Monday 31 January 2022

Keeping Busy

Bless - I daren't start making quilts. I have too many ongoing projects as it is! I'm glad I got the car serviced. They are pretty good here, and they use paper covers on the seats and stuff and it's in a very well ventilated huge garage. 

Heather - I love charity shop books, though I don't go in them so much as I should. You can pick up some amazing bargains. I keep hovering over the charity book table in Tescos but I restrain myself at the moment. As for cyclists - I'm terrified that I'm going to hurt one. I've always given them a wide berth. Fortunately I meet mostly those going to and from work, so they are sensible and work with the traffic. 

Eileen - I like the idea of a gratitude diary.

Today was a funny sort of day. I've done a few bits around the writing stuff. (Warning there's going to be a lot of writing stuff over the next few weeks, so just skim over it if you're not interested). Then I've done the school run, a couple of loads of washing and some online shopping. 

The picture that made me smile is this.

It's a huge hole in bear's joggers. He couldn't go climbing tonight because when you're hanging from a climbing wall at all angles, the last thing you need is a hole in that particular area. I'm not skilled enough to mend it without a patch, which almost certainly wouldn't work while climbing. He had almost grown out of them anyway and we were already researching the next pair. The thing that made me smile was that I bought him men's joggers. They are a small, and I got them from Amazon as the thought of dragging bear around the shops filled us both with dread and if they don't work then we can easily return them. But my lad is now heading towards men's clothing. He's taller than me (and more sensible) but he's still on the slim side and has some filling out to do. I am incredibly proud of him. 

Writing stuff - It's not medieval, but there's medieval in the background of today's flash fiction here. I'm making lists and notes of all the things I want to have on my blog when King's Silver is released and I'm having far too much fun for it to be legal.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 30 January 2022


Sharon - thank you!

Eileen - I hope you don't mind if I use that idea, though I will definitely be writing things down. I'm getting out the pen and notebook after this post as writing helps me frame my thoughts. Pictures of things that make me smile have had a massively positive effect on my mental health.

Cherie - I feel wonderfully hugged. Thank you for thinking of me. The paperback should be coming out soon, according to the publisher.

About kindle books - For the purposes of the next few paragraphs, please assume that I have written nothing more exciting than a shopping list. It isn't about me, it's about sharing what I hope is useful information. I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited (£7.99 per month and I'm determined to get my money's worth). I read the books on my phone. Occasionally I read them on my laptop, if I'm knitting and neither book nor knitting need much concentration. DH has been reading on his new iPad. My kindle died years ago. Amazon want you to buy books from them. They want to make it easy for you, so they have developed apps that will allow you to read on all sorts of devices. 

Kobo is another way of reading books, mainly for the booksellers not affiliated with Amazon. You can buy the ereader, but you can also download their app. Booksellers want you to buy books and will make it easy for you. 

I also need to mention Calibre. Calibre is an app which allows you to download all sorts of ebooks from all different sources. If you use that then you can read books formatted for all sorts of different systems. I cannot give a proper account because, while everyone else who talks about it loves it, I loathe it with the power of a thousand suns. It's great to use to read books. I keep meaning to make more use of it.

I also wrote an article on my writing blog back in September 2018 about finding free books, which you can find here. It's a little dated, but I've checked all the links and they still work. Ebooks aren't for everyone, and sometimes you need to have the paper version in your hands, but I hope that this has given some extra options.

I've been rough again over the weekend, so forgot about yesterday and I'm still feeling it today. On Friday I forgot to post that I walked back from the garage and saw this, which made me smile.

I just loved the touseled look of the bushes. 

Yesterday I managed to knit some dishcloths in sparkly yarn. Unfortunately, a ball makes almost exactly one and one half and I thought, what the heck and cast off. Though I'll probably just use two leftover halves from now on. I like the way they look, but I think I'll keep them for the dishes and not my face. They have a lovely texture so I'm pretty sure that they'll be great to use.

And today I collated some of the gazillions of 'bags for life' in one of those huge Christmas bags. I don't know about smile, but I felt very satisfied afterwards.

Now I shall drag myself to bed to get ready for the school run tomorrow. I'm dreading it with the new laws. I always have to overtake at least two cyclists every morning. I am not sure I will be able to under the new rules, and I am rubbish and judging 2 metres. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 28 January 2022

Expensive Day

Sharon - I honestly believe that looking for pics of things that made me smile has been a benefit to my mental health!

Eileen - thank you! I'm having a lot of fun with the scavenger hunt and seeing what stories I can make of the prompts.

Bless - thank you!

Jackie - I never thought of going online to the library. I'm not sure if I have a library card. I know I did once but it may have been before bear was born. I'll get in touch with them.

I took red in for a service. The poor car is stuck on the school run and so never really goes above 40mph with lots of stops and starts and queuing in traffic. That's why I get a service every six months and this time I signed up for the fuel cleaner as well. On the way in, I was wondering about whether I should say anything about the steering. It felt a little 'off' but I didn't know if it was just my driving. I was worried that I was imagining things. When they did all the checks, they found that the steering was 'off centre' and said a wheel alignment would correct it, so I gave them the go ahead. When I picked her up, she was driving like a dream.

I've finished all the edits, and so brace yourself for loads of writing stuff for the next fortnight.

Writing stuff - I've finished all the edits (with the help of the awesome editors) and it's in the hands of the Three Furies as they put the final polish on King's Silver. It's out on 8 February and I am sooooo excited. Over the next few days I will be writing little bits of extra stuff to share on my writing blog, and I'll let you know about them as they happen.

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday 27 January 2022

Grumbling On

Cherie - I need to get to a library. Unfortunately there isn't one local so it would mean a journey to the centre of Leeds - scary! I'll be honest, the reviewing process helps the writing process, and it all muddles into 'writing stuff'.

Eileen - thank you!

I am still feeling fragile. I am still staying within staggering distance of a bathroom. This has meant more time for writing stuff, so I'm taking it as a win.

I couldn't get a proper picture of the thing that made me smile the most. I was driving to pick up bear and there was sunshine through the trees and a sense that spring could be close. As I went over one particular hill, I could see dark clouds over the Pennines though I was driving in bright sunlight and it felt like a type of story. When I finally stopped I took a pic of the trees in the car park. 

