Is it just me or is lockdown becoming really tedious?

 

The lovely Matt Bomer in White Collar.

How’s your week been? Much like last week, I’ll bet.  This virus stuff is getting tedious isn’t it? I know we have to stay away from other people as much as possible, but it’s hard. I daydream about going out as normal, meeting friends and family for lunch and having a laugh. However, in Scotland we’re not allowed anyone else in our houses. We can go out and meet them for lunch, but it’s just not the same. It’s not as relaxed. It’s always at the back of your mind that you could have Coronavirus and not know it and then pass it on to someone else, even though you do your best to stay two metres away.  I see Donald Trump and his wife have now been diagnosed with it. I really hope this is a wake-up call to him.  I don’t wish him or anyone to be seriously ill or killed by this disease, but he’s been so casual about it all in the past that it does feel a bit like karma that he has it. I hope he takes it more seriously now and starts listening to the experts about wearing a mask etc.

A wealth of lovely patterns and hand-knitted items at my shop.

Anyway, that is my moan for today. So, what have I been up to lately? Well, it’s much the same as always: I work on our script, I write my SOS book, I work on my social media business and my vintage knitting business, Vintage Knit Treasures (that’s got some items for sale in it now including scarves and hats, see here for more info). It’s been very much ‘Groundhog Day’ for us, as I’m sure it’s been for everyone else. I have been comforting myself with watching tv (yesterday I decided to start watching White Collar again cos I love it and Matt Bomer is just yummy). Watched Enola Holmes and really enjoyed it, although I thought the ending was a bit flat. Really hope they do another one. Millie Bobby Brown is really good in it and Henry Cavill (does that man ever smile?) and Sam Claflin play her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft beautifully. Plus they are both good to look at. 😉  What? A girl needs a bit of eye candy every now and again. Widowhood can be quite dull you know!

Millie Bobby Brown leads the cast in Enola Holmes.

That about sums up my week.  It feels lately that we’re just sitting in limbo at the moment.  We can’t look forward to Halloween or Guy Fawke’s because that’s been cancelled. I had to tell the kids they couldn’t go out guising this year (guising is the Scottish word for trick or treating) and they were disappointed. Our local Guy Fawke’s Night celebration at our scout hut has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Tell you a laugh, my American friend, the lovely Terry Wells Brown asked me why the British celebrate Guy Fawke’s Night and I told her about the bomb plot to blow up parliament and the king in 1605 and how it was stopped and ever since then we celebrated every November 5. Then it occured to me: do we celebrate because it was stopped or because he tried to blow up parliament?? I hadn’t really thought about it before. Obviously, the celebration must be about because the plot was stopped, but if you speak to people about him they talk about the Gunpowder Plot with glee and Guy Fawke’s almost like a hero.  It’s almost like it’s a bit of a joke that it happened. 🤔   On Guy Fawke’s Night, we let off fireworks, have sparklers and have a party. There’s always a bonfire where an effigy of Guy Fawke’s is burned (the real Guy Fawke’s was tortured and hung for his part in the plot). Hmmm.

Guy Fawkes was also known as Guido Fawkes.

Moving on to Christmas and I fear we won’t be able to visit family on Christmas day.  It will be rubbish, but if it has to be, it has to be. The worst case scenario will be that I will set up a Zoom call with them. Anyway, we have 12 weeks (?) til then. Hopefully something good will happen and the virus will die off (miraculously) and we will be able to get together after all.

Right, enough of my musings. I am away to do some work (I’m always working, keeps me out of mischief!). Til next time.

Dawn xx

Resting up, Writing and the Lovely Lucifer

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So, this week has been a bit weird. I’ve been exhausted since Saturday. I either have been overdoing it lately or I have a small bug 🤒 that’s draining the life from me. I feel better today mainly, I think, because I’ve been slowly down over the last two days and putting my feet up a bit (well as much as you can with a house and two kids/three dogs/two chickens). On Monday night, we got a call from the NHS saying my son had been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Truthfully, I’ve been expecting something like this. The minute the kids go back to school, bugs circulate. Anyway, the boy is currently isolating in his room. Doing the test today. He’s fine. No symptoms, so fingers crossed he doesn’t have it. He’s only been back at school for two weeks, now he’s off for another two. Sigh.  His school have yet to let us know about work being given home, but I’m going to chase them up today. People, including my immediate family, in certain areas in and around Glasgow have also been told not to socialise with other people inside their own homes due to outbreaks there. It’s to last for 14 days from today, but who knows if it’ll be extended? Anyway, it means I can’t visit my parents or sister (I can’t anyway due to the boy’s exposure) and my poor niece can’t have her very much longed for birthday party/sleepover this weekend. That’s such a shame. Still, needs must. I think this is how life is going to be now. I can see this lasting into next year. Apparently Spanish Flu took a full two years to die out, so Covid might be the same. We’re just all going to have to get on with it as best we can, aren’t we? I’m just hoping we will still be able to meet up for Christmas 🎄🤶🎅.

