Tuesday 31 October 2023

Quiet Day

I was supposed to be going out this morning, but I didn't feel like it. I'm taking huge doses of antibiotics plus I have the lingering cold from getting the covid and flu jabs, plus I have an infection. I stayed home. 

I took bear to the dentist this afternoon. Bear went in by himself while I parked nearby in Aldi car park. I called in for some butter than I forgot yesterday. Bear's being pretty independent. He remembered to book the next appointment in six months time and he came out with a clean bill of health. He made himself dinner as well. I was quite relived as DH was having his usual pasta bake and I have to eat not less than two hours after taking the antibiotic and not less than one hour afterwards so I'm on a strange schedule. 

I need to keep up to the bird feeder. I could have sworn that the sparrows were chasing pied wagtails away this afternoon - I hadn't seen them around before!

I couldn't take a pic, and they were deep in the honeysuckle so I didn't get a clear view. Have I named the honeysuckle? It's doing a good job of spreading in inconvenient directions. Perhaps I should call it Deirdre. It produces a lot of flowers and berries, both of which are deeply appreciated by the local wildlife. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 30 October 2023

I Went to the Doctor

I managed to get a really early appointment and was out of there by 8.50am. I now have loads of antibiotics to take for a fortnight. The carpark at 8.50am looks like this. 

Which could be worse. However it gets very full very quickly as it serves two GP practices, a physio centre and a pharmacy. It's not even parking. It's getting out afterwards as people have a habit of filling up the gaps in the centre of the parking spaces and parking vans in the drop off zone. It's just in a tricky place. If I can walk, it will be easier. 

Gladys is massive.

As a reminder, this is what she looked like May 25th.

I called in to Tesco for the antibiotics. I picked up a few bits while I was there, and I noticed that there was a load of Christmas stuff out, including mince pies

If you look closely, you can see that the best before date was yesterday. They know that people like me not only like to stock up but will be too weak willed to resist all the goodies before Christmas. Except that this year we're not getting huge amounts of goodies and I am checking all the use by dates.

Later this evening I called in to Aldi with bear and let him loose in the frozen food section. I don't know if anyone remembers, but back when he was in primary school, he had a lot of stomach issues. One Christmas he couldn't even face eating chocolate. This has led to him being picky about food and not really having a big appetite. I've been driven daft by him not wanting stuff, then wanting it, then not being bothered. I'm determined that he takes control of his eating, so he chose a few bits that can stay in the freezer and that he can make himself. 

He can cook if he wants to, but he doesn't want to. Therefore I am happy that he'll eat up a frozen chicken and chorizo paella that is relatively additive free rather than go out for a burger or similar. Some days I feel like sobbing, 'please eat something that's technically food'. 

Speaking of bear taking control of his life, he has a dentist appointment tomorrow. I asked if he wanted me to go in with him and he was very clear that he was fine, thank you, and that he'd rather do things for himself. I'll be around if he needs anything, so I'm not stressing. The next stage is shirts. Bear has decided that he would quite like to wear a shirt instead of a t-shirt now and again. I pointed out that he would have to iron it himself. He shrugged and said that he needed to learn anyway so no problem. 

I am very, very, very, very lucky. 

(and I'll be doing all the washing and ironing etc for him during exams and busy study times, of course)

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 29 October 2023

DH Had Fun

DH put some fake tombstones in our garden. As the garden looks very similar to an abandoned graveyard, it works. 

I am not tidying up before spring. At the moment the garden is still a resource for insects when we're coming up to a tough time of year. Also, the sparrows enjoy any insects provided. 

Though I could do with planting out some hebe I have in the pots I bought them in a few months ago and I've also been considering giving the garden a quick water of fertiliser to tide the plants over. Any advice on that would be appreciated.

I'm also worrying a little about my parenting. Bear needs wants a haircut. He's been going to the barber shop at the end of the street since he was tiny, and for a while I've been giving him the money and sending him off. The hairdresser has set up appointments after the plague, and normally DH (who also goes to that very reasonable, pleasant and competent barber) books it for him. I encouraged him to get the details for him to make his own bookings. Bear is almost seventeen. I would absolutely go with him if he wanted, but he says that he's fine. 

