Murder on Tyneside

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Thursday, 31 March 2011


The unthinkable happened this morning.  The wind suddenly turned stronger and blew our lovely new swing across the drive!  I couldn't believe it.  We had a cover over the whole thing, so we think the wind got underneath and whipped the frame on its side before moving it from its place behind the house.
We had a swing for many years when we lived in Surrey and nothing like this ever happened.  The cover, the frame - everything stayed firmly in place.  Anyway, it is back in position at the moment and we have taken off the cover and the canopy, so hopefully it will stay in place now.

I really don't know what else to say at the moment, as this episode seems to have taken the wind out of my sails - so to speak!!! :-)

Might be back later!!


Okay, I am back and I am feeling fine.  The skeleton of the swing is still in place, despite the strong gusts of wind we have experienced this afternoon. Another reason I might be okay, is because a friend called and we mulled the whole thing over, while having a couple of strong G&Ts.  I am convinced that talking things over with friends while having a G&T or a glass of wine, works wonders.  Now I need to sort out our tea or dinner, as some people call it.  That might not be so easy. But we shall see.

Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Dead End Day!

Bit of a dead end day today! Weather has changed from warm and sunny to cold and damp.  Not exactly raining - just damp.  Not sure what to do with myself.  I could clean out this room I use as an office or I could sort out some cupboards in the kitchen or tidy the drawers in the bedroom or I could even dust around the sitting room.  However, I don't feel like doing anything like that.  Therefore I am spending a little time catching up with my novel.  Not sure where it is going at the moment.  Sadie, Lucy, Connie and Jenny have slowed down, so now I must jump start them again.  Well that is the plan.  Whether it happens is something else.  But at least I have a plan!  Someone once told me that when you have a plan, you will find the solution.  They must have been out of their mind!

Also I will have to give some thought to paying the balance of our holiday to Nidd Hall.  It is due and I don't want to lose the lovely rooms I have booked.  I say rooms, because some friends are going with us, which makes it more fun. The rooms are in the main building and have lovely views, as they look out over the terrace and down towards the lake.

Hope the weather is better where you are!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Bowls day went well.  At least it did for most of the players, my bowls seemed to have minds of their own.  I can't recall playing so badly for a long time. 

This morning I decided to clean under the bed.  It isn't easy when the bedroom isn't very large and you have to keep pushing the bed from one side to the other, hoping that the cleaner is going to reach under to where no man has gone before.  How does so much dust find its way under there in the first place?  Ah, well, not to worry, because it is clean now.  I on the other hand am tired and hot and bothered.  This is why I thought I would sit here and announce to the world that the floor under our bed is clean, because how else would anyone know whether it was or not??  People don't make a habit of calling in to look under my bed.  Come to think of it, there must be countless things that get cleaned periodically, whether they need cleaning or not.  It just goes to show how much time and effort goes into doing something that you know will need doing all over again a short while later.

I think I will spend a few minutes lazing on our lovely garden swing, while I ponder on this matter.  Perhaps I will come up with something that will start a whole new revolution.

Later, I will try to add a few words to my novel 

Those of you that don't know, my first novel, The Trojan Project, is a thriller.  However, this one is more light-hearted.

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Bowls Day

Yesterday, my day of nothingness, ended up with me doing a little bit of everything.  I sat on the new garden swing, I watched a couple of episodes of that lovey series, The West Wing and I watched Dancing on Ice.  All in all, I had a great day!

This afternoon, I am going to play indoor bowls at our social club.  You must understand that I am not good at playing bowls - indoor or otherwise and as I haven't been for the last few weeks, I am certainly not going to be the star attraction today.  However, I will give it my best shot! 

I did try my hand at darts a while back, but even after several weeks of practice, I found there were times when my dart didn't even hit the dartboard, so I have given that up as a bad job.   No point in messing up the club walls, is there?

I might even get a few words added to my novel, later today.  The characters have gone very quiet on me, I guess they do need me after all.  There was a time when they did their own thing and I was beginning to enjoy the direction in which they were heading.  However, it seems I will have to give them a few ideas and hopefully they will carry on by themselves for a while.

