I was lucky enough to win a book. A House near Luccoli. It says on the front cover, A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th Century Genoa.
Looking forward to reading it, also the music of Alessandro Stradella is lovely.
May 10, 2013 at 5:41 pm (In the garden, Latest News, Poetry., Something Special, Todays news)
Tags: Ann's seeds, broccoli plants, chard plants, gardening, poetry, Rudyard Kipling, The Glory of the Garden, Time for Gardening., tomato plants
The Glory of the Garden
Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
To read the rest of the poem visit my website.
Remember back in February when daughter Ann planted tomatoes and broccoli? This pot behind buddah is the broccoli, the tomatoes are in the black pots. Aren’t they doing well? The plants in the black box over on the bottom right are chard. You can eat them as salad leaves or stir fry them; versatile and grow quick as well.
I found the poem when I came in from the garden and sat down with a cup of tea to read the Collected poems of Rudyard Kipling. A library book, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
May 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm (Latest News, Something Special, Romantic Writing, Todays news, Spooky stories., What I'm reading.)
Tags: Warwickshire, Romantic writing, Blue Chip Holidays, affiliate, Devon holidays, novel Hats off to Love, Stephen King, Everythings eventual, noddy in the park.
Have a look at that little box on the side of my details if you’re looking for a relaxing break. I’m now an affiliate, makes sense as I talk about Devon so much. I do love Warwickshire at this time of the year though. The trees are looking stunning. We went a walk on the local golf course the other day; took a picnic and watched the golfers sending balls into the trees and hedges… Then a group of ramblers came along. They usually do don’t they?
I’m reading ”Everything’s Eventual’ by Stephen King. Quite funny and scary at the same time.
The novel writing is going alright but I’m at a strawberry fayre now with my characters. It’s gone a bit ‘noddy in the park,’ I read so much Enid Blyton it had a lasting effect I think. All will be sorted out when my editor reads through though… Is that her packing her bags and whizzing off on the next taxi to Devon I wonder.
April 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm (Acceptances, Giggle blog, Latest News, Something Special, Todays news, Update)
Tags: Agatha Christie bus, Giggle jerk bus, happiness., job hunting, Ken Dodd, letter in writing magazine, use your chuckle muscles every day
At the beginning of every month I do a giggle blog. This consists of anything that’s made me giggle lately. If you want to do the same on your blog, leave a comment so that others can pop over and see more giggles.
Here’s the bus that takes you to Agatha Christie’s holiday home. It’s advertised in the brochure as the bus giving a giggle jerk ride and it sure lives up to its reputation. We couldn’t miss that could we? Sitting on the back seat because someone has to; the bus bounced along with gears crashing on every bend. It was hilarious, and well worth a mention.
Second giggle of the month is one I’m not proud of, but I couldn’t be writing a giggle blog and not mention it. We stayed at a cosy cottage, we have stayed there before. One of those places that when you know you like somewhere, you go back. Now when it came time to sign the visitor’s book, looking back, the last two times I’d put ‘lovely views, etc… lots of other people had put more or less similar words. So I sat there thinking how I wanted to put something different. I’m a writer after all…. so I came up with ‘smashing place, it’s our second home.’ If you want the best, visit Pilot’s Rest. That done, one last check upstairs, the car was loaded, only to empty the water out of the flower vase, and oh no, a plate jumped off the draining board and broke into a million bits on the kitchen floor…. I had to ring the owner who is such a nice lady, who after a few seconds delay told me ‘oh never mind, accidents happen.’ It wasn’t until we were bombing up the motorway on our way home I realised, ‘smashing holiday’ – maybe I’d had a premonition there.
One last giggle, or perhaps it’s hysterical laughter? Me and Alan are job hunting, oh and they aren’t easy to find are they? My main giggle is Alan on the computer as he doesn’t use it that much normally. So we’ve joined up to gov.uk where you have a gateway code, then a password, it’s like trying to get to the Wizard of Oz; no I think it would be easier to get to him. Well, Alan’s is o.k. but because I verified mine then didn’t go straight back in, I’ve been blocked. Then when you tell them, they say, log in and change it. Well if you’re blocked you can’t log in can you? It’s all so funny especially when he was looking at a gardening job, then it went on to say you will be cutting hedges, trees, landscaping, his face tells the story and I can’t stop laughing. If only they had jobs for people who laugh most of the day, I’d be first in the queue. It’s laughter that makes the world go round though, remember Ken Dodd saying how we have to use our chuckle muscles? So make sure you’re exercising your chuckle muscles and all will be well with the world.
