Mother’s Day – Great Start . . . Crap Finish!

 

It would have been too much to ask for a perfect day, wouldn’t it?

It started well.

I’d requested a Cornus plant/shrub thingy from my son, Matt, and went into great detail re colour and size. Yes, I would have loved a tree-size one BUT I’d visited the plant centre a week earlier and saw the price of the tree-size ones, and to be frank I didn’t think I was worth that much. That’s a bit sad isn’t it? But you know me – the original shrinking violet. Shut up it’s true!

So, knowing Matt obeys my every fancy and whim (mostly) I was pretty confident that a lovely little Cornus would produce itself from Matt’s car boot come Mothering Sunday.

10.00 a.m. arrived and right on time (another quality he gets from me – always being on time) his work truck chugged to a halt outside the house and there, swaying, slightly seasick was my pressie – a small tree-size Cornus.

Obviously I was overjoyed that, A. I’d got a super-duper big plant and B. that apparently I WAS worth that much.

The grand kiddies piled in followed shortly by a plant and Matt somewhere behind it. I showered him with thanks before scolding him for spending that much on me when I would have been perfectly happy with a titchy one – well, maybe not a titchy but it is the thought that counts, you know.

The plant was placed in the garden awaiting planting. I already had the area mapped out and I told Matt that I’d be planting it when they left. At this point he said, ‘You might like to water it first?’

Good point I thought.

‘It’s been in the garage for two days,’ he added.

‘WHAT!’ I exclaimed. ‘So it’s been in the dark for two days with no water and then rattled up the motorway in an open truck?’

He grinned.

‘You lazy git,’ I said, ‘you just couldn’t be bothered to carry it round to the back of your house, could you?’

He opened his mouth to deny it but then changed his mind and continued to grin.

‘And YOU call yourself a gardener? I said.

He laughed.

This information set me back a bit, so when they had gone I watered it in its pot and then this morning I planted it. It looks OK . . . well, brilliant it fact. I think if it could talk it would breathe a sigh of relief. I don’t think it enjoyed the M1 that much?

As I said . . . Great Start, Crap Finish, because . . .

Later that day I toggled up the garden to tuck-in the greenhouse plants. A frost was forecast so they had to have their little duvets pulled-up round their delicate stems. As I was saying goodnight to the baby cosmos (Prince Charles talks to HIS plants so don’t go thinking I’m mad and alone in this), through the greenhouse glass I caught sight of a bird, on the floor, in front of Richard’s shed. It looked perfect, not cat struck at all. I couldn’t bear investigating so I shrugged down to the house and asked Richard to go and see if it was dead. He did so.

It was dead. I believe it had flown into the shed window. He described it to me (he’s no ornithologist) and I realised in was a bullfinch. Last year there had been a pair visiting the garden and only yesterday I was thinking that I hadn’t seen them this year. I was devastated really. I don’t do ‘dead’ animals very well, but then who does. I kept thinking that its mate would also be devastated. I tried telling myself that it would be fickle and find another mate, a prettier, better-at-finding-food-for-the-chicks mate. Then I told myself perhaps it would be happy knowing that its true love hadn’t had a horrible ending in the jaws of some rotten kitty . . . but none of that helped. The vision of the little thing stayed with me for the rest of the day . . . and has carried over to this morning. Yes, I’m a dick. What more can I say?

Whenever I see roadkill in the distance I have to close my eyes until we have passed it. Last year a muntjac had been hit on the busy road at the side of the wood and it had managed to make it to the gate of the wood. It had two broken legs. I still have nightmares now. It looked perfect, except for the two broken legs – and the fact that it was bloody dead. How long had it been there until shock had claimed it? How much pain did it suffer dragging itself from the road and along the grass verge to the gate? Yes, I think too much!

Last week, as we arrived at the wood, we noticed what looked like snow around the shed. On closer inspection (I sent Richard ahead to investigate) it was, or had been, a wood-pigeon. Feathers were everywhere. I never knew they had so many feathers!

Two days ago I raked the feathers together and burnt them.

So, there you go. A lovely Mother’s Day in many respects . . . I spent time with my son and grand kiddies and received exactly what I wanted but how much nicer it would have been if Mr Bullfinch hadn’t committed suicide?

This I guess is the balance of life, hey?

Right, dashing off to sand some wood. A craft fair looms and I must focus on making stock.

Stay Happy xxx

 

Busy, Busy, Busy . . . Not Expired!

