Wednesday 5 October 2011

I'm A Guilty Pleasure!

Well, after weeks and weeks of non-blogging due to the crash and burn of my previous computer (very sad as we'd been together for 8 years and knew each other so well) I'm back online! My new pc is very swish and very fast and scares me witless. Hopefully one day we'll grow to love one another. At the moment we're edging round each other warily like children in a new school...

So, I've only one thing to say after my crash and burn experience - Back Up! I'm sure everyone else in the world religiously backs up their work on a daily/hourly basis - but I hadn't. I blame being the delirium of being a new Nanna. (Elle, Topaz and The Doctor are doing amazingly now - I'm still a bit shell-shocked). So, when the kiddies at PC World shook their heads over my old computer I knew I was in trouble... They've managed to retrieve a lot of stuff from the old hard drive but I'm still gnawing my knuckles in shame at things I've lost... So, please, please, please - don't think like I did - oh, it'll be okay - because it might just not be... I'm now backing up like a thing demented.

Anyhow, now I'm back online (thank you to everyone who enquired - and when I've worked out how the new email system works on this computer I WILL reply, promise) I'm going to kick off with a brag (sorry) - hence the post title and the picture...

In the brilliant Peter Robinson's brilliant new novel, Before The Poison, which I was reading in bed, I'm mentioned on page 315!!!! His heroine, Heather, has just settled into her new flat and has spent an evening eating pizza, watching trashy telly and reading a book for the first time in years - "a Christina Jones - a real guilty pleasure..."!!!!

Oh, well, wow! and thank you Peter - especially as you're mega-famous and currently have a series on telly and all. I was so over-excited at the mention that I dropped the book, yelled a lot, scared the cats and woke up The Toyboy Trucker who wasn't best pleased or even the teeniest bit impressed.

As for me - well, I'm preening and showing-off in my usual diva fashion and am telling anyone who'll listen that now I'm not just a New Nanna - I'm also A Guilty Pleasure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday 15 August 2011

It's A Girl!

On Tuesday 9th August 2011 at 3.56 a.m. I became a grandmother! Yes, very early - and not without its dramas - but it's all over now and Mum and Baby are doing fine. Nanna (as I've elected to be called - as in Peter Pan) is still in shock.

Poor Elle, after a lousy pregnancy and several weeks in hospital with pre-eclampsia, became too ill to carry on so they decided to induce the baby last Sunday. After a 36 hour labour (don't ask - none of us ate or slept and God alone knows how Elle coped without shouting or screaming once, bless her - brave wasn't in it!) our granddaughter made her appearance. She was popped straight into an incubator and rushed off to SCBU where she was first in intensive care, then high dependency, then rallied nicely and eventually rejoined her exhausted mum and happy dad two days later on the ward.

I won't go into all the gory details but I can assure you that this will be our only grandchild! Anyway, she and Elle were discharged from hospital and finally came home last night - which is why I haven't posted before. They've both been given the all clear and are now happily reunited with The Doctor, and of course, our granddaughter is the cutest, tiniest, most gorgeous and perfect thing in the whole world - even though she shouldn't be here for quite a while yet.

Her name? Well she has two and they're beautiful: one British and one Indian to mark her dual heritage - but to protect her anonymity, for blog purposes, I shall call her Topaz because that's what I've been calling the bump since Easter when I was convinced it was a girl.

So now The Toyboy Trucker is a besotted Grumpy (Elle's choice!) - and a whiz at nappy changing and bottle feeding - and I'm just besotted and elated and really, really thankful it's all over.

Welcome to the world, Topaz - I'm your Nanna!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday 1 August 2011

The End Of An Era - Or New Beginnings?

Last Friday The Toyboy Trucker left the company he's worked for for the last 12 years - his choice by the way, and one not taken lightly. From starting off sorting parcels in the warehouse, to delivering said parcels in a white van, to becoming a long-distance lorry driver, thundering up and down the country in a 42 ton artic - and then deciding to get himself an education while still working... And all those promotions and area moves to Operations Manager, then Depot Manager, and finally Southern Area Hub Manager...

