Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Actually, I need NO-ONE's leave to absent myself. ;-)

Will be back late Sunday.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'd rather be doing anything else...

Also glad you've tiptoes back into the WIP -- and yes, there is a WIP-a-phobe disease. It's called the "I'd rather be doing anything else" syndrome. Otherwise known, around here, as "I guess I'll just clean the oven again."

In honour of Anne McAllister's visit to this blog's comments, (Hi Anne!) I thought I'd compile a list of my top ten 'anything elses' that I've found myself doing over the writing years.

Ten Things I've Done When I Should Have Been Writing.

1) Painted the bathroom.
It didn't need doing right that instant. Really.

2) Cleared out a blocked drain.
With my bare hands. Well, mostly. There were rubber gloves involved. Which was a good thing, because the mud and building debris was one thing - the rotting chipboard and decomposing slugs were an entirely different proposition. Who knew slugs could get more slimey.

3) Cleaned the toilet.
Come on, this one's practically traditional.

4) Cooked.
And baked. And cooked some more. And stir-fried, coddled, fricasseed, scrambled, poached, steamed, grilled, griddled, boiled and stewed. But mostly baked. Usually bread.

5) Had sex.
Man cannot live by bread alone, but needs a bit of crumpet.

6) Organised my books by category and author.
That was a long, long day.

7) Killed elves.
Don't worry, I don't hunt the fogotten trails of myths and legend. I play computer games. It's just that there seems to be a elvicide theme running through the games I play. Do you think it's a short men thing, or a pointy ears thing? Was I somehow traumatised as a child by Tom Cruise or Mr Spock?

8) Cleaned out cat's ears.
I really didn't know ear wax could be black. And moving.

9) Scrubbed carpets.
I don't mind the stains which I can attribute to known accidents, it's the unidentifiable stains that bother me. And the fact that when I've finished scrubbing them, I then have a noticeable clean patch in a sea of bile green carpet.*

10) Scrubbed algae covered flagstones
Currently, algae is the least of our problems in the back yard. If you open the back door at any given time, up to eleven semi-feral farm cats will fall into the kitchen. I could swear they are practicing feline pyramids up against the door.

What about you? What's your procrastinating activity du jour?

*We didn't choose that carpet. It was in the house when we got here. Although I'll admit that green monster's pretty damn indestructible. Apart from the stains.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Dried the ankles,

... opened the file and got on with it. Some progress, and a better appreciation of what I've got to work with.

Now, of course, I'm not sure when I'll next get the time to work on it. Thirteen hour day today, and hectic week ahead.

It was good to get back in there, though.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I'm sitting here...

... trying to type a post about "Why am I not writing?" angst.

It occurred to me I could better use the time opening the WIP and getting ON with it.

Or possibly consulting a dictionary. How DO you spell occured?

And is there such a thing as a WIP-o-Phobe? Because the thought of opening the file makes my ankles sweat.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What a difference a day makes

Ahhhhhhhh. Feel like a new woman today.

Not exactly as good as the old one, but distinctly better than the recent one.

Also, The Sun Is Shining. I've been standing in the garden, smiling in it.

When I say garden, it's more a couple of patches outside the front of the house, each the size of the small office/spare bedroom I'm in now. It has suffered badly from chicken attack and the weather over the winter and need significant overhauling, but the benevolent sun is coaxing the aquilegias and the catmint from the cold earth, and I can see the potential.

I love spring.

I love all the seasons, but what I like best is that moment of balance, the poise on the edge of the new season. I like knowing that the hawthorn buds will burst any day now and daffodils are begging to bloom. It's the huge potential of the time, so much energy stored up and ready to explode into joyous new life.

Okay, perhaps I need to go and lie down again...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"This is what you call 'Being Naughty', right?"

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Yes, Chrissy, this is what we call Being Naughty....

That poor assaulted vine used to be in a plastic pot. Now it's in a weighted ceramic pot with a pebble mulch to a) stop them tipping it over and b) stop them playing in it and then putting muddy pawprints all over the house.

Who'd have kittens, eh? (But they're so cuuuuuuute!)

(Still sick, but improving)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Top Five

So, I'm coughing for England here and looking for amusement. My top five comedies are:-

1) Blackadder
2) Black Books
3) Spaced
4) Coupling*
5) Yes, Prime Minister

Am I right, or am I wrong? What's your favourite?

*Coupling just bounced Red Dwarf by a hair, but I'm not sure Husband will ever speak to me again...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Cold:- Day Four

Still in the land of the living, but fast losing my sense of humour. Cold has run the usual course for me, and descended on my chest by the fourth day. Cue my much-lauded impersonation of a sick sheep. Unfortunately, it's deviating from the usual course in the fact that my nose is still blocked, my sinuses under assault and I'm still running an occasional light fever. Joy.

