Sunday 31 October 2021

Happy Halloween!

Ann - thank you so much! I feel incredibly hugged by that. The encouragement I get means a lot to me. I will be incredibly crass and mention the books I've got on Amazon - list here. Watch out for when I figure out how to put them on sale. And thank you for that as well because when I went to review the list of books, I realised that not only was it a mess, but that three books were missing. So not only have you given me a huge boost of encouragement, but you've got me doing some much needed updating. Thank you.

And also, thank you to everyone who gives their encouragement. It's a big deal, and I am really, really grateful.

The writing stuff is quite mixed in today, as that is what I have been fighting all day. I wanted to give a really big, stonking, epic story for the finish. I couldn't seem to get it out. There were some interruptions over the last few days, but I should have sorted it a while ago. The last day of October's spooky stories is here, which is a much shorter snippet, but still fun, I think. It's just not the blockbuster ending I hoped for.

Bear has been happily working his way through the Skulduggery Pleasant books for the last few days. I haven't had the heart to remind him about the revision he was supposed to have been doing. I daresay I shall hear all about it on the way to school tomorrow, but I can live with that. He's had a week off, and I think that he is the better for it.

The weather here has been shocking, and there has been a distinct lack of trick-or-treaters. This is just as well, as I forgot to get the sweeties in.

I think I shall settle down tonight with the Strictly Come Dancing Results show, followed by Nightmare before Christmas with extra knitting and a stiff drink. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 30 October 2021

More Hecking Ouch

I feel a little sore after the booster. It's totally worth it. I'm really pro-vaccination. It's just that I've spent most of this month out of sorts, under the weather or downright poorly and I could do with the break.

I've just pottered around today. I called in at Aldi this evening and found this - a plushie tucked under a doormat. Someone was obviously bored.

Writing stuff - today's short is here. Tomorrow's may be a little late, but I have the idea mentally roughed out and fingers crossed I'll get a few quiet moments tomorrow.

Hugs and good health to all.

Friday 29 October 2021

Ouch in a Good Way

I had my Covid booster this afternoon. To be honest, it was great as it was awkward driving to get there which calmed me down a lot. There seem to be roadworks everywhere.

Poor DH is driving my car now, and is taking bear into town to get some climbing shoes. Bear is growing wonderfully fast, and is now as tall as me. It won't be long before I'm asking him to get things from high shelves for me (I'm 5'7", so not too small. I hope bear towers over me by the end). The strength that bear is developing from climbing means that he is now extremely useful for lifting heavy packages when they are delivered and opening jars. I very much approve.

Writing stuff - I don't think that I'll do a writing thing like this for next October. I've been hammered by so much in way of abscesses, colds and general naff raff that I've not been able to post as much new stuff as I would like. Still, I hope it has been fun, for the old and the new stuff. Today's post is here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Normal for Me

Chris - thank you! That friendly hug was very much appreciated. 

The problem with panic attacks is that I've had them too long. I'm at the stage where I under-react. The first one I had, I think around 1985 or 1986 (though they were never diagnosed then), I thought I was going to die. The heart attack symptoms earlier in the year were a little alarming. These days I'm just trying to work around them. I hope it settles down soon.

I took the car in today. Again. The nice people at Kwik Fit had a look at it. Again. They couldn't find a fault with it. Again. They didn't charge me (because they didn't do anything) and I gave them a box of chocolates. The likely problem is that the car isn't going over 40mph. It needs a good run or it gets gunked up, apparently. I have a suspicion that red would be a lot faster car with a different driver. She's nippy enough when she gets going. She takes time to warm up, however, and she really doesn't like first gear. DH is now the co-driver of the car and agrees that 1st gear is a challenge, but she's a good little workhorse. She definitely likes a longer run. This means that I definitely need to work on motorway driving. Fortunately, DH's runs are likely to be a little faster than the school run so that will help. The thought of going on the motorway isn't helping my stress levels. On the bright side, though, I got quite a bit of knitting done while they checked red out.

I write all sorts of rubbish on here. It's a sort of 'see it, say it' blog. This is actually a good thing because I posted about the new door being installed last year. As there are a few issues, I checked the blog to see when it was installed and I could ring up and give them the date and mention that the lock was a problem. They're getting back to me. The regular wrestle with the door (because when it's closed it wants to stay closed) is probably not helping my stress levels.

I'm writing this now because I was supposed to be taking things out to the car, but I don't want to disturb the sparrows. They are a lot more assertive than me and play absolute war as they enjoy the bird feeder. I also saw a rat disappearing into the gap between the tyres. I think I am going to have to face it. If I want to keep the bird feeder, I need to get rid of the plants or accept the occasional rat. I'm having a think about it. The rat is not helping the stress levels.

