Wednesday 31 July 2019

Cult Pens are Dangerous!

Bear's pencils from Cult Pens arrived today. They are the limited edition, 20th anniversary special metallic pencils from Derwent and they look gorgeous. They are in a fancy box which, for a change, is lovely and sturdy. The pencils came in a lovely padded envelope with a free small pack of haribo sweeties and a paperclip attached to the shipping note. I suspect they are promoting the adorable paperclip.

I suspect that the incredibly reasonable prices, excellent service and the free sweeties, cute paperclips and sheet advertising ridiculously expensive pens makes Cult Pens the stationery equivalent of IKEA - awesome stuff but you come away with far more than expect to get.

There's been some rain, and it came running down our street like a river. I'm quite proud that I managed to black out the number plates. This is normal for most people, but I'm feeling more challenged than normal.

It drained quite quickly, and just left a few large puddles. Unfortunately the puddles are perfectly placed to make getting in and out of the passenger side of the car impossible without swimming gear.

Hugs to all.

Tuesday 30 July 2019

Day Two of the Week

I feel like I've had a week of stuff already. I think it's the weather, though. We've had a lot of thunder, and it's left me unsettled.

I got out early and went to the tip on the ring road!!! Of course, it's the school holidays and it was 8.15am so it was nice and quiet. It's still nerve wracking for me. As a treat, I took the back roads to Batley to drop off some stuff at the Salvation Army. On the way there, at an awkward junction, I went past a motorcyclist who had apparently been knocked off his bike. There were a few cars pulled up and an ambulance as well as the poor man with his arm in a sling. It was a good reminder to watch at that junctions, and all junctions.

Beetles continue, but are getting less. I'm hoping to get a little further over the week. Bear's pal with the knee called around this afternon and while he has some awesome scrapes and bruises, he is doing okay and didn't even need a lift home.

Writing stuff - I had a piece accepted by an anthology. This is an anthology that comes out every autumn with a Halloween theme, and I got accepted into the third anthology.

It's an anthology where all the profits go to charity:water, and I'm really giddy to be involved even in this little way. I'll share when it is published. 

And I managed a very short response to the writing prompt here.

Monday 29 July 2019

Not a Great Start to the Week

We went to Headingley. Not only is it the home to a massive cricket stadium which hosts internationals and a gazillion charity shops, it is also has an arts supply shop. Bear requested we made a visit.

From leaving the house to parking the car in Headingley, a trip that should perhaps take ten or twenty minutes, took an hour and a half. Some of it was getting lost. I took the same wrong turn twice - once on the way there and once on the way back. I practiced reversing a lot as I kept finding myself on the wrong road and having to make three point turns. I completely failed in the multi storey car park as well. I thought it was closed when we get there but bear disputes that. In fact, bear had quite a lot to say on the journey.

The art supply was a great disappointment to bear. He said it was overpriced compared to other places, and I think he just didn't like the place. We decided to go and get a drink, possibly a snack, at a place which was also a sewing workshop that will allow you to use it as a workshop space, complete with plugs for the sewing machine, for £5 per hour. That was not a success for us either. Bear's lemonade was deeply unpleasant, according to him, and the hot chocolate I had was pleasant enough, but quite 'artisan' with a bitter tang, and the mug it came in didn't have a handle. It was a beautiful piece of pottery and there were some beautiful designs there. Unfortunately, while they did sell some supplies, they didn't sell the elastic that I wanted to get from there. We got some from Wilkos in the end. We need the elastic because bear doesn't want to pay the extortionate amount for the fancy pencil rolls so we are going to be working with fabric, glue, staples, thread and cardboard to make our own version.

I got lost when I took him to a violin thing and ended up parallel parking for the first time since I past my test - uphill! I did it. I was glad to get home to get cracking on another round of rice salad.

Writing stuff - if you are interested in the writing prompt, this week's prompt is here. The challenge is to write 500 words (I never check, so more or less) of fiction, non fiction, poetry or whatever you like that is sparked by the pic and the quote. They don't have to actually refer to the pic/quote, as they are a jumping off point for your imagination. If you feel comfortable, you can share the writing by leaving a link in the comments. The only hard and fast rule is that you should have fun. The prompt is here. Hugs to all.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash 

Sunday 28 July 2019

Lots More Rain

There is currently lots of rain where we are and it's cooling things down nicely. Bear and I have been working on his room. I don't think that the beetles have spread much, and there seem to be a lot less of them after we got rid of the sleep pillows. I also jettisoned the normal pillows - almost literally, as I threw them out of the bathroom window. This may account for our beetle lined bath tub as poor DH found half a dozen floating in the water when he tried to have a bath. It sort of put him off. I'm going to be working on emptying the house.

