There’s a space

Looking out of our window there is a space where there should be a smart blue Holden Monaro. It is now 10.30am on Sunday, half an hour ago two men appeared on our drive. I knew as soon as I saw them, why they were here. They had come to take my baby away. After months of reluctantly trying to sell our V8 car with the Chevy short block engine, I had a call on Tuesday from a man in Norwich who has been looking for one of these cars since 2003. He was so keen to buy it that he had transferred the money into my bank on Wednesday. I find it very odd that someone would part with that amount of money on a car he hadn’t even seen. He still hasn’t seen it as he sent a friend to collect it. So now we have a space where my car has sat for the last 16 months. Yes I am sad that I shall never get to drive it again. Owl is sad that he shall never get to hear the roar of the engine when it starts up.

Owl is now going to apply to get his driving licence back after a year of not driving. Once he gets his licence we shall buy him a cheap run around car maybe something like a Nissan micra but more likely a peugeot or something similar. Insurance is not going to be cheap since his drink driving ban.

On a brighter note, last night the two of us went to see a firework display. One that is reputed to be the best in the area every year. It was a lovely evening, although as we set off from home the rain began. It had been dry all day, but we were not put off. When we arrived it was still spitting but it wasn’t enough to dampen the atmosphere. I don’t have a clue what the turn out was but it was busy without being over crowded which was good. Whilst we waited for the fireworks to begin we each had a hotdog from one of the stalls set up among the funfair rides. The fireworks were fantastic, all set to music. I took several videos as well as photos. IMG_2156  IMG_2155  IMG_2162

It was a great evening for us especially as we don’t often go anywhere together these days.


Day tripping

Yesterday I took Skater on a day trip to Hertfordshire. Not your usual destination for a day trip, I know. We had an important reason for going. This was to be the start of Skater’s new future. We were visiting The University of Hertfordshire which happens to be in the small town of Hatfield. This was my second visit there as I was also there three years ago with Pug.  We set off at 6.45am (on a Saturday! criminally early) in the rain. Luckily the National Car Park that is M25 was the clearest I have ever seen it. We made good time and were parked and registered by 9am.

We listened to 3 different talks during the morning, explored some of the campus including the all important Student Forum where the live music shows are held. We were filling in time until the subject talks began but my son was getting bored, we managed to have a look at the TV and Film studio which was what he really wanted to see. Skater satisfied by what he had seen was ready to hit the road back home. We came across congestion between junctions 13 and 11 on M25 but otherwise the journey was good.

Today was a different type of day trip even though my companion was Skater again. This time we were travelling by train, I sent a text to Statto to let him know which train we were on. We had no idea whether he would be meeting us at the station or did he expect us to find our own way to his flat? An hour and 42 minutes later we arrived and there he was waiting at the barrier. He led us across the concourse towards a well known book/stationery store where he had left Miss  Effervecence.

Setting off on foot we walked past The National Theatre National Theatre From there we walked along the river bank towards the OXO Tower. Oxo Tower We were almost there. Turning down a walk way we were soon greeting the concierge of the block of flats where Statto now lives. Once in the flat we were given the grand tour and a much needed cup of tea. We were given a delicious roast chicken dinner. It was amusing to see my son carving up the meat but I am sure practice will make a difference.

After our meal we went out for a walk. Back on the south bank we continued east. Among the sights we saw were The Tate Modern The Tate Modern and who could miss the sight of Shakespear’s Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre   Southwark bridgeUsing the Southwark bridge we crossed to the north of the river. Soon we were into almost familiar territory for me. A lot has changed since I worked in The City in the early 1980s. If we had turned east we would have been going towards the area I had known all those years ago. Instead we turned west towards St Paul’s Cathedral. St Paul's   St Paul's steps Heading back towards the South Bank I stopped to take a few photos from the north bank. London Eye  CIT tower You can’t see it but the flat is in a block right behind the SEA Containers building, right next to the cranes you can see. We had almost reached the safety of the flat when it began to rain. By the time Skater and I left Statto and Miss Effervecence the heavens had opened and we had to dash to the station, splashing through the many puddles.