I wish I could have caught the light and shade but I was a little too shaky and cold to get out of the car. I also got some knitting done while I was there. I felt very relaxed. And that has been my day - sunshine and writing stuff.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Could be Worse

Sharon - I can lose hours watching the birds on our feeder. I don't have the variety you find there, but it's always good to see them.

Eileen - I hope that I'll be able to share loads. The little birds can be tiny but so assertive and energetic.

Rajani Rehana - thank you!

Bless - that sounds delicious!

I had a shocking night last night and I have a really bad stomach today. I didn't go for a walk as I was worried about being too far from a toilet! Something has really upset my tummy. I didn't move much at all.

On the other hand, I did some writing stuff, so the day wasn't completely wasted.

The pic that makes me smile is here.

It's sort of writing stuff (I'm trying to quarantine most of the writing stuff at the bottom as I know not everyone follows it, but it sort of spills over). I have a medieval fantasy coming out soon, and I will be writing bits of fiction and articles linked to it over the next few weeks. The jug is a prop for the pics I will take, though I suspect that it's the wrong shape for a proper early to mid Middle Ages jug. It still made me smile. Once I've done that, I'm going to use it as a little watering jug for the surviving spider plants (DH killed a spider plant. I didn't think that it was possible.)

Writing stuff - I've been busy with editing but I've also written a book review. I'm planning on delving in to book reviewing as I hope that it will broaden what I read. I have a bad habit of going back to the same favourites again and again. If I get things right, they will normally turn up on Friday, but I've committed to a particular review this Friday, and I need to clear the decks. Today's review is of Kolkata Noir by Tom Vater and while it was much darker at the end than the books I normally read, especially at the end, I very much enjoyed it. The review is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 25 January 2022


Sharon - yes, looking for things to smile about helps a lot! I'm losing track of so much at the moment. It's not just making lists, but remembering to read them afterwards! 

Cherie - that sounds gorgeous

Akasha - you can use armpits as a replacement word in all sorts of situations and it always works.

Here is a very poor pic of a robin taken through my car windscreen at maximum magnification.

None of the dratted birds were either slow enough or around when I could get a decent pic with my phone. But my smiles today have all been about robins. I think I saw two different robins in the garden today, which probably means gang warfare. One has a tiny sliver of white on its wing. And then I saw a third (or one of the first two hitchhiked for the eight miles) in the car park when I was waiting to pick up bear.

Mind you, I had a little smile when I saw a squirrel dashing across the road near us (and no chance to take a pic). I shall have to keep an eye on the bird feeder. The squirrel will give the oversized pigeons a run for their money. 

And I managed to force myself for a very short walk today at Batley Park. It was deserted when I got there at around 7.50am and quite dim and cloudy. But at least I did a little.

I haven't done much else as I have been busy with writing stuff.

Writing stuff - I'm actually having fun with the edits. I know that editing is supposed to be grim, but I'm going through stuff with the Three Furies and it's been great discussing everything. Just in case you didn't realise, coming soon - King's Silver by yours truly.

And today's snippet of writing is here, the last in the Dark Picture series of short stories. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 24 January 2022

Pootling On

Bless - the sausages are a supermarket own brand and much cheaper than the meat ones I use. I have to be careful because I can't have gluten and a lot of the sausages have breadcrumbs or wheat of some sort in. The cheapest on sale ones that I can have are £2 for six. The food prices here have been very cheap for a while. I think they are going to be rising quite a bit. DH won't eat pork as a preference, so I usually stick to chicken and sometimes beef or have veggie stuff.

Sharon - I have a lovely soft jacket-type thing which I wear all the time. It's supposed to be a bed jacket. I am not bothering with that. It's a pale grey and looks like a cardigan. It's a lot better than turning up the heating.

Cherie - there is always soup! I think I could do with more freezer space, as I always seem to be squeezing stuff in as I'm catering to all sorts of preferences. I'd love to have room to freeze some home made soup again.

Eileen - the sausages don't have a texture like real sausages. I don't know how best to describe the texture. Perhaps like dense stuffing from a mix, and because I do them in the Halogen oven where the fat drops out, they are quite dry. They may be worth a gamble, but they are not great copies. I serve them with gravy and treat them as their own thing.

Lots of not much at all happening here. I haven't been for a walk in ages. I must try and get back to that. One thing about the challenge to take a pic of something that makes you smile is that it makes me look around for things and actively search for the smile. Today I took a pic of where bear goes climbing. I had a nice chat with another adult while our kids were climbing and a hot chocolate. 

They are a lovely bunch there, and very kind. Bear is in good hands.

I'm going to have to do some serious list making and stick to it. I've got so many different things going on that I'm not sure what I'm missing.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 23 January 2022

Nothing Much Happened.

Sharon - I've been watching the cost of living creeping up on the little things for a while. Good for Jack Monroe, they've taken the issue to the front pages here. I haven't seen the attack robin today, but I haven't really been looking. Making stories about the birds you see is half of the fun, in my opinion.

Bless - I'm not sure if it's a guard robin or an attack robin. It's not a pacifist, whichever way it goes! It has such character for something that is smaller than my phone. It was the zips that went on the old backpack. I don't have your skills, but I may have a go and use it for practice, if I get time.

Cherie - stropwaffles are not eaten in quantity. To be honest, I quite liked them, but of course they have gluten in so all I can do is watch sorrowfully as the men enjoy them, then run off with the tin as a consolation prize.

Eileen - I have no idea what I'm doing with that tin, but it's mine! I'm certainly going to have to be more careful with food shopping. What is hard is that so many people can' t remember what it was like living with inflation. There are different strategies for shopping than if there is stable prices. 

Heather - it is so silly what some teenagers expect these days. They are all about brands and styles. Paying £24.99 was bad enough. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was paying £5 for his book bag for primary school!

I forgot to post yesterday. Not much happened except that I am up to my armpits in writing stuff. I'm going to be cheeky and post a stock photo for things that made me happy.

It's been sort of nice. We've been hanging out together again, with bear playing on the Xbox, DH reading or practicing his chess on his phone and me grumbling and editing. We've had nice candles on, we've had the fire on if we needed it, and it's been good. 

