Friday, 31 December 2010

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity"

You can say that again, Einstein.

I can't complain, because it's my son Tim who's has been up all night trying and failing to install Windows 7 on to my computer (interspersed, it is fair to say, with battles to the death on World of Warcraft or whatever it is you do on that site)

So now I'm back to Square One - well, Square Minus One, with Windows XP and a lot of my programs needing to be re-installed. Don't ask me what the problem was. If I try to tell you my head will explode. Something to do with incompatibility.Incompatibility my arse.

So - after all my protestations of loyalty to the Omega we bought a Freelander yesterday. In my defence, she is very dirty inside and called Olive Oyl (by me) because of her colour, so I don't feel it's a total sell-out to the world of shiny, keeping-up-with-the-petrolheads automobiles.

I haven't mentioned it to the Omega yet for fear she'll take her revenge somehow.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play

I know it's not New Year's Day but that's going to be my mantra for 2011.

For this, I must credit Arnold J. Toynbee, who, as everyone knows, was a British historian whose twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History, 1934–1961, was a synthesis of world history, a metahistory based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline, which examined history from a global perspective.

You knew that, didn't you? Yeah, so did I.

I got part of the way there in 2010, being paid REAL MONEY to write scripts for people, so that at the time, I didn't know where to file them on my computer. I have two folders, you see. One is called Work and the other is called Writing. Writing screenplays, which I love doing, but being PAID for it? Was this Work or was it Writing?

I enjoy my corporate work too, don't get me wrong, but I want to spend a greater proportion of my time writing creatively and for it to earn money. That's the hard bit. The earning money bit. The earning money bit whilst still having fun. The earning money bit whilst still having fun and letting loose my creativity.

I'll let you know!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Modern technology owes ecology an apology.

Me and cars...we have a relationship that is at best detached, I think you could say. That is, until today. My car - a beat-up, 11 year old, 146,000 miles on the clock, Vauxhall Omega Estate, grey, can carry 3 hay bales and 3 large dogs at the same time even if it WAS a bit of a squash and despite the fact that she's rear-wheel drive, hasn't let me down in ice, snow, earthquakes, floods, droughts, locust swarms or alien invasions.. I fill her up with petrol (frequently) and oil and water (when I remember) and she gets me from A to B without too much fuss.

Recently, we (me and Peter) have had Disloyal Thoughts. Perhaps we SHOULD get a 4 Wheel Drive so that I don't do My Thing in adverse weather conditions - that is to say, venture out no matter what, "foolhardy to the point of insanity," as Peter so tolerantly describes it.

So, we have been looking, mainly at Landrover Freelanders. (I flatly REFUSE to have one of those enormous 4WDs only used in towns by mums on school runs)

Yes, we could trade-in the Omega, couldn't we? But do you know how much we were offered for this wonderful, reliable, old workhorse with long tax and MOT? TWO HUNDRED POUNDS! TWO HUNDRED MEASLY QUID!

That is an INSULT!

You can KEEP your shiny, automatic, leather-upholstered, dent-free,metallic-painted, electric-windowed, sport-gear optioned (whatever that is) BMW engined MACINE for only £7999.

I'm sticking with my faithful Omega.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bye-bye, faithful friend.

Yesterday, Quink's condition got worse so we took the decision to wait no longer and had him put to sleep. It was very sad but also peaceful because it was still a holiday so the vet opened the surgery specially for us.

Lovely, lovely boy, uncomplaining to the end. There's a massive emptiness in the house. He is very much loved and missed. There's also a sense of relief because it was becoming hard for Quink to get about.

I don't think Moose has noticed anything because he wouldn't do, would he? (Not the brightest fellow in the doggy universe - and also over 100 years old in dog years, so he's allowed to be a bit on the vacant side) But I'm SURE Roly is unsettled. He's doing a lot of wandering around the house sniffing and won't settle.

That's all I can say today.

Monday, 27 December 2010

A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.

You are so right Mr. Kafka.

