Shorn, vampires and Anne Lister

Hello my lovely followers. How are you all? Hope you are well. What have you been up to this week? Me? I’ve been really busy and there was a bit of sickness in the house – again! Brought in by one of the kids – again! But that’s what happens when you are a parent. They are little bug-meisters, kids are!

Anyway, over the last week, I have had my hair chopped into a bob. It was about time. Normally I wear my hair up and back away from my face because basically my hair annoys me. And I hate going to the hairdresser so a short do is out cos it would mean constant trips to the hair salon to get it cut. My hair grows like weeds. So, I keep it long so I can wear it up. However, as I am hurtling towards the age of 50 (next year), I wanted a softer hairstyle. Hence the bob. I quite like my new look. The pic below was taken a few days ago after I’d been out (on a wet and windy day) walking the dogs, so the style is not the best it could be.

What else have I been up to? Well, the girl was sent home last Wednesday after being sick. I had to go and get her and she was white as a sheet and green about the gills. Straight to bed for her. She was off the next day, but insisted on going to school on the Friday. By Friday, however, I was feeling exceptionally peaky and spent the day lying on the sofa catching up on television programmes and generally feeling sorry for myself. I should have been over at a friend’s house having lunch and drinking wine. Instead, I was feeling exceedingly sick. I was not a happy chappy that day I can tell you. Anyway, such is life!

Talking of telly, have any of you managed to watch What We Do in the Shadows? It’s a spoof documentary series following four vampire housemates in a city in America. It’s hilarious. Some of the things they get up to are incredibly silly, but silly in a way that’s really funny. Just watched the most recent episodes this morning as I was taking in my daughter’s dress (we’ve got a wedding coming up). I had to stop sewing to have a good old chuckle at it. Watched the original film (Australian vampires) last week and that was good too.

The cast from the original film What We Do in the Shadows.
Some of the cast from the tv version – it’s so funny.

I have also been hooked on the BBC’s new drama Gentleman Jack which is based on the life of Anne Lister. Suranne Jones takes the lead role as Anne with Sophie Rundle as her love interest, Ann Walker. It’s brilliant drama and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s also a fascinating story about Anne Lister – what a strong minded, independent woman she must have been to live the way she did at the time.

Suranne (right) and Sophie (left) as the lovers Anne Lister and Ann Walker.
The real Anne Lister.

Anyway, now I am going to have to buy a book about Anne Lister. I want to know more about this interesting woman who lived her life on her own terms.

What else? I have nothing else to report at the moment. I haven’t been writing recently. Been too busy with various social events, so I am getting back into it this week – I have scheduled it in! I’ve also been too tired to read anything when I go to bed at night. I have a growing bundle of excellent books by my bed, so I’ll be getting back into that. I know – my life is SO rock ‘n’ roll – not! I like it though.

Right, I am going to finish up here. I have a young man to pick up from school and another cup of tea to drink when I return. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

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How I Make Myself Write Every Day, Fife and Indiana Jones

Hello, how have you been? Hope you are all well. It’s been a busy old time for me lately. I’ve been battering away at the old laptop like typing was going out of fashion and I’m now nearly 20,000 words into a new young adult book I’m writing. I am so loving it. Eventually, I will screech to a halt and it will take major willpower to get back into it. This happens to me for every book, I get maybe two-thirds of the way through and then hit a wall. I sit and can’t think where the story is going, but I force myself to keep going and eventually I get back in my stride.

This book is about a teenage girl and is set in rural Fife, Scotland. Fife, if you have never been, is just lovely. There are loads of lovely wee fishing villages all over the place and it’s a great place to visit. So, in honour of Fife, I have decided to show some of Fife’s attractions (in pictures) on this blog.

Here’s my favourite place in Fife, Culross where Outlander is filmed.

