Title reveal and a week that’s run away from me

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The past couple of weeks have been very unsettling with all the things going on with regards to Corona Virus. So, I have decided to ignore it all and lighten up your day with some images of spring and a quick lowdown on what I’ve been doing.

This week, apart from doing my social media business, I’ve been working hard on a number of projects. The secret book series is still ongoing – I still can’t tell you much about that yet, but I will – I edited a short story I had written a couple of weeks ago, I’ve started work on my children’s history book (another secret-ish project) and I’ve been sorting out my new novel, The Jacobite’s Share. I’m just waiting on my cover designer to tweak the covers for me, but so you don’t have to wait too long, here’s a quick sneak peak:

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I love it, I hope you do too. The book is being launched in a couple of weeks time and I’ll let you know the details nearer the time.

My friend came down from Glasgow last Thursday to borrow my sewing machine to sew some cushion covers. She hadn’t sewn anything since childhood and, let’s just say, she’ll have to come down and do it all over again. 🙂 However, we had a lovely time catching up. I think we put the entire world to right!! We ate pizza and cheesecake, drank copious amounts of tea and chatted about everything and anything.

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I’ve been busy doing my uni course too. We’re looking at the conditions of the working classes in the north of England in the early 19th century along with Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. It’s very, very interesting and I remember studying this in History in High School. We’ve got a big exam coming up in June so I’ve been looking  at what that might entail too. I must admit I’m a bit nervous about the exam. I haven’t sat an exam since I was 20. Yikes!!

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I’ve been baking bread again and making up dinners for the freezer. I have a small table top freezer, as well as a bigger freezer, and the little one is filled with home-made dog food courtesy of my mum. She had made them for my dogs and her dog for the period of time she and my dad were going on a cruise. NB she makes her own dog home-made dinners, so when he stays she makes them for my dogs too! Now the cruise was meant to take place next month, but unfortunately has been cancelled because of Corona virus. So, now I have a small freezer full of dog food – my dogs are lucky dogs!! They love their granny’s home-made dinners. They are so spoiled. Dinners I have been making for we humans include Sloppy Joes (an American recipe for minced beef which is lovely), Bolognese sauce and chicken. I’ve been using my pressure cooker again and it’s becoming less scary to me! 🙂

Right, I am going to finish up here. I’m going to make a cup of tea and put my feet up for a little while.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

 

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Is it February already?

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Jeezo, January went fast this year. One minute we were celebrating the new year and the next it’s February! And it’s been a pretty soggy month already – although today is sunny, which is a welcome change from the torrential rain we’ve been having lately.

So, how have you all been? I hope you’re well. We’ve had the lurgy in the house again. The boy was off with it on Friday and I’m feeling dodgy today. It’s a nasty stomach bug which a lot of people around this area have been experiencing, if the amount of kids who have had to take time off school is anything to go by. Anyway, it’s short lived, so hopefully I’ll be over it soon.

So, what’s been happening in your world? Anything exciting happened lately? Please tell me, I need a bit of excitement. My life lately has been one long round of working, housework with the odd bit of fun things thrown in.

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Talking of which, I lunched with my friend from next door last Tuesday. We went to a lovely farm shop type complex called Ardardan, which is a five minute drive from where we live. My friend loves their lentil soup, so Ardardan has now become our place to go. I had a cheese toastie (grilled cheese sandwich) and we sat and had tea after. Ardardan offer a range of fab cakes, so I “forced” myself to have one. Okay, I couldn’t resist, it was a caramel apple granny cake and I just love it.

I also met up with an old (in the sense we have known each other for years) friend from work. We went to Rose and Grant’s at the Trongate in Glasgow. We both worked in that area before, so it was our local when we were there. Anyway, it’s a great place if you eat meat, are vegetarian or vegan. They do a great range of really nice food for everyone and their vegan food and cakes is delicious. I’m not vegan, in fact I am the total opposite, but I do love vegan food. I opted for the vegan square sausage  (a square sausage is a Scottish thing – it’s a beef sausage, without a skin, pressed into a loaf shape and then cut up into sort of square shapes before cooking. Square sausage – also called Lorne sausage – is fabulous in a crusty roll). Anyway, their vegan square sausage is very like the meat version, so you don’t feel like you are missing out. I can recommend their vegan and full Scottish breakfast too. Yum.

