 will be a year filled with good health, good fun, and some writing success for all of us. x


Monday 29 December 2008

Back to Work

Waking at 6am this morning, and then having to get up and go to work was a bit of a shock to the system. I was so looking forward to having ten days off work, but they've flown by - as all holidays seem to - and to by 7.30 this morning, I was sitting at my desk, working my way through countless emails and preparing to concentrate on something other than writing.

We all had a great Christmas and were thorougly spoilt with loads of presents, too much food, and alcohol. Grumpy adores his new bed (can you see where the bed ends and he begins?) which is faux fur and higher at the sides than his others (two!). I've even managed (she says, crossing fingers/holding thumbs and hoping for the best) to sort out my drama with the wip, and am now rewriting the last third of the book.

Yesterday, I finished reading The House at Riverton, and have to say it's one of the best books I've ever read. I loved it, and putting it down to speak to people/write, etc was incredibly hard. I've now started, The Kissing Gates by Mackenzie Ford (bought for me by S) and it's excellent. J bought me, Devil May Care, by Sebastian Faulks, which he borrowed from a friend whilst on his trek and loved it so much, he insists that I will too. So that will be the next book on my tbr list.

The shed is so cold, despite the fan heater, that I had to buy these from Accessorize. I told R that I needed some and he went and found me a pair of itchy woollen, steel grey ones, bless him.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone

A & S have now iced the Christmas cake - note the deliberate mistake, not enough icing for the snowman, so we have a very yellow marzipan snowman on top.

I'd like to wish all my lovely blogging friends a wonderful, healthy, happy and fun Christmas, and all that you wish yourselves for 2009.

Sunday 21 December 2008

The Good & The Downright *&^*&%^!!!

THE GOOD: I've been given this fun award by Mummy Scrap = bits & pieces, fragments, discarded material, such as truth and honesty. People who write need to tell it like it is. There are two guidelines for receiving this award. One, to list 10 honest things about yourself, & two, present the award to 7 other bloggers. However, as it is a busy time of year, I'll give it to any blogger that would like it.

Ten (interesting?) things about me:
1. My brother says he always knows where to find me in a church (funeral, wedding, etc) as I'm the one with the shaking shoulders - such a wuss.
2. I can ride side-saddle (when the need arises!)
3. I had three cats, and called them all Smokey-Joe (& I call myself a writer?)
4. I think I'm shy, but those around me find it hilarious when I say so.
5. I can speak a little Zulu (very little, I can ask the time, find out where the dog is, etc).
6. I love lizards, but am terrified of spiders (though I can pick up those Crane fly ones).
7. I can spend hours in a bath (it's the only place where no one disturbs my reading).
8. I have many pet names for the dog, and he answers to every one of them (probably because he thinks I'm offering him food).
9. I adore antiques.
10. I've lost 19lbs since seeing my horrible photos in September.

THE DOWNRIGHT *&^*&%^: I started working on the corrections to HH&S in August after receiving my NWS report. When I hit a brick wall, and couldn't think how to change the ending, I left it for a couple of months (whilst mulling it over) and started novel 4. Berk that I am, I then returned to HH&S, having figured out where I wanted to go with it, and carried on with the rewrite.

THIS MORNING I discovered that back in August, I was working from one draft, and in October, continued with the rewrite using another version. SO, being that complete dunderhead that I am, I now have some corrections on one draft, and the others on another. ARGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I am so stupid, I could slap myself!

Friday 19 December 2008

Jingle All The Way?

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.

Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

That says it all!

My two have broken up, S-S#4 arrives early tomorrow, S-S#1 arrives on Monday, I've now broken up from work until 29th (YAY!) and I have brother, sis-in-law, and their two children, three parents, my brother, his girlfriend, oh yes, and R, self and of course the dog for Christmas Day.

All shopping done, apart from perishables, and the things that I'm bound to have forgotten and no doubt won't remember until Christmas Day itself. Cards sent (today), and on Sunday S and A will ice the Christmas cake they made a couple of months ago.