And again…

We have some spectacular places in Scotland, we really do. So lucky.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the blog. Well, what do you want to know about this week? I’ve been busy writing…I got back into it some months ago using tips from Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning for Writers (also cowritten by Steve Scott). It basically gives you a way of focussing your attention on the project you are doing. I have been following it, then I fell away, but kept writing and now I’m back on to it. I worry that I’ll lose my focus. Plus I like the structure of his ‘miracle morning’. It’s all about setting aside time to do certain actions, and using visualisation, meditation and affirmations to further support your decision. I don’t want to get into it too much as it’s all in the book, but if you are desperate to do something, whether that’s write or start a new business or even be better at your job now, I’d suggest looking at Hal’s books. They are really good. If you want to succeed at your chosen thing then you have to ditch procrastination and get this book.

If you don’t think it can help you, look at what I’ve achieved this year: I have re-edited and am about to re-publish Dusting Down Alcudia (it’s even better than before); I have written the rough copy of a sequel to aforementioned Dusting Down Alcudia; I finished a rough of a murder mystery; I re-edited Ham; and I’m almost halfway through a book for Young Adults. Focus is not a problem I’ve been having this year and it’s thanks to things I’ve learned via the Miracle Morning.

So, what else have I been doing? Well, at the moment I am writing on my dining room table despite the fact I have a lovely study (the former dining room of our house) in which to write. The problem was I couldn’t even get to my desk because of all the boxes that were still there following the building of the extension. So, I have cleared away a good bit of it and will finish it today. I can now sit at my desk…just need to clear that now! 🙂

Finished the Sookie Stackhouse books and went straight on to Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones, part of the The Mortal Instruments series. It’s aimed at young adults, but I don’t care. I’ll read anything. Thoroughly enjoyed it, may have to start watching the tv series now!! Am about to start the sequel, City of Ashes. Is he really her brother?  Will the other come out? Will they get the cup back? (Sorry this is a bit cryptic, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone). I need to read on.

Watched Raiders of the Lost Ark yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was on the day before, so I recorded it and watched it yesterday. Love the Indiana Jones. They are fab stories, plus Harrison Ford is just yum. I have always loved him, always will. He’s still a good looking man. So, to celebrate the films, Indy and Harrison (whaddaya mean there were other people in the films?), here’s a couple of gratuitous pics of the man himself (can’t you just hear the theme tune in your head right now?):

 

 

Okay, now I have salivated over Harrison Ford, I am going to end this blog post. I hope you have a lovely day. Now I am going to do something incredibly exciting (not!), I am going to attack the pile of ironing that is currently piled up in a basket in my living room. It’s been calling ‘iron me, iron me’ for a few days now, so I need to do it. Such is the glamorous life of a writer! 🙂 Til next time.

Dawn xxxx

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Incredibles, True Blood and Celebrating a 90th birthday


Well it’s been a very busy week this week at Nelson Towers! We’ve been to the pictures, went out for lunch (twice), visited a well-known Glasgow museum and helped my father-in-law celebrate his 90th birthday (Happy Birthday!). Plus have been knitting whilst binge-watching Foyle’s War (love that series, can’t think why I never got into it before!). And I’ve been writing…finished the first edit of my murder book. Phew.

So, let’s start at the beginning. At the start of the week, I took the kids out for lunch before we popped into the local cinema to see Incredibles 2, which was fab by the way. I loved the original movie and was not disappointed by the sequel. It was great. Love Jack Jack and the new baddie was great, although I’d worked out who it was about halfway through…mainly because it couldn’t have been the more obvious choice, but the other one. I know this sounds garbled, but if I put in the character names it may spoil the film for some. And I don’t want to do that.

This week I also met my talented illustrator friend Mandy Sinclair for lunch, which was lovely. We don’t often get time to meet, so it was good to catch up. We went to Bar Soho in Glasgow, which in my younger years used to be called The Fixx (I used to hang out there), and had a lovely lunch. It was the perfect place: not too noisy, good music and the food was nice. The boy was with us – he’s too young to be left at home – so after we parted ways with Mandy, we went to the Riverside Museum (which is the new name for the old transport museum) for a look around. I do love that museum, it’s full of such interesting old things such as steam trains, trams, old cars, old motorbikes and much more. It was pretty busy and we got around it within an hour. He then hit the shop and bought himself a lot of tat. I picked up a new mug for myself with an old poster on it denoting the joys of Saltcoats (an Ayrshire town next to the sea which has a fabulous beach). The last time I was in Saltcoats (I used to go there a lot as a kid) was with Ian and the girl, when the girl was still a baby. It was a hoot because she insisted on paddling in the sea (with us keeping very wary eyes on her) and her nappy got wet thanks to the waves and swelled up to about three times the size. She couldn’t walk any more because of that and had to be rescued. Happy days! Anyway, here’s the image that was on the mug (that’s me in the swimming hat…only joking!):