I hope that I'm not leaving him too adrift. I'm letting him make his own decisions about things like clothes and, well, practically everything. We talk about stuff, so I hope that he has at least some understanding of possible pitfalls. There is less than two years before he leaves for university, and if he's going to make mistakes then I'd rather he make them now when he has a safety net. And whatever else, I don't want him to go off and be so helpless that he can't function away from home. So far, bear is far more sensible than DH and I, but I worry.

Bear is confident that he has it all under control. 

Leg is still sore. I'll see how I do tomorrow. If I'm being silly about going to the doctor then I may try the walk in centre. Going to my GP is hard, because the carpark is tiny, tricky and always jammed so I would never be able to park there. It's on a dual carriageway so there's no on-road parking. There is a stream at the back of the building so I can't park there. It is also around 500 yards away from our house as the crow flies. I should be able to walk there without issue, but it feels like it's impossible. I could drive somewhere further away and have no problem. 

Thank you for the kind comments - you are awesome! I'll do a proper answer tomorrow.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 28 October 2023

Not Doing Well

I'm not doing too well. I couldn't make a routine GP check up because I couldn't get out of the house. My leg is bad and I'm worried about cellulitis but how do I get to a doctor? I think I need a little bit of a shake and I'll be fine by Monday, I'm just feeling a little low.

I managed to get out of the house today. It's always easier if I can go in a car and I drove to my usual 'park and knit' spot but got grief from a strange man. I don't know how sitting with the doors and windows closed with my knitting translates to 'please pester me for my phone number for ages' but in the end I just left. I rather hoped I'd aged out of this sort of stuff, especially as I have a face like a bag of spanners and a figure like a well stuffed sack of potatoes, but apparently there are still a few moments out there. Sigh. 

There is a silver lining out there. Perhaps I should take the time to sort out the housewifery. At the moment so much hurts so it will be a process. I know it could be worse, I just wish it was better. I'll work on getting some quality sleep and take it from there. 

The only pic I have since last time is one of a selection I took. I got the car to Aldi (just about - there were tears) and took pics of frozen food for bear as part of my campaign 'please eat something different'. He had some prawns in pesto instead of the chickenless dippers which is, I think, an improvement. 

I have to drop him at a nearby dentist next week so I'm going to encourage him to please come shop with me, go wild in the frozen foods and vary his diet. 

Of course, that was followed by a dream where Aldi was taken over by aliens. It didn't make much difference in the dream except parking was harder because their spaceship was in the way. Afterwards I thought about it and didn't think so much would change. You would go in for a pint of milk and come out with a loaf of bread, some very pleasant German salami, a kit for a macrame wallhanging, a mixeervergan spaceblart and a kayak. Your items would still go through checkout at Mach 2, you would come out without the milk (again) and you would still have problems parking. The kayak is the most implausible item as there isn't much room in their centre aisle, though they did have inflatable hot tubs on their website for a while so who knows.

Writing stuff - I suppose I should share that I have a post on Hazardous To Your Sanity here. There have been some good posts on there recently. I have to confess that when it comes to writing at the moment, I'm just getting the dial up tone so this is a reworked version of an old story, but I think that it's still fun. 

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with something more cheerful. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Things That I Will Never Buy

Things that I'll never buy are probably quite a small set, but I'm including these.

Christmas Pudding Flavour Crisps. For those not from the UK, it's like having brownie flavoured Doritos. I saw these in Aldi when I went to pick up some salad and I rejected them utterly! It's an abomination!

The lilac leaves are turning and a wonderful striking colour. 

Gladys continues ridiculously large. As the flowers will be keeping the remaining insects going, I'll cut her back after the first frost when she loses the flowers. 

Brain continues completely dead. I'm a little achy but it could be worse.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 23 October 2023

Mistakes May Have Been Made (Again)

My girly bits seem to hate me more than my satnav. I'm heading rapidly towards sixty and they still have it in them to get feisty. This weekend has been aches, pains and brain fog. It's settling down somewhat, but the brain fog continues. I was trying to write earlier and all I got was static. 