I have a letter published in the new issue of Writing magazine. One in response to a lady who had been slated for using cliches. At a time when I was beginning to wonder if it was worth writing another word, seeing my letter in print is fabulous. I’m busy knitting a baby blanket at the moment as our Niece, the one who got married last year has recently had a baby boy. He came early, so I haven’t seen him yet, so a blanket won’t be too big or too small, hopefully just right.
April 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm (Latest News, Something Special, Todays news, Update)
Tags: Agatha Christie., Belgian evacuees, Frances Drake., Just back, Pirate ship, Sunny weather, Telegraph travel competition
Now I’m planning an article for the ‘Just back‘ telegraph competition. Mostly they like exotic places like a cruise telling of the Northern Lights, or hiking through the Sahara Desert, but lots are in this country as well, so if you’ve been anywhere or setting off somewhere nice, keep it in mind.
Most of you will recognise Sir Frances Drake’s ship there in the harbour. You can see all the treasures he brought back from his travels, like rubies, diamonds and gold. Over twelve million pounds worth. Then he was knighted; he was in fact a pirate. No wonder the Spanish sent their ships after him.
A lot of Belgian people landed in Torbay in 1940 during the war. Now I know where Agatha Christie got her inspiration for the Belgian Detective.
Here’s my co-pirate.
Take a look at Ruth’s post here.
I have an affection for the cliché; I know they’re classed in the writing world as wrong. In this months Writing magazine one of the letters is from a reader who is in despair at being told her work was loaded with the little gems. I’ve sent in a reply sticking up for clichés, not expecting it to be published, only to give my opinion.
When I first began writing and took a comprehensive course, my assignments would come back with red pen through most of it with cliché scribbled in red pen over the work. Not even knowing the meaning of the word, I was quite surprised at how many I’d used. It took a long while for me to fully understand how wrong they can be and to try hard not to fill my sentences with them.
BUT: There is a place for them sometimes… I’m reading a Simon Brett mystery. The shooting in the Shop. One of the characters is a bit starchy and old-fashioned, therefore, a cliché or two from her makes sense. It’s usually in speech from an older character that they sound alright to me.
There are plenty of modern-day clichés that do annoy me, but they’re used by everybody everyday. In journalism we see the corny headlines and sometimes on Women’s magazines, we see the dramatic faces of celebrities, then when you read the article, it boils down to nothing; yet the cliché sold the paper or made you pick up the magazine. Weight-loss ones are the worst. Drop two dress sizes in two weeks. As if that would work, but I’ve seen plenty of people buying them. I flick through, then put them back.
From seeing that cartoon on Ruth’s blog, I now see the reason behind all good editors rejecting clichés, but I hold an affection for them. They’re like old comfy jumpers and slippers, if we let them go it’s like losing something of our past.
Does anyone else feel the same?
Susan will be out of the office for a week; gone to de-clutter the cliché habit.
April 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm (Latest News, Something Special, Todays news, What I'm reading.)
Tags: agatha raisin and the quiche of death, Agatha Raisin books, fiction stories, m c beaton agatha raisin, M.C. Beaton, restaurants, triond articles, twitter
That’s a joke really; I joined the site triond where I write articles.
It’s good fun as there’s a way to add pictures and you can write absolutely anything within reason. I’ve earned around sixty pence in two years. Woo-hooo, what shall I spend it on??? It’s partly my own fault though as they way to do it is to twitter and promote traffic to your site. Imagine I’ll have to get a big sign saying ‘Everyone to this content’ you feel a bit daft doing that though don’t you.