Yesterday, we helped my father-in-law, Edward, celebrate his 90th birthday. There were few family members there and some of his friends and it was a lovely afternoon. Myself and my brother-in-law did a small buffet and it was a good afternoon. Apart from my kids and my niece and nephew, I was one of the youngest ones there at the tender age of 47 and my brother-in-law in his 50s, so there was a lot of talk between the rest of them about their childhoods and reminiscing about this and that. Was interesting to listen to.

Today I am having a quieter day. Was exhausted yesterday evening because I’d spent a few hours in the kitchen making up the buffet, then we went to the party. We didn’t get back til after 5pm and by that time I was tired with a capital ‘T’. Anyway, I’m glad everyone enjoyed it.

What I am reading right now – I have now completed three of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris and am looking forward to going to bed tonight so I can get on to book 4, Dead to the World. I am loving the series. Am not surprised because I loved the tv series, True Blood. So, so good. Favourite characters? Eric Northman, the big blond Viking vampire closely followed by Alcide Herveaux, the werewolf.

 


Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman.

Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux.

Right, on that note, I must leave you here.  I’m away to have some tea in my new mug and a slice of cheesecake that is whispering ‘Eat me’ in the fridge! 🙂 It truly is the simple things that make life so nice!

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

A small death and some great books on writing

Sam

It is with mixed feelings that I announce the passing of our guinea pig, Sam. Mixed because I was quite fond of the wee guy and am a little sad. However, being the sole caretaker and shoveler of his poo, I will not miss having to clean him out. RIP Sam…you were a good piggy, an excellent pet and a delight when you had your little conversations with yourself.

I buried him in the back garden next to my guinea pig, Darcy. The kids are untroubled by his passing, so we don’t have to deal with any explosions of dramatic grief, thank goodness. They basically ignored him, which is understandable on the boy’s part because he wasn’t his pig. He belonged to my daughter. Anyway, I now live in hope that he doesn’t get dug up by Millie – who has already tried to dig up Darcy. I’ve covered his little grave with a roof tile which is too heavy (I hope) for a small white dog to remove. We shall see.

So, how has your week been? Have you been enjoying the sunshine? I have and I haven’t. Being a northern person, I find the heat too much for me. Plus me and the kids were a bit unwell yesterday (Friday). I think the girl was suffering from a bit of heat stroke – her school had them all out doing PE in that horrendous high temperatures on Thursday. The boy was sick, I don’t know if it was a bug or the heat. I felt yucky yesterday – I think it was the heat. We are all fine now. Thank goodness. It’s a cooler day and we are staying indoors for most of the day.

I’ve been continuing to write the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I am planning to re-launch Dusting Down Alcudia before Christmas (watch this space) and the sequel quickly after. My murder book is still on the back burner and I will start my first edit of it soon. I’ve also been continuing to studying marketing e-books and recommend Joanna Penn’s How to Market A Book. It is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to indie publish. The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod (Author), Honoree Corder (Author), Steve Scott (Author), S.J. Scott (Author), James Altucher (Foreword) is another great book for would-be writers. It gives you hints and tips on making writing an every day habit and has great advice on getting your book published. If you are wondering why I – as an already published author – am reading these books is because I think all authors should know how to properly market their books. My work background is journalism and PR, which gives me a great start, but I didn’t know enough about other marketing avenues such as how to reach potential audiences, using social media and other great tips.

