Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

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Writing lists and getting things done!

June 11, 2017

It’s amazing what writing a check list does for how much I actually achieve in a day. If I don’t write a list, a few things get done. If I do write a list, I get oh so much more done. It’s like that list has sorted out my head and my memory and makes me do all the jobs I have to do around the house, with the kids and, equally importantly, with my writing. I wrote a long list yesterday and laid out times next to the tasks and do you know what? I managed to achieve it all. Today I am steadily making my way through a new list and I’m doing stuff…such as this blog and I wrote more than 1000 words today, plus did a bit of yoga and cut the grass in the front garden. So, it’s nearly 5pm and I’m feeling mightily chuffed with myself for actually achieving a number of things today instead of sprawling out in from the telly drinking copious amounts of tea!

Yesterday, my list included ironing (regular readers will know how much I hate ironing, but I stuck it out and completed it), walking the dogs (which I do daily anyway) and taking the kids to the school Gala Day. Regarding the Gala Day, it was really good. A lot of time and effort had been put in by the PTA and it was a huge success. The theme was on cowboys and cowgirls so there were a lot of kids and adults dressed up. A local line dancing club did a demo for the crowd. The club consisted of older men and women, dressed up in cowboy-ish clothes line dancing. There was also some ‘gunslingers’ having a ‘fight’ which also consisted of older men and women dressed in cowboy-ish clothes pretending to shoot each other. There were loads of stalls (I got a lovely Toffee the Heilan Coo brooch from my friend Sharon’s…aka Sew Silly Lily…stall

and lovely honey bread biscuits from my friend Zuzka’s…aka Honeybread Cottage…stall. I have such talented friends!).

There were bouncy castles and a dog competition and throw sponges at the teachers and a saloon and tonnes of things for everyone to do. I helped out at the cactus hoopla stall and bash the rat game….both of which were a big hit with parents and kids (see the simple things really are the best). I also had a good old chat to lots of other mums I hadn’t seen in a while. It was a great afternoon (had to drag the boy away from it cos he wanted to stay longer) and well done to the organisers for creating it.

What else have I been doing? Well my neighbours must be thinking I’m doing an online business because quite a number of parcels arrived over the last few days. Do not worry, dear friends, I am not doing an online business merely buying up presents for Father’s Day and some birthdays that are coming up in July and September. I like to be organised because if I’m not it’s always a mad panic to buy stuff in time. My memory is not good, it never was, but has been much worse over this last year, so if I buy up cards and presents now at least I have them in for the correct dates of the aforementioned birthdays and Father’s Day. Okay, so after promising myself I would stop buying books, I did indulge in a little book buying spree for myself and the kids too. What can I say? I am a book addict! It’s my only vice (she says with an innocent look on her face!).

Regarding books, following last week’s confession of being totally gripped by The Dog Whisperer’s programme I went out and ordered his book (Cesar’s Way by Cesar Milan) from Amazon. I started reading it a couple of days ago and it’s fab. I am also reading Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves and the Will to Swim by Alexandra Heminsley about her bid to do wild water swimming, something I’ve always wanted to (okay so I have swam in a loch and at the seaside when I was younger and more stupid cos I didn’t have a wetsuit, but I want to go out deeper and really swim in the wild). Anyway, am enjoying reading about her trials and tribulations as she overcomes her terror of swimming in the sea.

Right, I need to go. I have some hungry weans hovering whining about being hungry and ‘when’s dinner ready?’. Apparently they are both about to fade away through lack of food. The chilli is on, but it’s not yet ready. The house smells amazing thanks to the spices and it’s sending the kids crazy…a bit like the Bisto kids of the adverts of old! Til next time.

Dawn xx

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June 6, 2017

I did not pooh in the Girl’s bedroom. Nope, wasn’t me. What do you mean you saw me do it?

 

What a bloody awful day it is outside. It is pouring. Of course there are far worse things happening in this world – the terrible losses of life in Manchester, London and Syria etc (where there are far more atrocities, but we never seem to hear about them…what’s that about?) – but I don’t want to dwell on those in this post. It’s not that I don’t want to mark them, it’s just there are so many news stories and articles and blog posts about them all over the world that I wanted to write something to take my mind and your mind off it all.