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I also attended a women’s business event in Helensburgh on Friday night. It was just a couple of hours and there were ten of us in total. Set up by Lesley, who owns the Beachcomber Café at Kidston Park in the town, the night’s aim was to bring local business women together to chat, support each other and share experience. It was really good. There was a great atmosphere and everyone got on. I was there not as an author but as a PR/Social Media business owner and I volunteered to set up their Facebook page, which I’ve done, and I hope to have that go live soon.

What else? I’ve heard no word back regarding the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia. Fingers crossed I hear back from ACX, the production company linked to Audible, soon. Regarding The Jacobite’s Share, Dusting’s sequel, I’m awaiting some proofs of the cover for that. I hope to launch that towards the end of March. Once I have some artwork, I’m going to start promoting it, so watch this space.

I’ve also been working hard on my draft script for a production company I have contact with. Don’t know if it’s going to be any good, but I am so loving writing it. Maybe this is my next career!! Anyway, we shall see.

This coming week will consist of working on my uni course, the script and some short stories. I’m also going to meet an old work friend who now teaches English in China (nowhere near poor Wuhan), but has been back in Blighty for a month now. We’re going for lunch and I’m looking forward to a catch up. Remember my Austrian trip? Well, my friend from there is coming back to Scotland next weekend and she’s going to be staying for a few days at my house. I cannot wait to catch up with both of them.

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My chickens (see above peering in my patio door – they are so nosey) continue to produce lots of eggs, so I’m going to do a bit of baking later. A nice wee Victoria sponge I think! Yum. The hens are doing really, really well and love being able to wander about my back garden, scratching and eating grubs and bugs. I love watching them, they look so happy, especially when they take dirt baths. The dogs pretty much leave them alone, except Millie who just wants to play with them. They soon see her off, though. On Christmas day, our chicken Nugget (the big one second from right, above) chased her right across the garden. It was hilarious!

Anyway, I will leave you on that happy note and say adieu until next time! Have a great week.

Dawn xxx

Carnival, Agatha and finishing the audiobook – I hope!

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So the start of this week kind of started a bit slow mainly because I’m getting on in my years (I’m 50 this year) and I can’t hack it when my son wants me to take him to the Carnival.

In my defence, it was the big Irn Bru Carnival at the SEC in Glasgow, we were there three-and-a-half hours, the noise was deafening (lots of competing pop tunes played at ear splitting intensity) and there were loads of flashing lights – everywhere. I’ve never been one for the carnival. I did go to our local one in Neilston a few times in my teens, but I never truly enjoyed it. This one is indoors, in a big echoing shed type structure and there were loads of visual and aural stresses.

The boy was there with his friends who met us there, so, while the boys went off to enjoy the carnival, me – Methuselah that I am – went to the food court to sit and wait for them. And wait and wait. I bought myself a very ordinary hotdog with very ordinary chips and some tasteless chilli on top. That plus a bottle of water set me back £11 – daylight robbery if you ask me. It wasn’t that nice, but I ate it anyway. Then I tried to read my book, which was impossible due to the aforementioned noise and people and noise and flashing lights – oh yeah, and the noise.

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So, I sat on my tod for three hours waiting for the boys to get fed up and want to go home. They didn’t, but thankfully the boy (with whom the others had come with) had contacted his father to come and get them. So we had to wait another half an hour for him.

Anyway, I digress, back to sitting dolefully people watching on that hard wooden bench at that sticky drink laden bench table. The only good thing to come out of the event (apart from my boy have a ball with his friends) was the people watching. Oh my God, there were some sights there I can tell you. I don’t know what it is about some Glaswegians, but they wear summer clothes in the middle of winter. Sunday afternoon was really cold and, although the hall was warm, I wondered at folk coming out without proper winter clothes on.