It’s been too hot to do much of anything so I have been staying inside and knitting whilst I watch telly. Above is a little lamb I knitted for my daughter – well she’s bagsied it! I don’t yet have a name for her (the lamb, that is, not my daughter who already has a name!), so if you have any suggestions, let me know. 😉

Books I have been reading – just finished Eloisa James’ Midnight Pleasures book which is a bodice ripper and was great fun. I haven’t read any romance books for years (unless you count things like Twilight etc) and I loved it. It was a great read. Totally predictable but really enjoyable. Haven’t chosen my next book to read yet, but I have lots. It’s too warm outside to read a heavy book (I leave Dickens and Scott and even Austen to read in the cosy winter months), so it will need to be something lighter.

Plans for the summer – we have none except that we all want to go and see the film Patrick. Yes, it’s partly because we have a pug and know how funny they are. Yes, it’s also because it looks funny. Anyway, that is the extent of our plans for the summer holidays. We aren’t going on holiday this year, but are looking forward to the next six-and-a-half weeks at home. I have bought the kids a new paddling pool (it’s quite large), a slip n slide and other outdoor games in the hope that the weather will hold and the kids can be prised away from their electronics to go outside and have fun. We shall see.

Anyway, I am going to finish my blog here for this week and shall leave you with a still from the aforementioned film. Here is the lovely Patrick (I think his real name is Harley)…

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

 

Peonies and Eli Wallach

I do love flowers. This blog today is dedicated to the amazing Peony which is fast becoming my favourite flower (although I still love Tulips). In fact, there is a vase of beautiful pink peonies sitting close by as I write this. They are just big balls of beautifulness. I know that last sentence probably isn’t grammatically correct, but I don’t care. Today I celebrate the amazing Peony. My favourite summer flower.

Anyway, how are you all? Hope you are all well. We’re good at Nelson Towers. We’ve been enjoying a week of mostly hot sunny weather, which for any of you who live here or have visited, you’ll know, is very rare. I am actually sporting a light tan on my face and arms, which is good because usually I am so pale I look ill. I am not ill, just Scottish.

As I write, I am listening to Classic FM, which is the station I put on when I am writing novels and blogs and stuff. I find it is a good background sound and I am not distracted by it (ie wanting to sing along). This means I actually write. Anyway, my reason for telling you this is because the theme tune to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is currently being played and it took me back to my early childhood when we had three TV channels and one of them always put on a good matinee on a Saturday or Sunday. My mother worked at the weekends, so we kids would watch what my dad watched and – you’re right – it would inevitably be a war movie or a western. These weekends are why I love a good war/western movie and that tune just brought it all back. Of course, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was never on at the weekend matinee spot, but because I had already become addicted, when it was shown (at Christmas usually) I insisted on watching it. I have loved the Spaghetti Western ever since. And Clint Eastwood…but for different reasons!! I also think Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach were fab in this. I didn’t realise when watching The Holiday that was Eli Wallach playing the scriptwriter. The man who told Kate Winslet about the ‘meet cute’ (love that film). Images below are: Clint Eastwood (as Blondie/the man with no name) looking all handsome and in danger, Eli Wallach as Tuco, Lee Van Cleef as Sentenza/Angel Eyes and Eli Wallach in The Holiday playing Arthur Abbott.

Look at that! I’ve gone from Peonies to Spaghetti Westerns just on a memory from a tune on the radio. Now, where was I? Oh yes, peonies…

Right, so this week has been busy. I gutted out the garage, which was badly needing cleaned out, being a bit brutal with what was needed putting in the bin. So much so I accidentally had to dig our Christmas tree out of the skip I hired that is currently taking up our driveway. How daft am I ditching the Christmas tree? Anyway, I got it and put it back in the garage where it lives for most of the year. The skip is now full. I have a couple of bits and pieces to put in it and then it’ll be picked up next week and I can get my drive back. Actually it felt good clearing out. I haven’t totally gotten the garage the way I eventually want it, but that’s a work in progress.