I used to consume two or three books a week. Now - I find it hard to concentrate for very long when I'm reading. I'm not sure what it is exactly apart from the fact that my mind is so full of stuff that it hardly ever submits. I also spend a deal of time writing at my computer. Perhaps I've addled my brain?

The exception to this sad state of affairs has been Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and so on. I read all three straight through. At the end of the second volume, I actually ran upstairs to grab the third because I HAD to know what happened next. Loved it. Intelligent writing AND a real page-turner. But it was only a temporary thawing of the soul.

I have a pile of books on my bedside table, clamouring for my attention.

The Passage - Justin Cronin - which I started but stopped.
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris - read the first story and loved it but stopped
A Week In December - Sebastian Faulks - a Christmas present
Winter Ghosts - Kate Mosse - another Christmas present

Puritanical ethics (WHERE did they come from?)I MUST finish The Passage before I start on anything else.

Today's the day to start being a reader again before the ice becomes too thick.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day is just show business with blood.

Okay, so that's not REALLY the quote of the day, but I suppose it might be in some households!

I know too that it really ISN'T Boxing Day because that should be on the first official working day after Christmas - as in Monday. That seems to have been swept away by a inexorable tide of commercialism. I pity the poor shop workers for whom today is going to be long and busy and probably thankless.

Today is stunning! Bright, bright sunshine, blue sky, twinkly frost.

And I'm in a de-cluttering mood. It's funny how holidays, even just one day, have that effect on me. Yesterday evening I de-cluttered the kitchen work surface. This involved moving all the clutter to somewhere else so now  other places are even more cluttered but the kitchen work surface is positively MINIMALIST. The phrase re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic comes to mind.

This was mainly to accommodate the new coffee machine, which does make exceedingly good expresso and capuccino so eat your heart out Starbucks.

I'm sure they're re-thinking their business strategy as I write.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

There never was such a goose...

Geese DO like pickled pears. Just thought I'd tell you that. They also like apple, onion, sage and parsley stuffing. Honest.

Well, here I am slightly sozzled, watching 'How To Train YourDragon' with half an eye and quarter of a brain. That should be sufficient.

It's been a rather lovely day. The only sad bit has been Quink. We all went for a walk, as usual at Christmas, on Ashdown Forest - home of Winnie The Pooh. Quink strode out manfully (dogfully?) but then his legs gave out and he had to be carried home. He's quite heavy even though all skin and bones. That has made me realise that enough is enough for the poor chap.

Bless his valiant heart.

His tail still wags.

I shall make all his time until Wednesday the very best ever,

Friday, 24 December 2010

Twas the night before Christmas...

 when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Except in OUR house where my resident mouse, mice or meece ate quite a large chunk of marzipan plus the silver paper in which it was encased. I expect they were wearying of the Ryvita. Who can blame them?

I've done all sorts of Christmassy things today - made pickled pears for the goose. (Do geese even LIKE pickled pears?) And yes I know that the pears would have been FAR better if I'd made them several months ago but DELIA SAYS they'll be okay. If it's good enough for Delia then, well. just don't mention it to Gordon Ramsay.

Made more mince pies, made more brandy butter - see, that's the mistake of doing things too early - it's all gone before Christmas and then you have to do it AGAIN. I decorated the Christmas cake too if you can call a random snow scene decorating. I expect when I get back downstairs all my beautiful snowy peaks will have collapsed into one gloopy splodge. Art imitating life.

Happy Christmas one and all, just in case I'm banned from the computer tomorrow.

A woman's place is in the wrong.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

It is every little girl's dream to be, the fairy on a Christmas tree...

A wand in her hand
A smile on her face.
And a tree in a most peculiar place.

You can always rely on Spike Milligan to set the right tone!

Actually, that was never my dream, even when I WAS a little girl.

 The fairy on top of our Christmas tree was made by me when Tim was a baby. We lived in France and were penniless. I used an old hankie (clean!) with lace trimming. Fairy is very floppy now and needs the top spike of the tree shoved firmly and rather inappropriately up her dress for a spine - even then she keels over drunkenly. But of all the Christmas decorations stored in boxes and dragged out year after year, she is the BEST. Imbued with so many memories.

