New doors, lumpy pug and Will Smith

Hi everyone! How are you all? Keeping well I hope. As I write this, the pandemic in Scotland is getting worse. There are more cases and deaths. It’s awful. However, we try and remain cheerful. Our area has very low numbers of cases, so we’re grateful for that. Anyway, let’s not talk of bad things, let’s talk of nice things. Todays’ images are all puppies because I love dogs and they make me cheerful.

This week, I’ve been doing my usual busy stuff: the script is coming along slowly but surely, I haven’t written a word of my assassin book although I’m very nearly finished it and my social media business is going well. So, it’s all good. I also actually managed to go out this week – I met a friend at our local pub for lunch. It was lovely catching up although weird as we had to wear our face masks going into the pub and exiting, but could take it off whilst sitting having our meal. I had the macaroni cheese, which was very good.

We also had joiners in replacing a door my daughter smashed by slamming it in a bad temper. Our house was built in the 1970s, so had glass doors leading into the living room and the area that was the dining room (now my office). The doors had a glass panel either side. None of the glass was safety glass, but thankfully myself and my husband had put plastic over all the glass when Emma was born so that if there was an accident, the glass would not shatter and hurt her. I always detested the panels and doors, so not my taste. So, I got the joiners in to replace the broken door and its twin opposite and remove the four glass panels. These were replaced with gyproc, the doorway was widened and new doors were installed. I also got a new front door installed while I was at it. It’s not finished, but it’s looking so much better.

Reading – I’m reading and loving Dorothy Whipple’s They Were Sisters which is (unsurprisingly) about three sisters, one of whom has a horrible bullying husband. It’s about their relationship with each other and how they try and help the one with the horrible husband. Loving it so far.

Watching – watched the Will Smith film Focus, which also starred Margot Robbie. I’ve only just found out this came out in 2015. Never heard of it before. Anyway, it was quite good. It wasn’t superb, but it wasn’t crap either.  The story twists and turns, and I guessed a few of the twists, but it was a good enough watch on a Friday night.

Took our pug, Bonya, for a check-up at the local vet’s. She has lumps that have been slowly growing. They are probably cancerous. She had two lumps, which we had removed and analysed, before. They were cancerous, so we reckon these two possibly are too. We’ve been keeping an eye on these lumps for a couple of years ago. The reason why I haven’t had them removed is that the first lump only appeared after she had had a second operation to remove a lump. We had only had her a year. I got her dressed, then she had a lump removed and then another. I just felt she had been through enough. With these two lumps, I could get them removed, but here’s why I’m not: she’s an older dog, we don’t know how old and I don’t want to put her through yet another operation. Also, as a pug, her breathing is terrible and I’m worried if she’s put under she’ll not survive. The lumps are not bothering her. They are not painful, they are slow growing and have not moved into her lymph nodes. So, having discussed it with the vet on several occasions we have decided just to leave her be. The wee soul was, I think, just used for breeding before we got her. I am her third owner that I know of. She didn’t act like a proper dog until 12-18 months (we’ve had her three years now) after we got her:  she stuck close to me at all times, she didn’t roll and run on the grass in the park, she didn’t play fight with the other dogs. She did nothing. Now, there’s no stopping her (when she’s not snoring somewhere, as she is now): there are some very noise play fights every day between all three dogs, she once rolled in something nasty and I was so proud, and she does go off on her own now in the house and when we’re in the park (not too far away, but I let her go and sniff things). Anyway, we’ll keep an eye on her and see how she goes. If she needs an op, we’ll do it, but hopefully she won’t.

So, anyway, that was my week this week. A bit more interesting than previous weeks, but still not super exciting!  I am going to leave you here and wish you adieu. 🙂 Til next week,

Dawn xxx

Urggghhhhh

It is so hard to keep positive. This pandemic feels endless. I just want to get back to normality. The only good thing to come out of this will be we should all be more grateful for our lives and what we have.  I’ll not be taking popping into Glasgow for lunch with friends for granted again, I can tell you. Or going round to the pub. Or going out for dinner.  Or the cinema. I know I can go out right now to the pub or cinema (I don’t live in an area affected by the last Scottish lockdown rules). However, it’s not the same. Any time I go out, all I’m aware of is staying away from other people so I don’t catch Coronavirus. I just want to go out or visit family and friends or even open post without thinking about this horrible bug.

Anyway, that’s this week’s rant over. How are you? Hope all is well with you, your family and friends. What have you been up to? Please tell me something interesting because I’ve done nothing but work and clean this week. Life is rather dull. We are pushing forward with the script and this week has been great fun working out the next steps of the story. It’s very complicated.  I haven’t worked on my novel because I’ve been busy. The good news is I’ve been doing work for a  new client and it’s great. What else? That’s about it.