I've put the heating back onto timer. It should hopefully be better now that DH and bear have reliable room heaters. I also picked up an inexpensive hoodie for DH from Morrisons. I've been known to sit in my dressing gown from there, and lovely and snug it is too. Morrisons clothes don't look good for long, but they aren't a bad price and they last, bobbly bits and all, for a long time. 

Tonight's dinner was veggie sausage, mash, cabbage and gravy. I'm cheating again with the pic, as I forgot to take one earlier.

Today we had the herby bangers, as above. At the time of typing they are £1.15 (and it seems like only a month or two ago that they were £1) and we really enjoyed them. DH asked whether they were meat and said that he preferred these.They are vegan, gluten free and quick to cook, although a little high in salt. I had some potatoes from a sack of potatoes from Morrisons that was £2.75 for 7.5kg. The potatoes were fine, and were perfect for mash. As I boiled them, I steamed some frozen cabbage over the pan. The frozen cabbage was good for freshness and lack of waste, but it's an expensive way of buying it. A 750g bag costs £1.50 at Tesco, though a kilo would cost £1.35 at Morrisons at time of typing. A decent sized cabbage would cost under £1 and I would get at least two meals, except it rarely works out that way here. I've never managed a meal plan that didn't get derailed. There always seems to be waste in some way or another. Frozen veggies at least helps with that. It was served with plenty of gravy. We all really, really enjoyed our dinner. It was perfect for us and the men would be happy if I could serve that again soon. I don't suppose it was more than £1 per head. Tomorrow will be a different kettle of fish as I juggle the preferences of bear and DH, the food bear has at school, the need for food after climbing and what is quick to make for DH. 

I need to be better organised. I can't guess how many years I've been saying that, but it's becoming urgent. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 21 January 2022

Twitter and the Cost of Living

Cherie - within reason, I always think that it's better to go with quality. I believe in the idea of buying quality sausages rather than cheap steak if money is tight. It's just knowing what is worth checking the quality and what isn't. It's not easy. 

Eileen - thank you. That robin is a character and I thorough enjoy having one around!

My twitter history is worse than my Google search history, and that is a pretty big statement. I find links to twitter in the middle of a highly debated thread on somewhere like Mumsnet and click. I don't necessarily go for the original point, but to see what else is floating around and what the original person actually follows. I've had quite an education doing that, and a lot of entertainment.

Yesterday I found a tweet by Jack Monroe, and I thought I would share. There's about a gazillion replies to it, but it's here if you are interested. Jack Monroe made the point that the increases in the cost of living affected those who had less rather than those who had money to spare. 

The series of tweets shows that basics have gone up more than luxuries. She tweets that the basics pasta has gone up from 29p to 70p, a rise of 141%. I've noticed that since the beginning of December, Morrisons gluten free fusili has gone up from 60p to 75p for 500g. It's 15p, which objectively would be described as a small amount, but as a percentage, it's a lot (which I'm unable to calculate and bear has gone to bed). Jack Monroe added,

And just to add: - an upmarket ready meal range was £7.50 ten years ago, and is still £7.50 today. - a high-end stores ‘Dine In For Two For £10’ has been £10 for as long as I can remember. - my local supermarket had 400+ items in their value range, it’s now 91 (and counting down)

I've noticed in strange places, like the cost of Tesco mushy peas, and the availability of bargains for rice milk, the cost of basics is going up.

I'm tempting fate by telling you my plans (which rarely ends well) but I'm off to google again the way to keep a price book. Inflation is affecting us all, and the strategies for saving the pennies are going to change. The fundemental strategy, if I remember correctly, is that when you see a good sale, go for it with gusto. However you need to be able to identify the good sale.

As for what made me smile today, it was an empty tin.

I picked it up when I got bear's backpack yesterday. It originally contained stropwaffles, the thin biscuitty type things with a sticky filling which you place over a cup of coffee to make the syrup run. The men have disposed of the contents. I just wanted the tin. I have no idea how I will use it, but use it I will. I love the blue and white stuff.

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday 20 January 2022


Sharon - Thank you. Bear's backpack has a lot of books. He sticks all of his school books in there so he never worries about forgetting to pack a book. He must be building muscles of iron. I think I will keep the scrubbies for scrubbing dishes and surfaces and possibly floors. I'll get some nice flannel face cloths instead.

Eileen - thank you! I never take support for granted, and I'm incredibly grateful. Some of the publicity artwork is amazing, they have done wonders.

Bless - thank you! I'm keeping everything crossed that the book does well.

This is an old picture of something that made me smile today. Our local robin, who is extremely assertive and has dive bombed me on the way in and out, tried to take on the Tesco delivery van. It was whizzing around and trying to get into the van, being very fluttery to the doors and generally being a Presence before zooming off. I explained to the delivery driver that I think that the robin is from Glasgow, and not the nice bits. It was probably referred to various services when young. The delivery driver thought it was hilarious.

I found this quote When all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done - Anon. It tells me that someone has taken minutes at a Church meeting.

I went with bear to pick up a new backpack as his current one was being held together by willpower. TK Maxx was the best shot, I thought, as it was on the way home and likely to sell backpacks. There weren't many, to be honest, and a lot of them were covered with logos which bear didn't like. I'm not sure that the school would have liked it either. We found one which was £24.99 (reduced from £74.99) and bear had a think (and got the opinion of a friend via the phone) and decided that was the one he wanted. He shared my opinion of the one next to it. It was labelled 'Fossil' which is an expensive brand, but it was £99 reduced from £399. I nearly fell over. I suppose it's the right thing for someone who isn't a school kid dragging around an illegal weight of books, but I flinched. 

I'll be honest, I think sometimes it is worth paying a little more. I've written before about a pair of Bench jeans I got bear from TKMaxx years ago, at a price that I thought was a fortune at the time, even after the mark-down, but they lasted him for ever and were really good quality. I just don't think I could physically hand over £99 for a bag that wasn't that brilliant, to be honest. I may one day find a really good bag that is worth that sort of money. Quality lasts. I think I may still go for something less expensive. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Sometimes Fails Happen

Bless - thank you. I don't like early, but the early shopping is a good side effect. I had a lot of fun with the pictures. I haven't got the eye of some of the people who visit (including you) but I enjoy taking them. I am hoping the new blanket with the fancy yarn will be the same good size as the blue one you complimented, but, to be honest, I just cast on and hope! And thank you for your kind thoughts about the pets.