In my more rebellious days I used to think Christmas was so FALSE. So many people being civil to each other when they didn't really mean it. I was so busy judging others for perceived hypocrisy that I didn't have any space in my heart to squeeze in any Christmas spirit, But now, I LOVE Christmas.

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree." (Roy L. Smith)

Well, if you can't be cheesy at Christmas, then when can you be?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

All things are possible except skiing through a revolving door.

...but I might try it when we get to Whistler, depending on how many gl├╝hweins I've consumed at the time.

I know you've all been worrying yourselves silly about my tooth. Bottom Far Left Molar would  like to inform you that he is feeling good. Thoroughly replete. And proud of the fact that he is the only bottom far left molar in the universe with root canals that join together then separate again causing consternation and excitement for the dentist.

Murphy's Law... (an insult to Murphy, a sadly departed horse friend, because he was SO reliable, except when encountering flappy plastic bags in hedges!)...there wasn't a cloud in the sky this morning. The moon was full, shining at 7 o'clock this morning, The world was beautiful. Stunningly beautiful.

And I didn't have my camera with me.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

“The clouds I can handle. But I can’t fight with an eclipse.”

As said by Jacob Black...but the quote is entirely the wrong way round for me today. I CAN'T handle the clouds. I wish I could. Then I might have seen the total lunar eclipse. As it was, there was a lot of greyness (sky) whiteness and brownness (ground) - a muted, dank and drippy world.

Then I was knocked over by a startled horse. It hurt.

And...this afternoon is my hour and a half's worth of dental excitement...

Downhearted? Moi? Actually not. I had a very good day's writing yesterday - completing the whole of 'Happy Birthday, Baby' in one sitting. J.K. Rowling might be impressed. But I doubt it.

I'm planning to think positive thoughts while at the dentist. Like 'I'm positive that this hurts like hell.'

I'll be fine. Don't worry about me. Really.

Monday, 20 December 2010

"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water."

Carl Reiner said this. I was about to say...whoever he is...but I didn't want to appear ignorant so I looked him up on Google. Seems he's quite famous. Seems I'm quite ignorant.

Carl Reiner is "an American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian." Actually, I know something about his son, Rob, director of 'When Harry Met Sally' etc. So it DOES run in families!

What chance have I got then? Bit too late to qualify as a doctor. My dad was a writer as well, though, so I have a lot to thank him for gene-wise. His autobiography was published as well as a number of medical books for lay people. His greatest triumph, a play about Pontius Pilate, was broadcast on the radio. I miss him. I think he'd be delighted to know that I'm a full-time writer with some books and films to my credit.

It's all too easy to forget one's influences. The next thing I write I'll dedicate to him. The next thing after the article about  speech and language therapy that is...which I WILL finish before Christmas!

I have my fingerless gloves on today so I feel like a real proper grown-up writer.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

I wish I could be more like Douglas Adams...

Trouble is, I'm deadline-driven. When I haven't GOT deadlines I flap about like a fish out of water.  And when I DO have deadlines, I'm obsessed, I'm trying to think of a good animal analogy...Alfie, one of my horses, when he sees a feed bucket. At two hundred yards he can spot one then he heads for it, trampling everything in his path - people, buildings, mountains...

Here's my dilemma - flapping, oxygen-starved fish or human bulldozer?

Surely there must be something in between the two?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

In that case, Oscar, I won't mention the fact that last night it was minus 10 and more snow, and worse, ice, of the black AND the white varieties.

Neither will I mention that I walked to the yard today across frozen fields to see to the horses, and that now there is a BLIZZARD. Blizzards are two a penny at the North Pole, probably, but in BUXTED...?

But it is lovely. Really lovely to be safe inside and contemplating making a batch of mince pies and some mulled wine. Except Peter said that will give him indigestion so I said 'Bah humbug!'

I love my neighbour. She of Mango Crisis fame. Ninety years old, Scots and feisty. She phoned this morning when I'd just struggled in, Ernest Shackleton-like from the storm.

