26th November And The Christmas Pressie Shopping Is Done!


I can’t believe I’m going to say this because it is so unlike me, usually I’m a 24th December shopper, but . . . I now have all my Christmas presents – bought, wrapped, and stored away from prying eyes.

To be honest it’s a great feeling but I do have to account most of this early bird activity to Richard – the ‘let’s-click-on-that-and-buy-it-even-though-we-don’t-need-it’ manic Ebayer.  His little fingers are almost worn down to the bone with all the internet activity.

Instead of trotting along to Argos, or Toys R Us, Richard has bought from the internet. This is OK, in theory, but he clears off to work and I’m having to stay focused on the front door as parcel after parcel arrives.

We had a little scan around Tesco last Saturday, looking for wrapping paper and any other ‘bits’ for stocking fillers for Jake and Grace. They didn’t need anything else but while Richard was watching some woman fingering bras in the clothes section, I came across a lovely little parrot in a cage. Not a real parrot, obviously, no, a stuffed toy thingy. It had one of those little button things that you press and it squawks and such like – so I pressed it – and yep, it squawked. Then I happened to read the box and it said it repeated anything you said to it, so I tried it out, and it did. I was having great fun as Richard sidled up, having lost interest in the woman buying the bra. Either that or she’d reported him to the store’s security team?

‘Look at this!’ I exclaimed. ‘Isn’t it brilliant? It repeats everything you say. I think we should get it for Grace.’

Richard squinted a bit (he’s half blind at close range) and then pressed the button. Then, standing in the middle of Tesco’s he spoke his message into the parrot. A second later it squawked out, ‘Shop at ASDA!’

‘You idiot?’ I said. This only served to make him laugh louder. Then he pressed the buttons on every parrot on the shelf and within seconds the place was filled with, ‘Shop at Asda! Shop at Asda! Shop at Asda!’ etc. etc.

He thought this most amusing – did I mention that he has a weird sense of humour?

Richard, being Richard, couldn’t leave it at that and strains of, ‘you sexy beast, you sexy beast, you sexy beast,’ echoed up and down the aisle.

I grabbed one parrot for Grace and left him to it.

We giggled most of the way home as the parrot, squashed under 3 bags of frozen oven chips and 2 bags of Quorn sausages, gave intermittent squawks each time the car went over a bump and a frozen sausage triggered its button thingy.

So, then, when we got home, we wrapped everything. When I say ‘we’ I mean Richard sat at the table playing with the parrot, teaching it a whole new vocabulary, and I wrapped everything.

The only present remaining to buy is mine – and Richard’s. But we probably won’t bother. That’s not because we are mean or don’t think enough of each other to buy gifts, no, it’s because neither of us can ever come up with something we need, or would like.

At least the ‘Tesco’ trip was less stressful than the Morrison’s shop the other day.

I was there at the crack of dawn, stuffing cat food into the basket – 7 foils for £3 – so I bought 21. Chea is like a blancmange, slipping out sideways when she squats. I must, in her defence –  and mine, because I don’t want you thinking that I’m such a crap owner that I over feed her,  admit to her having grown a coat so thick that it isn’t dissimilar to the 70s shag pile that frequented homes. Anyway, I digress . . .

Back to Morrison’s. I’d thrown the cat food foils into the trolley and was just fingering a cheapo Christmas jumper when there was an almighty thud and the whole store blacked out. This has never happened to me before and frankly it was a tad worrying. I half expected armed robbers to be swooping down the aisles at any moment demanding my pearls and best leather boots. I thought these places had emergency generators that kicked in?

I stood chatting to a woman – as you do – for ages, well, ten minutes, and then with a thud the lights came back on. I then made a fast retreat to the checkout only to find that I’d thrown the Christmas jumper, that I was merely looking at, into the trolley and was, now, loading it onto the conveyor belt.

So, I now have a penguin Christmas jumper. Yep, I know, sad or what?

Actually, thinking about it, perhaps I do know what I can get Richard for Christmas . . . but then again, could I live with the squawking? But, then again, I already live with his!

Later dudes . . .christmas-tree_large - Copy




Three Things To Report . . .


Just a quickie today. It’s hammering down here in good old Leicestershire and I have just got totally drenched loading shopping  – mainly Chea’s food and bottles of still water –  because they were on offer – into the car boot.

I kept the visit as short as possible and tried to avoid the sparkly Christmas tree that stood near the hand baskets waiting to take out an eye or two when some shopper bent to grab a basket. I also, mainly, ignored the golden reindeer floating above the ‘naughty’ aisles, luring kiddies and adults, with no will power, to buy enormous boxes of biscuits/chocolates and such crap.

I did succumb to a couple of large bags of crisps – well you do, don’t you? Besides, if I get a migraine I crave salt so that’s my excuse. Also, we are working our way through the second season of Prison Break so we need something to munch on as we sit glued to the thing. VERY GOOD in my opinion. And here’s a refreshing fact – Prison Break doesn’t rely on explicit sex and the continual use of the F word to make it riveting viewing. Just twists, turns, great mix of  characters, and brilliant acting. Hmm . .  .I digress

I have three things to quickly report.

I. I now have a page for Two Chucks and a Tabby Cat.


2. And a group for Two Chucks and a Tabby Cat.


Pop over and take a look? Like the page? Join the group? All self-explanatory when you check it out.

3.The third thing that I have to report is my greatest achievement of the year!

Sold a million books? Won the lottery?


I’ve pruned the apple tree.


I’ve pruned the apple tree.