Today I went to get my flu and covid boosters. I was really achy on the way there and back. I noticed this on the way.

I really love seeing dew on cobwebs. It was very misty this morning and I was glad that I wasn't on the school run, but I loved looking at the softened landscape. We've been very lucky and without any issues from the storm. My heart goes out to those affected.

I've broken two plates today as well. They were the nice ones and I'll have to get some more from Tesco. I'm still flinching at paying £4.50 a plate and I'm annoyed at effectively breaking a tenner. Unfortunately those plates aren't on the website so I would have to shop in person for them. Going out is still something of an issue. 

Do you remember me talking about knitting a lap blanket because I was feeling the chill? And I started out with the double knitting but unravelled it and changed to two strands of DK yarn over 8mm needs and 110 stitches? It's a bit bigger than I expected. The first two balls, knitted as one, look like this. 

The pen in the middle is a standard ball point and I put it in for scale. I had a rough measure and it looks like it could be as much as 48 inches wide or over a metre. This is somewhat wider than I expected. It's also very roughly 12 inches or 30cm long. I have seven balls in the stash (there were 8 but I used one to start a scarf). I've used two knitted together so far, and if I use four more (knitted double) then it should theoretically come out at 4ft by 3ft which is a very respectable size for a blanket and somewhat larger than I expected. I was considering 3ft by 2ft a respectable size to keep my knees warm. I may make another shawl as well. The thing about a shawl and lap blanket is that I can put them on and off again as I'm on my laptop then down to put some more washing in, then sitting back down, then up to put the dinner on etc. I'm sure that it's better value than putting the fire on. For reference, the eight balls cost £9.99 which means that it's around £2.50 so far and I find it reasonable value. It feels warm, snuggly and gives me something to do with my hands while I'm watching dinosaur documentaries.

Bear picked up quite quickly but I'm keeping an eye on him. He's worked so hard over the last few weeks. He's enjoying college, no doubt about it, but I think that it's taken it out of him. I also suspect that there's been a growth spurt. I'm looking at the hems of his jeans and I swear that they're heading north. He's heading into the 'can only get trousers in certain shops' territory.

I will hopefully make more sense tomorrow.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Bear Is Poorly

For the first time in three years, bear took a day off school. Poor kid is full of cold. I never thought about Covid until I saw the comments. To be honest, I've lost track of what the symptoms are of the latest strain are. Bear just seems to have a normal cough and cold. He isn't even coughing that much but he's complaining about a sore throat. 

Anyway, first thing I headed to Tesco. I picked up some cold medicine and some Halloween decorations - I had a coupon and this had been calling to me for a while.

Bear missed out on the food tasting session as they will be finally into the new building with its own canteen next half term and today they got samples. He was sent a copy of the menu that looks pretty good so fingers crossed that it lives up to the promises. He says that he's fine to go into school tomorrow, and to be fair he's looking a lot better, but I'll keep an eye out for him. 

I've done some sorting and writing today. I've found quite a few bits that have been pushed down the back of the cupboards and I've had to throw stuff out that I really wanted to use when I bought it. Still, there's a donation pile growing so I'll be able to drop that off soon. I even got some washing done.

Writing - Today I posted a piece about avoiding bad luck here on #HazardousToYourSanity and I posted the latest chapter of Invitation Accepted here. There should be more Kane tomorrow of some sort. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Nearly Forgot

I nearly forgot to post today. Mind you, it's not been very exciting. If you remember, last year we had the bathroom remodelled. Today someone came to look at the stuff that was wrong. It's been a little stressy. 

Apart from that, I've just pottered around. I've got some writing done and I hope I'll be able to share that soon. I've cleared out a double cupboard in the kitchen and I found some lentils that expired in 2018. I was so upset and disappointed with myself. I can't donate them and, as I have more recent lentils (which I'm not cooking with enough), I had to throw them away. The target is that by next Monday I'll have bags to take somewhere to donate stuff that I'm not using. 