Of course, one of the days I chose to clear out the garage was Wednesday which is fine if you have nothing else on. I go to my Zumba class on a Wednesday, so after a morning of clearing out and then my class later I wasn’t worth a button by that evening. I was sore and extremely tired. I think I must have flaked out about 9.30pm. Yesterday, I got up achy but alright. I took yesterday morning ‘off’ (ie didn’t do any heavy work in the house) as part of my recovery. 😉  Spent it watching an old episode of Monk (I have said before that I love cheesy American cop shows…you were warned of my addiction) and sorting out laundry (my life is so glamorous! Not!).

I also wrote some more of my next novel. Remember the adult novel I was writing? I have put that aside just now for a few weeks and will come back to it at a later date. I do this with every novel for one simple reason: I want to come back to it with fresh eyes with the intention of rooting out any errors and improving on the text. So I was without anything to write so I started a sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia (DDA). DDA is a romantic adventure story starring a Scottish archaeologist, Nina Esposito (her father was Spanish) and a handsome Texan called Jay Reynolds. She goes to Mallorca to seek out a fabled Roman treasure necklace and ends up finding love and more. The sequel is set in Perthshire, Scotland and is about a hunt for Jacobite treasure. I’ve written about 20,000 words already and am really getting into it. I think it helps that I’m getting up early specifically to write. I have more energy in the morning, the kids are sleeping and it’s peaceful in the house (apart from the gentle tones of classical music in the background thanks to Classic FM!).

I finished the Stephen King book The Gunslinger and, although I love Westerns (Spaghetti Westerns in particular), I do not really like this book. It’s okay. I have the sequel, but I don’t think I’ll read it.  I’m going to donate the books to my local library. Someone else will enjoy it. I am currently reading Nora Roberts’ Stars of Fortune. It’s a romantic fantasy (so right up my street) and is really good. So good, I was still up reading it at 11.30pm last night and am now bleary eyed!

Right, I am going to finish here and post this. I need to take the  boy to school and get the mutts out for their morning walk. Til next time!

Dawn xx

 

 

 

 

 

Meh

Hello everyone. How’s things? Hope you’re all well.  Well it’s another miserable day in the west of Scotland today, much to our pug’s disgust. Our Bonya, who has to be prised out of bed most mornings to go on our morning walk, decided she would not walk in the rain (it was only spitting, not too bad), but would stand still in the park, watch us walk around the park and then rejoin us when we were leaving (we had to walk by her). She’s such a lazy wee thing at times. She’ll be back on the lead on the next walk and made to walk, she needs the exercise.

This week has been a bit depressing because we developed two leaks in the kitchen ceiling. The plumber thinks it’s coming from the shower or possibly the enclosed sink unit. Anyway, he’s coming back to rip some things out so he can have a proper look. Meanwhile I have a large hole in my kitchen ceiling which I’ll have to live with until the builders start doing that part of our extension project. Sigh. My house feels like it’s falling apart at the moment. At least by early next year I should have my new extension (I hope…I say this because the extension doesn’t seem to be going at a fast rate, quite the opposite).

Anyway, enough of my woes. This week we’ve had guising for Halloween (last night, me and the boy and some of his friends and a couple of other mums), my parents’ dog Winston to stay while they are on holiday (they are home today, we will miss him) and I’ve finished my biog of Bess of Hardwick. I am now on to reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which I’ve only just started but am already enjoying. I saw the film, so the Cheryl in my book is Reece Witherspoon. Read the part where her mother dies of cancer this morning and it brought back a lot of memories. However, the rest of the book should be enjoyable and hopefully uplifting.

Spent most of yesterday cleaning the house and sorting things.  Today it looks like I’ve not even touched the house. Sigh.

What is it that causes an entire tv remote to vanish into thin air? And why does it happen on the morning when I want to watch Outlander? Our tv remote has gone walkabout and NOBODY knows anything about it. I actually wonder if my kids are getting properly educated because they never seem to know anything that goes on in the house! 🙂 Anyway, have been forced to order a new remote and it should come tomorrow. In the meanwhile, I am Jamie Fraser-less and feeling peed off about it. It’s just added to all the crap that’s been going on this week: wet weather, two leaks, a messy house, no Outlander….

