Not So Much A Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Patch!

As many of you know, I am a creature of simple pleasures. My days, other than those of late (which sadly have been filled with semi blindness and constant migraines) are filled with poo-picking chickens, chatting to myself in the garden and writing – albeit, most days, mainly nonsense.

These simple things please, entertain, and basically keep me happy and grounded. However, I do have to admit that I have recently found these pleasures challenging. All of them . . .

Chea has decided to use the onion bed (beautifully raked and as fine as sand) for a giant litter tray. This doesn’t worry me too much as I don’t really eat onions. I grow them for Richard.

The first morning after planting I wandered out to find two onions dug up, four little saucer-shaped indents and a heap of soil. At least she had the good grace to cover it up. The second morning I wandered out to find three onions dug up, five little saucer-shaped indents and two heaps of soil. On both occasions I swore, threatened to send her back to the RSPCA and re planted the onions.

I took great delight in finding a lovely variety of runner bean in the week. I rushed them home and planted them up into larger pots immediately. Two nights later a frost settled over the garden, crept into the greenhouse and killed them stone dead. It also took out the tomato plants. I was not happy and even breathed warm breath on their little shrivelled leaves in the hope that I could resurrect them. No good. I think they are goners.

Again - aww!
Again – Aww!

And re the writing? Well, I haven’t done any. I’ve been waiting for the Bucket Head paperback to show up. There was a technical hitch –  and you all know how I am with technology, let alone hitches. It’s available in my shop. I mentioned last time that I was going to tell you how Bucket Head came about.

One Saturday, when the grandchildren were here we decided to make a scarecrow. It all went swimmingly well until we came to his head. We turned the potting shed upside down but we couldn’t find anything suitable . . .and then we found a bucket. So we used that. And Bucket Head the scarecrow was born.

The real Bucket Head
The real Bucket Head

He still stands in the garden now. He’s a tough little guy. The frost didn’t upset him one little bit. I DO mean Bucket Head still stands in the garden now and not my super-duper grandson Jake – just how cruel do you think I am?

Take care x

OK, So I Was A Tad Rude . . .Whatever!


Yesterday I sank to an all-time low – even for me. I’d like to state my case here and have you all say that my actions were well justified but I doubt that you will.

I have been suffering from migraine and visual disturbances since last Friday. Migraine is nothing new to me – I have suffered with it for a large part of my life, but the pattern with this latest attack was different. It hung on . . .  and hung on, one hour lessening . . . the next returning. Intermittently my right eye lost clarity, with flashing silver and black triangles, dancing like manic witches, on the periphery. This has happened 7 times, the seventh time being yesterday morning when I attempted to go to Morrison’s to buy cat food for Chea. Between the ‘chicken with gravy’ and the ‘chicken with jelly,’ my right eye vision started its familiar flashing.

Now, I have my own theory on the cause of all these migraines but no bugger will take me seriously. I truly believe that they are triggered by my 3 degenerative neck discs that have very little of that ‘spongy’ bit separating them now and are aggravating this condition.

So, I decided to call in at the doctors on my way home – that is if I could find my way home with only perfect vision in one eye – and explain this to the doctor and ask to be referred for another neck scan etc. I mean, less face it, no better time than when I’m in the throes of pain and semi blindness, hey?

The receptionist announced that there were no more appointments for that day and if I wanted to see my doctor of choice (brilliant, caring, and wonderful all round, by the way) I could come back next year. Yes, that is a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Had I been able to see the stupid woman I might have been tempted to stick her Biro up her prominent snout, but I was feeling less than confrontational, all things considered.

I felt my way home having settled for a phone call from the doctor – basically to see if I was worthy of being squeezed into his precious day.

After tending the chucks and cleaning the loo, with my mobile strapped to my person so that I didn’t miss the call, I waited . . . and waited.

Eventually the call arrived. It was a nurse. Now, I have nothing against nurses, not at all but . . .

She questioned me, listened, tapped away on the PC (I could hear it distinctly and it hurt my head) and then said, ‘Can you come down now?’

Well, yeah. I could have ‘come down’ two hours ago . . . in fact wasn’t I already there two hours ago, or had I imagined it?

