Starry, starry night and do Guinea Pigs sleep with their eyes closed?

stars 1

Oh the Northern Lights have been making an appearance across Scotland yesterday and today. I missed yesterday, but me and the girl were out looking for them tonight. We didn’t see them, but we did get a fantastic view of the starry night. It was amazing. It’s a clear night, so you can see hundreds of stars. Orion really stands out. Fantastic! We loved it. If it hadn’t been so cold, we would have stayed out longer. Fantastic!! Can’t stop saying that.

planets

Have made the imagery theme the Universe today. I like sci-fi so sci-fi-y type pics are right up my street. (pauses for a moment)

Anyway, you may be wondering what on Earth I was talking about regarding Guinea Pigs sleeping with their eyes closed? Well, it’s like this. You would think they would, right? But, despite having Guinea Pigs in our lives for the last three years, it’s only recently that I’ve actually seen them close their eyes when they sleep. Honestly, I could go up to their cage and peer in and both of them would have their eyes wide open, but be so still they look as if they’d died. There was not a flinch! It was weird, which made me wonder if they didn’t have eyelids. However, on Wednesday, as I was working at my laptop, I spotted them both asleep WITH THEIR EYES CLOSED. So that proves it to me. And also proves that sometimes I’ve not got enough going on in my life! Hee hee. I wonder what they were doing ‘sleeping’ with their eyes open…for that is what it appeared they were doing? Thinking DEEP THOUGHTS? The meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything? Answer = 42 (of course! Can’t be a sci-fi fan and not know that). Creating sweet Guinea Pig poetry in their heads? Doing quantum physics? Who knows? It certainly takes them several minutes to realise I am there…daft wee things that they are!

Moon

Anyway, how’s things with you? What’s been happening in your world? Hope it’s been a good week for you. Been a bit of a mixed bag for me, but today I met a couple of friends for lunch to celebrate Tracy’s birthday. Happy Birthday Tracy!! Was a good lunch. We had a laugh, ate nice food and generally had a lovely time. Need to do that more often!

Getting very excited about April 7 – series 4 of Game of Thrones is back on the box. Can’t wait!! I just LOVE that programme! Have also been watching The Great British Sewing Bee again. Excellent programme and absolutely compelling viewing. Am loving it again!! Roll on Tuesday!

Currently reading The Fellowship of the Ring, which is shocking really. I should have read it by now. I love fantasy, so it’s taken me a number of years to get round to this book. Most people I know read it as a child. I didn’t. Anyway, am reading it (and the other two books) now and loving it. Also currently reading Jack Monroe’s new cookery book. It’s a really nice book and I’m looking forward to trying out a number of recipes. Well done Jack!!

Right, am writing this at 8.45 pm on a Friday night. Got some Aurora Borealis to see before bed.
Til next time!

Dawn xxx

Long lies, stunning views and ‘there’s been a murrrderrr’

Ah the wonders of a long lie and not having to get up early for work. I woke naturally this morning – well that’s not strictly true: my husband nearly gave me heart failure kissing me goodbye earlier on (I got a bit of a fright – then enjoyed the kiss!). However, once my heart stopped racing I went back to sleep and then I woke naturally about an hour later. So nice. The kids and I are off this week – their October break – so we’ve got a few wee things planned, but not a huge amount. I always book too many things in and then don’t get the break I need, so I’ve got a couple of things planned and the rest of the week will be spent chilling out.

This is just one of the lovely views I see on the walk.

This is just one of the lovely views I see on the walk.

So how are you all this week? I’ve surprised myself by going out walking again last week with the girls (some of the mums I know from school). I did it, enjoyed it and didn’t find some excuse to miss it! Result! The walk is at least four miles up in the hills overlooking the River Clyde and it’s stunning no matter what the weather. However, I managed to get a great pic on a lovely day (see above). Stunning.