And the fashion was fun too. There were lots of very young women, plastered with makeup, glossy hair scraped back in a ponytail or worn long, wearing the latest fashions. Some had their children with them or a gaggle of friends or their young looking boyfriends. One in particular, a young mum pushing a white pram (they always have white prams this type) was an attractive girl with too much makeup and eyebrows drawn into pointed perfection. At her side was a wee girl of about four in designer clothes complete with a dummy tit in her mouth and a huge bag of pink candyfloss which was almost as big as her. The mother was sporting a pale pink, fake fur skipcap. I’ve never seen one before. I didn’t think they existed. Anyway, the pair plus small baby in pram (I think, she had the hood up so you couldn’t see it), wafted past me en route to meet a young man I can only presume was dad. He had on long shorts, no socks, trainers, a t-shirt that showed off his tattooed arms and sported an earring in one ear. He was perma-tanned – like his partner – and his hair was rigid with some sort of wet look hair gel. Neds R Us.

Anyway, I eventually left the SEC around 4.30pm and we got home just after 5pm. The boy, who claimed all I had done was sit and do nothing all afternoon, couldn’t understand why I was so tired. Just wait til you’re doing this with your kids, I thought smugly, then you’ll see.

Anyway, enough of my tirade. How was your week? Was it busy? Did you get loads done? I am permanently busy.  Last week, I took some time away from studying and writing to go to a 4N networking meeting at the Hard Rock Café in Glasgow. It was really good. Everyone was really welcoming and it was good to meet new people – two of whom live nearby! I handed out some cards and connected with a few folk on LinkedIn so we’ll see what happens.

M C Beaton

I’m still making my way through the Agatha Raisin books and recently finished The Haunted House one, which was a fun read. I really like the books. They are a nice easy read and I enjoy the stories. I was sorry to hear that their author – and creator of the Hamish MacBeth books – M C Beaton (above) died over Christmas. Apparently, she was a lovely lady. Anyway, I look forward to starting the next one which is Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance.

Still reading the Pompeii book. It’s taking so long, not because I’m not enjoying it (I am), but because I’ve been binge watching Bones until late so haven’t had the time or energy to read when I go to bed. Plus I’ve been reading those Agatha Raisin books in between.

What else has been happening? I’ve been continuing to work on my script plus the finishing touches to the book blurb for my next in the Nina Esposito adventure series, The Jacobite’s Share. I sent that over to my book cover designer this week and hope to launch it by the end of March. Watch this space for more details!

Am still struggling to get the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia out. I’ve made the changes required by the company who will upload it to Audible, so hopefully I’ll be able to launch that soon.

Right, that’s it for today. Due to a glut of hen eggs, I baked over the weekend, so am going to have a cup of tea right now along with a fairy cake. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

New book title reveal!

Best news ever this week! Myself and the lovely Graham, my editor, have finished the final edits of the new book.

And now I can reveal its name!

The Jacobite’s Share is the latest Nina Esposito adventure and sees our heroine heading home to Scotland to search for a hidden Jacobite treasure as a would-be murderer is at large. The action takes place in and around Dundow Castle in Perthshire and features our favourite archaeologist, Nina, her lover Jay and a cast of new characters.

I am just working on formatting it just now – I literally just finished for the night – and will be getting back in touch with Mia, my book cover designer, to do the next cover. Cannot wait!

In other news, I have finally learned how to make proper tablet. Tablet, for my non Scottish readers, is a very sweet treat made from sugar, milk, butter and condensed milk. It’s incredibly good and very, very bad for you. Put it this way, there’s so much sugar in it, your teeth vibrate when you’re eating it! It’s delicious and can be a bit tricky to make, but I managed it!! Whoohoo!

tablet…yum!

Finally about to finish the biography of Miss Anne Lister. It’s not the book. I am really enjoying it. It’s been several nights of not reading because I’ve been too tired interlaced with evenings when I’ve been binge reading M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series. They are quick reads and highly enjoyable. And funny. Next on my list is Elizabeth Gaskill’s Cranford.

This week has been very busy as I’ve been working on building my social media marketing business and formatting The Jacobite’s Share. I’ve really enjoyed networking and meeting other folk in small businesses. Have also signed up for a number of free training courses run by our local Business Gateway. Got a few coming up in the next couple of months, so that should be good.

Right, am finishing up now. Got a book on SEO optimisation to look at. Til next time.