So, this morning it was no more corporate suit-shirt-tie and briefcase-and-laptop and multiple mobiles! Hooray! This morning he started off on his new venture - working with his best mate on a cross-country delivery business of their very own. This morning he left here in jeans, polo shirt and boots.... He's a Toyboy Trucker again - and I'm more delighted than you'll ever know.

And this morning, after he'd left the house looking once again like the boy I fell in love with, I typed Chapter One of the new book of the new deal. It's still unoriginally called Book One because I'm still without a title, but I've written four pages already (it's 8.20 a.m.) and it's going okay... I will probably find it very hard to remember not to add a dollop of magic in this book - this is very much the end of an era for me too - but it's quite exciting to be starting something completely new.

So, Monday August 1st 2011 - the end of an era for both of us as we leave the safe and familiar behind and step into the unknown - but a date to remember for our new beginnings too. Risky? Yes, definitely. But we're both hoping they'll be lovely life-changing beginnings. Time, I'm sure, will tell...

Monday 25 July 2011

My New Spiritual Home

Well! Unless you unleashed me in a chocolate factory with a spoon I couldn't have asked for more! We (me, The Toyboy Trucker, Elle and The Doctor) went to Southall Broadway to shop for wedding clothes... And I was entranced, bedazzled, completely overcome with dizzy excitement. So many fabulous shops. All those rainbow colours... All that glitter and sparkle and twinkle... Total, absolute bliss.

The Doctor's brother is getting married next month, in a traditional Hindu/Jain ceremony - which involves several events (not just the wedding - and even the reception takes place the day AFTER the nuptials) so we needed suitable outfits - naturally. Well, The Toyboy Trucker and The Doctor are wearing suits, but Elle and I felt that as "family" we should be bedecked in as much Indian splendour as possible... It wasn't just an excuse for yet more clothes shopping, honest...

So, we went to Southall to buy something stunning and authentic - and I absolutely adored it!!!! It's vibrant, jam-packed, lively - and looks and smells and sounds as if you've just stepped into a Bollywood movie. There's no "death of the High Street" in Southall, I can tell you. And oh, what bliss to be served by people who actually cared. Who were interested in what we bought and why we were buying it. Who said - and proved - that nothing was too much trouble.

Elle, determined to look fabulous and girly and not at all like a marquee (even though she will be nine months pregnant on the wedding day) homed in on swathes of sari silk in lilac and silver, turquoise and gold - all of which floated and fell beautifully round her bump - set off by matching softly-gathered salwar trousers encrusted with sequins and embroidery - and the most fabulous matching dupatta stoles, and looked like a princess. Albeit quite a large princess....

I settled on a salwar suit in purple and gold... I'm now convinced that I shall live in salwar suits for the rest of my life. Why have I never discovered them before???? So comfortable, so elegant, so flattering, so pretty - they're light and drifty to wear, hide a multitude of sins, and made me feel like a - well, no not a princess (too old, too fat) - maybe a sort of Bhangra Queen Mother????

By the time Elle and I had ooohed and aaahed our way up and down the Broadway, and eventually made up our minds, and then dived in and out of a zillion jewellery shops for the necessary matching multiple bangles and ear-rings, The Toyboy Trucker and The Doctor had become a bit bored with all the glitz and glam and girlie shrieks of glee, and wandered off to Jalebi Junction, one of the most famous food stalls Southall has to offer.