I haven’t been writing much this week. I just can’t seem to get into it. I know I should, but I’m doing everything but. Sigh. Instead, the knitting needles are back out and the crochet hook and I’m sitting watching Miss Fisher Investigates, The Glades and reruns of Murdoch Mysteries clicking away on the sofa. Ooh let’s not forget Downton Abbey. What did you think of last week’s episode? Bit of a shocker, eh? Poor Anna. Can’t wait to see this Sunday’s episode! I just love a good period drama and if there’s a detective and a murder thrown in there (not Downton, but Miss Fisher, Murdoch et al) then I’m all the happier!! I think that’s why I attempted to write a wee romantic crime adventure through Dusting Down Alcudia. I’m thinking I may throw in a murder in the sequel…we shall see (she says mysteriously).

Currently reading Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber, the sequel to Outlander. Oh it’s good. Am totally hooked. Bang goes my plan to spend autumn reading Game of Thrones. So many books, too little time!!

Right, I’d best be off. The girl is twitchy. She’s going to spend tonight at a friend’s house and has already packed. She’s desperate for the girl’s mum to come and get her. It’ll be strange not having her in the house tonight…strange, but very quiet!!

Til next time

Dawn xx

Read the first three chapters of my new book

Hiya.
Exciting news. I’ve uploaded the first three chapters of my new book Dusting Down Alcudia on Authonomy (look under the title of the book). I’d be keen to hear your views on it via Authonomy or get in touch: d-a-nelson@tiscali.co.uk That’s not how the new cover will look and I’ll share that and when you can buy the complete e-book as soon as I can.

So, how’s your week been? Mine has been sunny – the weather has been sunny and some days have been hot, so it’s been a nice week to get out and about.

Last weekend, we bought the kids a trampoline and they’ve barely been off it. It’s great. Hubby finished putting it up on Sunday and we hardly saw our offspring all day, although we heard them. They only came off it to get fed. The wee fella was so tired on Sunday night that he could barely climb the stairs to bed. He went to bed and was still in the exact same position the next morning when I went to get him up. He was so cute.

Here’s a mad story for you. My workmate told us the tale yesterday of a moment of daftness in her life: she had gone to a local shop for some groceries. She wandered around the aisles, filled her basket with things for dinner that night and then made for the cash desk. She said she didn’t think anything of the weird look the cashier gave her until the woman said: “Um, do you know you have two pairs of glasses and a pair of sunglasses on your head?” My friend’s had flew to her head and sure enough, all three pairs of glasses were there. She was mortified, but it was a funny story to tell. What a woman!! That’s the kind of thing I would do!! Hee hee.

Right, on that note, am aff to do something else.

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

PS Watched Monday’s Game of Thrones this morning. It was fab as usual. That Joffrey needs to be brought down, he’s an evil wee git. Was glad to see Tyrion was being a gentleman where Sansa was concerned, Shay certainly seemed to like it too. And dear old Dany seems to have a new beau. He was quite handsome. But, oh what an ending, I really am rooting for Samwell and his lady friend (I forget her name) and the little nameless baby. I hope they get beyond the wall and survive to live a happy and long life. Can’t wait til next week.

A pram, a snazzy bag and a bow

pram, bag and bow

I had to include this image as the inspiration of this post. I’ve not been blogging for the last two weeks for two reasons: I’ve been really really  busy and the main reason: I haven’t had a clue about what to write. So I was walking down the stairs about ten minutes ago and I came across the above ensemble. These do not, as you might think, belong to the girl. No, they are some of the boy’s most prized possessions and they make me smile. The pram he was given as a toddler along with a baby because my husband and I didn’t want him to feel left out when we bought our daughter a buggy and baby. He still plays with it although you are more likely to see Action Man or a toy car in there. The bow was given to him by his uncle. The snazzy evening bag was his gran’s. My mum lets the kids raid her jewellery box and dressing up bag. He came home with this about a year ago. He loves it. We just let him get on with it. We want him to have a happy childhood where he’s allowed to be himself so we just let him play with the stuff that makes him happy. He’s no less boyish and boisterous because he likes his evening bag. Also, this gives us great images to show his first girlfriend when he’s older or display at his 21st!!! Teee heeee…evil parent laugh!