So, how’s your week been? I know it’s only Wednesday, but it feels like a whole month has passed since the weekend. 😂 I have done no writing of my novel since last week – mid last week. I just can’t get into it for some reason. Going to have to read an inspiring book by a writer to get that back 📚! That always works for me. I have been scriptwriting and I have written a couple of things for Medium. You can follow me here.   I was planning to put new items up in my vintage knitting shop on Sunday, but felt too exhausted to move so I just spent the day resting. Thank God I’m starting to feel well again.

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What else has been happening? Well, as I have been telly watching a lot this week I have binge-watched the new series of Lucifer (pictured). Then got to episode 7 (or thereabouts) and there was no more. It took me a full ten minutes (due to a fuzziness in the head feeling due to aforementioned tiredness) to work out that Netflix was indeed working and that the reason why I couldn’t get the rest of the series was because they hadn’t put it up yet. Sigh. I’m shaking my head writing this. Can’t believe I was so daft. 😂

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I’ve been reading Lucy Worsley’s book on 👑 Queen Victoria. I am a big fan of Lucy’s tv programmes and her books and this one doesn’t disappoint. Lucy has a really lovely way of writing that draws you into the story of her book. She brings history alive and one day I will meet her and get her autograph. Some friends of mine (George and Raymond, love you guys❤️❤️) met her once at a book signing in London and bought a signed copy of her book for me. It was about Jane Austen and is a treasured gift. So thoughtful of them both.  Thank you guys.

Right, I am going to finish up now for I have two more blogs to write and some other things I want to do (including getting back into writing my SOS novel). Til next time,

Dawn xxx

 

New business, new FB group and a busy week

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So, how are you all this week? Hope you are all well. We’re all good here at Nelson Towers. The kids are back at school full time now, which is great for me because I get more peace during the day to write. As usual I’ve been busy, busy with all the projects I’ve been involved in. That includes scriptwriting, my SOS novel and some articles I’ve been writing for Medium (follow me here).

I’ve started up a vintage knitting pattern business on Etsy selling knitting patterns from the 1940s onwards. Some of these patterns are rare so you won’t find them anywhere else. My shop is called Vintage Knit Treasures  and there’s a range of patterns for men, women and kids. If there’s something you’d like, but you don’t see it in my shop, contact: vintageknittreasures@gmail.com and ask me and I’ll see if I can source it for you. I’ve been knitting some vintage things to put up for sale too and I’ll do that once I’ve made a few.

My time over the past week has been taken up not just with writing, but with my social media business. I have a few new clients, which is great, so I’ve been busy creating and scheduling posts for them. I use Canva to create the posts – I love it because it’s easy to use and the images are great. For videos, I use Win Movie Maker. I’ve been working on developing some videos for clients and they’re working well.

So, what else has been happening? Not much. All that I’ve been talking about before has been taking up most of my time. In my downtime, I’ve been relaxing and binge watching The Borgias, which I think I spoke about in my last post. I love that series. Can’t believe I never watched it before. It’s SOOOOO good.

Reading-wise, I’ve finished The Mistress of Mayfair and am reading a book on the history of the lost gold from the Reichsbank in Berlin. The Nazis took it out of the bank and hid it before the Russians and Americans entered Berlin at the end of the Second World War. I’m fascinated by that era and I love a good treasure hunt, so this book, which is factual, is just the ticket.

Anything else? Nope, I think that’s about it. I’ve joined a new group on FB called The Debt Free Divas. It’s a group of women supporting each other, sharing tips on being more frugal, sharing recipes and highlighting any deals that are going on. There’s info on how to get out of debt (I’m not in debt, but am interested in a whole lot of other things the group is doing), paying off mortgages, how to plan for early retirement and business. It’s only just started, but if you’re a lady (35-75-ish) who’s interested, go here and request to join. We’d love to see you there.

