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Showing posts from 2016

Ten Years of Blogging and the Dawn of a New Era

Today my blog is ten years old.

It is, frankly, a miracle I have kept this blog up for so long. Who would have guessed that this blog which was started on a whim with a glass of wine in my hand would last so long! However, this last year has been my least productive in terms of writing with only 33 blogs posted and no new novels. This is due to a dramatic change in my personal circumstances which is reflected in the subtle change in my blog title. I intend to keep on blogging but it will be a while before I am organised enough to find time to blog frequently or to continue with the novels that lie dormant in my files as I am back working full-time and looking after my boys' welfare in my spare hours takes priority over my creative endeavours.

The last year has been a particularly sad time for me. I am in now in my own changing room. It is one I had not anticipated at my age but there are times in life when you have to make dramatic decisions and when faced with the choice of sinki…

Car Crash Customer Service

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The Automobile Ass.

Dear Sirs,

In reference to your recent email stating, "We believe we have resolved this matter for you", my response is "No, you have not." In fact, I have resolved this matter by a) cancelling my insurance policy with you and b) informing your staff that I will never be using the services of the AA again.
In addition, I will also be writing to my MP to advise him of the deeply prejudicial policies victimising those who work in the arts that the AA and its underwriter's support. As an author with an alternative full-time occupation who would have been charged an extra £500 on my policy for having a part-time "risky" profession, I will delight in putting my writing skills to good use whilst I compose my epistle. I will also take pleasure in penning it as I luxuriously sip a glass of champagne and nibble chocolates whilst sitting comfortably at my desk and not, as you seem to think, whilst drunk and careering dangerously around the M25…

Z is for Ziggy the Zoologist

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There was a zoologist called Ziggy
Who fell for a sweet-hearted piggy
They made love in her sty
Beneath a moonlit sky
And wallowed in mud with a ciggy


Y is for Yancey the Yeti

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There was an awkward young yeti called Yancey
Who had a peculiar fancy
He liked to sniff cheese
And lick mushy peas
And then shove 'em down his girlfriend's panties



X is for The Xmas Sunday Driver

X is a nightmare letter. Last year I cheated and did X is for the Kissable Letter to get myself out of a hole (my ignorance of words beginning with X) and this year I am going to cheat again by doing X is for Xmas which means effectively I write about whatever I want. Hurrah! Three cheers for ingenuity!

So X is for the Xmas Sunday Driver.

As someone who does a lot of driving, I deplore Sunday drivers because they are always, always, always, getting in my way and slowing me down. I am one of those people who drive to the speed limit so if I get stuck behind an elderly couple driving at 40 mph in a 60 mph zone because they are admiring the pansies on the roadside I instantly turn into a road-raging monster. I know it's hard to believe that a sweet, English rose such as myself could ever be angry but when I have places to go and people I want to see before I die I am like the Incredible Hulk on speed.

However, in my experience, Xmas Sunday drivers are the absolute worst of their bree…

W is for Whinging and Whining Authors - The Writers' Curse No 2!

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I am sick to death of reading articles by whinging, whining depressed writers or writers pretending to be depressed. It's so depressing I'm actually thinking about killing myself.

Okay, maybe not: I like living too much. Living is interesting. You know - wine, sex, that kind of stuff.

However, I am seriously beginning to wonder if some of these whinging authors are faking their depressions because they are everywhere. I mean everywhere. For example, I am minding my own business, humming and happily "researching" and I click on what looks like a jolly looking writer's website which might have lots of useful tips and I find...