O.K. first things first . . . I’m not dead. This news will either be met with whoops of joy or total indifference, I suspect the later.

So, where have I been? Nowhere really. Just around and about doing my own thing.

To be honest that probably isn’t honest, you see, I think my ‘hermit’ tendencies are now running parallel with my ‘can’t-really-be-bothered-to-do-anything-that-I-don’t-want-to-do-just-to-please-people-that-don’t-warrant-it.’ So I’ve been doing anything and everything that I WANT to do, and although there were quite a few odd moments when I thought about bashing out another blog something else always got in the way.

Health issues have been at the top of my agenda – well, they are aren’t they, once you step over the line into ‘a certain age?’

I don’t think it helps that I won’t give in to them (health issues) or accept that I’ve crossed over that line into a ‘certain age?’

I’d list my health issues but I’m trying to keep this blog under 20,000 words!

I’ll move on.

So what do I do all day . . . besides Netflix? That’s a joke by the way . . . kinda! Well, I don’t write novels anymore . . . the retinal migraines put paid to that, (see how a ‘health issue sneaked in under the radar there?) but I do other things.

Remember I told you about the small woodland we bought two years ago this May, well that takes up a considerable amount of my time, and rightly so. We have titivated and tidied, erected insect hides, bird nesting boxes, bird feeders (18 to date) and loads of other stuff too numerous to mention, and it has been great. Wildlife has returned. We now have woodpeckers, tits of all kinds, squirrels, muntjac, squirrels, nuthatches, squirrels, foxes, pheasants, wrens, robins, a rabbit (only ever seen one) hares and did I mention the bloody squirrels!!! Such little sods. They carry screw drivers and wire cutters and take down the bird feeders, most of them never to be seen again. It’s an ongoing war with them. I’ve made it my life’s work to outsmart them – the jury’s still out on who’s ahead to date! If I had to hazard a guess I’d say 70/30 . . . in their favour. I do know one thing – after all the food they’ve scoffed over the winter their dreys will be bursting with squirrel babies this year and I’ll need even more bird-feeding stations!

Then there are the craft fairs.

I make all things rustic from the fallen, and trimmed wood – fairy houses, fat ball feeders, other very clever things (?) and toddle off to craft fairs with them. The money I make goes back into supporting the wildlife. Can you imagine how much it costs to fill 14 bird feeders and 4 bird tables? So if anyone wishes to make a donation into my PayPal account go right ahead? Actually, I’ve had a break from the fairs since Christmas but they are starting up again now and in fact I did my first one of the year last weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also . . . my first love – the garden.

Spring has almost sprung and I’ve already got the garden and greenhouse in good order. Green things are springing up everywhere and today I actually SAT in the garden for one whole hour! A bloody miracle for me. You see, I love it but I always find something to do and can never sit still for a minute. I watched the birds coming and going. We have a wren nesting in the recently trimmed conifer. She makes one hell of a noise when Chea (kitty) is around. She really needs to be a bit more discreet – the wren not Chea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you go. The wood, the garden, making the wooden things and the craft fairs. Oh! And I’ve just dug out my sewing machine and I’m having a bash at dressmaking – though they aren’t dresses that I’m making, they are tops. That’s going O.K. except for the first top looking like it would fit an elephant. I cast it to the back of the wardrobe telling myself I could wear it in the garden but then, being O.C.D and knowing it was stuck there, imperfect and as a constant reminder that it was wrong, I retrieved it and altered it. Now it would fit a hippo, so job well done, hey?

I’ll toddle off now . . .  you can probably only digest so much crap in one sitting?

I’ll catch you soon – I’ll add blogging to my nice list of things to do . . . possibly.

Take care lovelies x

If you’d like to take a look at my Woodland Crafts Page over on Facebook, and possible give it a like, a share or whatever, it would please the squirrels no end! (and me) xx

https://www.facebook.com/GriddiesCopse/

 

First Loves Never Die (Oh Yes They Do!)

So, last Thursday evening I trotted off to attend a two hour Christmas craft fair. Richard kindly drove me there, in fact, Richard now drives me everywhere since the retinal migraine attacks that started this time last year. He says he’d rather do that than have me driving. I feel that this has little to do with the fact that he wants to keep me safe and sound and more to do with the fact that he doesn’t want me to smash-up the car.

I’m not an evening person so toddling off to haul boxes into a village community centre and then attempt to display far too many ‘items’ on a six-foot table was no picnic I can tell you. I’m usually up at four/five in the morning and therefore expire rapidly by early evening.

