Monday 28 February 2022

So Tired

Sharon - thank you! Daffodils are such a cheerful flower. 

Bless - thank you. I was waiting at the garage when I spotted the rubber band, and I couldn't imagine what it was at first. 

Eileen - I am a sucker for a sparkle.

I don't know what it is, but I am absolutely, utterly and incredibly exhausted. So is bear. It was his first day back at school after the holidays and he started with a test. Poor kid is shattered. 

Two pics that made me smile. I got some knitting done on the blanket for the first time for a week while I was waiting for bear. I was a little early so I managed to add at least another inch.

I didn't take this photo, but it's a representation of something that I did see that made me smile. There is a huge strip of purple crocus along the road on the school run and they looked so lovely. I didn't fee comfortable stopping (busy road) so I have a pic from Unsplash

Writing stuff - Today's small snippet of flash fiction is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 27 February 2022


Eileen - I haven't seen any others out, so it surprised me. Parts of the garden (tiny as it is) are very sheltered, though. The picture hunt for circles was a lot of fun. I was trying to look for things a little different, and the rubber band surprised me. The tokens was a weird photo to take. Everything reflected and I got some very odd looks.

Wherethejourneytakesme - always be nice to techs! Making the wordprocessor ping is very minor compared to what they could do. I feel quite blessed with the daffodil, as I haven't seen any others out.

Bless - I don't remember planting this. It's a miniature, so probably about three or four years ago. When we first moved in, there were so many daffodil bulbs that we couldn't plant anything else. We got rid of three binsacks full of them, and they keep going. I've never been able to get rid of the bluebells either, and father tried as well. It sounds weird having them as annuals, but you have those other glorious plants, and I love hearing about your lemon tree.

Lady Ella - I was lucky with the pringle lids because it was in a brightly lit supermarket and not the more difused theatre lighting. Thank you. 

Here's the pic that made me smile.

I love seeing morning light on the windscreen when it is frosted. I had one pic which I used as my laptop wallpaper for a while. 

This is from March 2020.

Bear was meeting his pals, so I gave him an early lift and I had to defrost the car before we set off. It was cooler, but lovely and bright, and bear and his friends wandered around, probably not being much bother, for around 18 kilometers or 11 miles. I picked him up later in the evening and he's gone to bed early.  He has school tomorrow.

For some reason I am beyond shattered, so I will probably follow his example. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

February Photo Challenge - Circles

I followed Eileen's challenge of the month for February with the theme for circles. I had something of a fail. I didn't go anywhere much. There was half term, the car was in the garage or not able to be driven for around ten days total and the weather was foul. But I did manage to pick up a few. I've looked through Eileen's awesome pics and I found it really inspiring. I'll have to look with a broader eye next month, when the challenge is 'beginning with H'. Looking for these things has been amazing for my mental health.

Anyway - my pics.

It's a circular rubber band that I noticed on the pavement. I didn't touch it. I should, however, taken the picture closer.

A thingy in the trolley shelter

A sign, which was optimistic as the cars were flying past it

Decoration on a window

Lots of circles with the tealights - which I resisted buying!

I nearly put this under the 'wheels' category for the scavenger hunt

The pringles lids were a lovely collection of circles.

And this is hard to see, but it's the round tokens that they give you at the checkout to vote where the donations are going.

I definitely want to get more pics next month! I shall be making lists of whatever can begin with H and investigating dictionaries. 

Eileen - thank you so much! 

Saturday 26 February 2022

Nothing Much Going On

Wherethejourneytakesme - those dishcloths are just the right amount of scritchy. I am impressed by your brother - patching up the computers after students tried to prove how clever they were must have been a challenge.

Bless - bear is in heaven. I love knitting these, and I can't wait to put them into service.

Libby - I've found myself looking for things to make me smile, and that has to be the healthiest thing to do. I'm glad you're also getting the benefit. Also - 6-0 and within three points of City. That definitely put a smile on my face!

Cherie - bear was just so grown up! From what I saw, from a safe distance, they were following logical steps and got a great computer for a great price. I don't think I would ever have the confidence, but bear would. Also, you are awesome, and can do all sorts of things.

Eileen - when I listened to bear and my brother, I understood that they were speaking English, but it went flying over my head. They were just so meticulous and happy with it though.

Sharon - I just thought I would put a sort of chatty piece on, and the question made me smile, so I thought I would share. Bear is very happy indeed.

