Friday 30 April 2010

Mother of all boards - kaput!

Dear Bountiful beautiful and buxom bloggie friends.

The above is a hat made out of pc cables.

Today's shenanigans makes me realise that perhaps that's the best use for them!

At 7.05 am, my desktop's motherboard breathed her last sigh and said "ta-ta, me old china, I've 'ad enough" and promptly turned off all her lights, fan included.

At which point my desktop breathed its own last sigh and fell silent.

Their Maker, Dell Inc, have finally agreed that there was nothing I can do.

These lovely people had me rolling up my sleeves, grasping a screwdriver, opening the pc's hard drive tower and generally rummaging through this wire and that.

Ya know, I never knew that was how a memory card looked like....

An hour and a half later, they finally twigged that I was going nowhere except towards electrocution (I could hear in the background such exchanges as "you mean she's not discharged the electricity? Quick tell her to do so!")

At least now they have agreed to send in a Technician with a Proper Screwdriver and a brand spanking new Mother of all Boards.

Because I paid extra for such a service in my warranty.

I betcha y'all are now all wondering how is this fabulous and fizzy woman blogging if she doesn't have a pc?

I do have my second hand hulk of a laptop. It connects to the internet router via a very small cable because it cannot pick up my wireless.

So am on the floor, ignoring the little laptop fan cranking up for all it's worth and trying to figure out how to upload my pics especially ones of Charlie. And my shoes.

I'm not even thinking of allllllll that work I've not saved on my flash. All. That. Work.

So brave and boisterous bloggie friends - you may experience severe downturn in the visual quality of my blog until the Dell Tech Person appears.

Don't blame me though, blame Mother!

Have a tech free Friday everyone!

Thursday 29 April 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

Beautiful bloggie friends – what would you do with bits of wood and pieces of discarded wheels from old toys?

You may wish to create something like this:

This doggie is called Albie and is a creation of JamesPlumb associates and yes it is made entirely of reclaimed used bits and pieces.

Now wouldn’t it be great to take Albie walkies in the evening?

I think so!

Today I was looking through my pics of Charlie and the litter tray that my neighbour gave me and then it struck me.

An idea for my women’s magazine story!

Now that’s a kind of recycling isn’t it? The names of the characters will of course be changed to protect the innocent!

Charlie says: Just how many pairs of shoes have you got in this recycled pic?

May you all find your own lights at the end of your personal tunnels!

Have a Happy nearly Friday day, everyone!

Wednesday 28 April 2010

We don't have cookies, just books!

Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster will always be my favourite from Sesame Street.

How could he not be? He was tenacious and very focused and had a clear vision of his life's path and in acheiving his singular goal.


In particular the eating of as many as possible.

Being a Cookie Monster sort of explains why.


I love them and I will defend their existence as a sacrosanct place to read, browse, study and have quiet silent time pondering the many texts and wondrous information on line or in print.

I don't want it to have cafes inside library space. Nor do I want to be forever having to clear desks of half drunk coffee cups, opened packets of crisps and screwed up bits of chocolate and sweet wrappers.

I want my librarians to go "shhhh!"

Cookie Monster + Libraries = Cookies + Books

Charlie says: all libraries should have cats.

Have a happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Of Mice and (Wo)men

Beautiful bloggie friends, I was quite stressed today!

Why? It all started when two of my female work colleagues (I’ll call them M & J) and I rescued a mouse.

Ok so the mouse came running out of nowhere in our open plan office and hid itself just behind some shelving and just squealed for its life.

There then followed an hour of me on my hands and knees making coaxing noises, M manfully moving the shelving out of the way, J behind me with a box.

This wasn’t the stressful part. It was lovely to be able to trap the mouse and release it in the park nearby. It was what happened after that disheartened me.

A little bit of background, first. M&J are very close cliquey friends. I stay out of their way and although I get on with them, it's only as far as work goes.

