Murder on Tyneside

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Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day

I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. I guess we are all wondering what is in store for us in 2012. Will this be the year when all our dreams come true. I suppose it depends on what we are dreaming about.

You must all know how much I am looking forward to the republication of my novel, The Trojan Project. If you don't, then I guess you must have been out each time I sent the memo. It has gone around the world a few times now. The CEO of the publisher has had a few personal problems, which is why it was delayed, but hopefully it is on course now. The publisher has set up a new Website and now you can become a member and subscribe to the newsletter when it all starts up again. If anyone is interested in doing that then go to Moongypsy Press.

We haven't ventured out today. I decided I wouldn't join the crush at the sales, though I gather from the news that some shopping malls are packed.. Instead I think I am going to curl up with a book. I must be old fashioned, but I recall in times past, all shops were closed both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Sales began in January. Best time for them, if you ask me.... but nobody did, so now they start Boxing Day.

I think that is all for the moment, but do keep checking back. If something special happens, you'll hear it here first.

Have a lovely day wherever you are


Sunday, 25 December 2011

Season's Greetings

I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas & A Happy and prosperous New Year.

Wherever you may be, have a Great Day,

Back soon


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

More of This and That!

It seems ages since I last posted anything on here. To be truthful, I haven't had very much to blog about, though those that know me well will be saying,'When has that ever stopped you?'

We have had severe gales here, in fact it was so bad, Bits and Pieces day had to be postponed! That has got to be a first! Then just when we thought we had got rid of them and were looking forward to getting out, we woke up the next morning to find snow! Thankfully that didn't last too long.

In between the gales and the snow, my husband had more hospital and Dr's appointments to keep. Fortunately, the hospital was the Borders General, which isn't too far. At least we didn't have to travel to the hospital in Edinburgh, the one with the terribly hard seats. I'm not sure we would have risked going up there with the weather situation. I think we would have had to cancel.  Anyway, after a cardiogram and a monitor stuck to his body for two days, he has been given some new pills, but I gather the side effects are not good, so we will have to wait and see how he reacts to them.

I have written and posted all my Christmas Cards and delivered our presents to my sister and her husband. That is another good thing. We were able to go down to Newcastle on Tyne quite easily this year. Last year the snow came so early, we had to make a quick dash there and straight home while there was a lull in the storm, so to speak, so we missed seeing my niece, who was at work.

I am still looking forward to the republication of The Trojan Project. You will recall that it was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully it will appear in January, but I will pass on more news as soon as I have it. So all those of you who are sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for the announcement, hang in there for a little while longer.

Meanwhile if anyone would like to press the like button at the top of the page I have set up on facebook, I would be very grateful.

We were at the MS Christmas lunch last Sunday. It was very nice and we all enjoyed catching up with people we only see now and again. This Sunday, we are going to the Ruby Wedding celebrations of a cousin. So I do hope the weather behaves itself for the journey there and back. Fingers are crossed.

On Friday evening we have been invited to a little get-together with some friends. Looking forwrad to that. Obviously a glass or two of wine will be on the agenda, so we will all have the Festive Spirit in more ways than one!

I thought you might like to see a little thing, I made at a website recently. Just follow the link and sit back and enjoy my husband and I as no one has seen us before.
Take care everyone and enjoy your Christmas, wherever you may be!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The New Laptop

The new laptop is up and running!! However, I should add that everything didn't just fall into place in a few minutes. No! We had a few problems along the way. For a start, when we went to download all the stuff copied from the old laptop, it appeared no less than three times. Yes, for some unspeakable reason, I had three copies of every single thing!! Photos, documents, letters, everything. In the end we decided to delete everything and start all over again the following morning. We even cleared the memory stick or whatever it is you call it, in case it had something in there that might cause it to happen all over again.

However, by the morning,the old laptop had cunningly figured out what was going on and decided it didn't like the idea of having everything removed and placed into the bright new spark that was now sitting on my desk. Therefore, when I switched it on in readiness for the big changeover, the screen remained black. Everything was whirring away inside, so we knew it was loading up okay, it just wouldn't let us see anything.

Anyway, after a great deal of head scratching, my husband dismantled the whole thing and took out the hard disc and placed it in some neat little gadget, which allowed all the stuff to be copied on to his computer so it could be saved on the memory stick and then uploaded onto the new laptop.

Thankfully, all is well now, except for some reason I found I have 2041 email addresses in my contacts. Some people are in there four times. So I guess the old laptop had the last laugh after all. As I had no intention of going through the whole procedure again, I am simply deleting the extra addresses as and when I come to them.

Strictly come dancing is on this evening. I wonder who will be voted off this week. Like everyone else, I will have to wait until Sunday evening to find out, but I hope it isn't one of the better dancers!

I hope you are having a good weekend.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

New Laptop

You might recall that I was having a few problems with my laptop. It was freezing, blanking out, and doing other strange things. Well yesterday the screen started to turn pink when I had left it for a while. I don't know why. Perhaps it was frustrated at me going off and leaving it - who knows what gets into these things??

Anyway, I decided enough was enough and today we went out and bought a new one. At the moment, my husband is in the process of setting it up for me, so I am still using the old one. However, once he gets everything up and running, he will transfer all the stuff from this one. I say all the stuff, but I don't really mean that. I really need to sort out some of the folders on here. I can't possibly pack up all the rubbish on here and simply dump it in the new one. For heaven's sake, it could be that all this stuff tucked away in corners I don't even know about, has wreaked havoc with this one.

No! A good clear out is what is called for and that is the first thing I am going to do tomorrow!! But where do I start? How do I know whether I am deleting something I am going to want next week? It's a bit like that in our house. I hang onto things for ages because I believe they will be needed. My drawers and cupboards are full of bits and pieces that never see the light of day from one year to the next.

Perhaps I will have to keep this Laptop in the cupboard just in case I need something hidden away in one of the folders. My husband is going to love that!!

Have a good day!!


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Shopping Again

I met my sister and my cousin in Newcastle yesterday. We had coffee and chatted before going our separate ways. My sister took the bus home, while my cousin went off to meet another friend who she hadn't seen for a long time. At least I think that is where she was going. I tend to lose the thread when we all have so much to say!

As for me, I went shopping! Newcastle is wonderful at any time of the year, but at Christmas, when all the shops are decorated and the Eldon Square has coloured lights everywhere you look, it is a sight to behold. I should also mention Fenwick's shop windows - they are so beautifully adorned with moving elves and other characters from Fairy Stories. And somewhere above your head, there is a speaker blasting out Christmassy songs. Every year they have a different theme. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. Someone must start planning this at Easter!!

Anyway, after taking all this in, I went off and did a little more Christmas shopping. And I rounded off the day with a glass of chilled white wine in Marks and Spencers. They have a lovely cafe in their Food Hall, where you can sip coffee, tea or wine, while watching the shoppers dashing around the counters looking at all the goodies to eat.

I think I have worn myself out just thinking about yesterday, so I will leave you with this thought - the wine was delicious!!

Have a good day!


Monday, 14 November 2011

Diet and Other Things

The big thing today is that I have decided I must go on a diet.  Okay, I can see you cringing already.  I know you have heard this before, but, believe me, I have heard it a lot more times than you, so please be patient. Yes, I am going on a diet. Starting today, I an cutting back on all non-essential food and drink.... Well almost all. Obviously, I will still have the occasional Gin & Tonic or a glass of wine. Why on earth would I want to give up on the staff of life?

Anyway, my mind is made up and it is now written in stone as I have posted this news on facebook and twitter, as well as telling you about it here.  So there is no backing down now. Also, I did a bit of walking today to get me started on the process, so I wouldn't want that to go to waste :-)

The other thing I have to say is that my novel won't be published in the USA before the New Year. However, that does not mean that you can sit back and forget about the whole thing, because I won't let you. No! I will mention it now and again, and most certainly spread the word of the release date as soon as I have it.

Meanwhile, I hope you are having a good day and that you are not plagued by weight problems!


Monday, 7 November 2011

Ready and Raring to Go!

On your marks... get set.......GO!