Jalebis are sticky, glorious, made-on-the-spot sweets. Spirals of fresh dough are piped into boiling oil and fried while you wait and watch. The dough takes on the characteristic orange colour in the deep frying process and is then dunked into another container of sugar syrup. The jalebis are then cooled on a wire rack until they can be popped into a brown paper bag and handed to you with the warning that they're very, very hot. Yes they are, but I defy anyone not to eat them while they're very, very hot. Even though you can't speak and get covered in syrup and look pretty disgusting... They're the most delicious things I've ever tasted - well, apart from the Gulab Jamons of course (the nearest thing to Rum Babas - and heaven - I've ever found).

Eventually - after eating our body-weight in an Indian veggie buffet restaurant - we made our way home, tired, full-to-bursting, and deliriously happy. All I hope now is that the baby stays put and we can wear our finery at the wedding - otherwise at the next Romantic Novelists shindig I'll be the fat one in the Salwar Suit and far too many bangles....

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Never Can Say Goodbye

Yes, I know NCSG isn't out until February next year (hardback in Sept this year) but I absolutely LOVE the cover, so I'm making no apologies for using it as the illustration for this post. I think it's just so girlie and pretty... I've got a copy pinned on the wall in front of me and I just sigh wistfully over those gorgeous frocks and the fabulous trailing roses and the to-die-for handbags... Thank you so much to Louise Anglicas, the clever, talented artist, for producing something so totally beautiful.

And as Never Can Say Goodbye is about a retro frock shop run by Frankie, the heroine, and has a DDG florist, Dexter, as the hero - then the frocks'n'flowers combination works so well. Yep - it's official - I'm in love with this cover...

Of course, there's a lot more to NCSG than just frocks'n'flowers. It's winter in the quaintly old-fashioned Berkshire village of Kingston Dapple - a very, very cold winter - and Francesca's Fabulous Frocks in the market square is home not only to a mass of vintage dresses, but also to a collection of very odd people. There's Brian from the kebab van; Biddy the bitch; Lilly, Frankie's air-head flat-mate; Cherish, the worst colour-palette-advisor in the world; Maisie the useless medium - and of course Dexter, the philandering Beckhamesque florist and his many conquests. Several of my previous characters appear too: Slo and Essie, Phoebe, Amber, Clemmie, Sukie etc, and all the cooks from The Way To A Woman's Heart - oh, and of course there are also ghosts... ghosts with attitude... ghosts with issues... ghosts with frock-envy... funny ghosts... sad ghosts... and even ghosts who don't know they are ghosts.

I've always wanted to write a rom com ghost story and am so pleased that Never Can Say Goodbye rounds off my practical magic series nicely.

So, yes - the good news - I've just been offered a new deal by my lovely publishers Piatkus/Little,Brown (thank you!!!) - and the bad news (maybe?) - it's the end of the current series. After eight books, we've all decided that it's time to say goodbye to the magic and hello to a whole new world.

So, while I'm still going to be bucolic frolicking in rural Berkshire, it's goodbye to Hazy Hassocks, Bagley-cum-Russet, Fiddlesticks, Lovers Knot and Winterbrook and their inhabitants - and hello to Nook Green, Daisybank, Bluebell Common and Maizey St Michael along with a whole new set of characters having a whole new set of romantic and hopefully funny adventures.

I think it'll be hard for me to leave the Hubble Bubble world behind - but I'm very excited about getting to know my new villages and meeting the people who live there. And as the first one (currently imaginatively titled Book One) in the new series has to be written, finished and delivered by Feb I really ought be popping off to Nook Green right now...

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Ghod Bharai - and My Bindi

Elle had her Ghod Bharai on Sunday - and it was absolutely brilliant. I hadn't got a clue what it entailed - but the Ghod Bharai is a Hindu baby shower thrown by all the Indian female rellies when the 7th month of pregnancy passes into the 8th - yep, it's gone that quickly! It's a lovely colourful happy celebration (and held - fortunately - in the mum-to-be's own home) when they bring traditional gifts and money and jewellery and bless her and the baby and eat a lot! There were some prayers and some funny traditional stuff like passing a small child between Elle and The Doctor seven times for luck (fortunately one of the cousins-in-law had brought a small child so we didn't have to go out and find one - this might have involved having to answer a lot of awkward questions). The Toyboy Trucker and I loved every minute of it! I had to present her with a kilo of rice washed by the waters of the Ganges (so not Tescos!) and a coconut with a swastika on it - the swastika being a Hindu symbol of happiness, well-being and joy...