Right, am away now. Got some more writing to do before the kids come in from school. Have a great week and I’ll see you next week.

Dawn xxx

Pining for Corfu, Fed up with Telly and Business is Good

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So, I’m feeling a bit flat today. I was alright until I started writing my SOS assassin novel. I was quite happy with my lot. I wasn’t thinking about anything other than what work I had today. And then I went and started writing the novel again. I haven’t been writing for a couple of weeks – I really needed a break from it and took it. So, I read over the previous chapter, which was fine, and then started on the new bit. And that’s when the sadness and the feeling flat began. You see, I’ve taken my characters from wonderful Italy to also wonderful Corfu, the island off the west coast of Greece. And when I started researching it, having never been but always wanted to, I began to feel a yearning to go. And when I looked at those amazing beaches and beautiful old towns and villages, that yearning grew. I WANNA GO TO CORFU RIGHT NOW!!! Wahhhhh! 😀  That’s one of the things I don’t like about writing: you’re often researching places you then find yourself desperate to go to. Maybe next year, for now I will have to be content with photos of Corfu, which I am rather kindly sharing with you so you’ll feel you really want to be there right now too!! You are welcome!

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So how have you been? I hope you are all well. Hello to all my new followers and welcome to my blog. Thank you for joining us.

I’ve actually had a good week this week (and it’s only Wednesday). I started back writing (with mixed results as I explained earlier). Last week I started up a new business on Etsy called Vintage Knit Treasures selling downloads of vintage knitting patterns (go here if you want to have a look at it). I love vintage fashion, I love knitting and making, and I love old patterns, so this is the perfect small business for me. I plan to add knitted items (knitted from genuine vintage patterns) to it plus more patterns. Going to add more this week. I also got three new clients for my PR and Social Media business, which is great. It’s all happening this week and last.

Also, the kids went back to school full time on Monday, which is fabulous. I am loving the peace and quiet in the house. It’s so nice to have some time to myself. They went off in March due to Covid-19 and that’s them just returning now. I must admit, I had a few worries a couple of months ago when I thought they might go back, but Scotland seems to be dealing with Coronavirus really well and there are very few cases in the country at the moment (hopefully that continues), so I’m confident the kids will be perfectly safe at school. Plus, for my sanity, I needed them back!! Heeheehee.

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Took part in my very first author takeover party. Basically, it’s where you are given permission to takeover another author’s Facebook page (or whatever) and you post lots of good things like games and giveaways and funny things. I did it last week on my friend Terry’s FB page and had a ball.  It was a good laugh. I thought everyone would put up saucy memes and games, but it seems there was only two of us doing that and one of them was me!! Hahaha. It was fun. So, going to do it again. A quick congratulations to Cynthia, Debbe and Kristen who were all winners of my giveaways. Hope you’ve got your books girls.

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Finished the book I was reading . The Mistress of Mayfair by Lyndsy Spence is about Doris Delevingne (who I think was a great aunt of Cara Delevingne) who was someone who came from a working class family to join the ranks of the aristocracy in the 1920s and 1930s. She was notorious for going with men, even when she was married, and basically seemed to have used people for her own gain. She is thought to have had an affair with Winston Churchill at one point.  It was a fascinating insight into Doris’ life and the lives of the Bright Young Things of the 1920s. She had a sad end though, sorry for the spoiler. It was a really well written book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’ve been looking around for tv shows to watch. There’s not much on the box I want to watch right now. So, I re-watched A Discovery of Witches for the third time (LOVE the books and the tv series is great too… cannot wait for the second one) and have downloaded the pilots of a few box sets to see if I can get into them. So far, The Borgias and Banshee seem promising. I did not like Curfew. I found the first episode to be a bit boring (sorry scriptwriters). Please tell me if it gets any better, because I should like this one. The premise is good, but I just couldn’t take to it.

Right, I must fly. Am off to do some scriptwriting shortly. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

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

 

Birthdays, lunches, reading, making…but no tinsel

I am not doing it. Not yet. No sir. There will be no baubles, tinsel or elves on this blog this week. They might appear next week, but this week is strictly Christmas free. It’s not that I am being bah humbug about this, but I like to leave Christmas decorating until nearer the big day. So you’ll not be finding Christmas decs up at my house just now…that’s a job for this weekend or maybe next week.