In fact, the only thing that I appear to be behind on is my flipping writing, which is so frustrating. I've achieved so little this week that I'm determined to spend some time tomorrow and Sunday (famous last words) trying to catch up with myself a bit. I was hoping to have submitted HH&S by now, but that's not going to happen for weeks yet.

My nephew, J, played Donkey in his Reception Nativity Play the other day. At the end of the show, the headmaster announced, that he had been the most entertaining Donkey they'd ever seen. This could have been due to his attention slipping half way through his words when he noticed his shadow at the back of the stage, and started making shapes, oblivious to the audience waiting for him to continue.

G is still fairly miserable, but appears to be a little better, though the physio/spa lady hasn't got back to me yet, so I presume the spa is still broken. Such a blessed relief. Hope you're all getting into the Christmas spirit.

Sunday 14 December 2008

Physio, Acupuncture & That's Just The Dog

When Grumpy was little, he ran through some low branches after a cat and put his back out. Since then, every so often his back gives him pain and he starts shaking.

I took him to the vet on Friday. He'd been a little shaky lately, and I thought I'd ask for some more Metacam to ensure we had enough, should we need it, over the Christmas/New Year period. I was greeted by a new, younger vet, who announced that, "He's been receiving the wrong treatment for the past four years."

"Really?" I asked, bemused and trying my best to keep a crying Schnauzer on the examination table. "What should he have had instead of the medicine?"

"He still needs the medicine, but should be having some physiotherapy. Unfortunately, the practice therapist left today to go and work in Guernsey."

Phew, thought I. "Oh," is what I said.

"Never mind," he said. "We have someone else he can go to, and I think he should have physio in a spa pool once a week, and if that doesnt work then acupuncture might do the trick."

Thankfully, the spa was broken, and as the vet said, "It'll probably take an age to fix because nothing gets done quickly over here."

So, G has had an apprieve for now. R laughed when I told him, and said. "So, he still needs the same medicine, but now needs to go in a spa pool every week too. Will you have to go in the water with him?"

Surely not.

Thursday 11 December 2008

Special Badges, Tired Elbows & Christmas Cards

I'm thrilled to have been included in East Anglian Troy's Special Gang of Eight, and to have been given this wonderful badge. Isn't it great?

I'm slowly working through the Christmas list (painfully slowly) and forced myself to walk the length and breadth of the town today buying various bits for S, R and J. It never occurred to me to think about the weight of these items when I chose them, and by the time I'd paid for them, and lugged (is that actually a word?) them back passed hoards of other irritable shoppers, I thought my elbows were going to break. At least I can now cross a few presents off my list.

I'm still working on HH&S and think that I may be doing so for the next twenty years at this rate. I also haven't managed to write my Christmas cards either, and bearing in mind that some have to go to South Africa, I'd better get a flippin move on. So I absolutely must do them this weekend, without fail - groan! Happy shopping/card writing all of you.

Monday 8 December 2008

Super Awards & Christmas Decorations

Thank you to the lovely DJ Kirkby for my fab Superior Scribbler Award, it's much appreciated, and rather gorgeous too.

The Rules that go with this award are as follows:
1. Every superior scribbler must name other super scribblers, although with so many brilliant ones to choose from, it's almost impossible to do. So without further ado, I'd like to nominate Kat, Christina, Pat P, Flowerpot, Melissa Marsh, JJ, Fionnuala, Mummy & Carol
2. Link back to the name of the blog that gave you the award, Chez Aspie.
3. Display the award and link to this post, which explains the award.
4. Add your name to the Mr Linky List, some way down the page, as a record of who the superest scribblers are.

S insisted that we put up the Christmas tree on Saturday, and not having the energy to argue, and to be honest, having someone so enthusiastic to assist, I did as she asked and we (well it was her really) dragged boxes and bags down from the loft. So now the tree is up, and covered in copious amounts of baubles, including red-painted wooden soldiers, two angels (?) amongst other things, and hundreds of twinkling lights. The wreath is glistening on the front door, but I've still to dress the banisters with the rather lovely garland that my father gave us a couple of years ago.

