My Resolutions? Not To Make Any!

Hi All

OK, so you know for a fact that I’m going to have to witter on about it being the end of one year and the beginning of another, yada, yada, yada, so I’ll do us all a huge favour and keep it brief.

I’m going to thank each and every one of you who bought or borrowed one of my books. And I’m going to doubly thank everyone who has taken the time to leave a review.  There have only been the odd one or two one star reviews and over five books I don’t think that is a bad ratio. At first those ‘one stars’ sent me into a tailspin, until I convinced myself that the reviewer was an idiot, and then I moved on. I don’t usually ‘go on’ about these things, book sales, reviews, etc. because I find the whole thing rather akin to ‘bragging’ and I can’t bring myself to do that somehow. But I did need to thank you.

I’m not going to make any resolutions. When you get to my age you usually have yourself pretty much sorted, because let’s face it, if I still have bad habits now there’s a bloody  good chance they are too deeply embedded  to remove. Besides, I’m not sure that I have many bad habits.

I guess I could be too principled. This has led me to disaster now and then.  And I could be too critical. This has led to a very short Christmas card list. And I’m OCD regarding arranging foodstuffs in the cupboards. All tins have to be facing forwards, labels thrust out like ample bosoms, each showing their contents at just the right angle. And I could be guilty of snapping at Richard too much …on the rare occasion, well, OK,  a few times a day … but I figure I have reason for that, because I’m highly principled and over critical. But other than this I don’t think there is much room for improvement.

And anyway, I much prefer to converse with the chucks and Chea and the plants in the garden. They offer no argument and seem to appreciate me just the way I am.

I really have no plans for the New Year. No resolutions. No plans. I want my life to go on just as it is, with my family safe and healthy, and with my little world intact. This is enough for me. I possibly wouldn’t turn down a lottery win or a major book deal but they would be taken in my stride and nothing much would change.happy-new-year-2015-wallpaper-1024x768

I have one last major thing to get through in 2014 and that is to take Richard to the hospital on New Year’s Eve (tomorrow as I am writing) for his shoulder operation. He pretends he isn’t worried but I know he is …and so I am. An anesthetic is a risk to anyone, and at any time of their lives, but I will play the poker face and help him through it, because despite my many posts over this last year ridiculing him for one thing and another he is a dear soul and, along with my son, the closest thing to my heart. Shit! This blog post is getting really silly now so I’m going to end. When I start admitting that Richard is precious it is time to shut up.

So, dear friends, please have love, peace, and happiness in the New Year, but above all of this please find contentment.



Happy New Year my lovelies x


Uh Oh! A Man Without The Use Of His Right Hand?

Hi All

Sometimes I’m wrong. No, really, I am. Here we are galloping towards the end of another year and in my tiny mind I’d decided that all that remained of note, in the remainder of this year, was to pick up a few stocking fillers for the  griddies (grandchildren), ice the bloody Christmas cake that I still haven’t got round to icing, tart up the lounge with a bit of berried variegated holly from the garden and attempt to cook a gammon joint.

I’d throw in a bit of cleaning here and there and that would be it. Then I’d unearth the T.V Christmas edition of ‘What’s On,’ (only ever buy a Christmas one) and settle down around 4.00 pm Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day.

Good plan? Yes. But then, you know what they say about ‘the best laid plans?’

I think I’ve told you in previous blogs that dear Richard has a massive right shoulder problem? He needs an op to shave a tendon and scrape a bone. I appreciate that this is hardly the technical term for such a procedure but other than Googling it (can’t be bothered) or listening again to Richard’s useless effort at telling me what’s going on (can’t be bothered) I’ll just stick to layman’s terms and repeat …he needs a tendon shaving and a bone scraping.

We have actually both been eagerly awaiting this appointment. Richard because he is in intense/immense pain and yours truly because the man makes such a performance out of bringing in a basket of logs from the log shed that I’m seriously considering enrolling him in the local amateur dramatics group. He plays the wounded soldier to Oscar level.

Back to the point. The appointment winged in with a Christmas card that had been delivered to the wrong address and lo and behold there it was …New Year’s Eve.

They want to rip, shave and scrape my sweet little Richard’s bones and tendons on New Year’s Eve.

But, as I explained to Richard, this isn’t as bad as it seems, at least it gets us out of the New Year’s Eve bash six doors up! And think of the money we’ll save not having to buy Fairy costumes.  See, ALWAYS a positive from every negative.

You may think that I’m making a bit of a joke about this and in reality I guess I am. However, I am concerned for him, obviously. He has never had an operation or any hospital procedure and I would be happier if I could be there holding his hand and offering encouraging comments like …breath …breath …pant …pant …that’s great, I can see its head. Or is that something totally different? Yes, OK, I am joking but I always do when I’m nervous. I would rather have the op for him. I always feel that I can handle things better than Richard, but I guess he is just going to have to shape up and go for it.

