Saturday’s Blog …

Morning All

Yesterday I suggested that I might post the first page of my next novel on here today. Obviously I changed my mind but a writer friend of mine, Janet, had already seen the comment and said she was looking forwards to it. I tell you … be very careful what you put into writing! Now I feel obligated to do it. So … this is the first page of The Sleeping Field. It is straight off the press, unedited, warts and all. If you want to comment please do.

The Sleeping Field

  Chapter 1

 They’d found her.

Marrakech Madder turned away, pulling the collar of her faded Barbour jacket tighter around her throat, attempting to trap out the chill of the early morning air and the feeling of helplessness that surrounded her. She slid her hand into her pocket and her fingers touched the child’s glove nestling there. She scooped it into the palm of her hand, squeezing the pink, woolly fabric one last time. The child wouldn’t need it now.

The police had thought that they would find her alive. She knew they wouldn’t. She knew that they would find her twisted and broken, like a rag doll that had been cast by a fractious child, lying in a crude, heathen grave. It was little comfort to know that she was right.

She pulled her hand from her pocket and pressed the glove against her rigid face. It smelt of chocolate and fabric conditioner. She closed her eyes, imprisoning tears behind her dark lashes. In God’s name, why? What was it that made one man kill another man’s child?  

D.I Bart shuffled towards her up the slight incline of the ploughed field, the orange earth sticking to the back of his black trousers like rust on a drain pipe. Below him, beneath the gnarled oak, men in white coats erected screens – not fast enough for one of the police officers, as he turned away and threw up. It was a young team. Most of them probably had children of their own, children they protected with their very lives.

As DI Bart approached, his breath came in short, hard rasps, like a lover at the point of ejaculation. Did men like DI Bart make love or had the job soured his heart and he could no longer touch flesh – dead or alive?

He came to a halt in front of her. ‘We’ve found her, Mari. They’ll have to perform a bloody miracle before we can let the parents see the body.’

She slid her gaze into his rheumy eyes as he rocked back and forth on his heels, banging his gloveless hands together in an attempt to get the feeling back into them.

She nodded. Why couldn’t he say, before we let the parents see her or the child? Why, the body?

‘I know this takes its toll on you, Mari, but without your help she would still be missing. It’s bad enough finding the poor kid dead, but for the poor kid to be dead and not found, that would be worse.’

She nodded again, unable to speak, aware of the overwhelming tiredness creeping into her bones. She felt half dead.

DI Bart took her by the elbow.  ‘Let’s get you home.’

She forced a slight movement with her mouth and nodded. Home sounded good. At least she had that to look forward to. What was there to look forward to for the parents of little Rosie Tucker? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Marrakech turned her head to take a last look at the murder site. It would be a while yet before the body could be moved. The night was drawing in and it broke her heart to think that Rosie would spend another night lying in the bottom of a cold, dark ditch. As she turned back and walked towards the road with DI Bart, she knew, categorically, one thing. This was the last time she would do this.

© Copyright Jennie Orbell 29th June 2013MB900049751

Take care my lovelies x

Have a lovely weekend all.


Sex After Three Sets?

Morning All

It is absolutely hurling it down here in Leicestershire. I’ve been up to the chucks and the pond fish and come back half drowned. I am so loving this summer. Chea is out in it. She usually calls it a day when its raining and tootles in but no, today she is out there in it. At least I’m assuming she is. I heard from the neighbour yesterday that she visits him in his kitchen which is quite worrying because he doesn’t like cats.  Oopps I spoke too soon, here she comes – wet through!

I’m meeting my brother this morning and then this afternoon its ‘Wimbledon’ time. A comfy seat on the sofa and a bit of Andy Murray. I have found it most interesting how the aforesaid Mr Murray has changed over the last couple of years. Two or three years ago he was a sulky-looking, skinny lad whom people found it hard to get behind because of his aloof attitude. Like many things in this world things are not always the way they seem. A sulky nature is blamed for shyness and lack of confidence and experience in front of the camera? He loves what he does and the public and adoration side of it is a part that he didn’t necessarily sign up for.

Because someone chooses something that is public orientated it doesn’t follow that they feel comfortable with millions of people chanting their name. And besides, the press puts so much pressure on the likes of Andy Murray it is unbelievable. And the questions they ask after a match makes me want to hurl something at the TV. Let’s ask ourselves how we would  feel with some tool in our faces asking stuff like, ‘how do you think you played today?’ when you’d just gone out in three sets? Don’t they already know the answer to that? Crap! You’d feel like utter crap.

Then they get personal. ‘Your girlfriend was watching, what do you think she was thinking while you were trying to get back into the match (being thrashed!) and couldn’t?’ I’d have to answer with something totally crass, like, ‘She’d be thinking that after only three sets I wouldn’t be too knackered for sex tonight.’ That would shut the idiots up.

And then of course we have to have the ‘studio’ autopsy where they dissect every move he made and we have to listen to the opinions of ‘yesterdays’ tennis players, most of whom never won a major match and have the personalities of snails. And that’s being unkind to snails. Having said this, John McEnroe tends to know what he is talking about and never takes himself too seriously. John went the distance. As far as I’m concerned that gives him the right to an opinion.

