Sunday, 9 June 2013

Not far, as it turns out

We only got as far as the back garden today. It's nice playing at home and the boys enjoy the freedom to do whatever they want to do. The only trouble is that when I tell them it's bedtime they have a horrible feeling of having achieved nothing with their day and I am scowled at by three very dirty faces, who all think that it's my fault the day hasn't been better. They're so funny. They've had a ball, playing with their friend across the back, digging, making potions, trading football cards, playing a gigantic game of cars in the dirt and generally being fun and adventurous and creative boys, but because we haven't spent any money or been anywhere, they think the weekend's a failure; whereas I think it's a huge success. 

James is the scowliest. Some days he tells me that he hates me. He says it with a smile, but he really means it. He says it to shock me, but it never does.

They won't be with me next weekend, so I'm glad it was so nice today and yesterday. When we're at home I don't see much of James and Thomas now because they play at Oliver's whenever they can. But Matthew tends to get bored there, and he comes back to help me make tea or just chat to me. Today he chatted to me as he made me some pictures and secret notes, and while he pruned the acers with my craft cutters, and pulled dandelions out of the patio. He's amazing. He's so great at pottering and finding things to do. There's a big brain in that little head, and it's so fascinating watching it develop. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with it. I'm looking forward to seeing what they all do, because I'm sure they will each do very different things. Thomas is outdoorsy. James is ... hmm, I don't know ... James is just good at everything he tries, but he's very interested in music and dancing.  He has good rhythm and a good ear. I think that Thomas will do something creative, but I can't tell what. Something combining creativity and being outside. I said this to him and he looked happy with it and said 'yeah, I know, I'm going to be an outside artist'. Mmm. Well, why not.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Blogging from my phone? What?!

Let's give this a shot then. I have an app, I don't know how well it works, but let's do a little test and find out.

So, as you will know, summer is here. An untidy house just has to wait once summer arrives - it would be a terrible waste of time to spend the day hoovering and folding great piles of washing when the sun's out and it's not too hot for walking. And when you've a spare loaf of bread, you might as well go for a walk along the canal and feed the ducks, really.

And then you might as well go and eat chips on the prom, if you live near a prom. And while you're there you might as well have ice-cream.

And then you might as well just chill out and mess about on the grass and take advantage of the fact that it's not soggy and boggy.

A thoroughly lovely late afternoon and early evening. I wonder where we'll find ourselves tomorrow ...

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Life is always so surprising - in a good way though.

Once again life has changed.  I always enjoy a change as it's like giving the world a good wash, with a delicious new bar of soap, making it all fresh and clean, cleansing the pores and really getting rid of all the dirt.  

This setting hasn't changed.  I still live in the same house, with my little boys.  But it looks different.  It hasn't been decorated or anything.  No, it just looks different because we do different things in it.  The person whose life has changed the least is James, my middle son.  Matthew, the littlest, has started school, so his life is completely new.  And he's thriving (now - it took a little bit of settling in), and is doing exceptionally well at school.  

It's mine and Thomas's lives who have changed beyond recognition (that's a bit of an exaggeration).  Thomas is no longer in school, and is being home educated by me.  Things, academically, haven't been going well for him for the past three years or so.  He's fallen further and further behind the rest of the class.  His reading picked up a little this year, but not enough to make the transition to senior school anything other than extremely difficult.  We discussed it for a long time, and my mind changed back and forth many times.  Finally, last week, we decided to go for it.  

And it's been super.  Thomas has worked hard, and has surprised himself I think.  He loves it.  Mostly I think he loves being able to stay at home with me, which is a bonus.  But he also loves having someone with him to explain everything that he doesn't understand.  The school system doesn't allow for that, so he would just have to muddle along as best he could there, as so many children do.  We tried to do what we could at home, but after school isn't so great a time to concentrate, when all of the brain power has already been used up, energy levels are low, and quite frankly, kids are just sick to death of having to think about maths.  I am able to do this for him now because I am not working (proofreading can be done when Thomas is doing some work that I've set him, or in the evenings).  It means that my things get put on hold for a while, but that's not a problem.  I have to put Thomas first just now, because I'm really the only person who can get him ready for senior school - his teachers at school were doing a useless job of that.  I was getting the impression that his teacher and teaching assistant didn't like him, because he seemed to be getting told off every day simply for being behind and not doing well in tests.  I wouldn't have minded them telling him off for being naughty, but telling a child off for struggling academically is ridiculous - actually, it's cruel, and it's bad teaching.  He was coming home almost every day feeling more and more stupid, telling me that each day was just as bad as the last.  We sorted the bullying problem with the children, but it was starting to feel as though he was being bullied by the teachers.  

