Exciting news and a small loss

Okay, so I’ve got some news I’m dying to tell you about, but I can’t tell you details yet. The first is that I am collaborating with a very dear friend of mine on a new book for kids. She’s a great illustrator and we work well together, so I am looking forward to doing that one.

The second is international. I’ve teamed up with a group of authors from the US, Australia and the UK to do a whole series of books, romantic thrillers. We’re just working out the details now, but we’re hoping to have the first book launched by the end of the year. I cannot wait to get started. I have already begun planning.

(Takes deep breath to calm down) Sorry I can’t tell you any more, but I will give you details as we go along.

So, back to reality, how are you? What’s been happening in your world? Apart from signing up for two projects, the rest of the week has been pretty mundane. The weather has been terrible, we lost a chicken (she died – I think it was the weather that did it, it’s been wet and miserable for weeks now), but on the plus side we still have three healthy chooks left. The dogs have been loving trailing through the mud on their wet and windy walks. Sorry, let me re-phrase that, the Yorkie and Jack/Chi have been loving the mud, the pug (who hates going out for walks and I have to force her to go) does not like getting her wee tippy toes wet. So we’ve been getting a fair bit of grumbling from her this week! 🙂

Millie – our Jack Russell/Chihuahua cross loves water and getting muddy. That’s her ‘crazy eyes’ look because I am holding up a ball – she’s ball mad – in order to make her look at the camera!
Casper – our Yorkshire terrier doesn’t like getting wet, but will happily put up with wet and mud in order to go a walk. He spends a lot of time sleeping and pacing between the living room and kitchen. I don’t know why.
Bonya – our pug, hates going walks, hates getting wet and spends her life sleeping on the sofa. She’s a lazy dog.

I’ve been beavering away at my uni course and have an assignment to hand in next week, but it’s a creative writing one and I am just loving doing it!

What else have I been up to? I attended a tarot reading at our local pub on Monday night. Let’s just say I was a bit sceptical when I went and I remain sceptical now. The guy doing the reading was nice, but the stuff he was telling me was way too general and I felt he kept looking at me for signs of information so he could add to it. Do you know what I mean? I think there are people who are genuinely psychic or something – and I’ve only met one who was so accurate it was scary – but most are just reading off their client. Anyway, we’ll see.

I am still making my way through M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin books. They are a fab way of relaxing at night. I like to go to my bed at 9pm and read for an hour (sometimes two) before lights out. These are great books – I love the characters, I love the humour and the stories are great. It is murder and mayhem, but not so you can’t sleep at night (I don’t read dark murder stories or horror at bedtime because my mind goes into freefall with imagining things that go bump in the night and I can’t sleep).

Oh, I see it’s now raining again. It’s the type of rain that’s almost snow… you know the kind I mean? The type that when you look out you think ‘Is that snow?’ but it’s not settling. It’s not hail cos it’s too soft and too easy for the wind to blow about. Anyway, it’s bloody cold and miserable outside. I had to bring the chickens in last night and I kept them in a large cardboard box in the living room. They’d got soaked yesterday and were in their coop shivering. I was worried they’d get hypothermia, so I brought them in. Looks like they’ll be spending another night indoors tonight.

Right, I am off. Got another two blog posts to write and then I’m going to finish my assignment and then I’m going to start researching my kids book project. Til next time.

Dawn xx

August 5 Work Like a Dog Day

This sounds like a dream day to me. If I do as my dogs do, I will spend the entire day either lying sleeping or pestering one of the other humans in the house to play ball. I will then demand to be fed and my tummy rubbed!

Well, apparently Work Like a Dog Day is actually about displaying the inner grit and determination of a hungry dog as you go about your normal day. It’s about working hard with enthusiasm and drive.

Hmmm, I like the sound of my version better.

Birthday cake, Taboo and Dog Saliva Downward Dog


It’s amazing how quickly time flies! And it’s true what they say: the older you get the quicker time passes. I cannot believe that 12 years ago I gave birth to my daughter. Where have the last 12 years gone??  It seemed like yesterday she was a wee scrap of a thing and now she’s nearly the same height as me with the same size feet! I’m not sure if she’s stopped growing. I’m 5’8″, but her dad was 5’11” and my dad is 6’2″ so she could stretch some more. Gone is the little girl with the blond curls that I used to sit on my lap. Now she’s a gorgeous looking pre-teen (I am, of course, biaised!) with legs up to her ears and the attitude of a 20-something (it’s wearing, as all parents know, to have a daughter who thinks she knows more than I do). Anyway, my beloved girl is 12…sigh! They really do grow up too quickly!