So how are you? Hope you’ve had a good week. I’ve been really busy over the last couple of weeks with social events galore. I have barely been in. Last month, there were five family birthdays and four practically family (but not blood or marriage related) birthdays (ie close friends) to celebrate, including my own and the boy’s. Most recently me and the kids were at an 18th party at my friend’s house. Her daughter, who is just lovely and I wish I could adopt her, turned 18 and there was a big family bash. It was a great night. I thoroughly enjoyed it although I partook of too much wine and suffered for it the next day. Happy birthday E…have a great party weekend with your friends this weekend.

I’ve also been lunching and that’s thrown my diet right out of the window so have decided to ditch it until after Christmas when, I hope, my new kitchen may be usable. Talking of that, the extension has been going on good guns: the roof is on, the windows in and they are doing the insulation as I write. Am so excited. It’s already looking amazing.

Other big news and DarkIsle is now available in a special 10th anniversary edition. So go and buy it now. If you know me personally I will be happy to sign it for you.

Also want to give a wee mention to my Uncle Ian who sadly died this month. He was a lovely man, an ex Glasgow policeman who was full of good humour and a brilliant mimic. He will be missed.

What else have I been up to? I’ve been knitting away for my new Etsy shop called CosyCosy Studio (link is here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CosyCosyStudio?ref=shop_sugg). I’ve only got a few things on there just now, but will be adding to it. Would appreciate genuine and helpful feedback on my products if you have the time.  At the moment, there are some hand knitted lap blankets and hand-made cards, but I have some scarves to add this weekend. Am just about to add the lining to them and then they will be ready. The first is a hand knitted yellow Alpaca lap blanket, the second a hand knitted green basket weave pattern blanket and the hand stamped and hand painted Three Kings Christmas card.

Books I have been reading over the last couple of weeks include Ruth Goodman’s How to Be a Tudor (am right into the Tudor era at  the moment) and Alexander Langland’s Craeft. Both of them you may know from the Tudor Farm, Wartime Farm etc programmes (which I love). Ruth, in particular, is a lively and interesting writing and I’ve read books of hers before. This is the first time I’ve read anything of Alex’s and I’m enjoying it too. Hers is about – surprise surprise – ordinary folk in the Tudor era and his is about lost crafts. Loving reading both.

If you are wondering about the photos used in this blog today, they were taken before 9am on various mornings over the past week except for the last one, which was an afternoon pick a few weeks ago. I love the autumn colours and the blue skies. If you look carefully at the pics you’ll see three wee dogs running around having fun. The pics were taken on our daily walks around the River Clyde area where we live. They love it, I love it. Even when it’s freezing cold, it’s great to get out into the fresh air and enjoy the views of the river.

Right I am going to finish up here and wish you adieu until next time!

Dawn xxx

My favourite pic from the last couple of weeks:

 

 

A better week…so far (not counting my chickens or anything!)

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Hello, how’s things? Hope you’re all well. This week has been better thank goodness with no piggy deaths, no suspected broken bones and only one trip to the hospital (so far…not counting my chickens as it’s only Thursday) for hubby. Plus the weather’s been great, which is always a good thing.

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The only  downside to this week is the dog’s love of pooing and peeing in places she shouldn’t. This week she has poohed in a pile of washing that was waiting to be washed on the floor of the kitchen next to the washing machine. Last week she also poohed on a plastic folder hubby had foolishly left on the floor. She has also peed in the girl’s bed and last night did it in ours. We were NOT amused. On the plus side she is now barking to get out in the garden when she needs (although didn’t last night – I didn’t think she needed cos she had been out in the garden only HALF AN HOUR before!). Ah the joys of being a doggy mummy!

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So what else has been happening this week? We were off on Monday for the Bank Holiday, but didn’t do much. I just wanted a wee quiet day and it was great. Just what the doctor ordered. I’ve not been sleeping that well recently…keep waking up at 3am and 5am. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s summer and light or if something else is waking me. On Tuesday, it was the girl (for some reason she was up at 5am and bright and breezy – so not like her) and this morning it was two magpies sitting on our windowsill making huffing noises that sounded as if the dog had somehow gotten out of her crate and was upstairs in our room. I’ve invested in a sleeping mask to see if that helps – hubby says it’s like sleeping with Top Cat! Of course I couldn’t wear it last night because it got lost in the rush to pull all our bedclothes off our bed to prevent the dog pee reaching the mattress (it almost got there so I have a tonne of washing today)! I’ll have a good search of my bedroom tonight for it!

