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Showing posts from August, 2014

West Side Stories

When Tom returns during the interval of West Side Story and hands me a small frozen tub, I know before he says anything that we’re of the same mind; it’s ‘interesting ice cream’ time. The phrase was coined when Rose was (reluctantly) taking French horn lessons and her music teacher was in the band supporting an am dram production of Ruddigore. As Tom’s a big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan we gamely decided to go, but were advised by Rose’s teacher to ‘buy an interesting ice cream.’ Boy, did we need it! Ruddigore? It was certainly ruddy awful. It’s not that this performance of Bernstein’s classic musical at the Millennium Centre is awful, in fact it’s had great reviews , but it feels rather lacklustre, especially after our last trip here which was to see the truly extraordinary Matthew Bourne production of Sleeping Beauty. Tonight, though, there are some dodgy accents in both gangs; the Jets have lots of trouble in ‘the pork’ and some of the Sharks sound more valleys than Puerto Rican.

In Search of Lost Knowledge

It’s that time of year again when exam results bring stories of triumph and tragedy up and down the country. Seeing those TV images of students scrutinizing their result slips still brings back memories of my own school days and the intense pressure of cramming for one three hour essay-based question paper in the morning then trying to disregard all that knowledge in order to tackle another three hour paper in a different subject in the afternoon. My collection of O Levels (those were the days!) include French, Latin and Maths (big celebrations about that one), I have A Levels in English, History and Zoology, a degree in European Studies with German (I spent a memorable summer studying at Heidelberg University) and I’ve picked up a few other bits and bobs along the way (Institute of Personnel Management Part One, anyone?).  But somewhere along the line, I seemed to have forgotten a lot of what I’ve learned. Probably through sheer neglect. ‘University Challenge’ is a big favouri

Running, Climbing and Tumbling

Waiting at the top of the road for a GPS signal Come on, let’s go for a run. I need to blow the tiredness away, that big ol’ August moon last night kept me awake, walking the garden and lighting up the house the way it did. Four miles, okay? We’ll talk along the way. First, get a signal then it's uphill all the way... Well, that's the first hill. And talking of climbing, Follow A Star received a lovely boost yesterday when it was picked for the Kindle Daily Deal. I’m very grateful to anyone who buys my work. No ‘buts’. In a busy world where mobile devices provide instant access to cheap or free content, it’s a privilege when anyone bothers to make the time to read one of my novels. My supportive friends are often amongst the first to set the review ball going which is always heartening, but I’ve also started to receive some lovely reviews for both Follow A Star and Only True in Fairy Tales from the band of dedicated book bloggers who wade through mountai

Stop Press! Kindle Daily Deal

FOLLOW A STAR is available for 99p  here ( $1.67 here) for today only as a Kindle Daily Deal.

Pulling and Pushing

I’m out on a run doing speed work . It’s tough, but I feel good and strong so I’m pretty happy until a mile before home when something goes ‘ping’ in my left calf. I pull up to investigate and apart from a little tenderness, I think I’m okay. When a van driver stops to offer me a lift, I decline because I’m sure that I’ll be able to walk… but soon, with no one in sight, I realise that getting home might be a slow process because my leg keeps collapsing under me.  By the time I reach the top of our lane, I’m ready to crawl, but fortunately some neighbours (and there are very few of them!) spot me, bundle me in their car and deliver me to the doorstep. Phew! I’m not known for my patience but with only two months to go until the Cardiff half marathon, I’ve rested, iced, compressed and elevated the injury and generally been sensible – I’m just hoping I’ve got away with it! Work wise, I’m trying to pull myself together for the next writing marathon. I love the satisfaction of ha