Dawn xx

It’s Been One of Those Really Nice Days

Today has been one of those days that has worked out really nicely. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I arranged to meet an old work friend for lunch. I hadn’t seen my friend for a long time and it was nice to catch up.

We arranged to meet at Epicure of Hyndland for lunch today, but when I got there, the restaurant – which is in Hyndland Road in Glasgow’s west-end – was undergoing a refit and, therefore, closed. I was half an hour early so I wandered up Hyndland Road a bit and my eye was, of course, caught by the lovely little Hyndland Bookshop. I cannot resist a bookshop, particularly the independently owned one and I swear I was only going in to pick a few birthday cards for future birthdays of friends and relatives. Anyway, I picked up these lovelies:

I like them so much I am thinking of framing them rather than giving them away (sorry, friends and relatives). Anyway, whilst perusing the books, someone called my name and there was a friend I hadn’t seen for about four years standing behind the cash desk. We’d kind of lost touch. So, I spent a happy ten minutes catching up with her and promising to do lunch soon and I handed her the cards and this book to pay for them:

However, she gave me the book as a gift because we haven’t seen each other for ages. How lovely is that? Thank you my dear friend. I greatly appreciate it.

I was still a little early for lunch when I left the bookshop so I went next door to the Marie Curie charity shop for some treasure hunting. Hyndland is a very nice area in Glasgow, so you get great stuff in that shop and I picked up this Paul Costelloe leather bag for £20. Bargain! Apologies for the poor picture quality.

Then I went to meet my friend and had a lovely lunch. So, there you are, a lovely day. Plus it was sunny and warm, so you couldn’t have gotten a nicer day.

Things took a wrong turn, however, when it was time to go home. Well, I took a wrong turning…several times. I was aiming to get to Hyndland Rail Station to get my train home, but couldn’t find the bloody thing. I Googled it and somehow went off in the wrong direction. Had I only continued walking the way I was originally walking I would have gotten to the station quicker. Anyway, several wrong turns and then a few right ones later and I eventually got there. Phew! I don’t know what it is about that station but I can never find the bloody thing!

So, how was your day today? In fact, how’s your week going so far? Isn’t the weather lovely here in the UK this week so far? It makes everything seem so much cheerful. Hope you’re having a great time.

Right, and on to the most important point of this blog – Game of Thrones. What did you think of yesterday’s episode? I was so disappointed Cersei didn’t meet a nastier end. And what the hell was Dany doing? What’s gotten into her these days? She was so nice before and now she’s just awful? She seems to have turned into her mad father. It was a ‘phew’ moment when Arya and Jon survived. Cannot wait until next week’s final episode. Cannot wait and dreading it at the same time for it will be the end of Game of Thrones and I will miss it. I’m also a bit worried it will be rubbish. We shall see next week, won’t we?

Right, I am going to finish up here. The kids have the Queen/Freddy Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody on the telly just now and I can’t help but sing along…it’s a bit distracting. So to the strains of We Are the Champions, I shall say goodbye until next time.

Dawn xxx

Somewhat windswept and interesting, plus book news

Yes, that’s me looking somewhat bedraggled after taking the dogs out for a walk this morning at our local park. Boy was it windy and a bit wet. As I write this, the wind and rain are rattling against the windows. It’s really cold outside and I am glad I am inside in the warmth.

So how are you today? Hope you are all well. This week has been a busy old week for me what with various things happening at Chez Nelson. Let’s see: the boy went away on Monday for a five day holiday with the school to an outward bound place in the Borders. He’s back home now, dragging a full suitcase of dirty washing with him and happy to be home. I missed him.

I have been out for lunch four times this week and it was great. I loved it. Was nice to catch up with everyone.

We took delivery of a new fur baby in the form of my parents’ dog, Winston. We have him for a week whilst they are away on holiday. He’s adorable. Below he’s pictured with Millie and Casper at our local park (Bonya, our pug, isn’t in the pic because, as usual, she was lagging behind):

Book news!!  I’m aiming to bring the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia out before Christmas if possible. The ebook is currently only available for Kindle, but I will make it available for Nook, ibooks and others in the New Year. Watch this space for more information.