I finally cracked how to cook the chicken in the small oven so we had a nice dinner with potatoes and peas and lots of lovely gluten free gravy. DH seemed happy to have potatoes for a change, so I think I'll look up some recipes and see what I can do besides the normal mash, roast, boulangere (thank you, Hester, for that recipe, it rocks) etc. I still fail at baking potatoes with the microwave and it's too hot still to cook them longhand. I have requests for rice salad tomorrow, so I suppose that's what we are having.

We are solidly working our way through 'Still Open All Hours'.  The trouble is, I keep dropping stitches when I knit because I'm laughing so much. Bear is finding it hysterical and cackling madly but the poor lad doesn't realise that he lives in Yorkshire and the local girls are likely to follow in the footsteps of Nora Batty and Mrs Featherstone. I'm practising saying nothing.

Hugs to all.

Saturday 27 July 2019

Better Weather

It's wet and comparatively cold - much better weather for me. I've had windows and curtains open and it's really made a difference. The house feels a lot fresher.

Bear and I have spent some time sorting out various stuff in his room, and what with one thing and another, DH has made two trips to the tip.

We have also spent some time hanging out and watching episodes of 'Still Open All Hours' and it's been good. It started off slow, but has been getting funnier and funnier and reminding me of 'Last of the Summer Wine'.

For the first time in a long while we had a Chinese Takeaway and bear worked his magic - we got a discount because he was so polite. Bear manages to charm a lot of people. He even got extra spring rolls.

Speaking of bear, he's having a lot of fun with comparative shopping. He's been looking at sets of pens and pencils that are over £100 for a few dozen and finding out where to find them at the best price. For those interested, Cult Pens seems to be coming out ahead in the least expensive of the ridiculously expensive pen stakes. We are being very clear, bear is paying for any writing implements himself. He's trying to find ways of making money, which isn't easy when you're 12. I'm willing to tip over for some things. I plan to get my car vacuumed at the car wash, but I said that bear could do that and I'd pay bear what I would pay to the car wash. It hasn't happened yet, and I'll see how thing goes. I like that he wants to earn money, but it may be that he has faced the truth that I've told him that we don't have too much excess money to give him. As usual, I'm leaving him to it.

Hugs to all.

Friday 26 July 2019

Still Too Hot

I am just about cooked! I am soooo hot. Bear is doing much better, but still hot. Bear hasn't heard from his pal, but I don't think that's unusual from teenage lads.

Bless - I'm impressed that our weather has made across to you, but it's significantly hot all over Europe. Hopefully it will break this weekend.

Witch Hazel - I assumed that one of the reasons to take my test was to have the ability to give lifts - lots and lots of lifts. It was a little odd, as one of his neighbours had an inflatable paddling pool set up on one side of the actual road, where cars would normally park, and there was a huge van at the end where apparently DH does a three point turn, so I ended up reversing back down the street, trying to avoid picnic tables and the paddling pool, and reversing around a corner. It's no longer a requirement for passing the test, but I seem to be reversing around corners several times a week. I have to do some tight manoeuvring when I drop off bear's pal from school as well.

I'm not doing well in the heat. I'm just about ready to flop. Fingers crossed that the forecast break in the weather turns up.

Writing stuff - this week's instalment from the White Hart is here.

I hope this post made sense. The heat and the lack of sleep is taking its toll. Hugs to all.

Thursday 25 July 2019

Not a Good Day

Kate - grated apple and raw carrot will definitely make it on to the plates, but when I'm a little more with it.

Bear's pal had a nasty fall and the bathroom has now got more mud and blood than normal. Poor kid slid along the dirt on his knee. I sluiced the worst off with the shower head, added antiseptic, covered with a large plaster and gave him a lift home. I suggested a long soak in the bath, and told him that it was okay to call me for lifts etc if it got worse. I'm a little worried. He's a good lad, and he has awesome parents, but I'm used to him hanging around and being topped up with food. I don't like to think of him hurting.

Also, found bugs in bear's room. I think they are 'biscuit beetles' which shouldn't hurt him, but ewwwwwwwwwww! Bear doesn't take food into his room, but I suspect they came in with a 'herbal sleep pillow'. I need to sort out bear's room. Bear's room is several feet deep. It's going to be a long weekend. Thank goodness that it is forecast to get cooler. 

I'll be glad when this weather breaks.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Still Too Hot

The lined curtains I am supposed to be sewing are something of a struggle. They need more than one width of lining. I'm hoping that the weight will be fine for the heading tape, as I've overlapped the lining and it's thick and heavy stuff. I know that there are ways and means of doing this, but I'm not sure about looking them up and I'd like to get them finished before the first frost. I may still get my sewing machine out, though I'm worried that it has got damp. You can tell it's desperate when I'm talking about using the sewing machine.