Me: "Do you need anything? Can we help?"

Constance: "I can't LIVE without The Daily Telegraph..."

I am just going outside and may be some time.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Caroline, voice-over artist of renown (as from today)

I've just had a strange and exciting request by e-mail from a film-maker friend in Australia. He needs a British voice for a video he's making and has asked ME - the ubiquitous token female Brit chick.

The role will be demanding. It will take a while to learn the lines - well, line, if I'm honest. This is what I have to say: "Hey sweetie, what's wrong?" Three different interpretations. I'm a great disciple of Stanislavski so will be throwing myself whole-heartedly into the role of 'concerned mother of crying baby.' Perhaps one of the dogs could be the baby?

I WAS going to write about the things that distract me from getting on with my writing - but I suppose I just did.

I have an article to complete about speech and language therapy then NO excuses for not getting on with a re-write of 'Of Night and Light' - except for rearranging my desk, sharpening pencils, ironing the dish cloths, hoovering the front lawn, polishing the carpet etc.

So I should have the next draft finished by, say, March 2013.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

I Googled my bottom today!

There - thought that would get your attention. Actually, it wasn't MY bottom, but bottoms in general. As far as I'm aware, my bottom doesn't appear anywhere on the internet. Well, until now.

Since my spectacular riding accident, it's been very painful. I didn't even land on it.

I am amazed that the bottom muscles are used for so many everyday actions like walking and not looking like a cowboy with rickets, lifting things and coughing. Yes COUGHING!

What must have happened, Dr. Google informs me, is that I have a gluteus medius tendon strain injury.Well, that makes me feel a whole lot better.

I am now going to write a screenplay set in Ancient Rome. The protagonist, a gladiator, struggling to succeed since he was run over by a chariot,  is to be called Gluteus Medius.

People often ask what inspires writers. Ask no more.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

I have exceeded my allocation for I.T. support

...The penalty is forcible relocation to an agrarian society.

Cow: "Seriously, even a cow knows you should try rebooting before you call tech support."

That's a Dilbert cartoon I have pinned to my noticeboard. This blog, so far, has been easy-peasy to do. The website and the eShop, on the other hand, have taken all my powers of cyber-understanding, which are sadly limited. Well, I suppose they're less limited NOW. Though I must say, just because I've achieved something ONCE, it doesn't necessarily mean I can remember how I did it.

Yesterday, I spent quite a while on the phone to India - I think it was India - trying to explain my website problems to a very courteous and pleasant fellow.

The trouble was - the troubles were - the line was faint; I found the guy's accent impenetrable; even when I grasped what he was saying I couldn't understand the technical language; he asked me to hold and was gone for what seemed like an eternity;he came back and STILL didn't know what to do to correct the error. He said he would refresh everything from their end and that should work. It didn't. Apart from that, everything was fine!

I think I'll ask a cow next time.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”

Well, Mr. Smarty Pants Kenji Myazawa, I'm doing my level best, thank you very much for the sound (albeit slightly patronising?) advice.

This morning, the spirit was willing but the body wouldn't do as it was told. I'm not a quitter generally but common-sense prevailed and I elected NOT to try riding Poppy for the first time in over six weeks - since her hoof abscess and the snow and ice.

Yesterday afternoon was spent being drilled by the dentist! With a DRILL. In my TOOTH. I spent the next few hours dribbling attractively out of one corner of my mouth. I am SO looking forward to next Tuesday when I have another appointment scheduled to last an hour and a half.

Today, I've written myself a list, top of which is 'Inflict no more pain on yourself'

So, I won't be watching The Jeremy Kyle Show.

(N.B. I have NEVER watched The Jeremy Kyle Show. That was just said for comedic effect)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Caroline's patent cure for toothache

1. Get on a horse which hasn't been ridden for a while because of the bad weather. Preferably one called Alfie.
2. Take him in the field and think,  'how well everything's going! I think we'll do that jump."
3. Fly over the jump and set off at a gallop
4. While galloping, arrange for the horse to do an enormous corkscrew buck.
5. Fly through the air and land awkwardly so that you rip the muscles in your bottom, suffer whiplash , bang your head on the ground and bite through your tongue.