I'm not necessarily thinking as clearly as I would like because my room stank of weed all last night. I do not indulge in it. I'm not necessarily condemning those who do, but it's really not my thing, and I'm not sure that it's good for people. As someone who is cutting down their drinking drastically in case of liver damage, I don't feel in a position to preach, but I couldn't recommend it. I don't like the smell of it in my room either. I suspect that the window needs to be replaced. Lots of people smoke it in the street, and there have been issues with fumes before, so I think more air is coming in than should be with a closed window. Also, next door's central heating is not in a good state by the smell of the fumes coming out of the vent. As for the window, it's going to have to wait. And the smell and sleeping issues it causes aren't helping my nerves either. 

I had a little walk yesterday when I got this pic, which I'm hoping on using on the writing blog.

Today I went to IKEA for some vegetarian meatballs and part of bear's Christmas present. It's more of a token, really, and I'm not putting anything more here in case he reads the blog. I got quite a few steps in, and had a little wander around, but resisted buying a lot of stuff. I'm quite proud of that.

Writing stuff - today's story is here. I should be writing tomorrow's story now. I'm not sure that the October posts have helped my stress levels either. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Darn it to Heck

Another day, another panic attack. Back tomorrow.

And today's spooky story on my writing blog is here

Hugs and good health to all.

Monday 25 October 2021

Still Quiet

Sharon - I loved that pic of the coyote. The sudden look of 'what the fluff?' It is really hard to get the confidence up, and I know how it feels. I post stuff I write most weeks now, but it took me a long time to get that courage up. It feels so vulnerable. My experience, though, is that there are a lot of supportive people out there, and all you can do is keep practising being brave. It does get easier with practice.

As for bear and what he does, I always felt that there was a sort of conveyor belt. First GCSEs, then A levels, then University and then - what? I think that bear has got the ability to get to University (though I could be a biased mother), but I want him to do so with some sort of awareness and a knowledge of other opportunities. 

It's the school holidays, so bear has been just hanging out. Tomorrow I start nagging him properly about his homework - no matter how reluctantly. However it will be better than him having an emotional collapse if it gets to Sunday without him having done any work. On the bright side, I managed to locate and wash most of bear's games kit. I haven't found his football socks, and I'm almost afraid to look. With all the mud and the effects of half a term of football, rugby and generic running around, I'm surprised they haven't walked up to me by themselves and asked the way to the washer.

I'm at the very end of that cold, finally, but I'm still feeling run down. I think I will take the opportunity of a week without the school run and start getting snuggled down for winter. Perhaps if I spend some time reading books on Hygge and such like then I'll be energised into action.

Writing stuff - today's story is here, and I had far too much fun writing it.

Hugs and good health to all. 

brown cat on white table

Image from Unsplash taken by Elba Sindoni

Sunday 24 October 2021

Lovely and Quiet

Nothing much happened here. It has all been calm. Well, apart from Liverpool beating Manchester United by five goals. There was some noise here then. To any Man U fans reading this - I'm not saying anything more as it's cruel to mock the afflicted. Seriously - better luck with the next coach.

Writing stuff - I've spent most of today fighting with a story that I've just had to abandon. I need to learn when to quit. Today's spooky story is here. We're two thirds through October and I'm enjoying the stories. There are some old favourites, and some new ones, and I hope that everyone else is enjoying them as well. I won't know what to do with myself at the end of October. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 23 October 2021

Reality Check

Sharon - your photos are amazing! You have wonderful perception, and I am always stunned by the clarity of them. Sending all good vibes.

Re the writing - I have to do something. I'm hoping after I get my teeth fixed that I can get some work around the school run. Meanwhile I need to get some money together. Bear is talking about University. I'm encouraging him to make that choice if he gets the marks, but letting him know that it's up to him and there is another world out there. To be honest, I think life would be easier if he got a degree, but I don't want to stress him. But if he goes to university, the loans and stuff are calculated on parental income. On DH's income, assuming all goes well and no disasters happen, we will be expected to contribute several hundred pounds a month, and it would be easier for bear if we could manage more. We have some savings, and some bits put aside for bear that I don't think he knows about, but the more we can help, the happier I'll be. And knowing my lack of impulse control when it comes to shopping, I think I should increase my income as well as look for savings. 

One place I may able to save is on alcohol. I was honest with the dentist today about how much I drank. I think they assumed that I was under-reporting, doubled it, and now I'm being referred for a liver function test. They also advised me not to stop drinking cold turkey, which I did a few weeks ago because I was taking painkillers. I'm going to at least cut down. 

I had a drive after the dentist, but I couldn't get speed up on a stretch where the limit was 70. I don't know what it is. I think that I'm using the gears wrong as I was struggling to get over 50mph. I shall have to get some practice. 

Writing stuff - Today's snippet is here. It's a little more upbeat but still supernatural, to fit October.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 22 October 2021

Second Verse Same as the First

Sharon - I prefer circular needles, but I think that they handle different. Like I said, I used more yarn than the pattern suggested. I had a lapse of judgement and subscribed to a load of craft and knitting pattern pages and now my email is buried. 

Kate - sometimes it is worth listening to the older hands. They've seen a lot more and often put things together. It's funny how the new cars can be. I think I would always want to stick to the basics to try and limit what could go wrong.

