Monday, May 23, 2016

A Day in the Life Of . . .

I've had a really busy day.  As I think I mentioned, we've had the bedroom completely redecorated and revamped. The result is wonderful - better than I could have hoped for but  now that the job is done (phew!)  I have  to  reorganise everything - bringing all the stuff/clothes etc that I'd moved out of the room back into the bedroom, putting them away,  finding places for everything . . .

It's all been worth it, but it's taken time, and I think I've walked more than those 10.000 steps you're supposed to  count up in order to keep healthy.

So that's my day.  And while I've been doing this, Charlie the Maine Coon has had his own sort of day. Cats are supposed to be 'active mammals' - well, in that case 'active'  doesn't mean what I normally thin it means.  And as I've had a few enquiries from readers who've missed seeing Charlie and Ruby  and what they've been up to, well here is -

A day in the life of Charlie Rumpuss - the Maine Coon.
First of all he woke up and had a little something to eat . . .

And then he had a snooze


 After a while  he woke up - briefly - and had a wash and grooming session
Which tired him out, so that he went back to sleep . . .
 Until it was time for a little snack





 After which, he  needed a grooming session, to make sure his paws and whiskers were all clean .








Which took rather  a lot of effort - . so he crashed out and is now fast asleep again.

Sometimes I wish I was a cat!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

That cake again!

    Just in case you feel inspired enough (or crazy enough! ) to want to make an Imperial State Crown Cake then here is the perpetrator - ahem - inventor - himself - Keef Piethagoras Williamson of Keef Cooks showing just how he went about it!

     I'm even more honoured that he did now I've seen this - though it was certainly a challenge to try to eat the result. 

     But it was definitely a cake and a half - and another half . . .Delicious.

    Thank you again, Keef!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Special Weekend

There are friends and there are friends.

Facebook makes it seem as if ‘friendship’ is as simple as clicking on a name and – that’s that!  Friends for life-  or at least until another click ‘unfriends’ someone. 
I’m happy to see my Facebook friends making comments or liking a post and some of them are real friends  - friends in the outside world,  people I’ve met in person – or through long correspondence or emails.  People who might  be separated sometimes by life taking them many  thousands of miles away but who, when you meet up again, fit like a comfortable sock,  falling straight back into place in your life and reminding you of just how much you missed them.

We spent this weekend with friends like that -  their life  has often taken them miles  away,  to different countries, different experiences, but  just recently they came back  to live in UK – just down the road in fact (well, in contrast to past times!). Close enough for us to go and visit  easily – and hopefully much more often.

So this weekend I was able to fulfil a l-o-n-g held promise to show my friend around Haworth and to visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum together.  It was a slightly unusual  trip to Haworth for two reasons – one that the sun  was shining  so ‘Wuthering Heights’ it was not! And two, we hadn’t realised that we’d be sharing our latest reunion with  the crowds who had come to enjoy the annual  Haworth 1940s weekend.   So the narrow Main Street, the  park behind the Parsonage and  every one of the caf├ęs  were crowded with soldiers in uniform, land girls, RAF officers – and  the general public  dressed up to the nines in  costumes that ranged in accuracy from downright perfect to a passing nod to the idea of 40’s fashion.   Great fun – if a little wearing as you tried to make your way anywhere in the bustling crowds.

The highlight for us – and I’m sure for many people there – was the flypast of the Spitfire plane, circling low enough over the street to be seen clearly.

After that we all went  back to our friends’ new home for the evening sharing in the  - er ‘delights’ of the Eurovision song contest  ( you need to be friends to do that!)  There was also an extra surprise  for me -  extending my birthday celebrations with the  most magnificent cake I have ever been served.   Blending my birthday  with the 90th celebrations of HM The Queen,  Keef  had created the Imperial State Crown  of a cake decorated with incredible accuracy (we’d been looking at a replica of the actual crown only that afternoon.)

But the actual crown couldn’t have tasted as delicious as this light fruit cake version.  It was wonderful (well it should be when created by the Cook himself from Keef Cooks )– if something of a challenge! The cake itself weighed  a ton.  We could only manage a smallish portion each – and the rest of the cake will need to be shared amongst friends  who I’m sure will enjoy it every bit as much as we did.

But at least we managed to walk off some of the calories the next morning when we went  down to  Rodley Nature Reserve  where as well as   the delights of watching a proud mother sw
an carry all of her 8 cygnets across the water on her back  we were able to watch oyster catchers and the handsome, elegant herons from pretty close up.


A fabulous  weekend  -  I send special thanks to my friends  - and the great thing is that now they live so much closer, we can repeat this  again pretty soon.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Unfortunately my course in Swanwick this weekend has had to be cancelled - though that means that I have a wonderful free weekend to spend with a special friend (carefully not saying 'old' though we've been friends for 40+ years!) The Writer's Repair Shop course is hopefully just postponed until  a different date - if you're interested contact Relax and Write for new details.

My next teaching date is at the RNA Conference in Lancaster in July but that is just an hour or s...o - the same month I'll be heading for the wonderful Writers Holiday  in Fishguard for a week where I'll be teaching the Complete Romance Writing Course - so looking forward to being back in Wales with so many very special friends . If you're interested check out Writers Holiday  - bed, almost a week's full board, writing tuition (or just time to write- or sleep!) making new friends . . . all for just £499. It's great value (and I know because before I started teaching there most summers, I paid it!)

The Complete ROMANCE Writing Course  

This course is intended to provide information and advice for anyone who wants to learn how to write a popular romance genre novel. It gives an introduction to all the skills needed for success, from creating realistic characters, sustaining pace and conflict, packing emotional punch, writing sex scenes and crafting a satisfying ending. While the focus may be on romance novels, the techniques – dialogue, characters, tension, pacing, settings, hooks etc. will also be relevant to all forms of popular fiction.


After that, the next weekend coming up is  at Swanwick: 
'Writing Romantic Fiction' with Kate Walker - A RETREAT. Restricted numbers
 

The RETREAT weekends are ideal for those with work in progress.  The group is kept small so that you benefit from constructive feedback on your work, which must be prepared and sent to Kate in advance, so that she can make notes to cover details with you at your one-to-one. This is a chance for you to discuss your work with a professional, get an objective assessment or would you prefer time to reflect on your novel and write? This is a perfect opportunity to take your writing to the next level. A synopsis and two chapters to be sent six weeks before the date of the course via Lois. 

(As  numbers are limited on this retreat - so that I can have one-to-ones with students and discuss  their work with them etc please make sure you have expressed your interest - and put down a deposit   with Lois so that you don't miss out.)
 

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