Sharon - bear is more responsible than I ever have been. He is much the calmest and most rational person in the house. I worry about how that puts me and DH - less sense than a teenager! It is hard about the pets. They are part of a family, with their own ways and their own history. I think that I'm learning from you to look for what makes me smile. Thank you.

Irune - thank you, I hope the blanket will look good. I'll share as it goes on (if I don't get too distracted).

Eileen - Thank you. It seems only right to make sure that others get a chance to have a play with the yarn.

Strictly speaking, this made me smile, but it's also a picture of a fail. I do not need more yarn, I do not need to start more projects and I definitely got the wrong yarn in the first place.

That is a brownie pan inspired by the recipe on KJ Sutcliffe's blog plus fourteen balls of sparkly scrubby yarn and a half finished washcloth. I needed none of them. But the puffy things that I use in the shower are looking desperately flat and need replacing and I saw a YouTube video about knitting dishcloths and thought - why not? Why not knit washcloths for the shower. But I don't think knitting with that yarn is going to be safe to wash with. It's sparkly with long fibres. I can see it doing some serious damage if it got in my eyes. What is worse, if I left one in the bathroom, I don't think I can rely on the men to be sensible about it. 

It's a fail but it made me smile because I think that the cloths will be fun. I think I will knit it all up to the dishcloths. Some of the ones I'm using are getting past their best, and I have a lot of cleaning to catch up with. A few extra cloths that are a little bit abrasive (but not too much) would actually be a help. I still didn't need to do it now

By the way, as far as I can tell from a brief experiment today, hand sanitiser is quite good at cleaning glass. I had a few smears to rub away with the stuff I used, but that sanitiser had handcare stuff in, and it wasn't worse than the commercial stuff. Vinegar is probably slightly better, but I don't wash windows often enought to make a proper comparison. I guess the cheap stuff is probably better.

I'm not commenting one way or the other on the brownie pan. And for the other thing that made me smile, see the writing stuff!

Bear has broken his backpack. I am not surprised. He keeps all his books in it, and I can't actually lift the dratted thing! He was too exhausted to visit a shop tonight (double games circuit training and field hockey) so tomorrow we will be braving somewhere that I hope sells backpacks. He wants to go to climbing straight after, so I don't think he'll tolerate too much shopping around. Wish me luck. 

Writing stuff - My next novel, King's Silver, a medieval fantasy, is available for pre-order here. Three Furies Press have done some amazing artwork as part of the publicity. I'm afraid that you are going to be sick of hearing about it in the next few weeks, and there's a little chat about it on my writing blog here. The cover looks like this.

And look at this snippet of publicity!

I haven't stopped smiling since I saw it. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 18 January 2022

I May Have Done Things

Cherie - it's heartbreaking about the dogs. Poor Woody was failing, but he wasn't ready to go yet. I suppose we weren't ready for him to go yet. He was so full of love.

Eileen - believe me, emptying that pot made me very happy!

I seem to have done a lot of bits and pieces, but I didn't get the writing I needed done. I don't know how I crawled out of bed, but I did. Then it took ages to defrost the car. The ice was really thick. I wasn't getting any liquid from the windscreen washers so I bought some liquid on the way home after dropping bear off. Of course, by the time I got home, I was getting something, but not much so I topped up the wiper fluid. The hardest part is remembering how to open the dratted bonnet. It's got a sort of knack to it and I was swearing like a sailor as I fiddled around. I should have checked oil and antifreeze when I was in there, but the weather forecast isn't so cold, so fingers crossed things are okay. 

Speaking of cars, that's one of the things that I did. I sorted out a different day for the service that I booked. It's a full service, so they should top up what needs topping up. I'll see how it goes. The car should be fine until 28th.

Bear asked me to check about the second shot, so I did, and it's being dealt with by the school. I also found a hoodie for DH who is considering the possibility of perhaps maybe putting on an extra layer when it's cold.  I got some washing in, and snuck into bear's room. He has asked us to respect his privacy, and on the whole I am happy to do so, but I needed hangers and walked out with a massive armful. I shall have to have words. Mind you, he got the results back for a test and he got 85%, which will keep him out of too much trouble. I also had a quick sort out of some yarn in one of the corners where I have some of my stash. I found this, and this is my happy picture. I'm going to have this in the car as my knitting project. It makes me happy to think of a blanket made of this yarn. I can't even remember buying it.

I took a load of yarn to the charity shop. There were all sorts of left over bits and bobs and a few things which I decided I would never use. After that I met my brother in Tesco car park. It wasn't planned, but our paths were crossing so we caught up with news and I passed on some chocolates for him and his partner and a dog toy for his remaining dog. He's doing okay.

Then I picked up bear and we visited DH's auntie. She is in her eighties and quite isolated, so we just stuck our heads in to say hello. We didn't dare do more as there are a lot of Covid cases in bear's school. She was delighted to see bear, who has probably grown eight inches or so since she saw him before the plague. She has always been so kind to me, and I was glad that I could at least say hello and drop off some flowers.

Then I whizzed home, made dinner, took out the bins and collapsed. My hip is really painful right now. And tomorrow I need to get all the writing done.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 17 January 2022


Irune - thank you. I always have a soft spot for blue.

Eileen - there's quite a bit of weight to it, which I think helps. It's not so soft, but definitely warm.

I had a rotten night last night, then drove to help out a friend who needed lifts with a poorly cat. Then I came home, then back to pick up bear, then home, then off to take bear to the climbing, then home - around fifty miles all told, and some of the roads were tricky. I'm exhausted. I didn't manage to get the writing done for today. To be honest, I'm barely keeping my eyes open as I type. 

I am determined to keep going with the pics, though. Here is a pic that I took today of something that made me happy.

My friend bought me some treats, and we had some, then they came home with me and were very much appreciated. To show how much they were appreciated, I thought I would share a pic of the empty tub!

