Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Now posting all my flash fiction on FB:
Hey, how are things? Son is away on his school trip and the house isn't at all silent. Which proves that all the palaver and hullaballoo in this household are entirely down to the pesky Twins.
So, what have you been up to recently? We just had a weekend in London, almost entirely courtesy of Tesco coupons (Tower of London and Hatfield House for free, plus free kids meals at Pizza Express), which is all very gratifying, if you don't stop to think how much profit Tesco must be making from us if they can afford to give us one hundred and fifty quid's worth of freebies.
I have almost steamed my way through the terrifying ironing pile, thanks to a double bill of 'Place in the sun: home or away'. (yes, they chose a large villa with a pool and gardens in the south of France, over a dingy town house with no garden in Gloucestershire). Anyway, it got me to pondering on my ultimate lifestyle destination, and I've decided that it's not the south of France, it's Cape Town. Now I just need to convince Hubby. Or sell my book for a huge advance. Neither of which is especially likely at present, so I'll have to stick to the real estate porn on more 4 for a bit longer.
Hope that you're living the dream somewhere xxx

Friday, 13 June 2014

So, guess what? I'm just paranoid, after all. The inclusion manager hasn't been avoiding me, she's just heavily pregnant and with her 'preg-head' on has forgotten all about our quarter issues. Phew. No need to have awkward grown up conversations then, what a relief.
What have you been up to? I got all excited about the sunshine, but now it's getting so balmy I realise that it is, in fact, time to crack open the half-forgotten suitcase of summer clothes that has been languishing behind the bedroom door all these months (and serving a useful purpose as a door-blocker, in the absence of a bolt/lock). The only problem is that most of them now need ironing, so I now have an ironing pile as high as Sugarloaf mountain (yes, I'm exaggerating, but it must be at least a Munro, in ironing-pile terms). Maybe I can schedule a morning of tackling it whilst watching Eammon and Ruth (my BFF - well, I did meet her a few times back in 1991, you know!) on This Morning.
I'm back on the case with my novel, but can't get onto it quite as quickly as I'd like because I have all-of-a-sudden found myself with extra ESOL classes. A while ago I took some English learners into the art gallery to do a session based around the exhibition. It was well-attended and quite a laugh, so I casually mentioned to my boss that I wouldn't mind doing more ESOL sessions based around art. Hmmm, did any wise older person (probably an Auntie or someone in a floral blouse) ever say 'Be careful what you wish for!' whilst wagging a finger in a knowing way to you? Yep? Well, I wish they'd bally well done it to me, too and I would have kept my trap shut. So now, several months and a dod of Arts Council funding later, I have found myself frantically trying to think of a weekly two-hour lesson to link into the idea of art and cultural identity...for the next six months...
So, if you don't hear much from me for a while, you'll know it's because I'm casting around wildly for lesson ideas whilst manically trying to finish the final final draft of my novel.
Right, I'm off to panic about the enormity of it all and not manage to get to sleep, now.
Take care xxx

Monday, 9 June 2014

Don't you hate being a grown up sometimes?
It seems I must have done something to upset the school's inclusion manager, who is now not responding to my emails, which means there is a delay in getting a justification for us to retain our quarter here on the grounds of Twin 2's special educational needs. Blah blah blah. Luckily the class teacher is prepared to talk to me and sign the justification letter for me, but it's not really his job - the welfare of children with additional needs is the job of the inclusion manager...
So now I'm thinking that as I must have done something heinous for her to 'send me to Coventry', I should probably find out what it is, and apologise for whatever I have done to upset her, because that would be the adult thing to do.
I'm just not feeling like being a grown up, that's all.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

I'm having a taste of the future...the Twins are off on a school residential and the house is eerily quiet. Since I came in from work, and Son came home from school, there's just been the almost inaudible hum of elecrickery, as he dominates his Minecraft universe, and I ponder flash fiction and next week's lesson plan. We broke the silence with a brief chat about tuna pizza and geography homework. And when I drove him to karate the absence of an internet connection forced us to exchange pleasantries. But otherwise...oddly absent of noise. Nobody claiming to have been scratched by anyone else. Nobody needing their physio monitored or guitar practice cajoled into or spellings tested or reading listened to. There hasn't even been any housework to do - no biscuit crumbs, apple cores or illicit sweet wrappers on the floor, either. It is - Son and I agreed - very strange indeed. I ended up with plenty of time to write, lesson plan, pop to Tesco to buy a green jumper (yes, another one, but it was £3 in the sale, bargain or what?) and do 44 sun salutations and write to you. And it's not even ten o'clock. I feel like I'm retired, or have just slipped back into a pre-kids life. Anyhow, I'm going to use this somewhat spooky bit of extra spare time to have a nice bath, without interruptions or the nagging thought of bunging a load in the machine or packing PE kits. Ta-ra xx

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Ey-oop, how's it going? I've not seen hide nor hair of Gareth Malone recently. I'm going to have to resort to pretending that perfectly ordinary people are really famous TV celebs to get that frission of B-list excitement as I pass through the camp gates. If you see me wondering, unfocussed, with a vague smile on my lips, it may well be that I'm pretending the gate guard is really Colin Firth or...(d'you know, I'm so out of touch that I'm at a loss to think of a tasty actor to add to that list - and the truth is I have gone off Colin Firth a bit, ever since Mama Mia, really).
It's all good here, really. My mood swings are still swooping around like a particularly unsafe fairground ride, but hey-ho. I'm eating as many phyto-oestrogen rich foods as I can handle - just polished off the last of the hummus, and am about to make myself a generous soya milk shake - but to no avail. Must order some more St John's Wort...
The good news is that I got feedback from the romantic novelists association on my manuscript, and they were particularly nice about it. They suggested a few changes and then getting it out there to agents and publishers. So my mission now is to get stuck in with the amendments and try to get them done before the summer hols. This may well put paid to my copy writing work - or maybe I'll try just to do one ambulance-chasing/geeky thing a week, just to keep my hand in, in case my stellar rise to author celeb doesn't come all that quickly!
I'm still writing flash fiction, but I'm bunging it all on the FB page now. So if you're interested, do like and share!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Hiya, here we are, June already. Sorry, I've been away in the mystery machine, in Weymouth, in the rain. Hurrah for the British summertime. I'm sitting in my living room with the heating on, in a cashmere jumper and pashmina. It's just not bally well right. I've been watching all those endless episodes of 'a place in the sun', 'a place in the sun  - home or away', 'a place in the sun - winter sunshine', and my personal favourite: 'oh just anywhere with bloody sun will do' (yes, I made the last one up).
I've also done a lot of housework, mostly unsuccessfully (smeared windows, still dust on the skirting boards, can't face doing any more though), but at least I gave it a good go, whilst the Twins were at the camp's YMCA holiday club and Son was sucked into the virtual world of Minecraft.
And I've set up a Facebook page for the flash fiction, so I'm not sure whether to carry on posting them here or not. What do you think? My imaginary world is far, far more interesting than real life (and less cold and rainy too). Anyway, here's the link:
I'm going to say toodle-pip and drink my Crabbies now xxx