However when our office started to fill up, all J could do was relate how M was such a hero, how she cornered the mouse and single-handedly trapped it. How M should be lauded and given a medal for all she did to rescue the mouse.

Now I am all for being at one with my sisters but when they stress me like this it’s all I can do to burn my bra!

But I didn’t. Instead I did some gentle yogic exercises when I returned home. I am now at one with the world.

I have also discovered that cats may do yoga too:

Charlie says: I stretch without the OM!

Have a Tuesday filled with sisterly, brotherly and all sorts of creatures and plant life lurve!

Monday 26 April 2010

Let's get physical!

So 25 April was the London Marathon.

I doff my humble perky little cap to all these fantastic runners - from the serious professionals to those dressed up as a Sir Richard Branson, Darth Vader and Princess Beatrice.

I once harboured dreams of joining this adventure (really!) but after reading the required minimal training routine I had to endure - I thought it best to let that dream slide by and stick to more attainable goals.

Like writing novels. LOL! (I think this bit is called “irony”. )

Anyway! I’m not the most physically fit of people but I do enjoy my daily dose of the lovely Rosemary Conley and her 50 minute routine.

And when I came across this teaser of a clip from the forthcoming Shrek 4 – I thought maybe poor ol Puss in Boots might need her too.

I cannot wait for Shrek 4!!

There’s going to be a character called Gretched (try and not laugh at that name, I dare ya!!) voiced by the fabulous Jane Lynch (she of Glee!).

Charlie says: I’m off to bed.

Have a lovely monster of a Monday everyone!

Sunday 25 April 2010

The Freedom of Feet

Oh beautiful bloggie friends!

Today was such a perfect sunny spring day. My toes were finally free from socks and tights usage for the first time ever!!

I can wear sandals again…!!! And show off my aubergine painted toe-nails!

And to add to my spring delight look what I found living in my potted hardy Scottish pine that I use as my Christmas tree for two years running now.

Lotsa seven-spotted ladybirds all using the tree to lie, live and er.. make love in - and there was a lot of THAT going on.

Which begs the question what are baby ladybirds called apart from larvae?!?!?!

Charlie says: you have bugs?!?

Have a glorious pedicured Sunday everyone!

Saturday 24 April 2010

Angst-free zone

My penultimate writing assignment for my course is "research and writing for a commercial market".

Which suits me fine as I've got an excuse to raid the newsagent's and buy armfuls of weekly women's mags!

All in the name of research of course!!

Oh and if there's a feature or two on fashion for "women my age", then who am I to quibble?

Florals are so in apparently as well as er.. "nude" colours. :-)

Anyway! I'm discovering that writing the type of fiction printed in these mags is harder than it looks!

I can write angst very easily but am I capable of writing with a light touch complete with a realistic feel?

This cat has no problems with such a dilemma!

No chance of writer's block here.


Charlie says: call the fashion police! These don't look like florals to me!

Have a wonderful Saturday, beautiful bloggie friends!

Friday 23 April 2010

Marilyn and Maff

It seems that for the divine Ms Monroe, diamonds were not her best friend.

It was her dog, Maf.

And now he has written a book about his life with her.

Oh ok, it's really written by Andrew O Hagan and it's called The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of his Friend Marilyn Monroe

A review of the book by Evening Standard says this:

"Maf is a...voraciously original travelogue.. a love letter to modernity and a hilarious and often tender insight into the monster of celebrity. In Maf's world all animals speak, if only human beings were attentive enough to be able to hear them..."

Charlie says: I write tell-all book about you once I find the socket to turn on the pooter.

p.s Happy Earth Day for yesterday - To celebrate, a tree will be planted in the National Forest in Northern California by the “Arbor Day Foundation”. Just click on this button for more info. Thanks.
carbon neutral offers and shopping with

Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday 22 April 2010

Turning a - into a +

Beautiful bloggie friends – how does one cover up an ugly and hazardous pothole?

By planting a miniature garden in them!!

Like how this guy, Steve Wheen, does.