It's been a funny sort of day, so I thought I would put a quick post up. I've been surrounded by lots of stuff happening, so I haven't been able to look at anything that needed concentration. Bear has a fully functional computer with multicoloured lights. Brother came around last night and he and bear put it together beautifully. He also treated bear to a new, larger monitor. Bear has been practically floating. 

All sort of normal here. While I was looking at the desolation that is my garden, I spotted this.

It made me smile, so I took a pic and to heck with the weeds. Hopefully back to normal tomorrow. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Bear Is Very Happy

Wherethejourneytakesme - That is very kind of you. At some point we will run into each other, probably in Tesco! As for the mess, it's not temporary, it's permanent! Well, I'm working on making it temporary at least.

Sharon - thank you. Automatics are definitely an option

Bless - thank you. A manual or stick shift isn't that hard, once you get the hang of it. At least, not in my experience. But there is definitely something appealing about an automatic sometimes.

Eileen - All the weather can wear you down and it's hard to break out of it. As for computers, I have no idea.

We got a delivery today. It includes a case, motherboard, power supply, things, other things, different things and stuff. Apparently bear understands it. From what has been explained to me, it's like a perpetual computer. He can keep it going by replacing the case, replacing the motherboard, replacing the thing, the other thing or stuff, but only the bits that need to be done at a time. Bear is very, very happy indeed. I hope everything works just as it should.

I've got a little knitting done today. I admit to piling it up so that it looks a little more than it actually is, but here are some dishcloths. They feel great for scrubbing and instead of throwing out the next bit of t-shirt with holes, I may cut it up instead to pair with them for washing up. The double sided cloths keep turning onto the scrubbing side, which makes it hard to wash up some bits. Seeing the sparkly stuff definitely made me smile. 

Writing stuff - There is a chatty bit on my blog called, Do Werewolves Eat Dog Biscuits? Which I think is a perfectly sensible question. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 22 February 2022


Sharon - I do hope the birds come back. Mind you, the sparrows are like a gang of teenagers outside an off licence, but they are so much fun to watch. You have to be careful that they don't notice, though.

Wherethejourneytakesme - everyone I speak to says that the area of the school run is a tough drive, around Heckmondwike, Dewsbury and Birstall. Every single route that I know, and I must know around a dozen variations, has a tricky part. I hope that it wasn't too bad for you in IKEA. I could do with picking up the veggie meatballs from their food shop, but I'm waiting until after the holiday.

Eileen - I can't imagine how an automatic would work on the hills. There are some seriously sharp slopes around here and if you time it wrong, you have to grind up in 1st. But the thought of an automatic without fuss is very tempting. I would definitely consider having a go.

This post may not make sense. I am feeling strangely tired. Mind you, I didn't sleep that well last night. 

I've got some writing done, then I turned the study upside down. My brother came round to pick up bear. They went out to pick up the pieces to build a computer. They were upset that the place was shut today, so they went online. My brother works with computers, so was talking bear through different motherboards, cases, things, stuff... I recognised the language as English, but I got out of my depth pretty quickly. Bear is utterly thrilled. They really seemed to be having fun, though bear zoned out a bit when brother and I started talking family history. There are some strong characters in my family tree. I mean, seriously strong, scary, stubborn, difficult characters. I often feel that I've let the side down. 

But between a bad night, rushing around trying to work out all the different feeding points, and all the chaos of the study which is all in pieces, I'm shattered. The kitchen looks like it's in special measures. Washing and ironing are overflowing. Also, something weird happened with the porch door.

I had to move a lot around. Brother took an old chest which meant that I had to move a small chest of drawers for the printer to sit on, and I had to empty things and stack things and sort. I feel like I've been hit by a tidal wave. There's so much to do tomorrow. Also, my editor is making, 'are you writing' noises. It may be the change in the weather. I swear the windy weather is wearing me out.

And when we took the chest around to my brother's car, I saw a huge lock of hair on the pavement. It's not that odd as it's only a few feet away from a hairdresser, but it made me think that there should be a story about it. I took a photo, but it didn't come out well. It was an auburn colour and a rather nice curl, around eight inches long. It looked quite dramatic.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 21 February 2022

I Regret This Picture

Wherethejourneytakesme - When I first got red, I thought I would end up going through the window, seatbelt and all! But they've been done and are a lot softer. I suspect that when they are next adjusted, I will need the P plates again.

Sharon - I have never really driven in snow, but I am far more scared of the thought of snow. I've driven in tough winds before and while I know that it's tricky, it's not so scary as snow!

Bless - thank you.