Now perhaps you might think that I should have gone into school and demanded that this be sorted out.  Well, we've had dealings with the head teacher (who is retiring at the end of the year, thank goodness! At last!), and the class teachers before, and whenever a parent has any criticism or grievance, the staff close ranks and deny everything.  Parents get absolutely nowhere.  The head never gives an inch.  She's a terrible woman.  I knew that if I went into school my criticisms would be taken badly, and no extra help would be forthcoming for Thomas anyway.  Teachers only work with the children who are at the top of the class, and the useless teaching assistants provide a little help for those who are struggling, and my shouting my mouth off to the head will not change that as long as she's still there.  So I just pulled him out of school, and sent them a letter to inform them of our decision.  

It was mostly Thomas's decision.  He was free at any time to change his mind, and I'm so proud of him because he asked so many questions about it, and looked at it from every angle.  He worried about missing his friends, and he changed his mind a dozen times.  But once he'd decided properly, he was ready to get on with it.  He came to me the night before what turned out to be his last day, and said 'tomorrow is going to be my last day'.  We talked about that for a while and he said that he definitely was ready to pull out of school, but that he wanted to get on with it now that he'd made the decision.  He said that he didn't want to be waiting around for a week, in school but knowing that he was leaving - he knew he would find it nerve-wracking.  So that's what we did.  He went to school the next day, really just to see his friends in class one last time, and to collect his PE kits, and then the next day he was at home.

He's been at home for over a week now, and it's been brilliant.  What we've found is that we have plenty of time.  He has done maths every day without fail.  We've started easy, on Key Stage 1, to give him confidence.  His confidence is shattered when it comes to maths.  He doesn't know his tables, and he doesn't know how to do simple arithmetic, so that's what we're concentrating on for now.  When he becomes very confident with those then we'll move right on to Key Stage 2.  He's done 40 pages of maths this week (that's the maths workbooks we're using).  He's done reading, history, music, a teeny bit of French.  He's done a little bit of socialising, as in visiting family a little bit.  We're just settling into a routine (we have a timetable), but we can do more next week.  He worked hard, but I think he can work harder, so I plan to get through loads more next week.  And he's keen to do that too.  He has enjoyed it, a lot.  It's nice to see him feel pleased with himself.  

He's finding some of it difficult, but that's no problem.  That's what I'm here for.

I have a little latent anger about the teachers.  I just wonder why they go into teaching if it's not to teach children who struggle.  Anyone at all can teach children who find academia easy - I could regurgitate a load of stuff, and feel pleased with myself about the gifted children being able to repeat it back to me.  But the real rewarding challenge about teaching is surely watching children work things out that they've been finding difficult.  That was certainly the best bit for me when I was listening to the Year 1 children read.  (I've had to give that up for the time being, because I can't be in school when Thomas is at home - that's the only very sad thing for me, because I had wanted to still be in Year 1 when Matthew moved into that class, and Matthew was looking forward to having me there.  But Thomas may catch up enough in the next term, so that he can go back into school for Year 6 - we'll see about that.)

One thing that I will have to help Thomas with is separation anxiety!  Seems strange because he's never really suffered from it.  But now that he's back with me 24 hours a day, he's got used to me being there all the time again.  When I dropped him off at Kev's last night he had a cry because he had to leave me. But we'll deal with that.  He's a strong little lad, who's dealt with a lot in the past few years - mostly at school.  Home stuff has always been a breeze for all of them.

Anyway, this is rather a self-indulgent, diary entry of a blog.  Sorry.  I haven't blogged for ages, or written anything at all.  I'd best go and have my bath and then get some scribbling done.  


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Is this it? Teaching?

Eventually, I will stop floundering and fix on the thing that I'm going to be doing for the next twenty years or so!