Or this guy Pete Dungey and his own version of pothole gardening:

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we were able to fill our own personal potholes with something as sublime, beautiful and positive?

Of course these little wonders of beauty don’t last very long – traffic and pollution kill them eventually – but for a few hours, even days, they brighten something as dull and dead as tarmac and perhaps inspire one or two to do the same.

Charlie says: I like these pots better!

Have an flower-filled Thursday everyone!

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Dan's Ice Lolly

I’m sad.


I’ve just heard the most godawful news. Oh woe is me, woe, woe, woe!

And thrice woe.

What is this horrid news, I hear you cry?

Your story didn’t win another competition? You failed your course? You discovered an adolescent pimple growing on your mature but young looking skin???? :-)

Your favourite heels broke?

Oh worse Beautiful bloggie friends. Worse.

The new James Bond film has been put on hold due to MGM’s financial woes.


On the weird side someone somewhere has made a Daniel Craig Ice Lolly.

One is obviously a Martian.

Have a happy shaken not stirred Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 20 April 2010

No pain, no gain

Now I’m all for alternative treatments that help to beautify and de-stress.

Gentle yoga for instance or a drop or two of lavender oil in one’s bath and scalp and maybe a stick or three of lit josticks to clear the air of cat-litter smell.

And maybe some rosewater in a bowl of pot pourri to chase that garlic aroma from the kitchen.

But I think this is one too much even for “I will try anything once” me.

Beautiful bloggie friends, may I present : A bed of nails:

“ The pressure of the rounded nails against the skin may help the body release endorphins, which provides a sense of joy, energy and pain relief, and oxytocin, which makes you feel calm and relaxed.”

Available exclusively at Harvey Nichols.

Charlie says: who needs nails when you can relax by simply stretching like so after hours of fun with Mr MacDoonagoogle?

Have a lovely stress free Tuesday everyone!

Monday 19 April 2010

Snuck up

Things that sneak up on me:

Deadlines: a short story in two weeks, first three chapters of anything let alone a novel in 6!

Grey hair: bleagh – I have my mum’s genes. Her hair turned grey when she was 30.

Time: “Oh my goodness, a few more months and it’ll be Christmas”! LOL!

Memory loss: Now what was I gonna say again? Oh well, I'll just eat more buns!

My round belly.


If only they snuck up on me as cute-ly as this!

Charlie says: rolling around on dirt is so much fun under the sun!

Thank you Charlie cupcake!


Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday 18 April 2010

Too much bling, beautiful buns and the rose

Now I may be 40 but I’d like to think that I’ve got enough style and sense and shoes to be looking as gorgeous as I can be! LOL!

But I did not deserve to be told that these glasses frames were the in thing for me. And worse that they suited me.

I have no idea what his job title is at the optician's but after my eyes were tested, I was given over to this young lad. His task was to walk around with me and help me choose my glasses frames.

To be fair he was probably fed up with me because I wanted to match my old frames exactly, the ones I broke last Saturday.

To be fair the above isn't the exact frames but the one he picked for me was near enough the same.

So gorgeous and sexy bloggie friends, if you want new frames, soft edges and steel frames are out. Chunky angled square thick and patterned frames - beads, jewellry and studs - are so 2010!

On the upside, look at my buns!

After my disastrous hot cross bun baking of the Easter weekend, I made them again sans crosses and they came out beautiful! Yay!

And lastly remember the rose bush I bought to commemorate my tough ol'girl and how this nice old lady snipped it down to stump?

Well, here's Charlie having a sniff around it next to the lavender.

No buds yet though!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Saturday 17 April 2010

Voting with your belly

So we in the UK are about to have a general election in May.

Of course there are lots of political campaigning, even a first political leaders' debate on tv, my polling card has arrive and all the newspapers, tv, radio and online news pages are doing their back to back coverage as you would expect in the run up to a general election.

I am saying all this to "set the scene" for my next plot point (I am trying to be all writer-ly!LOL!) as it would explain these rather fab freebies I got over the week.

