Stuck in the Slough of Despond – Reasons for not writing

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Ten months ago, in my post, ‘Births, quilting and other reasons for not writing,’ I felt optimistic about returning to writing. However, in November, when my mum broke her kneecap and had an extended stay hospital and then moved to … Continue reading

Lost and Found – Poetry is What?

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Isn’t it funny, but when you’re trying to empty a house or a flat it’s always the last few things that take the longest to sort out. I was looking for a poem in my last post. It turned up, … Continue reading

Do you know a poem called – What is Poetry?

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Can anyone help me? Whilst sorting out the books and papers in my mum’s flat, I found a poem tucked into an exercise book. It started with the line ‘What is Poetry?’ and this may be the title of the … Continue reading

The Four Fairies of One Tree Hill

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Firstly, I wish you all a Happy New Year. Since my last post, time has done that peculiar thing where it slows down and speeds up at the same time. My mum has been in hospital in South London since … Continue reading

Female Fantasy Fiction Writers

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Writing about Neil Gaiman and Alan Garner in my last post caused me to revisit Anne McCaffrey’s fantasy books. I read most of these in my early twenties, borrowing them from the public library. I would suggest starting with Dragonflight, … Continue reading

The Importance of Reading Fiction as Championed by Neil Gaiman

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I’m going to be quoting today from a lecture given by Neil Gaiman for The Reading Agency delivered on 14th October 2013 at the Barbican in London. If you would like to read the abridged version of this lecture as … Continue reading

The Story of the Epoisses – a Whiff of French Cheese

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My older brother loves Epoisses cheese, a speciality of Bourgogne or Burgundy. I decided to bring him some back from France as he has been looking after our mum whilst I’ve been away. It comes in one of those balsa … Continue reading

Traversing the Pyrenees in a Chausson 55

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Last week we travelled from Spain into France taking the route from Aragon through the Central Pyrenees to Toulouse. This route has some of the highest peaks in the mountain range and it was spectacular. I drove through tunnels hollowed … Continue reading

Change of Plan

My week began with the plan -New Boiler To Be Fitted

My Bedroom Window - The Three Beasts

The Three Beasts

The heating engineer and his mate arrived on Wednesday and started to dismantle my old gas boiler or ‘The Beast’ as he calls it. Between staying with Mum and going to Spain for the birth of my grandaughter, it has been difficult to arrange a date for the installation, especially as due to changes in gas regulations it had to be electric boiler. I’ve been waiting for an engineer who knows how to fit these since November.

So I settled down at my sewing machine. Two of the quilts are almost finished and I will post photos once I have given them to the new babies.

Slight delay on the first morning as the parking warden on the High Street was threatening a ticket on their vans which necessitated a visit to the council office to get a temporary permit.

So no hot water for Wednesday or Thursday. This morning, the engineer phoned to say he’d hurt his back whilst removing ‘The Beast’ and the osteopath has advised him to rest today, though he will hopefully return tomorrow.

I decided to leave the last of the quilting for when they are working on the boiler; therefore mid-morning I sorted out my Hammerite paint in order to paint the metal windows in my bedroom. Now, these windows are huge and when I’m perched on the ladder I look directly down onto the High Street. I think they should be called ‘The Three Beasts.’

I cleaned off many years of grime from the top ledges, chipped off the loose paint and gave them a final wash with flash. I was about to start painting when I realised I’d run out of masking tape.

As my decorating clothes consist of a green skirt and a lime green tea shirt, splattered with drops of Tuscan Terracotta, Warm Cream and Primrose Yellow, complemented by black volleyball knee pads to stop the rungs of the tall ladder bruising my shins, I felt the need to change before gracing the High Street with my presence.

Of course, on my way back I got waylaid by the bread shop, which meant I had to call into the delicatessen to get Applewood cheese to go with the bread.

If there are no more set backs, I hope to have the window surrounds glossed, the quilts finished and hot water from the boiler by Tuesday when I go back to stay with my Mum. Here’s wishing a speedy recovery to the heating engineer.