DH and bear inhaled the rice salad I made. They never seem to get enough of it, although I may start ringing the changes at the weekend. I may do a side of grated raw carrot tomorrow. You can't have too many veggies.

I am so tired. Last night was disturbed by thunder, although we were let off lightly here compared to a lot of places. I can't wait until I'm complaining that it's too cold.

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Still Too Hot

I am almost melting. Bear has spent most of the day playing out with the neighbouring kids, so far without incident. I'm making some lined curtains in the hope it will keep the heat out. I'm just about on my knees - and if we do get thunderstorms (which I love), I'll probably sleep through them.

Writing Stuff - My response to this week's writing prompt is here. If you would like to read other people's responses (and there have been some awesome ones from the past few weeks), they are usually shared in the comments or I share them on Facebook. My author's 'I am a person' is here and the author page that I'm supposed to have is here. It's mostly writing stuff on them, so perhaps not interesting, but it's there.

Hugs to all

Monday 22 July 2019

Too Hot to Post

Hester - I'm confident that you not only park better than me, but better than a lot of the shocking examples I've seen. The best was before I passed my test. I was parking in a car park, and a little old lady (genuinely - she looked around 80) parked in one of the driving lanes, next to a parking bay. I'll be able to park confidently one day, I'm determined.

I had a really bad night, with some breathing issues, so I ended up watching this on Netflix - an unedited film of some Norwegian knitters trying to break the record for the fastest sweater, starting with the sheep. They literally started with shearing the sheep and had people there ready to start spinning straight from the fleece. They didn't card it or wash it, but just went in. So far, they've commented that the yarn is very greasy and they've got soap and water ready to clean the needles of the knitters. It's apparently not a complicated pattern, and the yarn is spun quite fine, but it's going to be a proper sweater. The show is over eight and a half hours long, and I've not got halfway. If you don't have Netflix, you may be able to get a similar feel by putting 'Slow TV' into the search bar on YouTube. There are some great results. Mind you, I'm not knitting at the moment. I'm trying to make new lined curtains to keep the warm out.

Speaking of which, I'm in a pathetic puddle in the heat. I can't wait until I'm complaining about being too cold. I am planning on going for a drive tomorrow, as I need to be careful to keep in practice. I've no idea where I'm going, but I'm going early as it will be far too hot by mid morning. I don't have air conditioning in the car.

Writing Stuff - I've put up another writing prompt, which is here if you are interested.

Hugs to all.

Sunday 21 July 2019


Today I had a little spin locally. I was so proud of myself, as I parked really well in McDonalds (bear asked really nicely) and Aldi. It was the closest Aldi, rather than my regular, and I took advantage of it's smaller size by whizzing quicky round. It was bear, actually, who was doing the whizzing, as he had control of the trolley.

Bear enjoyed his McDonalds but said he was unimpressed by their construction skills. I felt like a proper blogger when I took a photo of his food.

But it went down well enough. I just had a hot chocolate as I recovered from pulling perfectly into a parking spot - head first! I also reversed out really well, so I felt quite smug when I got home. I still haven't got the hang of parking, but it's still only been a few months. I suppose I'll get there.

We are looking at a heatwave here. Locally it could get as hot as 29 C or around 85 F. To those reading who are used to that being on the cool side, bear with me. We would normally consider low twenties C or low to mid 70s F as warm enough, and our homes are not set up for anything more. I've got some fans from last year, and I picked up some ice cube trays from Aldi. I've planned for some salads over the next few days and I hope to get the lined curtains made, which will help keep out the heat.

Hugs to all.

Saturday 20 July 2019

Computer Issues

I have been having a lot of problems with getting things to load, including a film last night. It just wasn't having it. Today, when it refused to load the weather from the BBC, I lost patience. I couldn't think what was going on, DH has approved of my anti virus, I don't go on dodgy sites, at least, not often, and it's usually to do with obscure mythological stuff, not the normal virus hotspots, so I cleared cookies.

It took over an hour! I kept thinking that everything had crashed, but I let it run and now it's so much better. I can load Facebook in under ten minutes.

The film I was watching last night was 'The Foreigner' with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. The plot was fairly dire. It was like 'Who Dares Wins', including IRA references, but it was only a year or two old. There was a large element of 'insert plot hook here, then slot in fight scene'. However both Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan played against their usual typecasting, and they were awesome. Their acting kept me hooked (when the dratted thing would load).