By the time we reached home a little after 9pm my legs were beginning to feel the effects of so much unaccustomed walking.

I really enjoyed my day out as did Skater, tomorrow I shall pay for the punishment I have put my little legs through, but as I have a day off from work I am not too worried.


Family history

‘I don’t want my Grannie to die, I would miss her too much.’

I was holding an ageing folder with the name ‘Mother’ emblazoned on the front in red felt tip capitals. Skater had asked me what I was carrying. I told him it was some of my Grannie’s writing. He gets a tad confused when I mention my older relatives. He asked was she Bill’s daughter. No she was Bill’s wife, my mother’s mother. My Grannie Pat, died aged 67 when I was just 21. This is what prompted my son to utter those words.

I am well aware that my mother is now 71, I assured Skater that his Grannie is going to live longer than his 21st year. Talking to my mother this morning I mentioned this conversation to her.

‘Tell Skater that I take better care of my health than my mother did,’ she told me.

Last night I was reading some of Pat’s work. There was a tale of a holiday taken with her husband and son on a narrow boat. She described the galley and how being of a round build she had to step out of the galley each time she needed to turn around, unlike the two males who were ‘beanpolish’.

This brought back memories of my favourite woman (after my mummy, that was). Throughout my life I have seen photos of my Grannie as a stunning young woman. A slender brunette, both as a bride and young mother.IMG_2045

However my memories are all of a short, cuddly, grey haired smiling woman whom I loved so much. I remember family walks with her and her much loved labrador cross (Candy), hours at her kitchen table making or drawing things. I remember the dresses she made for me. I remember the many friends she had in their small Essex village. The flowers that she arranged in the church when it was all quiet.

I  don’t have memories of her sitting writing, although I realise that this would have been something she did when we were not there. I don’t know when I first became aware that my Grannie was a prolific writer, both for the WI of which she was an active member, but also for magazines. I don’t think I ever read anything she had written. In my late teens I started writing too, nothing much, just for my own pleasure. When my Grannie died so did my desire to write. I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything, until about 2007 that is.

Today as I began to read some of my Grannie’s writing, I could picture myself in the places she described, whether it was a tale of a fox being hunted or the joy of her faithful dog when she knew they were going out walking. Those childhood walks on the common or along the tracks beside the farms close by, all came flooding back from that time more than 40 years ago when life was so much simpler for us children.

My Grannie loved life, it is just such a pity that her love of life didn’t include taking care of her own health. I remember that for some time she suffered from Angina which in those days was quite common amongst people who I realise were in the age group that I have now joined. She died in her sleep, after having a massive heart attack. I will never forget that morning when my grandfather phoned to speak to my mother at the crack of dawn on a Sunday.  Having answered the phone and called my mother, I sat on the stairs and just cried, I didn’t need to be told the news, I knew it in my heart that I had lost my adored Grannie.

I dressed and set out walking through the town inconsolable. Not only had I lost a beloved relative but I had also lost one of my greatest allies, my confidante.

Although my life has been without her in it, for far longer than she was in it, she has been one of my greatest influences and I shall never ever forget her.

Evelyn Patricia King always in my thoughts, I love you

Valerie has got a secret

Earlier this week I was at our local writing circle, it was ‘Manuscript night.’ I am not in the middle of writing a novel, I have not written any short stories lately. What should I take with me? I could cheat and take along the folder that my mother had recently lent me. It contains stories that her mother had written.

My Grannie was my idol when I was growing up. I hadn’t read much of her work before she died way back in 1983 at the young age of 67. Before she died I had dabbled in writing short stories for children. After her demise I found it very difficult to continue writing. That is until about 8 years ago.  A month or so ago my mother handed me his folder containing some of her writing, much of it had won writing competitions in the WI, some had been included in women’s magazines over the years. I had brought the folder home anxious to delve in and read the gems within. Somehow I just have not been able to find the quiet time to devote to this. I don’t want to be rushed or interrupted while I handle the delicate sheets of paper, mostly typed but some handwritten.