Have a good day, everyone!

Sunday, 27 March 2011


Today I am going to do nothing at all.  That's right! Absolutely nothing!  The swing is in position and if the sun continues to shine, I might get the chance to try it out this afternoon.  On the other hand, I could look at a couple more episodes of The West Wing for the umpteenth time. Or I could take a little walk to bump start the diet, which is still trying desperately to get a foothold.  I also have a new book to read. It's called Revenger, by Rory Clements and if it is anything like his last book, Martyr, it will be hard to put down once I start reading it.  Actually, I could read that, while I am sitting in the swing in the sunshine. 

Who would have thought a day of doing nothing would put me in such a dilemma?   I will let you know what I decide.

Meanwhile, one thing is certain, no matter what else I decide to do, I will be glued to Dancing on Ice this evening. Tonight is the final, so I can't possibly miss that.

Cheers to one and all

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Got it Together!

Those of you, who have been following the drama of our garden swing, will be relieved to learn that it is now up and running - well, at least swinging.  You can all now breathe a sigh of relief, as we finally put it together yesterday morning.  By we, I mean my husband and I.  Friends had offered to come and give us a hand, but we decided to have a go at it first.

We had one or two set backs, when we, by that I mean my husband, didn't check the instructions. Does this sound familiar?  In fairness, I have to say that the instructions were a tad sparse in places.  There were times when the information could have been a little more forthcoming.  Nevertheless, I'm sure you are delighted at the news that the whole thing is now in working order and I won't be woken in the night with the thing screaming to be let out of the box in the garage.

Went to a book fest at Latimers, Kelso bookshop this morning.  The whole thing was to promote an anthology called Border Voices on Border Ruins, which had been produced by the Borders Writers Forum.  The theme of the Antho is Ruins and my contribution is a non-fiction piece about the history of The Border Abbeys. (Scottish Borders)  The anthology is available to order from bookshops or  Several people from the Forum were there to read their work to the public.  The other work in the anthology includes Poetry and short fiction.

I will get back to my novel, this afternoon and see what the characters have been up to while I was helping to put up the swing yesterday.  I didn't look at it yesterday, as after the swing was finished, I sat and watched a couple of episodes of The West Wing to relax!

I don't know whether you ever watched The West Wing when it was on TV, but it is a really great series.  I bought the full series on DVD and I would watch it all day, if I could.  The characters are wonderful and I love the banter that goes on between them.  I'm telling you, if I had to choose what to take with me on a desert island, it would be The West Wing.  I really wish it had continued for another series when President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) ends his eight year term at the White House and President Santos (Jimmy Smits) takes over.

Keep smiling and please keep dropping by!

Friday, 25 March 2011

More Thoughts

The swing is still in the garage.  Those who have just joined me and my blog, won't know that I have a garden swing waiting to be set up.  It's in its box sitting in the garage.  Wednesday was haircut day (social event) and yesterday we were at Berwick, so today, we may get around to getting the swing sorted.  Must do it soon, because I can hear it in the night.  It's screaming to be out of its box and into the sunshine.

The orange four leaf clover has weaved its first spell, because yesterday I was told I had won a small prize in a competition I entered last week.  It was the first time I had ever entered that particular competition, so how about that??  I shall definitely keep the orange four leaf clover safe!

The diet is still waiting to get started.  However, today might be the day.  I have a low calorie meal in the fridge for this evening, so perhaps it will motivate me.  The problem is - wine.  I really do enjoy a glass or three of wine during the early evening, which means the calorie intake is off to a rocky start whatever day I decide to set the diet in motion.  Willpower is what I need.  If I say that a few times it might work - though I have doubts.

My husband has gone to look at the swing in its box, so I had better get out there as it recommends two people put the thing together.  This means that might not get any further today.  On the other hand, when I switch it on later, I could find that the characters have moved on without me!! Ever hopeful.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

This and That

Hair cut day was fun. Wine flowed, conversation was brilliant and yes, in the middle of all that, my husband did get his hair cut.  However, the next time, I think my friend will have to do the haircut immediately she arrives.  Yesterday, we'd had a couple of drinks before she got around to setting out her hairdressing tools, and my husband felt the scissors snipping a little too close to his ear for comfort!!

