Sunday, February 26, 2017

Almost back to normal!

Well - I'm back to working in the office - my messy, untidy office - and doing emails etc on the laptop in the kitchen in the mornings. It's such a relief to be back to normal, I can't tell you!

Added to which, I've finally got my appetite back and started getting interested in food again, which is bad for the waistline (what waistline?) but good for me and for current house sharer Leo. Dug out my 20 year old recipe books and revived some of the dishes he remembers from his childhood. Don't know why I've bought so many new ones since...

And I've walked, too. Half a mile to the hairdressers to get my colour done, and half a mile back on Tuesday, and the same to get my nails done on Friday. Without the stick. Back still aches like billy-ho, but I can do it.

And finally, my dear friends Darren and Peter Simpson, who played my Ugly Daughters in Cinderella a few years ago, have invited me to do a book signing to coincide with World Book Day on Thursday at their wonderful new establishment - see picture at the top of this post. I can vouch for the excellence of all their freshly prepared food - and the size of the sandwiches, which meant Leo and I didn't need dinner when we went to visit them this week! So If you're in our area and free on Thursday afternoon, I shall be ensconced in "The Den" at the back, next to the woodturner, with some books to sell and sign - and of course, I'll sign those you already have if you bring them along. And while you're there, have a cup of superb hot chocolate, a slice of Darren's home made cake, a muffin, perhaps, or even some ice cream. And, in case you don't recognise us if you come along, here we are arguing with the Prince. I'm the one on the far left. Ahem.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Writing on the sofa

Gloria and Lady Godiva, to give her her full name, no longer cuddle up on the sofa, perhaps because it now has a new overcoat. They still sit here, but not together. In the mornings, Godiva sits beside me and drapes herself over my left wrist, despite the fact that she gets jiggled up and down while I'm writing. Gloria sits on the cushion behind my back, gradually wearing a groove in it and occasionally eating my hair.

This is my new regime. I tried working at the kitchen table, but it was hopeless, so I went back to the office and my back suffered. So here I am in the sitting room, working on the sofa with the cats. It's slightly tidier in here, there are grapes and chocolates to hand and a vase of daffodils on the table. And I've actually got more done over the last few days than I have in the last month. I may well abandon the office for ever.

It reminds me of two things. One - the summer I spent with a cracked foot up on the sofa finishing a writing project and two - finishing the first Libby Sarjeant after Hazel Cushion had asked for it. I've always maintained that I needed a dedicated office space to work, and of course, in the past, I have. In our last house, my late husband and I actually had an office each once we'd chucked the two elder children out. Even before that, he had one and I worked in our large utility room. This was essential with four children with ages ranging over ten years, and my liking for working to music probably dates from that time - in order to block out extraneous noises.

But now I've realised I don't need it. I do have one returning child - the current slave - living with me, but he spends most of his time in his room composing music and poetry, only coming out to eat, take the bins out and get the coal in. And it's much more comfortable here, and surprisingly, less distracting. So - advice for writers. As if I'm qualified to give advice... Write where you're comfortable and not where you think you should. No, I'm not going to remind you of Jane Austin, but I might remind you of the opening line of my all-time favourite novel: "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink..."