I also have about two year's worth of pasta. Tomorrow I am having pasta. And possibly the day after. Also the day after that...

I've washed out a load of jars that had been put to one side - stuff with peanut butter in or the empty pickle jars. We don't have glass picked up as part of our recycling here so I'll have to make a trip to a bottle bank, but tomorrow the recycling is collected and I've got pop bottles and tins enough to take the bin around. I took a quick pic of Gladys and the white rose. Both are flourishing but I don't know what they'll be like after the predicted storm tomorrow.

Bear's cold is awful. His throat is sore and he has a rotten cough. I've sent him to bed after giving him some mint tea with honey and I hope he will be fine. He's not feeling too low, though, as he got his maths test scores back. They're pretty good, though not as good as the computer science score, and he seems to be feeling pretty good about it. He's booked himself to visit a free lecture about something science. I'll try and pin him down to exactly what when he's less croaky. 

As I'm having trouble going out, tomorrow would be a good choice for me as it's forecast to be rainy and I could sit and knit somewhere quiet. Unfortunately I may have to wait in for the bathroom people. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 16 October 2023

Suddenly it's Monday

I have no idea how Monday got here so quick. I had a delivery instead of going out and it prompted some thinking.

I was one of the first to get supermarket deliveries. I dislocated both of my shoulders in 1997 and I found shopping really hard, so I've been getting the groceries delivered for a while. Back in the old days, it was relatively expensive to get a delivery so I used to get a delivery that was supposed to stock us up for a couple of months. I still have a tendency to shop that way, even though I have a delivery saver and could get a delivery every day of the week without charge as long as I hit the £50 minimum - and it is sooo easy to spend £50 on groceries. I think I need to change the way that I think. 

I'll always stock up on the good bargains. The freezer is nicely stuffed after the '4 for the price of 3' offers which run out tomorrow, and the cupboard is comfortably full of jars of DH's favourite pasta bake sauce to keep us going for a while after the '3 for the price of 2' promotion on jars which has just finished. But I think that I need to be aware of not stockpiling.

For example, I have quite a few tins of chickpeas and kidney beans, as they were once a staple in our house. I hardly use them these days and can't imagine when I'll next use them so I'm going to go through the cupboards and donate what I can, along with the coconut milk that I honestly planned to use in a curry but can't imagine when I'll cook that recipe. I'm sure that there are a few bits that I haven't even thought about for months. Of course, that's if I get around to it.

Today has been more of a writing day, but I've got a few bits sorted out, done some washing and I'm suddenly looking at all sorts of things in a different light. For example, the lap blanket with the new stitch. The stitch looked lovely and warm, but it was slow. I unravelled the little I had knitted and instead, using the yarn I got from Aldi which was £9.99 for 800g, or eight balls, just cast on some stitches using two strands of yarn on big needles. Last night and tonight while DH was here, I managed to get a couple of inches knitted up just using knit, which was a lot quicker than I had managed with the other stitch. Admittedly I'm using brighter needles, and knitting with two strands has its own hazards, but I should be able to get another inch or two on Wednesday at least watching Welcome to Wrexham and I'll soon have a cosy lap blanket.

I've managed around four inches, or around 9cm so far and it feels lovely and squishy. I'm looking for warmth and not glamour and I'm happy. 

Bear is less happy. He has a grumpy cold and was very unenthusiastic this morning but was in a much better mood when he got home as he got 50 out of 51 in his computer programming test. 

Writing stuff - I posted Chapter Four of Kane and the Haunted House here. I'm having a think about him as well. I've already decided to take him in a slightly new direction but I think he needs a little more depth to his adventures. He's such a sweetie anyway.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 15 October 2023

I Am Never Ever Making Plans Again

I think that I must have a syndrome or something. I was looking forward to October Frights Blog Hop from 10th to 15th October, I was lining everything up, and then my tooth broke and I think that something that the dentist gave me didn't agree with me. I've not been fit for purpose since. 