This may not seem like a huge thing to you –  or, in fact, much of an achievement, but you see I needed the really long ladder to do it and I’m terrified of heights. Also, because of my buggered-up neck joints I can’t look up for more than 30 seconds without being in extreme pain. So, I have to climb as high as possible so that the branch that requires sawing is at waist height. The tree is around thirty years old and canker ridden. Despite this it still produces lovely cooking apples each year so I thought it was time it had a bit of attention. It hasn’t been pruned at all, in all that time, so it was a bit of a task. However, with one hand sawing and one hand white with hanging on to a branch I succeeded. Within the hour the branches lay on the floor and the tree stood looking bare and sorry for itself.

There won’t be any apples next year, of this I am certain, but if I haven’t killed it it will have a lovely flush of growth next year and possible produce apples the following year.

You may ask, ‘Why didn’t Richard prune it?’


If you remember, Richard had a shoulder op’ last New Year and he still struggles with it. He did say he would do it –  but time and tide and all that. Besides, I couldn’t stand the stress of having to hold the ladder while he tottered up in the highest branches and bellowed, ‘Which one?’


‘Not that one, Idiot.’

‘Well, that’s the best I can do!’

So, being a Scorpio ‘perfectionist’ I knew I could do better –  and without causing myself undue stress.

He hasn’t been up the garden yet, so he still doesn’t know the tree has been pruned. He will though, when he falls over the branches that I still haven’t finished clearing up!

So, my friends, pruning the apple tree has been my greatest accomplishment this year –  to date. What’s been yours?

Catch you soon.11794231_10153461732253808_5864114962992857932_o (2) - Copy

Take care my lovelies x

Kid Me Not Sunbeam!

Hi All.

You’ve heard the saying, ‘these things are sent to try us?’ Well, frankly, I must be the most ‘tried’ person on the planet.

I guess the main problem stems from the sad fact that I rarely know what I’m doing and for some misplaced reason I think I can learn as I go. This sadly is not always true.

Take, for instance, filling in 4 sheets of paper to allow me to purchase ISBNs. Simple as falling off a log? No! Far more difficult and the reason is . . . I don’t understand the lingo, the gobbledygook of it all.

I consider it to be akin to most nerdy ‘techie’ things. Make it is complicated as possible so that the average human being understands sod all and, by default, they, the nerds, appear even more intelligent.

Just one thing that rattled my cage last night and caused me to beat my head on the table while Chea sat inches away, shaking her head and wishing someone intelligent had ‘rescued’ her from the RSPCA. Well, too late, sunbeam.

Taking of Chea. I spent last Saturday at a craft fair selling my books. OK, I’m still not rich but it was fun and I have confirmed another in December . . . but, I digress.

While I was out Richard was in charge of all things . . . Chea, poo picking the chucks, patrolling them while they murdered insects on their daily scratch around, cleaning the filter box to the pond etc. These things, I thought, were within his scope. Wrong.

I came home to Richard, hands on hips (defensive pose if you ask me?) and slightly twitching. He said, ‘Everything is fine, chucks done, pond done and I’ve got up all the fallen leaves from the top of the garden.’

‘Good,’ I said.

Hands still on hips.

‘And how’s Chea?’

He frantically dashed to the kettle. ‘Want a cup of tea?’ he said.

‘Chea?’ I said.

‘Well . . . ‘

When Richard starts a sentence with ‘well,’ AND he’s making tea it’s not a good sign.

‘What’s happened?’ I said.

‘Well . . . when I was picking up the leaves I heard a commotion two doors away, cats spitting and howling and going nuts.’


‘Yes,’ he said, hiding behind the protection of the now boiled kettle.

‘I shook the crunchies!’ he exclaimed.

‘The crunchies?’

‘Yes, you know, to get her in, but she didn’t come back for ages, and when she did finally come back she was limping.’



Right on cue the little wounded soldier appeared from upstairs, hobbling on 3 legs and casting accusing glances at Richard.

By morning she was placing the foot to the floor and the next day she was sound. She wasn’t too bright yesterday so I’m keeping an eye on her in case it was a bite and it starts to abscess. She is due a yearly booster but we have both been putting off taking her to the vet. Last time she was there she incited every cat, in the pre op room, to turn into hissing, spitting demons. She had to be sedated through the cage because the vet dare not pick her up! She hates the vet with a vengeance, almost as much as I hate attempting to fill in forms.

Regarding book sales, because I did mention them, up the page a bit, I just want to set the record straight. I’ve been meaning to mention this before but have never been in the kind of mood I need to be in to mention it. Today I AM in that kind of mood.

When self-published authors are selling lots of books the following fact is void BUT when self-published authors are not selling books, and their sales flat line (and they do) all promises of, ‘I’m just off to buy your book now,’ and ‘going to buy your book to’ . . .  A. Take on holiday. B. Send to a friend. C. Light the fire with. D. Use as a door stop, doesn’t cut the mustard. If our books flat line it’s pretty bloody obvious that no one bought a copy for any of the above reasons or for any other reason. You did not buy the book! And that’s fine, perfectly, absolutely, categorically fine . . . but don’t lie and pretend that you have. OK? There’s no need. Truly. A friend of mine was most upset by promises that didn’t materialise and the long blue line remained a long blue line without a single ‘spike.’

So, if I’ve offended anyone by saying this, tough, don’t lie to me. I may be an idiot but I’m not stupid . . . and, what’s more, I doubt other authors are stupid either.

#hums and shuffles off into the distance!

Take care my lovelies x2015-02-22 20.49.39