Long story short now. Saw the doctor I had sworn I would never see (by choice) ever again and he insisted it was migraine – nothing to do with my neck – didn’t matter that the ‘pattern’ was totally different – no he couldn’t ‘do’ a referral, not unless ‘he’ thought there was a problem with my neck – no my neck would not cause this.

He struggled to realise that I’ve tried every medication on this planet over the years and nothing works. Medication makes me worse. I’m sensitive. Side affects almost kill me. However, he decided in his infinite wisdom that I should try a different ‘variation’ of a drug previously taken and printed off a prescription. He said, ‘Take one of these – see if they work.’

‘And if they don’t?’ I said.

‘Come back because it isn’t migraine.’


For the first time in my life I was rude, snatching up the damn thing and stropping off to the door.

‘Well, bye then,’ he said.

I didn’t answer.

As you can see this is very unlike me. Usually I’m charming, cheerful and hugely polite. I blame it on my brain. But there was more to come.

I walked into the pharmacy next door and the lovely assistant, who always seems to remember my name, said, ‘Hello, are you alright?’

She really should not have asked.

‘NO!’ I said, snatching her pen and filling in my name on the back of the prescription. ‘That lot are useless.’ I nodded in the direction of the surgery, next door. And then I said it . . . ‘Fucking useless!’

She didn’t look too distressed . . . or surprised and said, ‘Yes, we do hear that from time to time.’

‘Bastard!’ I said. ‘Useless bastards.’

We chatted for a bit and then I released her and took a seat . . . for 20 seconds. The other assistant called my name and I navigated my way to the counter. She fluttered the prescription in her hand and said, ‘Sorry, we don’t have these. We can get them for tomorrow?’

My first assistant screeched, ‘Oh, God, no, don’t tell her that!’

I simply held up my palms to the heavens and said calmly and with a bit of a snort, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll just drop down dead and save everyone any further trouble.’ I can do drama when required.

She looked worried . . . but then I laughed – well, snorted really. My vision had returned, some of my good humour – though I did hurl out mumbled curses into the ether as I walked back to the car, determined to fondle my voodoo doll on my return and twist a leg or two. Maybe even bang its head against the wall?  My imagination had no limit.

Someone once asked me if ‘they’ were in my novel. I replied, ‘Why would you be? I only write about interesting characters.’ In fact, I have never fashioned a fictional character on a real character but this may change.

I may include this ‘doctor’ in my next novel. He will be the character that dies a slow and painful death after having his ‘bits’ stung by a thousand bees. There will be a life-saving prescription on hand but, sadly, the pharmacy will have to order it in. Alas too late to save him. Oh, and perhaps a slight sting to his right eye?

Hell hath no fury like a migraine victim scorned . . . trust me on this one.

I’m off. Shouldn’t be looking at this bright screen!

And besides, I have to pick up the prescription that I won’t be taking.

Take care my lovelies x

PS A huge welcome to new blog followers! Thank you x




So …Here’s The News!

Hi All

So …as promised in my last post, some exciting news to share with you all …and I want to share it here first because, in a way, it is all down to you guys. Why? Because you have read, supported, liked, and commented on this blog for the last (almost) 3 years and because of you lovely people making it ‘popular’ it has now been published (U P Publications) in eBook and paperback.

To be honest I am more than a little surprised that anyone ever wanted to read my ramblings. After all, what it so interesting about my little life? A life filled with shouting at Richard, picking up chicken pooh and rescuing frogs, baby birds, spiders, bumble bees and worms from Chea?

‘Two Chucks And A Tabby Cat – Book One’ starts at the beginning of the blog, in 2012, at the time when Chea arrived and, weirdly, I remember it like it was yesterday – my sudden inspiration to check out the local RSPCA on my way home from a bit of retail therapy. And finding that little tabby ball of innocent fluff, snoozing away, squashed beneath her two brothers.