Eileen - I just had a think about the driving. It's a lot quieter than it was before the plague, but everyone who does the same sort of routes locally says that it is a tough drive. It means that I am confident with all sorts of weird corners, tricky slopes, complicated roundabouts and stupidly parked cars but I'm still afraid of motorways. To be honest, I think I would always dodge driving in a city if I could help it. They all seem to have strange one-way systems with lack of signs. 

Cherie - the taxi driver I had the other day recommended an automatic. I suspect that when I go for my next car, I will use the same rules - go to a safe dealer and pick a car that is the cheapest possible with four doors and room for shopping. Automatics seem complicated.

We had all the rain, wind, snow (as above) more rain, more wind and more rain (thought it's been sunny this afternoon. When I saw this, I went to take a pic and disturbed the sparrows on the birdfeeder. I hadn't seen them for ages and I felt very guilty.

Yesterday the main road near us flooded. I was not surprised. They keep failing to maintain the reservoir that is supposed to hold excess water and then are taken by surprised when one of the main routes to the big Leeds United v Manchester United match was underwater and therefore closed.

Apart from being near a closed road, we haven't been too badly affected and I know how lucky we are. It's half term for bear, so today we stayed in. The weather seems to really have taken it out of me. I feel so tired that I can hardly remember what I did this weekend!

Writing stuff - a little flash fiction from the world of my latest book is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 18 February 2022


Wherethejourneytakesme - Thank you. I never thought of the persona as a technique, especially as it is pretty much me (but nicer natured). But it has really been useful over the years as I work on the writing. And the more I write, the healthier I am, so I need to keep cracking on! Thank you for the support.

Cherie - I was sooooo glad to get in tonight. I'm hoping that you stayed safe and warm today.

Sharon - It's scary, but I have found it worth it so far. I wonder if you could manage a home made sign - please be patient, I'm doing my best.

Eileen - thank you! Bear has been a complete sweetie and hasn't complained all this week. He was very grateful today, though.

Well, I made it. As I said to DH, I didn't move away smoothly in 1st gear. It was more of a launch forward. I think I made the right choice with the P plates. There were a few moments on the school runs where I was struggling with the biting point and on a hill - just when there was a car close behind me. It wasn't just once! At least with the P plates they had been warned. Very little of my route is flat, and I need to use the gears a lot. There are also quite a few junctions and a couple of roundabouts where I need to get away quick, and it was a challenge at first.

The weather wasn't too bad this morning, which was just as well. I'm starting to get the feel of it, and I suspect that the clutch is bedding in. The weather in the afternoon was awful, though, and I was a little worried at times. I thought I would be blown across the road and there were times when the whole car shook. I was careful to park away from trees while I was waiting for bear, and I sat knitting with a blanket over my knee. It was surprisingly fun and great to get back to. It made me smile so I took a pic.

The car shook quite a lot as I was knitting, but there were only twigs flying around and it felt almost snug. I had to drive around a fallen tree on the way home, though. That was quite unnerving. 

I feel very lucky as we were in the yellow warning area, so we had very little to worry about compared to the poor people who have lost power or have been affected by fallen trees. It's been worrying, and more storms could be on the way at the weekend. I'll be glad when the weather calms down. 

For some reason, I'm quite tired now, so I think I shall have a quiet evening and an early night.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 17 February 2022

Absolutely Terrified

Cherie - it's really appreciated.

Bless - So far so good.

Sharon - I have likened sharing creative stuff to going out without a your skin on. Every nerve is exposed. It's incredibly tough to put yourself out there. For me, it's weirdly okay now. Something that has helped is that I publish as Lyssa Medana. That's not my name. Lyssa is almost me but not quite. What you read on here or my writing blog is true, but there are bits of me and my life that don't belong to Lyssa and stay just me. It keeps a distinction and a sort of buffer zone. Your pictures are beautiful. I always look forward to seeing them. There is a lovely clarity. Perhaps if you wanted to put your amazing pics forward, you could use a nom de plume (or nom d'image) where you can still stay true to who you are, but you keep some of you safe behind the shield. Or you can keep them to the blog, or share them with friends, or whatever you need to do. I'm glad that I've seen your pics. 

Eileen - thank you! I'm keeping everything crossed.

I went to In and Out Garage near us. I may go there again. They have a lovely warm waiting area with coffee and comfy chairs. I wasn't sure I was going to make the less than two miles journey. I could feel the engine complaining. But they were amazing and when I explained that I could really do with the car for the sake of my car, they pushed it through extra quick. I was hanging around outside Wickes DIY while I waited for a taxi (I should have walked) and I spotted this tray of different stones and it made me smile.