I was depressed for years. My writing suffered: I couldn't find my pen, my computer crashed and even my printer cartridges imploded. I became an alcoholic and addicted to chewing the ends of biros, smoking pot and watching Friends. I read Martin Amis.Finally, when I trapped my head in my desk drawer I decided to consult a therapist who pu…

V is for Vacations

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With the prospect of long summer evenings and some pleasant weather ahead I won’t be the only housewife fantasizing about lying on a beach, nibbling grapes, sipping Coladas and being waited upon by a handsome young manservant.
Unfortunately, when I’m in the middle of these and other exotic fantasies a whining voice asking an annoying question often brings me back down to reality. A recent example of this was when I had my hands immersed in the washing up bowl whilst dreaming about surfing with Damien Lewis when suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by the question every mother dreads;

“When can we go camping?”

Now imagine the onset of acute postnatal depression combined with the news that Daniel Craig has quit as James Bond and you will have an idea how such a question cuts me to the quick. What I’d really like to do in such circumstances is to stick my head in the oven. However, due to the small personages to whom I gave birth and who regularly attach themselves to my purse at the sw…

U is for U2 and Mary J Blige

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It's a cheat night. I am still racing around with my Fitbit on and I've thrown in an hour of swimming today as well today so I'm taking the easy way out tonight with a song that hits the spot with me from U2 and Mary J Blige. I reckon it's a good way to end a long day.

Any suggestions for the remaining letters are very welcome. Otherwise, there could yet be more dubious poetry!



T is for Typofuckitupitius - The Writer's Curse

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A couple of years ago, when I was preparing The Changing Room for publication it finally dawned on me why most writers are mad. Of course, I'd heard stories about writers who imagine aliens and psychotic wide-eyed rabbits peering out of bushes at them but I've never considered myself one of them because, as anyone who knows me is aware, I am completely normal.

However, what I have discovered whilst proofing The Changing Room is that these crazed writers are not just authors of science fiction, fantasy and obscure meaningless poetry as I imagined. They are not even affected by booze, drugs and mental illness. (Well, not all of them.) They are just poor unfortunate writers, such as myself, who have been cruelly afflicted by a terrible disease called
Typofuckitupitus. Now you may not have heard of Typofuckituptis before but let me assure you it is very real and very dangerous. Here's the definition from the Turley English Dictionary:

Typofuckituptis(Ti-poe-fuck-it-up-ti-tis)

A di…

S is for The Sandwich Club

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I’m fifty years old. It’s an abominable age for a woman and not just because some mornings there’s so much hair on your chin you resemble a yeti. You see, fifty is an age where a woman is likely to be part of the sandwich club: jammed between her career and caring for her children and parents like a piece of overly ripe cheese and rather drab lettuce. With no relish.
Some women would rather not sign up to the sandwich club as it frequently arrives at the age when the effects of the dreaded menopause take hold. Insomnia, tiredness and hot flushes are common grievances but some women, like me, suffer from more unusual symptoms like road rage, the desire to skewer politicians with a meat fork, and lusting after David Tennant. Sadly, as the sandwich club age is the one most likely to be filled with responsibilities, there’s very little time to drool over younger men for more than a few minutes. And if there’s a choice between working and coping with demanding teenagers and elderly relativ…

R is for Rubbish Ramblings

Gasp. Yet another post I've left too close the deadline. Let's face it, I am rubbish at planning and self-discipline. However, I do have a treat for you tomorrow as I have an actual "S" post for you that I have actually spent more than five minutes thinking about! In fact, it was commissioned by one of the UK's national papers but, sadly, they didn't run with it which in writing terms would have been a bit of a breakthrough for me. Humph. I haven't figured why they didn't run with it (but apparently the offending newspaper has a practice of commissioning more articles than it needs) so I have decided that my article was one of the following:

 a) Too good (Well obviously I'd think that.)   b) Too bad  c) Not sleazy enough. (Hard to believe given the general standard of writing on this blog.)  d) Too humorous 
Anyway folks, you can let me have your thoughts tomorrow on why you think the paper didn't run with it. In the meantime, it's another…

Q is for Queues and British Stoicism

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A peculiar characteristic of being British is being very patient and stoic even in the most difficult of times. This sort of resilience can be seen in all aspects of the British life: from our ability to hold the Germans at bay with some old rickety boats and a few squadrons of  Spitfires to our ability to stand in an orderly queue for hours on end without a fight breaking out.  We are a nation of stoics - any other country would have ejected Piers Morgan permanently. So today I thought I'd list my Top Ten Example Scenarios of British Stoicism...