Phew!!! After approving the final edit of The Trojan Project, I have just returned it to the publisher in Nevada.  Hopefully, it is now ready for re-publication in the USA. I have ordered and received some postcards and magnetic calendars for 2012, which I intend to send out to various establishments in the States.  If anyone has any addresses of places in either the USA or any other part of the world that would display these postcards, then I would love you to get in touch. Meanwhile, I will continue to trawl the Internet. (I am certainly getting my money's worth from my Broadband at the moment)

The book will available from the publisher Moongypsy Press or Amazon 
It would make a superb Christmas Present for anyone who enjoys a good edge of the seat thriller. It is set in Northeast England and mentions a few of the towns and villages in the area - not least, the small market town of Wooler, which nestles at the foot of the Cheviot Hills.  It is here that the novel begins....

(If you order a copy from Amazon, please make sure you order the new revised copy, showing the brand new cover, as above.)

Met up with some writing friends this morning. We had a good natter about the trials and tribulations of finding a publisher and also on marketing and promoting your novel once it is published. It sometimes makes me wonder why on earth we bother to do it. Nevertheless, after a good moan over coffee and scones,I think we all got it out of our systems and departed on a high note - which, hopefully, will last a few days :)

I am off to relax now. All that staring at the computer screen over the last few days, has made my eye balls dazzle. At the moment, I feel as though they are both in one socket!!

Hope you are having a lovely sunny day wherever you are, it's gorgeous here in the Scottish Borders.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Strange Request

I have just had a strange request from someone who stumbled across my blog this morning.... Thinking about it, perhaps the request is not so strange really, as whoever it is, is simply trying to promote their business and who can blame them for that?

He/she is called Dovi from Lithuania and has asked me to review their hand felted slippers on my blog. Now, please be clear, I can't give a review, because I have never tried them, nor can I say I endorse them, as I have never even seen them for real. However, just for the pure heck of it and because I am in a fairly good mood, I will pass on their website address here and you can log on if you wish. For heavens sake, you have got to give the person something for trying.

But this is the first and probably the last time I will do this.

Things have been hectic here for the last few days. My husband's medication had be raised and it caused his blood-pressure to rise and his pulse to race. However since the dose was lowered again, he seems to be back to normal. Phew!
We also had to have a trip to the hospital again. Thankfully, not the one in Edinburgh with the terribly hard chairs, but our local General Hospital, where the seating is of a more comfortable nature.

At the moment I am preparing envelopes filled with postcards and calendar magnets all showing the cover of my novel, The Trojan Project, to send to various places  in the USA as soon as the book has been released. Finding addresses is the most difficult part, but I am getting there.

Now I am off to hang out some washing before the weather changes.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Back to the Drawing Board.

Yesterday I went to Newcastle again yesterday to meet up with my sister and cousin for a chat over coffee - well it was a bit early for wine, so that came later! My cousin was full of cold, but had made the decision to still meet up, because she likes to keep up with what is going on in a different world to hers - as do we all!!

Anyway, after we finished coffee, I went to look around the shops before meeting up with the lovely lady I mentioned a month ago. We couldn't talk long, as I had to get back to Kelso for a talk on wine (more on that later) and she was doing some shopping of her own. Nevertheless, it was good to see her again, even for a short while. We will have to try to meet up another time, when we both aren't in such a rush.

As for the wine school, I'm afraid I didn't get to it after all. Oh, I was there on time - 6pm - 7.30, the invitation said, but unfortunately for some reason it had been changed to 6.30 - 8pm and quite frankly, I didn't feel up to hanging around the shop for 30 min waiting for it to start, so I left. I was shattered after my shopping trip, but still went to the talk because I said I would, but felt I couldn't stay there till 8pm. I will have to make my apologies. I do hope it went well, though.

Today is bits and pieces day, but it has been postponed until tomorrow, as my husband isn't feeling too well today. So now it is back to the drawing board, with my novel, I must try to get my head around it, as all the characters are doing what they like and I am sitting here watching them.

Perhaps pressing my finger on the delete button and holding it there will teach them a lesson. But I won't hold my breath.

Have a good day whatever you are doing.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Is It Safe to Come Out Now?

Yes, say I, as I peep out from behind my desk.  I think it is safe to come out now. My new Website is still working and the Internet hasn't crashed after my feeble attempt to set up the Website for The Trojan Project. I had feared the worst, as I am in no way technically minded.

My personal Website, Freelance Writer was set up for me by my husband and while he is not an expert, he has taught himself to find his way around a computer after reading every book published on the subject.  However, I prefer my reading matter to be more light-hearted - something enjoyable and in no way work related.  Anyway, the site is up and running and I would be grateful if you would check it out sometime.

I am now going to have another crack at my novel, I have no idea what is going on there. Now the women are having a row. I hadn't expected that, so I am in no way ready to cope with it, so I have been putting off the evil moment of trying to sort it out and decide where they are going to go from here. All this has been going on behind my back while I have been enjoying a book called Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. It is a really good read. I recommend it if you are looking for something to keep your attention. I didn't want to put it down, which is how I abandoned my ladies and allowed them to get into the mess they're in now

But before all that, I'll have to come back to earth and peg out the washing. There's always something to bring you down when you're on a high, isn't there?

Have a good day,


Monday, 17 October 2011

New Website!!

I have just set up a new website for The Trojan Project in readiness for its re-publication later this year. I must tell you that I have done this all on my own and that this an achievment in itself.

I spent all morning fiddling and phaffing around, clicking on this, deleting that until I was almost blue in the face. I lost stuff, and then found stuff, I didn't even know I had. But I got there in the end. At least I hope I have. My fingers are crossed that it is all still there when someone logs on and that I didn't wipe the whole thing when I left. 

If anyone would like to visit this new site then the address is:

I would also be grateful if you would pass on this rivetting piece of news, because I really need all the help I can get.

Have a great day!!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Catching Up!

I think this must be catch up day. I have just realised that it has been a few days since I left any blogs. The problem is, everything seems to have been very quiet in my life and I don't really have anything much to blog about. Not for the beginning of the week, anyway. However, yesterday my friend and I took the bus from Jedburgh to Newcastle. This meant I had to get up extra early, as we have to drive the ten miles to Jedburgh to catch the bus at around 9 o'clock.

Okay, you are all thinking that 9am isn't so bad. Well I'm afraid it is for me. In the mornings I need to get my head around things before embarking on the world, even if there isn't much going on in my day. For a start, I need to take my pills and read the newspaper with the TV blasting out the Breakfast News behind me. After the pills are washed down, I then have a cup of tea and continue to read the paper, only glancing at the TV if someone special is going to enlighten the world with their wisdom. (Which doesn't happen very often) Or if someone like Johnny Depp makes an appearance. This ritual is written in stone and must take place before I even think about taking a shower and getting dressed. Therefore rushing this regime is doomed to failure. So you see, to be able to do all this before rushing out for a bus, means I have to get up extra early and getting up extra early is not really me.

Anyway, we had a great day in Newcastle. I say 'day' in Newcastle, but it is only a few hours, as we have to be on the bus again by 2pm to come back to Jedburgh. Nevertheless, we did get around quite a few shops and had a giggle at the same time, so we plan to do it again sometime in the coming weeks.

Today we went to the new Sainsbury's supermarket. The town has been waiting for this to happen for over ten years. Why has it taken so long? Won't go into that, but I'll simply say that the town is rejoicing at last. The store is large with lovely wide aisles and plenty of stock to choose from. Wonderful stuff!!

I can't remember whether I mentioned that I have ordered some magnetic calendars to promote my novel. There will be a picture of the new book cover next to a calender for 2012. If anyone has any suggestions where to send these calendars to get the best possible notice, I would be grateful.

Have a good day,


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Friendly Blogger Award

I have just been awarded the Friendly Blogger Award by Teresa Ashby.
 A big thank you, Teresa. How nice of you to think of me. I would also like to award the Friendly Blogger on to several other people, who blog regularly. I can name a few, but if any of you would like to pick it up, then please do so.
Pat Newcombe, Linda Lewis, and Vee. Stop by their blogs and see what they have to say.  However, all those blogs shown at the right-hand side of my page are good, so drop by those, too. (And if they would like to pick up the award, then please do so - you deserve it.)


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sins of the Father

Last night my husband and I went to see the play, Sins of the Father, written by Tom Murray. It is currently doing a tour of the Scottish Borders. The play has a cast of two and lasts for about seventy minutes.