Anyway, worse things happen at sea and I suppose if these are my only moans this week I am lucky.

Right, I am going to finish up here and go and do some work on future blogs. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

Lego, Goldman and a Deep Deep Trench

Forgive me readers for I have been bad. I have not written this blog for some time and the only two excuses I can give are: The Gilmore Girls and work beginning in my garden. The former because I recently bought Netflix and have been glued to the Gilmore Girls, all seven series of it and the winter special. Finally finished it last night after around two-and-a-half weeks of watching it in between mum and housework stuff. There were loads of episodes so I blame the tv company that produced it for a) making so many episodes and b) making it so compelling that I quickly became addicted. Am now feeling bereft because not only is Gilmore Girls watched all the way through, but Game of Thrones has finished for this year. Sigh. My tv watching has suddenly gotten very dull. The second excuse is because we’re getting an extension and I’ve been moving things around in the garden. I removed the old metal swingset, laid a new patio in its place (hark me laying a patio and it actually turned out) and then, with my lovely friends (you know who you are, thank you so much for your help, it was much appreciated) moved the potting shed over so that when the extension is up it doesn’t shade out the potting shed. It was a lot of heavy work, but I am so pleased I managed to do it. Been taking on a lot more things this year, things my beloved hubby would have normally done, including cutting our hedge which is a heavy, tiring job. Feeling that I can do most DIY things now (God help us!) and  quite proud of myself. Watch this space for more makes.

Talking of Game of Thrones. Oh. My. God. Was that not the best series EVER or what? If you don’t watch it, you are so missing out on one of the most fabulous telly experiences ever. Do you remember when it first began and no-one (except me, it felt) watched it and I was bemoaning the fact that I had no one to talk to about? Then it was repeated and  loads more folk started watching it and it grew from there. Can’t wait til next year and the final series.

Right, so apart from shunting things around the garden, I’ve also been doing the odd wee escapade with the kids over the summer holidays. Apart from visiting the Riverside Museum in Glasgow (which we Glaswegians will still call the Transport Museum until we die cos that’s what the old museum used to be called), we also popped into Clydebank Town Hall to see the Lego exhibition. It cost me £13 to get the three of us in and, although it was quite cheap, I still don’t think it was worth the money. Don’t get me wrong, the models were great, but there wasn’t that many of them, I expected a bit more. Anyway, here are some of the models…

There was also a massive castle which for some reason I never took a picture of which is a pity because it was really good.

Anyway, I have also been reading a lot over the summer and most recently finished William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood. I love reading about writing and am currently going through a screenwriters’ books phase. Goldman is famous for a number of film scripts and books including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, the Princess Bride and Which Lie Did I Tell?  The book is well written and full of great anecdotes and musings on how Hollywood works (or worked when he wrote the book…it was published in 1982). If you’re looking for an up-to-date book on Hollywood this isn’t the book for you. Instead it talks about the golden age and how things used to work comparing it to when things changed as tv became more prominent and how studio management changed in the 70s (ie how they were managed). Goldman is bluntly honest and self deprecating throughout. He takes a very measured look at Hollywood and is often funny. He’s the type of guy I think would be a great raconteur at a dinner party. Yup, liked this book. Looking forward to reading Which Lie Did I Tell?

What else have I been doing? You won’t want to hear about the boring stuff, the futile attempts I’ve been making to keep the mud out of my house brought in on the little clippy cloppy paws of the dogs. Our pug, Bonya, had to undergo an operation last week to remove a tumour from her leg. The vet doesn’t think it’s cancerous, but we’re going to keep a wee eye on her. She’s made a great recovery and is, as I write, lying at my feet snoring at the same level of decibels as a full grown man. Delicate pugs ain’t.

Obligatory cute pic of Bonya making herself at home on my bed.

 

You leave your phone down and before you know it one of the kids has decorated a pic.