Right, so, as I was saying, the weather is awful today. Bloody awful is how I actually put it and the mutts and I have been forced to stay in. They are not even keen to go out in the garden today, not even Millie who is our resident furry water baby. So we’re indoors and they were snoozing until I put on a recording of the Dog Whisperer. Have you seen this programme? It’s about a very well groomed Mexican gentleman called Cesar Millan (above) who teaches humans how to properly train their dogs and, well, he’s quite frankly a miracle worker. And he also has the loveliest eyes, but that’s a by the by. Anyway, it’s a hoot when I put it on because my three just love watching it and having a wee bark at the dogs too. I enjoy it because it gives me useful tips on dogs – let’s face it Millie needs to be a bit better behaved what with her not coming when she’s called – plus I go away thinking ‘no problem, I can do that’. Then I try it on the dogs and they give me a look like ‘who does she think she is?’ and refuse to perform. I think I need to get Cesar over here to sort out my three…well actually, again it’s just Millie. Casper and Bonya are very well behaved on the whole although Bonya got caught short this morning in the Girl’s room and did a big pooh. Cue: lots of screaming and shouts of ‘naughty girl’. Am I a bad mother for thinking it was all highly amusing?? AND I made her clean it up…heee hee heeee!! (whaaaat? it’s all payback for the times she’s refused to clean out HER guinea pig and for all the times she’s messed up the living room, en suite and other rooms in the house).

So. How have you been since the last blog? It’s been nearly two weeks and that’s my fault because I have been so busy cleaning out cupboards and the garage and other places that have been totally neglected over the past couple of years that the blog went out of my mind. Anyway, I’m here now. I’me generally good, although I’ve not been sleeping all that well recently. I am not sure of the reason. Millie keeps waking me at 2am to let her out (we’re working on that…I am now putting down dog matts so she has that option, but am not getting up to let her out. It sounds harsh, but isn’t. She needs to learn to sleep through the night like she used to. Also, this morning, when I opened the back door to let the dogs out to relieve themselves, guess who didn’t go? Yup, Millie. I supposed the urgent 2am need for outside wasn’t so urgent after all!). Anyway, am finding it difficult to drop off, so I need to get back to my Mindful Meditation which always sorts that out. Apart from that, the kids and I are good. The dogs are full of health except Bonya who is shedding like crazy all over the place…the amount of hair she is losing would stuff a pillow!!

Over the weekend we went up to the westend of Glasgow to meet my friend AJ and her daughters for lunch. We went to a wee pizza place on the corner of Great Western Road and Otago Street – I forget it’s name – and it was lovely. I knew the place when it was a bank and then a coffee shop and was pleasantly surprised at the change in decor which went from Starbucks (or the other one) to a little piece of Italy! The menu also surprised me. I’ve never seen such a small one…not physically but in the few thing you could buy on it. They had options for about eight different pizzas and about five puddings. You could also get wine and fizzy drinks, but that was essentially it. We all ordered. The pizzas arrived really quickly and were lovely (all crisp and delicious from their pizza oven). It was fab to see AJ who is one of my oldest friends and catch up. We had intended to walk up Great Western Road and go down Byres Road and look in the shops (they have lots of fab charity shops for treasure hunting in!), but it was pouring down, literally stoating off the ground, and we were reluctantly forced to call a halt to the afternoon.

Martha Gellhorn.

 

On Sunday, I made myself breakfast in bed and spent far too much time looking at Facebook before reading some more of my book, Martha Gellhorn: A Life by Caroline Moorehead. I am close to finishing this book, one chapter left, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Martha was a very well known American journalist and writer who covered a large number of stories including the Great Depression, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War and wars in the Far East. She was also Ernest Hemingway’s second wife. She led a really interesting, exciting, often dangerous life that took her all over the world. However, she also seemed to have often been a very difficult person to be with, someone who was selfish, who went off and did her own thing no matter the cost to other people, but who was passionate about justice for others, about telling their stories and how the great event (war, depression etc) affected them and what the Governments should do about it. She was strong. She was a restless spirit. She didn’t take any crap from anyone. I’m not sure she and I would have gotten on, but I’ve greatly enjoyed reading about her. The book is really well written and goes at a good pace. I shall be sad when it’s finished, but this book will stay in my collection (as opposed to being donated to our local library as something I’ll never read again).

I’m not sure what my next read will be, but I have quite a few to choose from, which is both vexing and exciting at the same time. Vexing because it takes me ages to decide. Exciting because I love jumping into and being immersed in a new story and going places I’ve never been before.