Right, firstly I want to get something off my chest. To the person who sent me a message who said my blog was boring and that he could help make it more interesting…I thank you for being so blunt, but I don’t write my blog for you, I don’t want to be really clever with headlines and if I want to put film up on my blog I will. I suspect the message was from some company trying to get me to spend cash with them so that they can revamp my blog. I don’t need it. I like my blog the way it is. It may be boring to some, but I like it. I don’t live a pretentious, glamorous lifestyle. I’m a working mum who likes to craft and loves to write…that’s it.

Talking about crafting. Here are a couple of pics of the dresses I made my girl’s toys…firstly Elizabeth models a knitted dress I got from Ravelry. Thank you to the creator of this. This is the pink version. I also knitted a white one.

Elizabeth models a knitted dress in a lovely candy pink!

Elizabeth models a knitted dress in a lovely candy pink!

And Ruby…

Ruby, meanwhile, sports a lovely summer frock made from a free bag I got with a magazine. I like the material, but the bag was too wee to be really useful.

Ruby, meanwhile, sports a lovely summer frock made from a free bag I got with a magazine. I like the material, but the bag was too wee to be really useful.

Okay, apart from sewing and knitting, I’ve recently finished my fourth module of my Mindfulness course. It was great, I loved it. Mindfulness is great for just slowing you down, putting stuff into perspective and making you really appreciate life as it is. Am definitely going to keep my formal practise (meditation) and informal practise (being more mindful generally) up because I really feel the benefits: I am less stressed, happier, I sleep better and I appreciate things more. Totally win/win.

I’ve also been doing a lot of driving the kids around to parties. They had three parties this weekend alone! I dropped both off at a local soft play area on Friday morning (they were off school due to an in service day) and scarpered to my friend’s house for tea, cake and putting the world to rights! We like a lot of the same things so we spent a lot of time talking sewing, meditation and general life. The kids meanwhile had a great time at the party.

Yesterday, party number two, was my neice’s tenth birthday party. The whole family were there at my sister’s lovely 1930s bungalow. Her husband did the barbeque, the table was groaning with food and we had a great laugh catching up and playing with a £2.99 sheet that reminded me of the seaside boards where you put your head through the hole and have your picture taken. Much merriment was to be had.

Party number three was today at a local community centre. I took the boy, he was there five minutes and then refused to stay. It was the quickest kids party I had even been at. Normally I would have made him stay, but I couldn’t be bothered with the whining. We went to ASDA instead to buy milk. I’ve stopped shopping there as much because I find it quite expensive compared to Lidl and Aldi, but I sometimes drop in for the odd wee thing. As usual on a Sunday, it was packed. We left as soon as we could.

I’ve also been writing my books for adult. The first is now complete and with a couple of friends for comment. The second I’m still working on. They were both written several years ago, but I’ve gone back to revamp them with a view to selling them as e-books. We shall see if they are successful or not.

Right, I am away to sew up another dress for a dolly and three pairs of dolly knickers. I also have to cut a few patterns out for the boy’s doll Tom, including pants. I’m of a mind to make mini y-fronts for a laugh!

Until next time.

Dawn xxxx

PS Game of Thrones – Ouch…that was painful to watch Jaime Lannister lose a hand a couple of weeks ago, but what a wheeze when Cersei was told she would have to marry Loris last week. That certainly wiped the smile of her face. Saw the actress who plays Cersei – Lena Headey – as Mama in the new Judge Dredd pic. Wasn’t a bad movie and even with a huge scar running down her sneering face, Lena managed to look stunning.

PPS Currently reading: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. It’s excellent, especially for anyone with socialist tendancies.

What a difference a day maaaaaakes!

Twenty-four little hours. What a difference a day maaaaaakes. And the difference is you!

gold rings

Sorry. Am feeling a little frivolous just now. Two close friends – who I don’t see that often, but I still love them to bits –  have announced that after many years together they are going to get married. Am so pleased for them. Congrats G and R!!

Also, it’s sunny outside. That always puts me in a good mood. Maybe this weekend I can get on with gardening. I started last weekend putting in the spuds, but was waylaid on Sunday by torrential rain that continued until yesterday. Jeezo, everything’s been really soggy this week.

