Puppy pee, school reports and birthdays


Last week was one of achievements for my two kids…they both had parents’ evenings and they both got glowing reports from their teachers. I was really pleased (and relieved) because I was worried that their dad’s passing would greatly affect their school work, but apart from the boy being upset every now and again, they are both doing really really well. Phew.

So anyway, as happens a lot in my life, things aren’t always straightforward. The first port of call for parents’ evenings was my son’s primary school where he has a very nice male teacher who is the darling of all the kids at the school. He has a way about him and a teaching style that makes all the kids love him. He’s a nice guy and told me he was pleased with the boy’s efforts and talked about his achievements (etc).

Of course, he had to mention the note I sent him a couple of weeks ago, the one that still makes me cringe with embarrassment.


Let me explain: about two or three weeks ago the boy had happened to leave his completed spelling homework on the arm of a chair in our living room. The dogs love to jump on and off the suite (apparently it provides good sport for them as they chase each other around the room) and pretend to be cats by lying down on the arms of the chairs and sofa. Anyhoo, one of them had knocked the homework off the arm and it had fallen, open, on to the living room carpet.

Now to give you a bit of background to the rest of the story, as part of their toilet training (a saga for another time!), I put down puppy mats for the dogs to do the toilet on. These mats are large rectangles and white. His homework jotter when open, is smaller, but rectangular and white. Yes, one of the dogs – we think Casper – peed on his homework. The yellow stream saturated the paper and made the jotter unusable and pungent. I gave it a cursory rinse under the tap, but in my heart of hearts I knew we couldn’t save it.

DCF 1.0

When the boy found out all hell broke loose. He made a big song and dance about it: “I can’t use THAT again! It’s all pee! That’s disgusting. Naughty dog!”

Casper (looking vacantly innocent): “What??? I am cute and little and did nothing wrong.”

Jump forward to the next day and the boy is fretting. “What will my teacher say? He won’t know I’ve done my homework. I’ll get into trouble.”

Me: “I’ll write you a note.”

Him: “But how will he know I did my homework?”

Me: “I’ll write it in the note.”

Him (very worried): “But he still won’t know.”

Me (lightbulb moment): “Don’t worry, I’ll tear the page out and put it in a plastic food bag so he can see you’ve done it.”

Him: Relieved and smiling.

So I did it (ensuring the bag was very tightly sealed) and the boy took it to school and gave it to his teacher. The rest of the jotter went in the bin.

Fast forward to last week’s parents’ evening and it was an amused teacher who brought up the incident again.

“That was class!” he said with a grin. “And to put the evidence in as well, that was brilliant!” I blushed – I had forgotten all about it.

I said: “Well at least you’ll have a good story to tell down the pub!”


The girl also got great reports from the teachers I saw, although unfortunately she seems to have taken after me…a few of them commented on how she loves to talk all the time. Yup, guilty, she gets that from me. All I can say is that we are very sociable people!

So well done to my two beloved offspring for great reports – me and your dad are very proud.


On Friday, we joined my parents and one of my sisters at D’Arcy’s in Princes Square in Glasgow to celebrate my mum’s birthday. We had a lovely lunch and a great time. Unfortunately, my mum has been suffering from a stinker of a cold, but she was well enough to enjoy a glass of wine (medicinal) and to open her pressies. I really enjoy a glass of wine, but if I drink it at lunchtime I feel really tired all afternoon. After lunch, we went home. The kids, who had been off due to an in-service day, were immediately glued to their tablet/mobile despite the fact they were supposed to be cleaning their rooms. I lounged on the sofa for a while, petting the dogs and catching up on telly. The wine had made me feel really tired, so I took advantage of the unheard of peace in the house to doze.

Saturday I had down for doing nothing, but of course that doesn’t actually mean doing nothing. What I meant was I wasn’t planning to go out. Instead I caught up on housework and the ironing. Jeezo I lead such an exciting jet-setting life don’t I? Not! The rest of the weekend was quiet, which was just what we all needed to recharge our batteries.

This weekend, we have the boy’s birthday, he’s turning nine. I can’t believe my baby is that age already. It hardly seems that long ago since he was a babe in arms. His sister turns 12 in February. It really is no time at all from when they are babies until they are nearly teenagers. God it’s making me feel old! Still I will be 25-and-holding til I die!! Anyway, I’ll tell you all about it next week.