They were handing them out at my train station.

The book was a freebie given with a freebie paper. I only added that cos I gave my blue Conservative crisps to someone at work!

I thought that was pretty fun - salt and vinegar crisps in red (Labour), yellow (Liberal Democrats) and the blue one would have been the Conservatives.

Whatever next??! (Fair, humane and green policies!!).


Anyway- lots going on with all my bloggie friends so please do visit, join, add, read, etc. at your leisure only if you so wish of course!

Theresa Milstein of A Substitute Teacher's Saga has uploaded a rather fab intro to her novel, The Disappearances at MissSnarkfirstvictim monthly contest. The first line of her story is one of the strongest I've read so far!

Talli Roland has submitted her novel: The Hating Game and the blurb reads like my kind of book! Fingers crossed it will be published soon!

Lots of competitions and giveaways for followers in Roxy's A woman's write, Susan Field, and KarenG's book giveaway to welcome new blogger Ann Best.

As an aside: Amazon have agreed to refund me my monies for KarenG's Farm Girl which means I can now buy elsewhere! Yay!

Amy and the House of Cats had a massively successful commentathon yesterday - donations to her local no-kill animal shelter so YAY to her.

Marg of Marg's pets is fundraising for Pets without parents.

Abby at ManxMNews is campaigning for

Brian is looking for homes for two gorgeous ginger tabbies Cheech and Chong, their story here - please help if you can, they are gorgeous kitties and they need a forever home!

Jan's Funny Farm is holding a rather sweet contest to highlight the importance of pets particularly for children.

And as for me, I am going to join Charlie and go to bed!

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Friday 16 April 2010

Domestic Shenanigans in the Boudoir

Warning: I think this is an 18Certificate!

Why do I read these papers?

Anyway, someone at work left an old copy of the Daily Express in our tea room(8 April edition) and this article particularly struck me and kept me most amused during my 15 minute tea break:


A psychologist called Ms Dawson has claimed to have found a correlation between how people vacuum to how they perform in the er... "boudoir department". Ahem

She has identified these types (and I am copying this from the paper!).

The “Dasher” likes to speed around with the vacuum cleaner, usually missing bits. This person is impatient, ambitious and fast-talking – not the type to take their time in bed.

In contrast the “Methodical” always vacuums the same way, and would never dream of shortening the time it normally takes. In life, they tend to be reliable and cautious and prefer to take things slowly between the sheets.

The “Grafter” looks forward to vacuuming as a physical release from stress. They tend to be hard-working and tenacious – and are happy to please their partner. [This is the crazy one for me! Who on earth looks forward to vacuuming as a physical release from stress?!?!? Vacuuming is stress!].

The “Drifter” doesn’t notice whether they are picking up the dirt. This type tends to be dreamy and self-absorbed, and in bed can seem distant or detached.

The “Protester” uses vacuuming to display displeasure. They crash around, bumping into pieces of furniture – and when it comes to sex they are sometimes selfish and prefer their partner to do most of the work.


I won't ask how you vacuum your house. It's none of my beeswax!! LOL!

I know how I do mine. Protesting, sometimes drifting, never grafting, rarely caring for methodology, often dashing!

Charlie says: I need to get out more.

Have a lovely Friday everyone!

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Over the rainbow doggy stylie


This is going to be a silly post!!! You've been warned! :-)

Now the BBC have an ongoing talent show to find the whole or part of the cast of the Wizard of Oz to be staged by that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

I think they're still trying to find their Dorothy. But now it's Toto's turn.

And this - beautiful bloggie friends - is their rather spiffing promotion for the show to do just that. Enjoy!

Charlie says: Hmmm. Methinks someone has got far too much time to waste...

I say: it's in keeping with my writerly bent: Wizard of Oz the musical is based on a beloved children's classic book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum.

And er.... that's all folks!

Have a lovely Thursday everyone!

Great Expectations

I have a very expressive face.