The cake above is an ‘aerial’ shot of her birthday cake and it was taken at its best angle. I say this because when I sliced the cake open and put jam in the middle, I replaced the top the wrong way round and it ended up a bit wonky. It looked like someone with a very small posterior had sat on it. Anyway, she and I decorated it and it didn’t look so bad. She finished it off and I think did a brilliant job. It tasted great when we ate it at her birthday lunch attended by we three and my mum and dad.


This young man was a lodger here this week. He’s my parents’ dog and he’s a Bichon Frise/Poodle cross called Winston. He’s only five months old and is adorable. He stayed over to allow my mum and dad to have a day out in Edinburgh. They like to go different places, but it can be difficult with the wee fella to look after. Anyway, Winston had a ball. He gets on really well with my dogs, especially Millie with whom he’s having a bit of a love affair. I caught them lying on the floor facing each other. Then they licked each other’s mouths and gazed lovingly into their respective big brown eyes. I kid you not. Poor Casper was a bit of a gooseberry during Winston’s stay and was a little bit jealous. He engaged Winnie in a lot of rough play fighting (which Winnie seemed to enjoy, but Millie didn’t). Anyway, when it got a bit too rough, Millie stepped in to ‘rescue’ Winnie and it ended up in a real fight between Casper and Millie. Yes, it was a noisy time, but this house is never quiet anyway! There are only some rare occasions when I can actually hear the television!



As I write this, my attention is half on the television which is showing a recording of The Remains of the Day starring Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. I love any films linked to Merchant Ivory. They are always beautiful to watch and it’s so easy to succumb to their warmth and charm (my favourite is A Room With a View). I’m enjoying this one which I recorded ages ago and am only now watching. It’s a nice film.



Just finished watching the latest episode of Taboo. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but am really enjoying it now. Can’t wait for the next one. Tom Hardy is great in the lead role, very menacing and moody. Is he as evil as he makes himself out to be or just a lost soul? Hmmm. Excellent cast and a great story.


I started doing yoga again, but it’s not been as easy as I thought it would be. The poses are fine…I’m doing gentle yoga so it’s really a beginner’s DVD I’m following. However, the difficulty part is to do with my dogs who seem to think that when I’m lying on the ground or doing Downward Dog it’s time to play or be pounced on or have my face licked, which I really hate (I’ve seen where those mouths have been!). Anyway, my aim is to improve and hopefully tone up…pouncing dogs or no!

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

Dawn xxx


Lasers, Fantastic Beasts and Gagging Over Dinner




What is it about kids and animals that they never seem to sit or sleep on the expensive things you’ve bought them? Take, for instance, Casper (pictured) who will not lie in the lovely and not cheap dog basket I bought him, but lolls about the stairs as if it’s the comfiest place on Earth. And then there’s the kids who refuse to sleep under their (also not cheap) duvets and sleep on top of their beds. I need to turn the heating off in their rooms – that’ll soon make them shift under the covers! Hee hee hee (evil mum laugh!).

Anyway, how’s things? Hope you’re well. We’ve had a full on week again. Last Saturday, I got up early to take the boy to Laser Quest in the southside of Glasgow for his birthday. He’s just turned nine so he and six friends spent the morning shooting each other with lasers and coming out all red-faced and smiling. They then ate pizza and drank diluting juice til it was coming out of their ears. He said it was the best birthday he’d ever had. Myself and the girl waited for them all in a waiting area, shivering in the cold (they had not put the heating on) and listening to the racket of various parties of excited weans as they came in to do various activities. It was all over by 11.30am and I was relieved to get out of the cold and noisy atmosphere and into a warm car.

That afternoon my parents came over and we ate some cake. It was a Stormtrooper cake I purchased at M&S and was nice. I normally bake cakes, but my oven is playing up…it doesn’t cook things evenly which is a nuisance. Note to self: need new cooker.

