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Thursday, 23 December 2010


A new year's resolution harshly suggests itself.  After I told someone I'd mentioned their business in my blog, they said they didn't read blogs as they weren't interested in the minutiae of other people's lives, and certainly wouldn't write one.  Then I realised that this is all my blog has been.  Things will have to be different.

The other 'ouch' was a slip backwards on black ice on our slopy pavement.  Minimal damage thankfully, just a bruise which is long gone now.  Our road is steep; there is a grit bin, but one charmer nicked some of the grit to spread over his own drive, even though there was never enough for us each to grit our 'road space'.

More cheerfully, since Catherine Miller persuaded many of us Writing Buddies to have a go at Twitter, I have taken to it, upgraded to new Twitter, and won a book, a tin of posh Derwent sketching pencils (feeds my passion for stationery), and now a 'book bundle' from Orion books.  In the past, when slogan comps were plentiful, I won masses of stuff from sweets to holidays, a full set of white goods, and £5k worth of energy saving for the house including cavity wall insulation.  Those comps are now rare, sadly, but Twitter is fun and full of draws for prizes.

Talking of the Buddies, it's been an amazing year in terms of what people have achieved.  And with the rate at which we are still scribbling, 2011 promises to be great, too.  I write best when I have a scheduled time slot, and when I have already decided in some detail what will be written.  Usually there are only one or two slots per week, but they are generally productive.

I am still looking for a suitable source of critique for my children's novel, the first draft of which is done. I've entered writing competitions, and have written a Christmas poem to read for the family that evening. Also still pitching for a stocking filler book for next Christmas.

In 2011 I shall be writing, taking vitamin/mineral pills during winter months, smartening up my appearance, chucking out masses of tee shirts and sorting out my 2 expensive new pairs of varifocal specs which aren't right.

So if you're reading this after Christmas, I hope it was good for you.  Let's hope for a really happy, healthy and successful 2011, and be sure that, if you make resolutions, they are easy and fun to keep.  Very best wishes.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Keep on writing!

On the writing front, I'm still looking around for a possible home for my junior fiction book, but thinking it might be wise to spend on a professional critique and advice.  May consider joining the trend towards self-publishing, too.  Also had acceptance of my adaptation of my late aunt's memoirs of the WAAF by a national magazine.  She'd have been so delighted; when I wrote the original for her, based on conversations and photos, she showed it to anyone who would look at it - in some case, more than once.  It was typed on my Amstrad, that's how long ago.

The Southern Daily Echo has printed my opinion piece in their In My View column, ranting about the rubbish choice for vegetarians in some pubs and restaurants, and how better choice brings in not only the vegetarians but their companions too.  The Vegetarian magazine has accepted me as a mentor for people wanting to take to the lifestyle - my pic is in the current edition.  I can advise on the vegan diet as well, and also wheat intolerance, so a Jill of several trades of that kind.

My article on being a great step parent has been accepted for the How To Books website.  Writing Buddy Catherine Miller set the precedent, and then went on to win a prize.  Wasn't going to copy, but the competition kept cropping up on various tweets, sites and facebook comments, so in the end I couldn't resist.  Currently 57 articles on

Since my previous blog, we've had a good trip by train to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, and I have completed my last Talking Echo script for 2010.  We've seen Rich Hall live (v good but some repetition of previous sets) and the film Made in Dagenham.  Dashed up to Colchester to take John's rellies out to lunch, then next day dropped by at Jeremy's and Nikki's in London on the way back, to see them and the girls for lunch.  Great scram as usual.  Their kittens have had 'the operation' but are lively as crickets and much more charming (than crickets).

My brother was admitted to hospital for emergency major surgery; we scampered up there for a couple of nights to visit him and to be with his wife near Huntingdon.  Despite the seriousness of his original condition, and some time in intensive care, he was sent home in just under two weeks, tired, sore, and unsure about managing stairs - but cheerful and making good progress.  Phew.  We plan to go up again just for the day sometime soon.

We've lunched at the Royal Wok and the Coriander Lounge in Southampton and Strada in Portsmouth - all very satisfactory.  I detect a certain sameness about our lunches, except the excellent Cherry Tree Inn in Tendring, Essex which was great.  Must branch out once the white stuff fades.