It has been a tough day, to be honest. The news was not good for my friend's cat, and then I found out that my brother had lost his dog, Woody. He had been on Scarborough beach, got the vomiting bug and was too elderly to fight through it. Woody was a rescue, probably around the same age as bear, and something of a mix. My brother got him when Woody was around three years old, and at the time the poor dog wasn't sure about carpet and didn't know what a treat was. Fortunately, he landed on his paws and was truly loved and incredibly well looked after. He saved bear from a locked room. Well, sort of. Bear went to have a rest in a room, but the door knob came away and he was stuck. It was Woody that let us know to go and get bear out. 

Woody was a good dog, full of love, always scrounging snacks and as gentle as you would wish. He's going to be missed.

And the writing stuff will definitely be there tomorrow.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 16 January 2022

Lack of Willpower

 Sharon - the fog makes things magical. 

Deborah - it's great to see you! Come in and make yourself at home!

Eileen - thank you. It felt like there should be stories.

Today has been a quiet sort of day. I've done some washing (on a Sunday!) and a little ironing and some knitting. Meanwhile we have been wonderful and toastie hanging out together with the huge candle. It's getting to the end now, though. Once we have got through the Christmas stash, which may take some time, I think I may look for something larger, and a marble slab to stand it on!

I remembered to take some pics of the blanket. Here it is.

I think it's around five foot by three foot, or maybe three and a half. It could certainly work on a child's bed, or even across an adult bed. If I had maybe done another few rows it would have been a little bigger, but I couldn't face another stitch. 

That's all the yarn that was left. It would have maybe managed another three or four inches, but I was thoroughly sick of it. At the moment, it's looking like it could end up on my bed. It's a nice weight, but not very soft.

Today I have been working on a jacket for me, to keep  me a little warm when driving. I'm also layering up a lot more in the house as I turn the heating down, and it will be so useful. I started it a little while ago, but I want to get it finished now.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 15 January 2022

Lovely and Warm

Cherie - to be honest, I started dating DH in 1987, and since then I've never really been interested in anyone else. I can see that someone is good looking in an academic way, but it doesn't do much for me. I'm looking at the young men with a view to describing action sequences, and I think not being particularly interested in them wouldn't help their feelings at all. As for whether bear has a lady friend, well, one day he may read this blog, and I'm trying not to mortify him too much, so I keep my speculations about any romance in his life to myself. I will be taking active steps to stay well away of anything like that, and I think bear will be grateful for it. 

Eileen - Thank you. I am not a natural morning person. Bear prefers to get up at 5am to finish his homework and bounds into school ridiculously early, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I think 5am ought to be illegal. Still, at least I got that photo. I'm keeping an eye out for the scavenger hunt ideas and thoroughly enjoying it. 

Sharon - thank you for your kind words on the pictures. I end up going ridiculously early because bear insists. It's not my natural habitat, but it is useful. As for bear, he's had to accept that his mother is as mad as a box of frogs for some years now, and is remarkably tolerant for his age. I am grateful. 

I had a very short drive out. I was planning on a longer drive, but it was seriously foggy. I have driven in fog, and I'm not scared of it like I am of snow, but there were times when visibility was seriously reduced and I thought it was irresponsible to be on the road if I didn't have to. I didn't get the really good pictures as I cut along a back road where the fog was thick and all the grasses and hedgerows were frosted as there was nowhere safe to stop. The road was fast and you couldn't see very far ahead so I would have been largely invisible. I stopped off at the co-op to get some fruit and got these pics. 

Afterwards we all settled in the study. There were breaks - I would be doing things downstairs, bear did some homework and DH had some time on his computer upstairs, but on the whole we hung out together, with the fire on and the huge seven-wick candle going and we were lovely and toastie. We had mince and mash again for dinner. 

I got totally fed up of the blanket I was knitting so just cast off. I cast off rather tight, though, so it doesn't look as good as it could. If I remember, I'll take a photo of the finished object later.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 14 January 2022

Another Day, Another Ouch

I would like to go without any more ouches just for a little while. Yesterday I jarred my hip and now I can't walk properly. I've pottered around a little, but I don't feel that I've achieved much.

I only managed to take one photo. Some mornings I drop bear off near a friend who I'm not allowed to meet at all and sometimes we wait in the car until he's read to go out to the rendezvous which I'm not supposed to know about. They always meet early, and this morning, as I was waiting, there was a lovely glow in the sky at the start of dawn.

It's not a brilliant picture, but it felt so peaceful.

I made dinner, but I was stiff. I think tomorrow I won't allow myself to sit for too long and hopefully that will allow a certain amount of movement.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 13 January 2022

Careful Where I Look

Eileen - Thank you. I can't wait to finish off the blanket. I am seriously considering just casting off the next row and not bothering about untangling it. It must be about four foot square, which isn't a bad size and will be fine across my legs in the evenings. I just want it done. Good luck with going for knitting. Once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly relaxing. 

Sharon - thank you. I have a habit of seeing the world as stories, which I suppose is a help and a hindrance. It makes life more interesting, so I'll take it. The new slippers are pretty awesome.

Bless - thank you. It's a real encouragement.

We had an early start this morning as I have issues with a road on the usual route being closed which means I have to tackle some tricky driving early in the morning. I wanted to get a head start before the crazy traffic started. Bear was all for this, so I dropped him off ridiculously early before nipping into Tesco for some brown thread. I was there so early that the car park looked like this as I was leaving.

I pottered around at home with some minor bits and bobs plus writing before heading off to pick up bear. I saw this to make me smile - blossom

It's probably too early, but I was happy to see it. 

Then I took bear to climbing. I think I may wait in the car next time. I write stores that could be classified as Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance and they involve lots of hard faced, muscled young men. I have a medieval fantasy novel coming out next month. That also has a selection of hard faced, muscled young men. The climbing centre is full of hard faced, muscled young men. I kept catching myself looking and mentally running down a description for writing, and I shouldn't be staring at young men at my age.. I'll get myself banned if I'm not careful. Bear had a great time, and that is what is important.

Off for an early night. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Halfway Through the Week

Heather - DH says that it has made a difference to his room already.

Sharon - I can't see how I'm ever going to reach the word count, but I'm not going down without a fight. I think turning the background heating right down and just heating a room is the way for us to go. Thank you for the kind words on the sunrise. It was gorgeous and I thought I would have a go.

