Thursday, January 24, 2008

One quarter done and a bloody nice briefcase

Had a blissful couple of hours having a Clarins facial and back massage today. Really enjoyed it. People's lives are always more than you think though - my new Clarins therapist was telling me her boyfriend is in the army and has been in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Horrific. I can't imagine it - I don't think I could handle it if it were me. Either being there (obviously) or being the one left waiting. Apparently the unit he was with was blown up at one stage and the therapist was driving somewhere when she heard the news and had to stop and ring his family just in case. Apparently, they always tell the family before it's on the news anyway, so she knew he must be okay, but still, the shock of it. I was glad to hear he's coming out into civilian life this year - a relief for both of them.

Anyway, deep breath - from the serious to the trivial. You won't be surprised to hear that the utterly marvellous Hydra-care Moisture Quenching Clarins cream that I couldn't ever be without has been ... um ... discontinued. With no replacement. Well, quelle surprise and bugger it. No, double bugger it. As I've said before, I am indeed the Voice of Doom for Commerce. I hesitate to confess any kind of liking for anything at all these days, in case the Government (well, they must be to blame ..) are listening in and rush to take whatever I've sworn undying affection for off the shelves. Sigh.

Oh but there is great joy in the midst of all this. I've found a bloody briefcase! Hurrah! I popped upstairs in the House of Fraser and found the perfect replacement, in glorious black leather (oo-err, missus), in their very wide-ranging and classy briefcase section. Bliss. Not only that but the woman who sold it to me was incredibly lovely and said that if it wasn't quite large enough to hold all my essential medicines (well, I didn't actually tell her why I needed the space, but you know what I mean), then I could bring it back and she'd replace it with a more suitable one. What a star. However, I love it already, and will have to squeeze my pills together. It makes me look almost executive. And yes I do keep stroking it. Wouldn't you?

After all that, I visited Gladys in hospital on my way home. The moment I stepped into the ward, she fell out of bed, presumably in a desperate attempt to escape my ministrations, and it took four nurses and an orderly to put her back. Mind you, she was fighting them bravely. You can only admire her pluck. When she was finally back in the bed and open to visitors, she was tired enough to be more her usual self. And we actually ended up having a nice hour together, consisting of some chat, a few smiles and lots of napping. It's odd though, isn't it. While she was sleeping, I was thinking it all comes down to this: a hospital bed, quiet breathing and the background swish of nurses. Funny how everything slowly slips away.

And I've finally written the first real poem of 2008. It's not to do with Gladys as I wrote it yesterday, but it seems to fit.


I make my pact with time.
Let the hours
shadow me
and the small seconds
be the sun to me.

May the minutes drift over me
like the wings
of tiny colourful birds.
May they nest
in the apple trees.

I take no note of the days.
They are too long for me.
I wish only
for the slow tick-tick
and the scent of evening.

Back home, I've finished the first quarter of The Gifting edit. So I've stopped for a while and sent that quarter to John in the hope for some constructive advice. Well, you never know. Now, I must turn my editing attention to Mark Wagstaff's book for Mighty Erudite. He's a great writer, so I'm looking forward to it.

And I've just finished Suzanne Brockman's Hot Target. An American-based crime novel, with some great characters in. The plot was fine, but a tad slow, but really it was the characters who mattered. I loved Robin and Jules as the secondary leads, together with the various teams, but must admit I was less enamoured of Cosmo & Jane. They were rather melodramatic and unrealistic. Funny how their first sex scene was ridiculously full of talk and emoting and rather laughable - for goodness sake, people, get on with it as I want my tea! - but the couple of kisses between Jules and the do-you-think-I'm-gay-oh-no-surely-not Robin were far more real and gripping, even though they never actually got any further. Well, not with each other anyway. However, now I'm desperate to know what happens to R&J so I've ordered the next two books in the series.

More exciting news from the Torchwood team too - Ianto has sent me an email with the second part of my mission on, so I must rush and get my torch, hold it in the correct position and see if I can help Captain Jack & co. Hmm, do you think I need help?

Today's nice things:

1. Clarins treatments
2. Finding a briefcase
3. Having a decent talk with Gladys.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers

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