Anyway, a few days before the Laser Quest visit, I went to a place I hadn’t been to in years and, do you know what? It looks exactly the same. The place: The Griffin Bar, Glasgow. The reason: lunch with my middle sister. The verdict: loved it and had a nice lunch there. Will definitely go back. I used to meet my sister there when she was at art school, it was a favourite haunt of her and her friends. It was good to be back.

I said I’d had a busy week and it was, but it was full of things that aren’t exactly riveting to talk about (mainly cleaning up after the dogs and kids). I have been continuing to write though and make myself write at least 500 words a day on work days and 1000 words a day on non work day. Seems a lot of words, but it’s not really. I’m about halfway through this book.

Talking of books, I finished the Miss Buncle Married book and am now on to Mr and Mrs Haddock Abroad. I can’t remember the author but the book is basically about a couple and their daughter travelling to Europe. It’s meant to be comedic, but I’m finding all the muddles and misunderstandings a bit tedious. I’ll let you know how I get on.


With reference to films now and I took the kids to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I liked it, despite it being a bit predictable (if you’ve seen it you’ll know the bit I mean…at the end with the big reveal of the baddy). The kids didn’t. They moaned about it walking back to the car and I wondered why I had bothered taking them. In fact, the boy spent half the film whispering (sotto vocce) whether it was finishing or not. Very annoying! I liked it and I think I’ll like it even more when I watch it again when it comes out on DVD. The human characters were great, but the star of the show for me was the little mole like creature that loved shiny things (I think they may have based it on a honey badger). Anyway, I want one. If only it were real!

isRight, I am going to finish here. I have a lovely meal to prepare that no doubt my children will turn their noses up at, shout “Ew” and make gagging noises. You would think I was trying to poison them sometimes. The other day the boy made a huge fuss because I told him we were having Spaghetti Carbonara.

Him: “I hate that! I’m not eating that, it’s disgusting! You can’t force me to eat it.”

Me: “Fine. If you don’t eat it you are not getting anything else.”

So I made the dish. I plated the dish. I put it down in front of him and then he said…

“Oh yeah! I like this, mum!”


Tonight we’re having steak pie and vegetables. They both like it. That won’t stop them complaining about something though!

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

Dogs rule!

13255956_10207384595586864_1730845943824072265_nI am dedicating this post to my friend Hina who LOVES dogs!! Pictured above is our little lady fast asleep on my bed. The rest of the pictures are of cute pooches to lighten your day and put a smile on your face.


So how’s things with you this week? Check me out – posting a post earlier in the week! Ooh er! So not like me. The laptop was on cos I was (am going for a gold medal here for diligent work) writing (and, okay, ordering some books of Amazon for the kids – well I have to encourage the boy to read somehow and he loves David Walliams and put in a request for a new DW book). So, I thought I’d drop by, say hello and try and writie something interesting about my not-so-interesting life. It’s difficult cos my life has been busy but BORING over the last couple of days! I will try my best, but I warn you this won’t be the most scintillating of posts. (Deep breath) Here goes…


I’ve finished the biography of F Scott Fitzgerald and  left it with the feeling that both him and his wife Zelda both needed a good shaking when they were both younger and healthier. Okay she went on to have severe mental health problems and he was an alcoholic, but both her behaviour and his was just childish. I keep thinking if only they had toned it down a bit, grew up, stopped being brattish then maybe their sad story would have ended better. Reading the book I felt like they were trying to outdo each other for who could be the wildest, but in fact only succeeded in putting off friends, getting chucked out of places and generally being looked down on. I suppose they were trying to push boundaries, but being downright rude never works! It’s a shame – they both were brilliant but had really sad lives and tragic, wasteful deaths. Still Fitzgerald’s writing lives on. Am of a mind to read The Great Gatsby again.


My next foray into literature is a book my friend Jane’s partner leant me. It’s called Straight Outta Scotland and is the true story of two guys from Scotland who try to be the UK’s first hip hop superstars, fail, pretend to be American and then get offered an enormous record deal. Eventually they had to ‘fess up. I had read about these guys online some time ago so was delighted when Kev offered me his book to read. Will let you know how I get on.


Okay so the pup above is a bit Christmassy, but I say you can never have too much of a cute pup no matter what it’s surrounded by!

Right, ) I am going to end this here. I have another episode of Devious Maids (my current addiction) to watch. Enjoy the pics.

Final word: Dogs Rule Hina!!

Til next time!

Dawn xxxx