Not only did I get bear in to the pick up for Alton Towers (where apparently he had a wonderful time) but I also got home without incident - and then went to sleep for hours. Then, while I wasn't really with it, I saw this video about knitting double stocking stitch or stockinette and I had to try it. I particularly wanted to make a lap blanket as my knees are cold and while I have a few shawls, the blankets are all that bit big to be comfy as I'm typing. 

However the yarn that I found to try was dark and so were the needles. 

I gave myself a headache trying to see the stitches. The unfinished project before this is using black yarn, but has light needles and is a lot easier to see.

Of course, the nature of the yarn means that I'm always at risk of knitting into the stitch below and accidentally generating fisherman's rib, but it's worth it. I'm going to dig out some better needles for the lap blanket which I could really use right now. The problem is that you're supposed to slip every alternate stitch purlwise. I keep accidentally purling. I don't suppose it matters too much. In fact, thinking about it, I may just unravel what I've done and do straight knit to get the lap blanket and go back and do fancy another time. 

Yesterday I took bear to see a gig his friend was playing at. I drove seven miles there and twenty two miles back. My satnav hates me. And if it didn't before, it does now after I ignored it. You see, I'm not familiar with the area I left bear, but I had consulted a map, engaged the satnav and set off home with confidence. Unfortunately I was radically in the wrong lane at a crucial point and so ended up nearly in Wakefield town centre which is no place for the faint hearted. I corrected my course as best as I could but found myself heading for Tingley roundabout which is also not for the fainthearted and I was already feeling frail so when I saw a sign for Dewsbury, I went! My satnav did not approve as I was actually heading away from my home and kept trying to insist on U-turns, but I headed for Dewsbury with determination because I knew how to get back from there. 

I think I need more practice at driving in unfamiliar areas.

And then I was stupid enough to read a ghost story. When I'm looking for an undemanding read, I'll go to Amazon, kindle unlimited, cosy (or cozy) paranormal mystery and look for something that sounds good. I picked up Sweet Dreams (Eternal Rest Bed and Breakfast Paranormal Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by Beth Dolgner. It's not a bad read. It's scarier than I can easily read at bedtime. When I say that it's scary, I mean that it's scary for me. I'm not good at reading scary stuff and it hit all the stuff that scares me the most. I couldn't get to sleep for ages and I was completely freaked out. I suspect that it's quite pink and fluffy compared to most horror stories, but I'm not good with horror stories at all unless I'm writing them.

Writing stuff - there have some really good posts from other authors on Hazardous To Your Sanity I've also posted the third instalment of Kane and the Haunted Hotel here. The writing of this got derailed by some research I've been doing, but more instalments should be on their way soon. I'm planning on taking Kane into a slightly more adventurous direction, whether the poor lad likes it or not, and I'd appreciate any feedback. 

And I think that's everything. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 11 October 2023

I Can't Belive It's Only Wednesday

I took the advice of Bless and picked up some Vitamin D in a spray which will hopefully help the tiredness as I feel like I could nod off over the computer.

Today I had to go to the dentist with a broken tooth. This was an ouch and I didn't appreciate it. Especially as I'm so tired. And as I have stupid dental phobia, I wasn't fit to drive afterwards for around half an hour later and I have to have the root taken out under sedation. The dentist is awesomely lovely, I'm just silly about dentists. 

There's always something to make you smile if you keep your eyes out. Next to the dentist is a public flowerbed, no doubt run by the council, and it had the most amazingly lush rosemary in it. 

The rosemary in my garden looks like this.

They say that rosemary flourishes where the woman wears the trousers. It looks like DH is firmly in charge.

Now I need to have a nap because I'm supposed to pick bear up at 10.30-11pm but I'll be leaving the house tomorrow around 6.45am as I need to drive him to get in early for a school trip. It's an all expenses paid trip to Alton Towers but I must remember to give him some spending money. 

Then I should go and get the car washed. As I can barely get up and down stairs, I am absolutely getting someone else to wash the car. It has to be tomorrow as DH will be meeting up with some friends from abroad (who are lovely) and I want the car looking somewhat fit for purpose. I could do with picking up some fruit as well so I can add in some shopping. 