Am reading E M Forster’s Where Angel’s Fear to Tread. I love the way he writes, so beautiful. It’s a lovely book and I’m really enjoying it. Oooh have just discovered there’s a film version. Need to look it out.

Films and tv – I don’t know if you agree or not, but tv has been pretty rubbish lately. I’ve been mostly watching films and a couple of tv series that are good, including the remake of All Creatures Great & Small. Watched Kenneth Branagh’s version of Murder on the Orient Express. Although he is good as a detective, he isn’t convincing as Poirot. However, it’s a great version and the cinematography is beautiful. It’s a great cast and I thoroughly enjoyed it again.

Right that’s me for this week. Til next week,

A very bored, very fed up

Dawnx

 

Working and making – it’s been a busy week

Right, so I’m turning over a new leaf next week and getting up earlier to write. I’ve taken on some more work in my social media business, so I’ve been lacking time for writing and it’s killing  me. The whole point of giving up my PR job with the NHS three years ago was to spend more time writing. So, up at 6am on weekdays it is. 😱 Really hope I can do it. No, that’s not the attitude. I can do it.  I am also going to bite the bullet (this blog is already full of cliches!) and do some live FB talks on my author FB page. I want to really start to push my author business and that’s part of it. Plus it’s a nice way of connecting with readers old and new. Wish me luck.

So, how’s your week been? Mine has been uber busy as usual, but it’s good because I’m working for myself and doing things I love, including my work doing social media for my clients. Social media was made for me, I love creating posts and imagery.

My son has been isolating for the last two weeks after being exposed to a fellow pupil with Coronavirus. He’s out of isolation today and I’ve never seen such a relieved 12-year-old. Although he’s been loving being at home and playing online with the other kids that were also off for the same reason, he’s missed his friends and getting out. Thankfully his test was negative and he hasn’t developed any symptoms since. Phew. I kinda knew he didn’t have it. He’s the picture of health, thank goodness.

Anyway, I’ve barely been over the door myself I’ve been that busy with work. The script continues to go well. We did an early read through last week of what we’ve done so far and it’s going well. Really pleased with it. It’s a long, slow process working with two others, but it’s fun. We work well together. Next week, we’ll be continuing to develop it. We’ve done about an hour’s worth so far, but we want to make it a series so have a lot more to write. It would be wonderful if, when we finish, it’s taken up by someone like Netflix and made.

My SOS (Sisters of Sin) novel continues. I’m on the home stretch, but just can’t slot in the time or energy to finish it. Hence, my plan to start getting up at 6am to write it. Needs must.  After this one, I have another SOS book to write and then I’ll do another Nina book. Also musing with writing a fantasy series, been working on developing that through using mind mapping. So far I’ve worked out the main characters and some of the story for the first book (hoping to have a series of seven books eventually). It all depends on my getting down to work on it and that depends on time and energy levels. Still, the desire to do it is there.

This week, I’ve also been working on some items to sell in my online Etsy shop, Vintage Knit Treasures. I’ll share those once they are ready to be seen in public. 😊 Talking of the shop, I’m going to love you and leave you now to put more patterns up in the shop.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

PS I don’t know what the hell is going on with FB images today, but I can’t get my images to look any bigger. Hopefully, it’ll be sorted out by the next time I post.

Free Book

Dusting Down Alcudia by D A Nelson2
To celebrate the fact the kids are going back to school next week, I’m giving away e-book copies of my first Nina Esposito book: Dusting Down Alcudia.
Nina Esposito, archaeologist, is on a mission. She’s flying to Mallorca to locate a magnificent Roman treasure that’s been lost for centuries.
But, when a formal love and a work rival vie for her attention, Nina finds herself locked in romantic rollercoaster. Which one is truly worthy of her? And do they have ulterior motives other than winning her heart?
Added to the mix is a Spanish billionaire who will stop at nothing to get the jewels for himself.
Who will get to the treasure first? Will Nina’s heart be broken along the way? And can she really trust either of the men in her life?
Join Nina on a breath-taking journey of discovery that takes her from the dusty fields of Mallorca to the diamond brokers of Amsterdam. As she soon finds out: there’s everything to play for when you’re Dusting Down Alcudia.
 
Get your free book here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/d0tqojvyaf

It’s been a weird kind of week

banana bread

So the week started as usual with me getting up, feeding the animals, taking the dogs out and then getting down to work. My sister visited on Wednesday with her kids and we had a lovely time. I even made banana bread, shortbread and sponge cake. It was lovely.