Anyway, so how are you all? Hope you are all well. I’m good. Went back to work last week after having a week off for Easter. Hubby was off looking after the kids while I was at work. I thought to myself – this is great, it’s Easter, the traffic is bound to be a lot less and I’ll juke in and out of the city in jig time. How wrong was I? Despite it being the second week of the Easter hols, the traffic was horrendous. I hate it. Anyway, work was quieter and I got a lot done.

At the tail-end of last week, hubby rode off into the sunrise (it was early morning when he left) to go on a weekend away to Bangor with his scooter club. The girl went to stay with my sister. She and her cousin are best buds and were having a sleepover, which is lovely. So it was just me and the boy. We cuddled up on the sofa, we watched telly in bed, he slept on his dad’s side of the bed and it was a really quiet time…until the morning when he wanted to wrestle. Normally it’s the job of hubby to play wrestle with him. But, with no hubby there, and with a cry of “Right, you’re getting it!” the boy launched himself at me. I was not amused. He’s really strong and it was with difficulty that I got him to understand that I didn’t want to wrestle. He said he’d wait til his dad returned and get him instead.

I picked the girl up later that Saturday and all hell broke loose in the car. They’d only been in the car about a minute when the fighting started. So I did what every parent does, I screeched at them to behave and they settled down…for about five minutes. The sad thing is is that they both really miss each other when one of them is not there. Siblings!!

On Sunday, we all had a lie in…in my bed again cos the girl was also in it this time. They both wanted to sleep there on the Sunday night too, but their dad was due back and I had to ban them. I didn’t want the poor soul coming all the way over from Ireland to not have his bed to go to.

As it happens, hubby was really late coming home. The club had originally booked the catamaran that runs to Troon, but because of the high winds and foul weather P&O quite rightly had to cancel the sailing. So hubby and the rest drove to Larne for the ferry boat to Cairnryan – which is near Stranraer and even further from home. The poor man didn’t arrive til after 11pm after a harrowing journey across the sea and then coming by Vespa from Stranraer to our home near Helensburgh. He said the wind was so bad he was nearly blown off the Erskine Bridge. I could believe it, the wind had been howling all day. I waited up for him…I was worried. He got home safely though and that’s the main thing.

So what else has been happening here? Not much. I’ve been doing a bit of knitting and have bought some material to make the girl a dress and the boy a shirt and trousers. I keep going to start them then remember I haven’t measured the two of them yet. They are both tall and skinny, so I really need to measure to make sure I get the right size. Am also knitting the boy a cardie and the girl a poncho. They look nice so far.

great british sewing bee

Talking of sewing. Have you been watching The Great British Sewing Bee? It’s great. I am loving it. It’s my Tuesday night staple. Was sorry to see Stuart go out last week as he’s a bit of a character, but his last piece was a bit dodgy. My money’s on Ann to win because, although her creations are very safe, they are also extremely well done. I can only dream of being that good a sewing. We shall see.

Tyrion Lannister

Talking of telly. Game of Thrones – oh my goodness! Didn’t see that coming! Poor old Jaime Lannister. How’s he going to wield a sword with one hand? Do you think he and Brianna will become friends or more than friends? The scene with Tyrion (pictured above, my fave character), his father, sister and the Council was a classic! And what did Pod do to make those ladies so pleased? I was beginning to think that the series was going to be boring, but that last episode was excellent. Role on Monday!!

Jaime Lannister

Anyway, I shall leave you there with this brooding image of a handsome, if dirty, Jaime Lannister who actually made me feel sorry for him the other day. Til next time.

Dawn xxxx

Chocolate, GB Sewing Bee and Game of Thrones…Heaven!

Easter 2013

This house has been Choc-tastic this week with the amount of yummy Easter Eggs the kids have been given. Hubby and I also gave each other one and mine is now finished (it was  Munchies egg with two packets of Munchies, a lovely choc egg and a mug – it was delicious and calorific but I enjoyed every bite!!). I’ve been rationing the kids. The girl has been known to eat sweets until she is sick (at my parents’ house…thanks mum!!) plus I don’t want them overloading on sugar, so they still have quite a bit of the chocolate left. In saying that, it’s only Wednesday and they should have some left.