It was the first time I’d been shopping and come home with a new bra, skinny jeans, a winter sweater, a towelling dressing gown and a tabby kitten. Though, in fairness, they didn’t let me have the tabby kitten until the following day because I had to return with Richard to let them see that he was worthy of dedicating the rest of his life to one of their feline inmates. Apparently, bouncing on the spot, singing his praises and assuring them that he was the softest, loveliest, kitten-cat-type-person-in-the-whole-wide-world wasn’t good enough. Unless it was my bouncing enthusiasm that they questioned? Possibly.

The bra didn’t fit, the towelling dressing gown too short, the skinny jeans too skinny, and the winter sweater made me look like a whale …so they were all returned at a later date. The tabby kitten, of course, wasn’t. As I say – I remember it all like it was yesterday…

Without wanting to come across as a sentimental pillock I do have to say that it will be really nice to have these memories captured in book form. Besides the ‘obvious’ niceness of it all it also means that I can free-up a bit of head space – a bit like saving the memories to a memory stick rather than having them all on the hard drive …if you know what I mean? You probably don’t. Not sure if I do?

So that’s it. My mucho exciting news. And I have the greatest pleasure in sharing it with you first because as I said – and you all know I’m a great one for repeating myself a dozen times or more –  it’s all down to you …the readers, the commentators, the ones who encourage, etc. etc.

I find it exciting and nerve-racking – in equal measures, so I’m off for a stress reducing stroke of my pussy. (I haven’t told her yet that she’s featured in a book) I suppose she’ll be expecting lightly grilled chicken, in a salmon mousse, and a sodding sparkly collar? I’m now going to have to live with an irritating, illogical man, two mental chucks and a prima donna puss!

The crosses we have to bear, hey?

11794231_10153461732253808_5864114962992857932_o (2)Take care my lovelies x

*If you want to take a look at ‘our’ book just click the side bar cover*

I Can Truthfully Relate to Barry Manilow…

You know that Barry Manilow song, I Made It Through The Rain? Well, that’s how I’m feeling right now.

The week before last was horrendous. OK, so no one died, but it was still horrendous. Two steps forwards and one step back. Nothing went right, and then, as the week came to an end I thought, right, draw a very thick line under it and look forwards to next week (last week). Then came the killer blow…Richard announced that he was on holiday the next week (last week). It was at this point that someone did almost die…me.

The thought of another week, attempting to sort out the backlog of things that were still wrong, with Richard floating around, almost polished me off. It was at this point that I had to give myself a strong talking to and convince myself that I could, and would, get through this.

First on the agenda, bright and early Monday morning, was a ride out to my brother’s house. This was not a social visit. This was so that he could figure out what I was doing wrong in my futile attempts to contact the USA tax office. Richard did, in fact, come in quite useful because he drove and all this stress had given me a headache.

My brother fiddled with my phone before shutting me in his office and telling me to stop buggering about and just get on with it. With no confidence whatsoever I dialled the number and waited for the same old drivel, “I’m sorry but we are unable to process your call.” When that message didn’t actually slam back at me and a voice informed me, “Thank you for your call…the waiting time is 3 minutes,” I almost fainted.

So, job done. I’m legal. No, I am. Thanks to my brother, who is brilliant. Not sure why I’m bulling him up? He never reads a word I write. Sometimes I wonder if anyone does, but that’s insecurity…isn’t it?

On Tuesday, I took a day off from everything. In the morning, I let Richard take me to Melton market. This is a cattle market that is run every Tuesday. It also sells rabbits, chickens, ducks, garden produce, fertilised eggs, etc. It was here that I fell in love with a little duckling. He/she was all alone in a cardboard box and when I peered in, he/she peered back, and its little peepers said, ‘Buy me. I won’t be any trouble. Look how pretty I am with this little pompom on the top of my head.’ This is the point at which you just know that I came home with the duckling? Well, you are wrong. I zipped up my heart and walked away. I bought a dress instead. Did I mention that there was a dress stall? This is the only dress I own and it was purchased purely for sitting out in the garden…because I do a lot of that, don’t I? No. Hardly ever. Too much weeding, watering, hoeing, digging, compost turning….I think you get the picture?

Richard disappeared on Wednesday. I don’t mean he vaporised. I’m not that lucky (joke).  He roared off on his bike to some air force thing and so I was left with time to myself… and the chance to sort out some of the backlog.