It just looked like glimpses into different stream beds and sea shores. 

They were really good and I picked up the car at 5pm, and paid exactly what we were quoted. The clutch is now a lot higher. Since January I have had the steering adjusted (I thought it was my driving, but getting the wheel alignment sorted has made a massive difference), the new oil sump, the full service, I'm using better petrol and now the new clutch. It's not that long ago that I had the new catalytic converter and new brake discs. It's like I'm driving a new-to-me car! I was really struggling on the way home. I took the long way back (six miles) but stalled a few times. I've only ever driven my driving instructor's car and red, and now it feels completely different. I was in pieces by the time I got home. Driving in rush hour didn't help at all!

Tomorrow I'm driving bear to school. We are far enough north so that we are not in the worst of the wind, and far enough south so that we shouldn't be hit by the snow, but I wouldn't be looking forward to it anyway even if I wasn't stalling the car and struggling. As I am going to be struggling with the gears in tricky weather conditions, I've dug out my P plates. I may not be a 'just passed my test' driver, but I'm going to be jumping and stalling and it's only fair to other drivers that they know that I may not be able to go with the flow of traffic as usual. I'm also going to try and pick up some stuff on the way home. It's half term next week, so I could do with picking up some extra snacks. 

I've plotted a route with the minimum chance of flooded areas and fallen trees, but there is almost certainly going to be challenges. Please send good vibes.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 16 February 2022

At Least One Pic

Sharon - I feel oddly bereft without a car. It's very unnerving. I will be glad to get back on the wheels!

Bless - thank you. The repair is about what I expected, and what I have budgeted for. Bear really does know his own mind, thank goodness. It won't do him any harm as he grows up. 

Cherie - thank you, you have given me a massive hug and I am very grateful. I felt a little guilty as I have previously posted it before, but it is one of my favourites. Lots of people are looking. Thank you.

Eileen - thank you. 

I managed a pic.

The light was failing and the trees were standing out against the sky. The phone didn't do it justice. DH and I both have the feeling that there used to be a lot more leaves and branches than we can see currently, but that's not surprising. We aren't in the worst of it, but the wind is really howling around and I wouldn't be surprised at anything I saw blowing past. We are relatively sheltered, but I will be checking the slates on the roof tomorrow.

Not having the car has been a little odd. It's taking me back to the time when I hardly went anywhere at all and I sank into a dark place. I've been trying to keep going with my writing stuff, but I've not achieved as much as I would like. I've also been worried about bear. He came home absolutely drenched, poor kid. I'm taking the car in tomorrow, and hopefully pick it up Friday, just in time for half term break. He has been so good, though, and not complained. 

I hope everyone is staying safe in all this weather. It's very unnerving.

Writing stuff - I got a one star review today for my first self published novel, back in 2012. I can sort of see their point. I've put the reaction on my writing blog here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Bumbling Along

Sharon - thank you. Bear really does his own mind, which is reassuring. I hope the weather doesn't get too bad for you. It sounds like the weather will be quite treacherous.

Patio Postcards - I only passed my test three years ago but I am really finding it hard being without the car. It's really strange.

Wherethejourneytakesme - fingers crossed for a safe journey

Eileen - sometimes I look at bear and wonder what I did right. I honestly think that there are times when he is the sensible one in the house. At the moment he is skinny as a lat and around 80% leg. I am so proud of him.

Bear continues to bear. This morning he was up at 5am doing his homework. He is very much a lark, unlike DH and I. He was having a few fits about homework this morning but still got an extra positive. 

I have been more or less getting by today. I'm so tired and I've been caught between writing new stuff and looking around for reviewers for current stuff. I miss having the car. And I still haven't taken pics. 

I don't think the weather is helping. I'm about to give in and put the fire on. I've been sitting in my dressing gown all day. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 14 February 2022


Wherethejourneytakesme - I very much let bear get on with it. If he gets into trouble at school for uniform issues, that's on him. I won't bail him out. So far, there hasn't been a problem. I was always the one heading for trouble when I was a kid - nothing silly but if anyone could cause chaos, it was me. Bear has decided that he would prefer a quieter life. Fingers crossed for your journey tomorrow. Rain is forecast, but I think it's all in the timing.

Eileen - thank you. We are hitting a blip now, but she's been pretty good over the last three years so fingers crossed that it calms down.

Akasha - thank you, and Valentines wishes to you as well.

Bear sloped off to school at 6.30am looking like a ninja. He was all in black, he had his hood up and he had a black cloth face mask. He was fine. 