Went to Berwick today to meet some friends for a coffee. We met at around 12.30pm at the Garden Centre and had a very pleasant couple of hours chatting about this and that. In short, we put the world right or at least the world as we know it.  Well we had a good stab at it anyway!  If only the powers that be would listen!

In our post today, there was a letter addressed to me personally, not Mr & Mrs Thornton, just Mrs Eileen Thornton.  The sender was advertising a retirement home in the town centre.  I have to say that I have had several such letters from this company over the last year or so.  I am curious as to where they got my name and address.  Their source obviously doesn't know that my husband and I are living together quite happily and I am not considering a retirement home on my own.  Perhaps I should inform them of this, on the other hand, it does mean that once in a while a letter will drop through my letterbox.  Though it wasn't handwritten with a stamp on the envelope showing the Queen's head. Instead it was a flyer in an envelope with a big black 1 on the front.

I had a message on my mobile recently saying 'Congratulations I had won a bright top up prize' and that it would be sent to me very shortly.  Well, it has arrived - I have won an orange four leaf clover.  I'm not really sure what I am supposed to do with it, but I will keep it safe, as it might bring me luck over the next year.  I'm not Irish, but I do have an Irish name.

Take care!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Hair Cut Day!

A friend is coming around this afternoon to cut my husband's hair. Her husband usually comes along too, so we make a social event of it. Wine is usually involved somewhere down the line. - Actually, by that, I mean that wine is the main event - the hair cut is simply a 'by the way'.  It can even get in the way of a lovely afternoon - if you see what I mean.

The haircut, sorry, social event,  means the swing will be sitting in its box in the garage for another day.  But it is still early in the year for sitting outside on a garden swing.  Though it is a lovely morning here and really quite warm.

The people next door are having their paving cleaned.  The guy has just knocked on our door to say that my car might get a little dirty if the water splashes over onto it.  I told him that I probably wouldn't notice the difference.  I think he was quite amused!

The diet is going nowhere fast.  I really need to get a grip on that.  However, today is not a good day to think about diets, because it is haircut day!  So for the time being, I will have to stay away from any mirrors first thing in the morning. is coming along nicely.  The characters are still doing their own thing, which they seem to be getting good at.  This means I don't have to think too hard about what to write next.  Perhaps now is a good time to see where they are going to lead me today.  At least up until the social event begins!

Have a nice day

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


We might have a go at putting up the swing today.  Then, again, we might not.  Perhaps it's too early.  Maybe we should wait a while, at least until March is out.  We will see what the day brings.

My novel is progressing.  The characters are still doing their own thing, however, I have decided to let them be for a while and see how it pans out.  Perhaps they know best.  I would hate to ruin a good plot because I got in the way!

Signs of grey are showing in my hair.  Should I continue to use some colour to hide them, despite it making my head itch. Or should I leave the stuff off and let it do as it pleases. (Everything in my life seems to be doing it's own thing)  Trouble is, I still need to lose weight, so what with that, and having grey hair, I am going to look very matronly. 

From the above, you'll note that I haven't fixed up a diet yet.  I was thinking about joining a group, but they all seem to hold their meetings in the evenings and I would rather go along in the morning.  I find it better to step on the scales before I have eaten anything. 

I'm sure a few more dilemmas will arise duing the day, but that's enough to be going on with.

On a positive note - I am going for a shower.

Just thought I might add a snippet here.  So far the swing is still in its box sitting in the garage, as we had to fill out the census form! They seem to want to know every single thing about me and my husband.  Could we have got the wrong form by mistake?  Have we just offered our services to MI5?  Oops!!

Might get to the swing tomorrow.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Weighty Problems

I woke up this morning an looked in the mirror. I try not to do that first thing in the morning, as it depresses me or sends my blood pressure up. Either way, it's not good.  So I tend to wait until I have had a cup of tea before glancing at my reflection. However, this morning, I broke the rule and took a look - I have got to lose some weight!