I have now almost caught up. One thing is outstanding. An eBook is being reformatted. I know nothing about this but a virtual friend, who has now become so much more, is sorting that out for me.

You know me now, and you know that I believe that something positive always comes from something negative and yet again I have proved myself right. Through this very trying, hair-ripping-out time, virtual friends have stepped in, and for absolutely no gain of their own, have spent endless hours creating, advising, and just plain supporting me, and I will be eternally grateful. So, to these friends I say a heartfelt thank you… and my offer of returned support does not have a sell-by date.

You know who are you and I only refrain from naming you because I know you are all so God-damn modest. Oh, and the other reason is, if I tell everyone who you are, and that you are the nicest, most wonderful guys (gals) on the planet, they will all be scurrying to your doors and you will no longer have the time to get me out of my constant pooh pile! See, I’m not as stupid as I may appear.

Richard has gone back to work today. Weirdly, I’m kinda missing him. I have no excuse now to bugger around doing nothing. Sooooo I’m going to crack on.

Take care my lovelies x


Lastly…I can now announce with a triumphant fanfare that …..The Sleeping Field is now available in paperback! Again, produced by a dear friend and absolutely nothing to do with me.


Oh! Go On Then…Inspire me!

Hi All

Yes I’m still Sher-locked, which frankly is pretty amazing, because I have a foolproof method of destroying these ‘passions.’ My method? I push everything to its limit until I expose faults and failings. Then having exposed ‘things’ that I don’t like I leave the subject behind. This could be a part of my character that needs further examination – someday – when I find the time or inclination? I blame it on my star sign – Scorpio. We are relentless creatures at best and at the worst? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

I qualify this by retaining the attitude that life is too short to waste time on dilly-dallying, soft shoe shuffling, taking time to know people and things, imitating a dried-out summer stream, trickling and meandering. No, let’s  bomb the dam and dive in. Let’s push everything to its limits and then assess.

Sometimes, what my brain produces, seemingly from nowhere and unasked for, surprises even me. People ask where I find inspiration for my writing? And the truth is I don’t – it finds me – always. And I never know when an idea or inspirational thought will hit.

One Sunday I was watching Fairytale – A True Story, a story about…yep, you guessed it, fairies. In one scene a fairy jumps into the air from a picture frame and the frame tilts. From that one action came my short story, Promises, and not only that – if I dare to blow my own trumpet briefly – Promises went on to win a short story competition. All that from a one second scene.

Most of my ‘inspiration,’ especially for the short stories, comes from country music. Country is my first passion on the music front. Having said that I go from Def Leppard to Andrea Bocelli. I love music. LOVE it! My short story, ‘Obediently Yours,’ was inspired by the country singer Alan Jackson. This my come as a surprise if you have read this story?

Country music is a bit wrist-slitting at times but if you filter out the depressing stuff you are left with wonderful stories and visions. I truly believe that there is a country song for every mood and emotion. Sometimes, (reasonably rarely now thank goodness), when I’m really fed up, I’ll whack on the old headphones and blast my brain with the most depressing stuff I have and sit and cry my heart out. Surprising it helps. No point keeping all those emotions locked-up inside, and when you are a self-professed control freak it’s sometimes hard to let go, even of your own feelings.

When I was in Spain recently, being driven somewhere, and taking a rare moment from talking, the whole plot for a novel came into my head. Unfortunately the plot was so depressing that I don’t think I would survive the writing of it.

Not sure where this is going now. So, maybe the train has hit the buffers? Is it called a buffer? Sounds right…but it may not be.

I’m off to give the chucks their little treat of bread and lettuce. They have an extra special little delicacy today – a Brussels sprout each. Cooked of course!41hcH7JV1+L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-78,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

Take care my lovelies x

PS Oh, if you want to read any of those short stories here’s the link. There are ten in the compilation and they cost next to nothing. Your choice. Oh! and don’t be mislead by the whimsical cover, some of the stories are a bit grim!

Virtual Friends…Or Not!

