Jean Harlow, Muddy Paws and Geraldine Grainger


Jean Harlow...more about her later.

Jean Harlow…more about her later.

I’ve come to the keyboard not sure what to write this week for life has been busy, but there was nothing that you could say ‘wow, that’s really exciting’ to. I’ve started back writing, which is good, although I’m finding it difficult to get the time to do it. Looking after the kids and the house and working leaves little free time to do anything else. Plus the dogs are incredibly messy so all I feel I’m doing every day is hoovering up chewed up toys and cleaning up poo and pee from my carpet (anyone got any tips on how I stop them doing this…they are old enough now!). Anyway, I’m making time this afternoon to write and NOBODY better get in my way! Add in some dramatic music here!

Yesterday (Friday) I was barely at home during the day. I popped in to see my friend Tracy for a cuppa in the morning then met a couple of friends for lunch before meeting another friend to take the dogs a walk. She has a beautiful black Labrador that my dogs are a little wary of for some reason. She barely even looks at them. We took them down the beach and they loved it. Having dogs – despite the mess – is great for socialising with friends with dogs and meeting other dog owners. Plus you get a lot of love from them and they always look happy to see me (whereas my children often do not)!

The weather this week has been wet and windy with a touch of slushy snow on Thursday – that was what we got here as part of Storm Doris. The dogs loved being out in it, especially Millie who loves water and can often be found rolling about the shower after it’s been used. She is an odd bod dog. We have a deep puddle underneath one of the swings in the back garden which has filled with water. The hole was dug last year by the boy and a friend and never been filled in. I caught Millie at its edge testing the depth with one paw…sigh. I swiftly put her off the idea of going in. She just loves water as opposed to Casper for whom water is an anathema.  * just looked out the back window and she was at it again! Sigh. Muddy footprints and dirt everywhere!

Jean Harlow and William Powell.

Jean Harlow and William Powell.

Watched a great documentary about Jean Harlow on Sky this morning. I knew she had died young, but 26 and from kidney failure. Poor woman was at the top of her career and had genuinely loving relationship with actor William Powell. She had everything and then it was all cruelly taken from her. So young to go. Such a sad story. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen any of her films – I probably have because I was an avid watcher of the Saturday matinee when I was a child. For those of you who do not remember it, the Saturday matinee showed all the old films. Can’t remember if it was ITV or BBC that showed them, but I used to watch them every week which is why I’m such a big fan of Bette Davis, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, Doris Day, Laurel and HardyFred and Ginger and many more. I think I’ve seen all the big musicals from the 30s, 40s and 50s. I just love it.

Christina and Will from the television adaptation of Flambards.

Christina and Will from the television adaptation of Flambards.

Anyway, currently reading the fourth in the Flambards series. It’s good although I could happily give two of the main characters a good shake. You know you’re enjoying a book when you want to knock the characters heads together when their behaviour is out of hand. Will let you know how I get on with the rest of it.

Dr Strange.

Dr Strange.

Watched Dr Strange last night and really enjoyed it. I love the Marvel films and this one is full of action and adventure plus it’s got Benedict Cumberpatch in the lead role so that’s always a bonus. I like him as an actor and he didn’t disappoint with this one. Got to mention the cloak which has a personality of it’s own…nice touch.

The Vicar of Dibley.

The Vicar of Dibley.

As I write, The Vicar of Dibley is on the telly so I apologise if I seem a little distracted from this blog. I love that programme. Ian bought me the complete set one year for Christmas and I just love it. It’s so funny. It’s the first episode that’s on at the moment and Geraldine has discovered that the village don’t want her because she’s a woman. Classic telly. They don’t make them like this any more. I find today’s sitcoms – both American and British – to be turgid, formulaic programmes full of fake canned laughter and rubbish jokes. What are the writers doing? The jokes aren’t clever and the programmes often feel like they’ve been written in that way because it’s safe. No-one (and I’m talking about the mainstream telly channels here) seems to be taking risks any more. It’s so sad. Anyway, rant over.

Geraldioe marries.

Geraldine marries.

As I look down I see Millie has indeed been in the puddle. She has mud on her legs and now needs a bath…sigh. They just love to create more work for me, don’t they? I think I’ll take them down the beach for a  bit of a run and then bathe them both (Casper will love that! Not!).

Right I am going to finish up here and say cheerio til next time.

Dawn xxx

Fighting over the fridge, superheroes in garden and bat no more!

It’s amazing what amuses kids. We had to buy a new fridge freezer recently as our old fridge went kaput – the door was no longer closing properly – and the freezer was on its last legs. Anyway, the freezer has a bit for making ice cubes and the kids think this is wonderful. They’ve had ice with every drink they’ve had since we got it. They also fight over who is putting the tomato sauce back in the fridge…we’re enjoying it while the novelty lasts!


I should point out that this is not my's just here as an illustration because I've been too lazy/busy to take my own photos!

I should point out that this is not my fridge…it’s just here as an illustration because I’ve been too lazy/busy to take my own photos!

So how are you all? What’s been happening in your world? This week hasn’t been as eventful in the sense we haven’t really gone anywhere, but I have been busy. Am currently all achy after cutting the grass in the front and back gardens. That’s after going food shopping this morning, baking banana bread and oat biscuits, and making granola. I also did a tonne of dishes and tidied up the kitchen. I took advantage of the dry weather by getting loads of washing out. I am shattered. It’s me old lady bones!!

Banana bread - yum! Again not my pic and not the bread I make, but it's close!

Banana bread – yum! Again not my pic and not the bread I make, but it’s close!