So how’s your Easter been? Hubby and I were both off Friday – Monday this week, so it was nice to have everyone around. We didn’t do much, but it was nice just to pootle around the house and have a bit of family time. We took the offspring up to Geilston Gardens to do the annual Easter Egg hunt…it was really cold, but the gardens were still beautiful and we had a lovely time following the clues so our two could get their eggs in the end.

Yesterday, we had a gang of kids round getting their pictures taken for something I’m doing at work. The house was heaving with kids and adults, but it was fun.

Today, the girl has already left for a sleepover, the boy is playing a game and I’m catching up on writing (DI3 draft is away to my publisher), housework (mound of ironing waiting to be done…sigh. You know how much I “love” ironing) and other stuff. The girl has put in a few orders for dresses for her dolls. I made one already – I would have shown it but she’s away to her sleepover with doll and dress – and have a few more to do. I may start another one tonight, depends on how I get on today. I’m wanting to start re-editing my book for adults today. Am keen to get that away.

Did anyone see the Great British Sewing Bee programme last night? Myself and my friend watched it in our own homes, but commented via text on the various things that were being made. We both thought the older lady was a pretty good sewer and felt poor Michelle, who was a bit ambitious about using silk for a reversible dress,  shouldn’t have been put out. She seemed to me to be a better seamstress than the two men.  Anyway, there was nothing made last night that I can truly say I liked, although I quite liked the car fabric and the green dress fabric. Roll on next week, I say. I enjoyed the programme and as a novice sewer myself thought the tips were quite good. We shall see if it holds my attention.

Talking of telly, did anyone see the first episode of the new series of Game of Thrones on Monday night? I just love Game of Thrones. The first episode was a bit tame, but the previous series’ first episodes were the same, they are mainly there to set the scene for what comes after. Just invested in a complete set of the books so far, but am worried that if I read past book 2, I’ll be spoiling the tv programme for myself. Dilemma dilemma. Hey, if that’s the worst thing I’ve to worry about, I’m doing okay! Anyway, am looking forward to the rest of the series. Tyrion Lannister is still my fave character!!

Also back is Castle AND a new series of The Big Bang Theory starts soon! This is great because there has been a dearth of good tv programmes recently and I haven’t been watching an awful lot of it. Just Elementary and reruns of Poirot (although I think I’ve now seen every episode at least twice by now). I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m not the telly addict I once was…means I get on with other stuff.

The other thing I’ve been doing is making bread in my new bread maker. Just bought a cheap one out of Argos, but it makes really nice bread. Don’t get me wrong, I do prefer to make bread by hand (now that I have finally learned how to do it after years of making bricks!!), but I often don’t have the time or inclination. The bread maker means I can just bung some ingredients into the maker and just leave it…excellent. This means we have fresh bread more often…double excellent. Thank you little sister for being the first in the family to buy a bread maker and sing its praises thus encouraging our mum and then me to buy one for ourselves!!!

Right am off. Until next time and Happy Easter!!

Dawn xxx

Appliance disaster, a gaggle of joggers and tea at Rose and Grants

It’s been one of those weeks where I felt I just wanted to stay in bed with my head under the covers. Last weekend was a total disaster for a number of appliances that just decided to give up and die on us. First to go was the washing machine. Thanks to the underwire part of an underwire bra, the inside seal was shredded with resultant burning rubber smell and ‘infected’ clothing that had to be washed again. Hubby took a look at it, looked up the part online, found out its price and between us we decided not to bother trying to fix it because it would cost as much as buying a new washing machine. The old machine is currently acting as an island unit in my kitchen. It’s in the way, but hubby will take it to the dump at the weekend.

Second to go was one of the knobs on my lovely cooker. I took all the knobs off to give the cooker a good clean. I dropped two: one survived after bouncing, the other ended up with bits smashed off it. Sigh.

Third to go was the garage door that refused point blankly to close and sat at a disturbing angle whilst hubby and I wrestled it closed. Hubby – being really handy – has fixed this.

Finally, our lovely vacuum cleaner just died as the wee fella was hoovering the living room (NB I am not a Dickensian slave driver who makes her child of five do housework, he asked to do it). He had just switched it on when the cleaner revved a couple of times and also passed away. I took it to a local appliance repair shop and am hoping it can be repaired.