Right, on that note, I am going to finish up here. The rain has just gone off and I am toying with the idea of getting the dogs out for a quick walk before I need to collect the boy from school.

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

 

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Barcelona!

May 17, 2017

Oh my God! What can I say about Barcelona that would do this city any justice? It’s an amazing place with the most stunning architecture…I’ve included some pictures of a tiny fraction of the buildings above, but there are far bigger, better and stunning buildings in this city. We just didn’t have the time to see them all.

How we got there…the ship docked in the early hours that Friday morning at Barcelona’s port. We took a taxi to the airport, dumped our suitcases with Left Luggage (because we were flying home later that day) and then took a bus from the airport to the Plaza Espanya near the city centre.  Look how amazing this square is…

And here’s what else is near there…

It’s the Museum of Catalunya. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go and see it. Instead we headed down a wide tree filled street (stopping at a really nice wee pizza place for lunch first) to find the Sagrada Familia (pictured at the start of this post) which is something I’ve always wanted to see. The place was hoaching with tourists, but it was well worth having a look at…the cathedral is truly inspiring and amazing to look at. Every nook and cranny is filled with exquisitely carved modern art. As you can see from the cranes, the building is still not finished more than 100 years after it was first begun. I loved it.

After that we headed for the city’s beach area which my mother assured us wasn’t that far to walk. It took us about an hour with a stop off for some drinks because the weather was so hot. Because it was Good Friday, there was a right festival atmosphere about the city and the place was jumping with locals and tourists. There were a range of street stalls and myself and the kids spent the rest of our holiday money on bits and pieces to take home – I bought two lovely fans painted in a modern style. I was really hot on holiday, but I knew I’d use them again back home…being a right Northerner, I get hot in muggy weather and stuffy offices, so the fans will come in handy. Plus we do get the odd hot day in Scotland. There are also some cheeky folk who would point out that I am a lady of a certain age who is hurtling towards 50 and therefore menopause, but as I am still only 25 (in my head) and will be forever, this will never happen!

Anyway, after the beach we walked up the packed Ramblas. It was uncomfortably busy, but didn’t put me off the city…in fact I’d love to return there for a long weekend at some point in the near future. We caught a bus at the Placa de Catalunya to get back to the airport in time for dinner and then our flight home. We only had a few hours in Barcelona, but I loved it. Verdict on Barcelona: fab. Will definitely go back. Only issue: I had the song ‘Barcelona’ by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe ringing through my head the entire time I was there and every time I think of the word ‘Barcelona’. It’s a great song, but really annoying if you can’t get it out of your head!

Anyway, that’s the holiday. We arrived back home around midnight that night and it was great being back in Scotland, but I really loved the holiday. We all loved the holiday.

Right, so back to real life. This week is the first full week I’ve had since leaving work and it’s already Wednesday and I don’t know where my time is going? Okay so this week, I have walked the dogs every day (and got soaked on Monday), I have had lunch with a friend (down at Ardardan today) and visited my father-in-law yesterday who is very old and frail. On Monday morning I also went to a pilates class with another friend. These events took up a few hours each day, so that’s my excuse for not achieving a huge amount over the last three days. The big news is that I have gone back to writing my book for adults…the one I started last year. I can’t say it’s been easy getting back into the swing of things, but I have written up my workplan and I intend to stick to it.

The rest of the week will be spent doing the bits and pieces around the house that need doing and assembling my new bike. I have great plans to take the kids out cycling more over the summer. There are some great routes around here plus I have a cycle carrier which we can use for further afield.

Over to books and I am currently reading: Caroline Moorhead’s ‘Martha Gellhorn: A Life’, which is a great read. On holiday, I got through several books:

The first three were fantastic. You cannot beat a Pratchett for humour and a good read, and Joanna’s books are just so funny and a great beach/poolside read. I had hoped to enjoy McIlvanney’s book more because he so revered as a writer, but it was alright. I doubt I’d read it again.

Right, I think I will finish up here and say adieu until next time! See you then.