Time for ‘currently reading’ and I’m back on to D E Stevenson and her second Miss Buncle book called Miss Buncle Married. I read the first one, loved it and bought the other one. They are so old fashioned and just lovely to read. Nearly finished this one…sigh. Really enjoying it and don’t want to finish it.

Right, I think that’s enough for this week. I am away to do a bit of writing – yes I am actually WRITING again. Wasn’t sure I’d ever go back to it, but I am loving writing the book. Feels almost like it’s writing itself (apart from all the hours I’m spending at the keyboard!!). Til next time!

Dawn xxx



Dr Who and Hotel Transylvania 2…just a normal day in our household!


We went to see Hotel Transylvania 2 yesterday and it was great. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the first one and was pleased the second one was as good. We were there as part of the boy’s birthday. He turned eight last week and his birthday has been dominated by Dr Who (birthday presents, cake toppers, party bags etc) and this film. We took three of his friends from his school class and they all seemed to enjoy it. I was shattered though. They are all lovely kids, but oh do they talk! I think the ears were burned off me with the chatter!



So how have you all been? What’s been happening in your neck of the woods? I’ve been really busy again this week – it’s been mad. The previous week was my mum’s birthday and that merged into last week with the boy’s birthday. I made him a cake for his actual birthday and wrapped all his presents. Then on his birthday morning, I made pancakes for breakfast and he told me I was the best mum ever. That made me smile. We had pasta bake for dinner that night (which is one of his favourites – it’s basically Bolognese penne with grated cheese finished off in the oven) and then a few days later I took him, his sister and his friends for a McDonald’s followed by the film. My parents came over to see him on Saturday afternoon and last night, I threw myself in an exhausted heap on to the sofa and drank wine. It was great! I was going to start writing Christmas cards today, but I really can’t be bothered. Next weekend I’ll get it all done.

Next week is my birthday and I am going to spend it doing as little as possible. We are getting a carry out meal for dinner and I will enjoy it with a lovely bottle of wine and a good film on telly. Yes I am a party animal!…not! Yes the simple things are what makes my world tick!

Right on that note, I have a dinner to put on. Til next time!

Dawn xxx (who is 25-and-holding again next week!)



Birthday cake, a Minion and Writing Lots and Lots

birthday cake

It’s the boy’s birthday next week and already he’s really excited. We’ve got him a whole load of Dr Who things (including a sonic screwdriver!) and his grandparents are coming to ours tomorrow to give him their gifts. For an extra special treat, me, hubby and the girl will also be taking him to see Nativity 3. We have the first two films on DVD and he really loves them. He wants to go to McDonalds afterwards, so we’ll take him there too. I will also bake him his birthday cake this weekend…yum!

storm cloud

So how have you all been? I’ve been busy today getting on with my Christmas makes. I’ve done the bulk of the two Minion plushies I’m making for my offspring. I’ll show you the finished pair once I’ve completed them. Am doing them whilst the kids are at school, so won’t be getting back to them til next week. It’s really hard keeping something like this a secret as the two of them love to stick their noses into everything. It’s “what’s this mum?” and “can I have that?”. They are well hidden, but every time one of the kids goes near the area the toys are hidden my heart’s in my mouth in case they discover them. Here’s an image of the pattern I’m making…



I’ve also been busily writing away, although not so much today or yesterday. I’ll do some tonight…the planning’s done…just need to write it up. My word count is currently standing at just under 20,000 words…only 30,000 (minimum) to go!! Hope I can keep it up…it’s not easy.

Right, that’s me for just now. My hand is aching from all the knitting and sewing and typing I’ve been doing today (bring out the violins!). Til next time.

Dawn xxx


Ballet, piano and Bette Davis

Well, I’ve gone and voted and once I got to the ballot box I was under no doubt  which way I was voting. The last couple of weeks have been both exhilarating and a bit scary. Independence is a huge step and today is historic. Am waiting with bated breath to see what happens when they announce the result tomorrow.