I have to admit to getting really stressed about it all. As I said, the table wouldn’t hold all my stuff and Richard, sensing my stress, became even more useless than usual.

As soon as the boxes were out of the car and he’d attached the back boards to the table I told him to go. He’s lovely actually. He loads up the car, drives me to these event’s, unloads the car and hangs around a bit until I tell him I can manage and then he vamooses – faster than poo off a shovel. He won’t hang around. He hates it. He says he puts people off. This might be true, who knows.

By the time I’d arranged the table – still with far too much stuff – I was expiring like a marathon runner and had a ‘beetroot’ coloured glow to my face.

People trickled in through the entrance and we were away.

I buggered around trying to find labels that had somehow disappeared and only succeeded in upending a large cardboard box of cellophane bags all over the floor. By the time I raised my head, a couple and a small child stood at the table. Now, you have to understand that, as I said at the start of this, I am not an evening person (Lord knows what I was doing there really) so, I find it hard holding a polite, animated conversation in the evenings but . . .

I grinned and said ‘hello.’

The woman/girl, whatever, was turning a large heart over in her hand (that’s a wooden heart by the way, not the pulsing, bloody kind) and looked lovingly at her partner/husband, probably seeking his approval to fork out the £2.50 for the darn thing. In a moment of utter braveness she grinned and said she would like it. Jolly good. I toddled round to the front of the table and took it from her, blabbering on about some rot. She seemed to appreciate the small talk and I even engaged with the small child AND gave him a free ‘Magic Santa Key.’ I tell you, I’m all heart.

It wasn’t until they walked away, and I’d safely squirreled away the £2.50, that I took another look at them. Or, more to the point, took another look at the partner/husband.

There was something about him? That auburn hair curling on his collar. I waited until he turned, at a stall two tables down, and then I saw his face. I recognised that nose. It was a tad bigger – but then, a nose I knew twenty odd years ago would be bigger now, wouldn’t it? And his eyes, smaller, more lidded . . .but twenty odd years would do that, wouldn’t it? He opened his mouth to speak to the child and suddenly I knew. Dear God, it was an old-lover-type-person of mine. I think I actually said ‘shit!’ out loud. Jeez, he’d changed a bit. I hardly recognised him. Well time hadn’t been kind to him, had it? I think I actually giggled at that point.

He’d rounded the end of the room now and was heading back down the other side.

At this point another customer caught my attention and I engaged in conversation regarding my embossed stag pictures. She said her mother LOVED stags. Said her mother had them all over the house . . . so she purchased . . . the Embossed Rabbit.

Now’t as queer as folk.

By now my ex-lover had ridden off into the sunset with my heart – the wooden one.

I rearranged my display still deep in amused thought. I couldn’t believe how much he’d changed and how I didn’t recognise him when he’d stood at the table with his family. And then, suddenly, it occurred to me . . . bummer! I don’t think he’d recognised me either! Evidently I wasn’t the angel-on-horseback that I’d been back then. The two of us jogging over fields, my horse gaily tossing its mane, me gaily tossing my brown locks. Time had been just as crap to me!

This taught me a valuable lesson. Two in fact. One, don’t do evening craft fairs. Two, don’t do them in an ex’s village.

By the time Richard came to pick me up I was shattered. He drove like Lewis Hamilton all the way home with me rabbiting on about whatever – not the ex-lover of course – I’ve always been discreet, sort off.

As soon as my feet touched home the oven went on and we pigged out on oven chips, spaghetti hoops and cheesy scrambled egg.

And this is probably why HE didn’t recognise little porky-pig ME.

Take care x88317966

A Bit Like Writing A Novel?

So, I’ve been warbling on and on about this chicken shed that is no longer a chicken shed but now a craft shed and a few readers have queried what I’m actually doing in there. Some of my antics I can speak of – some not.

I’m joking.

If you remember I started by making plaques and hearts? I still have these in my ‘portfolio’ but I’m pretty sure I won’t be making many more of these. They were a tad like a rough copy and as I progressed I edited them a few times, finally deciding that as a stand-alone item they are fine but a sequel will not follow.

I can totally relate this ‘craft’ thing to writing a novel . . . or at least to the way I write a novel. I start at the beginning with an idea and then see what happens. Usually, my characters write the novel for me and at times I have to rein them back with a firm hand. The same can be said of my ‘crafting.’ I start with an idea and see what happens. Quite often, like the novel, I end up with something that surprises even me – and not always in a good way.