So, here I am with a mountain of washing to do, no hoover and a cooker knob that now doesn’t tell me what temperature the small oven is at. Last week, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. This week I am more resigned to the fact that it was just a bad week and it’s passed now. NB the heating doesn’t appear to be working properly either, but after the weeks of it not working (sometimes at all) before Christmas, we’re ignoring this problem until the weather heats up and maybe then we’ll get it sorted. The heating goes on, it’s just a bit weird about heating water now. Sigh.

Apart from that, I have the pleasure of knowing I’ll get my pearl earrings back this week. A local jeweller is fixing the guinea pig chewed one and I hope to get it back tomorrow. I’ve missed those earrings. Hubby bought them for my 30th birthday and I’ve been wearing them ever since.

Other good news is that the weather here has been lovely, which has really lifted everyone’s spirits and there seems to be more folk out and about enjoying it. Last night as I was returning home from work, I drove along the Broomielaw and saw a gaggle of joggers all bunched together at a junction. I briefly wondered if there was some kind of charity event going on there was so many of them, but I just think it was the sun that encouraged them out. There were also more cyclists, which is great. I think the more folk cycle, the safer cycling in the town should become as car drivers get more used to seeing them on the streets. Of course, not all cyclists and car drivers act in the safest manner when they come across each other (cyclists – you should stop at red lights and not cross the road when there’s no traffic! Car drivers – please give cyclists a wider berth and stop being so impatient around them), but generally there seems to be no problems. I’d love to cycle to work, but as I live around 17 miles away from my office, it’s just not possible. I’d only be getting there before it would be time to go home! Plus I don’t fancy it in the cold and wet…brrrrr! It’s chilly enough going from a warm house to a still-to-heat-up car without having to cycle as well! Am such a woose!!

rose and grants

Anyway, that’s been my week. The other good thing that happened last week was that I met up with some friends I hadn’t seen for a while at Rose & Grant’s cafe on Argyle Street (near the Tron). It’s a lovely wee cafe. They don’t play loud music and you can chat away to each other to your heart’s content. The staff there are lovely; there are a couple of staff members who are not British, I don’t know where they are from but their accents are lovely. I think they may be Polish. Am not sure. Anyway, I love the cafe and we had a lovely time chatting and eating cake and blethering to the staff. Would recommend the cafe. They do really nice sandwiches and cakes. What I also like about it is that it’s housed in an old building that’s really long, so the back of the cafe houses the offices of a little business. You can see the people there when you go and order at the till. I don’t know why that amuses me, but it just does.

This weekend I have no plans other than domestic ones. Oh and plus I’ll be getting back to what I hope is my last draft of DarkIsle 3. I’ve just not had the time or energy to do it the last couple of weeks. I’ve had so much on. This weekend I will crack on with it.

Right am away to reload our new washing machine and empty the dishwasher. Ah, the life of a writer – so glamorous! Not! Hee hee.

Dawn xxxx

PS countdown is on til the next series of Game of Thrones is on Sky Atlantic. Can’t wait. I think it starts on April 1. Woohoo!

Chewed earrings, bumps to the heads and high temperatures

Alan Clark Diaries and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf - I've just finished with Alan and am now on to Virginia.

Alan Clark Diaries and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – I’ve just finished with Alan and am now on to Virginia.

It’s been a week of drama and dashing around crazily. When I say ‘week’ I really mean around a week-and-a-half which began last Thursday night when I got a phonecall from Brown Owl to say the girl had had an accident. The Brownies meet in a local hall and had been playing a game called Fish, Chips & Peas (which apparently requires them to run around like mad). My girl was going at top speed, tripped over one of her friends and crashed head first into a metal pipe (probably one connected to one of the old fashioned metal radiators in the hall). Anyway, I grabbed the boy and together we rushed over to the hall to retrieve the casualty to find her sobbing her heart out with an ice pack placed on her forehead.

