Saturday 22 July 2017

Happy Birthday!

I've only just realised that this year marks the tenth birthday of my first novel, Dead Ernest. It doesn't seem possible that ten years have gone by. Like a first baby, there's something very special about a first novel, and I was disappointed when the publisher stopped issuing it in paperback. But lots of people liked it, including Andrew Davies (of Pride and Prejudice fame), who loved it, and a TV producer wanted to make it into a film, bu sadly, failed to get the necessary financial backing. She even had a well-known actress interested in playing the lead .Luckily, I didn't get too excited, as I had long since learnt that disappointment is built in to the writing game. But it would have been nice....

If you'd like to give Ernest (and me) a birthday present, please buy the Kindle version (or a second-hand copy) from Amazon. I know the Kindle is £4.72 ( and I've badgered the publisher to bring down the price), but it would make one writer (and one dead hero) very happy...

Thursday 20 July 2017

The gas man and déjà vu

This has just happened again. It happens every year, and some years I mention it and some years I don't. This year's gas man was Gary. We liked Gary 😀

And we're still alive. And so is the boiler. I've just thrown away the "do not use this appliance" label, as I always do, but maybe I should have saved it for next year. Sigh.

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Of feet and doormats

This morning, I had a bewildering experience in a hardware shop. Picture the scene. Man in front of me completing his transaction; me behind him queueing with a new doormat (life in the fast lane, eh?).

Man: I'll finish and let this gentleman (me) buy his mat.
Me (hurt): I'm a woman!
Man (apologetically): I was looking at your feet.

These are my feet, above, as exhibited this morning. Do they look like male feet? Please tell me they don't. The woman behind the counter was literally crying with laughter. I was just...crying.

Friday 7 July 2017

Brooklyn Beckham...

...has published  a book of photographs: What I See. It is flying high in the Amazon listings, although I gather the photos are rather poor.

Two things:

1. Of course, as a struggling writer*, I envy his success, and the fact that a name undoubtedly gets you places. But -

2. Do people really have to be quite so nasty (read the reviews)? The photos may be bad, but if Penguin, no less, were prepared to publish it, he'd have been a fool to say no. Would you have turned down a deal from, Penguin? I certainly wouldn't. And his name must be a handicap as well as a help, for how will he ever know whether something he has done is good or bad, when the name of Beckham will inevitably open doors wherever he goes? He's only eighteen. I genuinely hope that he's not hurt by those reviews, but that his parents have prepared him for this sort of unkindness.

*Please read my books! Just saying...

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Not-so-tiny triplets

Sixteen years ago, my daughter had triplets. It was a mad time of feeding, dressing, nappy-changing etc, and I tried to do my bit. Now, quite suddenly, they have grown up. I can hardly believe it.  Here they are on their way to the school prom.

Where have those tiny babies gone?

Monday 3 July 2017

Thoughts on watches

This is a very expensive watch - just under £7000, and that's in the sale. Personally, I think it's bit vulgar, but each to his/her (in this case) own.

I've been thinking about watches. I've lost count of the number of watches I've given to children, husbands, grandchildren, and am constantly bewildered by the variety of prices among watches which often look basically identical. You can buy a perfectly good watch for about £20 (I have a plastic one for riding - £10, and lovely bright red). When buying presents, I probably spend more than I need to as I don't like feeling mean, but I never spend a huge amount.

And watch advertisements....think about it. Who really needs a watch that's accurate too within  a tenth of a second in a million years? How long exactly are people expecting to live? And how many watch-owners are going to dive to hundreds of feet under water, which seems to be what a lot of watches are made for? When all you really need is one that won't die in the shower?

And then there's the infuriating advert "you never really own this watch....just hold it in trust for the next generation". What? Imagine the conversation:

"Son, here's my watch. I've been keeping it in trust for you."
"What, that old thing? Nah. Thanks all the same .I think I'll give it a miss."

But for those lucky few who will live, largely underwater,  for a million years, and have grateful offspring (who are presumably equally blessed in the longevity stakes), watches such as these could be just the answer.