It is my downfall.

I am unable to mask what I feel and it is only with the onset of age and experience that I’m able to smile when I want to cry, look interested when I’m not and keep a straight face when I want to laugh out loud.

Handy when you have to deal with all sorts of customers all day!

But it's a life skill that I completely forgot when my lovely next door neighbour offered Charlie her cat’s old litter tray.

The look on my face must have been such that she quickly added “but he (her beloved Sebastian having long gone over the bridge) used to use it as a bed too”.

So of course I took the dusty thing in.

But my house is tiny and already bursting at the seams with Charlie things. Did I really need another cat litter tray when Charlie has two already? It meant so much to my neighbour that Charlie have this tray. She loves Charlie - buys him treats, calls him her friend..

The silly thing is look what happened immediately after. I swear he got in all by himself.

So there you have it. I’m sure there is a moral to this story. Yes, ok - "stop being so ungrateful, Old Kitty"! LOL!

All I know is I’m going to need to move stuff to make room.

And before anyone says anything - my shoes are staying right where they are!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Monday 12 April 2010


These are cakes. Yep, real bona fide cakes.

I didn't make them, Rachel Mount: Cake Artist did.

I don't know who she is but by golly these are amazing cakes.

Now I love baking. And one thing I've learnt about baking is that it's all trial and error and practice making perfect and sometimes it's being creative and taking risks and taking chances and using your instinct with a recipe.

It's one of the most creative skills that I've made myself learn and one that I actually enjoy.

But like creative writing, I know there are a million others better at this than me. Unlike creative writing, I wave the metaphorical white flag to baking artists like Ms Mount.

Yes these are cake shoes.

And I think the going rate is £300 per slice or something like that! And she does business by appointment only.

Charlie says these shoes taste of leather.

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone!

Sunday 11 April 2010

The Joy of Learning

"Now that you've pointed it out, it's glaringly obvious"
work colleague Daniel says as I push my fringe back to show him my taped up specs.

Anyway! The thing I'm going to miss about my writing course when it ends in mid-May are the prompts my tutor throws into his lessons to get us all thinking about not just what we want to write but why.

For instance with the current life writing section he ask that we use "a particular sound, touch, smell or taste.. from the present to an episode in your past. What is it about the present experience which triggers the memory, what are the differences between the present you and the past you and what is overwhelming in the memory evoked? Instead of concentrating on the logical framework, e.g. ‘I was only ten years old…’, recall the feelings associated.. e.g.what did it feel like to be ten years old on that particular day?"

So say I love tutti-frutti ice cream. I love the bits inside the ice cream. I love that the ice cream isn't just ice- cream - all cold and creamy. It reminds me of my family excursions to the beach when my dad was alive. How he'd always buy me a tutti-frutti flavoured ice cream, how he'd laugh as I pick the bits off first to eat because I liked doing silly things like that and how he found it funny.

So here's to great teachers. And here is a fun sketch about the importance of learning your ABC


Charlie says who needs ice cream when you can have perfectly good bark. Nom, nom, nom!

Have a happy Monday everyone!

Lilliputian toolbox

Yesterday, just before Dr. Who the screw pin holding the bit of my specs that hangs over my ear became loose and popped out.

Luckily the glasses fell apart just as I was taking them off to rub my weary eyes as I've been manically typing my er.. attempt at my novel.

Unluckily this is when I realise how itty bitty tinier-than-a-dust particle the screw pin is.

How I found it on my beige carpet is another story. Needless to say it involved me on my hands and knees, some masking tape, a brush and a cacophony of rude words!

But find it I did! Hooray! Next problem was how to screw the thing in.

Did I mention how tiny this screw pin is? You can just see this dot under the broken bit. That's the screw pin.

Anyway as I didn't have a Lilliputian toolbox kit and as this happened when all the opticians were closed, I had to make do with more masking tape until next week.

So today I shall be going to work sporting me new look. I call it shabby chic glasses.