However, come Thursday morning I felt unwell and I’m still a bit yucky today. I don’t know what it is, but I’m exhausted and my throat is raspy and my ears ache. I suspect I’ve just been overdoing it recently and this is my body’s way of telling me to slow down. Anyway, I’ve spent the last couple of days lying on the sofa watching telly. First, I watched Operation Petticoat, one of my favourite Cary Grant/Tony Curtis movies. I LOVE that film. It’s funny and exciting and a great way to spend a Thursday afternoon when you’re feeling ill.

And then I moved on to an old favourite. I find watching familiar tv series and films comforting, so I dug True Blood out of Sky and I’ve been watching it ever since. I really LOVE this series. It’s so good and the books are great too. It feels like I’m back in the presence of an old friend.

true.blood_

I’d forgotten how good this tv series is. I’m in heaven right now. I still feel a bit yuck, but I’ll have a good night’s sleep tonight and hopefully feel better tomorrow.

Right, this was just a quick post to say hi and I’ll post again soon. Til next time.

Dawn xx

 

Still in lockdown, still busy

rain 1

Has it really been four weeks since my last post? I used to be so much better at posting than this. I think it’s because we’re still on lockdown in Scotland and have nowhere interesting to go to just now. We can meet with another family so long as we are socially distancing, but there’s no going out for lunch or meeting friends at the pub or going to the cinema or theatre for us at the moment. Still, those things will return eventually and I can’t wait.

In case you are wondering, most of my images will be of rain this blogpost and this is because I am reflecting the weather in Scotland just now. It. Is. Pouring. We haven’t stepped over the door once today. The poor dogs are desperate for a walk, but it’s too wet outside. Even if I force them outside, they would refuse to go anyway.

So, how are you anyway? Hope you’re all fine. We’re good at Nelson Towers. The kids are a bit bored – my teenage daughter is being a stroppy mare today – but there’s not much I can do about it. We have lots of options for watching tv, there’s board games, loads of books they can read and they both have mobile phones, so there are plenty of things for them to do if they really thought about it. Me? I’ve been busy writing my series book, my history book and writing my script. In between those, I’ve been trying to keep up with the jungle that is my garden, the washing and housekeeping. I’d been feeling bad about it – I write from 9am til 6pm, so it’s a long day and I’m shattered at night so the house and garden have been slightly neglected – until I read a quote from J K Rowling who said that when she was writing the Harry Potter series, her house was a mess. She basically said she couldn’t do it all. Well, Joanne, thank you for that. You made me feel less of a failure. So what if my house isn’t spotless or the grass cut yet? It’ll get done eventually.

rain 2

 

I’ve just finished a book by Linsey Hall called Trial by Fae which was a fantastic fantasy book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was a quick read and I was sorry to finish it – always the sign of a good book with me. I may now have to buy the rest of the series! Oh no! More books! How will I cope?? 😀  What I loved about this one is that it was based around Kilmartin in Argyll, near where me and the kids holidayed last year. I knew exactly all the places she was talking about because we visited them all. I love when you know a place in a book. I think that’s why I put some many places I’ve been in my books.

What else have I been doing? Laughing a lot at the chickens. Our Yorkie, Casper (see below), is the biggest wimp out, but likes to bully other dogs. Anyway, he tried to bully the chickens, but Merriweather and Nugget were having none of it. They chased him across the garden and he raced through the open patio doors of the living room like his tail was on fire. It was the funniest thing I’d seen in a long while. That’ll teach him!

Casper

So, what have you been watching on tv lately? I watched the modern tv series of Mildred Pierce a few days ago. Kate Winslet was great as Mildred and Rachel Evan Wood played her horrible daughter, Veda, brilliantly. Really enjoyed it. Kate Winslet is always good in whatever she does and played the put-upon Mildred beautifully. Guy Pierce played Monty and Brien F O’Byrne played Bert Pierce. Recommend it. I’ve only just realised it was out in 2011 – why am I only seeing it now? Hmmm.

kate winslet as mildred pierce

I have just looked out of the window and it’s still raining. Sigh. Feels like it will never stop. We had lovely weather only a couple of weeks ago. Bring it back!! 🙂

rain 3

Right, on that note, I will wish you all adieu til next time. Hopefully, I’ll have something more interesting to tell you then!

Dawn

 

 

How to be a bad blogger and other stories

doh!

I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I last posted. That is so not like me! I’m a post a week kinda gal! 🙂  I’ve been a bad blogger! Anyway, I’m going to fill you in on what’s been keeping me busy – in a nutshell, it’s been writing.

