Ah, the end of the holiday comes fast apace, alas - work is tomorrow (groan) and I can hardly believe it. Not sure where I put my work head and if it will ever really fit again, to be honest - oh how glorious retirement will be, I suspect ...
Anyway, hanging on to the last of the holiday hours for as long as I can, I'm thrilled to announce that Lord H and I have already spotted 55 new birds in 2010, hurrah. For those of you not in the birding world (wise folk!), this doesn't mean I've suddenly discovered a whole supply of birds we've never seen in our lives before- it's just that the birding count starts afresh with each new year. Sad, eh? But we're not as sad as some who number the birds spotted per county, so any bird can be new countless times depending on where you see it in the country. Ah it's a strange world indeed ...
But here is my list (skip to next para if you can't stand this sort of thing, but I personally find it strangely thrilling): barn owl (happy to spot this as we waited for ages as we only saw one owl late last year - and when it finally swooped over the field at dusk that we were standing in, it was a very haunting sight), blackbird, black headed gull, blue tit, bullfinch, Canada goose, chaffinch, coal tit (nice to see this as they're tricky), collared dove, common gull, coot, cormorant, crow, dunnock, fieldfare, gadwall, goldcrest (ditto as for coal tit, and they're the smallest UK bird - it fell off a branch as we passed so we couldn't fail to notice it), goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, greylag goose, greenfinch, green woodpecker, house sparrow, jackdaw, kestrel, lapwing, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, meadow pipit, mistle thrush, moorhen, mute swan, nuthatch, pheasant (they were flinging themselves under the car wheels but we missed them, so I think they count), pied wagtail, pintail, pochard, redwing, reed bunting, ring-necked parakeet, robin, rock dove, rook, shelduck, shoveler, song thrush, starling, teal, tree creeper (ditto as per coal tit and goldcrest notes, but they're bigger, just), tufted duck, wigeon, wood pigeon (the most boring and common bird in the whole universe but it was the very first one spotted in 2010 so had some kind of excitement value for a very, very short space of time), wren (quite hard to spot usually and there were loads of them).
Ah, typing that last paragraph has been like an enema, you know. I feel a very peculiar sense of relief about it all - should I start the counselling sessions again?... Writing news for the start of the new year has been positive too. My gay erotic (with light - very light, so no need to panic unduly - bondage) story, Give and Take, has been accepted by Amber Allure Press for publication on 21 March, so that's something to look forward to. As well as something I couldn't possibly tell church or work of course. Lordy, surely my secret life is now possibly more all-encompassing than my so-called real one?? Anyway I have to think of cover ideas. Hmm, there's a nice challenge, eh.
I was also pleased to see that The Bones of Summer held the Number 60 slot in the Amazon UK gay romance charts for a while - Craig and Paul are ridiculously pleased about that, and Paul may even buy a new bottle of whisky - the Macallan of course - to celebrate. Well, it is the holiday season still. I was also very happy to get an email from one kind reader telling me how much they loved the novel - thank you, Judie. Much appreciated! And that makes you my first 2010 response, so an added pleasure indeed.
This week's haiku:
Ice crunches my boot.
Days flit by like winter birds:
snow goose, eider, smew.
Anne's website - starting the year with a flutter, ho ho