I have days where everything I touch is utter crap and I  sit there staring at the debris, listening to Ken Bruce on the radio and watching Chea cleaning her bottom, stretched out across my work area. I don’t mind because frankly I’m not using it.

Then there are days when things go well and for a while I’m chuffed with what I’ve produced. Unfortunately, I have always been my own worst enemy and critic and usually, by the next day, I’m back to thinking it could be better.

I am fortunate that we have a log burner in the lounge. This is my plan B for the wooden failures. See, I am practical.

I’m liking the direction in which I appear to be going . . . large, chunky fairy houses and embossed pictures. It’s a bit like starting out writing romance and ending up in the horror genre. I like using rough wood, recycled and brought back to life. I love the way each piece is different and responds uniquely to sanding and painting etc.

Apologies, I’m wittering as usual. I only popped on here to post some pictures of what I’ve recently produced. The pics’ aren’t great but I think it gives the general impression. See, if I blame the images you’ll believe the items are better than they look. Sneaky, hey?

So, for Malla, Elaine, Evelyn etc. here you go . . .

items-craft-2items-craft

And Then I Broke My Own Heart.

Hi

It’s been a while – again. I honestly do not know where the time and days go to. This year has flown by on even faster wings.

I blame it, in part, to Richard still being here. Not, you understand, ‘still being here’ as in I haven’t murdered him yet but as in he still hasn’t joined the great British work force and therefore drifts around the place cluttering up my day. He tells me there is ‘nothing out there.’ This I know is a lie. I think I told you I saw an opening, albeit seasonal, for a Father Christmas at a local store. He has the portly build and the rustic beard, though, to be honest, I do openly admit that he’d be hard pressed uttering the words “Ho Ho Ho” every 5 seconds. “Ho Ho Ho” on a regular basis he is not!

Not to worry, I’m finding him lots of lovely little jobs around the house. The latest was to take up the stair carpet, repaint all the woodwork, and supervise a new carpet being laid. We had an argument, of course, as to whether or not the radiators needed painting. I said, ‘Don’t be an idiot of course they do!’ He said, ‘Well, I don’t think they do.’ Now riddle me this . . . who do you think won this argument?

He tells me that he likes being here with me all day – every day. And what’s more he says it with a straight face. Perhaps there’s an actor’s job going somewhere?

This period of absence has also been down to the fact that I’ve had some sad news and a hard decision to make.

Rita Raptor, the chuck, became poorly, showing symptoms that I’ve seen before in the chucks that I’ve lost. Some days she was up and some days she was down. Then the down days extended until, finally, there were no up days and she stopped eating, drooped her little wings and closed her tired eyes. I’ve been struggling with the health of my hens for the last few years and I have now come to the conclusion that they must be finding something out in the garden that doesn’t agree with them. I have no idea what it could be. It certainly isn’t the conditions in which they are living under. My chuck cage and outside run is cleaner than a hospital operating theatre!

I knew from past, sad experience, that Rita wasn’t going to pull through so we took her to the vet who confirmed my fears and she was put to sleep. Richard and I didn’t speak coming home in the car. It’s hard to trust your voice when you have an emotional lump wedged in your throat.

This left Mabel.

We had been in this situation three times now – left with just one chicken – and each time we had rushed to the farm and brought another chuck home as company to the remaining hen. I wasn’t going to do that this time. The time had come to end all of this. Whatever was killing my chucks could not kill another. Mabel was the sweetest, tamest, loveliest hen you could ever find. She followed me around the garden like a doe-eyed puppy, coming instantly when I called her, always on the lookout for a little treat. For the next week we only shut Mabel in her summer-house at night to roost. During the day she spent time down at the house, having a few treats and being allowed to scratch in the ‘forbidden’ part of the garden.

After a week I did something that broke my own heart. I took her to the local animal sanctuary, two miles from here. I couldn’t keep her on her own, I couldn’t risk getting another, and I couldn’t accept her going the same way as the others.

She didn’t utter a chirrup all the way there, just sat patiently in Chea’s cat basket watching the world go by the car window. When we got to the sanctuary the girl let her out of the basket and they gave her a quick health check. They remarked that she was in excellent condition and in return she clucked and blinked and then started to ‘talk’ to me – ‘chicken’ people will know exactly what I mean. I imagined the dear soul saying, ‘I’ve enjoyed my little trip out . . . can we go home now?’