Jackie Chan films usually have a wide streak of comedy, and Jackie Chan usually plays someone loveable and kind of sweet. This was a completely different character. The film was dark and serious throughout. I once saw something that said that Jackie Chan would have liked to play different parts, but his films as a loveable guy in funny situations always sold well, and provided the livelihoods of a lot of people. Watching this, I couldn't help wonder what other stuff he could have done. It was such a dark performance. Pierce Brosnan was also playing against what I would expect - a former IRA hard man with an edge to him. They made up for the scriptwriters.

We were supposed to be watching Thor Ragnarok tonight, but I can't find the DVD.

Hugs to all.

Friday 19 July 2019

Slightly Busy Day

It was bear's sports day today, parents not invited. I was sort of sad, but also sort of relieved. Bear's event was rained off and his house didn't do well at all. I had to find a new route as the sports day was being held at a facility a little way from the school. Bear was extremely good at navigating, directing me to the easiest route and warned me about one particular road. Unfortunately, due to me missing the exit and not having the nerve to get across a dual carriageway during the rush hour, I ended up going on the harder road. It was steep. It was really steep and I grumbled up hills in second gear and thought Red was going to give up. I picked them up afterwards, getting there ridiculously early to make sure I could park (it was rammed by the time the kids let out) and then took bear and his pal to McDonalds.

Bless and Kate - the issue with the rats is that most of the neighbours have rats inside their houses, despite their best efforts. We have no sign of them inside, and I'd like to keep it that way. We have a sewer in the street, five food places within a few hundred yards of our street and we are near a beck. If the rain really comes down, I expect we will see a few more if they are flooded out. Our garden is the only one with any vegetation, so really I'm cutting it back to help the neighbours out. Of course, it won't have any impact on the vast swathes of brambles, nettles and overgrown laurels on the other side of the street, but it will help the neighbours feel better. And, to be honest, I'll feel better not seeing a rat scuttle across my small garden, and I didn't enjoy finding the dead one either.

Kate - a few years back there were reports of a pet snake escaping only a mile or two down the road and dog walkers were warned as it was a huge tropical snake. We've had a cold winter or two since, so I'm not worried. I've found toads in the garden, so I wouldn't be surprised at an adder (I'd be surprised if I saw it), but I'd prefer to keep my distance.

For those who knit - I found this blog which has a post about someone who knitted a garden fence! They used garden twine, knitted on adapted curtain poles and used a Shetland Lace pattern. The blog is here. I'm reluctant to use the photos, as they are not mine, but the effect is striking.

I'm feeling a little low, so tonight may involve some knitting and YouTube.

Writing stuff - the latest instalment from the White Hart is here. I'm having far too much fun!

Thursday 18 July 2019

Another Quiet Day

Did I mention the dead rat on the pavement next to the house yesterday? I've been on to the council, but now they charge for rat call outs. As we are not getting rats in the house (or if they are, they are ignoring the food left out), I think I'm going to have to prune the garden right back and leave them nowhere to hide, and see what happens. I'm waiting to make a start on the hard stuff after the rain forecast this weekend.

It will be easier after next weekend. Bear's last day of school is tomorrow and it's a sports day (parents not invited). I'm actually looking forward to it as I will be driving to a new place with its own challenges. I am, of course, terrified of parking there, but I'm fairly confident that I can find the way. Apparently it gets incredibly busy, so I plan to go to pick up ridiculously early and take my knitting. I think bear is ready for the break.

Writing stuff - I got into a very chunky book, Dread Uprising, which is an Urban Fantasy book. I don't know the author, although I messaged them to let them know I had written a review. It wasn't in the first person, it wasn't in the present tense and had some awesome action scenes. It was also long, about four times the average Urban Fantasy book, which was nice to get my teeth into. I also liked the background. If you read a book that is new(ish), then it can really help an author if you leave a review, especially if it is a good one, so I hope that this helps them. Review here.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Another Quiet Day

Well, I say quiet, but it had its moments. A very long, articulated lorry pulled out in front of me on a roundabout, which was interesting. This is why my dashcam does not record audio inside the car. Bear went to the doctor and while it's not something I particularly want to blog about, and it's not acute, I'm going to have to keep an eye on him. And we had another electric surge, apparently due to roadworks about half a mile away.

The electric surge was scary. It turned bear's computer off, and the light was so bright, about double the brightness, I switched it off quickly because I was scared it would explode. I didn't have much on, though, so fortunately nothing blew. At least, nothing has gone that I have found out about. I'll have to do a check later. Some houses further down had no power at all. I wish they would stop doing that. Also, it feels like thunder here, but the weather forecast is very dull, with a chance of a shower, so perhaps I'm just tired.