In the absence of the necessary sisters-in-law, Elle's female cousins-in-law plus her sis-in-law-to-be had to dress her in a ceremonial sari which had to be attached to a rope-thing tied round her bump and then pleated - it took ages and yards and yards of material and because it was heavy (emerald green silk covered in gold threads) she could hardly move. And she looked like a marquee. However she was very good and didn't scream or bite anyone so that was a blessing.

The full-on Hindu wedding of The Doctor's brother and the beautiful Nisha is imminent (two weeks before Elle's due date - eeek!) and all the cousins agreed there was no way Elle could wear a sari for that - so if she's okay (she's enormous and has SPD and some scary foot/leg/hand swelling - the Dr and midwife say her BP is normal and she's doing fine - so maybe it's just me that's worrying), we're going to Southall next week with the girlie-cousins-in-law to find something more comfy and suitable for her to wear at the wedding - probably a sari suit with a long flowing jacket over stretchy silk trousers with elasticated waist. I'm going Eastern as well and am hoping to find a sari in purple and gold.... I'm so looking forward to it as I love all things colourful and glittery and don't mind in the slightest looking like a marquee (par for the course for me).

The very best thing about Elle's Ghod Bharai for me, was the bindis. They're the face jewels for Hindu celebrations. Elle had to have seven in a rainbow across her forehead, but I had one as mother of the mother-to-be and it was a tiny tear-drop ruby surrounded by diamonds between my eyebrows. Fabulous! I'm still wearing it! And no, sadly, that isn't me in the picture - ooooh, I wish...

Oh, and the food was amazing too. Elle and The Doctor had provided the food - an entire veggie Indian banquet - and the rellies cooked it - the kitchen was just filled with women of all ages in multi-coloured saris all cooking away and chattering like magpies and we ate it in the sunshine in the garden and it was the most fabulous spread ever - and we didn't move for the rest of the day!

When the baby arrives they're all coming back on the 6th day to have a similar ceremony for the Naming of the Child. I do love the way they celebrate things, and all the colour and laughter and sparkle. And the food... Oh, and especially the bindis...

Thursday 30 June 2011

Ten Years Today

This isn't a proper blog post - I'm planning on getting back to those really, really soon, promise - but just a little memorial for Pat, and for me, because I feel I have to mark the tenth anniversary of her death - and not just with my own ritual of sitting in the garden on our (now crumbling but still there - just) seat with all the usual accompaniments, and remembering and being sad and happy and lonely all at the same time, which I did early this morning in the sun and the birdsong.

It's ten years today without her in my life - still can't believe it... Still miss her so much. Still think about her every day. The things below are what we always had by way of celebrating absolutely anything, and what we said we'd have at our funerals when were at least 97...

So, Pat, love, if you're up there laughing your socks off because I'm now 10 years older than you and about to become a grandmother (you'd have been an ace Great Auntie Pat!) - this is for you with love, always...

Blue and yellow irises - our favourite flowers in our favourite racing colours on so many happy occasions. Nothing more to say on that score!

Cream slice - our favourite cake. Such a lot of fun to be had with them - and so much mess to be made - and so much licking of fingers etc (and not necessarily our own or each other's!) afterwards...

Cristal champagne - we always raised a glass at every opportunity - and then some!

And finally - Wrigleys spearmint chewing gum - for reasons far too rude and personal and private jokey to post here - and she'll know why!

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Coming Out on Kindle and Other Stuff

So - after months of procrastinating and faffing and declaring that I'm far too much of a techno-idiot to cope with anything electronic and that books are books with paper pages you can turn and feel and smell and not soulless words-on-a-screen, I've joined the 21st century!