A man and a woman meet in a remote cottage. Why are they there? How do they know each other?  What is the history that brings these two people together? To answer any of those questions would be to give away the plot, which I am not going to do. Instead, what I am going to do, is to suggest you all go along to a venue near you and check it out for yourself.

Below is a list of venues where you can still see the play.

Sins of the Father by Tom Murray with Lesley Hart as Emma and Jordan Young as Robert.

Lesley's stage work includes Future Proof a 2011 Edinburgh Fringe first at the Traverse. Other work includes:
I Was a Beautiful Day,  Shimmer and Outlying Islands. Film and Television work include Casualty, Fast Romance and Taggart.

Jordan’s stage work includes Black Watch and Gagarin Way. TV work includes Rab C Nesbitt and Legit.

Directed by John Carnegie. Scenery and Costumes designed by Gregory Smith.

'The winds batter a remote cottage in the Borders. Emma enters this 'animals' lair' for her long planned encounter with its owner, Robert.Years before, the worlds of Robert's father and Emma's mother collided in a way that would affect their children's lives forever. Today, that situation is going to be resolved.'

Tense, passionate, edge-of-the-seat theatre, Tom Murray's involving drama was joint winner of the inaugural Rowan Tree Playwrighting


Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
Saturday 8 October 7.30pm

Box Office: 01750 725777 & online

Village Hall, Smailholm
Sunday 9 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Smailholm Pottery 01573 460 666 & online at

Biggar Corn Exchange
Wednesday 12 October 7.30pm
or on the door

Carlops Community Hall
Thursday 13 October 7.30pm
Tickets: Carlops PO or on the door & online at

Coldstream Community Centre
Friday 14 October 7.30pm
Tickets: Clark's Newsagents, Coldstream
or on the door & online at

Wauchope Hall, Town Yetholm
Sat 15 October 7.30pm
Tickets:Yetholm Village Shop 01573 420366 & online at

Monday, 3 October 2011

Saturday & Sunday

Saturday passed rather quietly. Nothing happened, not that very much happens here on a Saturday, but this week, nothing even tried to happen. Altogether it was a rather deadpan of a day.

Sunday, was different. On Sunday, we went out to lunch with the MS Society. It is a chance for a natter and to find out what is going on in other people's worlds.  But more than that, the meal is planned, cooked and served by someone else!!  Not that I make a drama out of making meals anymore - no, those days have long gone. The least said on that the better.  Nevertheless, it is still nice to have someone else plan the whole thing  for a change.

The lunch itself was very nice, though rather slow in being served, but a couple of glasses of wine helped to stop us all noticing that! I had Roast Beef followed by Lemon Cheesecake.  The Cheesecake was delicious, really lemony.  My friend, who likes everything to be very strong-flavoured, would have been very impressed.

We chatted with our friends, before, during,  and after the meal, as it was the first time we had met up in a while, so we had rather a lot of catching up to do.

Now we are back to Monday again and one day this week we will have to go for our Flu injections. Not something to make your socks roll up and down, but if it helps to keep the Flu away, I will go with the flow...

Hope your day flows well,


Friday, 30 September 2011

Post Cards

The postcards I ordered to help advertised the republication of The Trojan Project, arrived this morning - all 500 of them!  Therefore if anyone wants a postcard from me, let me know, as I'm not sure where I am going to send all these.  No doubt something will spring into my mind at some point. I suppose I could send them out instead of Christmas Cards this year.

Meanwhile if anyone has any brilliant ideas as to how I can use all these cards to market my book, then get back to me. ..........  Details on a postcard please!!


PS. Those who enjoy entering writing competitions might like to take a look at NAWG.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A Busy Day

Yesterday I went to Newcastle. Those of you who have read any previous blogs will know that I adore going to Newcastle. Yesterday was no exception. It was brilliant!!  The sun was shining, which made everything seem even more delightful than usual. Also the dreaded journey there and back was enhanced by the late summer sunshine.

I say dreaded journey, though it's not so bad really. However, it takes around an hour and a half to get there and the same coming home, so it does add quite a lot of travelling time to the day.

I met my sister and cousin and we chatted over coffee, then I went off to look around the shops. Naturally I had to spend some money, but not a lot. I'm saving some for the next trip, when I hope to have lost some weight.  But let's not get tangled up with that subject, it is something I don't want to dwell on when it is such a lovely day outside.

Anyway, back to Newcastle. After checking out everything possible, I went for my customary glass of wine in M&S before going back to the car. They have a cafe in their food hall and it is lovely to sit there and watch everyone struggling with their shopping, while I sip a glass of cold white wine. A lady came and sat close to me and we started chatting. She told me she only lived about ten minutes walk away, and she was relaxing before setting off home. We talked about everything and by the time I left, I felt I had known her all my life. It even turned out that she knew of someone I went to school with! That is one of the wonderful things about Newcastle. The people are great!

Today I booked up for lunch on Christmas Day. It has become folklore in this house that we go out for lunch on Christmas Day. None of the hassle of getting the turkey in the oven and wondering whether it has been cooked long enough. No! We go out and let someone else take the strain, even if we have to pay more to do it!

Now I am off to have another crack at ordering some tickets from a website. All I am trying to do is to order two tickets for a play to be held in The Wynd Theatre, Melrose. An easy task, you might think, but not so. Whatever I do, I get a notice saying 'There was an error when we tried to process your request.'  I even tried ringing the number given, but a recorded message told me that I would find it easier to buy the tickets on line Grrrrrr!!!

I am off for a glass of wine to soothe my troubled nerves before steam starts to come out of my ears.

By the way. There is still time to add a LIKE to The Trojan Project page on facebook -


Monday, 26 September 2011

New Facebook Page and more.

I have started a new page on Facebook for the republication of The Trojan Project.  By that, I really have just started the thing and have no idea where to go from here.  However, I have been assured by those who know about such things that I really need to get the page noticed and 'Liked'.

I stress the word, Like, because it was repeated several times so I guess this is very important. Therefore, I rreally would appreciate it if you would go to the page and click on the 'Like' button as though your very life depended on it. Here is the link:

I know this looks a longwinded link and I'm sure I could do something about it if  only I knew how. But until I learn more about it, you will have to bear with me.

I went into the Berwick branch of Tesco today. I wandered up and down the aisles adding this and that to my trolley. I didn't think I had chosen very much, as the trolley wasn't overloaded.  However, when I got to the checkout, I had the place in an uproar.

Someone came to assist me unload the trolley onto the belt, as I was having a problem in keeping up with the guy who was rattling away so fast on the thing that was about to call time on the money in my purse. Suddenly, he stopped and suggested he would help me with the packing, which was a really good idea, otherwise we could have been there all night. He loaded the frozen stuff into the freezer bag I had taken with me and then continued to haul the rest of my stuff past the little red light that was adding £££s to my bill at the speed of light. By now, there was no room at the other end of the checkout to put the stuff the guy had checked out, so he had to leave his till and come around to dump the items he had packed back into my trolley.

Thankfully, by now all the other items had been unloaded, otherwise the things I had already paid for could have taken a second trip past the wretched flashing red light.

When I finally paid the bill, which was creeping towards £200. I thanked the staff, and assured them I had kept them in a job for another week!

Can I just say here, that if you are confused by this blog, then you aren't the only one. I have developed a headache. I am going to have a G&T now, while I am still ahead! Not sure that is the best treatment, but it beats swallowing a pill.


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Brand New Cover

I am so excited. This is the new cover of my novel, The Trojan Project, due to be republished in the USA later this year. The novel has be re-edited for the American market and is with the final proof-reader at the moment. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be well received. 

Friday, 23 September 2011

Home Again!

Just got home after a lovely week at Littlecote House in Berkshire. We both really enjoyed our stay. We had planned to visit several towns in and around the area, while we were so far south.

I paticularly wanted to see Glastonbury after reading a novel based on the area. I also rather fancied a trip to Bath, and I also wanted to go to to Oxford and visit the places immortalised on the TV screen by Inspector Morse. However, we did none of those things, instead, we spent our days languishing around the hotel. There as so much going on during the day that neither of us wanted to get back into the car and drive around the congested roads only to find there was no where to park when we got there.

