A riverside walk and that tricky ceilidh dress

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We took a walk along the riverside last Sunday and it was lovely. The sun was shining, it was quite mild and there were signs of winter everywhere. I love all the seasons for different reasons…for autumn (this feels more like autumn to me, not yet winter), it’s the changing colours, the low sun, the feeling of everything going to sleep for the winter. It’s also getting home to a warm house and snuggling up on the sofa with a good book.

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The things I don’t like about this time of year: how dark it gets at 3.30pm and the fact the kids can’t get out playing after school (they love getting out).

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For winter, I love the snow and the dark, stormy skies and hurrying to get out of the ice cold rain and into a warm house.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. How are you all? Hope you’re well. What have you been up to? I’ve been working hard getting my Christmas knitting finished…I am nearly there. I just have three gifts to complete and that’s me.

Talking of Christmas and the kids are already getting a bit hyper about the big day. The wee man keeps counting down, asking me if I know how many days left they are and then telling me. It’s getting to the annoying stage, but at least this helps him with his maths.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of running around, taking dresses back for the girl. Sigh. I bought her a dress online, it was too small, I took it back. I bought her a dress from Frasers, it was lovely, but she didn’t like it. I took it back. I have now ordered her a third (and final) dress from Next so she’d better like it cos it’s not going back!! I should know to let her pick her dress herself from the word go. She has her first ceilidh coming up (pronounced kay-lee for our none Scottish readers – it means a gathering, but nowadays it’s more about a dance with a ceilidh band and everyone doing Scottish country dancing. It’s great fun and often a bit wild!) so needed the perfect dress. Hopefully this one that’s coming is it! I don’t think I could take any more. She’s not even ten yet, God help us when she’s a teenager and really into fashion!!

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Am currently reading Elizabeth Hunter’s third of her Elemental Mystery series The Force of Wind. Am totally hooked on this series. If you like fantasy and supernatural with a bit of romance thrown in, these are the books for you. I am racing through them. Still got the fourth to go…A Fall of Water…having read books one and two: A Hidden Fire and This Same Earth. After I’ve finished these I’m on to the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I love the films, so am thinking the books are bound to be even better!

Right, am aff! Got things to do this morning. Got piano practise, housework and yet more ironing (the bane of my life, I hate ironing with a passion). Until next time!

Dawn xxx

Confessions of a writer, Elizabeth Hunter and the Hedgehog Who Froze

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I cannot believe it’s only four weeks until Christmas! Where did this year go? My parents were right: life does speed up the older you get! Just goes to show you should enjoy every minute if you can.

Anyway, how are you all today? What’s been happening in your world?

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I’ve been busy getting things ready for Christmas. I am almost there with my preparations…just got Christmas cards to write and a couple of wee things to buy and that’s me. I hate Christmas shopping, there’s nothing pleasurable in it so I like to get food etc in well before the big day so that I only have to drop round to my local shop to pick up the necessities (bread, milk, veggies etc).

I have a confession: having signed up to Nanowrimo, I have been unable to keep up with it. I simply have too much on and am too tired at night when I have any free time. I’ve decided that I’ll just write on the days I’m not at work…it’s the best I can do I’m afraid. I feel a bit guilty, like I’ve let myself down, but I have to be realistic about what I can do. I’m not superwoman after all. I’ve written around 30,000 words, so that’s still an achievement.

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Does anyone know anything about the winter habits of blackbirds? We have a mating pair in the garden and normally I’d still see or hear them around at this time of year (especially as I’ve been putting seed out on the bird table), but I’ve not see a single feather of them. I am worried one of the cats that live around here have got them. They’ve been with us for years (well the family has, not sure how long they live for). I am hoping they turn up again. Maybe they’ve just moved to warmer climes. Hmmm.

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Talking of winter visitors, the squirrels and crows (can’t say that word without thinking of Ygrit in Game of Thrones!) still raid the bird table. I also saw a hedgehog taking an evening stroll down the middle of the road the other night. I was out walking with friends when I spotted the little creature frozen in the road. My friends thought it was dead, but I’ve seen them do this before…if threatened, hedgehogs seem to freeze and pretend they are not really there in the hope that you go away and leave them alone. It barely moved a muscle apart from the almost imperceptible twitch of its nose. We left it there worried it would be squished by a car, but we didn’t want to terrify it any more. Hopefully it got home safely.

I love hedgehogs.

What else have I been doing? Knitting socks as Christmas presents. Have also a started a new book called A Hidden Fire by Elzabeth Hunter. She’s a self published, this is the first of four books and is really good. It’s supernatural, mystery and romance all rolled into one book. I am really enjoying it. Recommend it if you like a well written romantic adventure with vampires. It was my mum who put me on to her (I’ve borrowed all four books from her), so thanks mum. This book comes hot on the heels of Bleak House by Charles Dickens, which I loved. In saying that, I have loved nearly all of the books of his I’ve read (I haven’t yet read them all): the Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Great Expectations. The ones I didn’t enjoy as much were Little Dorrit (I found Little Dorrit too insipid for my tastes) and Hard Times. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked the books, I just didn’t like them as much as the others. Still have a fair few to read, but I will.

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Right, I suppose I’d better be off and do my housework. I am procrastinating, hoping the housework fairies will come and do it for me. Sigh. Still, I’ll just put on some good tunes and have a dance and a singalong while I do it.

Til next time.

Dawn xxx