No 1. It goes without saying that at the top of the examples list is the British habit of waiting patiently in a queue. Sometimes people wait in queues for whole days outside Harrods at sale-time or sleep on the pavements outside Buckingham Palace for a glimpse of Her Majesty. In fact, there is no greater crime in the UK than queue-jumping. Try it and you will be met with scathing looks or, at the very least, whispers about being mentally …

P is for Pork Chops and Promisicuity

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I am cheating tonight as I am tired and want to skive off to bed after a long day incorporating several long walks. (I'm trying to shift some weight and counting my steps on my Fitbit.) So here's my short story Pork Chops and Promiscuity which is from my story collection A Modern Life. You can pick up the entire collection free on Amazon Kindle between 21st- 25th April US Eastern time. If you enjoy the stories please consider leaving a review. Just a few words will do - nothing fancy is required!

And so to bed!

Pork Chops and Promiscuity.
Judith was a lesbian. Only she didn't have short hair and she didn't wear wooden beads. Neither did she have a girlfriend with a moustache and legs like a Russian shot-putter. In fact, Judith didn't have a girlfriend at all; she preferred the anonymity of one-night stands with girls picked up in gay bars and communal changing rooms. Judith particularly liked the changing rooms at the exclusive gym she attended where all the tanned…

O is for Ode to Oedipus

Yes, it's time for one of my departures into appallingly bad poetry. This is because as usual I had no idea what I was going to write about today so I looked up a list of words beginning with "O" and found I didn't know most of them. Well, I knew a few words such as... "on", "one", "once", "oh" and "oven." I did toy with the idea of writing about my oven (*spits*) but I thought that would probably spiral into one of my celebrity chef rants which I had been thinking of doing for "C" and then forgot at the last moment and so ended up doing the Christmas Male Dancer.

However, I did recognise the word "ode" in the list which was closely followed by "Oedipus". ( I knew O level English would come in handy someday.) So I thought why not throw them together and see what happens.....

Oedipus was a king of Thebes
Who didn't like controversies
Especially about his unfortunate herpes
Which tormen…

N is for No

"No" can be a difficult word to say for many people. But I think it is an especially hard word for women to say.

Historically and culturally woman have been moulded into saying "yes" in a world which, despite progress towards female emancipation, is still male dominated. Even in England, which has been at the forefront of female emancipation, women still only received the vote in 1918 and even that was only for women over thirty. It was not until 1928 when The Equal Franchise Act lowered the voting age for women to 21 did women's voting rights finally become on a par with men's rights.

So less than a 100 years ago women in the UK were still considered unequal to men. And that still holds true today in many areas of our lives in the UK despite our legal rights. Across the world women are even more marginalised. Women are still paid less, promoted less, sidelined and abused as slaves, servants and sex workers. They are far more likely than men to be the victi…

M is for Moustache

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This is one of my true-life embarrassing stories that happened several years ago.

It was just before Christmas and Master Ben was in dire need of a haircut. I wasn't going to put up with any of his feeble excuses in an attempt to get out a much-needed haircut, so I frogmarched him into the barbers which, in the pre-Christmas rush, was pretty busy. Now this is a barbers which is principally a male barber's shop but will occasionally cut women's hair if they're not busy.

Anyway, Master Ben and I were awaiting his turn in the barber's chair. It was a long long wait and although there were two barbers both had clients and there were two further clients in the waiting area. I was filling in my time reading The Sun (standard barber shop reading) and Master Ben was filling his time just looking around. This was the conversation that followed:
Master Ben: The women's haircuts are more expensive.
Mrs T (Looking up at the price board): I know - but it's still cheaper…