Yesterday's DVD selection was The Bourne Supremacy (which I always watch with one hand on the pause and rewind buttons). One day, one day I want to write a book that good, that gets made into a movie that good.

Don't tell anyone, now. I don't usually do high aspirations in public, but I'm sick...

I did eventually drag myself to Sainsburys yesterday, and came back with four bags of snacks, ready meals, three-minute-fresh-pasta, cold remedies and those cold tissues with the soothing balm. No more bog roll, huzzah! (Yes, Beth, it's toilet roll. *wink*)

The thought of watching more DVDs or mucking about on the computer for another day makes me want to beat my head repeatedly on the banister, making inhuman howling noises. Not that I bore easily, or anything.

You might be forgiven for wondering why I'm not reading. Well, two reasons. One, and this is the pussy-pathetic one, my hands get cold, and once cold, don't warm up again. Two, I recently bought a whole load of books to read, but they're all on the slightly angsty, dark, dramatic scale. Epic romances, tortured souls. Forgive me, but I'm just not up for sweeping drama. I want cosy, non-threatening and comfortable. And I seem to be out of those.

Okay, maybe both reasons are pussy-pathetic.

On the plus side, I've had a shower and put my 'cold clothes' in the wash, so I've temporarily abandoned the hammer horror look.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Random Catchup

Be careful what you wish for...
After a particularly stressful day this week, I found myself musing on the return journey that it would be nice to have a good illness and not be able to go into work.

On Thursday I woke up with a sore throat, and by 2pm had a fever. I finally managed to crawl out the office at 4.20pm and went home to cook pizza.

Now I'm not sure if that's karma, poetic justice, irony or just life's-a-bitch-and-then-you-die-ness, but you've got to admit it's funny. At least, it's funny when the meds kick in.

And although I wouldn't say it's 'nice' exactly, there is a certain pleasure in doing nothing because that's all you can do. Finally, a guilt-free rest day.

Tears before bedtime
So, yesterday I watched Mulan (and cried), Beauty and the Beast, (and cried) and Vanity Fair (and cried). I started reading Flowers from the Storm and cried. I reinstalled Elder Scrolls - Morrowind on the computer and cried when it kept crashing. Husband, being Husband, fixed it for me, so now I get to practice for the launch of Elder Scrolls - Oblivion, which is supposed to ship on Monday.

A lady of leisure Today I have to choose whether to go out and buy cold supplies, or live with what's in the house and blowing my nose on bogroll. Currently I'm erring on staying indoors with the cats, a bog roll in every room. I do already have chicken soup in the fridge, so I'm ahead of the game. I will also watch DVDs (and cry), read, sleep, play computer games and possibly start a cross-stich for Mother's Day. Or I may stay in bed all day, since last night I was too busy coughing, snotting and drooling to actually doze.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Perfect Man

Jaci tagged me, so prepare to get really, really soppy.

My Perfect Man doesn't try to solve all my problems, but he does strive to understand them. He knows when space is needed, and when to crowd me. When to acquiesce to my wishes, and when to walk rough-shod over them. He knows when, "leave me alone," means, "I need a hug," and "I'm really down," means, "make me laugh."

He knows when to be bullied, and when to stand firm. He knows when to push.

My Perfect Man thinks I've only ever cooked "maybe two" dud meals in twelve years of togetherness including eight years of marriage. (I'm a good cook, but he's being generous.. ;-) ). He knows that in spite of the passion of my incredulous denials, Amanda Barrie did indeed play Cleopatra in Carry on Cleo. He likes Fred Basset, After Eight Mints and obscure texts on medieval warfare. He knows that, "I love you, too. Now bugger off." warms my heart more than a thousand sonnets declaring undying devotion. He knows that talking nonsense is more romantic to me than talking sense.

My Perfect Man will clear the cat litter every day so that I don't put myself or any potential pregnancy at risk. And he doesn't moan when I coerce him into having four cats. He does laundry, hoovering, washing up, cat feeds, camping and incredible orgasms.

He'll apologise if he wants to watch football. He'll beg me to stay and watch with him, because he, "likes it when I'm there," but won't stop me going to write, either. For books, he comes up with excellent land-rover based plot elements, identifies plot holes, and inspires hero hair.

My Perfect Man loves me. When I work out why, I'll let you know.

