July already!

so nothing has been written for ages… but the nasties got in this website and everything went t**** up for a while.

Must try to do better!

We had a lovely holiday in Italy, swimming in Lake Garda and eating delicious ice creams and driving the camper van along very busy roads. And guess who drove all 6 and a bit metres of it through the Mont Blanc tunnel – YES – yours truly! Himself may have been a little nervous – I couldn’t take my eyes off the white lines to notice!

and now the plasterer is here beavering away in the loft – and a good job too since our third grandchild, the beautiful Martha Mae was born in June – so three bedrooms might be more of a necessity at a later date!



Thiink this is sunset on Lake Iseo


the doglet went swimming too, although its not a favourite pastime of hers! But it cooled us all down.

I finished my online writing course – the story I wrote was er…ok? not brilliant and the ending was really weak, but the good thing to come out of it is that I now have a small group of like minded online writing friends – so maybe with some mutual encouragement we will all get better at it! Who knows eh?

cross and getting crosser

I wanted to put some poems together in a group of pages called , funnily enough, ‘poems’ but all that’s happened is I have a lot of separate poems across the top of my site! I have looked at the help part and I should be able to nest the poems under the ‘parent’ heading but I am such a Luddite all that’s happening is that I am getting cross!

more written rubbish

here it is Friday already again and the week that started off quite well sort of went a bit downhill. And the writing course progresses but I don’t seem to…

I made some notes about a retired headteacher walking a dog in a park and seeing a young man hitting his dog, and then hitting him in turn with her umbrella – a totally out of character thing for her  to do – and then after he had broken her umbrella across his knee and burst into jerking sobs and she had sat down unceremoniously on the ground – it all came to a dreadful grinding halt.
And anyway that isn’t the sort of story I really like – I love Penelope Fizgerald and Anita Brookner and Rose Tremain and Elizabeth Taylor – especially Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont and Penelope Lively and Mary Wesley… and really if  I can’t write like a cross between any of them I don’t want to write at all. And with that I grimaced and took my cough and cold and hot chocolate to the sofa in front of the fire and the absolutely dreadful day time TV.
Next  the storms came and the wall to wall lashing rain and even if I’d had the energy to get out into the fresh air with the dog I couldn’t have gone. Even with her waterproof coat the dog abhors the rain and this was more like sleet.
What are the three most useful words? IT WILL PASS – when you are ecstatically happy it passes, when you are sad that passes too, and when you are full of cold it eventually goes – and life itself – well nothing lasts forever!
So here we are – a whole week gone and very little writing done – what a waste – but then the cold and lousy feelings are passing so next week I shall make up for lost time!

writers journal…

I must do a writers journal for my online creative writing course so I am going to copy and paste it on to here. I can’t possible write on here as well! What a woos! This is from 3rd May

The weather is pants, I am full of cold and have a racking cough and my husband has raging toothache – what a pair of old crocks we are are.

My sister’s quote for the day over the phone: ‘there is a fine line between hobby and mental illness.’ Thinking of writing as my hobby – hmmm!
This morning I opened the shutters and found we are surrounded by the clouds – it is a damp and dismal, grey and grizzly day and an ideal one for sitting and thinking about what I would like to write about.
I thought about saying ‘we are shrouded in a blanket of cloud…’ but that seems a bit overused. I had a look at an online thesaurus and was disappointed to find it did not recognise the word ‘colourless’ since it only admits to american spelling – well american spelling of words is ok in America but its one of my pet hates to see it anywhere else. I don’t like my kindle for that reason either – I have just read the kindle edition of that quintessentially English novel Pride and Prejudice  was horrified to find her spelling changed to the american rubbish. Ooops gone off the point there! So here’s my attempt at describing what I can see out of the window.
All  colour has been sucked out of the view, everything is a muddy brown and grey, where are the bright greens and the startling whites of the blackthorn and wild cherry blossom? The dense clouds have settled on the hills and threateningly in the distance I can hear the roll of thunder. Pants – just like the weather.

And still it rains…

but that’s probably better than yesterday when it was sleeting, and a bit higher up in the mountains it was snowing! Nearly the end of April, and as everyone is saying in this part of rural France – this winter has been particularly long.

