Saturday 10 September 2022

Standing Water

Bless - GCSEs replaced O levels here, but it's the same. Bear has to get certain grades at GCSE to do A levels and certain grades at A level to get into university. The school has forecast high grades for him but they're being demanding. And Vietnam! It's probably as safe as anywhere these days, but so far away!

Wherethejourneytakesme - I wouldn't mind bear getting the travel bug in many ways. Uncle was a ship's engineer for nearly twenty years and went to every continent except Antarctica, and father went all over as well. But it's a big step for bear who didn't fancy going further than Yorkshire until now.

Deborah - sending all hugs as that sounds like a lot! I call them 'high gravity days' because if anything can fall, it will. And then it will break. But at least you spotted the leak, which puts you ahead of quite a few people.

Sharon - today wasn't so bad, but yesterday I was in junk food all the way, sigh. I'm just taking it a little by little. Thank you for the compliments on the photos, that means a lot from you.

Eileen - Thank you. Not only was bear happy to get back but yesterday he told me that he had a maths test and he enjoyed it! I really can't identify with that.

Cherie - I'm devastated as well. Hugs.

I feel that there is standing water between a death and the funeral, like the standing water between the tide coming in and the tide going out. I felt it with father, mother and uncle, and I sort of feel it now. We've lost our queen. Whether you were a royalist or not, she was a massive part of our lives and a steadfast fixture in the background. Now that's gone and it feels like you have to watch your footing as things aren't the same anymore. Everything is not quite in balance, and won't be until after the funeral and things settle down. I wish His Majesty well and I'm remembering him and his family in my prayers. When I see the statements he makes, I keep seeing grief behind his eyes, like the loss hasn't quite hit him yet but that in a few days it will catch up and it will be so hard. 

I found out how much the trip to Vietnam will be and I whimpered a little. The trip itself will be several thousand, and then you have stuff like visas and shots and kit on top. Bear may not even get a place on it. There is also a little niggle that perhaps he is being spoiled. But we can, if we are careful and perhaps even a little creative with the budget, find the money, and I suspect that it will be one of those times when the way that he looks at the world will change.  

Added to which, bear has been put on an intervention for his English. I'm glad, even if bear is a little sniffy about it. It means that he gets extra lessons at lunch time (the teachers are saints, I swear, because they have so much more than the classroom hours). He has a new English teacher who scares him. I'm not entirely sure that's a bad thing, but we will see. It's so frustrating to see bear struggle with English when, as far as I can see, he understands stuff. And, to be clear, if he carried on as he is, he would get a pass, a 5 or 6, what was C, the minimum required in job adverts. However the school seems to think that bear can do better and are pushing him. 

As for that fuchsia (the most interesting thing in my life) - here is as close as I dared on the day. It was full of sparrows and, while they may be small, they are very assertive and I'm staying at a safe distance.

If you zoom close, you will see no berries. The sparrows have very clear views about what is theirs and what isn't, and fuchsia berries are definitely theirs!

Yesterday I did a big shop. Because I spend £7.99 on the Clubcard extra a month, I get two 'big shops' where I get 10% off (terms and conditions apply etc, it's never quite straightforward) per month, which can't be carried over. Well, I saved plenty, but I still spent nearly £200! I got a haul of candles, as we like them, and we will probably have a few going instead of putting the heater on when we all hang out in the study. I got inexpensive ones which will add a psychological warm as well as a little heat. I also picked up a couple of tubs of sweets for Christmas - yes the Christmas stuff is out.

And I picked up a load of crisps and treats that were on offer. They should keep us going for a good while. I'm hoping that they last until November. I also have a delivery coming on Friday, as there is an offer that if you spend £15 on qualifying frozen food then you get £5 off. As a lot of the frozen stuff that qualifies are regular purchases, I've stocked up on some of that as well. 

I think that I am going to have to be more disciplined in my shopping. I wouldn't say that I had been reckless, well, not always, but now I think I need to be tactical. I need to use the twice monthly shops with 10% off to their full advantage. That means getting non-perishables fortnightly. I want to get my fresh stuff from the farm shop. I guarantee that anyone reading this is better at this stuff than me, but I'll share any inspiration that I have. 

Writing stuff - with the whole Vietnam thing, I'm going to be trying to earn as much money as possible from my writing. That includes taking down a lot of the spookier stuff that you find under A Whisper in the Shadows and putting them on Amazon as an inexpensive ebook - with some new stuff as well! I'll play fair. I expect to take down any that will be included in the book on 2 October, with a view to the book itself coming out around 25th October, for Halloween. If you want to dip in to the stories before 2nd October, please enjoy! And some stories will stay.

Speaking of Halloween, I've got some ambitious plans for October, so watch this space. There will be some older stuff, but I'm hoping to be able to share a lot of new stuff (though that will also eventually migrate to Amazon).

In an attempt to try and get some pennies coming in, the flash fiction that I usually post on Mondays may end up in other places. I'll give as much notice as I can, and I'll be honest and clear about what is going on. I'm also cautiously optimistic about the sequels to King's Silver (sorry for linking, but it's compulsory)

Mind you, we all know what happens when I post on here saying what I'm going to do. Anything is possible. However, that's what I've got planned, so fingers crossed. 

Hugs and good health to all. 


  1. I've said this before and I'll say it again; I just love your fuchsia bush! Once September gets here, then, the rest of the year seems to go by in a blur of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, all rolled into one, doesn't it? I know you don't have Thanksgiving over there, but, I try hard not to start on Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. :)

  2. I'm definitely a Royalist and have been glued to the TV for every last bit of coverage of events. I find myself feeling excited about seeing the protocols surrounding the start of the King's reign unfold and then immediately feel guilty because it obviously means that our Queen has died and I shouldn't be enjoying that side of things!

    Bear enjoyed a maths test? Is he feeling alright? 😏 Is he keen on visiting Vietnam? We were all allowed one overseas trip each when at senior school and couldn't go in the same year because of costs so my siblings went to France when they had their chances and I went to Austria.

  3. Vietnam sounds like an amazing experience but the cost is probably eye watering. My heart aches for the royal family. Every move and blink of the eye is closely examined at this sad time in their lives. Poor Sophie looked devastated yesterday when we watched her on TV.

  4. Thank you for your lovely comments Lyssa. The leak misery continues as I had a lovely puddle under my tumble dryer this morning which could only be a blocked condenser. I’ve not looked yet. We also have an ominous patch of what looks like an impending leak on the dining room ceiling below where the shower is in the bathroom. I’m going with the theory that it’s the sealant around the shower tray and not panicking. Our plumber once commented that he’d never known anyone get so many leaks. Or maybe I’m just good at finding them. lol. Bear sounds really dedicated and I’m sure he’ll do really well in his exams. Meant to say. Don’t know if it helps but we pay £3.99 a month for a delivery pass with Tesco. Any day after 3 pm. Unlimited deliveries and collections over £45 and £25 respectively.