Tomorrow I’m thinking of running the first page of my next novel by you? I may – or mayMC900366520 not. Depending on which way the wind is blowing …


Take care my lovelies x




Three Swallows And My Mood Changed …

Good Morning

The ‘tropical’ weather that my neighbour warned me about arrived. Nothing mega but enough for me to have to batten down the hatches and the baby pumpkin plants. I haven’t yet ventured ‘up the garden’ this morning so I have no idea what has happened overnight. I’ve been as far as the chucks and then the pond and then back to the sanctuary of the house before I was spotted in my night attire by my neighbour who resides under the conifer hedge – apparently!

I’d jump up and down and moan about the English weather but how can I? The countryside is beautiful. Green and pretty. Everything looks in its prime. Buttercups are taller than I’ve ever seen them. Cow parsley fills the roadside verges, frothy and fragrant. We may have to pay for it but I can’t pretend that I don’t think it is a price worth paying.

I had a good chance to view this summertime bloom yesterday when Richard suggested we went for a ride out. Yes, I know. I won’t do the stallions frothing at the bit again. We piled into the UP and off we went, up, up and away. I was pretty pissed off with him for something (can’t remember now) so when he pulled off the beaten track and headed down a narrow road, shouldered by a sign that said Calke Abbey, I had a little strop.

‘What’s this?’ I hissed, having just finished my nutty corn flakes, which I’d taken with me to finish on the way.

‘Calke Abbey,’ he said.

‘Well, I bloody know that. I CAN read!’

‘I thought we’d go for a little walk.’

“Thought we’d go for a little walk?” Richard hasn’t walked anywhere since our border collie, Meg, died, three years ago. And it was raining. And I didn’t have a coat. And I had, at the last minute, after grabbing my corn flakes, slipped my bare feet into flip-flops. AND …I don’t ‘do’ Abbeys, Castles and other people’s posh houses that are as big as shires!

He pulled up at the entrance and handed over five pounds (to park) and then continued on his way with me hissing, ‘five pounds? Two pounds fifty each to park the bloody car?’

Silence ensued for a mile as we ventured down the driveway bordered by acres of lush green grass, trees and short-horned cattle standing with their bums towards the slanting rain. We parked easily enough – well you would, wouldn’t you? What other idiots wish to view ancient monuments in a tropical storm. The man at the gate had given us a brochure which informed us that it was another nine pounds each to view the house and gardens and that this Abbey had purposely been left in a state of twentieth century deterioration and decline. Why? I would have thought that at twenty-three pounds for a couple they could well afford to do the bloody thing up. Worse was to come.

Richard found an old Ikea umbrella from out of the boot and fortunately my walking boots were also in there, so after making a childish point of trying to unknot the laces for ten minutes, I struggled into them. We entered the area in which they had plants for sale and then moved into the shop area. Suddenly an arm snaked around my shoulder and I turned to see Richard’s brother-in-law. Can you believe it? I mean, frankly it IS believable because they are members of the National Trust and this kind of thing is like life’s blood to them. It takes all kinds! After Richard had recovered from the surprise of another man slipping his arm around me we were invited to join them in the restaurant. Brilliant! Bloody brilliant. Leggings, little denim skirt to hide my fat bits, walking boots, an Ikea umbrella, eye-liner smudged, hair in need of a wash and we had to go and sit with these people. My worst nightmare. How could a private, unseen ‘ride out,’ turn into me being centre stage, looking like something that the cat would have been too embarrassed to drag in?

I won’t bore you with the details of the ‘tea and coffee’ session other than to say I think Richard’s sister felt sorry for him. Not that he looked much better with his mop erect and a shadow beard an inch long. We actually shouldn’t be seen out in public.

Goodbyes said, Richard decided we should have a look around the old stables. I trounced after him attempting to keep the Ikea brolly over my head until we reached the old stable block. I sulked my way up to the first door and mardily glanced over … and then my whole day changed.

The stables were exactly as they had been way back then and I saw Black Beauty and Ginger and little Merry Legs standing chomping hay and a tear zoomed into my eye.  I could barely walk away. The tack room and feed room were exactly the same – bathed in time and dust. There was a chaff maker and a barley boiler and I animatedly told Richard how they used to chop up hay to mix with the rolled oats and barley so that the horses had to take their time eating and didn’t bolt their food. No such thing as horse and pony nuts back then. One stable had an old wooden pail piled on top of other antiquities and glory be …on top of the pail, sitting around the rim, were three swallow chicks, fledged but waiting for mum to return. We had been staring at the clutter for five minutes before we even saw the little birds. So much other stuff to take the eye away from those little gems.Calke Abbey1

I galloped back to the car, splashing through puddles, chatting away in oohs and ahhs and oh my Gods, with Richard nodding and trying to take in my happy rantings, half of them lost to the wind. And guess what? I’ve decided we are going to join the National Trust. Ninety pounds or something similar. Bargain.

But right now I guess I’d better venture out into the garden and survey the damage.

Take care my lovelies x

A special hello and thank you to all new followers of this blog.

Wet And Warm …According To The Neighbour …

Hi All

Not sure, given the chance, I’d like to revisit this last week. Very stressful. Yesterday was a pig as well. The stupid, brainless blackbirds decided, in their lack of wisdom, to leave one of their brood sitting under the apple tree in full view of the world and its cat.