I’m sure that he will have the last laugh because they have advised at least 3 months off work …and it could be as many as six. Are they totally bonkers? Six months is half a year! Half a year of fetching and carrying for Richard? I don’t think so.

Spain sounds good – a couple of months at my brother’s place – just twenty or so miles from Alicante’? But for me or Richard? Richard I think, because let’s face it, how will he muck out the chucks and stuff like that? But then again, some Senorita might be taken in by his brown puppy-dog eyes and he may never return.  She will show him her castanets and he will show her his scraped bone. Let me think that one through …

Failing this, when my Florence Nightingale mode wears thin, I will shove him into the spare room, the one at the front of the house where he will hear the traffic going by, and still feel life’s pulse. I will leave him with everything he needs, drink, food, Land Rover mags and his charged mobile. To leave it flat would be rather cruel, even by my standards, and then, if he requires further supplies he can text me.

Yes, it might work out OK.

And guess what? I don’t believe that for one minute. I may have to risk the castanet-clicking beauty.


Take care my lovelies

I Only Ever Wanted To Be A Cowgirl!

Hi All

It’s been a while since I blogged – probably 4 weeks or slightly more. However, I did say back then that I was taking a bit of time off after finishing my latest novel (Witch Ever Way You Look At It) to pursue something else, so that is half of the reason.

The other half of the reason is that I have been so angry and generally peed off by the attitude of certain people over the last fortnight that if I wrote anything it would end up being a pure and evil rant and someone would probably die through sheer ether venom. So, having pulled on my hat of calm, and grown-up-person status, I am here to calmly go where I have calmly gone before. Kind of…

Christmas is just around the corner and the grand children have already been over bearing their ‘Grandma and Granddad’ cards. I, on the other hand, haven’t yet purchased theirs. I also haven’t stuck the marzipan on the cake, but I have fed it regularly with Sherry, so that’s something. At least the dear thing is waiting patiently in the cupboard, swaying happily and humming rude pirate-type ditties. I might dig out the block of almond paste that I spied the other day, at the back of a cupboard, and slap it on. I’m sure it’s out of date – the paste not the cupboard – but then so were the flaked and ground almonds if you remember (previous blog) but only by a year or so…

I think I like Christmas – but I also think that I’ve liked it more than I do today. My parents are no longer here and so that is a massive loss at this time of year. It’s hard not to drift back to ‘family Christmases,’ when we were all young and when the excitement of Santa coming was almost uncontrollable. I’m not sure if I ever quite accepted, in an easy manner, the idea of a strange man entering my bedroom whilst I slept? I might view this differently now?

Back then the man in the red suit never failed to bring to me my heart’s desires. I think I was an easy child to please, in all honestly, and I remember one of my ‘greatest’ gifts was a cowgirl outfit. I opened my eyes one Christmas morning and there it was, hanging on the wardrobe door, beige imitation leather and tassels so long that they touched the floor.

From this point onward I became Calamity Jane, roping and riding my brother, sitting on his back as he struggled round on hands and knees, rearing up and down, trying to shake me off. Like that was ever going to happen! Obviously, the ‘outfit’ didn’t come with ‘tack’ for my horse (brother) so I had to compromise and came up with my dressing gown belt which I made my brother put in his mouth, like a bit, so that I could steer him. It all worked swimmingly, until my stupid brother turned the wrong way and a quick snatch of the belt, to correct him, removed his molar. Mum wasn’t too impressed but I do think my brother over-egged the pudding a bit. The tooth was out in a flash and it didn’t bleed much. I went on from that point to be a tomboy and lived up to the name …having one calamity after the other.

I also remember, back then, having pork pie for breakfast. Is this real? Did, and do, people still do that? And Christmas cake with royal icing, so hard that it could have supported foundations and gave you something to grate your teeth on all the way through the Queen’s speech and beyond. I don’t think many people use royal icing these days? Don’t we all use the softer fondant type? And we always had sherry trifle for tea, which was jolly fun – and seemed like even more jolly fun on the second helping than the first.

And dear Mum – cooking her little socks off for us all. And Dad, working hard to give his children Christmases to remember – and not just because of the gifts, but because of the love and family time we shared. As I say, I miss those Christmases.

But there is still joy. In comes in the form of the grandchildren. Small people loving the excitement and the expectation of Christmas. On their last visit they posed for pics’ in front of the Christmas tree. Jake sang hymns and carols that he had learnt at school and Grace performed her ‘ballerina’ moves that she had learnt at nursery.Her pirouette needs a little more work but she’s getting there  – and she is only 3. I don’t want this to make you think that Grace is a pink girlie-type – though she does rather like pink. No, I think Grace could well be asking for a cowgirl outfit next year. And as luck would have it Jake is at that age where his ‘baby’ teeth are queuing up to be shed. Just as well really.061

Take care my lovelies x