Saturday, 11 March 2017


I have decided to give up making plans.
This week, among other things, I had plans to meet two women for coffee, go to the U3A choir for the first time and spend today, Saturday, on a course. Instead, I came down with a cold. This one is particularly annoying as it's disrupting my sleep and comes with an irritating cough and a headache. I find it hard even to read let alone be creative but there’s nothing I can do except sit it out and wait for it to go.
My writing has taken a massive hit. First the stress before the move, then the stress of actually moving, now this but there is a light shining at the end of the tunnel. Last year, I managed to catch up after a very shaky start. There’s no reason why I can’t do that again this year.
The one thing I do want is to have more balance in my life which meas work rest AND play. There is so much going on locally that I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the groups and activities and places I can go to. 
Having to wait until I am better is a small price to pay.

Thursday, 16 February 2017


I have moved.
I admit that’s hardly news, I’ve been going on it for what feels life forever. There were times, many times, when I didn’t believe it would actually happen. Now it has, I am still in shock. I don’t know this bit of Exeter so I am doing everything I can to find out about  what goes on here.
I have tested the bus into town, sampled the food at the nearest pub, (The Devon Yeoman) cheap but really really good and discovered they have live music every now and then, plus a monthly quiz. 
On Sunday, I went to the ISCA church where people were so friendly plus I had a good sing. On Monday I am going to a death café and on Tuesday, I hope to try out a community choir. Tomorrow morning, there’s a drop in café at the community centre, less than five minutes away. I have also found a lovely friendly café too in Whipton Village which is a ten minute walk away. To get there, I walk down a lane, past playing fields, and trees. It’s so different from where I was in Leeds. Unless of course, it’s me that’s different… But I’m not getting into that at the moment. Enough to say that I am amazed, delighted and thrilled that I moved. 
The house, which I only viewed once and for about five minutes, needs serious money spending on it but, and I hardly dare say this, I'm thinking I might stay put for a while in which case I might actually get to enjoy the benefits of any improvements. The living room, compared to my last house, is so much bigger which is great. It's at the back too, so I can look out on the birds. . 
I have already arranged to have a new boiler (which led to needing a new shower too.……) and am looking to get the kitchen sorted in the spring.
Maybe my moving days are over – unless love sweeps me off my feet of course.
What about writing, I hear you screaming? I am easing myself back into it, slowly. Very slowly. So don’t be surprised if my stories disappear from the magazines for a few months. I WILL be back. Just not yet. 

Friday, 13 January 2017

I am counting down the days until I leave Leeds. I’d say I can’t wait, but that’s a nonsense. I HAVE no choice but to wait. But I am finding it hard. Very hard.
Having had the green light for my first serial, I am hoping to get it done and sent on its way before I move. I have drafted the last two parts by hand as is my wont so now comes the hard work – typing it up followed by correcting the multitude of typing errors I am bound to make. This typing up stage is when I do my main edit. As this is a serial, this will probably involve adding words, even extra scenes, in order to meet the required length (around five thousand words an instalment),  rather than my usual streamlining. Normally, I am a very spare writer when I am in short story mode, so this serial writing business feels very different. It demands another set of skills. I need to keep up the pace and the interest while fleshing out the descriptions rather more than I am used to.
There was a point when I wished I hadn’t even suggested writing a serial. I had serious doubts that I’d be able to do it. In the end, once I got stuck into it, it became so much easier. I am hoping the same thing will apply when I, eventually, get round to those novels I have long wanted to write. As is usual for me, I have been working on myself too – motivation, self-esteem, self-belief and so on.  So far, it’s working well (fingers crossed). I’m learning a lot. One thing that has, I hope, struck home is this - it’s better to fail at something than not to have even tried to do it. 

The picture was taken on holiday and shows the type of food I will not be eating for a while. 
I have put on weight. I could blame Christmas and stress but it’s more complicated than that. Suffice to say that  I am having to resort to the five two diet again as I KNOW that one works. It is hard feeling hungry now, especially when I’m stuck in this in between place but needs must. So think of me when you’re having a wonderful meal as I pick at a small chicken salad…. No booze today either.
I just hope that when I, eventually, find the man of my dreams (If you know where he is, do please ask him to come out of hiding. Soon!), he will appreciate the effort I am making for him.

Monday, 9 January 2017

JANUARY 9TH , 2017

The weather - grey, wet, miserable, is reflecting my mood. Today would have been Gareth’s 66th Birthday and that always makes me sad. Sad that he died so young and so that I still haven’t found anyone else to love.
Over Christmas, I expanded part one of my first ever serial to meet People’s Friend requirements. I also sent them an outline of parts two and three. On the 6th of January, I was given the green light which means I have to write the rest. On days like today, when I feel blue, there’s zero point trying to write anything as my words will come out flat and lifeless. Happily, I know this will pass and in a day or so, I will be up and raring to go.  
The problem I have is what to do now.
I’ve just had a bullying conversation with the estate agent who wants me to exchange on my purchase now. I have asked for the 24th, as it’s then that I complete on the sale of my house in Leeds ( I am moving into a b and b in Taunton during the gap between sale and purchase). To me that makes sense and I don’t really understand what the problem is. There will still be 8 days between exchange and completion whereas in the past, and I have moved LOTS of times, exchange and completion have more or less happened at the same time.  
I am hoping the vendors come back and say the 24th is OK, otherwise, I will have to take the risk.
At least I am going out tonight. A curry with friends is exactly what ‘s needed. I will be so glad once this move is over. My previous moves didn’t affect me half as badly as this one. Maybe it’s because this move matters. For the first time since Gareth died, I feel I am moving for a good reason.