I have a confession. I have not been writing. Again because of the aforementioned reasons, but also cos I’m a bit stuck about how to end the book I am currently writing. I’ve also been writing up ideas for two more books which I will start writing once I have the other book’s story down. I’ve printed off the 65,000 words I have written so far to re-read in the hope that inspiration will smack me in the face and get me back to the laptop. I do have a strong hope that this will happen. I mean, look at me…I’m actually writing my blog again so that’s a good sign! Right?

Okay, I am going to end this blog here. I have three wee dogs to take out for another walk. Because the back garden is off limits and now open to the street,  I cannot let them run about the way I used to. Apart from the fact one of them will definitely make a break for the street (Millie), I fear one or all three of them will end up the trench that was dug for the foundations. This has already happened. It was my fault, I stupidly drank some wine and then late at night fancied surveying the back garden from the kitchen door. I opened it and before I could stop her Millie (our white Jack Chi cross) ran past me and sailed into fresh air. Luckily she didn’t hurt herself and my daughter managed to coax her into jumping (that dog has springs in her heels). The girl caught her and dragged her out much to my relief as I didn’t fancy climbing into the trench. Apart from the fact it was dark and muddy, I didn’t fancy my chances of getting back out having consumed some wine. I had visions of me getting stuck and having to suffer the humiliation of having the fire service come out to rescue me. Luckily that did not happen. The back door is now kept firmly shut and I haven’t touched a drop since! Damn you wine! Millie lost her lovely pristine appearance that night and it was a brown, mud caked dog that I put into the bath that night to shower down. Thankfully she was not injured and was quickly back to her bossy ways. 🙂

Millie – none the worse for her impromptu flight.

Anyway, on that note, I’ll say adieu. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

What is it With Dogs Rolling in Poo?

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel as if you haven’t done much, but you’re absolutely exhausted? Today’s the day for  me! However, when I actually look back at what I’ve doen all day I suppose I have been busy…well -ish.

I rose at 5.30am to let two little dogs out for a pee. Then we all went back to bed until 6.30am but I wasn’t allowed to sleep, oh no, I had to spend the hour tickling tummies and rubbing behind ears and getting lots of love and licks. Every time I stopped, Millie would push her head into me wanting more attention…she’s a very lovely, but very demanding little girl at times.

NB before I forget, Casper had a haircut at Tartan Tails on Thursday and is looking so handsome as you can see in the pics. He actually looks like a Yorkie now instead of a scruffy little creature.

Okay, so we got up, I made us all poached eggs – when I say ‘all’ I mean me and the dogs, the kids were still in bed – and we ate them watching the new Lethal Weapon tv programme which is actually very good. Then I watched Modern Family (love that programme!) and Bones (I recently got back into it, still loving it although I can’t look at Booth without thinking of the vampire Angel on Buffy…hubba hubba!).

I decided to have a morning bath because…well I never get the time to have a bath during the day and I thought it would be lovely. I put some music on, laced the bath with bath salts and slipped in. Then the dogs came in, the boy shouted that he wanted me to do something, the girl started arguing with the boy and all hell broke loose…I turned the music up!

Me and the boy and the boy’s friend took the dogs down the beach after lunch. The sun was splitting the sky and it was really warm, so much so that I took my jacket off. The dogs just love the beach, although before we even got there Casper decided it would be a good idea to roll in dog poo. Ew! Anyway, we all enjoyed the beach although the boys (on their bikes) thought it would be a good idea to cycle through the water of the river (the beach is on the River Clyde) throwing up mud all over their bikes and their clothes. The dogs, who love a good chase, ran at top speed following the boys and chasing each other through the mud. As you can guess, they were all pretty mucky when they got back to our house later on, still they all had fun. Casper and Millie – to their utter horror (well Casper’s horror, Millie doesn’t seem to mind) – were then bathed before being allowed to wander about the house again. They are so funny when they are wet, it seems to spark them back into life. They just love running around and rolling on the carpet rubbing their wet fur dry on anything made of material (mainly my bed!!).