This week has been overtaken with the Referendum. You just couldn’t get away from it. However, apart from that we’ve seen a few things happening. The boy had a really bad ear infection recently and it’s now cleared up. He also started piano lessons last week and seems to like them…so far. The girl is still in love with ballet. I bought a ballet exercise DVD so we can do something together (the boy and I have piano) plus it will hopefully get me fitter. Over the last five years I’ve put on more than a stone in weight. I don’t eat any more than I did before and I certainly am busier than ever. I think it’s the fact that I’m over 40 and have a sedentary job. Sigh. Anyway, ballet here we come!! Am sure a few plies will sort out my thighs!

ballet 2ballet 1

Hubby celebrated his 51st birthday last week too. Me and the kids took him out a local Chinese restaurant for a meal and various members of the family visited with presents or sent cards. On his actual birthday, I made him a special meal for every meal time. The kids insisted on having pancakes for breakfast, I made veggie tortillas (from The Fussy Eater’s Cookbook by Tana Ramsay) for lunch and we had Hungarian Ghoulash for dinner…yum. There was also birthday cake and custard…lovely.

Bette Davis 1

Am currently reading Bette Davis’ The Lonely Life and it’s excellent. Her voice and strong opinions ring through the book and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. As you know I am a huge fan. All About Eve is in my top ten all time films…she’s fabulous in that. Other fave Bette films include Now Voyager and Jezebel.

Bette Davis 2

While I greatly admire Ms Davis, what else rings through the book is her absolute determination to get to the top no matter the cost. I think she was used to getting her own way. She was a strong woman who didn’t put up with rubbish. Some may call her a bitch. I think she had to be to pursue her dreams. Anyway, she’s very inspiring and her book is full of great stories and truths.

What else has been happening? I took the plunge and bought myself a new sewing machine. My machine was secondhand when my parents gave it to me when I was 11 or 12, so it’s at least 30 years old! It’s not reliable. I’m hoping a new one will be so that I can get on with sewing.

Right, that’s it for this week. I am going to finish up here for now. Until next time!

Dawn xx






Am totally addicted to Firefly and other stories…

tulip march 2014

Hello! How are you? What’s been happening in your life?? Well, the biggest thing that’s happened in my life is that I’ve become addicted to Firefly. I’m a Nathan Fillion fan anyway being a huge fan of Castle, so it was not difficult to move to Firefly. I couldn’t get into the series when it was on tv, I don’t know why. Maybe I didn’t give it a long enough go. Anyway, I’ve been watching it on Netflix and loving it. Been using it as the background to my knitting my friend Laurina a hat for her birthday last week. I haven’t quite finished the hat, but it’ll be ready by the time I get back to work on Monday.


Still reading The Fellowship of the Ring. At last the Hobbits have met Aragorn. There was an awful lot of shilly shallying around and getting caught by this danger and that danger…things that would probably have been edited out in a modern book as being blocks to the story. However, I finally feel we’re getting there…thank goodness. Still enjoying it.

Picked up my Christopher Brookmyre book last week…the one I won. Well I won up to £10 to spend on a book of my choice. My husband’s response: “Oh just what you need – another book!” 🙂


Been a bit lazy on the writing front this week. I just can’t be bothered, so I decided to take a small break. I will do a bit this afternoon and tomorrow. Those books won’t get written by themselves so if I really want to get them finished I need to work on them!!

The weather here has been terrible this week: one minute bright sunshine, the next hail and rain. I don’t think the weather knows what it’s doing!! The frustrating part is that I’ve been unable to get out walking. Hopefully it’ll be dry next week.

Ooh, before I forget…just a quick Happy Birthday to young Eva L!! She’s nine next week. Hope you have a good day.

Right, I’d best be off. Got another exciting episode of Firefly to watch! I know! I’m so sad, but I just love sci-fi!!

Til next time

Dawn xxx

Birthday BBQ, back to writing and taking the kids swimming

birthday balloon

Hello. Sorry I’ve not been around for a couple of weeks. I was busy getting things ready for hubby’s fiftieth birthday party and I had a bit of a bug. Back to normal now though.

So, firstly, hubby’s party. We had a barbeque in the back garden last Saturday for the family and a few close friends. I am so glad we opted for the Saturday because the days either side were horrendous…torrential rain and wind. Not a great combination for a party!!