I haven't taken pics today either. I've been nattering around a lot of writing stuff and got seriously distracted. I was going to sit in the car for twenty minutes with the engine turning over to keep the battery charged, but the clutch was whining so I turned it off almost straight away. 

I've been nattering about writing stuff so much that my concentration is all over the place. I hope to be back tomorrow and making more sense.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 13 February 2022

With Extra Grump

Wherethejourneytakesme - I'm not sure that I'd recommend a different Kwik Fit to the one I use, to be honest. I think it very much depends. But they've had a lot of chances to overcharge me and never took them, so I'll go back to them for all sorts. I'm still not entirely sure about the clutch, but apparently it's nowhere near the battery or oil sump, so it's probably just coincidence. Besides, I started driving the poor car straight after passing my test. I must have been hard on it, especially for the first few months and I had a terrible habit of riding the clutch, so it's not so surprising. As for the candlelight, I got this one from Tesco (my happy place) for £11 on clearance and it has burned pretty much nonstop for two weekends and I think it will see at least another and perhaps another after that. There's still some scent in it as well. I've always been one for candles.

Eileen - To be honest, I think that I expected it to be more. DH's clutch went a few years ago and it was £500 then, but my little Citroen C3 is apparently nice and straightforward, so I'm keeping all crossed that it will be an easy swap. Over the last few months I've had to change the catalytic converter, the oil sump and now the clutch. If you are superstitious and believe that things go in threes, then perhaps this will see the end of it for a while. 

Grumble continues. I have a sore throat and ear ache. I am unimpressed. What is worse, there are weather warnings coming up for the week ahead, and poor bear is on the bus. I can't go and get him without a car. If things are really bad, my brother will pick him up, but that could cause problems for my brother. 

In other news, bear is supposed to wear something red for Valentines Day tomorrow. He has been very clear. He is wearing black jeans, black t-shirt and a black hoodie, all of them completely plain. Even his backpack is plain black. I'm letting him get on with it. There are some places I don't have the courage to go. Bear is very much himself. I don't worry about him being led astray because I can't imagine him doing anything he isn't totally happy with. On the other hand, persuading him to do anything that he doesn't want to is a trial. I keep an eye on things and leave him to follow his own path. I'm pretty sure that he's more sensible than I am.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 12 February 2022

Still Grumpy

 Wherethejourneytakesme - I was always wary about Kwik Fit, but the branch I go to have been pretty good and there have been times where they didn't charge me when they could have magicked up a fee. I don't know about other branches, though, and I'd be wary. 

The car - I can't take the car to Kwik Fit for the clutch as they don't do clutches. We've been quoted just over £500 by a different garage that has some good feedback, and I should get it back on Friday. I'm hoping that it will settle down after that. 

I took this photo.

I don't know if you can see it, but the boundary between the melted wax and the unmelted looks all fluffy and soft, like new snow or feathers. It made me smile.

It's a three wick candle going which keeps the room, with the three of us and all the electronics, nice and snug. It's not a huge room, and I think I need to get particular about airing the room out in the morning, but it's cosy and we stay happy. Bear has been playing computer games, DH has been helping and I have been knitting dishcloths. I am confident that I will end up with more dishcloths than inclination to use them. It's been good day. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 11 February 2022

Not a Happy Bunny

The clutch has gone in my car. It's fried. I am not a happy camper. I am practising my harsh language. I had to limp home, screeching, followed by the nice AA man - just in case. What was worse, I decided on a really easy, straightforward route but half way along there was a road closed so I ended up on a tricky route with lots of gear changes, which screeched. My local Kwik Fit, who have done the oil sump and battery this week, don't really do gearboxes, so DH was a hero and found a nearby garage that can fit me in next Thursday. Bear was pretty stoic when he got the news, but we are all collectively unimpressed. 

I haven't taken any pics today, and I didn't feel up to trying one to make me smile. On the other hand, all The Great British Sewing Bee episodes from series one are on BBC iPlayer. I shall watch that while knitting and grumbling gently. 

Also, why do polar bears swim in salt water? Because pepper water makes them sneeze.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 10 February 2022

And the Car Needs the Garage Again

Hazel - you are awesome and I feel soooo hugged that I can't tell you. And don't worry. There are a few characters that I've plans for. Thank you so much. 

Wherethejourneytakesme - bear is very appreciative at the moment and I'm making the most of it!

Sharon - that calculator made me wince as I bought it. It has to have all the fancy bits that the calculators on phones don't have, apparently. The jeans are fun, but I'd never keep anything alive in them. Thank you for getting the books. I hope that you enjoy them. I feel hugged that you thought of me.