Once she calmed down she seemed fine and deep down I thought she was fine (although a little sore – it was quite a crack she gave herself), but a colleague of mine had suffered a fractured skull a few weeks before (falling from a ladder as she tried to put her parents’ Christmas tree away in the loft) and my girl complained of not being able to see properly, so I took her up to our local hospital. Linda, the nurse there, checked her out and was fantastic with her. My girl, now recovered from her ordeal, talked the ears off the poor woman. About half an hour and a few tests later, the girl was allowed home and me and hubby spent a bit of a sleepless night getting up to check on her every few hours. She is absolutely fine and only had a scratch to show for her ordeal. My colleague – after a couple of nights spent in hospital – is also recovered now.

Over the weekend, everything was fine until the boy developed a high temperature on Sunday and was sick (thankfully he was standing next to the toilet when it happened and was able to be sick there instead of – as usually happens – all over the carpet or on a hard to clean soft furnishing). We dosed him up with Calpol and Ibruprofen (marvellous stuff) and hoped he’d be fine the next day.

He wasn’t and managed to bring up a glass of water all over our bed. Sigh. He had to spend that day off school as he still had a temperature. By teatime, though, it was as if he’d never been sick – he was bouncing. It’s funny how illnesses that normally floor an adult for days only trouble kids for a couple. The boy is still a bit sniffy, but is fine despite falling and bumping his head off the doorframe on Tuesday morning. Sigh.

The other drama of the week happened last night as I was stretched out on the sofa happily watching a recording of Father Brown (which I am enjoying immensely). I had Darcy (my Guinea Pig) lying at my neck enjoying being stroked when the little ****** leapt up, grabbed my pearl earring, yanked it out of my ear and chomped on it. Five minutes and two bitten fingers later, I hadn’t retrieved my earring and the wee besom just sat there looking extremely pleased with himself. I was worried on two counts: firstly the earring was part of a pair hubby had given me for my 30th birthday, secondly I did not think the little creature would survive it going through his system. Luckily, after about ten minutes of chewing he spat out first the pearl and then the stem. The pearl survived intact, the stem is all chewed. I’ll see if I can restore it, but I think I may have to visit a jewellers soon!

What I’m reading right now – just finished Alan Clark Diaries and loved it. Alan Clark was such a character and probably the only person in the Govt of the 1980s who had any kind of personality. I’m not a Tory – never will be – but I liked him. Excellent book. Highly entertaining. Anyway, towards the end of the book he mentioned Virginia Woolf and I’ve been hearing her name or reading about her a lot recently so for my next book I decided to read my copy of To the Lighthouse. I’d tried reading this before and hadn’t liked it. This time is better, but it’s annoying me that the narrator’s point of view seems to be jumping all over the place…reading from an omniscient point of view can be quite challenging, I think. It’s also difficult for the writer to create a good book doing it that way. I shall reserve judgement for now except to say that it’s so far so good.

What I’ve been watching – I watched that programme about Rabbie Burns last week just to see what he would look like when they recreated his head and face from a casting of his skull. I am (and always will be) exceptionally curious. The programme was really good talking about Burns’ rise to fame and eventual death. Then came the unveiling of the bust – is it just me or did that reconstructed head look a bit odd? Also did you spot the guy standing beside it who could have been a descendent cos he looked so like the Bard?

Talking of Burns, I totally forgot that last Friday night was Burns Night, despite the fact I had bought a Haggis (MacSween’s – the best haggis EVER). We had pizza instead and are having the haggis tonight with neeps and tatties…yum.

On that note, I’m awa’ tae dae somethin’!! Am awa’ tae pit oan tha haggis!

Dawn xxx

PS Game of Thrones series 3 starts in March or April! Wooohoooo!

I’m in mourning…for my laptop

My laptop has given up the ghost. Remember I told you that the boy had accidentally spilled coke on the keyboard and I managed to somehow get it working? Well, that must have been a fluke because I cannot get the laptop to open now…there’s not even a squeak of life in it. I’ve tried everything I could think of, but to no avail. Sigh. I feel like my right arm has been cut off. I’ve become quite relient on it for socialising, reading other folk’s blogs and generally having a lovely time coohing and ahhing over other folk’s creations. Now, I’m being forced to borrow hubby’s laptop to get on the net. He’s at work just now, but will be back later and will want it back.