Anyway, the day was great. People came at different times, so we were barbequing most of the afternoon as people came. We had burgers and sausages and veggie burgers. My mum made me some lovely little nibbles and apple pies. One of my sister’s made an amazing cheesecake and we all sat outside and ate and talked and generally had a good time. It was a little cold so I handed out some lap rugs. It was so nice to be able to use the garden, but it’ll be the last time this year…unfortunately on Sunday the weather turned for the worst and it’s been a bit changeable ever since.

So, to conclude this bit of my blog, I just wanted to once again wish my lovely hubby a happy birthday. Here’s to many more.

Time to get back to writing!

Time to get back to writing!

My life has been a bit taken up with preparing for the party (and recovering from it!! Hee hee) so I’ve not been up to a lot lately, although life has been really busy. I’ve set out a work plan for the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia and have started working to that. Today, for instance, I’ll do a bit of writing and planning. I have finally caught up with the huge mountain of washing I had to do (I missed a whole washing day on Saturday because of the party, so it’s set me way back) and the house is finally back to normal.

Later today I’m taking the kids swimming. They both go to swimming lessons at our local pool, but I want to show the boy that swimming can be fun because he’s been a bit sticky about going for the lessons. He’s been going for more than a year now and hasn’t really progressed very far (well, I suppose at least now he’s going in without screaming the place down!). Anyway, I’m looking forward to that.

The rest of the weekend – apart from going swimming with my pal tomorrow – will be spent relaxing (reading, cooking, writing, meditating). I don’t know if it’s an age thing, but I find that if I have something on at the weekend, it throws me off for the week after and I need the following weekend to recover properly. I think it’s because I’m so busy all the time and don’t have a lot of down time. Anyway, I am so looking forward to doing nothing for a little while!!

Right, on that note, I want to get some of the Dusting sequel down before we get ready for swimming. Until next time!

Dawn xxx

Birthday on Millport

Last week the entire family went over to the Isle of Great Cumbrae to help my sister Lesley celebrate her (in whispered words) 40th birthday. Of course I forgot to take pictures to use in this blog, so have been forced to use the one above that shows Millport in less sunnier weather.

Anyway, the day we went the sun was splitting the sky. We arrived in Largs (home of the famous Nardini ice-cream…yum!) around lunchtime to catch the ferry across to the island. Armed with folding chairs (which we barely got to sit on…more about that later), a picnic and lots to drink (non alcoholic!), me, hubby and the weans got on the ferry for the (what felt like) five minute trip across the water.

We disembarked at the other end – along with lots of other people – and caught the waiting bus down to Millport.

We met up with Lesley and the rest of the family at The Garrison House (former barracks/captain’s house built in 1745, which is now a community cafe, museum and centre) and spent a few happy hours under the shade of the trees, eating too much, chatting, watching the kids running around and generally having a nice time. We also paddled in the sea, something I’ve not done in Scotland for a long time. Yes, the water was freezing, but you soon get used to it! We had ice-creams all round and about 4pm, when the temperature was not even thinking about falling even slightly, we decided we were departing. Being a pale northerner, I had had enough of the heat and was desperate to get home and into the shade of a cool house. En route home we had the obligatory fish n chips in the car (it’s traditional in our family that on the return from a trip to the seaside we have fish and chips for dinner as a treat or in our case: two sausage suppers and chips for the kids. Heaven!).

I think the best bit of the day was the reaction my youngest had to the travelling. My boy was very excited: not only did he get to go on a ferry, but on a bus too. You forget that kids are so used to being driven everywhere these days, that a bus trip is about the most exciting thing to happen to them. In my day it was the other way round.

Anyway, we had an excellent trip ‘doon the watter’ albeit we didn’t jump on the Waverley to get there.

Dawn xxx

NB regarding the folding camping chairs which I purchased two of from ASDA the day before the trip specifically for going to Millport – no sooner had one of us (myself or my hubby) get up to see to one of the kids, buy ice-cream or do something else, than one of our family members slipped into our place. They did offer to get up, but I didn’t have the heart to shove my mother or father off of them or Lesley’s friend. The kids weren’t so lucky though! Wooohooo – evil mother laugh.