Cherie - I'm hoping it's not too expensive. Bear has one and uses it far too much (in my opinion) but as neither of the men can be persuaded to put on a sweater, it's good that they keep warm.

Eileen - You take lovely pictures. I hope I can keep up. I think it will be wonderful to look back on the year, so hopefully that will keep me going. 

And on the topic of pictures, I don't have any good ones today, just some random knitting ones.

I was cracking on with the knitting as I was waiting for bear, and the static in the yarn was driving me nuts. This has been an ongoing problem. Here is a pic from a few days ago.

It's just clinging there by itself. The dratted stuff won't come away from my sleeve, my hand, the steering wheel, the knitted fabric or the seat. I'm sure you could run a house on the electricity coming off it.

I don't know whether it was the static or just generally cheap yarn, but the yarn started out like this (one of the balls that I'm taking to the charity shop)

And today it prolapsed. It is full of twists and malice.

Once I have finished off this skein, I'm going to cast off and call it finished. That will be one old project off the list.

Something really good today. I have been wearing only slippers as my feet have been so swollen. When I first started driving lessons, I could barely fit my feet into slippers and couldn't go far. But with the movement while driving, and trying to take walks, the swelling is imperceptibly going down and I'm moving faster and further (though not fast or far in an absolute sense, I'm just getting better). Today the slippers fell to pieces while I was driving. It sounds more dramatic than it is, but parts of them were held together with velcro, and it wasn't sticking. I didn't feel safe driving like that, so I stopped off and got some more slippers and they were easy to get on! They weren't standard slippers, but they weren't that bad. It's going in the right direction. I feel quite overwhelmed.

Writing stuff - I checked out Neverwas Magazine. It's a big steampunk magazine, and they did a review of the year. My book was one of three mentioned, out of loads reviewed, and it was described as 'Lyssa Medana's impressive debut novel'. It's here, if you're interested, but it's just a short snippet in an article. It's left me grinning like a lunatic all day. I've also put a bit of chat on my writing blog. 

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Only Tuesday

Bless - thank you. 

Eileen - Thank you for the compliment and thank you for the invitation to post a pic every day. I fail at keeping committed to anything, so I worry about letting you down if I say 'yes'. I think I shall see how things go. I think it's good for me to look outside of myself, so your invitation would make my life a lot healthier. Mind you, the only photo I've taken today is this.

I wanted to share info with DH. I shall challenge myself to do better tomorrow. Thank you for suggesting it. 

Today has been pretty dull. I've been attacking the writing. I called into Morrisons for some salad leaves and saw the offer above. I mean to ask DH if it will do for him. His room gets very cold at the top of the house, and this could be quite cheap to run. The shift to working from home has changed a lot of things. We no longer pay for DH's car or for him to have meals from a sandwich shop, but the heating is on all the time because his room gets so cold and his room heater isn't very good. As things stand, I am willing to risk £30 as a gamble to perhaps save a little more and make DH's life better.

Today's quote is An idealist is someone who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup - H L Mencken. I think it says a lot about people. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 10 January 2022


Sharon - I like to share what's going on. I sometimes think that some blogs are scary because they get it all right all the time. To be honest, sometimes it's more fun when things go wrong, or turn out differently, or just have an unexpected twist. As for the leg, it was dumped in the bushes a hundred yards or so down the street. I just thought it was awesome. As for keeping an eye out thanks to Eileen, I shot this pic when I got back from the school run this morning - the reflection of the sunrise in my study window. 

It's not brilliant, but I sort of liked it. It seemed so vivid against the brick.

Bless - thank you! The steampunk cat was perhaps the best of my Christmas presents. 

The quote I found today when browsing was 'Frugality without creativity is just deprivation.' by Amy Dacyczyn. I think that there is a fair amount of deprivation going on, and I know that I am incredibly lucky at the moment, but I am taking it to be a challenge to be creatively frugal and to find the silver lining. There is always a silver lining.

I also found out why a certain amount of housewifery was going on. If I am going to hit the writing targets I want to hit, I need to write around 170k words (one hundred and seventy thousand words) before the end of January. I have also committed to two book reviews and my usual chat and flash fiction. There are only 21 days left in January. I think I've been hiding from a deadline. 

Before I realised this, I got a few loads of washing done, sorted out some bags for life that had been dumped in a corner and generally tidied around. At least it's not wasted effort.

Writing stuff - Speaking of writing, today's snippet is late the latest instalment of the Dark Pictures and is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 9 January 2022

Lovely and Quiet

Eileen - thank you. When I saw the disembodied plastic leg, I couldn't resist. I actually took it leaning out of my car window!

A lot of people seem to know what they are going to do next. I deeply envy them. Anyone who has followed this blog knows that I have good intentions but a serious lack of follow through. The spirit is often willing, but desperately weak and I am easily distracted. I am working on banning the phrase 'I am going to...' from this blog as it is inevitably a kiss of death to whatever project I am planning. 

Today has been odd. It's hard to put my finger on. I made a decent dinner without too much argument. Bear's uniform was ready for him in the early afternoon along with a fresh towel for his shower handed over well before he needed it. I found a forgotten Christmas present for bear and a Christmas present and birthday present (months ago!) for DH and passed them over. This is fairly normal here, and a family tradition for DH. When he was a child, he wasn't surprised to get birthday and Christmas presents months late. Regrettably, bear isn't surprised either. I took a pic of the candle.

It's a huge, seven wick candle that I bought before Christmas. It's like having a mellow, scented indoor bonfire! We're saving it for weekends and evenings when we are all together. The wax is white, by the way. It just photgraphed oddly. It smells awesome as well. I'd been meaning to get it out for a week.

I also had a quick look at the layout this blog. I've been here since 2013! That is a scary thought. I added a mention of my writing and some books that I've written since my last update. I may play around with the layout and the theme, so if you come here and find things different from expectations, I apologise. 

I'm gently and slowly picking up on things that I felt that I would like to do, that perhaps I ought to do, or that I want to do but forget. Today I had a browse through some random quotes and found one from Doctor Who - 'First things first, but not necessarily in that order.' which seems a little like my life. I have even dug out a blanket that I think I started years ago and I'm close to finishing it off. And when I saw the spare yarn in the bottom of the bag, I wondered what I could make with it. Then I decided that it would make a great donation to a charity shop. 