Bless - I've been checking the weather forecast, and there's a lot of rain on the way, which means headlights here, so not good for the battery. I hope to get a good drive soon, though.

Cherie - bear is absolutely grateful! I'm enjoying the gratitude.

Eileen - Thank you. I look forward to seeing an honest review. Apart from anything else, I hope that you enjoy the story.

IMPORTANT - I've written loads about my writing over the last few weeks as it has rather taken over my life. I want to say that this is where I meet my friends, and the friends bit comes before the writing bit here. So I'm trying to keep the writing stuff at the end, so that those who aren't into it can just miss it. It should settle down a little now. It's okay to ignore it. If you buy my books, I will be absolutely thrilled, but I don't expect it. And if you leave a review, especially if it is a good one, then I will be ecstatic, but it's still okay if you don't. I would rather have a friend than a sale and a review.

As for the car, I'm taking it back tomorrow. It's developed a whine. It sounds like those wind up torches that you get. It's really noticeable when I change gear and when I accelerate. It's probably nothing, but it's only started now, so I want it checked out. Bear is completely unimpressed. 

I have smiled today, but I've been distracted by stuff and I haven't taken pics, so here is an old one that I hope makes you smile.

I don't know if I shared it before, but I found it like this last October in Aldi. Someone obviously tucked the sloth in!

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Car is Back!

Bless - the planter just amazes me! I can't imagine that it would keep it's colour, though. Thank you for the good wishes.

Cherie - thank you! I feel hugged. I hope that you really enjoy it.

Eileen - I am having an acute case of imposter syndrome. I can't believe that it's published.

Re the book numbers - if it's a book that I've self published, like The Forgotten Village (sorry about the links, it's sort of compulsory if you are an author to plug away), then Amazon will tell me when the book is bought. You can get quite detailed reports, but I never really get to grips with them. King's Silver (again with the link, sorry) is published by Three Furies Press (who are awesome) and they get the reports from that, along with all the other books that they publish. I don't know how many sold yesterday. Looking at the rankings on Amazon, I think that I may have sold a few dozen. It's hard to guess. I'm starting the process of contacting all the bloggers and reviewers to see if they'll review King's Silver.

And speaking of that - if you are kind enough to read the book, and don't mind, please could you leave a review on Amazon. Please be honest. I would rather get a real bad review than a fake good review, though a real good review would be utterly awesome. When people chose a book on Amazon, they look for reviews, and sometimes sort by reviews. Reviews are vital. I think that this goes for any book and any author. 

I got my car back. They really are sweeties at my local Kwik Fit. The car has the new oil thing, and they checked the battery. It's low on charge, but healthy. The lovely man said that really the car needed a run of 30-40 miles with the headlights off, the heater off and the radio off. This could be part of the problem. I take bear to school early, so it's dark when we set off so we have the headlights on, and it's cold. I sometimes use the blowers to defrost the windows. I also have the habit of having the heat to a level of Kew Gardens Tropical House. The radio usually only goes on when bear is in the car (to stop me talking to him), so that's not so bad. However it's also dark when we come home as well, so the headlights are on again. As the battery is doing okay at the moment, I'll carry on until the weekend and then have a good run. 

Bear is significantly grateful that lifts will resume.

And I forgot to take a picture today. I've been in a bit of a daze. So just because - my latest book. Thank you to all who have given me encouragement. I can't tell you how much it means. It's a real support and lifeline.

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 8 February 2022


Wherethejourneytakesme - That sounds like an awesome waste paper bin. I found this pic and I had to share. I have seen a few YouTube videos about this sort of thing, and I am so tempted. Mind you, all the plants would be dead if it was me growing them.

Eileen - yes! The moss reminded me of tribbles as well. Thank you for your support on this. I hope you enjoy the story.

Sharon - thank you. I'm keeping all crossed for the car.

Bless - thank you. Bear doesn't seem too bothered, though he is more in favour of the bus home than the cold, wet, dark bus to school. Hopefully it will sort the car out.

Today has been a sort of nothing day. I've been hanging around watching for any sort of reaction to King's Silver. I found that there was an amazing, if generic, review on a pirate book site. I really don't recommend trying to get a free copy from those sites. I suspect that all sorts of viruses get downloaded with anything that they have. 