I could take the file with me but firstly it wouldn’t be my work, secondly until I have looked through the pieces properly how can I choose which to read. Instead I picked up my hard backed A4 notebook that I had used during my creative writing classes with June Hampson 7 years ago. I can’t believe it has been so long since those classes. Among the worksheets and advice sheets were a couple of my old stories. I selected  ‘The New Receptionist’s secret.’ I hadn’t looked at it for years, this would do.

So having listened with interest to some of the other short stories that were read out, taken on board some of the comments it was now my turn. I must admit that although nervous and I could feel the heat in my face and my eyes did begin to water from time to time, I did find it easier now than I had done previously at the classes.

The comments I received were positive, although it was suggested that I should perhaps try writing it in the first person and maybe set it as a retro piece.

Today I have edited my story slightly, I might develop Valerie’s story further just to see where she takes me.

I wanted you to be the first people to meet Valerie. Tell me what you think I should do with this, even if it is just put it back in a box and forget it.



It’s nearly 5.30pm and I know it won’t be long before I’m released for the evening. Bringing myself back to the here and now, Julie is explaining how to turn off the switchboard at the end of the day, yes this Company is still operating in the past. Tomorrow I will be on my own. I had started this new job as receptionist at the Surveyor’s office a day early so that Julie could show me the ropes. Julie was leaving to have a baby. As we were putting on our coats we wished each other ‘good luck’ I’m not sure which of us will need it most.

I had done this kind of work before, but not in an office this size. Usually I preferred to work in a busy office where I wouldn’t have time to think. It’s good to have enough work to keep my mind active and my hands busy. You learn more when you are in a busy environment and I liked to treat each day as an opportunity to learn. But this time I know that I am not likely be busy in this office. There would not be many visitors and phone calls through the switchboard would be minimal. I knew a little about the Company before I got here. There are two senior surveyors, Conrad Jasper and Marcus Bentley, between them they own the majority of shares in the Company. Then there are the other surveyors, Davies, Wheeler, Thompson, Taylor and Cartwright. There are others but as yet I haven’t worked out what they all do. Oh well I will soon learn who they all are. One person I had come across very early in the day was Cora Baker. Cora was PA to both Marcus and Conrad, she was very protective of her two bosses and you crossed her at your peril. Julie had told me Cora has been here all her working life.
I had taken this job partly because I need the money to bring up sons Jamie and Tom, but it would also give me time to keep up with my studying during the quiet periods throughout the day. I have recently begun a proof reading course in the hope of increasing my income. There is another reason for taking this job in this particular office, but this is my secret.
Earlier in the day I had been in the post room sorting through the day’s outgoing post ready for collection. I had heard two male voices the other side of the screen separating the post room from the open plan office behind it. I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I heard these two, as yet unidentified voices in hushed whispers. The younger voice was telling the other that he thought  

‘The new receptionist is hot. Those legs! Surely, they must be in stockings, not tights under that tight pinstripe skirt and those heels made her legs appear to go on forever.’

The other man, he had a much older voice told his friend.

‘You’re wrong, women in their forties don’t wear stockings to work. Anyway’

He told his younger colleague.

‘You don’t know much about women, it isn’t the legs you look at, you need to check out her breasts and if I’m not mistaken the new receptionist is all woman. Curvy in all the right places and those boobies straining against the buttons of her white blouse have just got to be fabbie dabbie.’

I cringed inside, I can’t abide words/phrases like ‘boobies’ and ‘fabbie dabbie’, they make me think of adolescent public school boys. Which I am sure Marcus was, still is in a way.

I am brought back from my wondering thoughts when I hear the younger man ask.
‘Marcus, whatever is the matter with Cora today? Did you see the looks she gave the new receptionist, Val, Valerie or whatever her name is, when she came in with the coffee this morning? That’s not like her.’