They asked if we wanted to see where she was going . . . with three other chucks and a cockerel. We didn’t. I couldn’t. She would have to battle while she found her place within the pecking order and I would be tempted to scoop her up into my arms and bring her home and treat her with a bit of cooked pasta that I had in the fridge.And besides, they would witness two grown adults crying over a chicken.

We left her there, still ‘talking’ to me, and we walked away.

Richard dismantled the nest boxes, perches, dividing partition and stored away the feed and water containers. I won’t have any more chucks here.

The garden is like a tomb . . . as quiet as the grave. I miss them terribly. I stand and watch the sunlight spearing down through the shrubs into the undergrowth and I can see them. I am stupid. I know that. They were only chickens. Nothing THAT important. But I can’t convince myself of that . . . not yet . . . and knowing me, not ever. So, you see, I chose to break my own heart. Yep, stupid. Really stupid.

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Take care all x

Look Through Any Window?

So, this is how it went . . .

Me. “Richard, could you look at this booking form that I’ve downloaded because to me it doesn’t make any kind of sense.”

Richard. “Where is it?”

I stayed calm.

“Here, on my laptop.”

“OK.’

Me. “All you have to do is scroll down – once.”

Him. “Do you mean scroll up?”

Me. “No . . . I mean scroll down.”

“Well, can you pass the laptop along the table?”

I slid said laptop along the table and watched as he peered at the screen . . . and peered at the screen. I propped my head up by the palm of my hand, elbow resting on the table and gave him time to evaluate. You see, to be perfectly honest, while Richard falls down in many areas, where ‘forms’ are concerned he is quite good. This is because I read the first line, fill it in and then halfway down realise I’ve done it wrong. HE reads the whole thing three times, digests it, and THEN fills it in. So I waited . . .

Eventually I glanced over. The screen had a weird navy blue box across it and Richard squeaked, “I can’t get rid of this.”

Me. “What is it? All you had to do was scroll down. What have you touched?”

Him. “Nothing.”

I swung the laptop my way and there is was . . . bloody Windows 10 downloading!

‘What the *uc* have you touched? (yes, I used the F word) you only had to scroll down?”

I grabbed the laptop and banged and crashed every button in sight, trying to stop it, whilst screaming (yes, screaming) “It’s asked me a million times to upgrade to this shit and I DON’T WANT IT!”

You see, I’ve seen and heard so many bad things about Windows 10 that I just didn’t want the hassle. I was happy with Windows 8 and even THAT had taken a bit of getting used to.

I couldn’t stop it. It was a runaway train crashing down the track. So I waited . . . for what seemed like a day but was, in fact, probably 45 minutes, for the frigging thing to download. I then proceeded, huffing and puffing and cussing and swearing, to follow the on-screen instructions to set the bloody thing up. Yes, I know that you can uninstall these things but I also understand that it is more often than not that ‘bits’ get left behind. I’m sure there’s a technical term for it but bits will have to do.

At this point Richard wasn’t speaking, in fact, the poor sod was hardly daring to breathe. I’m such a tyrant – obviously. But tell me . . . what idiot scrolls down (or up) and download’s a whole new system?

However – I have to admit to you, and not to Richard, obviously, that I’ve continued using the laptop (with Windows 10) and the bits that I’ve used are not much different so . . . I’ll keep it.

I think it’s a bit like stepping outside of your  ‘what’s familiar zone?’ I’ve done this recently in another area too. I’ve never been drawn to watching ‘blood and guts’ stuff, especially the kind where it is done for effect and has a crap storyline but I can now admit to having stepped away from the normal and having watched Breaking Bad, Dexter, and we are just coming to the end of the sixth Walking Dead season – and I loved them all. Not my genre? Not my thing? In fact they are, so I will adopt the same attitude and give Windows 10 a whack.  Probably literally? But we will see.MB900440679

Take care x

Happy To Announce . . .

Well, it’s taken a little while to get to this stage (announcing the new book) because basically I messed-up the ordering of the proof and was waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting for something that didn’t arrive and was never going to. Initially I blamed it on Easter – you know – being held up for the holidays.

I won’t bore you with the details but if you know me, and many of you do now, you will know that messing-up an order is pretty normal for me. And why shouldn’t it be I cry in my own defence. A few years ago I was a total ‘newbie’ cautiously dipping my big toe in waters new. I’d just about worked my way around Word and how to ‘double space’ and ‘find and replace’ and then I had to apply myself to ‘uploads’ and ‘downloads’ and Twitter and Facebook and losing whole posts and blogs into the ether. The road has been long and the journey fraught but . . . I am still here, on the other side. Admittedly it has driven me to sitting in a darkened room, counting flies and/or taking long walks out into the garden to ‘calm down’ before I threw the laptop and anything else within reach through the window but hey-ho that’s internet/self-publishing life!