When we returned after our UK visit we were met by my flowers


and the warmth and the sunshine. The flowers are still here but as for the warmth and the sunshine well they  have since disappeared and the forecast is not good for the rest of this week. Good job my creative writing course has started – Unit 2 tomorrow…Whoop whoop! as my daughters would say.

And since its my birthday next week I’ll end on this cheery note from David Auber ‘Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long time.’

farewell Meaty…

I have never been amongst so many people since I went to a Liverpool football match 50 odd years ago with my dad, but here I was with about 13,000 other folk at Meatloaf’s farewell concert in the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. Tickets courtesy of our daughters, we stood up and clapped and cheered with them, while Meaty sobbed and shambled and shuffled his way round the stage – it was MAGNIFICENT!

Its a long time since my ribs and sternum rattled and throbbed with the noise of the music.  OK  –  so we queued up to get into the carpark and queued up to get out of the carpark –  but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

We were also treated to a night in a wonderfully different hotel  – La Rosa in Whitby. Look it up if you fancy no TV, but fantastic views and breakfast brought to your room in a picnic hamper. All the furniture is recycled and secondhand and it has an ambience all of its own.


This was the view from the huge Victorian windows – there was a small balcony which would have been lovely had it been warmer and not so windyand there were  inside shutters to make it cosy.

And then lunch and playing on the beach with the grandsons – it was un bon moment as my neighbours would say. Followed by a safe and hassle free journey back here I am reminded, as I often am sitting here overlooking the plum trees, that life doesn’t get any better than this.




return of my little black beauty



Here she is, being winched off the trailer having had her total respray. She looks absolutely beautiful now and is in the garage covered with dust sheets. Himself has the unenviable task of putting all her ‘bits’ back on now – its the windscreen and the quarter lights that may be the most difficult but oh yes – it will be SO worth it – as I keep telling him!

And also the loft is taking shape as he has almost finished putting all the insulation in




of bonfires, buns, barnaby and…

…it felt just like spring today! Yippeee!

IMG_1449 reduced


We went down to the bottom garden and started to cut back the hedge which has been neglected for the past few years – due to there being so much to do in the house itself. A whole day – erm – almost –  in the garden – isn’t life wonderful when you can choose to do such lovely things?

I had forgotten just how pleasant it is down there – and it was warm in the sun.



The doglet enjoyed herself – although she kept trying to creep back up to our next door neighbour’s, who is a traiteur, and whose garage is heaven for her.



The bonfire took ages to really get going, despite lots of firelighters and some diesel…but eventually by the afternoon it was roaring away.

And as for the buns – I made some butterfly cakes at the weekend and…well this little fatty ate the very last one today. It was delicious.

And Barnaby? Guess what? I have just watched about an hour and a half of Midsommer Murders! But at least I have nearly finished the back of the grandson’s sweater!

What a wonderful day.



Why haven’t I written anything on here? If I am supposed to be ‘practicing my craft’ and that’s a laugh in itself, then I really meant to try and write something every week, if not every day..

So what have I done?  Ye gods nothing of any real use when I look back, but the days are so enjoyable!

I can play the first 4 notes in the  ‘New Tune a day for Clarinet’ book – a few squeaks here and there but that’s not bad – first of all I had to learn to put it together!

I have written some ‘Christmas’ letters – you can’t beat the old snail -mail -fountain -pen -on -paper type of letter – I love to write them and I know they are a  little late but they are sort of once a year letters so there’s plenty of time.

I have knitted a chunky sweater for a small grandson and posted it off, plus two hats, had some lovely friends round for a good old fashioned English Sunday roast here in deepest rural france, and been to my Saturday morning group of ladies doing knitting, tapestries and various other creative work that includes stitches of one sort or another. Actually its more talking that goes on and that’s good for getting me tuned in for listening and trying to understand.

I have walked 4 km most days even though I had to do it on my own, since the doglet tore her second cruciate ligament chasing a cat and Bill sprained his ankle by missing the bottom step. However my BP was still high last week and so one of my tablets has been doubled – again!

And the other news in a nutshell – the snow has gone!

Although the weather is warming up a tad we are still having the feeding frenzy every morning outside the living room window, dozens of siskins and goldfinches, some green finches, blue tits, willow tits and great tits, occasional bramblings, nuthatches and at one time there were four hawfinches and a very shy bullfinch. I spend a lot of time at the window…ooops when I could be doing something useful!



The photos are not great – taken through the window.