Friday, February 29, 2008

A Submission!

I have finally got my act together and sent an adaptation of this post off to Bloggers for Charity. If you have somehow managed to miss every instance of this logo, and/or would like to know more, click on it for more information.
War Child is a UK based charity helping children all over the world.

Funny how, even though subbing to a nice friendly bunch of bloggers, my heart still raced when I pressed the 'send' button. Oh, the excitement of it all.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Della Galton's Course I

It was when I reached the motorway, switched on the cruise control and turned the stereo up so loudly that I practically had Jimi Hendrix in the car with me (Voodoo Chile makes such a great change from Wheels on the Bloody Bus), that I realised I was actually doing my own thing.

The next fun part was finding Helen. She was in the queue for the coffee machine when I spotted her. She glanced at me a couple of times, no doubt wondering why I was grinning at her! Once introduced, we sat together, and giggled a lot. We all giggled, and laughed. It was a great day.

There were six in the class, and Della (who is as genuine a person as I could wish to meet) allocated half an hour for each of us, and we were all encouraged to comment and advise on each other's stories, which was a constructive and encouraging exercise. Everyone had good ideas! Certainly my story, when it is subbed, will need to be credited to Me, Della, Helen, and a nice lady called Christine.

Helen's going to write a proper course review on Monday. This is good, because my brain is a shambles, and I can't think of anything else to write except that it was a great day. But, I think I said that already.

It was a great day (sorry). I learned a lot. I'm very glad I went. It was all thanks to Della, for being so clever; Helen, for being so adorable; Jane, for Bullying me into it; Julia, for looking after the small boy; Liz, for looking after the small girl; my lovely step-daughter (and her mum), for looking after the baby; and himself, for picking up the pieces.

See the Della Galton website for details of more courses. I can't recommend her teaching highly enough.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another Disastrous Holiday

Sorry about the silence. Am perfectly well (although rather grumpy) following an Internet-free, four-day break in the Shropshire wilds. Despite a delightful location, snug cottage, and a lovely visit to my uncle, I am grumpy because, yet again, it all went horribly wrong. Here is a summary of the last few times I've ventured away from home:

July 2005 - We were burgled. The resultant damage cost over £10,000, and ten months, to put right.
July 2006 - A postman named ALAN JENKINS smashed into my car (on my birthday) in a remote part of the Isle of Jura (itself pretty remote), and I had to take 50% blame DESPITE BEING STATIONARY AT THE TIME (still seething over that one).
Oct 2006 Had major row with husband, and had to be talked out of divorcing him on the spot by very good friend (thanks, Maggie!)
May 2007: My Dad, who was with us (in isolated Scottish cottage), had suspected heart attack.
Oct 2007: Small girl had croup for two days, baby teethed for two days/nights, small girl broke her leg.
Feb 2008: Small boy was unexpectedly, and spectacularly, sick in the car. Spent the whole time convinced he was going to vomit at any moment. Baby teethed solidly; got no sleep. Had four-day headache instead. Got £60 parking ticket.

I'm never going away again, ever...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Pleasures of Research

I was looking up synonyms for "hangover", having felt that my He knew he'd be feeling like a [unpleasant object] in the morning was a bit lame. These are much better (although they put me off drinking for a good twenty seconds):

aftereffect, big head, crapulence, crown fire, delirium tremens, drunkenness, feebles, head, headache, morning after, shakes, shot, willies, blue devils, blue Johnnies, delirium alcoholicum, delirium ebriositatis, dementia a potu, heebie-jeebies, horrors, jimjams, mania, muppets*, pink elephants, pink spiders, screaming meemies, shakes, snakes in the boots, the DTs.

*courtesy of Womagwriter's sister-in-law.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Importance of Good Elocution

Now, the small girl's articulation is not quite up to public-speaking standards yet, and occasionally I have trouble understanding her. One such occasion was this morning when, while giving her a cuddle, she pointed to my shoulder. The conversation went like this:

SG: Your pretty cardy. I go snuggly.
ME (smiling): Is it snuggly?
SG (laughing): No, it's not snuggly. I go snuggle it.
ME (having another go): You're snuggling it?
SG (squealing): No, I no snuggle it. I got snuggle it.
ME (puzzled now): I'm sorry sweetie, I don't understand. What are you saying?
SG: Your pretty cardy. I got snot on it!
ME: Ah...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Good Vibrations

Thank you to the Moondreaming Daisy for this tag: five ways I raise my vibrations. Sadly, not as naughty as it sounds.

Nice Days with the Kids
By nice days, I mean those days when I've had enough sleep, everyone else has had enough sleep, no one's hungry or ill, and the sun is out... The days when I have patience to sing along to kiddies songs on the CD player, or get the paints/glitter & glue/baking kit out, or just have time, energy and inclination to muck about with them, wrestling on the floor (or whatever). I love days like that.

I would be lost without the chance to write. I would spend my days wondering around, gnashing my teeth, and blurting out lines of unused dialogue. I fear I would sound a bit like a bear with Tourette's.

Writing leads me straight on to music, because I am unable to do the former without the latter. My most productive writing comes when I am lounging on my bed, headphones on, listening to the same twelve tracks over and over again! I do listen to other music at other times too!