As for what is happening in the corner of the street, it looks like a car parking space with a notice saying 'no parking'. I am waiting to see what happens next.

Writing stuff - loads of writing stuff again. There are two pieces on my blog - a revisit of a spooky type of poem here and the second chapter of Kane and the Haunted House here. And  with the giveaways (that you can find at the bottom of the pieces), my ebook collection of spooky short stories Whisper in the Shadows is free until the 15th October (not sure about the cut off as it works on Amazon time). The link to the book on the UK site is here and the link to the book on the US site is here. It should be on all of the national Amazon sites so take advantage if you have any interest. 

Tomorrow should be slightly quieter

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Shopping Has Happened

I dropped off some jars to the bottle bank and some donations to the charity shop. While I was there, I picked up a suit jacket for £2 for bear's fancy dress. Then I called in to Tesco to pick up a few bits, including some salad for DH and some plates in the same style as the dishes. They didn't have many platters. In fact, they didn't have much to tempt me for the double points, but I didn't stress. I noticed that a lot of the frozen stuff that I would normally have loaded up on was out of stock, but I got a load of frozen chicken mini fillets so we should be good for a few months now. I completely forgot to get pics but I'll try and get them tomorrow. I did get some pics of Gladys who was looking particularly vibrant.

I think I may have to see the doctor soon as I am so tired at the moment. I can barely keep my eyes open. Still, I got a little writing stuff done.

Writing stuff - The first instalment of a new Kane story is here. It's part of the October Frights Blog Hop and if you go to the bottom you can find the links for the Giveaway and Book Fair. I think that it's going to be fun.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 9 October 2023

It's Monday Again with Lots of Writing Stuff

It feels like it's another fail day, but I think I may be coming down with a cold so I'm not taking it personally. I think that we are all feeling it a little here. Bear almost overslept and came down like a hurricane. It's always fun first thing as bear hurtles past, grabs what he needs and then races out to get the bus. He doesn't do breakfast. I remember when he was at primary school I even let him have custard for breakfast in my desperation for him to have something before he started. Now I just assume that he'll pick up something on the way in for when his stomach wakes up.

I've got some washing done and some writing so it could be worse. I need to settle down and get some lists made. I should have gone shopping this morning but I didn't. That means that I go tomorrow with some stuff for the charity shop. I could do with calling in at a charity shop anyway as bear wants to go to a fancy dress party as Jack Skellington which requires him to deface a suit. He can wear some old school trousers which are black and an old shirt from school, tailoring them how he likes, but I'm not having him hack up the nice jacket that he wore to prom. Strictly speaking, it should be a tail coat but there are limits. I can have a rummage around on the racks and see if there's anything he can use. The bow tie that Jack Skellington wears looks particularly magnificent, but to buy one from Amazon costs over £15!

I also plan to do a big(ish) shop. I have a coupon for double Clubcard points, so I plan to pick up some bits for presents, some of the black china that they have to use for fancy occasions. I don't have anything except my normal day to day stuff, so picking up a couple of inexpensive pieces that can be stashed won't hurt. As I have no other pics to share, here's a pick where I'm using the three black dishes that I picked up.

The jugs are something different that I got from eBay. I think I'll also pick up some stuff towards Christmas but I don't plan to go too crazy. I seem to get these 'double points' coupons regularly so I'm not going to try and add everything, just be a little strategic about it. Of course, I could do with adding the frozen stuff which I think is still 4 for the price of 3. I want to load up with things like frozen diced chicken which I use most weeks. 

Writing stuff - There is a lot of writing stuff. Starting at the top, there's today's story from Kane with a mischievous spirit of a cat here. Yesterday's Kane ghost story is about a ghost stalker and is here. Then this week's instalment for the Invitation Accepted serial is here. It's starting to look a little scary. And there is also my contribution to Hazardous To Your Sanity which is a short piece about the spirits known as White Ladies and a story from Wales here

Unfortunately, the piece for Hazardous to Your Sanity sort of inspired me. This means that the story for tomorrow is about to get a serious re-writing. Tomorrow is the start of the October Frights Blog Hop, which I do every year. 