Bless - I need to stock up my soups. They really are a life saver, and the pal that visits the most is on a fitness regime (he's very talented at sport) and he loves the soups, so it make sense to have drawer full. 

DH has the courtesy car now, so his car can be repaired. It's the same make and model as his own car, but without some of the fancier features, so at least he's not struggling to find the windscreen wipers. I've only just learned to flash my lights.

Hugs to all!

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Well that was a Fail

Bear was off school poorly, and I'm feeling just about flattened. I'm going to have to start taking a supplement because I'm on the floor. I'm definitely not thinking straight, so poor bear has had some very random answers.

Also, I have no idea what we are going to have for dinner. I'm hoping it involves food.

Today has not been a success.

Mind you, yesterday I managed to write the response to the writing prompt, so at least I managed that, here.

Hopefully back with something more interesting tomorrow.

Hugs to all.

Monday 15 July 2019

I May Not Make Sense

Bless - the names of colours are fascinating. I only really know English, but English is a jumble of influences. I heard it described as three kids standing on each other's shoulders and hiding underneath one coat, pretending to be one person. This means that the names on the pencils and on the paint tins in the store can get creative. Last time I looked at paint colours for decorating, I think we decided that 'elephant's breath' was the weirdest description (nondescript grey, really). Did you know that if you study languages, all languages have words for 'black' and 'white'. The next colour that is added is red, then either green or yellow, then either yellow or green, then blue, and so on. I saw it ages ago, but it took me some googling to find a reference, here. Also 'pink' is a colour named after a flower, so before somebody cultivated pinks, they didn't bother describing the colour. The same with 'orange'. The colour is named after the fruit. I think calling something the colour of a blue gem is a beautiful way to describe a colour.

As you may be able to tell, I'm wandering a little. I am sooo tired, bear is not very well (tummy) and poor DH, while unharmed, has had a very minor car accident. A car pulled out in front of him, but everyone was going quite slowly so it was all okay. Chances of me making sense of the world are rather low tonight. Unfortunately, I need to do the final sort on the grocery delivery for tomorrow. I'll share if I go odder than normal.

Poor DH, he is now going to be neck deep in paperwork for weeks. He was so badly hurt last summer, at least this is only a minor ding, but it's the last thing he needs. I shall be in 'make a fuss of DH' mode for the next few weeks. It seems so unfair. He didn't do anything wrong, but he still has to do all the forms and the phone calls. He seems pretty calm, I just hope that it doesn't affect him later.

Writing stuff - I've put a writing prompt on my writing blog here. I've made the prompt, but I have no idea what I'll write. It's good practice for me, though. It's like the writing equivalent of the gym.

Photo by Mauro on Unsplash 

Sunday 14 July 2019

Calm(ish) Sunday

Thank you for all the kind words for bear. I have passed on hugs, and they were very appreciated.

Wherethejourneytakesme - that's so hard, having to get a PhD for a job you have done for years! And degrees are not inexpensive. It's kind of heartening to hear of your daughter, and JustJill's daughter who have achieved so much. I'll just keep encouraging and listening.

And thank you for those who have given me encouragement. I just do my best, and try and listen to what he is saying, and take my time with him. I feel very inadequate. Today had some hiccups, and dinner was somewhat uninspired as he needed some fuss as I was making it, but we have had a pretty good day, with lots of colouring, knitting and some relaxed hanging out. Bear has been sorting through the pencils, which have a colour named on them. We have already discussed 'sanguine' (sort of brown in the pencil, perhaps dried blood coloured), and dark lividity (practically black), but here is sapphire and light sapphire.

I would have gone nearer navy and french navy, but there you go. Obviously you are seeing the colours through the lens of my camera and the screen you are using, but it's not what I would call sapphire. The pencils are made in China for a company apparently based in Mauritius with an address in French, so there may have been differences in translation.

Writing stuff - I've been going through a lot of the older White Hart stories and remembering some plans I had for the characters. I'm going to have to reluctantly wind it down, I think, because it's getting in the way of writing novels in the same setting, but I'm sure I'll manage a story or two on the way, and may even manage a few associated novels. I can't say thank you enough for the encouragement I've had for those stories. It's been seriously amazing.

Hugs to everyone.

Saturday 13 July 2019

Good and Bad

DH and I left bear at home and went to see 'Spiderman Far From Home' and it was amazing. I loved it. The acting was immaculate, the special effects were mind blowing, the plot was coherent and compelling and the whole thing was a great experience. I could have watched it from the beginning again straight away. Bear was left at home as he doesn't really like going to the pictures, but he may possibly watch the dvd.