Going to the Cinema
I get all excited when I go to the cinema, like a teenager on her first date. Himself is not a big fan of the movies (it's much more fun to go with Jane), but I manage to drag him out of the pub every now and then.

Now, I know this is not exciting at all, but I really look forward to going to sleep. That dozy time between being awake and being asleep is when I think up the best plot twists and dialogue (it is also when I forget the best plot twists and dialogue). It is also the time when my mind seems to float free of the day's stresses, and I can feel positive about even the worst things. It's probably the only time when I am completely chilled. This is generally when one (or more) of the children wake(s) up...

I now tag Womagwriter, Lucy, Maddie, Jen and JJ.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Big E

Thank you to JJ, Moondreamer, Karen, and Cal for this award! I'm really grateful. This is my second blogging award, and it makes me feel all nice and warm and cosy in the blog world. Ta muchly!

I've been slacking a bit the last few days, blogwise, and now I've cottoned on to the fact that I get to pass this on (duh), I guess other people have beaten me to my targets. However, this is my list (not including those who have awarded to me, and to whom I would otherwise have awarded it):

Helenmh, Lane, Liz, Lucy Diamond, Maddie, SallyQ, SpiralSkies, Womagwriter, Zinnia.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Diet Pepsi Max Superbowl Ad

(This advert cost $5.4m - not to make, just to air... once - but it is funny!)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Grump, grump, grump, grump, grump...

That's what I did for most of yesterday. I'm a woman, see, I can multitask. So I can clean and grump at the same time. The reason for this grumpiness? Well, the computer really was switched off, and I couldn't write. Not only switched off, but hidden to prevent temptation. So I had no access to any one-minute-distractions-from-the-hell-of-housework.

I made up for it today, with a mushy-brain-moment par excellance. I had just put on the cauliflower and I thought, while the water's coming to the boil, I'll just check my email. Well, there was a message from JJ to say that she'd given me a lovely award. Well, I had to go and look, didn't I? And then, of course, I realised that I hadn't visited JJ's blog yesterday either (because of the sodding cleaning), and so I had to catch up, didn't I?

Well, my hob brings water to the boil in about 45-seconds. It struggles a bit when there's no water to boil, so it just heats up everything else until you get a nice smell of burning cauliflower.

Stupid, stupid, stupid woman
(that's me, JJ, not you).

So I spent the next ten minutes trimming black bits off the cauliflower (you know what kids are like), nursing my poor saucepan back to room temp- erature (from somewhere near the melting point of steel), and blackening my chopping board.

And this was after spending the whole day cleaning, tidying, hoovering, washing/folding/putting away clothes. I should be feeling great; but does the house look any better for it?


Grump, grump, grump, grump, grump...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Wish me Luck...

Today, I'm going to switch off my computer (unprecedented), and Tidy My House (nearly unprecedented).

If I don't resurface tomorrow, please come looking for me; I'll be buried in the small boy's room (upstairs right), under a pile of soft toys, brio train track, and dirty socks.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

When the Muse Strikes...

Having raved about space pens, and their usefulness for writing on the back of one's hand in the middle of the night, I must now post a cautionary tale.

After thinking up a whole new shorty, whilst drifting off to sleep last night, I had to sit up and write myself a note. There being no Moleskine nearby (or paper of any sort), I had to resort to simply writing the title on my hand. Falling For Him it was called. I was somewhat surprised to see these very words splurged across my cheek when I looked in the mirror this morning. I guess I must have stuffed my hand under my face as I snuggled back down, and before the ink had dried...

Being a space pen, of course, it is capable of being used underwater and, thus, has waterproof ink:
IT DOESN'T COME OFF. No doubt the liberal application of turps would shift it, but I don't fancy rubbing that into my face. Oh well, it's all in the name of art, I suppose. I just hope it's gone by Monday!

The story, incidentally, would not suffer being relegated to the back of my hand, and proceeded to spill itself into my brain. In the end, I had to get up and write the bloody thing down. One thousand words poured out in under an hour. I read it through this morning, changed the odd word, and showed it to Jane, who pronounced it to be perfect. This afternoon, it has gone off to Woman's Weekly. Concept to post box, in under twenty-four hours. I'll rival Della Galton yet!

Friday, February 01, 2008

If Writing were Boring, My House Would be Tidy

The trouble with housework is that it is so boring. The same loo to clean over and over again. The same clothes to fold and put away. The same hoover sucking up an endless supply of Cheerios.

I know I should take pride in my home - I am lucky enough to have a nice one that doesn't leak - but, oh, the drudgery of keeping it clean (let alone tidy). Himself, who is repsonsible for manly things like building patios, doesn't see the problem. He doesn't realise that once he's finished the patio, he gets to stand back and admire it. He never has to do it again. He's never imagined having to get down and mortar those paving slabs every day for the rest of his life.

I am always craving the time to write, to be creative, to make something new, something I can stand back from and admire. Something that I can finish. I do stall sometimes when I'm writing; I get the occasional, "I can't do this. I'm fed up," but that's only because I can't do it, not because I don't want to do it. I never find myself saying, "Oh, I've had enough of this, I'd so much rather be ironing."

I sometimes wonder how long I would have to write, before I got bored with it.