Chea came galloping back first thing trailed by a scraggy ginger cat that I hadn’t seen before. Another new kit on the block. She made it back to the house and just as the chaser was about to leap over the doorstep after her, like Red Rum over Beecher’s Brook, I yelled, ‘Oi, leave my cat alone you little shit!’ It did an about turn and trotted off back up the garden. Chea was all a goggle. Wide eyed and freaked out – again. She really isn’t doing very well at all this week.

This caused her to stay close to me for the rest of the morning. Around lunch time I ventured into the garden with her. It was then, as we approached the veggie part of the garden that I saw the baby blackbird. Chea was several paces ahead of me so I grabbed her and shut her in the summer-house whilst I attempted to catch the baby bird. Its delinquent parents were clacking two doors down and my intention was to catch it and pop it over the fence and into the field. Its parents could find and feed it there – in my opinion.

As is the case in most quickly thought out plans, it failed miserably. The baby bird toddled off, walked into the glass of the greenhouse and then disappeared into the blackberry brambles. Chea, by this time, was meowing and complaining at being shut in so I grabbed her and took her back to the house. When I returned the baby bird had disappeared. I never found it. Hours later the parents were spotted, noisily winging in with food, so I decided to let nature take its course. Lord above, I can’t save the whole world. I do try … but I can’t. Even I have my limitations.

This morning they are still out there, clacking and going berserk in general.

After this charade, my neighbour, whom I now believe lives under the conifer hedge, spying on my every antic, popped up and casually announced, ‘the weather’s changing over the next two days.’

I jumped, dropping my newly pulled radishes and said, ‘Er …really.’

‘Yes,’ he said, ‘it’s going to turn tropical.’

I wonder from time to time what this guy is on? ‘Tropical?’ I queried. Tropical sounded good. Visions of blue sky, waves tickling white sand …

‘Yes, it could turn quite windy,’ he continued, watching, I’m sure, as I bent to retrieve the last radish.

Windy? That didn’t sound quite so good. Visions of banana trees, bent almost to the ground, battling against torrential rain and wind filled my mind.

‘Er …when they say ‘tropical’ what do they mean exactly?’

He grinned. ‘Wet and warm!’

‘Ohh I like wet and warm.’ I said. ‘Wet and warm sounds good.’

He glanced at my radishes, now clasp firmly to my breasts and nodded – still grinning.

Richard arrived then to announce that he was going to work and my neighbour, who rarely speaks to Richard, disappeared back under the conifer.

Today is grandchildren morning. They will be here shortly. I’ve purposely left the only two ripe strawberries for them to pick. I hope they appreciate them because as you know I don’t share my strawberries with just anyone. Better potter off and tie down the china before they arrive …

Take care my lovelies x

HPIM2851 - Copy

PS A special welcome and thank you to all new followers.

Do NOT Bring Back Yesterday …

Hi All

I’m a wreck. And most of it is not by my own doing – for once.

Yesterday started very well – always an ominous sign in my world. I met Amanda, my writing friend, and we had a lovely chat, mainly about our disillusionment with the self publishing thing and the virtues of a Labradoodle.

I arrived home to find Betsy parked on the front, back from the garage, and an excited Richard. The dear old soul is back on the road. Betsy not Richard.  I felt quite emotional for him. It means a lot to him to have her up and running.

My little strawberry had ripened to the colour of blood and so I devoured it. I have to say it was beautiful. Just need a few more now.

And that concludes the good stuff. After this point the day went horrendously wrong.

Richard toddled off to work in Betsy to show his mates her fine lines and voluptuous curves and I sat down at the old laptop to catch up on stuff. I could still hear the old wreck chugging up the road for moments after he’d left. All that vibration will do wonders for his calcified shoulder!! After an hour or so I thought it was time to rest the buggered-up neck discs and decided to go into the garden to check what Chea was up to and to have a bit of a play with her. As I approached the pond I could hear the cacophony of demented blackbirds clacking their daft heads off. I used to think that blackbirds were clever little birds – not any more.  They would attempt to build a nest on your head if you stood still long enough! They have truly been passed over in the brain department.

I found Chea hiding beneath the hostas, next to the summer-house, with parent blackbirds going berserk, crashing around in the apple tree, destroying the set apples and knocking over seed holders. I called Chea to me, not sure if she had a young blackbird, but she hadn’t. She crept out, tail low and swinging, wide-eyed and spooked to the heavens. I then noticed that she was salivating badly. Long strands of slobber and bubbles hung from her mouth and she didn’t look right. She followed me to the house and continued to ‘pool’ everywhere. My immediate thoughts were – she has been stung in her throat or she has inadvertently swallowed a slug pellet. I offered her some tuna – why do we do that? Think that food will cure all ills? I think I was working on the principle that if she could eat she hadn’t been stung and her throat wasn’t closing up? She ate the tuna but continued to salivate.

After ten minutes I decided I had to get her checked out so I rang the vet and told them I was on my way. As we sat in the waiting room I noticed that she had stopped slobbering and contemplated taking her home and saving myself £60 ish pounds but then I thought, no, best to get her checked over, what is money compared the well-being of an animal?

