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Showing posts from July, 2010

A Near Miss and a Surprise Hit

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Poor DiL’s been in the wars since leaving us last week. He was pootling around on his allotment on Monday when he decided to lift a piece of old carpet, inadvertently disturbing a wasp nest. In the mayhem that ensued DiL was stung repeatedly on the head and face. No one else was about, but somehow DiL managed to grab a garden hose and turn it on himself until the wasps had had enough. He then drove himself the short distance home where a horrified MiL, who doesn’t drive, summoned a friend and got him off to hospital. Fortunately DiL’s not allergic to wasp stings and various pills and potions have patched him up, but it’s one of those incidents that has shaken us up too and made us appreciate – even when their undercrackers turn up in unexpected places – how very precious our loved ones are.

Ma’s been having an exciting time too, although her experiences have been rather more positive than DiL’s. My brother-in-law whisked my sister off to Venice for a long weekend to celebrate the…

Cool Running

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After a night of heavy rain, the west Wales coast was at its most beautiful this morning when I went out for a run. Blue sky, fluffy white clouds and hedgerows bejewelled with harebells, cornflowers and diamond-chipped feathery grasses shimmering in the watery sunlight. Not so great sights included a poor little dead mole lying on its back, forlorn starfish hands reaching for the sky, and a banana skin. (Note: always avoid the banana skins.)

Hotel H has been heaving. I’ve finally got round to unpacking my bag from our recent trip to the south (don’t worry – I did unpack the manky bits on our return). We’ve had MiL and DiL here (on the ‘go-to-south-to-catch-up-with-one-set-of-rellies-bring-another-lot-home’ basis) and they like to spread out a bit. Surprise entertainment this week has included DiL suddenly being afflicted with an inability to walk – his slippers were on the wrong feet – and a mystery object falling out the washing machine with my tea towels – DiL’s undercrackers, l…

Why I love writing...

'As the last chapter came to a close, I got off at my station, sat on a bench in the sun and postponed my walk home by ten minutes or so to enjoy the last few pages uninterrupted, a little oasis of sublime romance in my rushed day.'

A lovely, lovely comment from a review of Turning the Tide by Miss Write. Check out her blog for sharp, clever writing.

No-one Died

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I worked for several years in the research department of a large trades union. It was my first job after my daughters started school and I shared it with Maureen who also had children, unlike most of our colleagues within the department. Maureen was one of those incredibly serene, unflappable people who was wonderful to work with. Just as well, really, since we were the jugglers of Research, trying to cram full time work into part-time hours to prove our worth, whilst fielding the inevitable calls from school. The one that particularly sticks in my mind was an office lady ringing me up to say, ‘Could you please collect your daughter? She’s fallen off a log.’

Maureen and I built our joint career together, starting as research assistants and fighting our way to become trades union officials. Along the way we had to put up with a lot of rubbish, such as other officials sticking their heads round the door of the department, seeing me or Maureen and saying, ‘Oh, no one in!’. I alway…

My Guy

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Excuse me if I FREAK OUT just a little, won’t you? My keyboard should be smoking with activity, but today I’m having a bit of a moment. We’re off to the south east on Friday which is good because I’ll catch up with Ma. My sister and I are both trying to sell our houses at the moment so Ma’s been something of a Freak Control Red Centre, fielding calls from both of us and handling all the ‘It’s on/off/pile-of -cr*p/best-thing-I’ve-ever-seen/b*stards/heroes’ calls with appropriate pigeon noises. A very diplomatic approach, actually, since neither of us can throw her words back at her.

But what’s really creeping up on me is Saturday, Day Two of the Romantic Novelists’ Association Conference 2010, because I’m joining the Choc Lit panel where we’ll be talking about our heroes. ‘But, mummy!’ said Rose. ‘The expert on your hero is you! What are you worrying about?’ And the answer is that I don’t know really, after all I’ve got up on my hind legs in a previous life and talked about such…