Everything She Wants is my brand new book which is due out in December. The cover is currently being put together by a designer and I’ll share that with you when I can. In the meantime, you can pre-order the book here. If you want to know more about it, here’s the blurb:

“A new dark comedy from the author of Dusting Down Alcudia. This book is rude, full of swear words and definitely not for the faint-hearted!

When Susan decides there’s more to life than housework, her cheating husband puts his foot down. Ignoring his protests and those of their selfish teen daughter, she runs away with a Wham tribute act to find herself and, hopefully, fame and fortune.

Along the way, there’s the chance of happiness with a new man, but things go awry and he turns out not to be the knight in shining armour she had hoped. Now Susan must decide whether to forge ahead with her new life or go home with her tail between her legs.”

Other book news – I am about to start my first edit of the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. It doesn’t have a title yet and I’m aiming to get it out by the springtime. Watch this space for more!

Book reading news!! Just finished the second in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Shadow of Night is the sequel to A Discovery of Witches. I am about to embark on the third, The Book of Life, and have the new one, Time’s Convert to enjoy after that. I love these books. I read them years ago, but because of the tv adaptation, I brought them out to read again. They actually belong to my mum, but she’s not getting them back!! Hee hee.

They are amazing books, check them out.

Right, I am going to end this here as it’s after 9pm and I am desperate for a cup of tea. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

Wham! A New Book, A Discovery of Witches and a Night Next Door

 

Hi! How are you all? Hope you’ve had a great week.  Mine has been extremely busy which has left me really tired this week and feeling under the weather. However, I did get a lot done.

Announcing my next book!!! My next book is called Everything She Wants (the book with the working title Ham) and I’m aiming to get it out before Christmas or in January at the latest. Depends how everything goes with the cover and other bits and pieces you have to do to get books released.  It’s about a very put upon housewife who runs away from her horrible family to join a Wham! tribute act. Here’s the blurb:

A new dark comedy from the author of Dusting Down Alcudia. This book is rude, full of swear words and definitely not for the faint-hearted!

When Susan decides there’s more to life than housework, her cheating husband puts his foot down.

Ignoring his protests and those of their selfish teen daughter, she runs away with a Wham! tribute act to find herself and, hopefully, fame and fortune.

Along the way, there’s the chance of happiness with a new man, but things go awry and he turns out not to be the knight in shining armour she had hoped.

Now Susan must decide whether to forge ahead with her new life or go home with her tail between her legs.

Will share the cover once it’s done. This is nothing like Dusting Down Alcudia, but I hope you enjoy it. While I’m waiting for the cover to be done, I’ll be working on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia which is due out early next year. Yes, I have been a busy bee this year with the writing!!  Watch this space for more details!! Picture of the real Wham! below.

So what have you been up to this week? For me it’s been finalising Everything She Wants and typesetting it so that it’s ready to be formulated into a print book.  I’ve also been doing a lot sorting out cupboards and rooms around the house as when I am fully into writing, housework and such like kind of go by the wayside. Let’s face it, I am not one of those people who love housework. In fact, I hate it and look forward to the time when I can afford to pay someone else to do it for me! I wish! 🙂

I’ve also been attending my exercise classes. I don’t know what it was but I found my two Zumba classes really hard work this week. I thought the more you exercised the easier it’s supposed to be, but it was a struggle. I still went and still participated, but came out with a face the colour of a tomato streaming sweat in my wake. A lovely image for this time of night, I know!

This weekend I am having a quiet time, but last weekend I was really busy. Well, to be perfectly correct, I was really busy on the Friday. I was hardly home. I met some friends for tea and buns in the morning, another friend for lunch in the westend of Glasgow for lunch (we went to the famous University Café and I had my favourite: macaroni  and chips, yes I am a classy burd!). Then in the evening, I popped next door to my neighbour who is 90 soon for a wee glass of wine. My neighbour is lovely and a very interesting man.  We have always been friendly and he got on really well with my husband. Unfortunately, my neighbour’s wife died about a year after we moved into this house more than a decade ago, so I never got to know her. He is the man our Millie always escapes to. She loves him because he’s constantly feeding her meat. Anyway, I had a fab evening with him. We chatted about everything and had a good laugh. We are going to do it again because we get on so well. So, I had intended going round for a couple of hours… I was having such a good time, I ended up staying until midnight.  Was a great night.