The vet looked about twelve but was pleasant enough. She examined Chea, who by the way, since she was spayed, hates with a passion the cat carrier and the vet. Nothing abnormal was detected and she seemed to have stopped slobbering. The vet then popped off to read-up about slug pellets and came back ten minutes later saying that she’d seen the senior vet and they recommended giving Chea a drug to make her vomit. Apparently she would be very sick until her belly was empty and then she would be drowsy and feel sorry for herself. Being one human being who often feels sorry for herself I wasn’t sure I liked the sound of that. I questioned in my head, before voicing the thought, that why should she eat slug pellets now when they had been protecting the hostas for weeks and she hadn’t so far touched them? The vet, Hannah, said it was up to me and although she didn’t want to push me she had to because the window of one hour, in which to give the drug, was fast disappearing.

I looked at the vet. I looked at Chea. I cursed Richard for always being at work when I needed him. The facts were these; make Chea ill and miserable when the chances were she hadn’t eaten pellets or risk her liver and kidneys failing and her fitting. Do you know, I never realised how much I loved the little cat until I seemingly had her life in my hands. I asked the vet what she would do and she said she would make her sick but it was my call. My call. God!!

Chea, by this time was standing on the edge of the table pushing against me. Me! Her form of sanctuary. I looked at her, weighed up the evidence and said I didn’t want to make her sick and miserable just for the sake of it and that I was going to go with the theory that the blackbirds had upset her, freaked her out and possibly even attacked her. So I brought her home. Hannah said she was on call and if I needed her to ring. That was sweet. Especially as I’d gone against her advice.

When we arrived home, after a half-mile journey of Chea screaming and wailing her woes in the car, she started slobbering again. I almost took her straight back but frankly the ‘window of opportunity’ had long passed. I’d dithered in the consulting room for well over twenty minutes.

I gave her some more tuna, which she scoffed, and I watched her like a hawk. She chased the odd fly and had cuddles and rested a bit. She still looked freaked-out and seemed quite tired. I let her up into the bedroom so that I could keep an eye on her until Richard came in at 2.00 am. She jumped off the bed and went down to welcome him home and I shouted down and said to leave her downstairs. There was little point in explaining what had happened to Richard. At 2.00 am he is dead to the world.

She seems fine this morning. Frankly I was terrified that I had made the wrong call. What if I should have made her ill to make her better? What if, in my infinite wisdom, I’d got it wrong? I guess you can only go on the evidence available at the time and your gut feeling? I was a wreck last night. Holding life and death in your hands is no joke. I just pray I was right and it was a case of stress salivation. I feel she should be showing other signs by now (if not last night) if it had been anything worse? One thing is for sure – Chea is NOT going out into the garden today without me trailing her. My nerves won’t take decisions like that. She hasn’t made any sign of wanting to go out so hopefully I’m right and it was the stupid blackbirds and she is now very wary of going out?

I am going to go and remove every slug pellet – just in case.  The hostas are magnificent but if it is a toss-up between hostas or Chea …well, let the bloody slugs munch them …

Take care my lovelies x


PS WHAT!!! Chea has JUST appeared at the kitchen patio door! She has obviously let herself out of a bedroom window and I thought she was sleeping on the bed!! What the *uc* do I know?? She looks blooming!

Tigers At Two In The Morning? …And What Makes You Angry?

Hi All

Today I thought I would spread the love and introduce you to the blog of a friend of mine, Geoffrey West. And lets admit it, it will make a nice change for you all to see a bit of decent stuff on here other than the ramblings of a suspect mind? And besides this, I’ve been given a morning pass-out and don’t have time to woo you with my wit and s**t today. So while you enjoy Geoffrey I’ll be sipping tea, with a writer friend of mine, in Tesco’s.  I only have to purchase one item first. A box of crunchies for Chea. Richard came in from work, at two this morning, all of a fluster. Apparently there was a four-inch slug sitting in Chea’s crunchie dish, munching away, so he had put the dish outside in the garden – for me to deal with today. He was all of a quiver, shuddering and going on about how big and awful the slug was. Knowing, as I do, oodles about slugs, I questioned him and established that the slug was one of those beige and brown jobbies. I think they are called tiger slugs? And apparently they are the ‘good’ slugs. Frankly I doubt it because I don’t think there IS such a thing as a good slug. All this conversation about a slug at two in the morning. No wonder I don’t sleep! I’m digressing … and doing what I said I didn’t have the time to do …write a blog, so, as they say, I will hand you over to Geoffrey …

Take care my lovelies x

What makes you angry? – Geoffrey D WestMB900048764


Lots of things make me angry. A group of men shouting with laughter in a quiet pub when you want peace and quiet, people walking backwards in an animated conversation with someone, not realising they’re going to bash into you. And it’s hard to beat my fury every time some twit on the radio says ‘to be honest’, that irritating senseless and overused phrase that’s about as nonsensical as ‘at the end of the day’ used to be years ago.  Come to think of it ‘back in the day’ sounds daft to me too, as does the American phrase ‘Go figure’.  Or when someone says ‘bless him’ when what they really mean is ‘fry his liver and roast his heart, I hate the very sight of him’.

Nowadays there are all kinds of reasons to be angry.  There’s the blazing justified fury if someone harms an animal, or a child, or indeed attacks someone weaker than themselves. The anger at injustice when someone is treated unfairly by the system.  And of course there are all the little niggling irritations, such as anger at TV programmes.  My own pet dislike is the vast army of male chefs on TV today.  Television producers have decided that sport presenters must be dizzy blond females, and that it’s macho for men to cook.  So there’s an endless procession of seven-foot tough guys delicately teasing out salad leaves, wittering on about presentation. And in cookery programmes producers try to inject ‘tension’, where there’s the ludicrous spectacle of several ostensibly intelligent aspirant cooks, sweating in a backroom because a gaggle of chortling buffoons seated at a table ten feet away are going to pass judgement on a jelly, or pronounce on their pork.

