Thursday, February 22, 2007

At What Point Do I Give Up?

Miss Snark is the best!
At what point does one simply give up? When does one say to oneself "I can't write, and I'm wasting my life doing so?"


Publication may be nice but it's not the only reward.

The very act of writing is its own reward. It teaches you (if you pay attention) how to see the world through different eyes; how to wield language skilfully; how to organize a persuasive presentation.

You recognize that writing is a creative art and brings you joy.

You recognize that doing something difficult over and over again, and trying your utmost to improve is a worthy endeavor even if you fall short of your goal.

You recognize that these moments of despair or frustration or fear are part of the process, and will make the achievement of your goal just that much sweeter.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shrove Tuesday

It's shrove Tuesday. I have to admit that I forgot! But am beetling off to the supermarket to get the things I need for pancakes with lemon and white sugar, or butter and brown sugar - our own Shrove Tuesday tradition.

I was pottering about on the net, (and not writing about any of my heroines who are still all in trouble!) and came across the following...

Other old customs include the annual pancake grease at London's Westminster school (schoolboys fighting for pancakes in return for a monetary reward); Mischief Night (breaking into people's houses in disguise and demanding
pancakes); Lent Crocking or Lensharding (throwing old crockery at people's doors and asking for pancakes to be tossed back), and shroving - a visiting custom in which children sang or recited poetry in exchange for food or money. A popular shroving rhyme went like this:

'Knock, knock, the pan's hot
And we are coming a-shroving
For a piece of pancake
Or a piece of bacon
Or a piece of truckle cheese
Of your own making.'

Hmm, schoolboys fighting each other for money, breaking into peoples houses and demanding pancakes... very nice. I wonder if I should be trying a few of these traditions around my house.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Weather Obsession - it is getting worse

I've mentioned before that I've got a bit of a weather thing. Love to check BOM, or SMH weather pages on a reasonably regular basis (and that means at least once a day), and if I've no joy there I have been known to head over to the Irish weather radar, where there is always a bit of rain action.

But it's getting worse. I've recently discovered two sites. I've Got Wind, which updates weather conditions in the Solent every three seconds (the Solent is the stretch of sea in between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight). Then there is the Lee-On-Solent webcam, which you can move around and even zoom in on seagulls sitting on channel markers in the sea - off southern England that is. Here's a snapshot of the weather right now!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Pink, heart-shaped lamingtons. This was as romantic as I managed today. The small shouty members of the house enjoyed them immensely, and hubby was swept away by the thoughtful gesture. Okay, well he would have been if I'd taken them out of the paper bag I'm sure.

I was planning on making a pretty afternoon tea up, with heart-shaped tea-light candles and proper coffee. But then the man in the Dusk shop wouldn't stop talking to me, and I'm half deaf from this bloody cold so I couldn't hear anyway, and then I couldn't get the pram past an ugly display of fake roses, so I reversed out rapidly, tea-lightless. Then hubby arrived home and is as sick as me, and can't even taste coffee - so instant it was...


The endless stupid cold, is, well, endless (and stupid). I expect I might die tomorrow - oh no wait, I can't. I'm too busy. The cold is now ignoring cold and flu tablets. Typical. Only I'd end up with a sulky virus.

I blame the Scandinavians (you know who you are).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another Review! Four Coffee Cups.

Hey, I just got one of those great emails that makes it worth logging on!

I've been reviewed again and Regina from Coffee Time Romance loved Running Scared.

She gave me four coffee cups. Which means "Outstanding Great Read - This is a very outstanding book you would like to keep to read again in the future." - That's quoted from their website!

Here's the link.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Date Bait

I'm going to prepare hubby a feast for Valentine's Day, we met on 15th February so it's a bit more significant for us than just being Valentine's Day. I've been trying to decide what to cook. I was just on the BBC Food website and found a great article on Date Bait (food that is 'seductive' yet easy to prepare). What amazes me is that the main course has both chilli and onion in it. Surely onion is not the best choice if an evening of seduction is on the cards? Hmm.

They've got an anti-Valentine's Day feast up as well, loads of spices, beans, curry and coleslaw. Actually I think it looks nicer than the seductive stuff - anyway after two kids who has the energy to be seduced!


Monday, February 05, 2007


Foolish, foolish Hubby and I. We are generally troglodites, cave dwellers, remaining inside most of the time hunched over a glowing computer screen. On the weekend however, Nonna rescued us from the children and we went in search of some us time. To the seaside. Hatless and sunscreenless we thought we'd be fine sitting under trees, but didn't account for the reflection off the water.

So now we look like a pair of lobsters. Stripy lobsters as we got burnt worse on one side than the other. It's so embarrassing, especially with our English accents, as every thinks we're just off the plane! Not to mention the skin cancer people are doing all those horrible ads, so now we're completely paranoid.

We've learnt our lesson though, and have resolved to not go outside or even attempt to enjoy each other's company until Bugalugs has turned fifteen.


Friday, February 02, 2007

What me-time isn't.

Me-time is not ...
  1. Peeling vegetables whilst everyone watches Rubba-dubbas
  2. A forty second shower
  3. Driving to work with children in the back
  4. Hiding in the bathroom
  5. Hiding in the bedroom whilst hubby deals with irate children
  6. Sneaking in a cup of tea during Postman Pat
  7. Downloading bank details from the internet
  8. Staring into space and worrying
  9. Thinking up plot twists
  10. Four minutes of walking to work listening to an iPod

So what is me-time?

Sitting in bed, with a cup of tea, completely undisturbed, and the whole house tidy and peaceful.

Yeah - it'll never happen!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I just want my life back!

I've been pottering along, getting stuck in the routine, life's not been too bad. Until this morning, when I cracked. It all started innocently enough when hubby left for work and all I had to do was get Beanie dressed and everyone in the car. It took half an hour, thus I was late and hit the traffic. Usually I manage to sneak in ten minutes of mummy radio before the clamouring for nursery rhymes starts from the back, not this morning, they were demanded as I was reversing out the drive. That meant nearly an hour of pop goes the sodding weasel.

So we arrive at Kindi, I'm already late, late, late, and everyone has taken off their shoes (to throw at mummy) and socks (to hide). Ten minutes to re-shoe, then carrying bags and children we finally get there. Of course my swipe card is at the bottom of my handbag - under a small but dirty pair of socks, a Macdonalds toy (don't judge me!) and a half eaten packet of Le Snacks (did you know that cheese in that stuff is a very effective glue - yes, just ask my iPod). So, juggle baby, drop bags, find swipe.

We make it as far as Beanies room before everyone fills up their nappies - it must be a bonding thing! I have to confess I did a drop and run with Beanie. I have no idea how I was going to juggle bags, baby and change toddler nappy. So I didn't. A happy surprise for the first carer who got within two feet of her.

Then time to change Bugalugs. Of course I'm really late, stressed and Miss Bugalugs is picking up the vibes. Puts on a tanty at the crucial nappy moment, and I spend next ten minutes changing her clothes and then disinfecting the change table.

Finally I get my four minutes of me time as I head off to the office. I whip out my iPod and get to listen to Mummmy music, scraping cheese off with my thumb nail as I go.

But suddenly I've had enough. I want my life back. Its been a horrible stressful morning, I'm exhausted and forty minutes late for work, and I just want it all to be easy for once. Four minutes of me time (eight in total for the day) is NOT enough.