I always find older people so interesting. When I was working as a journalist for a local newspaper in Paisley, I got to interview some residents of Erskine Hospital, which is a hospital for former military people. I was sent there to cover the visit of Princess Diana, but I found chatting to the residents (including my late grandfather who was a resident there at the time) so much more interesting. I met one of the first policewomen in Glasgow and men who had been fighter pilots and ground troops in the Second World War. They were fascinating people. I feel really lucky that I was able to do that. Seeing Princess Di was okay too, but she wasn’t as interesting… not to me anyway.

Finished reading the biog of Radclyffe Hall. I really enjoyed it. She was an interesting woman, but I hated the way she treated her long term partners. I must try and find a copy of one of her books to see what they are like. I can’t help but be curious now I’ve read her life story.

Matthew and Diana from A Discovery of Witches.

I am currently re-reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which I am loving all over again. I’ve been watching Sky One’s adaptation of the book (picture above), which is great. I am really enjoying it. However, the book is so much better.  Can’t wait to re-read the sequel Shadow of Night and then the third in the trilogy, The Book of Life. I cannot recommend these books enough. They are fantastic.

I’ve also been busy this week with my uni course. I signed up to so an English Lit degree with the Open University and I am loving it. It covers a lot of different areas of the arts and is really interesting. I am feeling so much more “cleverer” than I did when I started. 😀  I’ve just completed my first assignment about Cleopatra and Antony, and Cezanne. My next area of study is about Joseph Stalin.

Right, I need to go. I need to pick the boy up from his school’s Halloween Disco. He went as a zombie. I helped his costume come together by cutting up a pair of trousers and an old jacket and throwing flour over him so he looked pale and zombie-like, and his clothes looked old and dirty (as well as fraying). He looked great. Hope he’s had a good night.

Til next time!

Dawn xx

PS I am still looking to add people to my Advanced Reader Copy group. If you sign up, you’ll be given early copies of my books and all I’ll ask you to do (and this is not compulsory) is provide a genuine review of my books on sites I’ll give you the addresses for. If you’re interested, email me: dawn@danelsonauthor.com or sign up in the top righthand corner of this blog.

 

 

 

Mamma Mia! There’s lots about dogs in this blog post

 

Hello, hello. How are you? What have you been doing this week Hope all is well with you all. I had a pretty busy week last week, but it’s been great.

Okay, so, here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to:

  1. I continued editing my second edit of Dusting Down Alcudia. I am nearly finished it and am now looking to get the cover done and the whole thing professionally typeset. I am so excited about this. I am aiming to re-launch the book before Christmas.
  2. It was my dad’s birthday this week, so we had a family party at my parents’ house on Saturday. I ate and drank way too much, but had a ball. Nursed a nasty hangover on Sunday, but it was so worth it! Happy birthday dad!
  3. Me and the kids went out for lunch last week with my lovely friend Jane and her daughter. Then we went to see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and it was fantastic. I loved the film. Okay, so it’s not the most taxing of storylines, but its a great film if you want to escape the world for a little while and soak in the magic of Abba. We had a fab lunch, saw a fab film and had a fab afternoon. 🙂

Above a gratuitous shot of Bonya looking peeved that I was taking her photograph yet again. You may be wondering why I always show her picture and not so many of my other two dogs. Well, it’s simple. She’s the only one that sits still for long enough to get photographed!

Here’s another of her doing her Princess and the Pea impression on the piled up cushions on my bed:

So, what else has been happening? As usual, I’ve been inundated with washing and housework. The boy and I built our new firepit. Here it is with Casper staring at the flames. He’s nursing a sore paw at the moment. We had him down the beach yesterday and he was running around all full of the joys of summer when he must have stepped on something. He was yelping and limping and holding his paw up. I cleaned it all out when we got him home and it seems fine. Just keeping an eye on it. I have not walked the dogs today to give the cut time to heal. If I went out without him, Casper would spend the entire day depressed!