I’ve recently discovered the Agatha Raisin books while browsing in a book shop in town. M.C. Beaton is such a great writer I’ve read three in the series already and started on another one. They are quite funny and Agatha keeps having scones and tea with Mrs. Bloxby the vicars wife, so I had to bake scones tonight. We both felt so full we went a walk around the village.
Our shop is closed now. It does seem a bit strange not going to open up. We had lots of lovely cards from our customers and too many chocolate bars to mention along with a big bottle of brandy. I don’t actually drink, but if I do, on the odd occasion, it’s brandy, so that was nice.
Three stories came back to me this week – I’ve re-written one of them, now have to find somewhere to send it. I can tell they’ve been read, and at least they sent them back, as opposed to tearing them up!!
My story on you write on ‘Summer on the Heath’ is number 24 in the top tens list, it’s all re-writing but I’m sticking with it. The Hats novel is still going quite well, I need to find a way to get them out of the club though. They’ve been stuck in there drinking eating and talking for a few weeks now.
Welcome to Springtime, and giggle blog for April. This one concerns e.bay and the delights or perils attached. I can’t moan because we put all the shop shelving and other large fixtures on there, which went well. There was one old counter that had been stuck up a corner in the back of the shop, so I tried that on e.bay for fifteen pounds. After lots of people ‘watching’ it, someone named Shrimpy placed a bid. ‘Yippee’ I was happy about that; it was a heavy item, so I’d put ‘buyer to collect’ on it. Then, at the last moment someone jumped in with only seconds to go, pipping Shrimpy to the post. I felt slightly annoyed, but that’s the way it goes. So, giving details of my phone number to the new buyer, I waited for a response. Being as it was late on Saturday night I thought it would be a while before hearing. Next minute, the phone rang.
“When are you delivering my counter to Croydon?” Really loud voice. So me in an equally loud voice.
“Oh no, you have to collect it. I put buyer collect.”
“Where are you?
“In the Midlands.”
“No, you bring it to Croydon, I can’t come that far.”
“No I put buyer collect, that means you collect it.”
“Oh dear me, people do deliver to Croydon if they live in this area”
“But I don’t I’m in the Midlands.”
“Cancel the sale! I don’t want it! Don’t you take my money!”
Well how flipping rude…….. So I shouted (without realizing) “You’re not supposed to do that. When you bid that means you want it, you shouldn’t have bid if you weren’t prepared to come and get it.” He kept on saying ‘Don’t you take my money.’ So that was so annoying I turned into a savage teacher.
“That’s very naughty, you shouldn’t have done that. They don’t like that on e.bay you know.”
I put the phone down, and when I checked my e.bay account, there was a message.
Give me my money back I don’t want the counter. For goodness sake, I sent back. I haven’t had your money and you’re not having the counter, and don’t contact me again.
A while later, our daughter came downstairs laughing. She said, “Mom you’re so funny, you must have scared that man to death.” When I checked, he’d only just joined e.bay and had no feedback details yet. She thinks I probably scared him off there for good. But I was so annoyed….. It was funny though. Strange how I think I talk neutral but when I get worked up the accent goes more like.. “Yaw shouldn’t do that, that’s verrrryyy norty.” Gave Ann a laugh anyway.When I looked, his money had gone through, so I refunded it, and ended up paying 75pence for the pleasure of having his money and returning it.
Now there’s a second giggle for April. Our youngest Son told me he’d seen something funny on u.tube and he thought of me. Nice to know he was thinking of me, but when I saw it I can see why. I have a habit. (No, I’m not a nun in my spare time) I clear my throat quite a lot. It’s something I do when I’ve finished one job and move on to the next. When I used to read stories to them all when they were young, they’d be more amused by me going h-erm -herm between pages than listening to the story itself. Take a look at this.
Thanks to blog friend Lynne for passing on these questions - What me and Lynne have in common is that we both started with a letter in Woman’s Realm. Lynne’s was about two seagulls flying up the motorway; mine was about drying thistles to use in flower arranging from the garden. I have quite a bit of catching up to do, but I’m always writing and promoting, though I spend too much time promoting and not enough time writing. Sometimes I think I link from this to that and that to the other, I’m sending my readers round in circles. It’s all good though, so here we go…
Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?