We joined in with the quizzes, we watched the plays, so ably acted by the Littlecote players, and we strolled around the beautiful grounds. We also visited the Roman mosaic, first set out in AD640 and still wonderfully preserved. And in between, we read books and sipped wine. Absolute bliss. In the evenings we watched the shows, again put on by the Littlecote players. They are really a very talented bunch.

So you see, there was absolutely no time to go flitting around the countryside. Perhaps we will go again next year and forgo the pleasures of the Hotel. After breakfast we could go out to see all the things we should have seen this year. But we shall see what happens when to time comes, my guess is that we will do the same thing all over again.

Now back to the washing and ironing, while watching a couple of episodes of the West Wing.  Yes, I am well and truly home.

Don't forget to check out 'Behind Closed Doors' by Brian L Porter on Amazon.

Have a good day!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Notices! Please read.

I have a couple of things I would like to draw to your attention.

1)    A novel called 'BEHIND CLOSED DOORS' BY BRIAN L PORTER is now available on both and  As the publisher is making a donation to an animal sanctuary in Yorkshire for every copy purchased, I strongly urge you check out this book.

2)   I hope anyone near enough to one of the venues in the Scottish Borders, shown below, will check out this play by Tom Murray


'SINS OF THE FATHER' BY TOM MURRAYWith Lesley Hart as Emma and Jordan Young as Robert.

Lesley's stage work includes Future Proof a 2011 Edinburgh Fringe first at the Traverse. Other work includes: I Was a Beautiful Day,
Shimmer and Outlying Islands. Film and Television work include
Casualty, Fast Romance and Taggart.

Jordan’s stage work includes Black Watch and Gagarin Way. TV work includes Rab C Nesbitt and Legit.

Directed by John Carnegie. Scenery and Costumes designed by Gregory Smith.

'The winds batter a remote cottage in the Borders. Emma enters this 'animals' lair' for her long planned encounter with its owner, Robert.Years before, the worlds of Robert's father and Emma's mother collided in a way that would affect their children's lives forever. Today, that situation is going to be resolved.'

Tense, passionate, edge-of-the-seat theatre, Tom Murray's involving drama was joint winner of the inaugural Rowan Tree Playwrighting


Bowhill Theatre, by SelkirkFriday 30 September & Saturday 1 October 8.00pm

Tickets: 01750 22204 & online at

Tower Mill, Heart of Hawick
Tuesday 4 October 7.30pm

Box Office: 01450 360 688 & online

Macfie Village Hall, HeriotWednesday 5 October 7.30pm

Tickets on the door & online at
Coldingham Village HallThursday 6 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Coldingham PO 01890 771831

The Wynd, Melrose
Friday 7 October 8.00pm

Tickets: 08432 898 555 online

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
Saturday 8 October 7.30pm

Box Office: 01750 725777 & online

Village Hall, SmailholmSunday 9 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Smailholm Pottery 01573 460 666 & online at

Biggar Corn ExchangeWednesday 12 October 7.30pm

or on the door

Carlops Community HallThursday 13 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Carlops PO or on the door & online at

Coldstream Community CentreFriday 14 October 7.30pm

Tickets: Clark's Newsagents, Coldstream
or on the door & online at

Wauchope Hall, Town YetholmSat 15 October 7.30pm

Tickets:Yetholm Village Shop 01573 420366 & online at

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thursday - The Usual Plus More!

As you know, Thursday is bits and pieces day. We start with coffee and scones at our local garden centre cafe (They make the most delicious scones) then we go to the post office, the bank and finally WHSmiths, where I buy my lottery ticket in the hope that I am going to be a millionaire before the week is out.

However this morning, I thought I would pop into the food store. We only have one store in the town at the moment, we are all waiting with baited breath for Sainsbury to finish building their new Supermarket and I'm sure the staff will be blown away with the number of people herding in there on opening day. You see the town have been waiting so long for a proper supermarket, everyone, will all want to shop til they drop for fear it disappears overnight. I have lived here for thirteen years and talks have been going on about which store and where it should go since before we arrived!

But I digress, (besides, it's best I don't go there.)  All I was going to say when I started this post, was that I decided when I went into the store this morning, I wouldn't buy any wine. The wine rack is full, I told myself, firmly, as I marched down the aisle. However, when I wasn't looking, a bottle of red wine leapt off the shelf and deposited itself in my basket. Now put yourself in my position. What would you have done? The bottle was sitting there looking up at me in such a pathetic way, how could I lift it out and put it back on the shelf. I really hadn't the heart to do that. Besides, it was so cheap, it would have been unbelievable to turn it down.  Having said that, it might be so rough, when I take a sip, it could blow my socks off!

Hope your day is good,


PS I'm sorry, I should have mentioned we have a Co-op a little way out of town. They have done a magnificent job in supplying the local people over the years. Shame they aren't on the main street.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A Brief PS

This morning, I went for the dreaded breast screening, as mentioned yesterday. 

It was even more torturous than I remembered it.  It seems a new policy is in place.  Each side has to be x-rayed twice. Yes, twice!  First, you have to contort yourself into a totally unnatural position and hold it, while the very life is being squeezed out of you, then you are asked to relax for a nano second, before being put into another awkward position. Then, just when you think the world has gone absolutely mad and you can see stars twinkling in your eyes, you have to do it all over again.  I felt as sick as a parrot when I left. :(

Might I recommend that a glass of wine should be offered once you have undergone this treatment. It's the very least they could do.

I only hope the results are good and I don't have to go back and have the whole thing done all over again!


Monday, 5 September 2011

Spending Money!

It has been a week since I last posted on here. Where does the time go? On the other hand, I haven't really done anything or been anywhere worth mentioning, so perhaps that is one of the reasons I have given my blog a miss.

However, on reflection, I went to Newcastle on Wednesday. Now that is something worth mentioning. I can't believe that I didn't tell you earlier.  I love going there. On this occasion, I met up with my sister and cousin and we chattered for over an hour, before going our separate ways. I spent the rest of the day wandering around the shops, spending a few £s here and there.  I took out a mortgage and bought some Jimmy Choo perfume and some rather expensive face cream.  However, as the perfume makes me smell  lovely and cream is working itself into a frenzy to keep the wrinkles from my face, I guess they are both worth the money.  I also bought myself a skirt, some slippers, which don't look anything like slipper, but make my feet look good and two shirts for my husband.  I only wish we lived a little nearer to Newcastle. Though my husband probably thinks we are close enough!

Saturday morning I, and two others were on duty at our social club's coffee morning. This entails helping to make the tea and coffee and clearing away the debris afterwards. There was also a garden produce competition last Saturday. Friends and neighbours took flowers, fruit and vegetables to be judged and then they were all sold off to the highest bidder.  The produce was excellent, a great deal of hard work certainly goes on in our village. I should add here that I did not enter the competition. I'm afraid our garden is not fruitful, nor do I intend it to be. We are not gardeners, though we have had some lovely gardens in the past. But those days are over - well over!

Our friends spent last week in York and thoroughly enjoyed their break. I gather they went everywhere and did everything possible during their stay. They climbed up towers and went down dungeons, therefore, I think they will be sitting with their feet up for the rest of this week!

Tomorrow morning I am going for that torturous thing called breast screening. I wasn't able to attend the date they suggested, so they very kindly gave me another. I say kindly, though it could just as easily be called sadistically.

On that note, I am going to leave you now. I suddenly don't feel so good,

Hope your day is going well,


Friday, 26 August 2011

Strange Sounds Coming From My Ka

The Blackberry is working well. I seem to have got to grips with it at the moment. I don't think I am using it to its full potential, but I can work the thing and do the things I want to do, so it can't be all bad,

Not much else to say really, except I went to the hairdresser's yesterday.  On the way there in my little Ka I saw a couple of friends coming towards me in their car. As we both had to slow down to pass each other, I decided to flash my headlights in a sort greeting.  It was then that I heard this awful screeching at the back of my car. I felt awful, I thought I had run over a rabbit or something and I would hate that to happen.