I think I might have found it.  I've been saying that I don't want to teach, based on other people telling me that I don't want to teach.  And I know that teaching is stressful, and that it can be thankless.  But, really, why am I running away from it, when I've got a pretty good idea that it's something I'll be good at.  I've noticed that when I do work in schools (I'm volunteering in my kids' school now), I do find it easy to engage with the children, and find it very rewarding.  And, for some strange reason, children seem to like me!  I'm horrible to my own kids, but don't have that shoutiness when it comes to the children in school - I have more patience.  And I enjoy it.  Listening to little Year 1 girls and boys read, whilst repetitive and not very demanding, is quite a highlight of my week.  It's wonderful, after watching them struggle, to see them learn something under your guidance.  I didn't think I would like it as much as I do, but I actually love it.  And when a wee person rushes up and gives you a big hug for no reason, that's got to tell you that you're doing something right.

So I'm going to have a chat with a nice lady this morning, about doing an Access to Teaching Diploma.  That would get me on to a PGCE - if I do well, of course!  I need to know more about the course, what it qualifies me to do, what I'll be able to teach, how I will manage financially - I might need some funding, because I'll still need to pay my bills and feed my own children.  And I would like to teach Secondary level, not Primary.  The little kids are gorgeous, and lovely, but I think that after a while I would start to get bored.  I think I would prefer the challenge of teaching Secondary, perhaps get more out of it myself, and learn more from the kids.

I really hope I'm able to do this - I hope financial constraints don't prevent me.  My only other option, if I can't afford the Access course, is to study, self-funded, with the Open University, to complete a BA in English (that would take six years), then do the PGCE.  It would take me until I'm 42 to be qualified.  I don't want to be waiting that long, if I can help it.  If I can do the Access course, I could be a qualified teacher by the time I'm 38.  That sounds better.

Once again, I am in limbo, waiting to find out if I can do this.  I always seem to be in limbo, waiting to find out something.  I think I'm going to have to go to meditation classes, to learn to deal with anxiety!  I can cope well with depression, but anxiety is a whole different thing.

I think I suit a sewing machine.  It's about time I did some of that again as well.  I've got a dress to make up.  Although it's possible I might not be invited to go to the festival it's intended for next year!  Life's a bit strange when your mum has cut you out of hers.  Mental illness really sucks, I can tell you that.

But life goes on ... well mine certainly goes.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I am NOT doing that again!

Well, I never thought it would happen to me, because I have an unshakeable core of happiness and joy, but I've just spent a couple of weeks being depressed.  I didn't like Depression, so I decided not to stay.

I shan't go into the details of what made me depressed, because it's all rather personal, and if it's all the same to you I'd rather save it for my diary :)

But two things I've learned about myself from this short period of downness:
1)  It's possible for me to be low, emotionally speaking;
2)  I can recognise that I'm not feeling tip top, and can take steps to fix my brain, which makes me very proud of myself :)  (That's not to say anything disparaging about anyone who suffers really serious depression - their depression is their business, and mine is mine.)

So I've put all the negativity behind me now.   I did it this morning, and decided that I'd like to get back to being myself.  It's quite amazing that it's possible to just flick a switch and feel one's mojo return.  Mmm.  Good.

Suddenly, heaps of motivation, skiploads of ideas, bucketfuls of energy, none of which did I have yesterday.  The first thing to do though, is get an early night, and approach tomorrow completely fresh and eager.  There's a whole morning to fill with job searching and writing (I'm a single parent now, and have to find a job as quickly as possible), before an afternoon of Key Stage 2 maths (for helping my children with their homework - but I think I might sign up to do a GCSE in maths next September, just because).  I think I will update blogs tomorrow morning, and take a look at one of my novels and decide which one to work on again (anything familiar here?!).

I'm volunteering at the boys' school a couple of afternoons a week now, and I kind of wish I wasn't.  It's nice and all, but it's really going to eat into my week.  The days pass so quickly anyway, but having to break off from productive stuff is a pain.  Mind you, if I start to get proofreading work again I'll have to give up the volunteering - I suppose I could make use of the CRB check that school paid for by offering my services for a story club or something.  I wonder if they'd let me do that.  It could be for years 4 and 5 perhaps, the kids who can actually write properly so that we'd get some good stories out of them.  I could teach them how to write a proper story over a term.  Or maybe over a half-term.  And then they could read them out at the end of term.  Maybe they could read extracts from them in assembly.  I think I'll do my volunteering for a while longer, and then perhaps put the idea to the head.  I think I should get paid for that though!