Wherethejourneytakesme - I suspect that I may have something like that going on, just a funny little thing that sets it off.

I went to the garage, and they had a look. They set it up, cleaned it out and then couldn't find a fault. Initially the message talked about the catalytic converter, just like last time. I mentioned that the car hadn't gone over 40mph for a while, and that was a plausible reason for it being set off. I have to take it back to the garage on Wednesday to get the catalytic specialist to check. 

We've had bear's target grade report. He's expected to get all Grade 8 (A*) except for one subject which is Grade 7 (A). He seems fine with that. I was wondering after the latest test results (which were pretty awesome) whether he may hit a Grade 9 (A***) but bear pointed out that he was still getting all As and to cool my jets. That is reassuring, that he feels able to tell me to back off. I still feel guilty for suggesting it. 

Writing stuff - Today's October story is here.

I'm trying to plan for my writing blog. I know that I get a surge of energy at this time of year. I know that I have the speed and grace of a slug between January and April. There are going to be some changes. I'm just not sure what they will be. I am likely to strip a lot of the stories from the blog and put them in book form, but we all know what happens when I mention plans, and it's not a given. On the one hand it may make me some pennies from people who don't go on blogs. On the other hand, it will keep me honest as I will be continuing to post stories on the blog and it will mean that I have to keep putting up new stuff. The short stories on the blog are like a type of gym work out for writing, so they are unlikely to disappear (pending what happens when I try to make plans). Anyway, I'll give a proper warning if I do that. I need to work out how to make them free for a time on Amazon etc.

And that is one reason why I'm writing this early. I plan to sit down with a pen and paper (because I work better that way than with a keyboard) and see where my thoughts take me. When I was looking over the writing blog, I realised that there were so many potential longer stories there that needed telling. I had a lot of good characters and stories and I needed to get them sorted out. Besides, when I was sorting out the White Hart books (available as eBooks at all good online book stores and I'm working on the paperbacks) I had some real inspiration for the next stage...

Please send good vibes.

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday 21 October 2021

Getting Silly

Okay, I've had the tooth abscess, the cold from heck, the sore toe which is crippling me to try and walk and now my car's engine fault light is on. 

Last time the car engine fault came on (I think the beginning of September), I was in a car with a phone on low battery and no charger in the car. After valeting, there is no charger in the car and I'd let my phone battery run down. At least this time I wasn't lost when it happened. When I got it to Kwik Fit, they thought it would be the catalytic converter, but after they cleaned things up and checked, they couldn't find a fault. 

The poor car gets gunked up. Cars, I believe, need a good fast run now and again to keep them running well. Poor red hasn't had them for a while. There has been the fuel shortage, and all the health issues, and the only stretch of road I usually get above forty on the school run has been closed due to a burst water main. I'm taking her in tomorrow afternoon. I picked up bear as the engine seems to be running fine, and I'm keeping everything crossed that it's something inexpensive. DH has handed back the lease car when it came to the end of the lease, so I can't cadge lifts from him. I have to be nice to the Kwik Fit people. I keep going in there with a warning light, a baffled expression and no explanation. They are very patient with me.

Bear is also off school tomorrow and the next week for half term. He's planned lots of revision and study. I shall have to keep an eye on him. 

Writing stuff - today's story is here.

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 20 October 2021


Sharon - thank you! The pattern was free and is here. It's quite easy to knit, especially if you follow it properly and have a very long circular needle. It also took more yarn than expected, but I think that may have been because of the type of rubbish, naff raff, cheap, so-called yarn I was using. And it didn't take that long.

I was going to call this post, 'From the Sublime to the Ridiculous'. I can't remember what the 'sublime' was. But now I have a bad toe. It is pathetic. I mean, it aches, and it's not exactly comfortable to walk on, but it feels ridiculous. How can I take myself seriously with a bad big toe?

There is good news. Bear has done well in the latest tests. The school tests a lot, partly to practice and partly to keep checking on the pupils. There's 'stepping stones' and 'milestones' and all sorts. I did my O Levels, the GCSE equivalents, nearly forty years ago. My history exam involved four essays in an hour and thirty minutes. Bear has questions divided into four pointers and 12 pointers and he worked it out that he had to hit roughly a point per minute. It's about technique as much as knowledge. I find it quite depressing. Bear did awesomely but is planning on spending half term doing revision. It's apparently ongoing. The school insists that all the pupils hit high standards, which is good, but I worry that bear could take too much to heart.

Writing stuff - Today's story is here. And if you are looking for something spooky, Three Furies Press have a promotion going on here, with their scarier stories (mine not included). 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Another Day, Another Meh

Wherethejourneytakesme - I would have definitely waved back. At some point I hope we meet. We just need to get over the problems caused by the plague and my social anxiety.

I finished the shawl. 