Then I came home and found bear worrying about his exams. He's asking me what qualifications he will need to hit his goals. He's worrying that he may need a Masters or a PhD. He's worried about how long it will take him to get these qualifications. He's worried about exams that he will have next January that will have a massive impact on his school life. He is twelve. I could cry.

He is currently filling in an adult mindfulness colouring sheet with acrylic paints and planning a lot of colouring, painting and general art. It's helping, as is the piano and (to some extent) the violin. Also, I'm giving him hugs.

Friday 12 July 2019

Made it to the End of the Week

Bear got his 'A2L' or Attitude to Learning report for this term. It was okay. Two of his subjects had  the top score, which is 4 * aka awesome. None of his scores were below acceptable. So that's pretty good. 5 out of 13 were 'as it should be' and the rest were 'not quite awesome but pretty good'.

His standard wasn't shown in detail, but he's doing okay or better in everything except Art (which I hope will improve over the summer, but I'm not stressing), RE (which I never thought would be his subject) and PE (and he hasn't been able to take part for loads of lessons because of the dratted knee). So pretty pleased with bear.

Today was full of complicated driving. There seemed to be a lot of awkward bits, including the part where I made totally the wrong call, avoided the road works, got stuck in a traffic jam and got home nearly half an hour later than normal. I managed to make room for a very small walk where I sat on a log to eat a yogurt with all the birdsong around me. It was a pretty clean log, so I didn't get ants in my pants.

I felt really restored afterwards.

Writing stuff - the latest from the White Hart is here. I'm having far too much fun writing it.

Hugs to all

Thursday 11 July 2019

Bracing for Laundry

I am unimpressed with myself. I have managed very little, and I need to pull myself together. One of the things I need to do is to treat bear's shirts to get out the ink. He currently has four shirts that are unwearable due to black splodges. Bear has explained to me at length why this is not his fault. I am considering putting a 'subscribe and save' repeat order for the stain remover. Bear is taking this calmly and working on blending the pencils.

Other than that, all I know is that everyone in the house is sooooo tired. I am blaming the weather. It is humid and energy sapping. Bear is off his food so I'm feeding him grapes and chicken sandwiches. This means that DH and I can have food that bear utterly rejects, like chili and pasta. I'm getting an iron supplement because I can not get moving.

In fact, everyone in the household is exhausted. Bear is coming to the end of the school year and DH has had a lot of visiting with company which he has completely loved, but he is an introvert so he needs to recharge. I foresee a lot of quiet evenings and weekends over the next month.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Must be the Weather

I am still tired, so I'm plotting an early night. Bear is also planning. I'm giving him a budget and letting him decide what art supplies he is going to indulge in. To be fair to bear, he's colour blind and can't draw, but he's enthusiastic and that counts for a lot. I think he's found a dozen ways to spend his pocket money, and he's still making calculations. It's a good life lesson for him.

Wherethejourneytakesme - the 160 pencils all have names. I haven't read them. I would be surprised at nothing.

The people at the back have an interesting life. You can hear hollow bangs, doors slamming and lots of shouting. I ignore it a lot.

Today's school run was far too exciting. Between ambulances, tractors and crazed, white van drivers,  I'm surprised I got home in one piece. That may be one explanation of why I'm so tired. I think I will have another early night. 

Hugs to all.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

Only Tuesday

JustJill - a pencil called 'sanguine'? At least it's not 'oxblood' (that was an interesting conversation with bear).

I am sooooo tired. I spent most of last night dreaming about being stuck in Morrison's car park with animated bricks. I think I wore myself out in my sleep. So today has been something of a fail. But I've managed a small amount of clearing out, everyone has been fed and I'm going to watch Hot Fuzz on my laptop - with headphones as the people at the back are apparently losing a fight with a wardrobe.

Writing stuff - I have a response to the writing prompt here. I had far too much fun with it, but it may show how much sleep deprived I feel.

 Photo by Christopher Harris on Unsplash 

Monday 8 July 2019

It's going to be a long summer

Yesterday was so wonderfully dull and routine that there was nothing worth writing about. There wasn't much worth writing about today until I picked up my parcel for bear. Bear has asked very, very, very nicely and got a pack of 160 pencils for what is apparently a reasonable price of £30. He wore me down and I was working on some writing stuff, what can I say. That is a large chunk of the treat money gone, but bear is happy with that. So bear now has 160 new pencils. He is sorting them by colour. He is colour blind. I am being asked my opinion a lot.

So the barrel of the pencil may be coloured khaki and the label may say khaki, but the actual bit that colours is brown. Bear is confused and so am I. Bear also sees purple as blue, brown as green and gets bewildered by the pinks. To be honest, by the end of the pinks, I was pretty bewildered as well. He's been at it for over an hour and a half, and he is nowhere near finished. I am considering strong drink.