Ha!  See?  No depression here now :)  Motivated.

Ooh, ooh: I'm also supposed to be thinking about writing a script, after the inspiring BBC Writersroom workshop I went to at the Duke's.  Yep, yep, I need to do that too.

And a short story.  They're expensive though, on account of there being an entrance fee for most competitions.

Going to watch the end of A Time to Kill before I go to sleep.  Nanight.

Oh no, before I go, here's a picture of me with Adrian Lukis (Mr Wickham from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice), which was taken by my mum in the Assembly Rooms in Bath :)

And me with Caroline Langrishe :)

I look like a moron in both photos, but at least you can see one of my dresses.  There were five more.  I'll show you those another time.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Lilac Stripe Dress

Today, I have this to show you:

What do you think?  This is the Lilac Stripe.  Isn't she pretty?  You can't see her whole form at the moment, because she's rather creased and needs a good press.  However, I did a little work on the ribbon detail last night and was rather pleased with it.  Obviously, hand sewing, I couldn't get the zigzags completely uniform, but I am rather chuffed with how even the stitching is.  I was going to machine sew the ribbon on, but thought it would actually be more fiddly to try and keep the dress out of the way of the needle.  She's not finished yet - I've just got the second piece of ribbon to sew on, and the bottom hem to finish, and she's ready for me to wear to a fancy dress party on Saturday :)

Sadly, Miss Lilac Stripe and Miss Black Stripe are a little short, as I didn't buy enough material :(  And all of the dresses are rather tight in the bodice, because the pattern we used is a small fit.  We expected size 14 (UK) to be just fine, but it looks like we needed just a cm or so extra.  Not to worry - learning curve!  Next year's dresses will be perfect fits.  Mind you, I'll have been cycling all year, so I'll probably be smaller anyway.

I've also got this to show you:

This is Miss Blue Beaded Bracelet.  She's almost finished.  I might finish her in the next few minutes, since I'm simultaneously blogging and beading.  I keep having to rest my fingers, because I'm making my own jump rings out of head pins, because there were no head pins left in the right colour.  It's quite painful on the fingertips, making jump rings.  Homemade jump rings are not as neat as ready-made ones, but I think they kind of look nicer; and of course, they're more satisfying to look at on a finished piece, because one has the smugness of knowing that the bracelet was more difficult to make.  I have six links left to fill with beads, and then I'm done and I can wear the bracelet today :)  Bear with me a minute; I'll try to finish it quickly now...

Nearly done ...

Here she is:

Ah.  Sorry, that is not the best picture in the world - my camera is on the verge of breaking and I get only a second to take a picture before the camera switches itself off.  But you get an idea of what Miss Blue Beaded Bracelet looks like.  I must save up for a new camera though.

Nice to blog again :)

Monday, 6 August 2012


Only about six weeks to go until the Jane Austen festival in Bath, and I've only got one dress done.  Cripes, eh?  Every time I make a start on an evening of sewing something goes a bit wrong (my thread gets all tangled in the machine, and I cannot fathom what I have done wrong) and it takes me much longer to finish bits than I would like.  I've still got four dresses to make, with linings and handmade button holes, and lace and ribbon trimmings.  I've also got to make a couple of hats, a spencer (jacket) and a couple of reticules (bags).  I think that's all.  I've just ordered boots and white tights.  I've also got to try out some ways of doing my hair - it's a bit short so it'll be tricky to make it nice.  I've left it a bit late really.  But I am in the mood to sew, so perhaps in the next couple of weeks I'll make some headway!  My mum has finished her six dresses - she's much faster than me, obviously.  She's also sewn up two of my jackets, as well as finishing two hats of her own and a spencer and a couple of reticules.  I wanted to do everything myself, but time was getting rather short!

I've only got one photo at the moment - this is of the Green Dress.  You can't tell from this picture, but it's covered in a print of tiny green flowers and leaves.  Can you see my trainer poking out at the bottom?!  I didn't have the right shoes when we made this dress.