When I rolled down my window to speak to my friends, the screeching sounded louder. I told the chap I could hear a terrible noise coming from the back of my car and asked if he could hear it, too. He listened, as another screeching sound could be heard. Do you mean that noise, he said with a serious look on his face. Yes, that's it, I replied. Do you know what it is? All sorts of things were running through my mind, If I hadn't run over something, what could it be --- probably something expensive!! Yes, he replied. You've got your back windscreen wiper on!

I felt such an idiot. Instead of the headlight lever, I had pulled and pushed the wiper lever. The front ones were wiping, too, but I hadn't even noticed. At that point, we both moved on! I'm sure he was muttering something to his wife, but by then, I was concentrating on not hitting a workman, who was fixing a wall.

Hope you have a good day!!


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

My New Blackberry!

At last, I have reached out beyond my limitations and have touched the Twenty First Century!!

Yesterday I bought a Blackberry. How about that?  Mind you, I have no idea how the thing works, but I am learning, albeit very slowly. However, this means I am up there with the in-crowd, wherever that might be. So world, watch out, because I can see myself as a female Del-boy, rushing around clutching my Blackberry and a filo-fax and shouting, next year we will be millionaires --- and we all know what happened to Del-boy!

Seriously though, it is amazing what this thing can do, when in the right hands. By that I mean someone who understands this technology and knows how to use it properly. I doubt the poor thing  will ever reach its full potential with me. However, I needed to buy a new mobile, as mine was starting to get the messages in the inbox all mixed up, (and no, that had nothing to do with me) so I thought I might as well go for this new-fangled thing called a Blackberry.  Well it's a new-fangled thing to me!  Didn't I just say that I had only touched the twenty first century yesterday. 

I will let you know how I get on, meanwhile, I have learned how to send a text on it and make a call and with a bit of luck and a fair wind, I might even have sent an email. Though I'm not sure who to at the moment.:-)  I will have to wait and see who replies - that is if they receive the thing in the first place.

I was shattered last night, and a glass of wine was definitely called for!

Okay, I am off to learn some more!

Hope you all learn something new today,


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Quiet Days

Not only was Thursday bits and pieces day, but this time around it was haircut day, too. Haircut day is when my friend comes around to cut my husband's hair and we all have a merry time drinking wine and talking about weird and wonderful things.  Thursday was no exception, though she and her husband couldn't stay too long, as they were preparing for visitors the next day. Nevertheless, it was a good afternoon.

I can't for the life of me remember what I did on Friday, except put a few more words to my novel It can't have been a day to make my hair stand on end, otherwise I would have written about it before now. Saturday, well Saturday came and went the same way as Friday, so I guess I really need a bit of excitement at the moment.

Today, I sent three chapters of my to a friend to read through if she had a minute to spare. She does this sort of thing for an appraisal company, so thought she might tell me if I was wasting my time. I warned her that it was a story about nothing. I mentioned I had reviewed a book, which was all about something and nothing and quite honestly, I enjoyed it immensely.  This set me thinking that I could do that. I could write a book about something and nothing with the best of them, so that was how got started.

Anyway, back to my friend.  As soon as I pressed the send button, I wondered whether I had done the right thing. What if my friend hated it, what if she thought it was rubbish (she could be right) what if...  But I had sent it now, so that was that. As it turned out, she liked it. She made a few suggestions, which I have taken note of and will  do something about it at a later date. Of course, she might be just being kind, but I'm putting that out of my mind and staying positive.

I have just had a short session on the Wii. Little and often is my motto. After all, I don't want to knock myself out, do I? Nevertheless, I worked off some calories, so that can't be a bad thing.

I am in the process of setting up a page on Facebook for The Trojan Project, when it is re-published in the USA later this year. I really need to get it known out there, so if anyone has any ideas on how to go about it, I would love to hear them.

Meanwhile, I might go and check out what has been going on at The West Wing - that lovely series, which was shown on TV a few years back. I am absolutely crazy about it.

Hope you are having a great weekend


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Odds and Ends

I finished reading the manuscript and returned it to the editor. I have since learned that it is now in the hands of a copy editor in the USA for final proofing, so things are moving on. I understand I will receive it back for another read through, then hopefully we are on our way.  So, USA, my novel, The Trojan Project is coming your way, I hope you guys are ready for it.

Another wet morning. Tesco has just delivered the groceries, so there is no need to go out. I guess that is something.  But this is supposed to be summer, for goodness sake. Didn't someone get the memo?? 

However, staying home means I can add a little more to my new novel, It has been a little quiet there for a while. I took a look yesterday, but nothing had changed. There was a time when the ladies did things without me telling them to - they simply took over the whole plot. Yet, now when I really need some help with it, they are sitting around doing nothing - probably reading my blog!  Especially Sadie.  She's the one with some spunk. She says what she thinks and means what she says.  Ah well, I'll have to see if I can pick up the thread.

I am also going to have another stab at losing weight. Yes, I know I have said all this before and I really do start off with good intentions, but somehow I slip back into my old habits.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

I hope there's some better weather where you are,


Sunday, 14 August 2011

Rain, Edits, and Things

We have had a lot of rain this past week. Actually, we have had a lot of rain for the past month, but I don't want to go there. As it turns out, I hadn't planned to go anywhere over the last few days, which was rather lucky as I would have been drowned. Instead, as you will recall, I have been working with an editor to get my novel, The Trojan Project, ready for the American market. It is to be republished in November.

I think we are almost there. I have just finished reading the whole thing through, after the alterations and now it is his turn. He is going read it through and return it to me for a final check, before sending it on to the publisher. I tell you, my eyeballs are just about falling out. But I won't give up now.

You will also recall I mentioned my computer in my last post. How it has been shutting down on me when it felt like it. By the way, I am whispering now, as I am sure this thing can hear my thoughts, but I want you to know, that no sooner had I finished my last post, than the whole thing closed down again. And, if that wasn't enough to make my socks roll up and down, it did it again, just as I was editing my novel. Thankfully, I had saved everything, so nothing was lost. But it is still annoying.

We went out to the Cross Keys for lunch today. We quite enjoy going there, as the staff are so friendly and the food is good, too. Plus, and this is a big plus, it saves me having to think about what we are going to eat. Now I am going to put my feet up and watch a couple of episodes of The West Wing.

I haven't heard anything back about my blood tests, so they must have been okay.

Well I think that is all for the moment. However, if anyone wants to check out my website, go to

Have a nice dry day,...... When I say dry, I mean weather-wise not... But you know what I mean!!


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nothing Going On!

I'm afraid things have been very quiet here of late. I have been beavering away with an editor of the American publisher, trying to prepare my novel, The Trojan Project for the USA market. However, we are almost there, so I guess I will be back very soon.

I should add that nothing too drastic in my novel has been changed. What we have mainly had to look at, is the difference in spelling. When I first wrote the story, my PC kept wanting to change my spelling into American English and I had to keep telling the thing to ignore it. Now I have had to change everything back and I think my PC is getting some sort of kick out of that, as it keeps doing weird things, like shutting itself down. Fortunately, it doesn't lose the whole story in the process. Or it hasn't up to now!

My Computer (I give it a capital C here to tell it how important it is in my life) has been having these funny turns for a little while now, but not as often as recently. Either it is being smug and getting its own back or the thing is ready for the big PC junk yard in the sky. I suppose I could have it checked out with one of these PC doctors. But some of them cost a fortune to cross the threshold, while others don't really seem to have a clue what to do.

Ah well, I think I will see what happens next. I am definitely one of those people, who like to wait and see. No point in rushing into anything, is there?

Hope your PC is working okay,


Friday, 5 August 2011

Is it really a week since I last posted?

Is it really nearly a week since I last posted something here? Doesn't the time fly? I will need to have a think as to what I have been doing these last few days, as nothing exciting springs to mind.

On Monday I heard that the guy, who has been appointed to edit my novel, The Trojan Project, for the American publisher, had received the manuscript.  (Did I tell you that my novel was going to be republished in the USA??) So I guess you could say that most of the week has been taken up with me going over the novel chapter by chapter with him.  He sends me a few chapters at a time via email, so that I can approve the alterations and so far it is looking good. I rather like what he is doing with it. So here's hoping that the Americans will love it.

On Wednesday I went to Newcastle to meet up with my sister and cousin. Needless to say, we chattered for ages over coffee. It was good to see them both again. When we finally split up, I went to look around the shops. I think I have mentioned before how much I love going to Newcastle. I just wish it was a little closer to where we live. Or perhaps not, as I would be there every day!!