Fake television ‘tension’ is utterly annoying.  I used to write about building and DIY, and a while ago there was a programme about companies who sold architectural materials.  A friend in the trade told me that the producer had been told she had to inject ‘a time element’ and ‘tension’ into it, so there was the ludicrous spectacle of having to feel sorry and concerned for a well-heeled dealer in antique stone troughs who had only so many hours to transport a twelfth-century trough from France to England, because his client ‘had’ to have it by 3 o’clock.  Why did he have to have it so quickly?  For heaven sake it had been under six feet of manure in a Gallic barn for 700 years, what difference did a few hours make? But tension? Really?  Tension is when someone’s hanging onto life by a thread , or a bomb is about to go off.  I remember a series ‘Challenge Anneka’ which stretched credulity to the absolute limit, because some vast building project had to be completed within so many hours for the sake of some mawkish charity or other.  Why?  Concrete couldn’t set, paint wasn’t allowed to dry, and artisans hammered and sawed and twizzled their socks off all through the night under floodlight. When there was no earthly reason for this ridiculous haste, except to make people seem hurried and stressed.

And I get angry at ‘givers up before they start’.  We all know them.  The ones who tell you there’s no point in writing  a book because no one will publish it, there’s no point trying for a better job because you won’t get it. That everyone else has it easy and they have to work hard.  Whinge whinge whinge.  Yes whingers, they annoy me too.  And who annoys me more than whingers?  The ‘hate scroungers’ brigade who say that they’d be a traffic warden for 24 hours a day for 10p a week in the outer Hebrides rather than sign on the dole.

Obfuscation in sales strategies makes me angry too.  When a car is sold with £XXX off, when you’re not even told the original price, and adverts tell you you can get ‘up to’ £XX savings, or an insurance policy offer ‘2 months free’.  Patently utterly stupid, when they don’t tell you what 12 months costs in the first place, and ‘up to’ could be anything from 1p to £1000!   Or when you’re offered a silly fountain pen or a furry toy if you buy an insurance policy.  For goodness sake, if you want an insurance policy you will buy it, if you want a cuddly toy you’ll buy that, you won’t want to do both bloody things at the same time! Any more than you’ll want to buy a kiss-me-quick hat at the same time as choosing the coffin for Aunt Betsy’s funeral.

I get angry at the repetitions of things you have to say.  Why must you say ‘Happy Christmas’ to everyone?  It doesn’t mean anything, just a phrase, and you’ve got to say every year, time and time again.

I get angry about half heartedness.  For instance when I was young, men either had  a beard, moustache, or were clean shaven.  Nowadays, every single male actor on TV or man you meet in the street under 30 is obliged to have man-shadow that’s carefully twerked down to a black haze or froths around his gills like a moth-eaten bog brush.  Middle-aged men scurry around with a dithering sparse rash of silver stubble that exaggerates their turkey neck and transforms their face into a sad geriatric jelly.  Men can’t decide whether to wear long trousers or shorts so they wear something in between that jeers at their knees.  And many people voice a statement in ‘question’ mode, with that irritating upward lilt at the end, as if they’re terrified of saying anything decisive, so they have to pretend they haven’t really said it seriously.

And sport.  I personally have always heartily disliked sport.  When it’s the World Cup football, I hate the nauseating fixed grin on a TV presenter’s face, especially females, as they give beneficial results for England, and the oh-so-gloomy face of a whipped dog-with-diarrhoea if we lose.  Ever since school it has struck me as absurd that you should want to kick a ball, or run or jump faster, or hit a cricket ball better than anyone else.

Everyone went mad about the Olympic Games.  All the ridiculous hysteria about a few men running around in singlets made me angry. Remember the ‘Olympic bounce’?  Where is it?  It was a pathetic advertiser’s creation that we were meant to believe, a promise that aimed to repay all the businesses whose premises were forcibly removed simply to provide what’s passed as entertainment for a mere fourteen, extremely tedious, days when we were forcibly bored witless by a national obsession that everyone apart from me appeared to buy into.

Does anyone remember the Millennium Dome?  That was a gargantuan waste of time and money and, again, the cant and hypocrisy of the professionals who tried to sell the wretched experience made me angry, the pretence that it was a gigantically exciting bubble of fun, when it was a suppurating abscess on the withered forehead of a government fresh out of ideas.

I get angry about those who talk endlessly about writing, soul searching and pontificating about literary wiles and finding the muse instead of actually doing it.

I don’t smoke but I get angry with rabid anti-smoking crusaders who tell you that cigarettes contain 15 million different poisons including arsenic, plutonium, lead, strychnine, cyanide and microbes of the Black Death.  Do they seriously expect anyone to believe such patently ridiculous rubbish? Every mineral on earth probably contains microscopic amounts of poisons, whether it’s a doughnut or a dandelion!  Isn’t that obvious?  Or do the anti-smoking lobby think smokers’ brains have been so addled by the weed that they actually believe all this twaddle?  Okay, we all know smoking is bad for you, but it’s got to the point that they tell you that if you were a yard away from Mum while she had a fag for ten minutes when you were six your chances of lung disease are multiplied by 5000.