Hi All

Well, that’s it. It came and it went! Christmas. New Year. Gone, gone, gone… And what are we left with? Personally I’m left with a tidy house (decorations rarely get any further than Boxing Day) and a cupboard full of crap that is going to put up my cholesterol level to a dangerously high number if I succumb to another fat-filled morsel.

Besides the remnants of chocolates, biscuits, cakes and sweets, is the remnant of the Christmas tree. Such a lovely tree… or so I thought when I bought it. Each branch tipped with silver glitter and a frost-like shimmer. Now silver glitter and the frost-like shimmer fills every crack in the lounge floorboards and despite extensive use of the vacuum refuses to budge. Even Chea trots around twinkling, but then she would, seeing how she spent most of Christmas sitting under the tree patting at the baubles and removing the felt robin!

If I ask myself the question seriously…”what are we left with?” I would have to say that I am left with memories of a year that wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t a bad year either. I tend not to measure good luck/bad luck in years. To a certain extent we make our own good luck. It doesn’t matter what “spooky numbers” the year holds, if shit is going to happen it will happen. I think the problem arises in our own minds.

Let me riddle you this. It’s the first of January, a brand new year, and you fall over and break your leg. Are you going to jump up and down (hardly, with a broken leg!) and scream, “Well that’s it! It’s a new year, I’ve broken my leg! This is going to be a crap year!” Yes, you probably are…but don’t! It isn’t going to be a bad year, you just need to be more careful and look where you are going! Bad things happen to nice people. It’s a fact. But of one thing I am sure, if you allow yourself to imagine that it’s going to continue to be a bad year just because you’ve broken your leg already, then it will be. I truly do believe that all these things are sent to try us and it is through these trials that we do, eventually, become stronger and subsequently able to take on what life chooses to throw at us.

No, pull up your boots and trot into this year with optimism and the knowledge that whatever life hurls, you will either side-step it, or catch it…and deal with it.

I think my greatest joy and also my greatest sorrow of last year involves something rather silly…virtual friends. I have made a lot of virtual friends over the last year and it has been truly eye-opening. I am, by nature, an extremely suspicious person, and not many people “pull the wool over this old coots eyeballs,” so it comes as a disappointment to realise that over the past year one or two friends have, indeed, not been truly genuine. Making promises that they had no intention of keeping. Pretending to be an authority on something which they were not. But that’s fine. I’ve sussed you out. I fell for it. Once. I take the experience and trot on because on the other side of the scale we have the lovely, genuine, “what you see, is what you get,” people. And I think you know who you are? And I hope you also know that if I can help you in any small way (or large way) you only have to ask. 

Ha ha, you watch, someone will now ask for my help and I’ll say, ‘Bugger off, you are one of the ones who have pissed me off all year, so go and do one.” Blinder! 

I’m joking. You know me now, don’t you? Yes you do. That’s why you know I’m NOT joking. Actually, I don’t know why anyone follows this blog because I’m such a stroppy little thing. Ah! Yes! I am! But I’m honest!

Whatever. I’ve bored myself now, so I’m off to have another go at that bloody glitter. And tomorrow I shall tell you why I will never be giving my books away as freebies…so there!

Happy New Year…break a leg! Oh no…don’t!13499529867dnQN2

Take care my lovelies x

A Different Kind Of Whip-Lashing…

Hi All

It’s been over a week since I last posted a blog so I’m thinking that you are thinking that I must have lots of news? I haven’t – and the reason I haven’t is because my time has been spent editing The Sleeping Field and ripping out my hair because I’ve been attempting to do this with Richard trotting around the place, being a pain in the butt, and being as disruptive as possible. If we were married, I’d divorce the bugger. I have actually considered telling him to keep the house and that I’d have the car and drive off into the sunset like Thelma and Louise. Obviously I’d need another person to do that…

Had I seriously (no I wasn’t serious. You know I love the man?) been considering it, the plan would have had a massive glitch, because yesterday, Richard the pillock, allowed a British Gas van and an Audi to plough into the back of him. Yep! I took no notice as he rushed into the kitchen with his Barbour coat-tails flying and pinched the notepad out of the drawer and my pen from beneath my gaze, after all, it gave me a few minutes of peace in which to concentrate on the final chapter.