I tried on a couple of dresses, but I didn't didn't like myself in them. The dresses were lovely and they did actually fit, which is something really worth adding here.  But I think I felt there was is a little too much of me, to do them justice. In the end, I bought myself some tights and hair conditioner. However, I also bought two shirts and a pair of trousers for my husband. Then I trotted off to enjoy a glass of wine in Marks & Spencer's cafe in the food hall, before going home.  Now that is something. If you haven't tried doing that, you have missed a treat. You can sit there with wine, coffee or tea, whatever you fancy and watch the world go by, while relaxing after looking around the shops. Such Bliss!

This morning I went to have a blood test. I had received a letter from the surgery saying it was time I had a test to check that the tablets I take for my Thyroid were still working okay. Needles and I don't get on. By that I mean any kind of needles, sewing needles included, but I have to say those vampire-like things they use to take blood or to inject something are the worst. When will they come up with those injection gadgets they use on Star Trek. No one on that ship felt a thing when they had to have an injection for anything.  I guess we are a long way off that at the moment.

Later, I am going to have a go on the Wii.

And that is my week in a nutshell. Nothing there to make your socks roll up and down, but if anything crops up later today, I'll be back with all the info.

Just a quick PS
This afternoon, after I had done 30 mins on the Wii, I decided to tackle the ironing. I have finished now and it went over like a dream. A glass of wine and an episode of the West Wing certainly helps me get through the most dreary jobs.

Have a good day, I just did!!


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saturday - A Lovely Evening

Yesterday was very quiet. I forgot about Zara and Mike's wedding, so missed it. I still can't believe that I forgot about it. That is not like me at all. Something is happening to me, which I am not comfortable about.  Some people say these things happen as you grow older. But, as I am sure I have mentioned before, I have a problem there. I don't want to grow older. I never wanted to grow older. Yet, some well meaning person put my name down when I wasn't looking and now I am stuck with the whole concept. If only I could find the list of names, I would scratch mine out! There is absolutely no justice!

Anyway we had a lovely evening, which made up for the missing the wedding thing. We were invited around to a friend's garden for drinks. Very civilised. We all sat in the garden sipping our drinks and chatting until the sun went down. Then we picked up our glasses and went indoors, where we continued with the conversation, the laughter and the drinking. I have to say, we all had a really lovely time. So in the end, all was not lost and I am sure that Zara and Mike will forgive the fact that I missed their wedding. I did see this morning's Daily Mail and I have to say that Zara looked wonderful. I'm sure they had a really lovely day.

I hope your day went well.


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Funny Old Week

This has been a strange week. Everything and nothing has been going on.

On Monday... Sorry, I can't even remember what I did on Monday, so it can't have been anything important. However, I can remember what I did on Tuesday.... I went to the hairdresser's to have my hair trimmed and blow-dried. I quite enjoy having someone fiddling around with my hair - it's rather relaxing. I made the most of that on Tuesday, and didn't do anything else. The reason for this was because, I was saving myself up for my appointment at the eye hospital at the Borders General Hospital on Wednesday.

I had started to see some flashing lights. I won't go into all the details, except to say that I do know you need to see someone if you start to see flashing lights. However, after an examination of my eyeballs, the doctor said that all was fine. So I came away a very happy bunny. The rest of Wednesday was taken up with introducing our friends to Ten Pin Bowling on the Wii. We had a couple of drinks and a few laughs.

Today both my husband I I had appointments at the doctors, before going off to get our bits and pieces in the town. As you will recall, Thursday is bits and pieces day. So as you can see, this week so far, has all been something and nothing. Nothing is planned for Friday, but on Saturday, we are off to a friend's garden for a natter and I am sure a glass of wine or three will be involved.

More on that later,

Hope you are having a great week.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Elderflower Champagne!!

On Friday afternoon, a friend called to give me a sample of the Elderflower Champagne she had made. I thanked her and put it in the fridge. On Saturday evening, my husband and I decided to try some while watching TV.  I have to say it was really GORGEOUS!! We both really enjoyed it. In fact, it was so good I had a refill.  The consequences? ----------- This morning I slept until 9.15am without flinching and my husband's blood sugar levels rose by 6 points.  It's really good stuff, so we are going to have another crack at it this evening!!

This afternoon was so lovely, we whiled away a few hours sitting on our lovely swing. It is such a shame that we haven't been able to use it much. The weather here has been far from warm. Very wet, actually. Anyway, today we made full use of the swing after we did a little clearing out in the garage. Yesterday I decided - no that's wrong! I declared that we would make a start in sorting out the garage. You have no idea what the inside of our garage looks like. 

I included myself in this venture and believe me, when I say I will help sort the garage, you must realise that things are desperate.  For one thing, I am terrified of spiders, and secondly, -- I am terrified of spiders and from that you will realise that I don't like spiders and that I am aware that spiders of all sizes run wild in there. They appear from nowhere. I sometimes think they lie in wait of me popping in. Then they leap out and start running around all over the place. When this happens, I let out a yell, and the whole street knows that I have seen a spider somewhere!!

Phew!! All this talk of spiders has made me feel queasy. Now is the time to have a drink of my friend's Elderflower Champagne!!

Have a nice, spider free day.


Saturday, 23 July 2011

Tights! What is Going On!

There has been a great deal of talk about M&S underwear of late. Some say it isn't up to their normal standard. I can't say I have noticed that, but what I have had a problem with is their tights.

At one time I could pick out some tights knowing that they were going to fit like a glove. I should add here that I did need to choose the Large size. However a little while ago, I found that the large size were enormous, so I opted for the Medium size. Again these were too big. Therefore on a third visit, I chose the Small size, yet these were also too big. Actually, too big are not the right words - the legs were so long, I could have almost pulled them up over my whole body and tied a knot at the top of my head!!

I still buy M&S tights, but have to opt for the body support tights, as they are firmer and don't stretch beyond where they are meant to. But I still only need to buy a medium size. I suppose that sounds good, really, but what it means to me is that whoever supplies the tights in the first place, must think that British women are giants.

So far today, I have done some washing and changed the bed covers, which means more washing. In turn it also means lots of ironing later this afternoon.

Have a good day!


Friday, 22 July 2011

My Ka

This morning I had to take my car to have the tyre looked at. It looked as though I had a slow puncture. The garage wasn't very busy, so three men came across to check it out. My car was hoisted into the air and jacked up and the wheel was removed. Everyone tramped out into the yard and watched as my wheel was lowered into a large dish of water. There were a few mumbles between the men, before it was decided that the little knob where the air goes in was faulty. (I can't think of the name of it at the moment)

Anyway, we all trundled back into the garage and this little knob was changed. Then again we all went outside to the dish of water. At first it seemed like there was another leak in the rim, but then the water stopped bubbling so we all gathered that the little hole or whatever had sealed itself. Phew!! For a moment I thought I was going to have to buy a new wheel!!

My wheel was re-attached to my car and driven off the lift thing! And the sum total for this was..........£2
Yes! Only £2 I thought it would have been more than that for the little knob thing, never mind the labour of three men.  Well done those three men.

Now it's back to my novel.

I hope all your wheels are intact!!


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Phone Calls

This morning I had a phone call. It was one of those calls where when you find out that the person on the other end wants to sell you something, you hang up. However, I found that this time the woman on the other end of the line was talking about the PDSA.

As I am an animal lover and do support animal charities when I can, I continued to let her speak and only interrupted to inform her that I had already agreed with an earlier caller to sell raffle tickets on their behalf.  She thanked me for that, but then went on to suggest that I might like to consider including the PDSA in my Will and would I be interested in receiving a booklet telling me how to go about it. I laughed and told her that in no way was I even close to thinking about popping off just yet!

Hopefully, I still have a few good years in me - there is so much I want to do. Besides, we have just bought a new TV and stand and also subscribed to BT Vision and I certainly intend to get my money's worth. Nevertheless I said she could send the booklet.

Anyway, we had a good laugh and I think I made the lady's day. Not a call she will forget quickly.

Have a good day!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011


PS. I have just got to start working on the Wii again. I need to try to get fit!!  Bit of a long shot, but worth giving it a go.