I feel like I'm making progress, but I'm not sure how I got here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 8 January 2022

Pictures Coming

 Sharon - that snow sounds a lot scarier than mine. Most of my journey was just a light dusting. Sending all good vibes that you can get to the lighthouse - haven't you posted pics of that before? If I remember, I always love them. Stay safe and warm. Thank you for your kind thoughts.                  

As for my grandmother, she was something of a character. My mother went back to work soon after I was born and my grandmother looked after me. She loved her shopping, loved to chat and, looking back, was incredibly kind. 

Eileen T, on A Bracelet of Days, has posted a scavenger hunt with pictures (link to her post here). She is kindly allowing me to take part, even knowing how erratic I am. There are a list of 20 things to look for, and I am late to the show as it started on 1 December. I thought I would have a look through my pics since 1 December and see what I could find that fitted. After today, I can go out and actively look! This is what I have so far.

Something I use everyday - my old handbag. I took a pic to compare to the new one.

A gift - I finally took a pic today of the awesome steampunk cat that I got for Christmas

The weather today - I actually took it yesterday and it's the traces of snow left by the afternoon.

Free Choice - I took this at the start of December. How could I resist a pic of a disembodied manequin's leg? 

I shall take my list for a walk tomorrow. It's a great incentive for me to look outwards.

I was unimpressed with the men tonight. Once again I was bamboozled as they both decided that they would prefer a snacky sort of dinner after nibbling all afternoon. This left me with nothing serious set up to eat plus some surplus mushrooms. They are getting the Keema Bombay Potatoes for dinner tomorrow with the mushrooms whether they like it or not!

I got the recipe from the £1 per meal book that I bought ages ago. The recipes are for only one serving, and some of them are a little fancy for me. One of them called for 20g of lamb mince. I can only imagine the butcher's face if asked for that! But it has some good ideas in. And if the men carry on in this way, I can imagine me making a lot of meals for one. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 7 January 2022

It Snowed

The school run wasn't brilliant this morning. There was snow. There was quite a bit of snow. It was just rain when we got into the car at home, but it got a little more solid as we progressed. It wasn't too bad. It didn't really affect how the car held the road, but the visibility was a little hit and miss. I was glad to get home.

I need to set a reminder to take a load of pics. I have the amazing steampunk cat from Christmas and any minute now I'm going to be unpacking what I hope is an awesome travel kettle that I can plug into the car. I set off early today, as I wanted to avoid the worst of the places hit by snow. Normally I hit a huge tailback about half way there if I go by the safe route, but today there was nothing. I ended up waiting for bear for over an hour (read a book and knitted). I quite often end up there early because any later and I get stuck in traffic. Besides, having a cup of something hot for bear on the way home at this time of year is, in my opinion, a great idea. It may also come in useful if I get out and about. 

I'm trying to resist the heated travel rug that will also plug into the car. I forgot one of my sweaters today and I was shivering. Mind you, I'll have to keep an eye on the battery. It's getting elderly.

I'm still feeling the effects of the flu jab, but they are sooooo much less than actual flu.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 6 January 2022

Another Day, Another Ouch

Sharon - bear seems fine. He slept for around ten hours last night and woke up much in a good frame of mind.

Bless - thank you. I feel like it was an achievement.

Cherie - your comment was the second thing that reminded me of my late grandmother today. She made lots and lots and lots and lots of jam. My late grandfather ate it with gusto. Uncle made 20lb of gooseberry jam one year and it had gone by Christmas. Grandmother made far more than 20lb in a year, and she needed the jars. Everyone was under instructions to save every jar that they could. You say that you would never use all your jars for pickles, and I certainly wouldn't, but grandmother definitely did. To be fair, some batches were more successful than others, and they were fairly generic plum, blackberry, gooseberry etc, but the garden was huge and all she needed to buy was the sugar and the electric for making it. 

The other thing that reminded me of my grandmother was seeing a delicate china cup with lily of the valley flowers on, for May. My grandmother's mother was a Christian Spiritulist Medium. She kept the family with her 'readings' and 'meetings' during the thirties. This was no mean feat as grandmother was the second to youngest of eleven. Mother was grandchild number 44. I heard quite a lot and it has given me a certain sceptism, but there were odd things here and there. Grandmother had a 'message' when she was young that she should only have lily of the valley. All her soap had to be lily of the valley, and handcream, and perfume when she wore it. She had an emerald as an engagement ring as well, which was from another 'message'. My grandmother was ridiculously superstitious (as well as fun, open hearted, generous and kind), and would have loved the cup. 

I had my flu jab today. I am now a mass of aches and pains. I had a rotten night as well which didn't help. I had the jab first thing, then came home and napped.

I was woken by the Hermes man (who is lovely. I wasn't keen on the previous man, but this one is brilliant) and I got a new handbag. I'm sort of underwhelmed. it's about the right size, though, which is the important thing. The other important thing is that it was inexpensive.

I went to Tesco before picking up bear. I realised that we couldn't keep on with only two side plates in a household with three people, so I picked up four of their cheapest small plates. I had a '10% off a shop' left to use so I bunged in a lot of alcohol which I hope will keep me going for a while. I also picked up some pasties and steak slices for bear. His growing seems to need a lot of fuel and at least there isn't sugar in that lot. He won't eat cheese, milk or eggs, so I'm working around what I can. To be fair to him, those things have a track record of making him ill, so it's pretty reasonable. There were a lot of gaps in the supermarket. They didn't have the frozen stuff I wanted and I could have done with picking up some oil, but they didn't have my favourite brand. It was a shame about the frozen stuff as it was so cold it wouldn't have defrosted on the way home. I wore two sweaters and a tshirt when I waited for bear. 

I definitely need to get knitting, but not tonight. I'm shattered.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 5 January 2022

Forty Seven

Eileen - kerbside collection sounds like a great opportunity. I don't have an excuse as there are clothing donation bins for the Salvation Army and Air Ambulance in the car parks of both Morrisons (where I pick up bear) and Tesco (which is my happy place). I think that you're right - something every day.

Rajani Rehana - thank you! Happy New Year

Bless - I'm going to have to be ruthless. But sometimes I look at a jar and think that it would come in useful at some time. I'm going to have to watch that.