The problem is that the point curls up, sort of sucked in. I think it's the way I did the increases in the lace section. Being me, I did a twisted drop stitch (which takes one row) rather than the more traditional drop stitch they used (which takes two rows) and while I love the twisted drop stitch, it isn't brilliant for increases (though I think it makes the yarn go a lot further for a scarf). It's no good trying to block it. The 'yarn' has no give in it whatsoever and I think could actually melt if pressed. I think I will have to throw it out. I'm not even thinking of unravelling it - the yarn would be knot central within five yards!

I may try again with the pattern, possibly with a different yarn and definitely with the proper drop stitch. Or I may fiddle with the increases so that it doesn't matter. I would have also liked to do a few plain rows after, but my circular needle was full. I didn't count as I cast off, but there were over three hundred stitches earlier on, and it was cumbersome. I've cast on a (very easy) wrap style thing.

Bear has half term coming up and a distaste for spiders. I asked him if he wanted to go out looking for conkers (which are supposed to deter spiders, but I am unconvinced) or should I get them from eBay. Bear was clear - get them from eBay. I am a little concerned as he plans to spend a lot of time with revision, but he knows his workload. I'll need to keep an eye on that. I may ask him to plan for Halloween to be free and for him to take it as strict relaxation.

Also, I have just put on some Morrisons vapour rub. I tried to be careful, but I think the best description is 'blast radius'. My laptop is getting its sinuses cleared.

Writing stuff - today's story is here, and the book fair of the books connected with the October Frights Blog Hop is here, but it will only be up until the end of October. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Monday 18 October 2021

Funny Sort of Day

I had an awful night. I managed about two hours sleep and I feel like scrunched up newspaper. The antihistimines didn't really help. 

I was worried about the school run, but I managed fine. The only oddity for that was when I dropped bear off. He has started asking to be dropped near a particular junction where the street parking is odd because (insert long and complicated reason that I understood 30% of it). I've found a nice little spot, away from traffic lights, junctions, bollards and awkward corners and I've used it about half a dozen times now. I pulled up behind the usual car and noticed a long black stripe. Someone had sprayed paint over it. I looked around. The spray paint had also been used over the car in the drive, the walls, the path, the windows and the doors of the house next to the car. It was not nice stuff, lots of swear words and accusing someone of being part of the IRA and 'poiseners'. I dropped bear off and got out of there.

I could have really done with trying to go back to sleep, but the car valeter was coming. DH had asked him to do his car, as it is a lease car that is about to be handed back, and I thought I would have mine done at the same time. The valeter took four hours in cold and damp. We tipped him a decent amount.

Every now and then I sort of peered out as the lad was working. I spotted at least ten sparrows on the bird feeder and surrounding honeysuckle at one point as they bullied the pigeons, and there was a great tit later on. There was also a rat, but it didn't seem confident, so I'm hoping some of the sound stuff is working. This leads me to another concern. The apples.

We have a small apple tree in a tub. It has some apples. Most of them don't seem ready as they are clinging on to the branch and not giving. I managed to pick one, and it was the only decent (for me) pic that I got. 

These apples have been ignored by the birds (including pigeons), wasps, rats and the squirrel. I'm not sure if the wildlife is trying to tell us something. I may look up craft style stuff. I'm sure I've seen them dried and stuck with cloves. That would be awesome. 

Bear is off to climbing tonight and as soon as he is home I am going to have a very stiff drink and a ridiculously early night.

Writing stuff - Today's story is here, another new one with Kane. He seems to be making himself heard at the moment.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 17 October 2021

I Feel Abashed

The arch with the honeysuckle is now down. It just wobbled down like cardboard, so it was just as well that it came down before any stormy weather. All I can say is that the local robin did not approve. I got a death glare. I got a full on disappointed, irritated, grumply stare from something that weighs less than my current used tissues. I got the strong feeling that I should go away and think hard about what I've done. I didn't get a pic of that particular robin, as I was too busy transfixed and hanging my head in shame, so here is a stock photo.

There was also a stunned pigeon. I've seen it around a few times. It's scruffy looking and comes to the bird feeder, but it seems a little, well, lacking. I noticed it when it rustled the bag with the clippings in, and then got lost in a tub that was sideways on - and around 18 inches deep! I'm not sure if that is normal for pigeons or whether it needs help. At the moment it seems to be getting around okay, so I'll just keep an eye out.

I can understand the robin being cross. I've taken down two good places for the small birds to perch and they both provided a certain amount of cover for the bird feeder. As a magpie regularly visits, and I believe magpies will go after small birds, this is important. On the other hand, the fuchsia is still roughly the size of a tank even after I trimmed the bit overhanging the pavement, the weeds still flourish underneath the study windowsill and the honeysuckle in the tyres still no doubt harbours loads of insects and honeysuckle berries. Now that it's been trimmed, I've even got a few flowers.

I took a pic, which was mercifully robin free. I usually see it in the mornings. 

When I took the pic, I realised how much I needed to do in the garden to get it looking halfway fit. I certainly avoided a lot of angles. It can wait until after I've stopped sniffling. I'll almost certainly look to get more trellis and climbers, but perhaps a little sturdier. The last lot were technically metal but had the resistance of cardboard. I'm not getting Russian Vine again, though. We had that and it too father three goes to get rid of it. It once grew 9 inches in a week. We never got decent flowers, either. 