So despite my lack of enthusiasm, I'm slowly getting prepared for 25th, only just over two weeks away. Groan! Double groan, I've just realized it's the last one of Spooks tonight, blimey, that went by rather fast, but then most good things tend to, don't they?

Saturday 6 December 2008

Great Fun, Sore Feet & A Wonderful Book

Friday night was great fun, and everyone looked fabulous. One girl did come as Shirley Eaton Painted gold from head to foot, and wearing a gold top and skirt, she looked utterly amazing.

Each table was named after a Bond movie, mine was 'Diamonds Are Forever' and had hellium balloons above each one. We had a massive red heart, with smaller card balloons, others had clubs, spades, large card ones, diamonds, etc, with tiny bottles of bubbles that could be blown, dice scattered on the tables and a large screen showing Casino Royale in the background.

The food was good, and we were given a gold card/chip thing, to play either Roulette or Black Jack on two tables. My shoes were great to dance in, but were a bit of a pain to walk in, as they slipped off a bit at the back every so often. You can't tell in the photo, but they're covered in tiny sequins. This morning my feet are encased in soft slippers, such bliss. They're slowly recovering.

I'm relieved to say that I left just after 1am, when R kindly collected me and two friends and delivered us home, but a friend phoned and told me that a crowd of them ended up going to someone's flat to carry on partying, and she left at 4am, with the party still in full swing.

I had intended spending the day working on HH&S (especially as I'd been so good and not overdone the boozy part of the evening), but what actually happened was that I picked up Susie Vereker's book, 'An Old-Fashioned Arrangement' and just kept reading. I'm loving it, and her next book, Paris Imperfect, came out a couple of days ago, so I'll have to order that too.

Thursday 4 December 2008

Award, Best Intentions & Posh Frocks

It's our Christmas Party tomorrow night at the Royal Yacht Hotel here. The dress code is usually eveningwear, but this year we have a Bond theme. So, much as I'd like to treat everyone to my bod sprayed gold a la Shirley Eaton, I'm actually wearing a gorgeous black velvet dress.

I'm teaming my dress with the most delicious black sequined peep-toe shoes. They're high, (I can run in heels as well as trainers, though why I'd need to run, unless it's raining, I'm not entirely sure. This should also tell you how dreadfully unsporty I am). I'm wearing large fake (unfortunately) diamonds, and intending (yes, I know I do this every year) to take it easy, and remain relatively sober, but as Les Girls will be there too, I'll probably have one sniff of bubbles and that'll be the end of my resolve.

Unfortunately he's not coming, and let's just hope that none of the chaps decide to dress in this get-up, after all, isn't it always the one who really can't get away with dressing in so few clothes that assumes he looks perfect that way?

Thanks to the lovely DJ Kirkby for my Wordless Wednesday award, judged by her very own soon-to-be-published crime author, Chopper. I love it, thanks.

Monday 1 December 2008

Three Weeks & Three Days To Go

Thank heavens for Lemsip capsules & Benylin cough mixture, because as I'm not one to suffer unnecessarily, these concoctions have kept me going for the past couple of days. I woke this morning, a little confused, as I'd dreamt that I was at work - how cruel is that, to have to be at work when awake, and asleep - only to find that I was a shivering wreck and even moving my eyeballs hurt like hell. So I phoned my line manager, croaked down the phone and went back to sleep until 1pm! This coming from someone that barely needs five or six hours of sleep most nights too.

Having realized that it's only three weeks and three days until 16 (yes, that's 16) people come to the house for Christmas lunch, and I've bought...well, let's have a think...yes, I've bought a box of turkish delight! Big wow. I think it's about time I got a little more into the spirit of the whole thing and at least started to shop for some presents. It must be lovely to be a Beckham, or Rooney and not have to think about the cost of all these festivities, but I suppose I'll just have to get on with it and see how it goes.

I'm not doing Christmas cards this year - I say this every year, and still end up doing the damn things. Bah Humbug.