Foolproof! I hardly notice the toothache at all now.

Am I allowed to say ouch?

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.

Mae West said that. I don't know why. However, it's my way of informing you I have toothache. She's right about love not making a difference to it. I love my teeth, treat them with tender, loving care and how does my bottom left-side molar repay me? By breaking in half. And I swallowed it.

As luck would have it, I already have an dental appointment on Thursday (for a check up) but I don't think I can wait that long.

Men come from Mars etc. Here's the thing. Peter moans about the weather because there's no sunshine. Today, there was sunshine. Peter moans about the sunshine because it makes the windows look dirty. Actually, he moans at ME because I haven't cleaned the windows.

I cleaned the windows and then the sun went behind a cloud.

That's life...

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sauvignon blanc, oh mist rolling in from the sea....

I have no idea if this will be my best blog ever or my worst, just having rolled in from a drinks party with our neighbours.

And very pleasant it was too. Lovely people Sarah and Richard.

Serendipity and black dogs. I had to go to Portslade yesterday and there was a crash on the A27 so I was badly held up in a traffic jam and feeling very flustered and fraught. I called in at an office supplies shop for some bits and pieces and there, in a 'reduced to 99p' bin was a little black dog. Not a REAL black dog, you understand, but a soft toy.

I had to buy him. He's called Black Dog. He will live on my desk when he's behaving, but otherwise he'll be soundly beaten and stuffed in a drawer.

Are you listening, Black Dog? I'm speaking to YOU.

Siesta time. Anyone?

Friday, 10 December 2010

Churchill's Black Dog, Kafkas's Mice & Other Phenomena of the Human Mind

"That's the title of a book by Anthony Storr in which he talks about the way the demons of certain historical figures become angels for the rest of us, since they impel their sufferers to rise above themselves - and we lesser mortals get taken along on their peculiar and soaring rides. He doesn't put it quite that way, but that's the idea.

"Black Dog" was Churchill's name for his depression, and as is true with all metaphors, it speaks volumes. The nickname implies both familiarity and an attempt at mastery, because while that dog may sink his fangs into one's person every now and then, he's still, after all, only a dog, and he can be cajoled sometimes and locked up other times."

And that was a quote from essayist, Sue Chance.

I have TWO black dogs. One is  my lovely boy, Quink, who really is on his last legs with cancer of the liver. He never complains, always has a wag in his tail, and this morning up at the yard, he found a ball and wanted me to throw it for him, which almost broke my heart because his back legs don't work very well. By the way, I would never prolong his life if he was suffering. Just for the moment he's okay.

My OTHER black dog is obviously a distant relation of Churchill's. Last night and this morning he escaped and was very badly behaved for a while, but now he's back in his kennel. Bad dog! No biscuits for YOU.

I know which of the black dogs I'd like to put to sleep and which one I'd like to live forever...

Now I'm going to write!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Ain't no sunshine?

Ha! Fooled you. We have sunshine. It's still cold, mind you, but you can't have everything.

The trials of a writer part II - I found a handle-thing on the side of my chair, adjusted it and plummetted downwards by several inches. Now my thighs fit perfectly well under the table. I can just about see over the edge and I don't have to stretch my arms VERY far to reach the keyboard.

On with Quirkyshop today. I've put flyers up at the yard and Peter's taken one to work. And on with articles about mental health rehabilitation.

Some very pleasing news yesterday - a director who was interesteed in making one of my scripts in 2007 got back in touch out of the blue. He's STILL interested in making the script and in a better position to achieve it.

I love it when things like that happen.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Face-hurtin', finger-numbin', nose-runnin', mouth dryin'...WEATHER!

Of course, it takes not a blind bit of notice of ME, telling it to go away.

Outside, everything takes so much longer, that's the thing. I'm daily thankful that I have a lovely warm house to return to. Warm but draughty and warm at vast expense, but warm, nonetheless.