Sniffles continue. I feel somewhat like death (but it is seriously not serious) and bear needs a short sleeved shirt for tomorrow. 

Writing stuff - today's story is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 16 October 2021

Sniff Sniff

Cold continues and I'm currently knackered. On the bright side, Liverpool won by five goals. I've also got some knitting done while watching the first few episodes of 'Castle' and I'll appreciate it all when it's over.

Writing stuff - today's snippet is here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 15 October 2021


Tooth is almost 100% pain free. I wish I hadn't got the cold that followed. It is just a cold. I can't overdramatise it. However I do feel pretty poorly.

When DH or bear feel poorly, they get upset stomachs. Everyone has their own idiosyncracies. Mine is that my nose runs. It runs like Usain Bolt. I am on my second large box of tissues of the day. It is ridiculous. Apart from anything else, it makes tasks like washing up a nightmare and I feel unclean. I'm giving myself another night to let it get out of my system before I start taking antihistimines. I am so fed up. 

This morning I risked antagonising the sparrows and cut back the fuchsia where it overhung the path. People can now get past. I got this pic.It's a pic of the sun shining through some virginia creeper on the fence at the school, and from the front of our house it almost looked like stained glass.

I love virginia creeper and I love the colour it turns at this time of year. It may not be a brilliant pic, but I couldn't resist it.

Writing stuff - today is the last day of October Frights Blog Hop so check out the links in the bottom of the today's story if you are interested. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 14 October 2021

Different Day, Same Situation

My toothache has almost gone. It's a shame about the raging sore throat, aching muscles and sniffles. I could really do without it.

What makes it all interesting is the appointment to see the dentist about getting sedated is on Saturday. I can't go if I have a sore throat. I have been waiting for this appointment for something like six months. 

On the bright side, DH and I have started watching 'Ghosts' on BBC iPlayer, and have just spent a very fun evening. 

Writing stuff - today's story is a new one with Kane and you can find it here, along with links to the other goodies of the rest of the October Frights Blog Hop.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Only Wednesday

Toothache really continuing, with fever and sore throat. What fun!

Writing stuff - links are all here.

You are all awesome

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Still with the Toothache


In other news, I can't remember. I think there's other stuff that has happened, but I have no idea. At least I had the sense not to put in the supermarket order. 

Writing stuff - I had the sense to cue up most of the stuff for October, including the October Frights - link to today's story is here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 11 October 2021


 Wherethejourneytakesme - unfortunately getting worse.

I'm almost going mad with toothache at the moment, but it wasn't so bad this morning. This was just as well, because the arch which had the runner beans on had fallen over and the bottom bit had completely given up. I suspect the pigeons had a squabble at the top and it was all too much for the structure. Bear gave his opinion that they were utterly cheap rubbish, and he was very active in putting them together, so he should know. I'm planning to get rid of the other one, with the honeysuckle. I'm going to do such a clear out, and I hope to take pics. I was too embarassed by weeds to take pics of the fallen arch, but here is one I took a while ago while it was upright.

The above was taken 20th August. It had spread somewhat since then. The plants had been uprooted and, to be honest, were broken. Unfortunately it had fallen on a tub of basil, so while I was cutting up the greenery, it felt like I was being force fed pesto in a malevolent Italian restaurant. It was an excuse to to to the tip on the bypass.

And the honeysuckle - I took the pic just now and the light isn't helping. The arch is very entwined, but I suspect that it's only the washing line that's keeping it upright.

The arch isn't supposed to be pointed. It's just rubbish metal.

Bear approves of the idea of the arches, but believes that this time we shouldn't get cheap rubbish. The arches were extremely cheap.The yellow box is actually a grit box that turned up in my garden one day via a friend of a friend who took me by surprise. It's been a pain in the neck ever since as I wanted the bins to go there. I also suspect that rats are using it as a run. I feel very strongly about this matter. So the bin can go across the road where everyone can help themselves (I've always said that anyone in the street can do that) and I intend to prune with malice. 

Bear has not got a good part in the house drama. Also, issues with his GCSE drama. I'm happy to distract him with arches.

Writing stuff - today's story is here and if you scroll down there is a list of other authors taking part, the giveaway and the bookfair. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 10 October 2021

I made a Casserole

I am very proud of making a casserole. I chopped up the mushroom, carrot and onion, fried the beef in garlic granules, added a tiny bottle of wine plus herbs and stock cube, peeled the potatoes for mash and got the broccoli set up in the steamer. All the time in absolute agony with toothache

I am now about to have some Solpadeine with codeine which means that I will be high as a kite for the evening. I thought I had better get my blog post here. My tooth is very painful indeed. I only take solpadeine if I'm desperate because I am not safe with codeine. I definitely couldn't drive. I'm not sure that I'll be fit to operate a laptop and I'm wondering how to block access to eBay and Amazon. It's a harsh step, but I have form for bad decisions when under no influence whatsoever, so I don't want to make things worse.