I've gathered together two short-ish volumes of short-ish short stories and published them on Amazon Kindle with the help of lovely Aimee Fry from The Author Works who did the covers, and I'm chuffed to bits with them!

Bucolic Frolics - a collection of rural romps - is available on ASIN:B004UH7V5Q
Happy Ever After - a selection of short rom-coms - is on ASIN:B004UGPVH2

It took me ages and ages to work out how to do it (even though the Kindle instructions are wonderfully simple, but then so am I...) then I had a eureka moment when it all fell into place - and I was SO proud of myself when I did it! I wasn't sure about pricing, so just went for the cheapest option, and I'm now going to have a go at *Kindling* a couple of my earlier out of print books and some more short stories - so you have been warned!

The absence from the blog and the plunge into *Kindling* do have a common thread - I've been a bit ill - again. I had post-herpetic-neuralgia - the after-effects of the last lot of shingles when the skin from my neck to my waist felt like someone was constantly pouring acid over it, and the nerve endings in my spine and ribs became inflamed in sympathy and HURT non-stop - and believe me you DO NOT want it. Never, ever... As I spent most of April high as a kite on mega-death-strength prescription pain killers and was unable to sit or lay down or wear any clothes from the waist up (not an attractive sight - and no, I didn't go outside) and slept (ho-ho-ho!) fitfully by standing up and draping myself over a dining room chair, the only thing I could do to take my mind off the crappy stuff was to spend the enforced waking hours by messing around with Kindle. So I did...

It hasn't been all bad though. Last weekend, because I was feeling better, we all went to Jersey for Easter. We being me and The Toyboy Trucker and Elle and The Doctor. And a jolly bunch we were too. Well, TTT and The Doctor were fine, but I was still zonked on medication and hurt quite a bit, and Elle hasn't had the best of pregnancies so far - so the girlie half of the party waddled and limped and grizzled - but we also sat in the glorious scorching sun by the sea and people-watched and ate loads (sadly neither of us are allowed alcohol so it was slightly less lively than it might have been) AND we met up with Debs and her lovely husband and the fabulous Grumpy for lunch AND huge milkshakes - which was brilliant. Thanks Debs - we LOVED it!

And now post-Royal Wedding (I thought it was fabulous.... sigh...) and all those millions of bank holidays I'm going back to work... Which hopefully means that as well as *Kindling* I really will answer emails and catch up with FaceBook and maybe even crack on with Only Make Believe. Of course the garden looks like a jungle and the house is akin to a midden - but they can wait - can't they????

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Endings and Beginnings

Oh joy! Never Can Say Goodbye is done! And I mean REALLY done. Edits and all. I've written another book!!! It's always like a miracle to me when that happens because I'm never sure how it actually turns from mad stuff in my head to 400 pages of comparative sense on the computer. And of course it means I can now look at the blurb for NCSG on Amazon and not panic. I always panic when the blurb gets there before I've finished writing the book somehow. It seems sort of scary. Like tempting fate. Although sometimes when the blurb is there really early, I've actually changed the book to suit the blurb, but not this time. This time - phew - it's okay.

Never Can Say Goodbye was one of those books that (once I'd started it - and yes, I faffed around with starting it for ages because I wasn't sure that funny ghosts were exactly what anyone was looking for) just seemed to fall into place (oh, I so wish they were all like that) and didn't give me any real problems. Once I got going it just seemed to work. And for that reason I love it. Mwah!

Now all I have to do is start the next one - which is okay because I actually have an idea... Well, actually I've already started writing it. In fact I started writing it the day I finished NCSG. It's called (at the moment) Only Make Believe. Now it's all getting a bit weird because I'm starting to sound like one of those cocksure writers who knows what they're doing. And I don't. I'm just on a bit of a high. Usually when I've finished writing a book I just slink off somewhere and slump and know I'll never, ever be able to do it again. But this time it's all very different. Oh, the joy of books like NCSG and Hub Bub and Going the Distance and Moonshine that just - well - happen and give me a nice big whoomph of much-needed writerly confidence.