Was out weeding the front drive this morning. It was starting to resemble a jungle. I can only do it in one hour sessions as my back gets really sore. I haven’t finished digging up the weeds, but I will get back to it tomorrow. Hope they don’t grow back so quickly this time. I would put weed killer on the driveway, but I have green sensibilities and I can’t abide the thought of putting something so poisonous down in my garden. So, it’s manual weeding for me every time! 🙂

What I am reading: I am continuing to read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books and loving it. Am now on Definitely Dead and it’s great. If  you love great stories, with a little romance, suspense, humour and some supernatural beings, I would really recommend this series.

Right, I am going to finish this blog here. It’s lunchtime and I have lots to do around the house today, so I’ll say au revoir. Til next time,

Dawn xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worrying about feet and why Jenny Lawson’s books are so good

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What is it with older men on trains? They always seem to fall asleep. I travelled home by train all week this week and on Tuesday and Wednesday, I sat across from older men. Both times they’ve been fast asleep. Obviously my conversation is not as scintillating as I thought! Not that I’m bothered. I usually spend train journeys with my nose in a book or talking to friends who happened to have been getting the train too. Anyway, I digress. Now I had the dilemma – do I wake them in case they go past their stop or leave them where they are? I opted for the latter. The reasons for this are: 1) usually people wake up before their stop anyway; 2) it was early enough that they could have gotten another train if they overshot their stop, it wasn’t like it was the last train; 3) I was being a bit lazy…I was so tired I couldn’t be bothered talking to anyone and waking them up would have meant I’d have to talk to them. I know – so antisocial!!

This is not what our trains look like, but as I like steam trains, I decided to put it in.

This is not what our trains look like, but as I like steam trains, I decided to put it in.

 

Once again this blog is late. I usually write and publish it on a Thursday or Friday (today is Saturday), but I’ve been so busy that I couldn’t do it. I simply did not have the energy to think of anything even remotely interesting to write. So I left it today. So where have I been? On Thursday, I went out with mum. She bought me loads of lovely things for my birthday and we had a cream tea in Marks & Spencer’s café in Braehead. I love scones with clotted cream and jam, so it was fab. Friday I met up with friends in the morning and we had a visitor in the afternoon. This morning I took my boy to his swimming lesson and the girl to her singing lesson.

This afternoon I flaked out on my bed and watched White Christmas on the telly. I love that film.

white christmas

The only thing that I ever worry about regarding this lovely old film is the fact that the little girls are up on point. Surely they are far too young to be on their blocks?? Everything I see them I have this faint feeling that they probably grew up to be ladies with very damaged feet. I mean look at this…

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I also think the same about the little girls from the Lullaby League in The Wizard of Oz.

Maybe I should just enjoy both films and stop worrying about the feet of the cast.

Right, so how’s your world been this week? Just letting you know I am not going to mention all the bad stuff that’s been happening in the world lately. I think there’s been enough of that on telly, so am just concentrating on what makes me happy.

  1. Reading – no surprise there! Have just finished Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) current book Furiously Happy. It’s very funny and a little sad in places as she talks about the mental health problems she experiences. Would recommend it. Her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened was excellent. It’s about her crazy upbringing. Of the two, I preferred it, but it doesn’t have the excellent cover of Furiously Happy. Look…

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The raccoon is a real stuffed raccoon called Rory. Jenny is a collector of weird and wonderful taxidermy. I love Rory. I want one. She very kindly put an image of Rory on her website for her fans to print Rory and taken him with us wherever we go, but my printer would only ever print his left hand. Sigh. I had plans to take pictures of him annoying colleagues at work, in George Square and on the train. Now I will never have the pleasure. I think the expression on his face is hilarious. I can never feel down looking at him. Added to that is the fact the publishers have very helpfully put glittery bits on the cover and you have one perfect book cover!

2) Crafting – I haven’t felt like doing much knitting or sewing this year. Think I’ve simply been too tired. However, I am going to make my kids something for Christmas. I do this every year. Normally I make stuff for other members of the family too, but I just couldn’t face it. Anyhoo, I will show you my makes once they are done.

3) Cooking and baking – again I’ve not enjoyed doing any kind of cooking this year. It’s become a major chore. I think I probably just need a wee break. Roll on Christmas. Hopefully I’ll get my cooking mojo back then.