Dawn xxx

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Birthday cake, Taboo and Dog Saliva Downward Dog

February 19, 2017

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It’s amazing how quickly time flies! And it’s true what they say: the older you get the quicker time passes. I cannot believe that 12 years ago I gave birth to my daughter. Where have the last 12 years gone??  It seemed like yesterday she was a wee scrap of a thing and now she’s nearly the same height as me with the same size feet! I’m not sure if she’s stopped growing. I’m 5’8″, but her dad was 5’11” and my dad is 6’2″ so she could stretch some more. Gone is the little girl with the blond curls that I used to sit on my lap. Now she’s a gorgeous looking pre-teen (I am, of course, biaised!) with legs up to her ears and the attitude of a 20-something (it’s wearing, as all parents know, to have a daughter who thinks she knows more than I do). Anyway, my beloved girl is 12…sigh! They really do grow up too quickly!

The cake above is an ‘aerial’ shot of her birthday cake and it was taken at its best angle. I say this because when I sliced the cake open and put jam in the middle, I replaced the top the wrong way round and it ended up a bit wonky. It looked like someone with a very small posterior had sat on it. Anyway, she and I decorated it and it didn’t look so bad. She finished it off and I think did a brilliant job. It tasted great when we ate it at her birthday lunch attended by we three and my mum and dad.

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This young man was a lodger here this week. He’s my parents’ dog and he’s a Bichon Frise/Poodle cross called Winston. He’s only five months old and is adorable. He stayed over to allow my mum and dad to have a day out in Edinburgh. They like to go different places, but it can be difficult with the wee fella to look after. Anyway, Winston had a ball. He gets on really well with my dogs, especially Millie with whom he’s having a bit of a love affair. I caught them lying on the floor facing each other. Then they licked each other’s mouths and gazed lovingly into their respective big brown eyes. I kid you not. Poor Casper was a bit of a gooseberry during Winston’s stay and was a little bit jealous. He engaged Winnie in a lot of rough play fighting (which Winnie seemed to enjoy, but Millie didn’t). Anyway, when it got a bit too rough, Millie stepped in to ‘rescue’ Winnie and it ended up in a real fight between Casper and Millie. Yes, it was a noisy time, but this house is never quiet anyway! There are only some rare occasions when I can actually hear the television!

 

the-remains-of-the-day

As I write this, my attention is half on the television which is showing a recording of The Remains of the Day starring Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. I love any films linked to Merchant Ivory. They are always beautiful to watch and it’s so easy to succumb to their warmth and charm (my favourite is A Room With a View). I’m enjoying this one which I recorded ages ago and am only now watching. It’s a nice film.

 

taboo

Just finished watching the latest episode of Taboo. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but am really enjoying it now. Can’t wait for the next one. Tom Hardy is great in the lead role, very menacing and moody. Is he as evil as he makes himself out to be or just a lost soul? Hmmm. Excellent cast and a great story.

yoga

I started doing yoga again, but it’s not been as easy as I thought it would be. The poses are fine…I’m doing gentle yoga so it’s really a beginner’s DVD I’m following. However, the difficulty part is to do with my dogs who seem to think that when I’m lying on the ground or doing Downward Dog it’s time to play or be pounced on or have my face licked, which I really hate (I’ve seen where those mouths have been!). Anyway, my aim is to improve and hopefully tone up…pouncing dogs or no!

Right I am going to finish up here and say adieu until next time!

Dawn xxx

 

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Little Mix Magic, the Mattress Drama and Trying to Get ‘Me Time’

February 13, 2017
A poor pic taken from a distance, but it gives you an idea of what Little Mix Magic look like!

A poor pic taken from a distance, but it gives you an idea of what Little Mix Magic look like!

You know when you go to an event and it’s better than you thought it would be? Well me and the kids went to see Little Mix Magic (a Little Mix tribute band) at The Commodore Hotel in Helensburgh last night and it was great. It was a fundraiser for a local dance school and we had a brilliant time. The band were amazing. I cannot tell you how good these girls were, they had fantastic voices, and they were so good with the (many, many) little girls and older girls who were there to see them. They spent ages at the end of the night having their photos taken with the kids and giving them autographs. Fab night. Excellent band. Recommend them.

The real Little Mix.

The real Little Mix.

Anyway, back to reality. Sorry this post is a little late this week. I have no other excuse other than I forgot about it until yesterday and decided to wait until we’d been out last night.

This past week has been just the ‘same old, same old’. Nothing much has been happening except Casper chewed a corner out of my brand new hall rug. It was literally down for ten minutes and the wee pest had decided that real wool was a lovely snack. He kept doing it so I’ve had to take the rug up. It’s currently rolled up in the room I use as a study. Sigh.