I now have a lovely lady in my life – Gaile Griffin Peers. Gaile is a publisher and many other things. Our journey has, at times, been fraught, mainly because I’m an ‘if it can’t be done yesterday, today will have to do’ kinda gal and Gaile has a publishing business to run and cannot always do everything yesterday. When I say I have a lovely lady in my life I mean that Gaile helps me with all things formatting (obviously I can’t do that crap) and spends hours forwarding helpful links and answering my endless questions on chat. I have not replaced Richard – though the thought does sometimes sneak across my mind. Yesterday I shouted him, ‘Richard! Can you turn the vacuum off?’ No answer. ‘Richard! Can you turn the vacuum off?’ No answer. ‘RICHARD!’

‘What?’ he shouted back.

‘Did you hear me,’ I also shouted back.

‘No, not until the third time.’

‘So how did you know I’d shouted you three times if you didn’t hear me?’

This is what I have to put up with.

Anyway I have digressed massively. What I meant to say is . . . my new children’s book, “Bucket Head,” is now trickling into outlets everywhere. It isn’t on Amazon yet because I also messed that up, but it will be shortly.

It’s here at   http://readaloudstorybooks.com/books/

I’d love for you to take a quick look.  I’m a tad nervous about this one because it’s the first time I’ve attempted my own illustrations. It was something that I enjoyed immensely, which surprised me somewhat, and if my retinal migraine allows it I’d like to ‘do’ a second Bucket Head book, but as I said before, baby steps and all things in moderation, which, frankly, means that I should bugger off now and stop peering at this screen . . . so I will, and next time I’ll tell you how Bucket Head came to be.

Take care x

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Doing Something Very Naughty?

Hi

I’m doing something very naughty right now.

I’m looking for two more chucks to add to my existing flock of two.

Little has decided never to lay another egg again and Flight, easily led, and frankly a bit feather-brained, has come out in sympathy and decided much the same thing.

We have been void of eggs for some months. First they moulted, then Little had the trots, and now she is casting off feathers fasting than poo off a shovel. And, as I say, they have decided that they are now pretty pets and not prepared to push another egg from their little feathered bums.

Not to worry. I can happily live with that. However, I am using it as an excuse to pop out and bring in a couple more. You see, I love the things. I think they are beautiful AND they give me good reason to get off my backside and go into the garden with them while they have a session free-ranging and murdering small critters.

I’d never wrap up against the storms and cold and venture out if it wasn’t for them. Because of them my garden is tidy and shipshape beyond words because each day, when I am out there with them, I find something to do for an hour or two – even in the winter months.

And I hardly need to mention the pleasure of summertime chuck watching. Scratching around under the blackcurrant bushes, releasing the wonderful smell of sunshine-warmed fruits. Rolling upside down in the dry, dusty areas beneath the shrubs. Chasing Chea through the undergrowth. (I’m talking about the chucks, by the way, not me) I gave up chasing Chea through the undergrowth some time ago.

They have their pecking order, I guess, but they are such good friends, and as close as paint on a wall, that I really don’t know who the top chuck is. Little swings between thinking she is Flight’s mother and/or lover. She clucks and goes mental when she spies a treat and brings Flight running to scoff it. She’s a strange creature – but then aren’t we all in our own barmy ways? I fear she is changing gender and will start to crow any day now.

If I go ahead and introduce two more chucks I will have to keep them separate from Little and Flight for a while but that won’t be too difficult. They have a large summer-house and it’s already divided down the centre with a large pop hole in the middle, so it would just be a matter of temporarily netting the hole. That way they could see each other and issue threats and warnings but never be in the position to carry them out. And the radio could still be heard from both sides . . . I kid you not. Well, it gets boring for them when it’s raining and they don’t want to come out. A bit of Radio 2 and Ken Bruce in the morning cheers them up no end. Although, I do have to admit that only the chucks on the left hand side of the divide would see the clock. Those on the right wouldn’t have a clue what time it was!

I’ll think about it a tad more.

12200518_10153638931713808_774235460_nTake care my lovelies x

 

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot . . . Should it?

Hi.

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

 

Deck The Halls With . . .Yeah, Whatever!

Hi

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.’

Sweet.

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