‘Oh you know Cora, how she feels she has to protect me and Conrad. She’s worried I will run off with the new gal, thinks my eye was on her too much, not like Conrad he hardly noticed her at all. Funny that, she is about his age. I guess he is settled at home, although I was worried about him a few months ago.’

‘Why were you worried about Conrad?’
‘Oh, you know when he sent all the staff a text wishing everyone a happy new year? He had got himself in to a right muddle, sent some of us the wrong message, including Cora. Upset her I can tell you. It would appear that our Conrad is not exactly all he seems to be. He had been having a steamy affair an accidentally sent us a text that should have gone to his mystery woman. Cora vowed to get to the bottom of it.’

I can’t help smiling to myself as I slide the crisp white envelopes into the sack ready for the post man to collect.

That’s day one in the new job over, this could be interesting I tell myself as I climb behind the wheel of my aging black Ford Focus and start the engine. In ten minutes I will be through the door of our new flat. I should just about have time for a shower and put on my favourite new sexy, pale pink lingerie before he arrives.

Standing in front of the mirror I can’t help grinning to myself, I had known as soon as I heard the voice this morning that it had been Cora who had called anonymously last week with her veiled threats.

Well Cora will not get intimidate me. After all Conrad is not Cora’s husband but he is my lover.

On other news I have seen Robin a few times today but not close up, I have been busy pretending to be domestic.

We also have yet another person interested in our car, we now have to wait until after work tomorrow to see if he actually turns up to have a look at it.

Just an hour

Yesterday I spent an hour in my garden watching and talking to a particular feathered visitor. Here are some of the photos I took.

1  hello 6   I’m under the hydranger7 now I’m feeding.    10  13I like playing hide and seek beside the geranium. 15  I’m getting closer 18 I can’t see you now.21 can I take this?

At one point when I was sat on the decking just 2 feet away from the geranium I thought the robin was going to come right up to me. When he was on the grass he was only about 8″ away from my knee.


This morning as I listened to the radio I heard a song I hadn’t heard for a long time. It got me thinking about one of my philosophies in life. The song was this one by Ralph Mctell  . The streets of London tells you to stop feeling sorry for yourself because you really don’t have much to complain about compared to the people living on the streets of London.

My life has never been easy, it has been a struggle right through my adult life for one reason or another. I might at times write about the things that have or are happening in my life but I usually manage to laugh it off rather than complain. The reason being that no matter how bad things might get, I know, there is always someone worse off. 

When I lived with my first husband who was an emotionally abusive alcoholic, life was difficult and at times unbearable I was grateful that he never hit me or my boys.

When I had stage three cancer, I was grateful that I was treatable, 13 years on I am still here to tell the tale.

When I was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, I did at least have a roof over our heads and our health even if there was very little money for heat or food. We still had each other.

During the difficult times in the first year of my second marriage, my husband’s ill health (both physical and mental)  were made easier by the support of family and friends.

I do know people who always see the negative in everything, I feel sad for these people who never seem to be able to allow themselves to be happy. People who live their lives as victims of life make me feel mad. Yes there was a time when I felt like one of those victims where nothing in life ever seemed to go right. Then I realised that there was only one person who could change my life, me.

Coincidently this morning the girlfriend of my son Pug, posted this quote on her facebook page. ‘We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it’

Now, when things don’t go right I count my blessings instead of my problems. When I am feeling my lowest I think of the things that make me smile.  I remember my wonderful sons, I surround myself with flowers, music and laughter. I watch the birds as they go about their day.

From where I am sat writing this I can see sunshine through the windows, there are four vases of flowers in the room and when I look through the kitchen to the back door I see one of the pigeons, that frequent my bird feeder, strolling  around as though he owns the place.