We also took delivery yesterday of new mattresses for our beds. This isn’t that interesting in itself, except for the drama of trying to get my super king mattress upstairs. Luckily the delivery men did this for me, but it took them ages and they were both sweating heavily by the end of it. I felt a bit guilty about it. If I had had any cash on me, I’d have given them a tenner for their trouble…it was that bad! However, I’m a bit like the queen – I never carry cash. Well, I do very briefly and then the kids clean me out! Anyway, I didn’t have anything to give them…sorry guys! They were so good about getting it upstairs for me.  * Additional note: I shouldn’t have laughed…me and the girl nearly killed ourselves trying to get my old mattress down from upstairs. It was a difficult job.

We went shopping with my mum on Saturday. It’s the girl’s birthday next week (she’ll be 12) and she wanted to go shopping with her gran. We met my mum at Braehead and me and the boy were duly dismissed as she happily went off with granny. While they were away, the boy and I did a bit of shopping of our own. Anyway, an hour later we all met up and the girl was delighted with all the new clothes her granny (and grampa, although he wasn’t there) had bought her. Thankfully my mum was there to stop her picking up inappropriate for her age clothes. The girl just loves clothes, and the tartier the better it feels!

This week, the kids are off. It’s yet another school holiday and already they’ve been bickering. Sigh. I don’t have any plans for this week other than doing a wee birthday lunch for the girl. I think we will just take it easy. I have stacks of stuff to do around the house plus I want a bit of ‘me’ time too!! There’s a bubble bath with my name on it tonight!!

Films I’ve seen this week include: the new Jason Bourne movie which I liked, Bundle of Joy (Eddie Fisher was a rubbish actor, nice voice though – I think this was a remake of a Ginger Rogers movie, it certainly reminds me of one of hers), The Princess Diaries II and Robinson Crusoe. Have finished reading the first two Flambards books and am looking around for something new to read.

Right, am going to leave this here and say adieu to you…and you and you and you (sorry a bit of The Sound of Music crept in there!). Til next time!

Dawn xxx

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Throwing Cartons of Orange Juice and Florence Foster Jenkins

January 19, 2017
Washing day - not my washing day, my washing day is every day and there's mountains of it!

Washing day – not my washing day, my washing day is every day and there’s mountains of it!

Things have quietened down lately and thank goodness. For a while there, myself and the kids were dining out rather a lot, which is good for seeing friends and family, but not great for the pocket.

However, while we’ve been going out less, the house has not been peaceful thanks to my kids fighting with each other. Sigh. They bicker over everything. A lot of the time it’s the girl’s fault because she just loves winding her wee brother up. However on Sunday she was definitely not to blame for the major temper tantrum the boy took because she was blocking they way into the fridge (see, you don’t get between a nine-year-old kid and his lunch!). He battered her, she battered him and then he took a carton of orange juice from the fridge and threw it at her. It missed and bounced off the wall, spraying sticky orange juice everywhere. I – to coin a Glasgow phrase – managed to ‘keep the heid’ and made him clean it up. I took his precious tablet off him, banned him from the PlayStation and told him to go to his room, which he did stomping as loudly as he could on the way up muttering how he hated his sister, it was all her fault, she made him do it (unless she can suddenly do magic, she didn’t) and claiming he hated his life. The bedroom door was slammed shut.

I left him there to stew for an hour whilst I ate a piece of (medicinal) cheesecake and drank tea in front of the telly with the dogs (who were recovering from the shock of seeing the boy in a rage – I think they were also relieved he wasn’t throwing orange juice at them!).

Victorian celebrity chef Alexis Soyer - more on him later.

Victorian celebrity chef Alexis Soyer – more on him later.

Talking of the dogs, Casper went in to get a wee op last week. I decided, after much deliberation, to get him castrated. The vet said it would be better for him as he wouldn’t get upset if he sensed a bitch was on heat. I hated taking him – just like I hated when I got Millie done – and felt a crumb when I left him in the capable hands of our vet (who is a very nice guy and great with animals). I can still feel the dog’s accusing little eyes boring into me as I left him. Anyway, he was there for the day and myself and the boy picked him up around 4pm. As we sat in the waiting area, Casper must have heard us talking because we could certainly hear him barking and whining for us. I was relieved to see him looking well, if a little comical in his plastic collar (the ‘collar of shame’). He needed to wear it until today when he got a check up with the vet (he’s doing well), but it didn’t seem to bother him that much.