I realise every glance in the mirror, whatever time of day, tells me that I need to lose weight. But this morning, that first glimpse of me, after crawling out of bed, convinced me that I must do something drastic.  So I will have to give dieting, some serious thought. I will let you know what I come up with.

Beautiful morning. I went to see my doctor. Nothing serious, but I think it is a good idea to pop in once in a while, simply to let them know I'm still around.

Waiting for the post man. I wonder whether he will have anything for us this morning. Surely someone, somewhere has sent us a letter. By that I mean a proper letter. A letter, which someone has gone to the trouble to write. And then put a stamp on the envelope and gone out to the post box to post it. All we ever seem to get are bills or flyers asking us to vote for someone or something.  Or people asking for money for a charity.  I don't mind that, as I do give to charities, especially animal charities, but I can't do it every day. Probably won't get any mail this morning after all my grumbling!

Met some friends on my way to the Doctors. I stopped the car to say hello and while we were chatting, my friend's husband spotted some water dripping onto the road from the front of the car. "Probably condensation," I said. However he said he would take a look and asked me to open the bonnet. (hood for any Americans who might be reading this to while away the time.). "I don't know how to do that," I replied. "I usually get someone else to look inside there." Of course my friend and I laughed, but her husband's expression was that of  - 'silly woman' or something similar!

However it's true. I have never had to open the bonnet/hood. Why would I? The car is serviced regularly. The men at the garage do everything that needs to be done or at least I hope they do. The bill tells me they virtually take the thing apart and put it back together again every time they see it. So why would I feel the need look under the bonnet?

Anyway, it seems it was condensation after all, so we'll leave it at that.

Off to hang out the washing - yes, it's Monday!

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Okay, it is Sunday today, but you know what? I don't care! There was a time when I hated Sundays - no mail through the letterbox, not many emails in my inbox, most shops closed, etc. etc. But I seem to be getting over that. now. I don't know why, because nothing has changed. Perhaps it's just me getting older. I shouldn't have said that. Older sounds bad, maybe I should say I am more mature. Now I sound like an old frump. Best change this subject while I'm ahead.

I am still waiting to hear whether a publisher likes the first few chapters of my romantic novel, Only Twelve Days.  I wrote it before The Trojan Project, my published book, was even thought of, but I couldn't find a publisher. However, I have tweaked it a little, so I hope that it will do better. I'll let you know more on that at a later date.

Someone has asked to be friends on Facebook. So I am going there now to say Yes. Can't have too many friends, can you?

Might be back later with an update, but as it's Sunday, there probably won't be anything else :-)

Enjoy your day wherever you are.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Sunny Days

Lovely sunny day again today. Could spring be rearing its head? Two sunny days in a row and I am itching to get our shiny new swing out of its box.

Added more words to my novel yesterday and am going to have another go at it now. However, Connie, Sadie, Jenny and Lucy are still doing their own thing. I really have got to do something about that. They are starting to freak me out!   (It doesn't take much to do that)

On the other hand, it must be great for them to be able to do their own thing when the world is pulling most of us this way and that. What on earth am I talking about? They are fictitious characters for goodness sake - not my next door neighbours.

I best close for a while and get a grip :)

Friday, 18 March 2011

I have added a few more pages to my novel, Despite my efforts, all the characters are still doing what they please. I really need to get a grip.

However, thinking back, my characters in The Trojan Project also did their own thing and it was published anyway - and I got some great reviews, so I must have done something right - I think!

Back tomorrow, after I have added more to the story.


It is a lovely sunny day and a van has just delivered a new garden swing. I am looking forward to spending some great summer days sitting out in the garden sipping wine and thinking about nothing at all. Sounds wonderful, don't you think?

Meanwhile, back here on planet earth, I have to get on with my new novel, It's about an online dating agency - at least that's how it started, but I'm afraid the characters are taking over and doing their own thing. I am going to have to rein them in.

I'll let you know how it goes.