Wedding Celebrations

On Saturday we were invited to an Evening Wedding Reception. It was being held in Gateshead, so we decided to spend a couple of nights in Newcastle at the Millennium Bridge Premier Inn. The evening was a great success and we wish the happy couple lots of love and happiness during their life together. The bride looked beautiful, but for some reason I didn't get the chance to tell her, so I will write to her and her new husband this week.

On Sunday morning, we spent a few hours in the Sage in Gateshead. It was very pleasant, as there were some musicians and singers in the main hall. We found it to be very relaxing sitting with a coffee, listening to them all. The Sage is a magnificent building standing above the River Tyne. It houses two concert halls and we were able to look down on one of them from a view point. I have to say it was very impressive.

We came home yesterday and are now back to normal. I have done some washing, which will have to be ironed shortly, while my husband is reading. Later today. I will also have to finish reading the book I was sent to review. I did get some reading done at the Premier Inn, but didn't get the book finished.

I must also finish editing the short story I have been writing so that I can send it off.  Somewhere in between all this, I will have to give some thought to doing some housework. As I said ---Back to normal!!!

I will have to give up writing this now, as I have come over peculiar after mentioning housework. It does have this effect on me, I don't know why I speak of it at all, when I know how many problems it gives me.

I hope your day isn't filled with problems!


Friday, 15 July 2011

Bits and Pieces Day

Yesterday was bits and pieces day. It is the day we pop into town and pay the papers, look at the magazines, call at the bank and then look in the dress shop. There is more than one dress shop here, but this one is next to WHSmiths, so I can leave my husband in there, while I browse the stock in M&Co.  There is a sale on at the moment, but I wasn't tempted, as we seem to have spent so much money lately, I thought I should give my card a rest.  Not that it wanted to rest. No, when I spotted a rather nice long white skirt in my size, it almost exploded to get out of my bag, but I pushed it back in sharply and closed the zip tight.

We also have coffee and scones at our local garden centre on bits and pieces day. I have to say they certainly know how to make good scones. Mine never ever turned out like that. I used the phrase, never ever, because I don't make scones any more. Why bother, when you can get better ones at the coffee shop?

Tesco delivered our shopping about an hour ago. When you see the van from the window, it is all hands to the pumps. The guy is following a schedule and can't hang around, so we empty the baskets as fast as we can and after bidding him farewell, we set about clearing all the stuff strewed around the kitchen. Not an easy task, but we get by.

Tomorrow evening, we are going to a Wedding Celebration, so that is something to look forward to.

Meanwhile I shall try to get some writing done.

Have a good day,


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The DVD is installed - whether it likes it or not!!

Good News! Our DVD was installed last night. We waited until it thought it was safe from tampering, before sneaking up on it.  My husband then plugged in all the necessary leads into the back as quickly as possible, while I held onto the front incase it decided to try to slip off the stand and make it's escape! Then we switched on! There was a wobbly moment, when the DVD image came onto the screen and then went off again. It did this twice. One one occasion, the image turned a very pale colour and we held our breath.  At this point, I reckon the DVD box was trying to pull the leads out, but thankfully, they held fast. I reckon even they were getting tired of being handled so much, so decided enough was enough and stayed put.

So now everything is working or at least it was last night. Fingers crossed this evening when we switch on in case the DVD has been working out a plan to mess us around again.

Apart from that, all is well in our world.

Have a good day


Monday, 11 July 2011

My Body is Aching

Oh my goodness! I could hardly get out of bed this morning, I was so stiff! I guess it was all that bending up and down yesterday when we were putting the new television stand together and then getting everything transferred from one stand to the other. It seemed to take up most of the day.

I felt a bit better after a hot shower and decided to do some polishing and dusting to make the room look bright and sparkling after its new make-over.  The old television stand is made from wood and looks just like a coffee table, so after polishing it like mad, it has taken on a new role and is standing in the middle of the room, sporting a vase of flowers.

As for the DVD, (I am whispering now) we are going to wait a few days, before trying to re-install it. We need to let it think it is safe and then pounce when it is sleeping. Some of these gadgets can be so temperamental.

I won't be doing much else today!

Hope your day goes smoothly.


Sunday, 10 July 2011

End of the Saga

Okay everyone, the moment of truth came today at 11am when two men arrived to deliver our TV stand.  I asked them whether they knew they were to take the old TV away and they said no they didn't. No one had mentioned it. It wasn't on the paperwork.  He we go again, I thought.  However, after peering at it from all angles, the two men lifted our old TV, lumbered out the door and placed it in their van. So we bade a farewell to the Television set and set about putting up the new stand.

There weren't any problems to speak of.  All the bits were there and fitted together without too much fuss. The main problem came when we had to dismantle the DVD, Video and BT Vision box and set them all up again on the new stand.  Why are there so many wires and plugs for each piece of equipment?  You wouldn't believe the tangled mess we have behind our TV set.  Anyway, after fiddling around for what seemed like an eternity, things are working, well almost. The DVD is unhappy with the new arrangement and has put its foot down about being installed. So we are leaving it for the moment until it gets used to the idea of being on a lower shelf.  Then we will sneak the leads in while it isn't looking and switch on.  I hope that does the trick.

There is no need to use the Wii today. I have had enough exercise acting as the labourer to last me for a few days. My poor knees and hips are almost dropping off with lifting things up and putting them down. I am absolutely knackered.  Goodness knows what we will eat tonight, as this cute little chick is finished for the day. 

I am going to settle down with a glass of wine and watch Midsomer Murders - yes I have seen it before and can probably mouth the script with the characters, but does this face look bothered? I don't think so.

Hope you are having a great day!


Saturday, 9 July 2011

The New Television Saga Continues

We have still got our old bulky television sitting on the floor by the dining table.

My husband telephoned yesterday and spoke to some one in India, (at least it sounded as though she was speaking from India).  He explained all over again that we were waiting for someone to collect the old TV.  However, he was told that they didn't do this.  Trying to stay calm, he told her that only the day before, someone had delclared that it would be collected.  He also mentioned that website, where the TV was ordered, stated that they did their bit for the environment, by collecting the old equipment. It is stated in three places on the site: one of them being in the terms and conditions.  I gather there was a lot of huffing and puffing, before the woman went off to talk to her colleague.  When she returned the reply was the same, the website was wrong.  How my husband kept his cool, I don't know. 

Not wanting this to rest, my husband then got back onto the website and after clicking on various links, he found another phone number.  Taking a deep breath, he dialed the number.  This time he believes he was speaking to someone in the UK.  The person looked at our order and told us our old TV was due to be collected on 10th July when they delivered the stand.

So now we are waiting to see what happens tomorrow, when the stand is delivered. Believe me, we will be home. Our feet won't cross the threshold tomorrow for fear of missing the delivery and, hopefully, the collection.  In a way, I think I will be sad to see it go.  I have become a little attached to it sitting there on the floor by the table.  But it certainly can't stay there.  We need the space. I am also considerating getting rid of our hostess trolley - I'm not sure they make them anymore - I have had it for around twenty years, but I haven't used it for some time.

Stay tuned for an update on the old TV.

Have a peaceful day


Friday, 8 July 2011

New Television

Yesterday our new television arrived. Our neighbour very kindly took it in. We were under the impression that we would receive a text an hour or so before it arrived. But this didn't happen, so that's why we were out when it was delivered. The plan was that the delivery van would take away the old one, so that also didn't happen. Now we have two TVs in our room, our shiny new one and a very large bulky old one.

Why is it that things never go to plan? When we ordered the new one, we were assured that the old one would be taken away. However, it seems that the firm used a National Carrier to deliver our order, so I doubt they would have taken it away even if we had been in. Nor would they have unwrapped it and taken away the packaging, as we were told would happen. Or would they? Apologies if I am wrong here, but as far as I am aware, they run a courier/delivery service.

My husband rang the firm once we carried our TV across the road and they said someone would call to pick up the old TV and would ring in the next four hours to give a time. That was yesterday and no one has been in contact. Therefore our heavy TV is still standing next to the dining room table.

I wonder whether we will hear anything from the company today. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for our new TV stand, which we ordered from the same company at the same time as the TV. Wouldn't it have been a good idea to deliver both at the same time? It seems not.