Far from missing him during that day, Millie didn’t seem at all upset that her pal wasn’t with her. She played and ran about as usual. Totally different from when she went in to get hers when Casper was bereft (we’re talking lying about, ears down, whining occasionally and looking like he was about to burst into tears) until she came back to us. She was, however, much more jumpy and barky than usual, so deep down I think she was missing him.

Nora Ephron who's 'Heartburn' is excellent.

Nora Ephron whose ‘Heartburn’ is excellent.

On Saturday, I began the onerous task of cleaning out the boy’s room. I did a good clean of it about two months ago, but decided it really needed a deep clean especially as he’d really messed it up and it was really bad again. Put it this way, you couldn’t see any carpet because of the toys, dirty clothes and rubbish he had strewn all over the floors and under the bed. I did about two hours on Saturday and then all afternoon on Sunday. We took out around 12 bin bags full of rubbish and old toys that were too young for him. I took a bin bag full of old clothes and two bin bags full of books to the charity bins. I took down a huge amount of dirty washing and it’s currently lying on the floor at the washing machine waiting to be washed…sigh. It is amazing how much clothing I took out of that room…I had no idea how much he actually had. We also found two pairs of new jeans still in the wrappers (he claimed last week he had no jeans!), numerous dirty pants (ew) and a new coat scrunched up into a ball. He is a lazy little…(insert appropriate word here). He actually had the cheek to complain that he hated the smell of his room and was astounded when I said it was all his own fault for leaving dirty clothes and mouldy bits of food lying around.

Don’t worry, I made the boy help, although it’s debatable that he actually made a lot of impact on the clear up…he spent a good bit of his time ‘seeing how the dogs were’, reading things he’d found, finding old toys and looking for parts and generally wasting time going to the toilet and for glasses of water.

He has been warned that if he ever gets his room in that mess again, he will be punished…I just need to take his tablet off him and ban him from the PlayStation to punish him. Ah technology, so bad for kids in many ways, but great for parents in others.

Currently reading: am coming to the end of ‘Relish’, the biography of Alexis Soyer, the Jamie Oliver of the Victorian era and I’ve really enjoyed it. What a character that man was. I’m surprised no one has ever made a tv series or film about his life. He was so interesting and larger than life. This book gets ten out of ten for me.

I have also just finished  ‘Heartburn’ by Nora Ephron which is a novel loosely based on her divorce from her second husband after she caught him cheating on her. I loved it. Nora has such a fab way with words, everything has a comical slant on it despite the pain this period of her life obviously caused her…she is so witty and a talented observer of people.

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins.

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins.

 

And the real Florence Foster Jenkins.

And the real Florence Foster Jenkins.

Films: I haven’t watched any good films lately but have Suite Francaise and Florence Foster Jenkins to watch. Can’t wait.

Telly: like many others, I waited with baited breath for the return of Sherlock and was disappointed with the first one. I watched last week’s episode and I quite liked it. I know a lot of people didn’t and thought it was pretentious, but I found it interesting.

A scene from Suite Francaise.

A scene from Suite Francaise.

Writing: I’ve not been great at keeping up with the writing lately. I don’t know why because I was going great guns in the run up to Christmas. I think having the break has put me off going back to it plus I have been feeling really tired and fed up lately. I put that down to returning to work and coming off caffeine (which gave me a tremendous headache all last week). Anyway, I feel much better this week so really don’t have a good excuse not to get back behind the keyboard. I just have to start!

Okay, I am going to finish here for just now and go off an do some writing (and not procrastinate or find an excuse for not writing like doing the washing or the dishes or shouting at the kids for trying to kill each other). Til next time!

Dawn xx

 

 

 

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A toilet roll trail and reading about Jack Kahane

December 9, 2016

Is it Friday already? I swear to God my life is speeding up and every year it gets quicker. I cannot believe it’s nearly Christmas!!

Anyway, so far this week I have done this: gone to work, taken the boy to his swimming lessons, hoovered (a lot cos the dogs are worse than the kids for making a mess), gutted the house (more on that in a minute), put the outside Christmas lights on our small trees, attended a funeral (my friend’s mum, was a lovely funeral) and had lunch with friends on two different occasions ( I am turning into a lady who lunches all the time!).

