A Tough Old Bird For Christmas Lunch?



I’d like to wish all readers of this blog a Merry Christmas.

And not only that.

I’d also like to wish you peace, health, and the company – or precious memories – of loved ones.

We will be having a gentle and quiet Christmas Day. There won’t be mass excitement and the sound of ripping wrapping as dozens of gifts are exposed. As usual we can’t think of a thing to buy each other – though Richard did sneak in with red roses and a Christmas card for me last night. Sweet, but I think he was trying to regain lost ground from the weekend when we had a blazing row about precious nothing.

Many of our ‘rows’ take place in the car, usually on the way to the supermarket. Normally, he doesn’t have to suffer food shopping but since that pile of crap that sits on the drive, spewing oil everywhere, has given up the ghost, I have no car until he comes home from work.

At least we kept the argument festive, bawling at each other over the sounds of We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Silent Night Holy Night playing on the radio. But, I digress.

We will have Richard’s mother, Betty, for Christmas lunch – not literally, obviously, she’s far too tough for that and besides, I’m a vegetarian.

Richard will take her home late afternoon and I’ll have the chucks out for a bit and give them their Christmas treat – access to the vegetable plot so that they can murder a few bugs and things and Chea will join me, no doubt. Flight (grey chuck) has decided that she is in no way afraid of Chea and now attempts to spear her with her beak at every possible occasion. Have you ever smacked a chicken for being bossy?

After this we will watch TV and eat stuff and I’ll try to stay awake long enough to watch Downton Abbey in the evening.

If I make this sound sad, or boring, or nothing special then forgive me. Of course it’s special. It just isn’t going to be rip-roaring. I’m not going to look round and see Mum basting the turkey, or Dad throwing another log on the fire. I won’t see my son, excited and giggling, opening his presents. Mum and Dad are Christmassing with the angels and Matt will be with his own children watching them opening their presents.

All things pass.

I know this – now.

I just wish I’d been more aware of it at the time.

But we aren’t, are we? We think these things will go on for ever. They don’t.

Sod it . . . I’m drifting into morbidity here and I truly don’t mean to. In fact . . .

Our rip-roaring Christmas Day will be delayed by one day until Boxing Day when Matt will bring the kiddies over and the walls of the house will shake and vibrate with the sounds of excited grandchildren opening their gifts.

Chea will flee for the quiet sanctuary of garden and not return until they have left. They hurt her eardrums.

They will leave after lunch. Chea will return. Richard will vac the house and fill the bins with discarded wrapping paper and then we will er . . . settle in front of the TV, eat stuff and possibly find some small thing to argue about. We really like to keep things normal – even at Christmas. Actually, thinking about it, Richard will be zonked-out after the grandchildren so it may well be a silent night?

And for those of you who think I’m horrid to him I’ll just say that I am secretly negotiating for a Land Rover expert to pop round and put the pile of crap back together for him at great expense. He, Richard, has done his normal trick and given up – though he swears he hasn’t and ‘will have another go at it when the weather is drier,’ so I figure that would be a nice Christmas present. It’s the only thing he needs, and let’s face it, the sooner the heap is back on the road the sooner I can have the car back and the sooner I can shop alone, and that will reduce the arguments to the house only? So a win win situation?

Right, I’m off to do something.santa

Take care, stay safe, and a Merry Christmas my friends. xxx


Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot . . . Should it?


I’m not a great one for looking back or for making resolutions come January 1st. I suppose a big part of the ‘no resolutions’ thing is due to the fact that now, at the age I am at, I have just about sorted out the shape and weight of my own skin and I’m happy to say that I am comfortable in it.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect . . . although?

No, of course I’m not perfect. I’m a nightmare.

I rant and rave. I’m hugely opinionated. I ride Richard way too hard most of the time. I fail to have long-term friendships because I expect too much of people. I never forget and rarely forgive a hurt.  I have principles and standards that are way too high for the average human being to accept. I expect trust and honesty.

These things, and more, stain my character.

But, this is my character and no matter what, it isn’t going to change now.

In my defence I could say that although I ride family and friends almost into the ground I will defend them to the end. I may exhaust them but I will never let anyone else do the same. I would kill and take a bullet for my son and grandchildren. I may have to consider the situation regarding Richard?

I’m joking.

So, no, I’m not a great one for looking back –  and the forward bit will come of its own accord –  God willing –  but these next few months will bring changes. Of this I am pretty sure.