I fell in love with my Perfect Man somewhere in the middle of a laugh, in the middle of a field, in the cab of a tractor twelve years ago. I'd loved him before that, but when the world spun and I lost my breath I knew I was in love.

He was the first man to make me feel breathtakingly beautiful, and he still does, every day.

My Perfect Man is my husband, my lover and my friend. He was my first man, and I hope to God he'll be my last.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Later Dudes...

Off to visit friends for the weekend.

I worked 12 hours yesterday to clear the urgent work so I could go away without a care in the world....

Well, maybe not without a care, but at least not panicking. *g*

Then I'm going straight from friends to Durham, so I'll be back Weds sometime?

Be good.

Well, mostly.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Conversations with Husband

Me: Just what is that cat doing?

Him: Licking your chapati.


Me: Is it me or does that sound rude?

Him: Really, really rude.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


This little timewaster's doing the rounds... I do so love timewasters.

last cigarette: Never
last beverage: Mineral water
last kiss: yesterday. NO-ONE kisses me in the morning... (Husband's stil asleep)
last movie seen: A Knight's Tale (fifth time?) at home; Narnia in the cinema.
last phone call: Mum - our Saturday morning Roundup
last cd played: Holst's The Planets
last bubble bath: Last Tuesday night, I think. Bad Day.
last time you cried: Yesterday. And the day before that, and the day before that. So far today (I've been up half an hour) no tears! Yay! (Don't worry, I'm fine)

8 have you evers:
have you ever dated one of your best friends: I'm married to him.
have you ever skinny dipped: No, but I want to!
have you ever kissed somebody and regretted it: No.
have you ever fallen in love: Once.
have you ever lost someone you loved: Yes.
have you ever been depressed: Oh, yes.
have you ever been drunk and thrown up: Yes. It was pink.

7 states you've been to:
1. New York
2. ...
3. ...
4. ...
5. ...
6. ...
7. ... If this had been states I have friends in, I'd have more of a chance. ;-)

6 things you've done today:
1. Fed the Pippi, Minnie, Cleo and Chrissy inside
2. Fed sundry half-feral farm cats outside (count was nine this morning)
3. Had a shower
4. Paid the garage and the window cleaner
5. Checked e-mails
6. Updated blog (not bad for half an hour)

5 favorite things in no order:
1. Husband
2. Food
3. Camping
4. Snow in a silent woodland
5. London with friends

4 people you can tell [almost] anything to:
1. Husband
2. Mum (& Cyber Mum)
3. Julie
4. Biddy

3 wishes:
1. Get published
2. Get pregnant
3. Get a new kitchen

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. Go to New Zealand
2. Skinny dip

1 thing you regret:
1. I'm only allowed one? Probably the bloke in the nightclub.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Go see!!

Julie has a new website and blog, and it's vurry purdy indeed!

Go see.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Ultimate Friday Afternoons

On Friday, I made my escape from work early. It was a bitterly cold day, with occasionaly sudden snow flurries, against a blue sky. I had lunch, I did the shopping, and then I decamped here:-

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I always carry a picnic blanket, fleece blanket and pillow in the car. Now you know why. I don't think I've ever seen Derwent Water so frozen, although that's probably just because when it's this cold I'm usually INSIDE huddled in blankets, not outside on the edge of a cliff.

It was so quiet, and so still. I heard a rustling, and froze, trying to identify where the sound came from. Looking up, I saw three bronze oak leaves in the top of the tree, shivering together in a faint breeze. That slight, soft sound was so stark against the silence. It was so quiet, when I leand my head back against the tree and closed my eyes, I could hear the robin hopping stealthily close.

When I first stepped out of the car I was wrapped in the most incredible scent. It was a green-brown smell, moss and leaf litter, and sleeping, dreaming trees. Sweet and earthy and honest.

Sitting against that tree under my blankets, I could still smell the ancient woodland smell, but could also pick up faint scents of woodsmoke, and that indefinable, sharp, clean scent of cold water from the lake below.

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When I got too cold, I went for a walk. Weaving through old-before-their years oak trees, sentinel descendents of a thousand years of woodland.

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I felt honoured to be allowed to pass.

Now that's a Friday afternoon I can live with.

What's your perfect Friday afternoon?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Something from Nothing

I have nothing to say.

This is of itself such a remarkable and rare occurence, I thought I'd mark the occasion by blogging about it.

I could let you know what's on my mind, but that seems to be sundry screams about work, and the Eomer* daydream I'm using as a distraction.

So, nothing to say.

Enjoy the silence. *g*

*You know. Third Marshall of the Riddermark. The only truly eligible bachelor of LoR, given Legolas' fascination with that dwarf dude.