I remember a doctor on television saying that there was a strange causal link whereby people who smoked and drank alcohol were more prone to certain kinds of cancers, whereas if you only did one of those activities, the incidence wasn’t any higher than average.

“Well,” he said, trowelling on a patronising leer.  “Isn’t it obvious?  We all drink plenty of alcohol, so it’s safest to give up smoking, isn’t it, and carry on drinking.  Everybody drinks.  It’s natural.”

So everyone drinks alcohol to excess do they?  That’s natural? Rubbish.  I don’t.  And if smokers enjoy smoking as much as drinkers enjoy drinking why shouldn’t they puff away, as long as they’re aware of the health aspects?  Who is he to say which is worse?  Fatuous oaf.

Here’s my rough assessment of a few of the things that I think make other people angry.  Dropping litter – some are certain that this warrants instant decapitation.  For some reason people who disbelieve in ghosts often get furious when ghost believers go on about phantoms.  And rabid atheists sometimes like to get angry with people who believe, and have the urge to unseat their faith.  MPs’ expenses.  That one, I admit didn’t rile me one bit.  What else do you expect from 600 power-hungry gangsters?  And let’s face it, who is there who, if offered a legal monetary perk wouldn’t take it?  Especially if all their colleagues were doing the same thing. It was the luxury lifestyle that got under people’s skin. Would they have been so angry if a friend had had his flat’s broken window fixed for no charge by his firm, rather than a millionaire having his duck pond prettied up by the taxpayer?

So that’s what makes me angry.

And the strange point is, that anger is a part of life. It may be corrosive and pretty pointless, but it’s fun to rant and rave about a pet hate with friends over a cup of coffee.

And do you know what?

I like it.

A good ranting dollop of anger a day is really quite fun.

So over to you. What makes you angry?  I’d really like to know …

I’m Having A Baby …Strawberry!

Hi All

Why has this blog changed? Have the blog gremlins been in overnight? Last night it wouldn’t let me post a comment. Unfortunately I didn’t know this until I’d posted three and later realised that they had disappeared into the ether. I used my common sense and thought it might be because I had reached twenty comments. This is a free blog and so it wasn’t beyond my powers of reasoning to assume that there could be a limit on comments. Well, it kinda made sense to me – as much as anything in this world does. This morning I can post comments so obviously there isn’t a limit on them but now all the borders have turned black. Brilliant. If I get to the end of this and it disappears I shall kill someone. Possibly myself.

I have to share something with you. Massively important breaking news … my first strawberry is almost ripe! Whoop woo. It might not tick your boxes but to me this is epic. You know how twitchers stake-out the nesting site of a rare bird and protect it with their very souls, well I’m showing the same commitment to this strawberry. Yeah, I know, I need to get a life but  … to each to their own. Just look at it! Isn’t it just the sweetest little strawberry you have ever seen? HPIM2946

I think you’d better also take a gander at the cabbages because they are looking good. We moan and complain about the rain in this country but it does make everything grow, far better than all the tap water you can throw at it. I need to shut up now because I’m even boring myself.


More good news. Chea’s first collar has returned. Not on its own, obviously. I happened to be walking down the garden on my way back to house to do something of paramount importance, when I was scared poohless by the neighbour, hanging over the fence. Maybe that should be leaning over the fence not hanging? He was mending it apparently. Cobbling together something that needs ripping down and replacing but …it’s cheaper, in fact, free. After I ‘d screamed in sheer horror at his balding head and in turn almost made him fall off his ladder and into his pond I asked him if he’d come across Chea’s collars anywhere in his garden. He said he had found a purple one, stuck in his bean netting. I avoided the innuendo that Chea had been in his beans causing death and ruin to his little plants and said, ‘oh good.’ Off he toddled to fetch it. So now we have two collars in use and two spare ones in the drawer. Also six spare bells and four spare name discs. Call me what you like but never call me unprepared.

Chea has ‘found’ her pattern now. She is allowed in and out until four/five in the afternoon and I then  insist she comes in. She fills her pretty little face  before tootling off to the bedroom where she crashes out on the bed until around seven. Then she graces us with her presence and insists that I cuddle her. Tough life! She tend to stays in the garden more now. I think the novelty of long distance travel is gradually wearing off. As with most things they only appeal if you can’t do them. She chases every fly, spider, wasp and bee and her antics have me in stitches. She has been stung on the paw twice, to date, but doesn’t seem to mind – or learn. I did find her charging through the strawberries after a very large spider and had to grab her quickly before my precious first-born strawberry was destroyed. Talking of which …I did give it a jolly good watering with liquid manure so I may let Richard have this first strawberry. See? How kind am I?

I’d better get off my butt and go and cut the bloody lawn …

Take care my lovelies x

It’s A Rant – And I’m Too Ratty To Apologise …

Good Morning

I’m not sure if I am fully awake yet. I’m hoping not because I haven’t warmed to the positive and potential of this day. I’m still grumpy. And irritated. And just plain ratty. Had another weird dream where one of my ‘virtual’ friends (I won’t embarrass him by naming him) was protecting me from the evils of life and then some hammer-swinging thug tried to kill me by swinging his hammer and letting it fly at my person. And not just any hammer. A lump hammer. Not the best start to the day!