Had to laugh at the boy this afternoon. He and his friend were out in the garden being superheroes. They are seven and six respectively and really cute still! They were running around pretending to be Batman and a baddy and there was lots of singing and ‘Pretend I’ve got a costume on…’ ‘Pretend I’ve got a gun…’ Oh to be that age again! My boy has also discovered whistling, which would be fine if he whistled in tune. I’ve been not too bad about it today…I have a low tolerance to whistling (although I sometimes do it myself) so the boy’s attempts at cheerful little ditties have had the same effect on me as nails scraping down a blackboard. Arggggggghhhhhhh! STOP IT!!!!!! I can’t think of any occasion (or any piece of music or song) where I’ve thought to myself: ‘That whistling really adds to that!’.

Jings I’m getting moany in my old age!

Found this fab blog called ReFashionista. It’s an American lady called Jillian Owens who takes charity shop finds and turns them into lovely new togs. I’ve only just come across her and I like the blog because it’s amazing what she does with secondhand clothes and the expressions she pulls in her ‘before’ pics make me laugh. I know! It doesn’t take much to amuse me! The treasures she finds when shopping in the thrift stores are fab! A girl after my own heart!

Confession time (she says shamefaced), I still haven’t finished the Gormenghast trilogy. I’ve been that busy reading up on cancer and what we can do to improve hubby’s health, that reading fiction has fallen by the wayside. I’ve also been reading how to write books (I think it’s good to keep learning about writing) and Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Start Up.

Finally, it is with some sadness that I report that one of my beloved bats – those little flying ‘mice’ who skitter about high in the trees in my back garden at dusk, those little beings who look so joyful as they swoop about catching bugs – well, my neighbour’s cat managed to get one the other day. Bat no more! Although I am saddened by the demise of the bat, I can’t help but be totally impressed by the cat. How did she manage to catch one? They fly at the level of the top of the trees. Did she launch herself from the top of the garage with a ‘Jeronimo!!’?? Was she perched high in the silver birch ready to pounce? Does she have secret powers that enable her to fly? Who knows! What I do know is that my neighbour was not in the least bit impressed by the ‘present’ of the dead bat.

Finally finally…I must pose this question: is there anything other than mice/rats that would gnaw open a bag of flour? We have a small larder cupboard in our kitchen and today (with disgust and, I must admit, a teeny bit of retching) I noticed something had taken the corner out a bag of flour. I am hoping we are not infested with mice. We’ve put traps down – I know, it’s horrible, but I need to catch whatever ate the flour. I can’t afford to just leave it. We have kids. Mice (or, God forbid, rats) pose a big potential health problem. Anyway, squeamishness at murdering a little being aside, I need to catch it. Whilst cleaning out the cupboard to check it hadn’t gotten anything else (and bleaching the shelf to within an inch of its life), I must have disturbed some eight-legged beasties. They were huge spiders (I think they are common or garden spiders) with gi-normous legs and mean little eyes. Ew. I normally don’t mind spiders (I did rescue one today from the bath), but these ones turned my stomach! The memory is making me feel a little yucky even now!

Right, on that note, I am away to have a restorative cup of tea and maybe an oat biscuit. Til next time!

Dawn xxx (who is hoping she doesn’t have to deal with any gi-normous arachnids or flour eating rodents any more).


Super fans, super heroes and super veg

Am writing this blog a day early…well the night before the day I’d usually do a blog. I’ve got a busy day ahead tomorrow, so I thought I’d get a head start by doing the blog earlier.


How are you all? Hope you are all good. Am currently watching Tom Felton Meets the Super Fans. It’s really fun. He’s been interviewing various stars about their super fans including Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. J K Rowling even makes an appearance. He’s currently at a Comic Con convention somewhere – it looks like – in England (I think). I’ve always fancied dressing up and going to one of those conventions. It looks like a total laugh. Not sure who I would go as…hmmmm. Catwoman? Elektra? Emma Frost? Hit-Girl? Lara Croft? They are all a good bit younger (and thinner than me), but it would be fun. Who would you go as??


This week has been relatively quiet. Over the weekend there, I was just pootling about doing what I have to do around the house or with the kids. I love Saturdays because I get a long lie (well, as long as the boy sleeps til) and then I take the girl to ballet and spend a sweet hour on my own, eating a roll and bacon in a local café whilst digging into my latest book. Then I pick her up and take her home and the rest of the afternoon stretches out before me.

If only I could grow veg that looks like these and those in the pics above!

If only I could grow veg that looks like these and those in the pics above!

Last weekend, I dug out my plastic greenhouses and set them up in the garden with the help of hubby. Putting the biggest one up was like doing the Krypton Factor (remember that?), it was so complicated. The worrying thing is that while it looks correct, we have a couple of bits left over. Hmmmmm. Hey, it’s up and it looks fine so I’ve just put the extra bits inside the greenhouse and studiously ignore them every time I go near it. The other, smaller, greenhouse was easy to put up. This weekend, I will sew a few seeds and see if anything grows. Am planning to grow lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. That’s the plan, but whether or not I can successfully grow them is another matter. Have only managed a few spindly carrots and some potatoes before!

Anyhoo, can’t believe it’s mid week already. The days are flying past. Next thing I know it’ll be the summer hols and then Christmas! It’s mad!

Moving on, am currently reading Edmund Crispin’s The Case of the Gilden Fly which is a murder mystery (quelle surprise!) about an Oxford Professor and amateur detective investigating the murder of a nasty actress called Yseut Haskell. It’s wonderfully old fashioned (it was written in 1944) and quite funny in bits. I’m thoroughly enjoying it although I do feel it’s a murder mystery where all the aspects of the story have been thrown up in the air and allowed to land wherever. It feels a little disjointed in places, but that could just be because of its age.

Right, time is getting on. Soon be beddy time. Til next time!!