The peace ended twenty minutes later when he came back, tossed the notepad with insurance details on the table and announced, ‘I’ve just had the car run into by two cars while I was waiting to get onto the drive!’

Obviously the final chapter was going to have to wait – again!

‘Have you smashed-up the car?’ I snapped.

‘I’ve got whiplash!’

‘Have you smashed-up the car?’

‘I’ve got whiplash. I was waiting to pull onto the drive and a bloke in a British Gas van had stopped behind me, and the Audi, behind the British Gas van, ran into the British Gas van and the British Gas van rammed into me.’

How many times could he say British Gas van?

‘So, you were at a standstill?’


‘So how have you got whiplash if the car behind you was at a standstill?’

‘Well I have.’

‘Well that’s great,’ I said. (Don’t tell me I can’t turn a negative into a positive.) Get yourself off to the doctor and get it on record and then we can claim for it and we won’t need to win the lottery to leave here to get that garage and room for a pony that you are always wittering on about.’

‘Are you taking this seriously?’ he said.

‘Is there ANY chance that I can EVER finish this book!’ I yelled. ‘Bugger off and get your neck examined…and you still haven’t told me if you’ve smashed-up the car!’

‘There’s a scratch on the bumper.’

I put my head back into the computer and Richard cleared off to the doctors. The guy in the British Gas van looked a bit worse for wear, poor soul, and sat looking dazed for some time. I did say to Richard that he should offer the poor guy a cup of tea but Richard said that the buggers had just put up the gas by ten percent and so he could do one. It seemed a bit harsh to me. I think the decision to raise gas prices came from a little higher up than the guy driving the van.

We popped to the bank this morning and it was my first chance (well not exactly my first chance because it was hardly important was it?) to examine the damage. Frankly it looked like a pin had pricked the bumper. Richard wasn’t very impressed with my comment.

‘Yeah, well. I always let everyone shit on me. I’m always the nice guy. Well not any more. It’s a new car. It’s got a hairline crack on the bumper – so it can be repaired!’

Bless him. He hasn’t mentioned the whiplash injury this morning. Shame because I was going to check-out all those ads that come on in the afternoons claiming to make you rich beyond words if you broke a toe nail whilst tripping on an uneven pavement.

As I said, he did run me to the bank. There was a massive queue and Richard waited in the car, on double yellows. The little guy before me in the queue started up a conversation, about the weather, what else, and we chatted away…until I mentioned having to put on the heater for the chickens if it got much colder. He became incommunicado after that. He did look at me, before conversation was cut off, and with a twitching eye, mumbled, ‘Chickens?’ I quickly realised that I’d gone too far so I didn’t push it.

Then we came home and had a cup of tea and a piece of stollen and Richard trotted off to work. If you remember, Richard fell off his moped on the first day back to work after our break in Spain? I said he should take great care because these things always happen in threes. He said he was having a flu jab at work, so the nurse would probably pierce an artery and he’d bleed to death. Well he didn’t…so I reckon accident number three is still imminent? I guess I’ll just have to keep him away from sharp implements…including my tongue? MB900049751

On that note I will bid you adieu and pop off to sort out a cover for The Sleeping Field.

Take care my lovelies x

From One Drama To The Next…


It is sorted. A done deal. The case of the disappearing fridge freezer has been resolved. Apparently they have given us another delivery date – 9th/10th October. This was extremely annoying BUT at least it was only another week. But then, like most people under stress, they didn’t know when to quit when they were ahead, and added the word – probably.

Huh? Probably? Now call me a sceptic but probably, in my mind, means possibly, and possibly means unlikely, and unlikely means…it aint coming sunshine. As you know, if you read this blog yesterday, and I hope you did or you won’t have the slightest idea of what I’m bleating on about, I wasn’t in the best of moods. I’m a jolly little soul usually, unless some dick-head operation has lost my fridge freezer and I have already been out buying frozen veggie foods, in pretty packaging, to put into said new freezer. The thought of my lovely new veggie stuff sitting in the old chest freezer, outside in the shed, fuelled my irritability and I told them to stick the super-duper-top-of-the-range thing.