A few days ago my husband had a fall when he was crossing the road, a kind man, who happened to be walking near by helped him up and got him home. He had blood on his hands, arms and more worryingly on the back of his head. I left work to take him to the hospital. He was assessed and taken to ‘major injuries’. We were left in the corridor with a growing number of others for about 1.5 hours (it could have been worse). Finally he was checked by a Dr, x-rayed, put on a drip and sent to the observation ward where his broken hand was plastered.  After much deliberation and conversation the Dr concluded that my husband needs treatment for his alcohol intake. This is something my husband is in full agreement with.

He may be in pain and having to learn to cope with being one handed whilst his hand is in plaster. The cut on his head was merely a graze which appeared worse than it was due to the amount of blood. However his fall has led to something being done about helping him to stop drinking. If he manages to complete the treatment on offer and stops drinking he should be able to get his strength back properly and maybe he will be fit enough to actually work. He will then be able to earn some money as well as save money by not buying drink.

Now here is a little something to lift your spirits The Corrs

Guilt and other stuff

I am feeling guilty that although I have wanted to keep up with my writing both on here and elsewhere I have just been too weary. At first I didn’t think too much about it that I was coming home form work exhausted. It has been a very tiring time in the office recently. However as the days stretched into weeks and I was still exhausted I became concerned.

Since I have been on my weekly injections I have found that my appetite has been greatly reduced, which is a good thing. I began to wonder if this was impacting on my energy levels.  I noticed that I seemed to feel quite poorly on Sunday evenings, once or twice I was even sick. I figured that on Sundays I was having a lazy morning followed by a light lunch then a busy afternoon. By about 6 to 6.30 in the evening when I was thinking about preparing the evening meal,out of the blue, I became unwell. I am a great one for analysing everything and worked out I had probably been going too long with out eating. Now I am trying to eat little and often, instead of little not very often. In the last week I have felt much better and certainly less  exhausted.

Over the Christmas period I was reading Maddie Cochere‘s books. Which are all ebooks. As I didn’t have an ereader, my preference even in these electronic days for ‘real books’ I was reading them on my laptop. I was finding this cumbersome and limiting, so when I bought this new notebook I decided to take the plunge and buy a Kindle Paperwhite.  I read Maddie’s remaining books and then started to download a few more by other authors. I had intended to only use my kindle when away from home, so much easier when waiting for an appointment carry my kindle in my handbag than a proper book. I have always found carrying a book with me everywhere was not good for the book. Even though I had vowed to carry on reading ‘real books’ at home I have found myself increasingly opening my kindle. Where I had always had my nose in a book I now have my kindle open at every opportunity. I go to bed early and read for half an hour whereas for ages I have been reading one or two pages of a book before falling asleep.  I still have my stack of books waiting to be read, but for now it is to my kindle that I keep turning. Instead of writing I have been reading.

I am currently reading  ‘The Deadliest Game’ by H E Joyce. Which I am only 4 chapters in but it has me gripped already.

The previous two books I have just finished reading ‘Silence’ and ‘Broken Silence’ by Natasha Preston were both good reads. Although I do think that as much as I enjoyed reading these two books they did lack a good proof reading. They were littered with typing errors which I found very distracting. Probably because I always read every word aloud in my head, if a word is in the wrong place or missing altogether I have to keep going over the sentence until it makes sense to me.

At work I get very frustrated when I read an email that is grammatically wrong, I have even offered to proof read emails for various members of staff. I get alarmed at some of the things that are sent out that just shouldn’t be.

I am currently working on a course for proof reading. Maybe once I have completed the course I shall be in a better position to tell people where they are going wrong.

The main reason I have not read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is that I had heard it was not well written, I image that rather than enjoying the story I would have been correcting all the errors. For that reason I decided not to jump on the bandwagon at the time. Perhaps one day I will give in and read it. However I have been told that some of my own writing has been just as good if not better, among other things some of you are aware that I have dabbled in writing erotica in the past.

Oh and I wasn’t sure we would get here but yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. The last 9 months have been a bit of a roller coaster to say the least but we seem to be coming out the other end of it now and I am pleased to say we reached our anniversary without killing each other. Last night we celebrated with the two friends who came with us a year ago. Here’s to the next year.