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I’ve actually been writing again. I’ve given myself a target of writing 500 words a day and it’s been working.  500 words isn’t a lot and I’ve been going over that every time. I wrote a short story for a competition (I never get placed in competitions so am wondering why I bother, but I enjoyed writing it and I like my story so it’s a win win already for me) and am working on a book for adults. I had started a young adult’s book last year, but kept stalling so decided to shelve it for this other one. Am loving writing the other one. I get totally lost in the process and daydream about the storyline during (rare) moments of quiet in my life. (happy sigh).

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Am back knitting too. Currently working on a lap blanket. I’m emulating Jane Brocket’s blanket where you knit strips of different colours and then sew them altogether. I like making blankets. You don’t have to concentrate too hard on it and it’s relaxing.

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Am doing yet another attempt to lose a bit of weight. I’ve put on a couple of stones over the last few years and I’d like to get some of it off and be a bit fitter generally. I’m taking part in a work related walking challenge and I’m cutting out rubbish which is hard cos I’m a comfort eater. Plus I enjoy cakes and wine. Sigh. Wish me luck!! I’m hoping to lose some weight along with a friend. We talked about it yesterday so am hoping he does it with me. We can support each other.

Right on that note, I’m away to do the housework and get the first of the washings out on the line (in the sunshine!!). Til next time,

 

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Dreaming of travelling

Lagoon Sunrise

Just dreaming of a calming holiday just now. Of course, we can’t actually go anywhere at the moment because of hubby’s illness, but I can still dream. So the theme of today’s images is going to be calm, relaxation and travelling the world.

So how are you all? Hope you’ve  had a good week. I went back to work this week and I’d forgotten how tiring it can be. Here was me  thinking it’ll be quiet what with it getting closer to the summer holidays, but no such luck. I’ve spent all week going to bed early I’ve been that tired! But my body needs the rest, so I just go with it.

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Just finished Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit which is inspiring tales of people who have gone out and pursued a quest of some sort, whether that’s travelling to every country in the world (as Chris did) or knitting 500 hats for charity. I read his Art of Non-Conformity book recently and I really enjoy how he writes. It’s a light easy-to-read style that makes you feel he’s talking to just you and that you and he are now friends. I also like his books because of the stories he tells of his own travels and the experiences of other people. It’s really, really interesting, often amusing and very refreshing to see that people are bucking the norm and just following their hearts. I kind of yearn to do something myself, go on my own quest, but I don’t yet know what that will be.

I haven’t yet finished Gormenghast, but I’ll get back to it soon.

I’m trying to think of something exciting to tell you that I’ve done this week, but as usual my life has been relatively quiet. We had to attend two appointments at two different hospitals on Wednesday for hubby. He’s doing well, which is a relief. He’s going to start chemo in about a month’s time. Things are looking good finally. Long may that last! We were both exhausted afterwards…it was a very long day. I’m afraid my plans to have a healthy diet went to pot on Wednesday because we were out of the house for so long, but we’re getting back into it.

Now I’m starting to feel a bit normal after the difficulties of the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking of getting back into writing. I had started writing another novel for children, so am planning to go back to that soon…probably tomorrow. I will get a plan started (I work when I have a plan) and then just write. I’ve got a couple of ideas mulling around my head for two other stories, so will get those ideas down too. My plan is to have my children’s novel finished by Christmas.

I’ve also started knitting again. I’m thinking of starting my Christmas knits now so that it’s not a mad rush in December. Will start browsing the web for ideas for gifts, although I have quite a few lovely knitting books that will also give me ideas.

My other plan is to get to grips with my camera. I got a lovely camera a few months ago and I’ve done nothing but take pics on auto. Maybe that’s my quest – something to do with photography? Who knows!

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Anyway, am away to start my planning for writing, knitting and general life. I’m such a list maker! I love it!

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

PS before I go just one thing to say about Game of Thrones (apart from this series being superb!) : Jon Snow….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!