I think it all had something to do with the state of mind that I went to bed in. We went out for the day yesterday, just a little jaunt to Lincoln, and so I didn’t fire-up the laptop until the evening. I intended to but I got involved in watching Andy Murray at Queens and then the following ‘celebrity’ match. I guess by this time I had peaked and was already on a downwards spiral. I can only see good and sense in my fellow-man for a certain amount of time each day!

Some of the boasting and utter crap posted around the place got my goat – whatever that means? What is wrong with these people? Such opinions. And yes, that is exactly what they are – opinions. Do these people, who write all this crap, actually believe it? It really, really gets to me. This is why I often think that I am not suited to this self publishing world. I’m not sure I can take it all as seriously as some do. I never feel the need to instil my beliefs and opinions on others – especially without being asked. Opinions are personal. They are NOT facts. Never have been. Never will be. Book reviews are opinions. They are NOT facts.  Never have been. Never will be. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have no problem with that at all. The problem I have is when these opinions are delivered in such a manner as to give the impression that they ARE facts and should be adhere to. Followed to the letter. Divert at your peril. Stop it, please.

My naughty little fingers hung poised over the keypad as I tried not to comment. It was hard. Very hard. You see, I believe that these strongly opinionated types actually scare off the less brave and the less opinionated and I don’t think that is fair. It can’t be, can it? Writing doesn’t have to be so sodding serious and complicated, does it? If you want to write, just write. You don’t need to listen to some idiot spouting on. These people will put you off because you will end up believing that you will NEVER know as much as they do, never be good enough and in all likelihood give up. Anyway, I kept my fingers under control and moved away from the keypad. Consequently I went to bed angry and someone tried to hammer me to death. At least I had my virtual knight in shining armour! I shall send him an email today and thank him ha ha. He also happens to be one of the humblest writers I know.

I will simmer until the cauldron boils. You see, I don’t actually like upsetting people and hold back with my comments and opinions. It doesn’t mean I don’t have them.

Just had a quick argument with Richard – see, it’s not a good day. He’s flying high and quite jolly – and distracting me from this. He’s just been to book old Betsy-crap-machine in for her second MOT and to get the guy in the garage to do the bit of welding on her old bones. Come Thursday the ancient lass should be back on the road. He will be delirious, of course, because as we all know, little things please little minds. So right now I’m having to contend with Richard singing, making toast and being jolly. NOT the usual Richard. I’ve asked him to stop being quite so happy because it is off-putting and  – weird! He looks confused. No change there then. I’ve told him he’s a dick and that his mother named him well. He said he used to think that was a compliment – twenty years ago. He IS a dick …

I’m being beastly, I know. Can’t help it today. I still see that hammer lunging towards me. And I’m still a bit down from yesterday. As we all know it was Father’s Day and for me the sixth one without my dad. I took him some flowers and tidied his grave. I miss him so much and I don’t know why that still surprises me?

The day and my attitude can only improve. An hour from now and I’ll be the normal, happy, little bunny. Possibly. Hopefully. Think I’ll go and make Richard a coffee and have a little chat with him about Betsy, poor soul. Oh, and tell him he isn’t a dick, at least not by nature – only by name.

He appears to be writing a ‘to do’ list – on MY pad! He may be wearing the coffee?026


Take care my lovelies x





Stone The Crows … Jackdaws Actually!

Hi All

Funny old day. You know how sometimes things just happen around you and you go with it? Richard has just texted to ask me if I’d like to go for a ride out when he gets home at 1.00 pm? Sounds romantic doesn’t it? I’ll have the stallions brushed and waiting, frothing at the mouth, chomping on their bits and off we will go, galloping towards the distant horizon, me girlishly giggling and Richard hanging on to his privates to avoid permanent damage. Ha ha. Blame the migraine medication. I do. I have to or else I’d really think I was barking.

No, we will go for our ‘ride out’ in the car. There will be an ulterior motive as to why he has suggested this ‘ride out.’ It will probably have something to do with coincidentally passing a Land Rover bits shop on the way and he will just quickly pop in for something. He said we could also have lunch out if I fancied it. Well if he thinks we are visiting the McDonald’s drive through he can think again. I refuse to have to witness him slurping his way through another caramel sundae!

I woke this morning to one of the chucks going berserk. Her extremely noisy tones vibrated through the 5.00 am morning air. I knew she wasn’t announcing the arrival of an egg. Perish the thought. All egg laying and anything remotely helpful to the shopping budget has been shelved whilst they have their poorly/resting episode. The only thing coming out of their butts at the moment does not require verbal expansion. I had a good look out of the bedroom window and after a moment of two a tortoiseshell cat, the size of a small bear, waddled down the path next door. This is a new cat on the block. I haven’t seen this little (huge) girl before and obviously neither had the chucks. Feeling for the neighbours, I went down and out into the garden and reassured Dust that it wasn’t a bear, it was a cat and that it had now sloped off. Have you ever reassured a chicken? No? I thought not. Again, we will blame it on the medication …

I didn’t see any point at all in going back to bed so I had a bit of a tidy up in the bread cupboard. I know most people have a breadbin but we eat rather a lot of bread and bread type stuff (waffles/crumpets/scones/crap in general) so we need a cupboard allocated purely to bread. I came across the tin with the fruit cake in it that I’d told Richard he could finish off. I’d made the cake over a year ago – no, it was OK – a rich fruit cake, injected with enough brandy and sherry to put a small person on his/her back, so there was no way this cake was going to go mouldy.