Bear is managing with the bus, though he got into trouble at school. He couldn't finish his maths homework because he had lost his calculator. It's a specific type of calculator that does those weird sums that I never understood and that even maths teachers say that you need a calculator for. As I was typing this, I found this site - calculator net. It seems to have all sorts on there. I haven't checked it properly, but I shall be having a play after this. I had a quick look and found that it could calculate my age in seconds. I'm sure that I will find things like the square footage calculator of interest and I can check things like angle calculator without bothering bear. 

I think I shall crawl away and get an early night. I feel exhausted.

Writing stuff - King's Silver was published today and I wrote a little about it here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 7 February 2022

Could be Worse

Bless - the elephant is actually a dog toy. My brother lost one of his dogs to the sickness going around (the poor woofer was already elderly) and his other dog was pining, so I got this for her. I'm looking forward to getting the benefit of the loofah.

Cherie - I really could do without it. 

Sharon - I have so much to do and it's really bad. I can't even move around much. I don't want to do detail, but I think a lot of women will understand.

Eileen - I have been having a blast with the Scavenger Hunt. Thank you so much for setting it up.

Patio Postcards - I couldn't believe the shrub and can. It really did look like it was partying. When I was younger, I absolutely went to parties that could end up with disembodied mannequin's legs. I am not speculating further!

My lady bits are still enthusiastically active. I do not approve of this at all. I feel very fed up. What is worse, the car is still at the garage.

As far as I can work it out, it goes something like this. The first service I had, at a little garage, they mentioned that the car was very low on oil, which was odd as I got it from a very reputable dealer. Then last summer I had the service and MOT done, and then the oil warning light, which is when they told me that the valve on the sump was iffy (they didn't charge for repairs as they didn't spot it). After the last service and the complete lack of oil, they have found that the thread holding the valve is the thing that actually went. I need a new sump. It's £300, but they're not charging for the oil. And they have to order the part and it will probably be a few days.

To be honest, the poor man who rang was having a heck of a Monday. When I dropped the car off, there were phones ringing, people shouting in the garage and a queue out of the door. I tried to be nice to him, as it wasn't his fault. I'm not really surprised. The car is now six years old and I can expect to see repair bills creeping in. Poor bear got the bus at 6.30am today, and will be doing that for the next few days. He has been quite cheerful about it, but I'm sure he'll be glad when it's back to normal. 

Something that made me smile - I spotted this moss on the wall today and it made me smile as it looked so furry, like I could stroke it.

Writing stuff - King's Silver is out tomorrow! It's my first proper fantasy novel, and something of a step into the unknown. As a little snippet, I've posted a story set in that world here. Please send good vibes. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 6 February 2022

Getting Better

Cherie - The Scavenger Hunt has been wonderful for me. It's kept me looking outwards.

Eileen - I'm quite worried about the oil. When we checked with the dipstick, there was practically nothing, but it will have been topped up only a week or so ago.

Sharon - I'm keeping all crossed about the oil. I seriously recommend keeping a 'funnies' folder or bookmark. It is an absolutely lifeline.

Bless - yes, it's the honeysuckle, and I am supposed to be getting rid of it, but I don't really want to now. But if I don't, I'll end up with a rat run again. I'm thinking about it all.

DH very kindly went out and bought some oil from a local garage, which was heroic of him, and I am so grateful. There was hail, and it was so windy that my white rose bush blew over. The fuchsia is as firmly rooted as ever, though, so I'm still stuck with that. I plan to put the oil in tomorrow morning, just before I set off, taking the empty containers with me so that the mechanic can know how much I put in. 

Today has not been a brilliant day. My lady bits woke up for some reason. They don't seem to have got the message that I'm in my fifties now and past all that. Instead they have gone for it with gusto. It has been grim. Instead, I've been knitting. Of course, feeling a bit down in the dumps, I had to start something new. That ball of non-sparkly scrubby yarn is now this...

It should be a lovely scritchy loofah for my back. There was a little bit of yarn left over, so I could probably have managed another inch, but I wasn't too worried. It isn't a great thing of beauty. I cast on 20 stitches, knit a few rows, then knit three, cast off 14, knit three to end. Then I knit three, made 14, knit the remaining three stitches and then knitted until it looked like I was near the end of the yarn and did the handle thing again.

And I've done some sparkly knitting as well. Now I need to sew a button on bear's blazer. I asked him to empty his pockets this afternoon, but he forgot. He is in bed early as he has to get the bus to school, with the car going to the garage tomorrow, so I'll just do my best and hope that I don't lose anything out of the gazillion pockets. I need to mend a split seam in the back as well, but I'm not exactly sure how. I'll work up to that. 

Writing - only two more sleeps before King's Silver is out!

Hugs and good health to all.