In theory, they'll be a new story from Kane spanning the six days of the blog hop, but we'll see where the new inspiration takes me. Not only that, but there are give aways, offers and all sorts of fun on a swathe of different blogs. It's likely to get a little busy under the writing stuff heading for the next few days.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 7 October 2023

I Accidentally Drove on the Motorway

Anything else that has happened today is something of a blur. 

Bear's sweetheart is playing a gig the other side of Leeds so I drove over to the unfamiliar area, dropped bear off and then headed back. As I've been nervous about driving on fast roads, I thought I would come back via a dual carriageway which would take me well out of my way but would give me a little practice and at least part of the way would be familiar. I was happy to get going, till I took the wrong turn and ended up on the M1 motorway heading towards London.

I tootled along in the left lane at a steady 60mph which I thought was pretty good as I didn't have a chance to build myself up. I was overtaken a lot, which makes me feel not only guilty but slightly worried. If I'm overtaken that much, I'm a potential hazard, even though I was doing 60mph in the slow lane. Fortunately it was quite quiet and although I missed the first exit (because it also signposted motorway services and I didn't realise that it was more than just the services) I took next one, accidentally got onto the M621 as I misread the sign, trundled along that motorway until I took an exit too early, rambled around the wilds of South Leeds (and some of South Leeds is pretty wild) and then hit the traffic jam that happens at the end of a Leeds United game. The crowds of people on the paths looked mostly cheerful after beating Bristol City 2-1 but didn't look giddy about it as they were jamming up all the crossings for miles either side. I was glad to get home.

I think that I'll take a moment to relax. I'll need more practice on motorways, and I'm absolutely staying away from the M62 unless I feel a lot more confident, but I'm okay about it. 

Writing stuff - today's Kane story is here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 6 October 2023

There is a Pen Under the Carpet

Bear has assembled the desk. 

And that is an awful pic, but he's done a decent job. It's this one from IKEA and bear says that it's the perfect size. 

It took him two nights, a learning curve and some language that I'm sure he didn't want me to hear, but he did it. However, while he was doing that, he found what felt like a pen under the carpet. There's nothing much to see as it's a sort of lump in the carpet.

I may try and work out how to get the carpet up in that corner but there is currently a very heavy bookcase right next to what we think is a pen. 

I forgot to share what happened on Wednesday, which was pretty typical for here. We had booked BT to come and switch over the broadband to fancy fibre. I said that DH works from home, he relies on the internet, the installation rally either needed to be in his lunch hour or we needed to co-ordinate things so that he could take time off. The nice man agreed and told me that the engineer would ring the day before and I would be able to explain that the time slot of 12-1pm was set in stone and if he couldn't make it then we would have to rearrange.

Not only did I not get the call, but the (really lovely) engineer turned up around 8.20am, just after bear had left for school and before DH had started work. As it was, the work didn't affect DH at all and the speeds for something tripled. But I think that the poor engineer felt it was a cursed call because the normal twenty minutes install was over an hour and a half, most of it spent trying to get through to tech support and being on hold. Not only that, but as I explained all the fuss, the nice man checked and there was nothing on his notes - he hadn't been told anything at all.

Meanwhile, as the ladders were covering the kitchen door, my Tesco delivery arrived. This was the one that I had not only booked to be early and before BT was supposed to arrive but was also early for the slot. And because the ladders blocked the kitchen door, I had extra stairs to climb up and down to get the groceries away. 

Writing stuff - today's story from Kane is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 5 October 2023

Twitching the Curtains

Today someone started building something in the corner that was cleared a while ago. I actually got a pic which includes the site with a glimpse of Gladys.

I have no idea what's going on but I spent a lot of time twitching the curtains and looking out. 

We got bear a desk from IKEA today. I thought that they may have had decorations for Halloween or autumn in but there was only a few Christmas bits. Bear is putting it together. I'm so glad that he and DH could get it out from the car as it was so heavy. He's working hard at it (by himself, as his choice) and I'll take a pic tomorrow. 