Sharon - I'm doing my best to recycle, but I fail sometimes. I got dive bombed by the robin again today. As for books, I plan to start reviewing again so I'm tearing myself away from my old favourites and looking over the kindle books on Amazon. I think Kindle Prime has been really useful for me as a reader.

I think Eileen is right - a little each day. I've been postponing the jar cleaning as it slowly built up over the last few months. Today I counted the bottles and jars and I bunged forty seven into the recycling. I was surprised that alcohol was a relatively low proportion. Instead it was relish and pickle jars mainly, plus the jars from DH's pasta bakes and a few jars from curry sauce etc. I had been planning to do one big clean of all the jars, but I was daunted by the scale. By just doing a few here and there over the last few days and collecting all the empties, I more or less finished the task. There are still a few left, and I'm not looking forward to emptying the out of date mayonnaise, but the worst of it has gone. 

Poor bear can't move at the moment. He's had quite a sedentary Christmas, and he had double games on his first day back at school. He had a mile run followed by football with what sounded like a literally hard fought game. He has gone for a ridiculously early night.

Did you know that it's 'Clean up Your Computer' Month? I'm taking Eileen's advice on little and often, but I shared my thoughts on my writing blog here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 4 January 2022


Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of jars. 

I have been failing at housework, as you know, and a part of that is letting the bottles and jars mount up. Some are the result of me drinking too much. On the other hand, there are mounds of jars from pasta bake sauce (for DH), mustard (the men), hot sauce (DH), jalapenos (DH), horseradish (the men), pesto (me), furry olives (my fault for forgetting), crusted jam (all of us), curry sauce (all of us), peanut butter (men), pickles (empty but need rinsing), and even some almond butter (me). Then there are the two unopened jars of expired mayonnaise and the expired roasted peppers. The peppers would probably be fine, but I don't like to risk it and if they went near bear and he knew, he would utterly reject them. 

I had been keeping some small jars back for pickled mushrooms, but I don't think that I will get to them soon and I want the space. I am feeling in the mood for a clear out. I have one overflowing bag for life in the boot of the car already, and another pretty full one ready to go. I'm going to be at the bottle bank all week! And as for the drive there - I'm going to be tinkling as I go!

I'm also starting to catch up with the washing. I'm starting to identify blocks in the road, that is, things that are getting in the way of me moving forward. The great textile heap is an ongoing issue, and I need to deal with it. It should get a little easier now as I have identified a few places to store sheets and stuff, and we all seem to have fewer clothes. Of course, the number of pairs of jeans a five year old needs is very different from the jeans owned by a fifteen year old. The jars were just so much in my way, and getting rid of them (or at least making a start) is one block. The textiles are next.

It's a lot colder today. I saw snow coming down last night when I went to bed, but it didn't stick. Frost is forecast for tomorrow. Bear starts school and I am hoping that I get a chance to catch my breath. It's looking like it's getting colder. I may have to crack on and get the jacket knitted. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 3 January 2022

So Far, so Fail

Now that we are back into 'normal' times, dinner was the pasta bake for DH, protein stuff for bear after climbing and leftovers for me. We still have enough goodies and treats stashed to keep us going until February, but the heating is going back down and the decorations will be packed up tomorrow. 

Bear goes into school on Wednesday. Tomorrow I will be sorting out his uniform. I didn't get his blazer dry cleaned over Christmas, but it didn't need it so much. I'll be very surprised if the schools stay open over the next few weeks. The numbers coming through seem grim.

I haven't managed to touch the to-do list again. I need to look a lot closer to that tomorrow. If I ever manage anything, I'll probably do a lap of triumph around the garden - depending on the robin, of course. It may be smaller than my cup of peppermint tea, but it's fierce. The glare I get as I go from car to door is terrifying and I've been divebombed before now.

I didn't realise that when we added the bird feeder we would have to put up with the risk of attacks, but it has been a source of real pleasure. Watching the sparrows squabble great entertainment. It's impossible to count them as they are always diving in, knocking each other off perches, swooping round, flitting off, diving back again and you can't keep track. I think that the blue tits are sweeter, though equally assertive. 

Writing stuff - latest snippet is here

Hugs and good health to all.  

Sunday 2 January 2022

First Epic Fail of the New Year

For some reason I was so tired today that I was pretty much failing to function. I could barely keep my eyes open, but I couldn't manage a nap. My 'to-do' list of the day is pretty much untouched. I can reuse it for tomorrow.

Bear and DH seem to have had a good day and, all in all, it's been pretty relaxed. I used up the second half of the extremely cut price minced lamb I got before Christmas which I browned with mushrooms, onions, olives, preserved peppers, peas and gravy, served with mashed potato. It convinced bear to eat properly among all the snacking. We still have ridiculous amounts of snacks and goodies in, though, so I'm going to have to be cunning to get nutrition into him. Also, it looks like he will be going in to school next term. The school were undecided, I think, before Christmas. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that he did end up learning from home again. This means that I have to have a long think about what I can make sure that is in so that bear will actually eat healthy food. 

I'm too tired to work it out right now.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 1 January 2022


 Wherethejourneytakesme - Happy New Year

Sharon - Happy New Year. That sounds like an awesome idea. You deserve to find joy in your life.

Happy New Year to all reading!

I bought a very basic handbag from eBay. It's nothing particularly special, but it is bigger. I am accumulating a lot of notebooks. I want to carry a shopping list notebook, a notebook to record purchases and a sort of to-do notebook. It's not a proper to-do list, instead it's a book which I can keep close and use to organise my day. You know, a list of things that I would like to accomplish that day, in an order. I can cross stuff off, rearrange things, and help keep things straight in my mind. It may go something like, 1 school drop off, 2 pick up veggies, 3, ring dentist, 4, washing, 5, prep dinner, 6, pick up... etc etc

I'm hoping that it works to help me remember things I also need to do. I need a fuller to-do list but that can go in my working binder. 

It's been a funny sort of day. DH made a lovely lunch and then we have basically spent time together and just enjoyed each other's company. I had been rummaging around and found a blanket I started a long time ago, so I've been knitting while watching bear play computer games and listening to DH's comments. It's been a great start to the year. I hope everyone else had a start just as relaxing.

Hugs and good health to all.