This evening I plan to listen to a book. It just goes to show - I forgot all about my subscription to Scribd until I realised I had some books published on there. You subscribe for so much a month, then you can read books, listen to books or podcasts, have access to magazines and sheet music and apparently something called documents. I plan to get my money's worth now. I've been knitting and listening to The Horse, the Wheel and Language by David W Anthony, and I've enjoyed. it. It's non-fiction, and is about the development of the Indo European language and the link with the domestication of the horsee. Once the solpadeine has hit, though, I'll be fit for the Teletubbies.

And when I feel a little more composed, I'll go through the subscriptions on my PayPal account. I keep a very vague and loose track on my bank account, but I suspect that Scribd is a PayPal payment.

Writing stuff - Today it's all in one place, all the links to the October Frights Blog Hop are at the bottom of my post on my writing blog here. I had a little play with some spooky ideas for the steampunk world of Out of the London Mist and I hope that you like them. I've added all the other writers taking part in the hop and the links to the giveaway (which if I could work out Story Origins I would totally be part of, but I can't so I'm not) and the book fair.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 9 October 2021

Dental Day

Wherethejourneytakesme - thank you for your kind words. I can't tell you how much they encourage me. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I feel hugged. Funnily enough, I read mainly non-fiction. Although when I write, I have a habit of breaking out in the supernatural. Let me know how that book turns out. I have dipped into Persephone books in the past and enjoyed their selection.

I have toothache. The abscess continues. Sometimes it flares up, like now, which is painful. My dentist insists that I need sedation for the tooth to be pulled. My throat went into a spasm when they last tried to take an x-ray and I think it worried the dentist (who is lovely). So I was referred to a specialised clinic, which burned down. I am fairly sure it was a coincidence.

This caused some disruption, as you can imagine, and today I had a consult in a different building - in the wilds of Leeds, in an not very nice area. Also, I only realised that my satnav had been put on mute while I was on the ringroad. I don't like the ringroad anyway, so by the time I got it all sorted out and arrived at the clinic with something like four minutes to spare, I was a wreck. 

It turned out that this wasn't the consultation before the sedation. This was the consultation before the consultation before the sedation. I took a whole five minutes. I thought I would stretch my wheels afterwards to cheer myself up, and it would have probably worked better if I hadn't taken a wrong turn and ended up in Leeds City Centre with absolutely no clue where I was going. The one way system there is tricky

I was so glad to get home, and I watched 'The Addams Family Values' with DH and bear. Bear went for new shoes today and he is now in men's shoes. It seems like no time at all I was taking him for his first shoes before he could even walk well. 

Writing stuff  - Today's story on my writing blog is here, and for a change it's set in a fantasy world. I had fun - and I used one of my own pics! Tomorrow is the start of the October Frights Blog Hop, and I'll be sharing loads of stuff for that, but feel free to get a sneak peek at a giveaway. There's nothing of mine, but it may give you a chance to enjoy the other authors taking part - it's here. The book fair is here, including one of mine. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 8 October 2021

What happened to the Week?

Wherethejourneytakesme - I write scarier than I can read. There have been times when I have walked away from a story because I was writing at night and I wouldn't be able to sleep. I had to finish in the morning. Doctor Who is about my limit for scary when it comes to films and books, and I think that I sometimes get past that. I hope that you liked it. Sometimes I think I have so much fun writing that it ought to be illegal and I worry that I get carried away.

Today has been another day when I have dotted around with a little washing, a little housewifery and some writing. We had the quorn mince again for dinner. This time it was cooked up with tomatoes, onions, sweetcorn and all the good flavourings, and served with pasta and peas. I was discussing this with DH and we want to move away from meat. We won't be going completely vegetarian or vegan, but we'll be looking at more veggie alternatives. I want to get the hang of cooking more with lentils, as well. Bear is currently rejecting soup in any form, but I know that there are other ways of eating them. 

I went on the bypass again. I only dropped off a couple of cardboard boxes at the tip, but it was an excuse really. I wanted to have a go on the sliproad and practice going fast. I got stuck behind someone doing 40mph in a 60mph zone - again. I overtook them, which was terrifying, but I was okay. The car runs much better after a good run. I'm still not convinced about the motorway.

Writing stuff - today's story is here, another spooky tale. It's also only two more days until the October Frights Blog Hop so if you are interested, keep an eye out. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 7 October 2021

I Just Blinked

I don't know what happened to today. I just blinked and it's almost bedtime. 

I've just pottered around today with some writing and clearing out some stuff. I've ironed a shirt or two and I've pulled together the Christmas stuff. It's as well I did. I've just been buying a bag of Lebkuchen whenever I've seen them in the shops over the last week or two and I already have half a dozen. They'd been stashed in different corners, so I hadn't realised. Mind you, I'll probably pick up half a dozen more as one of the main treats over the holidays. But at least this way I can keep track. 