Actually maybe having restricted access to the internet will be a good thing. It’ll probably get me doing more stuff rather than sitting in front of a screen for hours.

Looking on the bright side, I have a friend who fixes computers in his spare time. I have everything crossed that maybe he can sort out mine!!

The other thing I’m missing right now is Game of Thrones. Sky Atlantic showed the last episode of series two on Monday night and I am already pining for the series. I LOVE IT. Must go and buy second book. Talking of books, am curently reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I’m enjoying, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a patch on Martin’s Game of Thrones’ series. They are just simply fabulous!

Right am off to do some housework having had a lovely morning of scribbling designs for a new lino cut I want to try. Am back into that.

Dawn xx

ps if you see words highlighted in this that takes you through to a competition to win an i-phone, I defo did not put them there and I can’t get them off. It’s really annoying.

Winning Easter hat and DarkIsle 3 edit complete

It’s amazing what you can do with a glue gun (my new fave thing) and some things from Poundland. My boy came home a couple of weeks ago with a note from nursery asking for an Easter hat/bonnet for a competition they were running for the kids. Cue: mild panic. Cue: mad thoughts about what I could do and where I would get stuff to make a hat from. Cue: more panic. And then the dark clouds of ‘I’m-a-bad-mother-if-I-can’t-do-this’ dissipated when I remembered that every year Poundland (a shop I must admit I love cos I always get fab bargains in it) sells Easter stuff. So during one workday lunchtime I trotted along to the Argyll Street store and picked up: two cowboy style hats with silver sequin headband; a bag of plastic eggs; a box of Easter chicks; some Easter Bunny hair slides; some paper flowers. Added to that was a bag of crepe paper from Tesco and Easter bonnet heaven emerged. Armed with my beloved glue gun, I not only came up with this for the boy (which won, by the way…and how pleased was I at that?? I never win anything…well apart from a national competition a few years ago, but generally I don’t win stuff):

and this for the girl:

I was pretty pleased with myself. I had to laugh though (and I thought this was pretty clever), one of the boys in my boy’s class had a cap on covered with yellow Easter Chicks and the immortal title of Chick Magnet.

So what have I been up to and where have I been for the past couple of weeks? Well, I’ve been finishing off a further edit of DarkIsle 3. I like to take my time with the editing stage because I want the book to be the best it can be and I’m hopeful it won’t need any further editing. Althought it may still do.

I’ve been doing a few Easter type things including doing the National Trust for Scotland’s Easter Egg Hunt at Geilston Gardens on Sunday there. I’ve been catching up on telly – all my fave programmes are back (Game of Thrones, Castle and Murdoch Mysteries). Now I’ve finished editing, I’ve resumed attempting to learn the piano. Am still very much in love with our two guinea pigs and last week ran the Guinea Pig Hotel again (my friend’s two females came to stay whilst they were away on holiday – cue lots of squeaking and interest from the boys in their cage). I’ve done a bit of baking, a mountain of ironing, a tonne of washing and gutted the house. My intention this week is to pick up the knitting needles again and get my boy’s cardie finished. I also have two mini quilts, which I must admit are a bit wonky, to finish. I’ve been reading E Nesbitt’s The Phoenix and the Carpet (so old fashioned, but very enjoyable) and Jane Duncan’s My Friend Flora (I just love her books). I intend to start making my way through the pile of Dickens books soon – well once I’ve finished The Pickwick Papers. I like to read two or three books at once depending on my mood. I’ve also recenly read Goldie Hawn’s book on teaching children mindfulness and I can tell you there’s a lot of wisdom in mindfulness. Now instead of rushing them on, I try and point out things in their environment like birds and plants and interesting houses. It’s made me slow down a bit, which is definitely what I need to do.

I’ve been busy, but it’s been a manageable more relaxed kind of busy.

I also have another book in the offing. It’s one for adults and hope to have that complete by the summer. I’ll tell you more about that when I’m ready.

Anyway, talking of stuff to do, I’d best be off. Hubby’s home in a little while from work and I have meatballs and pasta to make. Yum.

Dawn xx