Come the new year Richard will be redundant and out of a job. I don’t know where this will lead. In the past he has always said that we couldn’t leave this area because the job was ‘just up the road’ and it paid well. With the job gone we no longer have that restriction. I only returned to this town, twenty-four years ago, to be near to my ageing parents, should they need me, but they are both now long gone and resting with the angels. We could now find that little two-up two-down cottage and paddock in the country. OK, so it would have to be in deepest rural Scotland or Wales but it is a possibility.

And come the new year I have to find the answer to a very big question – do I want to continue writing?

The urge I guess will always be there, and of late I have dabbled with illustrations for my next children’s book, but it is so hard trying to promote and sell books – especially for someone like me who is utterly hopeless at selling herself.  I enjoy the time spent on social media – mostly – but when I try to justify the hours and energy spent in attempting to sell my books I truly have to ask myself – is it worth it? Is too much life passing me by?

I am in the fortunate position of being able to do pretty much as I like with my days so it isn’t that ‘promoting’ is taking me away from other things  – but just the same, it does come as pretty soul-destroying when hours and hours of time and effort produce little or nothing. I know, for a fact, that I am not alone with this ‘feeling.’ I know of other authors who swear they will never type another word and question is it worth it. Perhaps it all comes down to – do we write because we have to –  or do we write because we want to sell books and entertain readers with our imaginings?

I have ‘met’ some lovely people, helpful and encouraging to a fault, but I have also met some pricks. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to type that word because I’m trying to be serious here but it’s true.

These, then, are my next two big ‘unknowns.’

The unknown should probably frighten me but it doesn’t.

My base is strong. The towers may crack. They may even fall. My castle may be nothing more than dust on the ground? But the base will still be there and if you have a base you have the ability to rebuild, change things around a little.

There may well be things that I cannot change and rearranging as the years flash past but for now I will sit-a-spell and think.

Whoa! How serious was this?240_F_82362366_08xDmEeULu0A5RAodKLKnlmgCuPmanuQ

See, I can be serious.

All for now.

Take care my lovelies x


It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas . . .Really?


Believe it or believe it not – the Christmas cards went into the post yesterday! I know, weird hey? And especially more so from my point of view. I’ve surprised even myself with such pre-Christmas efficiency.

Christmas presents bought, wrapped and hidden away.

Cards scrawled on, sealed and posted. Although, to be honest, I did have a major meltdown over the Christmas cards. You see, I know for a fact that I bought the ‘special’ cards some time ago. You know, the ones for brothers, grandchildren, son etc. and I stored them somewhere safe. So sodding safe that despite turning every drawer and cupboard inside out they remained safe – and hidden/lost. So, I did what anyone would do in this situation – swear and then go out and buy some more. Then, having bought the ‘special’ cards again, I wrote the wrong thing in Jake’s card and had to rip it up. Now I need to buy him another.

Even the house is trimmed.

What next? Santa Claus driving his reindeer across the sky, narrowly avoiding the neighbour’s horrendously high conifers? OK, so now I’m being silly. Rudolph wouldn’t guide the sleigh anywhere near to trees – he’s an expert leader-of-the-reindeer team when all is said and done.

What am I talking about?

OK, I’m going to go all ‘bookish’ on you now. Well, I never do – do I? I told you last time – or the time before – that the man of the house is being made redundant in the New Year? Well, it’s been moved forward to New Year’s Eve now so I figure that it’s time I put my ‘shyness’ and stupidity behind me and attempted to sell some books.

Actually, I have done 3 little craft fairs in the last few weeks. I used to do these before – but not with books – no, I used to make those little imitation baskets of fruits and vegetables, when they were all the rage, so I am well used to craft fairs. This is not always the terminology I used, depending on the footfall and the willingness to buy by the attendees. Often they were termed as Crap Fairs and an accompanying bottle of sherry was required to get through the day.  But I digress.

I did three craft fairs with my books and it was OK. Possibly attempting to sell books in a library was a bit off the scale? Coals to Newcastle and all that. But whatever . . .

So, this is it . . . I have recently had a lovely review for Witch Ever Way You Look At It from Lisl Zlitni at https://beforethesecondsleep.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/book-review-witch-ever-way-you-look-at-it/ and, because I like the book, well, we like some more than others, don’t we, I am putting it on promo’ this Thursday through to Sunday. It will be available for 99p to download. I’m also offering a signed paperback copy of the book, see below.

If I can squeeze in another promo’ before Christmas I will offer my children’s book, Prince Regal and the Forgotten Friends, for the same download price, 99p. However, you may also buy a signed copy of this, and if you get your skates on I’ll be sure to post it in time for Christmas. So . . .

If you have a PayPal account and would like a signed/unsigned copy of either book please email me;  jenngor@hotmail.co.uk and I’ll pop one in the post – as long as I haven’t lost all copies in the house somewhere.