So that's the endings bit of this post's subject line - and a bit of the beginnings. The other bit of the beginnings (and much, much more exciting and amazing) is because I'm going to be a grandmother.

Elle and The Doctor are expecting their first baby on September 1st.

Of course, as The Toyboy Trucker said, we're far too young to be grandparents, which is sweet of him, but to be honest here on the estate, if you're not a Nan and Gramps in your 40s you're considered pretty weird.

To say we're ecstatic would be a major understatement. But I promise here and now that - unlike the wedding - I won't gush a lot and give boring (to everyone else) minute details of the pregnancy. Will just say that poor Elle is currently having a pretty rough time with morning sickness 24/7 but we're all hoping this will soon be at an end. Especially The Doctor who is having the full-on joyous experience. We've seen the scan, complete with little hands and feet - incredible - and although it looks more like a tabby kitten than a baby I'm sure it'll be fine when the whole process is complete. They are determined not to find out the sex, so I'm currently knitting a layette in a nice non-discriminatory mustard...

Now I can saunter off and answer emails (sorry!) and catch up with FaceBook (sorry!) and decide whether I want to be a glamorous granny, or a mad boho writing granny, or a nice cosy granny in aprons and slippers like I had... And shall I be Nan or Gran or Granny or Grandma????

Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Jill Mansell Won The Jelly-Wrestling!

As Jill had promised publicly on Facebook that we would be bikini-clad and wrestle in jelly for the Rom Com Prize at yesterday's RNA Pure Passion Awards I'm delighted to say that she won it by a country mile and therefore there was no need for me to display my acres of wobbliness while rolling around in strawberry goo...

I was absolutely chuffed to bits that Jill won - because she's a great mate, a brilliant writer, and I love her. There was no flouncing or tantrums from me - I was just thrilled to ribbons to have been short-listed and to have been part of such a glitzy and auspicious occasion. I met so many friends, and made some new ones, and everyone looked fabulously glam. I loved every minute of it.

Congratulations to all the other award winners too, and while there was (in my opinion but then I'm a bit of a gannet) too little food (and that's pretty shocking considering my lovely publishers had generously taken me to lunch at Michel Roux's Brasserie - a mind-blowing gastronomical experience - BEFORE the Awards Ceremony), there was certainly more than enough champagne as can be seen from the - er - slight squiffiness in the pic (courtesy of Liz Fenwick)... This is me and Broo, my amazing and lovely agent, after our umpteenth glass...

A short blog post today because I'm still supposed to be working offline and trying to meet the Never Can Say Goodbye deadline (it WILL be done by next Monday!) - but I just wanted to say how thrilled and excited I was to have been shortlisted, and what a truly fabulous time I had. My heartfelt thanks to all concerned.

Ooooh,right - now back to reality. Big, big, big sigh....

Friday 11 February 2011

TWTAWH Shortlisted for Pure Passion Rom Com Of The Year Award

Okay, now I'm not even sure I believe that heading. Still pinching myself, actually. Being longlisted was a dream come true - this is off the scale. Am so thrilled and excited I'm in real danger of becoming a bit of a drama queen/diva. Have skipped and whooped and beamed irritatingly at everyone since I heard the news. Well, WOW is all I can say...

Had an amazing day yesterday at the glam and glitzy Champagne Breakfast press launch announcement thingy (see how good I am with words?) - bubbles at 10 a.m. - how decadent is that??? In a swish club in Piccadilly no less. Oh, I loved it! Once the short-lists were officially announced, all the short-listed authors were photographed and filmed - we had to do one-to-one sound bite filmy snippets while smiling and holding our book and saying who we were, what the book was called, how we felt on being shortlisted and what the book was about. Simple, yes? No! Amazing how a man with a video camera can make you forget even the smallest, most familiar fact. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who couldn't remember their name. Or maybe I was...?