Later on, I sat down at my sewing machine to take up some summer dresses for the girl. They are made of a very fine stretch knit so are almost impossible to sew. In fact, one of them was so difficult that I ended up hand sewing the hem. Need to chat to my sewing supremo friend Tracy about the best way to sew this type of fabric! Anyway, I finished one and am halfway through another. It’s amazing how tired I get just doing nearly two hours of sewing. The time went really quickly, but I ended up with sore shoulders.

Then we had dinner and now I am writing this.

Ooh nearly forgot (and how could I?), took the kids to see the new Beauty and the Beast last Saturday. It was my wedding anniversary and I decided we needed to go to see this film to cheer us all up and it didn’t disappoint. It was a lovely film and so romantic and I just loved it.

What else has been happening? Went for a relaxing hot stone massage last week. It was fab. First had one of those six years ago when my friend AJ bought me one for my 40th birthday. Been meaning to go back and get another one and I’m so glad I did. I think I need to treat myself to one more often. So relaxing.

Books and I’ve just finished rereading Rich Roll’s Finding Ultra which is about how he went from an overweight, unhealthy 40-year-old to an ultra athlete…very inspiring. Just started the wonderful Joanna Bolouri’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year which promises to be as good (and as hysterical) as her first book The List. Also have her second book, I Followed the Rules, to read. I cannot tell you how funny her books are. They are just excellent.

Right am going to finish up here and get back to my book!

Til next time.

Dawn xxx

Reading and Watching Some Great Movies

I didn’t write last week because we didn’t do anything that would have made a good post. We did, however, go and see my friend’s daughter play the violin as part of a concert by a local contemporary choir. She’s only 12 and looked tiny up there on her own doing her solo, but she was fantastic. Definitely a future Nicola Benedetti in the making!! The choir were great too. It was a good night. Except for the kids who were sad they didn’t win anything in the raffle.

This week it’s been a case of working and cleaning up two incredibly messy children and their equally messy dogs. I spent today gutting my house and it’s a mess again. Sigh. Not to worry.

Books I’ve been reading: just finished Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (fab name, but surely a made up one!) as I love the film. It was so good I ordered the sequals: Hollow City and Library of Souls. The girl, however,  has put a bagsy on both books so, being a kind and benevolent mother, I have agreed she can read them first. Okay, so I am not sure a good person that this doesn’t annoy me slightly because I really really want to read them, but I am trying to be an adult about it. She’s a fast reader, so I should have both in my sweaty mitts soon.

Finally got round to watching Trolls with the kids. It was a nice wee film and the kids loved it. Also watched Ice Age 5 which was fab…we are big Ice Age fans in this house. We also watched another one, I have forgotten which it was…am such a sieve head at times!! Last weekend, when the kids were still in bed I also got into We’re the Millers. I didn’t expect to like it, but was bored, all my recorded programmes were watched and I couldn’t face watching one of those weekend food programmes, so I had a look on Amazon Prime and picked up this film. It was hilarious, but not one for the family to watch. Ian would have enjoyed it. It’s about a small time drug dealer who goes to Mexico to pick up his dealer’s small package. He decides to recruit a stripper, a homeless girl and his neighbour’s teenage son to go with him so the border cops will think he’s just a family man. Anyway, I’ll not spoil the story, but I’d recommend the film. It’s rude in places and the spider bite part was just… Anyway, it was good and I was glad the kids love to spend their weekend mornings in their beds! Definitely not a film for delicate minds!

Reading my blog over the past few weeks all you would think is that all I do is read and watch films! To be truthful that does take up a lot of my time. Now I’m a single mum it’s difficult (and expensive) to go out at night without the kids. I’m a home bird anyway, a major book lover and a movie buff, so I’m more than happy to spend my time at home with the kids (if it’s an age appropriate film or tv programme) or without (while they’re upstairs).

Anyway, I am going to finish up here. It’s after nine and I’m going to take my current book Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell. It’s a gentle wee book set in the 20s or 30s about a girl who finds romance during a weekend at a big house. I’m enjoying it. It’s not dead exciting, but it’s quite gripping in its own soft way! Til next time.

Dawn xx