Actually, I think my mum sewed most of this one up.  I haven't put sewn a skirt onto a bodice yet - that's what I'm going to try to do tonight.  It's all a bit trial-and-error with me and sewing.  I get there in the end, but I usually get the first attempt wrong and have to unpick the whole lot.  I had to do that last night, when I sewed the lining into my Black Stripe - it was a mess, the material was pulled in all kinds of directions that it shouldn't be pulled in.  But I learn from these mistakes, and I was able to put it right by myself :)  I really enjoy it.  It's very satisfying to take lengths of material and turn them into something you can wear.  And I think I'm quite neat ... in the end.  It's very time-consuming, but there's no need to rush, really - if you're willing and able to take your time over the process and not panic if things go wrong (which they will), it's a gorgeous thing to do.  I am very eager to make more after the festival for next year.

Tonight I will be sewing up the Blue bodice and attaching its skirt, as well as attaching the skirt of the Black Stripe.  I think I can do all of that in one night.  Then I will have four dresses with skirts attached.  The trickiest one is the Black Lace: that has a cream cotton lining, with black lace overlaid, so instead of just sewing together two pieces of fabric, I have to sew together four pieces each time.  Fortunately, I do like tacking pieces into place before sewing them on the machine, and this is what I will need to do in this case.

I'd love to get on and sew right now, but the boys get too curious and want to have a go - of course, they can have a go on the machine, but that doesn't get my dresses done!

Next time I blog about the dresses I'd like to have some finished ones to show you :)  So many things to do - I do so dearly wish I didn't need sleep.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

'The time has come', the Walrus said, 'to talk of ... keeping a blog up to date'.

Well, hello there!  How the bloody hell are you?  Oh, I'm fine, thanks for asking.  A lot going on in my house this year, some of which I'll not go into right now.  But I'm really thinking that it's time to blog again.  I'm actually itching to write at the moment, as is always the case in the summer holidays, when I have very little time to do it; absence makes the heart grow fonder, sort of thing.  I almost wrote 'fronder' then, which would suggest that the heart was becoming ferny, which, of course, is something that the heart might well do if left alone for too long.

Look at that: it's only been two minutes and already I'm off again, talking nonsense.

Linda and Matthew messing about with Photo Booth effects.
So, I am now self-employed, a freelance proofreader, doing work for Full Proof as I've already said.  So far I've had work every month, for four months.  I could not really have hoped for a better start to my new career, as I understand that it can be very disheartening and that jobs are very difficult to come by.  I work for Nick, who owns Full Proof, and he's very nice indeed, a lovely 'boss'.  Of course, I don't have a boss, because I'm self-employed!  And that means I have to do a tax return and pay National Insurance.  I'd better get on with that - no tax yet, as I'm not earning even nearly enough.  But who knows that one day I'll get my dream?  My dream is to pay tax!  It's just so that I can tick that Gift Aid box on forms - I always feel like such a flakey flakester when I have to leave it blank.

Another thing that is quite exciting - if you like words and books - is that my mum made a wonderful discovery the other day: UCLAN (Preston University or the University of Central Lancashire) do an MA in Publishing.  I had been itching to do the MA in English with the Open University, but I was finding it difficult to justify the £6k (not to mention, finding it difficult to find £6k, of course).  But now then, an MA in Publishing I can absolutely justify - perfect!  Still £6k, but I can spread it over two years, and maybe, if we live on beans on toast (or just beans; bread's quite expensive at the moment) for a long while, I think it can be done.  Don't hold your breath over that one - I've enrolled for three MAs in the past two years.  But I do think that this is the one I would really like to strive to do, so I'm going to apply and see if I can at least get a place.  I do think, after doing this little bit of student proofreading, that publishing is where I would like to be.

