Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The best sight in the world...

...has been that of wonderful A the Aga man, finally fixing our Aga. We've been without it for two weeks, and haver subsisted on cheap pub meals and ready meals, plus a couple of disastrous microwave-cooked meals (by me). The salmon parcels, with leeks, peas and fromage frais, was particularly revolting. A the Aga man lives on ready meals, but I don't  know how he can. All those E numbers...But he looks well on it, and we love, love, love him!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Some good writing news

It's all happened rather quickly, but a new publishing company, Sapere Books, want to take on my existing three novels, and are looking at my fourth and fifth.  I'm really pleased, as they will now be given a good push and some of the publicity they haven't had before. The Birds, the Bees and Other Secrets will also have a new name, which I hope will now deter people from buying it as a sex manual for their kids (it's been atracting the wrong kind of attention!).

I've been hoping for some time for some good news, and I'm sure this will be worth the wait. Please be happy for me!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

My shopping habit in a nutshell

This sign, seen in a favourite shop in Devizes, was made for people like me. In fact in this very place I recently saw something, pondered, finally decided and....poof! It was gone. I never learn

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Open letter to the Aga people

Dear Aga  People

Our Aga has gone out. It needs a new part. I'm very cross, not because it's gone wrong (things go wrong all the time) but because you make things both expensive and very difficult. My anger has been building up for some years, hence this list of accumulated complaints.

1. When we inherited this Aga, eighteen years ago, we were told we needed special pots and pans. We don't. That's absolute b******s. My old pans were and still are just fine.
2. I was encouraged to go on a special course, because I'd need it in order to cook on an Aga. That, too was b******s. The Aga is a simple beast. It has a hot oven and a cool one, and ditto the two plates. Using it is child's play.
3. The nice man from the gas board said he could fit the spare part in five minutes, but you won't let him. It has to be fitted by a special Aga person, at great expense. The Aga person no doubt has an Aga degree.
4. The Aga girl I spoke to on the phone was rude. When she told me they'd need a photo of the Aga before she could send the part (a photo? Has the world gone mad?), and I (reasonably) asked why they needed it, she said "we just do". That was rude. I'm not a child.
5. The bit that's gone wrong is tiny, and no doubt would be cheap. But oh no. We have to buy the entire unit at the cost of about £500. £500! I could buy a new washing machine for that.

In conclusion, you Aga people need to get real. Being precious about an ancient iron cooker, which has to be the simplest of designs, one step up from a camp fire,  is ridiculous. Get off your high horses and stop being ridiculous.

Yours etc.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A verse and a competition

"I wandered lonely as a cloud" -
That's not my favourite verse.
Albeit that it's famous and
That there are many worse.
Wordsworth had little else to do
But scribble lines like these,
And dream of yellow daffodils
That danced beneath the trees.
But spare a thought for Dorothy*
Who beavered at the sink,
And washed his shirts and cooked his meals -
Doesn't it make you think?

Okay. Now for the competition. Please write a short poem starting with the same first line, and if there are enough entries, then a (very small) prize will be forthcoming for the best. (You're quite right. I have some much better things to do, but I'm just not doing them.)

*Wordsworth's sister

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Small talk

Who needs language?

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Hello, autumn wardrobe, and an advertisement

The colour magazine of our Sunday paper invites readers to "say hello to your autumn wardrobe". Well, hello, autumn wardrobe, but haven't we met before?

The short answer is, yes. Last autumn/winter, and several more autumns and winters before that. My autumn wardrobe and I are old friends. It consists of jeans, shirts and sweaters. Oh, and boots. I love boots. My wardrobe contains clothes, not "pieces". "Pieces" is a pretentious word for clothes (either that, or I've yet to discover when a clothe becomes a piece).

But wait....what have we here? A new - yes, new - navy cashmere sweater, courtesy of Uniqlo. Now, I don't usually post advertisements, but if you haven't tried Uniqlo cashmere, then I urge you to do so. It's wonderfully comfortable, not too expensive,  and most importantly of all, it NEVER BOBBLES! Bobble-free cashmere is a rarity. I had my last navy one for years, and when it finally died, it was as bobble-free as the day it was born. In fact, I actually wore it until it was thread-bare as well as bobble-free.

I do have to confess to new boots, as well, but you (I) can never have enough boots.

Have you said hello to your autumn wardrobe?

(Note to Uniqlo: you're very welcome. But now you come to mention it, a gift voucher would be lovely. Thank you.)