I wasn’t rude. I rarely am. I am an absolute firm believer in the pen being mightier than the sword. Besides, the moment you start effing and blinding and screaming and shouting, you have lost the argument/war/whatever. No. A cool head and a few well-chosen words are all that’s needed.

I merely said, ‘Forget it, the gulls are welcome to it.’

They bleated on about it not being their fault and that it was the fault of the manufacturer.

I said,’ we purchased it from you. You took the money – which you can now kindly return to my account – so it’s your responsibility.’

So there you go. A swift chopping off of my nose to spite my face and the charade is over. No new fridge freezer.

And today another drama is about to unfold. A very quiet (no humour) little man is coming to fit a new bedroom window. This is going to be a total blast, I can feel it in my water. Initially I thought it was cystitis – but no. Richard is off to work at 1.30 and I shall be left to entertain the little window man. I find him such hard work because he isn’t the type that I have anything in common with. If I attempt to engage him in  a conversation he stops work, turns and looks at me with wide, staring eyes (excessively wide because he wears bifocals) and after a time delay of some fifteen seconds answers. I tell you, this really is going to be fun without laughing. I guess I should go because he said he would probably be here for 11.30 but then again, as we all now know, probably means possibly, and possibly means unlikely, and unlikely means – he ain’t coming sunshine…MB900278680

At least I’ve stopped itching and scratching, so why do I still resemble The Elephant Man! Bummer!

Take care my lovelies x

PS Richard has just received a phone call from the little window man – he’s going to be a bit late! But…at least he sounded definite!

Naughty Little Characters …Behave!

Hi All

The pen, my friends, is most definitely mightier than the sword and I have the ultimate proof. I have just used my pen (laptop) to give one of my main characters in the novel that I am now working on, (The Sleeping Field), a stroke. And, frankly, I do feel rather bad about it. I haven’t yet decided how severe this stroke is going to be, and again, I feel slightly bad about that too. No one should really hold this much power at their fingertips, should they?

I don’t always mean to do these things. I start writing and the darn character takes over, charging along, out of control for most of the time. Sometimes I have to rein them/him/her back in, delete their naughtiness and watch the word count fall from 50,000 to 54,500 – or less. It mainly depends on how  bad they have been and for how long they have been free running. Sometimes it is just really interesting to see what they get up to of their own accord!

Sometimes I don’t even recognise the fact that they have been ‘free running’ until I’ve laid my little head on my pillow and then I’ve thought, ‘What!!’

I killed off a character in Mulligan’s Reach and then burst into tears and shuffled, sobbing, into the bedroom, and wailed to Richard, ‘he’s dead. He’s died. He’s gone.’

Richard of course shot up in bed with heart hammering and said, ‘who? Who has died? When?’

He wasn’t over impressed when I told him, merely stating, ‘well you killed him!’

But I didn’t. One minute the character was there, saving the girl and the day, and the next he’d expired. Kaput!

It’s funny how you get to know your characters as you get deeper into the novel. At the start, I find the going a bit slow and stilted because it is a bit like a new relationship and you don’t want to show your hand until the other person has shown theirs. And then when you finish the book and go back to reread/edit etc you realise just how much you did get to know your characters by the end of the book.

Something that works for me is to just write the whole thing and then go back (when I have built and lived with the characters for 70,000 + words) and flesh them out. Let’s face it, we rarely know anyone at the beginning of a relationship, do we? Sometimes we barely know the buggers at the end of one either!! But that has to be another story.

So, I am tip-tapping away just now and I have 56,000 words, as of 11am this morning. I will probably delete a couple of thousand of those – or not – depends on whom I decide wrote them, me or the characters themselves. If I wrote them they will probably be binned ha ha.

I’m thinking that the stroke will be minor. I need this character, but I also need her to be at risk of dying and consequently taking a huge secret to the grave. I need for her to spill the secret and she will never do that from a position of strength and well-being. Once the secret has been spilled, if the dear soul so wishes, she can kill herself off…

But then again, I’ll probably rein her back in because I kind of like her and I figure that by the end of the book she will have suffered enough. Be it by her own doing or be it by mine.