The most exciting thing, for me, will happen at the end of August.  I'm having a mini-break.  Yes, I am.  Oh my goodness, I can't even put into words how excited I am.  My excitement is on a par with the anticipation I felt on going to Barbados for my brother's wedding, because I was on my own (sans kiddies) then too.  This time I'm going to be away for just three days, two nights that is, and I'll be staying in the UK.  I'm going to Bamburgh, which is just about my favourite place in the world, and one day I think I will live there - if a house ever comes up for sale there, which is doubtful because it's so beautiful that I would imagine that people would be born and live their whole lives there.  Really.  It's that special.  Well, I think it is, anyway.  Bamburgh.  I am to stay in an attic room Bamburgh Hall Farm (it looks rather posh), and my room will overlook the castle - which is all I really wanted from my room; really, it could have been a mattress on a dusty wooden floor, and I wouldn't have minded as long as I could see the castle from the window.  I will just be at peace there, I won't do very much, just some writing, some reading, some walking, some photo-taking, some eating, some sitting-and-listening, some people-watching, and I'm fairly certain that the time will pass quickly and I'll come home exhausted after all of that relaxing.  But I think it's just what I need - I'm going to treat the weekend like a little home-made writing retreat.

Bamburgh in 2011 - who wouldn't want to go here for some peace and quiet?

September is not all that far away, and I'm looking forward to it - things change forever from September, when Matthew goes to school, I look for lots of work, and I get my freedom!  Don't get me wrong now, I do love my children, and I will miss having them at home, but it's going to be lovely to only have myself to think about while they're busy at school.  If I can manage to make freelancing work  I'm going to have a pretty near perfect life.  Not perfect to some people, sure, but perfect to me.

And there's my new book.  I wasn't content to be writing three novels, so I decided to add a fourth.  I think this is the one (I know, I sound like a teenager).  I won't say anything about it.  It's good, I think.  I'm going to work on it in Bamburgh, because that's where I'm setting it - although, since I don't really know too much about the people there, I think I might change the name.  I'm not very good at names.  It takes me ages to think of good character names, and place names are even worse.  (I can't even decide on what to call myself - to pseudonym or not to pseudonym?)  But I'm not in a rush, I just want to make it a good book.

I am on the verge of babbling, so I'll leave it there.

OLYMPIC FEVER!  I'm off to watch some more - isn't it good?!  I was never in any doubt that London 2012 would be excellent - ha! to the cynics and grumps!


Friday, 4 May 2012

It's all going on...

Life was already busy, but it's about to get Buuuzzaaaaaay!

Well, when I say 'about to', I mean that it will get busier in September.  But you can't just sit and wait for September, can you?  You've got to start 'doing' whatever it is you have to do before it's time to do it, you know?


Oooh. Always one of my favourite starts, a month of potential and motivation, inspiration and excitement.  But I anticipate even more of these things this year.  Matthew starts school this year, and on that first day I cease to become a full-time parent, a SAHM, a lazy layabout, a kept woman, a lady of leisure.  On that first day we enter a new era.  The era of ... the erm ... the era of the Many-Stringed-Bow!  Yes, we'll call it that.  The era of the Many-Stringed-Bow.  There is much to do.  I'm very excited.  We will really find out how I cope with stress then (albeit quite a relatively small amount of stress compared to millions of people), when I have to juggle several different mes (that says 'mes', meaning 'more than one me', you know?).  I will still be Mum-me, but I will also be Masters-student-me, proofreader-me, author-me (if I pull my finger out), cyclist-me and freelance-writing-tart-me (we'll see about that one - ways to earn money have to be found, and who knows what uses I might find for my wordy skills?).

It's already begun.  I'm proofreading now, for Full Proof.  It's very, very good.  I'm finding it very easy to fit the jobs into my evenings and mornings.  But from September I hope to be able to keep all of my evenings free for writing, and squeeze the money-making activities in between school times.  Of course, I'm pretty certain that it won't stay that way - as I start to add more strings to my bow I will probably find that I have less and less time for writing.  But in a way, that's not so bad - I have so much free time at the moment, and I am still guilty of squandering it.  I find that when I have less free time I am more likely to fill it with something productive, because I'm feel a little starved of productive creativity.  So, I have high hopes for September.  I can organise myself then, and really get stuck in.  I want to concentrate on making that lifestyle affordable, so that I don't have to waste my time in an office job just because it pays well.  Money isn't everything - I know that, because working in an office at the university made me miserable.  It wasn't worth the wages.

I can't believe this time has come, already.  Where have eight years gone?  Well, nine, actually.  I would have expected to feel sad that my time at home with the kids is almost over - but that's the thing: it isn't over, because if I can make freelancing work I will still get to be with them in the holidays.  So there's plenty to motivate me to work hard.