Picture Scavenger Hunt

This is in response to the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt set by Eileen T on Bracelet of Days (thank you Eileen, it has been something of a sanity saver). I have made a right mess of copying things over, but here we are with my list so far...

1. Party Time!

I saw this and thought that it looked like the bush was having a party!

2. A Star - I was browsing the candles when I shouldn't when I saw this.

3. Something you use every day - my battered handbag (also holder for keys, pens, notebooks, lipgloss, hand sanitiser, etc etc etc

4. Form or Shape - Just some fancy sign in the supermarket 

5. Diagonal - the stairs at the car park where I wait for bear

6. Currency - A sort of sad one. When father was alive, I used to help out the Methodist Church fairs and events. There was a 'roll the two pence' where you rolled a two pence coin down a chute and see which square it landed in. It had to be exact and not touch any margins, but if you made it then you could win 2p, 4p, 6p or even 10p! There was just enough return to keep a young kid with 50p in tuppences busy for long enough for parents to catch their breath. It didn't make much money for the church, but it was very popular. I saved all the 2p pieces, but the board has fallen to pieces and they aren't having the sales and events that they used to. I'm going to use it in the self checkout now.

7. A Rainbow - I wasn't happy to spot this - my car has an oil leak.

8. In Profile

9. A Single Letter of the Alphabet

10. Trees - taken one morning in a supermarket car park

11. Represent your zodiac sign or your Chinese year animal - I'm using the fake birthday I have on my writing Facebook as I don't like giving out my birthday. I think it's Libra, but couldn't find scales, so I went for balanced.

12. Symbolic of the country you call home - sort of, I think. It's supposed to be an English Rose, and a white rose is the symbol of Yorkshire. Yorkshire may not be a country, but it has it's own international football team. (sad note, this bush blew over 5 Feb 2022)

13. Graffiti/Street Art - I spotted this a while ago, but I took another picture for the challenge.

14. A tea break/coffee break snapped at a cafe as I don't drink tea or coffee much these days.

15. An External Light - a rather rubbish one of the moon, which I guess is fairly external. 

16. Half - half a dishcloth because the yarn ran out!

17. Wheel(s) - I thought it looked sort of cool.

18. A Gift - my son's Christmas gift to me

19. A Decoration I thought this looked cool

20. Small - a small elephant

Alt A Free Choice - who can resist taking a pic of a mannequin's disassembled leg?

Alt B The Weather Today - when the weather was interesting

Alt C Square(s) 

This is what I have on 6 February 2022, but I may update with some better pics if I see them. 

Saturday 5 February 2022

Oil Fail

Sharon - I have those reviews saved, along with a few others that I can turn to when I'm feeling low. Another one I have saved is here.

Cherie - that looks like a really useful cast on. I'm going to have a go at it, but not on a blanket. I'll work up to it!

Hester - I know! I love the colours, even though they are not my usual style.

Dormouse - the yarn is so lovely and soft but with the eyelash strands in the way and the way the colours change, it can be difficult. I always say that the fun of knitting is the journey and not the destination.

Eileen - I never thought of using those for the rainbow. I've been having trouble finding something like that. I'll probably use the oil spill though. Btw thank you for the WPSH, it's really being good for my mental health.

I've started the blanket again. It was horrific to undo as it got into a colossal tangle. Years ago, I used to buy bags of tangled yarn on Leeds Market for around 1p per gram, and I would spend hours unpicking and rewinding them. That practice helped because, with the long eyelash strands and the quick changes of colour, it caused a lot of harsh language. I ended up using the cable cast on. It's the way I was taught, nearly 50 years ago, but it tends to draw the fabric in. That's great when you are knitting the cuff of a sleeve, but it doesn't help a blanket as it can look shrunk at one end. I needed something firm, though, because the dratted yarn is so slippy. So I used 10mm needles (US 15) to cast on and then carried on knitting on 8mm (US 11) so I'm hoping the bigger needles keep it nice and loose. I tried to take a pic, but my phone is definitely not up to it. 

I nipped out to put something in the car and noticed this. 

I'm pretty sure that it's an oil leak from my car. I checked the dip stick and there's practically nothing. DH has said that he may walk to the nearest garage (about twenty minutes) to pick up oil and I can top it up enough to get it to Kwik Fit. They did the service on it, which includes oil change and oil cleaner, just a few weeks ago, so I hope they will be able to work it all out. Please let it be inexpensive.

But this made me smile.

It's a sign of spring. It's also a little sad as I'll be digging it out, but it's nice to see it coming through.

Hugs and good health to all.