Bear auditioned for the House Drama this lunchtime. I've no idea if he will get a part, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him. They are doing something based on The Addams Family. I will grumble about the school sometimes, but the school has set the kids up so that the pupils themselves will organise, script and perform. Teachers are not involved at all. It's all kept in house, so the parents never get to see it, but I get the feeling that it's a reasonable standard, with music, costume, proper lighting and everything. The bits I have seen have been impressive - and all driven by the students themselves. It's preparing them for being proactive and going out and making things happen. 

Writing stuff - I fitted in some writing as well, and I'm feeling quite pleased. Today's piece is here, and it's an old favourite which I always enjoy. 

I don't know whether it's good news or bad news, but I'm considering stripping out the stories from my fiction blog and putting them in book form. If I do, I'll give plenty of notice and try and make sure that I regularly run free promotions on Amazon. I'm in two minds, because it may generate some pennies, but it seems a little like cheating. On the other hand, I'll have to keep up to the new stuff on my writing blog. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Wonderfully Uneventful

Sarah - bear is starting Year 10, so at the beginning of his fourth year of grammar school. They are taking the GCSEs very seriously, and have a 'Head of Achievement' overseeing the next few years. I think that bear may be supposed to be doing 2-3 hours every night, but he's actually doing a lot less. Also, some is done in the car on the way to school. As he has got positives for his homework, I think he's doing okay. I told him tonight that his homework is between him and his conscience. I am staying out of it to the best of my ability.

DH and I spent this evening watching 'The Addams Family'. Bear is auditioning for a part in the House Drama, which is based on The Addams Family this year.. The houses all put on plays and... I have no idea, but bear is very enthusiastic. 

Writing stuff - I spent today finishing off today's story. I had only planned a quick story, something short and simple. It rather got away from me, and ended up at around 3,000 words. It's here, if you are interested. And I used a pic that I took myself. I'm quite pleased. It isn't as good as the ones I see on unsplash or on some of the amazing blogs linked in the sidebar, but I thought it looked good. Despite the story, it is quite a harmless book, published in 1896 with some rather dull recipes. The only ithing that caught my attention in the actual book is the advert for syrup of phosphorus on the back page. I can't find the book, but I'll take a pic when I find it again.

The flower is some gypsophilia that was part of a bunch that I was throwing out when it reached the end. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Parents' Evening

It's been a naff raff sort of day. I've been dotting around trying to sort out the absolute havoc in the house while also trying to catch up with writing stuff. It's been a sort of fail all around. 

I also forgot that the delivery was coming between 10 and 11 this morning. I thought it would be later, so I was completely taken by surprise when they drew up. It was Tesco, so no bags and I didn't have bags ready. I ended up stacking everything on the front steps to unload the big trays and then doing a load of trips inside afterwards. I may or may not have bought some Halloween and autumnal decorations.

The house is in such a state that it's impossible to put them up at the moment. I'm taking it as an incentive. And tomorrow I really need to do something in the very tiny front patch which is entirely out of control.

On the bright side, I'm sort of ready for Christmas. I mean, there could be power cuts, and there could be stuff happening that means that we use stuff up early without being able to replace it. However, all being well, and risking saying anything because we all know what happens when I plan but in the freezer is a frozen ham roast with glaze type thing, a bag of sprouts and a bag of roast potatoes. In the cupboard is a box of gluten free stuffing and a tub of gluten free gravy browning. I've got some bits for bear and DH, and it will be mostly money anyway. If nothing happens to these things, and stuff happens here a lot, then we will be fine for Christmas if we can't get the stuff nearer the time. All we really need here is the company. 

There was a sort of Parents' Evening tonight, where the school explained about the new system of rewards and incentives. It seems pretty tough. One thing horrified me - pupils are expected to do two to three hours homework per night and some parents apparently complain that it's not enough. I'm not sure about that. I've been staying away from bear's homework for years. I'm fairly certain that he isn't spending that amount of time, although today's ration included twenty minutes in the car on the way to school, but we're not getting any complaints. 

Writing stuff - today's piece is here, another little story about Kane. And Tales from the White Hart and More Tales from the White Hart should be getting to places other than Amazon soon. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 4 October 2021

The Start of Another Week

I got bear to school in clean uniform today. That is a win.

I had planned to go to Haworth on Saturday, to the steampunk fair there, and talked with bear and DH about it. I was psyching myself up (new people and no costume), when I got a call. I need a lot of dental work doing, and last time I went to the dentist my throat went into a spasm and so they really want to do the work under sedation. The consultation, which I can't really switch, is this Saturday. 

I am never mentioning a plan again.

Speaking of steampunk, if I ever get into instagram (which I really should), I have a prop. 

I bought it from Asda. Initially I bought it online to come in the same package as two duvet covers and a set of chopping boards. It came in the same box as them but without any packing at all. There was no bubble wrap or foam or even crumpled brown paper. The bulb was in the smallest fragments, which is why I had to go to Asda on Saturday, to take it back and get a replacement. I think it looks sort of cool.