Then you get the stupid names. When bear asks me what colour lividity is, I have no idea. I like to think I have a reasonable vocabulary, and while I am nothing like an artist, I'm not entirely ignorant about colour, but I was stuck between red with outrage (he was livid at the insult) or livid like a corpse, which covers a wide range. It turns out that the pencil labelled 'Dark Lividity' is really 'Practically Black'. 

Writing stuff - if you are interested, here is a writing prompt, 500 words about the quote or the pic, or both, or just vaguely connected to them, and I don't check length, and sort of by next week but you don't have to link them in or anything, just enjoy. 

Saturday 6 July 2019

Another Fail

I have not got much done today. I did go out to the tip, then through the back roads as a treat, got stuck in the car park at Oakwell Hall, then got stuck in the car park at Aldi and finally got some washing and ironing done, but not much.

Bear is trying to persuade me to spend a great deal of money on pens and pencils. I am holding out until I get the end of year report, as it is far cheaper for me to bundle up all the achievements in one. Bear knows this and has been telling me of all the different brands and possibilities to try and get the most generous deal. I'm so tired, I couldn't take it all in, I can see negotiations will be ongoing.

One thing that has been decided, in a year and a bit's time, DH and I will have been married for thirty years (and dating several years before that). We are going to do something. We are not sure what, but we are going to do something as a family. We went to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff for our Silver wedding, and I expect it will be equally idiosyncratic whatever we decide. It will be fun working something out.

I now going to stagger to bed. Hugs to all.

Friday 5 July 2019

I am Glad it is Friday

Today was a good day.

For some reason the toilet is no longer blocked. I have no idea why, but it is smoothly disposing of everything it should, so I'll take it as a win. I think dumping half a litre of extra strong washing up liquid down it last thing at night did the trick, though it was still reluctant this morning. And I have a working washing machine.

I also have spent some time chasing up mortgage thingies. Our mortgage comes to an end soon, and it was linked to an endowment. There should be absolutely no problem, the mortgage company have a charge on the endowment so they should get their money and if there is any shortfall or excess then the mortgage company will be in touch with us. It should be a totally straightforward transaction. They've lost the original form. They haven't got the date filled in where it should be filled in. Apparently the mortgage company are somewhat concerned and a manager is calling me on Monday. Fortunately the lovely people that run the endowment are able to send me a copy of the details by the end of next week. That took some time, along with chasing up some insurance stuff with the car.

I also wrote something in response to a call for submissions. I'm not sure it's doing it justice, and it was only 700 words, but it's something. I'm feeling smug because I finished it more than half an hour before the deadline. I don't know if it will get anywhere, but I'll get further if I try than if I don't.

Then I had two calls while driving to pick up bear, one from school about nothing serious and one from the car insurance people who hadn't looked on the system to see that it had already been dealt with, but I was on pins until I could find somewhere to stop safely and answer.

Then bear utterly rejected plans for dinner, so had a sandwich instead. 

I'm taking to drink tonight. It isn't that all that stuff was complicated. It's just that it's all sorts of different stuff, on all sorts of different deadlines and no idea where the next storm in a teacup is coming from. After this week, I feel like I have bounced from one thing to another, so tonight I am working on staying still (when not sorting out clothes for bear and DH who are meeting a friend tomorrow. Also violin)

Also have just received the details about the last day of term for bear, and need to work out how the heck I'm supposed to get to the dratted place where he will apparently be watching a sports thingy. Sigh.

Writing stuff - The latest from the White Hart is here. I have been having far too much fun writing that.

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Thursday 4 July 2019

I Need a Little Less Excitement

I was almost nodding off when I wrote yesterday's post, so I missed a few bits.

No-one was hurt, but yesterday I saw a lad on a bike hit by a car. I panicked. The lad seemed alright, although he lost a lump from his bike, but I didn't know what to do. The car that hit him just kept on driving. I did have less sympathy than I could have had because the lad had ridden his bike against a red light and into the path of the car, which fortunately wasn't going very fast, and he was more angry than hurt. I felt quite shaken for the rest of the night.

Also, there were donkeys near the farm shop. I had a quick look, but bear and his pal were too cool to bother. They have sent up a sort of ongoing picnic on the back seat of the car, but I got a pic.