The trials of a writer: I've moved offices so thet Quirkyworks HQ is in the study, not the bedroom. I have a spacious table as a work station. The trouble I'm having is that it has a drawer under the top (it was an old kitchen table)  and my thighs (not enormous thighs at all, I hasten to add - honestly!) won't fit under it without a squash and subsequent bruising. I end up perching on the edge of my chair and then get a numb bum. Quandary - do I raise the table? Do I lower the chair? Do I lose weight so my thighs are thinner?

Yep, it's tough being a writer!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Right, this weather is getting boring now.

Snow? Fine and lovely. THIS? Horrible and miserable-making.

Quink - the black labrador - is now wearing one of my long-sleeved thermal vests. As Tess said - 'You and Quink must have the same bust size!' (only trouble is, I forgot that he needs to pee and it was a bit long!) The poor boy has hardly any flesh on him with his illness so I was afraid the cold would hit him more than the other two.

Exciting day ahead. Yesterday I contacted lots of friends and family about Quirkyshop and one of the responses was from dear Jules, who narrated 'The Mysterious Disappearing Flower' so brilliantly. She invited me to be interviewed for her website - an audio interview. That will spread the word to a whole new lot of people.

So now - in a very disciplined way (yeah right) - I'm going to write an article about vocational training in the mental health sector BEFORE I go out to see Jules. It's called deferred gratification. I think.

Monday, 6 December 2010

So there, brain! Think you can get the better of me, do you? Uh? UH?

A triumphant day yesterday, after a weak and feebly start.

The eShop seemed like an enormous mountain to climb - one of those mountains where you keep thinking you've got to the top but then there's another higher bit to climb. And another. BUT - I really think I'm there now. Just waiting to hear from Tracey to see if she thinks the amendments are good enough then I'll start sending links to the world and his wife, his auntie, hairdresser and the lady down the street with the strange staring eyes. And her pet gerbil.

After that - marketing PROPERLY.

It's mighty cold here. Just plain old wintry. Not attractive in the slightest.

I'm going to have to fish out my fingerless gloves so I can be like a REAL writer, freezing in a draughty garret.

And I'm also going to have to write some (corporate) articles this week. Too much time fannying about with the eShop last week.

But it's DONE!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

All grey and slushy

My brain, that is.
So is the weather, but that's by the way.
It's going to take a humungeous effort to get myself into gear and be creative and productive.

But I will.

Partly it's because my routine's all shot to pieces with the snow and Peter being at home for four days in a row. (He likes us to do things like HOUSEWORK which is much lower on my agenda when I'm in writing mode) 

Then, Quirkyshop - it needs quite a bit of amendment now it's live. Lovely Tracey and Jez are testing it for me. I guess I worry that I won't be able to do it.

But I will.

And they have offered to help me so what am I worrying about?

So, I'll just get my head down and go for it.

Starting from NOW

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Drip, drip, drop ...

When the sky is cloudy Your pretty music Can brighten the day 
Drip, drip, drop When the sun says howdy You say goodbye right away...

Okay so I know it's not April, but it's certainly drippy...

Even I balked at the idea of carrying hay bales two miles across the fields! It wasn't too bad  in the car though we were sliding a bit diagonal at times. Now it is officially UNPLEASANT - raining, slushy, cold and windy. Not at all Christmas card pretty.

The horses were certainly pleased to see some green bits.

Today...oh the excitement. I'm going to put up the outside fairy lights. (This is fairy lights for the outside, not lights for outside fairies, although I expect most of them DO live outside)

I AM going to wrestle with the Paypal thing for my website - I have website, I have Paybal business account. How do I get them to talk to each other?

When it's all done it will be a triumph! A triumph over incomprehension and cyber-stupidity.

Friday, 3 December 2010

A jogging blog!

For some strange reason the snow is still here. Perhaps the -4 degrees temperature might explain it?

My car is still buried so I jogged - yes, JOGGED - to High Hurstwood across the fields and it only took 40 minutes instead of the hour it took to walk yesterday.