I like to keep a couple of fruit cakes available and brandied-up and then if a birthday or similar sneaks up on me I can whip out a cake and ice it. This was the last one and as I say, been around for a while, so the other day I put a bit of icing on it and told Richard we would eat it ourselves. I had a couple of pieces but frankly I didn’t like the under-taste. It tasted er … stale. And I think the glacé cherries were a bit suspect. They stared through the sultanas with a very dim eye. So I told Richard that he could finish it off because I was gong on a diet. Normally when I tell him something like that the cake is consumed within hours but this little fruit cake wasn’t so I brought up the subject last night and said if he wasn’t going to eat it I was going to throw it out for the birds. He just looked at me. I got the message. Poor thing.

‘You don’t like it, do you?’ I said.

He looked at me, weighed up my mood and then gently shook his head and said, ‘er…it’s a bit …dry. NICE but …er dry.’

So I threw it out on the roof for the jackdaws. Before I’d turned back towards the house the sky had darkened and a dozen birds landed on the roof. I watched whilst they tested the cake with their long beaks, tossing it here and there and arguing about who was having the biggest piece. It obviously appealed to them because they rammed it into their beaks and took off back to their nests to feed their young. I just hope no  baby jackdaw had a mind to leave the nest today because I’m not too sure they would be flying very straight. They are probably all rolling around in their nests, stoned and singing rude songs. Not too sure what all that fruit is going to do to their digestive systems? They’ll be fine. I’m sure of it. Richard has survived what he’s eaten but then he does have the digestive system of an ostrich.

Off to get ready for my ride out – and to chase up Chea. I haven’t seen her for the last two hours. I do hope a stoned jackdaw hasn’t landed on her head …

Take care my lovelies x

To Bed On The First Meeting?

Hi De Hi

I’m back!  First major decision of the day sorted …waffles and syrup or crumpets and butter? Remember yesterday’s blog when I told you that this bloody head cold/virus/plague thing had taken me over rendering all decision-making hopeless? Well, I can see a little clearer today. Or, at least make a decision regarding waffles or crumpets. The fact that I chose crumpets and butter and that I now feel sick is neither here nor there. I made a decision! Whoop woo!

I shouldn’t really have said that I can see a little clearer today because frankly I can’t. The weird thing is …when I blow my nose, fluid leaks from my left eye. Strange huh? I have self diagnosed and decided I have a blocked tear duct. Either that or I’m leaking. Think I prefer the tear duct theory. Leakage is a horrible word and springs to mind horrible things. Leakage. Dreadful word. And colourful. Very colourful. Always yellowy brown.  Yuck.

So …putting aside leakage and hoping that this bug is gradually releasing my thought processes and decision-making, we go on…

I was just chatting to a friend on Facebook about taking chances. In this particular conversation it regarded taking chances with new people. A potential new relationship. A man! She hinted at the fact that maybe I wouldn’t understand because I have been in a relationship with Richard for 22 years … or something like that. It’s difficult to remember exactly how long it’s been when it’s all been such a blinding hoot! This made me smile because before this long-term relationship I ‘travelled’ freely. An innocent spirit blown here and there. Optimistically journeying on. Well you have to, don’t you? Until you find what you are looking for? I have never been one for accepting situations or people because it was the hassle free option. Because it was easy. Painless. Life, real life, isn’t like that. If you want something you have to go and find it. It’s a cliché’, yes, but it’s true, this isn’t a rehearsal. This is it. Start lacing up those walking boots …

I have come across many people in my lifetime who are scared poohless to take a chance in case they fail. In case they are left with egg on their faces. So what? It’s egg. It won’t kill you. The places that eggs come from might kill you. Trust me, I know! It may hurt your pride. But what’s pride? Something of your own making. It isn’t actually ‘real.’The irony is that the nicest people are scared to start new relationships in case they don’t work out. Because they have been hurt before. Because love hurts. Because it brings you to your knees.

I saw a similar scenario when I was dog grooming. People would bring their much-loved beasties to me and they would chat and tell me all about Fido or Florence and it was so obvious how much they loved their pets. And then, one day, the owner would ring and cancel the appointment because Fido or Florence had passed away. They often said they would NEVER have another dog because the pain of losing was too great. I understand this. I have said the same thing when my little loves died. But these people  SHOULD have dogs. They have so much to give. So much love. If they don’t settle it on a canine where does it go to? I fear it sinks, like leakage, to the bottom of their broken hearts and dies?  Some people should never give up trying to find another love,  canine or human, because they have so much love to give and to receive.

I’m not suggesting that my friend jumps into bed with some guy on the first meeting (unless she wants to of course – live and let live) and I’m not suggesting she should give the guy one of her kidneys on first meeting either, but for her sake, and for the love she has sitting waiting in her heart, I think she should give him a chance. Nothing more. Nothing else. No kidney.

And now, unless she rushes to Amazon to buy one of my books, I’m going to divulge her name …mwahhhh!!! HPIM2851 - Copy

See, my brain is beginning to work? Bribery now kicks in  …


Take care my lovelies x