I've had a quick clear out of the freezer as it's 4 for the price of 3 across practically all frozen food at Tesco at the moment. Unfortunately they don't deliver much so I plan to call in at the big Tesco some time next week when I can stock up on frozen chicken, frozen mince and a few other bits that are normally expensive. In fact, the difference between what Tesco delivers and what Tesco has on the shelves in the big shop is quite significant. 

As a side note - for those who like Sporcle quizzes, there is a whole playlist of cat quizzes here and I plan to work my way down them. I've just got 100% on cats with stationery. 

Writing Stuff - I've been posting a Kane story per day since I last posted on here, and the link to the blog is here. I've really enjoyed going back and seeing what's been written. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 2 October 2023

Nothing Much

For Gill and those who love Essie Summers, there is a Facebook group here who are all about Essie Summers in general and also the Kindle editions. Ken Pierce (who is amazingly awesome), is in touch with Essie Summer's family and has permission. He collects all the different editions, finds original sources for the quotations and everything. 

Today has been such a nothing sort of day that I'm completely fed up with myself. The only thing that I have to share is that it's day two of October and I have an old favourite of the Kane stories here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 1 October 2023

Catching Up with Lots of Writing Stuff

I meant to write a post on Friday but I was taking bear to a gig where his sweetheart was playing and didn't get back till late. Then I meant to post yesterday but we were moving things around and sorting stuff out and before I knew it I was shattered. So I'm writing now before I forget anything.

Bear was acting like a sort of roadie as the band his sweetheart is playing in had a gig in a pub. Fortunately the pub was nearby and only ten minutes away so I could go back home and catch up with stuff. I noticed that a self seeded sweet pea had grown up into the roses but I failed to get a decent pic. 

Bear seems happy with life in general. I can see me giving a lot of lifts in the future and I really don't mind. I'm proud of him. 

I'm sure that I did more than that on Friday but I can't remember it for the life of me!

Yesterday was 'moving furniture around' day and we got the third bookcase in place and it looks really good. I think that there's some more books to sort out, but we can do that in our own time. We moved the clock as well as the new position of the bookcase in the study mean that it didn't fit in it's usual place. We put it to the right time as it had been an hour and five minutes slow for the last sixth months. This clock had belonged to father and we noticed that there was a place for batteries for the chimes. DH put the batteries in at 1.25pm and it immediately loudly chimed nine times so we took them out again. They were not subtle chimes and heaven only knows what schedule they'd keep. And for some reason, the pendulum started working again. It hadn't moved in my memory but now it's swinging around hypnotically. 

DH and I went out for a hot chocolate, which was nice, and we did some serious hanging out in the room. 

Writing stuff - lots and lots of writing stuff. There are three posts that you may like on #HazardousToYourSanity - Why Serial Killers Don't Make Good Roomates by Abbye Kovacevic, my contribution on the superstitions around brambles, especially at this time of year, and an interesting piece on some of the misconceptions about Norse mythology by Salem Devina. Today I've also started October with revisiting the first of Kane's stories here to make sure that I keep up the ghostly feel for October.

This means that for the next month there's likely to be a lot of writing stuff being posted. I hope to share a lot of Kane's stories, mostly the older ones but I also plan to write some new stuff for October Frights Blog Hop 10th to 15th October, so brace yourself for lots of info. And speaking of October Frights, they have a giveaway on Story Origin here with some free reads. 

The most important bit of writing stuff is that A Place Called Paradise by Essie Summers has been published in Kindle format. Essie Summers was a New Zealand author and I've written about her here. The amazing Ken Pierce who is releasing Essie Summer's books (over fifty of them!) on Kindle got in touch and invited me to be part of the proofreading and checking group and I said yes! I was also invited to write the afterword for the Kindle version of A Place Called Paradise and I was nervous but said yes again. Essie Summers was my late mother's favourite author. I very rarely wish I could talk to my late mother again - our relationship was stormy at best - but I wish I could have shared that. 

And I think I've more or less caught up.

Hugs and good health to all.