Bet you can't see where the tape starts and ends, can you? I comfort myself that maybe this will give me the air of a hard-up writer far too busy writing her masterpiece to care. As if.


Charlie shows his concern for my distress.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Saturday 10 April 2010

J'Accuse - A murder mystery and how to do it.

What makes a good crime story?

1) A complex character – is he the hero or the villain or both?

2) A heinous crime – WARNING: not for those of a nervous disposition!

3) An eccentric victim - poor Mr MacDoonagoogle - who would want to decapitate such a sweet and innocent character?

But was he all he seemed?!?!

4) A cliffhanger of an ending - making way for Book 2.

Did he or didn't he?

Disclaimer: Following these rules does not necessarily mean your story's gonna be any good!

Have a love Saturday everyone!

Friday 9 April 2010

Brute force misunderstanding

Hickory dickory dock
I am waiting for the clock
To strike to midnight
and be April 9
To complain to Amazon-ian

Dot com.


Order Information (for Karen Jones Gowen's: Farm Girl)
Order placed: February 4, 2010
Delivery estimate: March 9, 2010 - April 8, 2010
Delivery status: If your order hasn't arrived yet, please note that it's still within the range of the delivery estimate.


Nah, I'm sure it's all a big misunderstanding. This is the first time Amazon have let me down really! But they gots my moneys and I wants my book!

Also the lovely Bin from A desperate reluctant housewife blog sent me an incredibly powerful software to unlock my passworded doc. Thank you lovely Bin! It uses brute force and goes through all sorts of combinations of letters/numbers/big caps, small caps etc.

So far, it's failed. :-)

I must have been so crazy and so jealous of what I wrote to have passworded it so. LOL! I've already told this to hampshireflyer but at that time, three years ago, I did this because I didn't want my then bf to discover my tome.

And that ladies and gents says alot as to why I lived with my tough ol girl and am now living with Charlie.

'Scuse me, Charlie wants to say something....

Is that the postie you hear Charlie?

Is it?

Ooopsie - pardon my messy chair!

Have a lovely Friday everyone!

Thursday 8 April 2010

It's all about perspective

Ok so today I hear one of my stories that I sent off for competition waaaaaaay back in January didn't win.

Ok it didn't even make the shortlist.

But I comfort myself that there were over 2000 entries - over TWO THOUSAND entries!

Now I know maths isn't my strongest point but the way I look at it, I had erm... minus zero chance of getting anywhere with it. LOL!

See, it's all about perspective.

If I don't laugh and take the philosophical route, I'd cry.

So yep, it's all about perspective.

Have a lovely Thursday everyone!

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Little helpers

Today I finished my life-writing assignment : 2000 words - just in time for this week's deadline. Yay.

Only two more course assignments to go.

And I think I get a Certificate of Attendance! LOL! (kidding - it's for a degree, honest!).

Anyway, I owe my sudden unblocking of writer's block to these wonderful things:

A generous dollop of this:

and some of these:

And a few fun inspirational things going on in the blog world:

hampshireflyer's short story is about to be published in a forthcoming issue here .

KarenG has a new fab blog "From the Shadows to the Page" devoted to life-writing and all things auto-biographical.

A very short flash story about an eternal optimist here from kate m that made my day.

Amy's House of Cats' Virgil is gonna rumble on the 8th April in the Kitty Fight Club (oh yes!) so big cheers to him! What a manly mancat he is!

Buddy from Jan's Funny Farm
(and I think Brian too?) have entered a really fun easter contest here where all things bunny and easter-like things are celebrated in surreal ways.

Love Meow has secured an interview with Maru the legendary box cat!

And Spring is firmly esconced in Kim's Musings on a Small Life part of the world - that's Canada to you and me. I mean look at that Giant Moth!

Of course there's the lovely Charlie as always, although today he had to wait patiently for me to play with him!

"Is she ever going to get off the pc and move Mr MacDoonagoogle already?"

Have a lovely Wednesday everyone!