A. Born in hilly Staffordshire, where you will find Cannock Chase and there’s lots of horses grazing in the fields and sometimes on the roadsides. Our family lived in a bungalow built by my Grandad; an old Gypsy called Sam lived down the road in one of those bow topped caravans. I found it fascinating to see him cooking and washing up outdoors. Now I live in leafy Warwickshire; home of Shakespeare and George Eliot and Susan Jones.
Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or have you been based anywhere else?
A. I love England, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. We spent a year in West Africa when I was younger with Dad’s work in a gold mine. I moaned a lot asking Mom to send word back to England for ham and cheese cobs. I didn’t settle too well. I loved climbing fruit trees and hurling the guavas to the little children who were half-starved. They ran like ants to gobble them up. It taught me to be grateful for basics like food… On the way back we stayed at Las Palmas which seemed a sophisticated place back in the 60′s.
Q. Which is your favorite part of Britain?
A. I love Torbay, especially Brixham. It’s such an unassuming place and I love the multi-coloured houses and fresh fish.
Q. Does your favorite place feature in your writing?
A. I wrote a short story set there, a ghost one, but it hasn’t been published yet.
Q. Do you agree about the British stiff upper lip?
A. Absolutely; most definitely; oh gosh, tally ho – yes, what?
Q. Do any of your characters have the stiff upper lip?
A. I have such a lot of characters, but mine tend to be working class types. They usually wear a pinny, work in a factory or worry about money.
Q. Tell us about one of your recent books.
A. I have a short story in an e.book. It’s on Amazon ‘Growing up in the 70′s’ There are four stories in the book. My story is called ‘High School Blues.’ A work of fiction about three girls who’re not sure what they’re doing, except playing around and listening to music.
Q. What are you currently working on?
A. A romantic story ‘Hats off to Love.’ This came on the shortlist of the Romantic Novelist’s New Talent Award for 2012. I panicked a bit and because I couldn’t make the award ceremony, I began wondering who could collect my award if I won!!! You have to be positive don’t you? No need to panic, I didn’t win, but it’s given me the confidence to complete it. It’s at around 30,000 words now, needs lots of editing, but I’m having fun with it.
Q. How do you spend your leisure time?
A. Gym, swimming, gardening, knitting, walking, talking, laughing, eating sweets, selling, oh…..writing…
Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global one?
A. Anybody who’s interested in reading.
Q. Can you provide links to your work.
A. Yes, of course I can. Here’s the e.book with my story in.
Here’s my author page on Amazon. My story is in each of these books of short stories.
I have four stories on Alfie dog.
Entering competitions is also a hobby of mine. Thanks Lynne for nominating me, now I’ll put a couple of names of people who’s writing I like. I do realize that Lynne nominated Teresa, but she’s such a great story writer.
Remember when I said I’d sent a letter in to That’s Life back in January? Well I had an email to say that my letter is in this weeks edition. Issue 13 dated 28th March. They’re always looking for funny stories, so if you have any, send them in.
It’s nice when you hear, ‘The cheque will follow in four weeks;’ seeing as my New Year’s resolution was to aim for paying markets for my words.
That makes the third letter That’s Life have published, they like silly or embarrassing moments, and I have lots of those. Also it’s good when they say, send in more. Though I’d feel a bit greedy hogging the letters page, still if that’s what they want.
Thanks to Joanne for giving me a reality badge, now I need to answer some questions.
If I could change one thing: That would be more equality in the world, maybe one currency like buttons and conkers.
If I could repeat an age? No I’ll stay here thanks.
What scares me. That the readers in People’s Friend office see my envelope and go ‘Oh for goodness sake why does she bother!
Who would I like to be for the day? Toya Wilcox when she had mad hair and sang ‘It’s a mystery, it’s a mystery, to me… A shot in the dark, a big question mark??? Then again I can be me and do that any time I like……
Most of the blogs I follow have one, so keep it real everyone and keep writing.
I’ve got a good item for the giggle blog at the beginning of April. I’ve been e-baying. It’s not always plain sailing on there is it? Most have been good though. There’s always one isn’t there?