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Showing posts from September, 2010

All Sorts, Out of Sorts

Friday 24 September
With just over a week to go before my first book signing, I phone Lovely Tim at Waterstone’s to make sure everything’s in place. ‘Er,’ says Lovely Tim, ‘remind me, what book is it again?’. After a pause, whilst I listen to some electronic pips with sinking heart, LT returns to tell me that everything to do with my book signing appears to have fallen down a black hole. Reeling, I contact Lyn at Choc Lit and in the blink of an eye everything is back on track. What a woman!

It’s a chilly evening so we break out the heating. We’ve been trying to make our oil last (1) because it’s fiendishly expensive and (2) because we were hoping to move and didn’t especially feel like donating a lavish gift of a full tank of oil to someone who was messing about. Anyway, now prospective buyer has pulled out, we treat ourselves to some heat. Except that some gremlin has got into the system. And we don’t notice until 2 a.m. when we both wake up boiling alive. Three attempts to thwa…

Cats, Dogs and Hounds at Home

Although we have four children between us, Tom and I will never have our very own bundle of joy. Pets (what else?) are not us. Specifically, they are not Tom. Whilst I’m fine with cats, heck I even gave the kiss of life to one of mine after she was hit by a motorbike (sadly her internal injuries were too severe to save her), it’s dogs I really love.

My favourite family dog was Zorba (Ma’s Greek Island period), an absolutely adorable miniature dachshund who could melt the stoniest human heart. We also had Rima, a dazzling red setter, who liked nothing better than to sneak up on unsuspecting visitors and goose them and, briefly, Sam a naughty standard dachshund. Sam came to us for a trial run when his old lady owner was finding him a bit too energetic. He shot through the house, eating soap, drinking from the toilet and jumping up the curtains before racing outside to gobble some bread left on the lawn and crunch a few snails. Then he got a bit above himself and tried to stop Dad …

Wardrobe Malfunctions

With clothing prices set to increase by between 5 and 8 per cent next year, it looks as if the age of ‘throwaway’ fashion is at an end. We’re all going to have to be a bit more frugal about our buying - although you don’t need to be Gok Wan to look at my shrunken T-shirts and tired jumpers to realise that I’ve never had enough disposable income to bin anything for being ‘last year’. Nevertheless there are some items lurking in the back of my wardrobe that, even in west Wales, will never see the light of day...

For many years I wanted to be a Rock Chick when I grew up. Even when I was grown up. Little did I know, as I strutted around in these leather bad boys channelling the spirit of Jim Morrison, that my daughters were cringing behind my back and suffering excruciating embarrassment every time I left the house in them. I tried them on this morning, wondering what the fuss was about, then looked in the mirror and found a short woman in waders looking back at me. Please accept my …

Counting Down to the Cardiff Half Marathon

Saturday 4 September.
With six weeks to go until the Cardiff Half Marathon, my running shoes have had enough. At £50 - £60 a pop, I do have to take a deep breath when the time comes to renew them, but, hey, they do a pretty good job of pounding the roads round here. The internet, once again, seems to have run out of Asics 1150s in my size so we head for the wilds of Sports Direct at Haverfordwest. Inside it’s complete havoc; mountains of shoeboxes, zillions of mum and small daughter combos, forlorn single shoes abandoned by their other halves. I am not hopeful. With sinking heart I nab the nearest assistant, who happens to be up a ladder. To my immense surprise there is some sort of order and efficiency behind the chaos and two minutes later I’m standing at the till with my new shoes. Well done Sports Direct and a big thank you to a very helpful assistant.

When I get home I’m slightly freaked out to find that the route for the Cardiff Half Marathon is a new one this year. I twe…

Moving, Not Moving

Only a month ago, my sister was thrilled to have an offer accepted on her dream home. When I saw the details I could see exactly why she’d fallen in love with the property, a beautiful Edwardian gem, treasured not trashed by the couple who’d lived there for many happy years. Last week, my sister and her family went on holiday for a much-needed break as my youngest niece has been quite poorly. They could relax knowing that a moving date – 14th not 13th September, as her buyers were superstitious - had been set and they were about to exchange contracts. And then, the day before exchange, the buyers had second thoughts and pulled out. Just to make things even worse, it rained all week and my sister discovered that something was moving – they’d taken a family of nits on holiday with them. Where did the good luck fairy go?

Our own attempt to move has been thwarted at every turn by the most bizarre and unexpected twists; a house with a private water supply... but, it appeared, no legal …