So I’m trotting off now to have a quick push around of the vac before the Lord and master gets home. And I still haven’t had the chucks out yet!!

Take care my lovelies xMB900357981

The Black Bra With The Frilly Lace?

Morning AllMB900281822

If I have my calculations right my dear mum would have been eighty-seven tomorrow. She died in 1999 and so I have been without her now for fourteen years. Fourteen years! I have no idea where that time has gone to. It seems like only yesterday that she was standing in her kitchen, flour everywhere, rolling out pastry, whilst I babbled on about some nonsense. Mum was a great cook. Her pastry was simply the best. And in the days before I became a vegetarian her meat and potato pie was truly to die for. Tell me, what is nicer than pastry and gravy?

Mum always listened and she always had an opinion. Often it was different to mine and usually she was proved right. I never understood how mums did that – knew everything about everything to do with their child. But I know now. Now that I’m a mum. I know that we are always right! We are simply wired that way. If my son reads this he will be texting the following, “you are not ALWAYS right.”

Ha ha, yes I am.

I realise that it’s an age thing. The older you get the more people you lose. I have lost two cousins in the short space of less than a year of each other. Sometimes I forget, or can’t believe that these people have gone. Where do they go to? Is the end the end?

Oh listen to me! I only wanted to mention mum’s birthday tomorrow and the fact that I shall go to the church and take flowers and here I am sinking into a morbid pit of misery and dragging you, me hearties, with me, so let’s clamber out of the dank and the dark …

I have also noticed of late how many ‘virtual’ friends/acquaintances etc have fallen by the wayside. I’ve been ‘at’ this virtual stuff for about a year in October and last October I noticed people and names that I am not seeing now. I know that I question this virtual world regularly, the time spent in it, the value of it etc.

This massive self-publishing boom has flooded the market with books, some brilliant, some OK  and some bloody awful. It is still unbelievably hard to sell books, mainly because there are so many of them and the average author is like me, a writer and not a promoter of their work. I guess a lot of authors have a bash at promoting, fail, and then limp away into the distance never to be seen or heard from again.

And who can blame them. I consider this on a daily basis! OK, maybe not on a daily basis but regularly. And I guess there is little more soul (or faith in human nature) destroying, than checking your book sales in the middle of the month, when Joe Blogs promised to buy your book and finding that the sales are zilch and Joe has let you down.  Unfortunately my experience and findings in this life have been that more people will let you down than not.

I’ve met some lovely, helpful people since self publishing. I would love to name them but if I do the idiot who merely taught me how to enter a password will want to know why he hasn’t been named as the best thing since sliced bread. You may think that is a slight exaggeration and yes it is. I have always known how to enter a password. It comes from being a devious, secretive type of person who doesn’t want the world and his dog knowing her business. However, I didn’t know how to use twitter or Facebook or build a web page or write a blog and it has been scary to the point of screaming. The amount of stuff of mine, unintentionally deleted and flying through the ether is unbelievable.

So I guess people fall by the wayside …some fall on stoney ground and perish …

I have to go and look for a bra. I have lost one. I had the slightest suspicion that it may also have fallen on stoney ground and ended up in Richard’s dressing room. Sounds posh, hey? Richard’s dressing room! It was laughingly described as a third bedroom by the house agent twenty-three years ago. It is actually a box room, too small to even fit a cot into and north facing to boot, so it is permanently freezing in there.

Richard has equipped his ‘dressing room’ with an Ikea rail and most of his clothes live draped across it and not on it. Beneath the rail he has an old wash basket which is the resting place for his grundies and socks. Yesterday I enquired, ‘you haven’t come across my bra, have you? I wondered if it may have inadvertently ended up in your wash basket – I mean your pant storage area – and if it has, at this moment in time, I will accept that it was an accident and that I don’t need to start getting worried and locking my wardrobe.’

He shrugged a bit and then later in the day said, ‘that bra. Is the black one with the frilly lace around the front and the little flower thing at the front?’

‘Yes,’ I said.

‘No, it’s not there.’

Maybe I should lock my wardrobe? Mind you, I don’t think there’s much in there that would fit him!

Off to buy some flowers.

Take care my lovelies x