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Showing posts from September, 2009

Who's That Girl?

The girl on the left is Tina, painted by J H Lynch. Tina hung around for more years than was strictly fashionable, above Dad’s writing bureau in our front room. My parents adored Tina, but for me she’s powerfully evocative of the stomach-churning embarrassment of early dates because Dad’s bureau was where the only phone in the house sat. And, unfortunately, because it was the front room, it wasn’t just the phone sitting there; inevitably the date calls came when Ma and my kid sister were in the room too, keenly anticipating the opportunity for a bit of sport.

A discussion thread started by Faith over at Purple Coo on ‘Firsts and Worsts’ this week got me thinking about Tina and those first dates again. Before The Best Optometrist In the World and I became regulars at the youth club discos and learned to flee the dance floor before the last slow record was played and all the extras from the Thriller video emerged from the shadows to grab a snog (ooh, get me, Miss Gorgeosity with bad …

Save Jess

‘Em’s on GMTV’ a text from Stepson Two and Gorgeous Girlf tells us. Em is Gorgeous Girlf’s eldest sister. Blonde, bright, articulate and vivacious, Em, sitting on the sofa chatting to Penny Smith might be there to promote her latest film or talk about her current book. But Em’s story is far more remarkable. Three years ago the damage to Em’s lungs caused by Cystic Fibrosis was such that only a lung transplant could save her life. The family, as Em’s other sister writes so movingly in her blog, were sat down by doctors and told to say their goodbyes.

Em’s story ended happily because in January 2007, the lungs became available that enabled her to have a transplant, become well and lead a full, happy life. Oh, hang on, ‘the lungs became available’- yes, another family put aside their own grief and turmoil so that a stranger could live. Lots of heartache and difficult decisions. Em and others have worked hard to address those issues and give a voice to those affected by transplant t…

She's Leaving Home

Rose, my baby, is moving into a new flat... and this time she’s taking her books. After a year of renting a room in a house (albeit one belonging to a fireman), Rose is setting up home with her boyf, the lovely Si. I’m really proud that my daughters are capable, independent women who have had the courage to make tough decisions; Lily’s path, carving out a life in the city where she went to university has taken her through some hard and lonely times to reach a place of happiness. Rose, too, had to make tough choices when she struck out on her own. I hope I’ve encouraged the girls; certainly I’ve always believed that the sooner you make your own life the more you’ll get out of it. But when Rose asked if I could bring her books with me when Tom and I head back to help with her move, I realised that my daughters had finally left home.

Books have always been special and I know how much Rose is looking forwards to having hers around her, but it still felt strange packing them up and seei…

A Hard Day's Write

That’s it! After two weeks of solid work on the Big Project it’s done, polished and sent off into the big wide world looking its very best. My thanks to Tom who, as ever, has kept me fed and watered whilst I’ve been leading my alternative life and put up with my primitive conversational skills whenever I’ve emerged sounding (and looking) like someone who’s been in the dark forest too long. It’s Tom, too, who’s done his Mr Red Pen bit – even when I get scrappy if he challenges a word – and picked up my clumsy mistakes. Best of all it’s Tom who swells my heart when he says nice things about the plot, because I know he’d tell me if he thought it stank. Ta, darlin’, my very own Critical Reader.

Having two weeks to write is a luxury I’m lucky to have at the moment, but I’ve spent years trying to juggle writing with all the other stuff. One of those ‘thrifty’ tips in the paper this weekend reminded me of when I tried to buy myself some writing time with some redundancy pay. It wasn’t …

Western Mail Article

I can't provide a link to the article, but thanks to Rosie who kindly scanned it in, I can show you what it looks like.

I'm still working on my Big Project, but will resume normal blogging and visiting as soon as I've finished. See you then!


Starring in a litter tray near you by the end of the week... but currently appearing on pg 6 of the WM section of the 'Western Mail' (not to be confused with pg 6 of the 'Country and Farming' section which features a very cute Bichon Frise Cross Pug) is, er, me. I'm in very good celebrity company today as Charlotte and Gavin are on the cover, except that they also made it to 'Hello!' and I didn't. Well, not this week anyway.