The horses are still enjoying themselves. I think they'd play snowballs if they had opposable hooves.

Peter met me at the pub in the Volvo and we went to Tesco and laughed at the people with 30 loaves of sliced white bread and 10 gallons of milk in their trolleys. I mean...COME ON!

It reminds me of last year in the snow when I called on our very elderly neighbour  to see if she wanted any shopping brought in. I was thinking bread, milk, a few twigs to make a fire etc. However, she said " I'm dreadfully low on mangoes." You couldn't make it up, could you?

I never did say the I got to the finals of the Kid In The Front Row screenplay contest, which delighted me. The top five scripts go to Joe Leonard, editor of Glee which would impress me more if I'd ever watched Glee.

And Balloon Days has a website...

And today I MAY be able to launch Quirkyshop...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

I was laughing on the other side of my face.....

No, no - I didn't slide into a ditch - just there was SO MUCH SNOW even I, Mrs.I Will Set Out No Matter What, I'm Not Chicken, had to adjust my plans. For a start, the car had disappeared under a snowdrift.

Soooo - instead we walked! Peter couldn't get to work, so we walked across the fields to the yard and back - an hour each way - and it was glorious. We didn't take the dogs, even Roly, because we thought their feet might turn into solid blocks of ice.

The snow was above the top of my wellies, but soft, so it was easy to forge a path through in a King Wenceslas manner with Peter as my pageboy.

Tess was very pleased to see us and we moved hay bales into the right places so it was easier for her to feed the horses if she had to do it all on her own.

Then we walked home, via The Hurstwood where we had a restorative Guinness.

Every day should be like today!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I'll be laughing on the other side of my face...

...if my gung-ho attitude towards driving in the snow causes me to slide off the road into a ditch!

I think it's GOOD FUN! 

Yesterday, it had snowed but it was so mild it was like slush. The roads were cleared. It was only like a rainy day. So WHY do some people feel the need to drive at 15 m.p.h? Fine when it's frozen, but...REALLY!

Today was a little hairy - especially with my rear-wheel drive car - but I got to the yard and back and now the horses are stocked up with hay so I don't need to go back later. Unless I feel like some more fun!

I'm VERY glad I postponed my trip up north, though. Glad and sad, because it means I'll miss the premiere of the film 'Damage' -  a drama about domestic violence for which I wrote the screenplay. Break a leg doesn't seem a very appropriate thing to say in the circumstances...

More larks with HTML ensue. I will prevail!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

I'm like a child in the snow!

Perhaps not all children. Not the wimpy, wussy kids who whinge about the cold and want to stay indoors toasting their tiny fingers on a hot Play Station - no, the REAL children who like to be out in all weathers and get excited when they pull back the curtains and see that it's all white out there!

Had a great time up at the yard, because horses are like children too in the snow. Gambolling and bucking and spinning round and sticking their noses in it . Roly, yellow labrador, loved it too, racing about like a puppy and rolling just for the sheer delight of it.

Now - to move offices so I have an official Quirkyworks HQ that's not my bedroom!

Still struggling with HTML code, but I'll get there. Come hell or high water...or snow.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Happy Monday

No, actually, quite a frustrating Monday, if you must know.

Mountains and lakes on the kitchen floor (this is code for dog poo and wee) and also splatters of blood from a cut on Quink's paw...

An hour queueing on BT in a desperate attempt to speak to a real live person on behalf of an elderly neighbour whose phone has been cut off. (She hadn't paid a bill since July!)...

Unable to upload story samples to the eShop, needing HTML code and it's a bit beyond me, though I don't do so badly for someone of my age and gender! I think it's a prerequisite to be male, under 40, and a geek.

Wake up, Tim! Mummy needs you :)

I'll update if there's any progress

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Blogging? Moi?

Why blog? Why ever not?

Exciting times...

This coming week will see the launch of Quirkyshop where I shall sell Quirky Tales and Sleepytime Tales...

And, the premiere of a film called Damage for which I wrote the screenplay...

So this blog is by way of marking momentous times. Scary but momentous.