Funnily enough, I went past there twice this morning. I dropped bear and his pal off at school and then cut through the back roads and past the farm shop to the tip. The back roads can be challenging, especially if you don't slow down, as they are quite twisty, but there are two lanes and it wasn't that busy. It was also lovely and quiet at the tip. Normally I am a nervous wreck at the tip, but that's because I've gone via the ring road which always leaves me stressed. It wasn't likely to be much easier at rush hour, as I was leaving the tip at around 8.15. So I went back via the back roads, adding at least another five miles on to my journey, and arriving home in a lovely, serene state. This lasted for minutes until I found that the toilet was blocked. I'm still trying to sort it out.

I spent a lot of the day trying different ways of unblocking the loo and waiting for the washing machine repair man. The washing machine was finally fixed around 5pm, and has been going since. I am hoping to catch up tomorrow.

Writing Stuff - It's been odd. I'm putting this out here in case aspiring writers like myself are reading and, if similar happens to them, they are less surprised. You may remember that quite a few months ago I got a story accepted for a Steampunk Anthology, Cogs, Crowns and Carriages. It was going to be published by Our Write Side, who also published Glass and Ashes, which included a story from me. Unfortunately things got complicated at Our Write Side and a lot of very lovely people got upset and now Our Write Side is not currently active, although it may come back later with a renewed membership. Late last night I got an email from Phoebe Darqueling who is an amazing person and who is willing to take on the publishing of Cogs, Crowns and Carriages, but under changed conditions. I'm not sure about the new conditions.

Our Write Side have played fair, and released the rights of the story back to me (not all publishers would do this, so credit to them), so I don't have to go with the new ideas. I know Phoebe is an amazing writer and is really helping the authors who were accepted for the anthology by taking this challenge on, but I'm not sure that the new set up is right for me. There is no time pressure or stress for me to get back to them immediately (again, they have played very fair and not all publishers are so accommodating), so I have a few days to think about it. It's something else to worry about. The hardest part for me is that a lot of very lovely people have had to deal with extra stress and worry and I hate seeing wonderful people upset.

On another track, I got linked to a podcast that showcases poetry read by Ariana R Cherry, called Spoken Word Poetry. I am looking forward to listening to it when I work out how to listen to podcasts.

Hugs to all, and hoping for a very boring day tomorrow.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Nearly Almost the Weekend

My tummy is not co-operating with life, and any further information is more than anyone wants to know, trust me. Today it objected to scrambled eggs in the cafe at Tesco. I really enjoyed the treat, but it was so not worth it.

Whereverthejourneytakesme - I may need assistance if the washing isn't sorted soon!

But I had an awesome evening with DH and I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be better.

Sending hugs to all.

Tuesday 2 July 2019


It may be only Tuesday, but I will be glad when it gets to the weekend. I am so tired and I have so much to do. Not least, there is a pile of washing that is growing larger than me!

Today I took the car to the car wash. I should wash it myself, but the chances of doing that without grief from neighbours are limited, so I invested £6 in a wash and vac. They did a great job, and Red is now sparkling and bright. I'm surprised they managed to get rid of all the rubbish left by bear and co. And the first thing that they did when they got in the car was start eating! I hope the spray of air freshener has worn off by tomorrow morning, though, as it gave me a headache.

I've also washed DH's gym kit in the bath. It wasn't muddy or anything, and I'm using a good quality washing liquid, so I stuck with 'good enough for once' and made sure I rinsed it well.

Writing stuff - I set up next week's writing prompt, finished next Friday's instalment from the White Hart and did some research as well as some reading. I also finished my response to this week's writing prompt and you can read it here.  If you are interested in having a go, check out the prompt here, but there's no pressure. There will be another one next Monday.

Now I can finally get the gym kit out of the dryer and stagger up to bed! Hugs to all.

Monday 1 July 2019

Another Week

JustJill - a quiet bear makes all purchases worth it!

Today has been sort of odd. I'm still suffering from a grumbly tum, and I'm nodding over the keyboard. I had a dentist check up today and I drove there!!! I am so unfamiliar with the area, but I checked Google maps, and went for it. The large car park nearby was horrifically busy, but I managed, and I feel quite triumphant about it. By the time I got home, that was the morning gone, and I don't seem to have got any momentum going, but it could be worse.

Writing stuff - I'm starting a Weekly Writing Prompt. I've mainly started it to get me writing a little flash fiction on a weekly basis, but thought I would share the fun. If you are interested, have a look here, and the idea is that you look at the pic and/or the quotation and see what you can come up with - fact, fiction, poetry or prose, and with a theoretical limit of max 500 words (no minimum) but I don't check. If you want to link the story in the comments, then go for it and I will share, but you can see if you can take it further, perhaps as a seed for a longer story, or perhaps you can try and market it to one of the places that take flash fiction. There is already an entry, from Rebekah Jonesy, which you can read here.

Now I'm going to tootle off to bed before I start snoring at my keyboard. Hugs to all.