4) Watching old movies on the telly – I watched the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street (a young Natalie Wood played Susan) on Wednesday and White Christmas today. So big tick for that one!

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5) Looking on Pinterest.  Here’s my pages if any of you are interested in looking at all the fab stuff I like. I love Pinterest. My hubby doesn’t get it. I can’t describe why I like it so much. It’s like compiling your own online scrapbook of some of the most fantastic images and ideas ever!

6) Meeting up with friends…you know who you all are! Thanks for the birthday wishes, cards and pressies by the way. My birthday isn’t til next week, but have already been given some lovely things.

7) Reading some more – am now in that weird place where I have to decide what I am reading next. I kind of like this time because the possibilities of what will happen next is endless…will it be a murder mystery, a biography, non fiction, comedy, a classic?? Hmmmm. The toss up is currently between a Dorothy L Sayers novel or something by Jon Kabat-Zinn (probably Full Catastrophe Living – was talking to a friend about this, she’s into Mindful Meditation too. I haven’t read it yet, but she swears by it, she thinks it’s amazing).

8) Hiding from the kids so I can get some well earned peace and quiet!

Right, in Glasgow speak…ahm aff! Til next time!

Dawn xxx

Rain…sigh!

Autumn eWell the lovely autumn weather has disappeared today as the rain (with heart-lifting spells of bright sunshine) hits the west coast hard. It was literally teeming down about five minutes ago. Winter is coming right enough!

So how’s things with you? Hope you are well. My week has be super busy at work and super busy at home. Today I’m taking it easier. I should be doing my housework right now, but I’ve got Grand Designs on the box (recorded last night) and I’m here talking to you and I’m just about to get another wee cup of tea. Life’s good.

Autumn c

Am a tad achy after swimming just over half a mile this morning in our local pool. I felt great after doing it, but am now starting to feel a little stiff around the legs. Think I should maybe have stretched a little afterwards. Am now in training for next year’s mini triathlon and Great Scottish Swim (haven’t yet signed up for this but I will).

This weekend I will be taking it easy. It’s the September weekend so I’ve got Monday off…yippee! That’s three long lies! Last weekend, me and the kids were up early to meet my mum at Braehead shopping centre in Renfrew. My parents always buys the winter coats for the grandweans as part of their Christmas (that’s on top of the pressies and/or money they also give them…they are so generous!). I hate shopping, but it wasn’t quite so painful when my mum treated us to tea and cake before we started and then we treated her to lunch a couple of hours later. The kids both got really nice winter coats from H&M. The girl is now so tall she needed a small adult’s coat, which she thinks is just fantastic. She looks great in the coat and just loves posing in it. It’s navy blue with a fur hood. The boy got a lovely charcoal grey jacket (no fur on the hood, but lovely none-the-less). He looks great in it too, really suits the colour.

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Have just taken possession of Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) new book, Furiously Happy. I have her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, which was so funny I had tears streaming down my face and I snorted so much I eventually couldn’t breathe. Her blog is good too. I’ll let you know how I get on with it, although have just started a biog of E Nesbit and am about to start Jayne Williams’ The Slow Fat Triathlete having just finished (yesterday) Meredith Atwood’s Triathlon for Every Woman (which was excellent and very funny). Yes there is a bit of a theme going on here: not only the triathlete bit, but both ladies are larger athletes which is good because I am not a teeny wee stick of a wummin myself.

 

slow fat triathlete

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Apart from relaxing, I am also planning to search out a pair of waterproof overtrousers that I bought about two weeks ago and have now lost. I hope I didn’t accidentally post it back to Amazon with the other pair of the exact same trousers that I accidentally bought (in other words I ordered two pairs instead of one and sent one back…at least I hope it was one pair and not two!). Am such a ditz. Wonder where that other pair are? Sigh. I hate it when I misplace something. What’ll happen is I won’t find them, so I’ll order a replacement pair and on the very day the replacement arrives I will find the original pair I was looking for in the first place.

Right am off now. Last night’s recording of Castle calls and you know how much I love Castle! Hubby thinks it’s mince, but I like it…it’s not scary, it’s funny and it’s fun. Til next time.

Dawn xxx