Peonies and Eli Wallach

I do love flowers. This blog today is dedicated to the amazing Peony which is fast becoming my favourite flower (although I still love Tulips). In fact, there is a vase of beautiful pink peonies sitting close by as I write this. They are just big balls of beautifulness. I know that last sentence probably isn’t grammatically correct, but I don’t care. Today I celebrate the amazing Peony. My favourite summer flower.

Anyway, how are you all? Hope you are all well. We’re good at Nelson Towers. We’ve been enjoying a week of mostly hot sunny weather, which for any of you who live here or have visited, you’ll know, is very rare. I am actually sporting a light tan on my face and arms, which is good because usually I am so pale I look ill. I am not ill, just Scottish.

As I write, I am listening to Classic FM, which is the station I put on when I am writing novels and blogs and stuff. I find it is a good background sound and I am not distracted by it (ie wanting to sing along). This means I actually write. Anyway, my reason for telling you this is because the theme tune to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is currently being played and it took me back to my early childhood when we had three TV channels and one of them always put on a good matinee on a Saturday or Sunday. My mother worked at the weekends, so we kids would watch what my dad watched and – you’re right – it would inevitably be a war movie or a western. These weekends are why I love a good war/western movie and that tune just brought it all back. Of course, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was never on at the weekend matinee spot, but because I had already become addicted, when it was shown (at Christmas usually) I insisted on watching it. I have loved the Spaghetti Western ever since. And Clint Eastwood…but for different reasons!! I also think Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach were fab in this. I didn’t realise when watching The Holiday that was Eli Wallach playing the scriptwriter. The man who told Kate Winslet about the ‘meet cute’ (love that film). Images below are: Clint Eastwood (as Blondie/the man with no name) looking all handsome and in danger, Eli Wallach as Tuco, Lee Van Cleef as Sentenza/Angel Eyes and Eli Wallach in The Holiday playing Arthur Abbott.

Look at that! I’ve gone from Peonies to Spaghetti Westerns just on a memory from a tune on the radio. Now, where was I? Oh yes, peonies…

Right, so this week has been busy. I gutted out the garage, which was badly needing cleaned out, being a bit brutal with what was needed putting in the bin. So much so I accidentally had to dig our Christmas tree out of the skip I hired that is currently taking up our driveway. How daft am I ditching the Christmas tree? Anyway, I got it and put it back in the garage where it lives for most of the year. The skip is now full. I have a couple of bits and pieces to put in it and then it’ll be picked up next week and I can get my drive back. Actually it felt good clearing out. I haven’t totally gotten the garage the way I eventually want it, but that’s a work in progress.

Of course, one of the days I chose to clear out the garage was Wednesday which is fine if you have nothing else on. I go to my Zumba class on a Wednesday, so after a morning of clearing out and then my class later I wasn’t worth a button by that evening. I was sore and extremely tired. I think I must have flaked out about 9.30pm. Yesterday, I got up achy but alright. I took yesterday morning ‘off’ (ie didn’t do any heavy work in the house) as part of my recovery. 😉  Spent it watching an old episode of Monk (I have said before that I love cheesy American cop shows…you were warned of my addiction) and sorting out laundry (my life is so glamorous! Not!).

I also wrote some more of my next novel. Remember the adult novel I was writing? I have put that aside just now for a few weeks and will come back to it at a later date. I do this with every novel for one simple reason: I want to come back to it with fresh eyes with the intention of rooting out any errors and improving on the text. So I was without anything to write so I started a sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia (DDA). DDA is a romantic adventure story starring a Scottish archaeologist, Nina Esposito (her father was Spanish) and a handsome Texan called Jay Reynolds. She goes to Mallorca to seek out a fabled Roman treasure necklace and ends up finding love and more. The sequel is set in Perthshire, Scotland and is about a hunt for Jacobite treasure. I’ve written about 20,000 words already and am really getting into it. I think it helps that I’m getting up early specifically to write. I have more energy in the morning, the kids are sleeping and it’s peaceful in the house (apart from the gentle tones of classical music in the background thanks to Classic FM!).

I finished the Stephen King book The Gunslinger and, although I love Westerns (Spaghetti Westerns in particular), I do not really like this book. It’s okay. I have the sequel, but I don’t think I’ll read it.  I’m going to donate the books to my local library. Someone else will enjoy it. I am currently reading Nora Roberts’ Stars of Fortune. It’s a romantic fantasy (so right up my street) and is really good. So good, I was still up reading it at 11.30pm last night and am now bleary eyed!

Right, I am going to finish here and post this. I need to take the  boy to school and get the mutts out for their morning walk. Til next time!

Dawn xx

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog surrender – you have been warned!

Okay, so you know how this blog was originally set up to link in with my DarkIsle books (hence the name!) and over the last few years I’ve barely mentioned the aforementioned books? Well, that’s going to change a little bit…okay Aldiss, I’ll tell them…Aldiss wants me to tell you it’s going to change a big bit.

Aldiss, give me a minute, I am just telling them!

What I am trying to say (but being rudely interrupted) is that Bertie and Aldiss have requested…no, that’s not the right word…demanded that they have a day each week to talk about Murst and what’s been happening with them, Morag, Montgomery and Shona since the last book was published. (I am telling them Aldiss, shhhhh!) They said that the blog was boring and that nobody wanted to know what a boring author was saying about her boring life (cheek!), so they wanted a chance to make it better.

So, starting tomorrow, for the next few Mondays. No, Aldiss, I will not promise it will happen forever more. Why? Well because you two have the attention spans of gnats and I don’t see you keeping this up. Okay, okay, we will see and I’m sure you’ll do it. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, it’s starting tomorrow.

Oh, Aldiss wants me to put a couple of pictures of himself and Bertie in this post. Where is Bertie, Aldiss? I thought I said he had to be here to get his photo taken? Where is he? What’s he doing in Edinburgh? Oh, visiting his Aunt Matilda. Okay, so it’ll just have to be you. Okay, okay, I will put up the baby pic first.

Here is Aldiss as a baby…

Aldiss as a baby. Sorry, I have been corrected: Aldiss as a cute baby.

And here’s one of him now in one of his favourite places: the bins round the back of Beba Bruce’s Wonder Bakery in Murst:

Can I go now? No? Alright, I’ll put in a drawing of Bertie instead. Is this one you drew? Yes? I don’t think so Aldiss. Someone is telling porkie pies! Anyway, here is a rather charming picture of Bertie:

Can I now tell them about what’s been happening at my house this week? Yes? Thank you. Yes, goodbye Aldiss, see you later.

Phew, he’s away now. Actually, he’s not wrong about my life being a bit boring lately. I have been working hard on my new book for adults and I’ve been outside working on the garden, which was badly needing some work done on it! Still reading Stephen King’s The Gunslinger and enjoying it.  I also attended a local Beer and Gin Festival, which was fun just for people watching alone. We arrived somewhat later than many of the attendees who were two sheets to the wind by the time we got there. I went with a couple of very good friends and we had a fab time chatting, people watching and then boogying in the live music tent.

Right, tomorrow I will leave you in the capable hands of Aldiss and Bertie. I really am not sure about this. Sigh.

Til next time

Dawn xxx