My face ached from smiling, my stomach ached from all that holding-in, and my head ached from far too much champagne far too early in the day - but it was WONDERFUL!

The awards ceremony is on March 7th - and this is where all the giddy excitement will end because I'm a realist and to be longlisted was amazing, to be shortlisted is the greatest thing to happen to me in my Bucolic Frolic career - but also shortlisted for the Rom Com Award are Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella. Yep - Rom Com Royalty. I'm just dead chuffed to even be on the same list - but let's be honest - it's like pitting non-league Crawley against Man U in the FA Cup, a moment of reflected glory to be savoured for ever, an event to enjoy without any unrealistic expectations. But I'm a feisty lass, so bring it on is all I can say.

Keep reading through previous blog posts when I was battling my way through writing TWTAWH (all that snarling about the title being changed and everything) and wish that I'd known then what I know now. It would have made writing it a whole lot easier if someone had given me a crystal ball...

Anyway, today I'm still floating around, beaming and annoying everyone - tomorrow my inner-editor will take over and tell me to get a shift on with Never Can Say Goodbye - but not today. Today is a day for flaunting and preening and stamping my silken slippers and tossing back my ringlets and declaring to anyone who is unfortunate enough to hear me "don't you know who I am?". Yeah, okay - I've tried it with milkman and the paperboy so far and they just gave me a scared look and hurried away - but I live in hope.

Shortlisted? Me? Blimey!

Thursday 3 February 2011

Publication Day!

I'm briefly breaking cover from my extended (thank you!) deadline to share a little bit of cyber champagne and a HUGE whoopee of joy - because today THE WAY TO A WOMAN'S HEART is published in paperback which means it's available in the shops!!!!

There were times (as always) when I thought TWTAWH would never be a real book - but it is - and I've just seen it, several of it actually - face out!!!! - in our local W H Smith. I do love the cover - perfect for Valentine's Day. Of course I was still too timid to tell them I wrote it, but I did lurk around the shelves and smile a lot...

So - another publication day has arrived. It's been very low-key, but it's the 19th since 1997. Crikey - did I really do all that WORK?????

Still, no time to celebrate at the moment - NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE has to be delivered in two weeks. So - as I slink off back to Francesca's Fabulous Frocks - and Frankie and Dexter and Brian from the kebab van and Maisie the useless medium - here's to publication day number 20...

Thursday 6 January 2011

Not Quite How I'd Planned It...

No, well, I'd intended to post this on New Year's Day (so that the date could be 1/1/11) and wish everyone in Blogland a Happy New Year and be full of festive cheer...

But, being me, things didn't go quite to plan, hence my new year greeting being almost a week late... New Year saw me and The Toyboy Trucker snuffling our way between various surgeries and pharmacies - him to get antibiotics for the chest infection left by The Christmas Cold; me to get antibiotics for the sinus infection left by The Christmas Cold; both of us to the vet's with Alexia who had chronic enteritis over Christmas and needed a daily antibiotic injection...

Oh, what a jolly little trio we were!

And, add to that, the fact that 1) I managed to break two teeth on a cashew nut and 2) I dislocated my knee by balancing on a stool on top of a cushion on top of the sofa (no, not a new party trick) to try to remove a loose garland dangling irritatingly from a corner of the ceiling and then tumbling off in a fat and flustered heap...

So, now we're coughing and sniffing and limping and lisping-and-dribbling and feeling damn miserable. Alexia, on the other hand, is fully recovered and can't understand what all the fuss was about.

Now I have a little over three weeks to finish Never Can Say Goodbye, so am disappearing into the deep, dark, hellish deadline cave for a while - but belatedly - Happy New Year!