The first thing to do - after this weekend, when we're at a wedding - is to look again at my website, and think of more ideas for it, and start getting it noticed.  I'm not sure how to do all of that, so I need to have a meeting with my mum and Janine.  Janine is an ideas person, and she will know exactly what to do.  My mum has also said that she thinks I should teach creative writing - I have no idea how to do that either, but I'd love to give that a try.  I think I could be good at it.  I might ask my friends to take a trial-class, with me teaching!  That might be far too much of a giggle though!

Aaaaagggh!   It's noon!  I must get back to my car before I go over my time and have to pay £10!

I'm back on the blog :D  Nice to be back.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor - I find him quite inspiring ... or is that perspiring?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring! Joyness!

A new summer, and a new season of motivation?  Well, we'll see...  How many new beginnings do I have each year?  I'd say at least four.  And that's not counting all the other ones.

Thought I might manage a really good fresh start last night, what with Kev being in Amsterdam on a Stag Do, and the kids being out at my auntie's for a sleepover.  But no, I got sucked into the telly and didn't manage to get out again until midnight (which I think might have been 1am, on account of the clocks changing).  But in my defence, I think I did need a bit of recharging, and I have woken up this morning feeling refreshed and lovely.  I do feel like writing.  I feel that there's something brilliant lurking at the back of my brain.  I just need to find something to tempt it out - I wonder if it would fancy a nice bit of cheese...

So, glorious weather, just right for getting out to the park and such like.  Tiring out the boys is the thing to do, get them to bed early, and then settle down for a write.  The shame of it is that I write much more and much better stuff in the mornings and on sunny afternoons, but I don't get many of those for writing.  I'm supposed to get Matthew's nursery mornings of course, but lately other things have been claiming those.  I must try to claim them back.

I have a Noo Tattoo :)  It's a biggie!  I love it.  It matches perfectly with everything else - a little bit of colour, and a little bit of detail, but still fitting in nicely.  I'm very pleased with it.  Not to everyone's taste of course, but we don't all want to be the same now, do we?  You have your tattoos, and I'll have mine.  I'm telling my own story on my skin - this tattoo represents my late teens, a time when I was blissfully happy and blissfully ignorant and all that mattered were guitars, Jack Daniels, a-pound-a-pint, and my first boyfriend, Andy.  Life was very simple, and a lot of fun.  I could have regrets about some of my choices, but what a waste of time and energy that would be.  So I look back on those few years with tremendous fondness and a big beaming smile, because it was brilliant.  I got to see Guns 'n' Roses before they split up!  For goodness sake!  Do you know how many fans didn't get to see them?  Loads, I reckon...

So I got out my G'n'R CDs yesterday, that I haven't listened to for a very long time.  Couldn't find one of them - think I might have lent it out to someone, so will have to buy that again.  I played some songs to the boys, songs from Appetite for Destruction, and they were very impressed.  In fact they, Thomas and James, both said that Guns 'n' Roses are definitely their new favourite band.  They want to listen to my CDs loud in the car all the time!  And now my work is done - I can give my children no greater gift than Rock 'n' Roll.  Henceforth, the words Slash and Axl will be as familiar to my boys as 3DS and Mario are to other children.  I am proud.

Better go and collect my wonderful boys now then.  But look!  I have blogged :)  And would like to continue to do so.  I wonder if I can manage to keep up a blogging challenge, and post at least every other day from now until the end of the year?  I need some kind of writing challenge to get me going again.  I was thinking of a Hub-a-Day, and am still thinking of that.  Things that get me writing are good, because they usually encourage me to write more of my novel - and I find that the novel somehow magically starts to get written when I'm writing other things to.

Wow!  This blogging has been like a long-awaited meal today.  I feel nourished by it.  How strange.  But it is actually as lovely as eating chocolate after not having eaten chocolate for a long time.  Perhaps I could give up chocolate and sustain myself with writing.

Well, those boys are missing me - they phoned me, with little tears in their voices last night.  Well, Thomas did - James and Matthew were fine, so I told them to look after Thomas and give him hugs and be nice to him.  How funny that, even though I shout at them lots, my kids still love me!

See you anon (what does that mean?)