I’m still writing a series with some international authors. That’s going really well and I’m about halfway through the first of two books. I’m also writing a history book for kids with my friend and illustrator, Mandy Sinclair. We’re both desperate to get out and do some research in person, but because of Corona Virus, we’re having to do it all at home. Still, hopefully we’ll get out and about at some point.

writing

The third thing I’m doing right now is drafting up a script for a new tv series. I can’t tell you too much about that yet, it’s too early, but I’ll let you know once I have some more to tell you.

My poor laptop has been taking some battering recently! I’ve been working on it every single day for months, my fingers flying over the keys! It has also literally taken a battering: I dropped the bag that containing it, opened the laptop the following day and discovered I’d smashed the screen. Luckily, I can still use it, but I will get it fixed once we’re out of lockdown!

mower

So, what else have I been doing? Like most people, I’ve been stuck indoors. The weather has been nice recently so I have been out in the garden mowing the lawn. About four weeks ago I spent several back breaking hours weeding the driveway. The weeds are back and far worse than before so I’ve decided to use weed killer on them. I hate the thought of using it, but I just can’t keep weeding – I don’t have the time.

I’ve also been watching telly. My favourite TV series at the moment is a German one called Babylon Berlin. You’ll get all three series on Sky. It’s set in 1929 Berlin and is amazing.

Right, I’m away to dig some grit out of one of the dog’s eyes. My life is so glamorous!! Hahahaha! Til next time,

Dawn xx

Writing, Gardening and Joanne Harris

garden 4

Well another week has gone by and the world is still on standby. We are stuck in a routine that is the same day in, day out and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I am so thankful that no-one I know has been killed by Covid 19 and so sorry for those who have lost loved-ones. It’s a nasty, horrid disease that is still so worrying for everyone. Thank God for the key workers who are doing a fab job!

Right, I once said this blog is a space for happiness and so I will try to cheer you all up with my goings on this week. 🙂 How has your week been? I’ve been incredibly busy writing: writing my first book for our book series (we = the international writers I’m working with on an exciting new book project series) and I’m more than 13,000 words into it (woohoo!), writing another project with a friend (6,500 words down – there’s a lot of research in it), and writing up notes on my uni course. I do it every single day and, while I enjoy it, it is tiring. However, I gave writing the boot this morning to do a bit of work in the garden and managed an hour of weeding before my back got too sore. I intend to be back out later tonight to put out my garden ornaments in the back and will continue weeding tomorrow. I am so loving this good weather we are all having – it’s so nice to have warm, dry weather in April. That almost never happens here! As I write this, the heating is off (as it has been for days now), the patio doors are open and I can hear a neighbour cutting his or her grass.

garden 5

So, what else has been happening at Nelson Towers? Well, let me see! Hmmm. I have been keeping up with my Zumba class, which has been brilliant. Our teacher is doing the classes via Zoom (ironically!) and, although the connection is sometimes a bit flaky, it’s still good to be exercising.

I watched the first in the new series of the Great British Sewing Bee. I LOVE that programme. Can’t wait until next week for the next one. Talking of watching telly, have any of you been watching the new Killing Eve series? It’s already magnificent. I think this programme has got to be one of THE best things on telly, that and Fleabag (who could forget the sexy priest?). And, of course, I’m watching Outlander although I’m a bit disappointed that it’s not as exciting as previous series, but hopefully it’ll pick up. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it and I still watch it avidly, and I will love it forever.

garden

So, that’s really what I’ve been up to. Of course, we’re all still socially distancing ourselves in Scotland, so I’ve been keeping up with friends and family via Zoom. Thank God for technology. If this had happened ten or 20 years ago, things would be so much worse in terms of keeping up with family and friends. We would only have the telephone, which is good, but it’s not as good as seeing your parents laugh or your nephew do something daft or your sister’s gorgeous home-made fairy. Well done, V. I’ve also been having conversations with friends over wine or tea or sometimes just a glass of water. And my kids pop in in the background and wave at them all or have a conversation. Well, when I say ‘kids’, I really mean my daughter. My boy is too glued to his games machine upstairs! 🙂

garden 3

Talking of kids, I am lucky in that both of mine are at high school and, therefore, I don’t have to help them much with their work. They do it themselves and come to me if they are stuck and (in the case of the boy) to prove that he has done something. How are you all getting on with home schooling?

Right, that’s it for me. I’m away. I’ve got a webinar to attend with one of my all time favourite authors, Joanne Harris who wrote (amongst many excellent books) Chocolat. Until next time.

Dawn xx

PS in case you’re wondering, all pics in this post are not of my garden. I wish my garden was as nice! Maybe one day! 🙂