Witch Ever £8.99 (includes pp to mainland UK)

Prince Regal £6.50 (includes pp to mainland UK)

(Non mainland posting please enquire)

That’s it – my attempts at being bookish. Did I succeed – or do you have to be a toothless parrot to do that?

I know, I’m acting very weird today, aren’t I? Even my left eye has started twitching!

Better go

joint picture

Take care my lovelies x




Book Review: Witch Ever Way You Look At It

before the second sleep

Witch Ever Way You Look At It

By Jennie Orbell

Sometimes books appear in your midst as if by magic. Or, maybe not magic, though there do seem to be other forces whispering into your ear even when you’d decided you were just window shopping.

witchIn my case recently the voices within had been beckoning to me, because once I’d seen it initially, I never really could forget about it. Aye, I admit it, the cover was the first draw, but why not? It’s a great visual: it’s fun, and sassy and well done. And, of course, the play on words gives a little more insight into the plot.

Ah, no wonder the magic.

Witch Ever Way You Look At It centers on Annie and Lizzie, best friends who are there for each other through thick and thin. One year earlier Lizzie had lost her husband, the love of…

View original post 1,288 more words

Deck The Halls With . . .Yeah, Whatever!


It’s ‘that most wonderful time of the year,’ again.

Yeah, right, of course it is.

Well, not in this house. Not right now.

I’ve spent three hours this morning making the house Christmassy . . . and lovely . . . and bright . . . and welcoming. And all this with a pounding migraine brought on by Richard buying some bloody tree lights that when placed on the tree last night, and switched on, were so blinding that they made me feel sick and clutch my head in horror. I told him I couldn’t live with them like that because they would give me a migraine.

He went off on one, ripping them from the tree and saying that I was being ridiculous and that they were L.E.D lights and meant to be bright and that I’d be fine.

Really? Well, I wasn’t – and I’m not – because this morning I woke with a migraine.

Determined to finish-off the tree and get the stupid bits on it I struggled on . . . and on . . . and on until it was finished. Then, I decided it looked wrong where it stood and so I attempted to move it across the lounge by grabbing the stem and lifting it. Unfortunately the top half of the tree came away in my hands and while Chea sat grinning I hung on to half a tree that swayed and swung, with balls crashing down and the fairy tipping arse over head, until I could finally piece it back together. By this time Chea was patting a bauble that skidded across the floorboards and ended up under my bare foot.

The whole lounge has been rearranged to ‘fit in’ this damn tree and I now need a double plug because only half the lights can be plugged in where it is.

I am covered in glitter. Chea is covered in glitter. And the lounge is covered in glitter. And I still have a migraine.

Other than this everything is hunky dory.

Well, almost.

Richard came home last Thursday and announced that, come 31st of this month, he is being made redundant. Yep! Happy New Year!

He pretends that he’s coping with the news but I know him and I know he isn’t. He is terrified of the unknown. He isn’t the adventurous, ‘let’s throw caution to the wind type.’ He likes the confines of a comfy box. He likes continuity and knowing where his next crust of bread is coming from.

Obviously I’ve thrown in my two pennyworth.

You see, I don’t view it as the end of the world. I see it as one door closing, allowing another to open. Who knows where it will lead but it doesn’t have to lead to gloom and doom, does it? And we will cope. We will review the situation and take it from there.

He said, after I’d delivered my positive, uplifting speech of how everything was going to be fine and that this should be viewed as exciting, ‘I don’t know what I would do without you in my life.’


And then he added, ‘no, honestly, I really don’t know what I would do without you.’

So, why did he try to blind me with those bloody lights? Why did he expect me to live with them when I knew they would give me a migraine?

And another thing – his ‘Betsy’ Land Rover has thrown in the towel and stands abandoned and without a floor where he has attempted to repair the old pile of crap – and failed. ‘She’ now needs a ‘few bits’ and time spending on her to get her back on the road. This has been the situation for the last fortnight during which time he has used the car for work and I have either been stuck here in the house or had to walk to places.

Apparently, he is going to fettle and whatever with the old dear this weekend. I’m off to a craft fair with my books so he can do what he likes.

Is it coming across that he isn’t my favourite human right now?

Think I’m rambling –  and I probably shouldn’t even be attempting to write this blog with the equivalent of an axe stuck in my head. So, apologies for all the bits that don’t make sense etc – but then, hey, I don’t need a migraine for my blogs not to make sense, do I? Don’t answer that.

Right, off to vacuum myself . . .  and shake the glitter from Chea – that’s if I can extract her from the wreath that she is about to put her head through!

Take care x20151203_093022