Showing posts from April, 2008

Is This 'The End'?

Alternative title, ‘Round The U-bend’, Home Thoughts from a would-be plumber with a serious writing habit.

Nearly ten months ago I received the email that CHANGED MY LIFE! Oh, sorry, I was missing Masterchef for a minute there. Anyway, this email was from the agent who only a few days earlier had rejected the first draft of ‘Fighting The Tide’. Having reconsidered, the agent generously gave me copious advice about how I might turn FTT into a book with shelf life longer than a loaf of bread before supermarkets stuffed loaves full of preservatives.

My initial thought was that I could polish off the amendments within three months – despite the fact that the agent herself had advised me that the process ‘would be a big job’ (moral: ‘listen to Beeny’ – see ‘Proceed With Care’ posted 20/09/07).
So September became December, January became February and here we are at the end of April and at long, long last I have finished a book that only took me seven months to write (give or take the two y…

Post of the Week

My previous post, 'Life with Ma', was nominated for Post of the Week by Zinnia Cyclamen If you've never read Zinnia's moving and understated blogs about her work as a non-religious funeral celebrant then you really should... but take your hankies! Zinnia's blogs were recently picked up by the Guardian - deservedly so. Anyway, don't take my word for it go and read them!

'Life with Ma' was shortlisted but the winning post this week was John's Blog 'Talking about grief...'
I won't do John the disservice of trying to summarise his post, you should read it for yourself by going to ''

(Apologies to both John and Zinnia but I can't make any of the links work today.)

Thank you to Zinnia - if you follow my 'Novel Racers' link you will find her there and to those of you who were kind enough to support my nomination.

Life with Ma

If there is any lesson to be taken from losing one parent it’s to cherish the other, the survivor. I was fortunate and very privileged to be able to spend a lot of time with my dad during his final illness and when he died we were at completely at peace with each other. But Ma? Well, mums go on forever… don’t they?

I guess it’s taken me a while to learn my own lesson because Ma’s been like the Teflon Woman; nothing sticks, nothing damages the surface and she just carries on no matter what life throws at her. Or so it seems.

Red-haired, with the most amazingly beautiful dark blue eyes, my mum was physically strong and pretty fearless. As a very little girl I remember cringing and cowering at the shallow end of a chilly outdoor swimming pool (it later turned out I was cooking chicken pox) whilst mum powered up and down like an Olympian, stopping occasionally to cast pitying ‘I-can’t-believe-you’re-my-child’ looks, or so it felt at the time, in my direction. It was even worse when we…

Ross, Radiohead and Rellies

Wednesday 2 April
With only a gnat’s crotchet between me and the words ‘The End’, life has got in the way again. We are heading south to see Stepson Two’s band, Clocks, supporting Scouting For Girls at Shepherd’s Bush Empire and whilst we’re away we’re doing our usual round of friends and family.
By the time we arrive we have two problems: Tom has man flu and the lead singer of Scouting For Girls has lost his voice so this week’s gigs are cancelled. Doh!
Ah well, the wheel of social engagements is turning so on we go first to meet Rose and her new man who has bravely agreed to meet us – and very charming he is too. Then it’s off to catch up with our dear friends Jill and Martin. We end up at Ma’s where we’ll be staying. What a woman! In four months she has transformed her run-down flat into a boutique hotel so we are taking her back home with us for a well-deserved rest.

Thursday 3 April
To cut a long story short we have been invited by the lovely director, Mick, to be his guests at this w…