I need to get into the garden, but I'm not looking forward to it. The pack of sparrows is getting very boisterous. They were having some sort of fight in the fuchsia when we got home. Mind you, I wasn't paying much attention as I was exhausted. A water main had burst on one of the routes home and the diversions were causing havoc. I was barely home in time to make DH's dinner before he took bear to climbing.

Writing stuff - Today's snippet is here. I thought it was a while since I wrote about Kane, and as he works with ghosts, it's a suitable topic for October. 

There will be further updates as October moves on. October Frights Blog Hop is on 10-15th October. I'll have all the links in my writing blog when it starts. There will be pieces from over a dozen authors, and what Anita Stewart, the amazing organiser, is calling a book fair. This is links to books by the participants (including Out of the London Mist by yours truly) so if you like the style of one of the participants, you can perhaps follow up with one of their books. There is also a giveaway on Story Origin. I'm not part of that (as I can't work out how to use the dratted site) but if you are interested then you could perhaps get some more reading there. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 3 October 2021

Getting Rid

Karen - I had a quick look, and it's gluten free as well! So many soups aren't. I'll give it a go.

Sharon - My grandmother was relentless when it came to shopping. She could have won an Olympic medal. And the jewellery bits are a lot of broken jewellery that I bought from eBay. It's wonderful sorting through them. I think you would make better use of it as I know you make lovely things, but we plan to have fun.

Jean - when all else fails, turn to Dad jokes. I'm glad it made you smile. 

Today has been better. Yesterday I couldn't put weight on my left foot and my right knee kept giving way. I don't think that there's anything particular going on. It just sometimes gets like that. I also binned the shawl I had been knitting, along with all the yarn. I think it hadn't been properly wound into balls, because the yarn was three strands, and one strand was much longer than the others and sort of loose, so the loop of excess yarn grew longer and more tangled as I knitted. It was almost tempting to hang on to the rest of it, but I tried re-winding the dratted stuff and it wasn't working, and I couldn't see an immediate use, so I decided to get rid. I started again with some different yarn. Yesterday and today, while watching a film with DH and watching Strictly, I managed this.

The yarn is not particularly wonderful. I bought it at an extremely good price but it's more like the leather cord than yarn, but a fabric. The pattern recommends blocking the finished shawl, but there's no give in the yarn, so I probably won't bother. Any left over will be used where I would use the leather cord, or similar. 

DH took the old microwave to the tip today, along with an old iron, a broken hand mixer and the toaster. I can't remember the last time the toaster was used. We rarely bother with bread, and when we do, it's usually the uncut loaves that need to be sliced and are better under the grill. The kitchen is even more chaotic than usual as I have bits everywhere after shuffling things around for the new microwave, but it's an improvement.

Writing stuff - today's offering is here. And I'm feeling confident that the piece that has been fighting back for a fortnight will submit in time to be read tomorrow. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 2 October 2021


I've not had a brilliant day, so I thought I would share this...

How do you kill a blue elephant? With a blue elephant gun, obviously.

How do you kill a red elephant? You choke it until it turns blue, then use a blue elephant gun.

How do you kill a green elephant? You tickle it until it turns red, then choke until it turns blue, then use a blue elephant gun. 

How do you kill a purple elephant? There's no such thing as purple elephants, silly.

How many elephants will fit in a Volkswagen? Four - two inn the front and two in the back.

How do you know if there's an elephant in your fridge? Elephant tracks in the butter.

How do you know if there's two elephants in your fridge? There are two sets of tracks.

How do you know if there are three elephants in your fridge? The door won't close.

How do you know if there are four elephants in your fridge? There's a Volkswagen parked outside. 

Writing stuff - today's snippet is here.

Hugs and good health to all.

Friday 1 October 2021

Finally Friday

Heather - thank you! My grandmother talked to everyone and anyone, often without pause. Our little family seems to have the same sort of fussiness. DH only likes Heinz baked beans and I only like Heinz tomato soup. Bear, well, his preferences change with the wind, but while they are here, they are strong. I sometimes take the attitude of 'challenge accepted' and sometimes I just enjoy the fun of shopping around. 

Today has been a funny sort of day. I feel shattered, and I'm blaming the weather. I also have eye strain, so I think I ought to keep this short.

I had a few deliveries today, including some colour changing powders and some papers for craft. I hope they are colour changing powders (to add to acrylic paint) because I have no idea what to do with them if they're not.

I also got a bundle of broken jewellery from eBay. I suspect I will be able to play with it for hours.

The fuchsia is as long as my car again. I don't want to prune it back too much this time, though. Today as I pulled up with bear after pick up, half a dozen sparrows shot out of it at high speed, followed by another group of maybe three, then another group of perhaps four, all squabbling. It was like watching clowns getting out of a clown car.

Writing stuff - October is here. The big story I was trying to write didn't work. So I've moved the stories up and I hope to have something new for you to enjoy soon. As it is, today's story is here.

Hugs and good health to all.