Anyway, to get over the whole experience, I had a glass of wine. I doubt there is a better antidote for solving problems.

The new TV is great. It seems to be working okay and we are pleased with it. It is certainly easier to move around should you need to get to the back where the plugs etc are.

Incidentally, I met my friends in Berwick yesterday for a natter over coffee and scones. It was very enjoyable, as I hadn't seen them for some time.

Have a good day,


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

BT Vision Day 2

Our BT Vision box seems to be working. Last night we fiddled around with the remote to see what we could be able to watch, should there be nothing on the terrestrial channels - which often there isn't.  Anyway, it seems we can download films, drama, comedy etc, via our broadband hub (marvellous, isn't it) so there should always be something we can watch. Well that's the theory!

This evening we are going to a friend's house for drinks. So we are looking forward to that. As for the rest of the day, I think we will be taking things easy - gearing ourselves up, so to speak. While tomorrow, I have a choice to make. Do I go to the darts and show myself up again or do I meet my friends in Berwick for coffee? The second one seems the less stressful of the two.  Decisions, decisions, thankfully the whole world isn't waiting for me to make the right one!

Take care all,


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

BT Vision

The BT Engineer called this morning. He was due after 1pm, but phoned quite earlier to ask if he could come within the next half an hour. Gosh, was there a scatter in our house after that. I wasn't dressed, my husband was still in bed and the room I use for an office was still in turmoil. (The hub for our PCs is in my office, so he needed to check it out.)  But it is my office and that's how I like it.  It seems that all the extra things we can get with this new BT Vision box come through our broadband.  So the engineer had to check it out. 

Isn't science wonderful? I have no idea how this new fangle thing works.  Actually, I have no idea how I can switch on my PC and 'talk' to people all over the world - let alone how the hub in my office can transport films, etc to our TV which is along the passage and on the far side of the sitting room, without an ariel. Perhaps it's best I don't know,as I might want to start fixing things.  The engineer was very nice and explained everything to us, at least my husband knew what he was talking about, while I tried to sound intelligent and asked a few questions.  However, I think the gist of it is, we are supposed to be able to get Demand TV, as well other things which have been on TV previously and we might have missed for some reason or another. We should also be able to watch films, though some we will have to pay for - a bit like Sky.  I'm sure there are a lot more things we can get, but I need to read up on it.

It all sounds really good, but tonight will be the big test.  Will we be able to find the things we want to see??

I hope your day goes well.


Sunday, 3 July 2011

Sunny Days

We went to The Barn at Beal for lunch today. The views from the restaurant across towards Holy Island are stunning and, as the sun was shining, it beautiful. There were quite a few people there. They must have all had the same idea as us.

Yesterday was lovely and sunny, too. They were holding a cream tea event in our local social club, but we didn't go to that. Being diabetic, there wouldn't have been much there he could eat. Okay, I could have gone and eaten for the two of us, but I decided to give it a miss. Instead, I did a few exercises on the Wii and it thanked me by telling me I had the fitness age of thirty. How about that!!  Those who know my real age will know how pleased I was, while those that don't know me will just have to keep guessing!

I have been sent a book to review and I haven't even started it yet, so I must get down to that today.  I have been putting the finishing touches to a short story, so I might get that posted off to a magazine tomorrow.  I even changed the title of the story during the editing. I wonder whether that will help.

On Tuesday, someone is coming from BT to check out what we get on Freeview. It seems we can have a new box and pick up even more channels. That is the plan anyway. Whether it comes off or not, is anyone's guess. Anyway, what I am getting around to saying, is that I will have to have a tidy up before the engineer comes - especially if he has to come into the room I have as an office. That is where the broadband router is or whatever it is they call it. I am not clued up on all these gadgets. I simply turn them on and hope that everything will spring into action. If it doesn't, then I call my husband to check it out. Anyway, getting back to the engineer, I hope he is wearing blinkers, as my office space is always in a mess. But that is how I like it and I have a magnet on my notice board saying so.

Well I had better get a start on that book - I hope they don't want the review in a hurry.

Have a sunny day wherever you are!


Thursday, 30 June 2011

A Shopping Spree!

Yesterday I went on another shopping trip to Newcastle. I think I have said before that I love Newcastle, but I will say it again. |I love Newcastle, it is a great place. I was born in Gateshead, just across the Tyne, but often spent time in Newcastle, so I feel I am going home when I visit. Now I live some seventy miles north, so it's not so easy to get there, however, when I get the chance, I do make the effort. I wandered around the shops, Fenwicks, John Lewis, M&S, Debenhams - yes Newcastle has them all and more - enjoying every single moment. I also spent some money, which made the day even more enjoyable.  I ended the afternoon with a glass of wine in the M&S Cafe situated in the Food Hall, before going back to the car to return home.

Today, I went to play darts at our social club.  I should add here that I used to go regularly at one time, but was never any good at it.  However, you may be thinking that I might have developed a better aim since I was last there.  Let me put your mind at rest right now, nothing has changed. I was less than useless.  I threw my darts like a maniac possessed.  They went everywhere, except the target.  Thankfully everyone knew better than to stand anywhere near the board when I was about to throw.  Will I be there next week?  At the moment, your guess is as good as mine, so you'll have to watch this space. Right now, I am enjoying a glass of red wine, something of a consolation prize, I guess.

Hope your week is going well,


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Drinks with Friends

Yesterday was a quiet day. I re-edited my short story and watched an episode of the West Wing.  I think I know that series by heart now. Yes, it was quiet, until around seven-thirty. That was when we put on our glad rags and went to a friend's house for drinks and nibbles.

This has become a regular occurrence. A small group of us have got together and and every so often we hold a mini 'party' in one of our homes, where we mull over all sorts of things over a drink or three. Last night was no exception and I have to say, we all had a very enjoyable evening. The conversation went from health, to politics, to tennis and the olympics We even discussed the world coming to an end in 2012!  I think the conclusion was, that if we only have a few more months left, we are certainly going to have to do some partying between now and then!

I hope you are having a party wherever you are


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

How lovely to gain an award. 

I would like to thank Pat Newcombe at Thriller Writers Blog for passing on the Stylish Blogger award to me. I appreciate this award very much.

The Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person giving you the award. (Many thanks Pat Newcombe!)
2. Share 7 Things About Yourself.
3. Award 10-15 Blogs Who You Think Deserve This Award.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

7 things about me:

1. I spend a lot of time writing and reading
2. I Love watching The West Wing!

3. I exercise using my Wii
4. My favourite tipple is wine or even a G&T
5. My favorite season is summer- I used to love the snow, but I have gone off that.
6. I am not keen on games, as they don't hold my interest for very long
7. I love animals

My 15 Stylish Blogs I pass this Award on to:



Please visit some of the above and admire their blogs! 

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Ups and Downs

Must get down to some serious writing today.  I seem to have dabbled at it since I came back from our few days away.  It seems to take me a while to get back into the routine.  One moment I am full of ideas, but when I come to write them down I seem to have lost momentum.

Yesterday I went back on the Wii for the first time since our break. The bad news is that I have put on 2lb while I was away. The good news is that I my Wii fit age is 33, so the 2lb weight gain didn't seem to matter too much. (It does really, but what the heck can I do about it?)  I'm not sure how they work out this Wii fit age, but while it is working in my favour, I won't knock it. I will have another go this afternoon and see how I do then.  I also watched a couple of episodes of The West Wing. (You will recall that I am absolutely hooked on that series and watch it over and over again.)

Today, my husband went to the surgery for a blood test or at least that's what he thought he was going for. It turned out it was for a Blood Pressure test. The one good thing was that he was supposed to there at all, as he had to set his alarm clock early to get there on time :-)

I sent my romantic novel off to another publisher today. It was the first novel I ever wrote and is still unpublished.  Anyway, I have received an acknowledgement of receipt so fingers are crossed yet again. People must think that I am arthritic, as I always seem to have my fingers crossed about something. But what else can I do? Once I have sent off a manuscript, it is in the lap of the Gods - so to speak.  If it would help to get it accepted, I would swing from lamp post to lamp post in our village singing the National Anthem.  (Watch this space)

Hope you have a swinging day,