Back to cleaning the house. I spent around two hours on cleaning up the house yesterday. I really went to town on gutting the place. It needed a good old scrub, so I gave it one. I was so happy when I finished and the house was sparkling. Then I went upstairs to wash and change (I always break a sweat when cleaning the house – I like to put my all into it, it’s like doing a workout). En route I took up a basket full of clean clothes leaving some toilet rolls on the stairs. Big mistake. I washed up, changed and touched up my makeup. Happy that the house was sparkling, I skipped downstairs (kind of like Snow White but not as young or as thin or dark haired) full of the joys of not having to clean anything for a while when I saw it…First it was the toilet rolls spilled all down the stairs and onto the hall rug. Then I noticed the trail of white toilet roll paper from the hall into the living room a la Babes in the Wood. Taking a deep breath to quell the rising fury, I peeped into the living room to see Millie looking all innocent with a chewed and decimated toilet roll sitting next to her and a tell-tale piece of toilet roll stuck to her little black, toilet roll chewing lips.

Her: Whaaaaat? I’ve done nothing. It was Casper.

Me (wild fury that only a parent can muster): Oh MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!! I’ve just cleaned in here! Naughty dog! Naughty dog! Look what you’ve done.

Her (shame-faced and all big sad eyes and drooping ears): Sorry.

Casper, by the way, had been with me the whole time Millie was merrily chewing her way through the paper, so I knew it wasn’t him. I wouldn’t have minded, but it wasn’t even cheap nasty toilet paper, but Andrex…the quilted one! Sigh.

I did not tear up the toilet roll!

I did not tear up the toilet roll!

 

This evening I was looking forward to taking my wine making into the next stage by de-gassing the wine and sticking the hydrometer in. Unfortunately, I am clumsy and it’s worse this year and I dropped the hydrometer onto the kitchen floor which is tiled with ceramic tiles.  It smashed into a million pieces – okay a bit of an exaggeration, but it did break and I couldn’t use it and I couldn’t check if the wine was ready for the next stage. So I swiftly went onto Amazon and ordered a new one. Bloody butter fingers and I was completely sober at the time! I’m making Chardonnay, but the way. I hope it’s nice.

harley-quinn

Harley Quinn

Watched Suicide Squad this week and loved it. I really like the Marvel films and this one was great. Harley Quinn definitely steals the show although I hope she doesn’t have too much of an influence on the girl who watched the film complete with Harley Quinn-esque bunches in her hair. Sigh. She’s already having her ‘moments’ – thank God I can take her phone of her as punishment – and loves Harley, so I don’t want any of Harley’s attitude rubbing off on her. Why can’t kids stay as babies and not turn into pre-tweens with the attitudes of a 20-something New Yorker? Anyway…what is it about Marvel women that they (mostly, there are a couple of exceptions) have to wear the skimpiest of skimpies? Harley for instance spends most of the film in a pair of the smallest glittery shorts that leave nothing to the imagination. They are actually more like knickers. And the Enchantress is not much better.  All the men, however, are fully clothed throughout the movie (except for the Croc one who takes his shirt off at one point to get into water, but trust me there was nothing sexy about it). Talk about objectifying women! Anyway, enough of my moaning…

Currently reading Neil Pearson’s biog of Jack Kahane, the founder of Obelisk Press who printed Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, Anais Nin, D H Lawrence (Lady Chatterley’s Lover), Lawrence Durrell, Radcliffe Hall and James Joyce. I’ve only just started it, but am already enjoying it. I watched the tv programme that goes with it and loved it.

Jack Kahane

Jack Kahane

It’s a really interesting story. He was born and bred in Manchester, was injured in the First World War, met and married a French girl, moved to Paris in the late 1920s to become a writer, didn’t succeed so set up a publishing company. It’s a great tale of a man who loved books printing some of the most controversial and influential books of the last century. As well as the more high brow literary smutty books (haven’t read Tropic of Cancer, but Neal Pearson read out an excerpt, it’s explicit), he also wrote printed cheap smutty books too to bring in regular money to keep the business going and food in the mouths of his kids. Apparently they were quite a sensation in their day, but incredibly mild by today’s standards!

anais-nin

Anais Nin

Right, on that note, I am going to leave you to go upstairs, put my Christmas CDs on (cos I love em!) and read all about Jack. Til next time.

Dawn xx

 

 

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