I've had a lovely and very thoughtful review of A Dangerous Man at Three Dollar Bill Reviews, so many thanks to Kassa for that.
In the meantime, I'm carrying on with the publisher edits for The Gifting and am now nearing the halfway mark, which is nice.
I have to say I am now totally fed up with 2010, to be honest, and really wish it was over. Sorry to be the Bringer of Misery (ah, it's my habitual role, you know) but there it is. On the whole, it's not been a great ending to the year and for me it has most definitely outstayed its welcome.
Part of this is because illnesses are greatly abounding - though the frozen shoulder is considerably better now, thanks to the magic skills of my physio, Helen (may her name be praised). I can now raise my arm above my shoulder, hurrah, though moving it backwards is still beyond me. And I must also sing the praises of my TENS pain relief machine and the newly-discovered Deep Heat patches - which really really work, well gosh. However today I am coming down with a cold so am fully expecting snorting, coughing and wheezing to be the accompaniment to our Christmas guinea fowl and rum butter on Saturday (Lordy, but there's a combination for sure). Still, I am taking Lemsips and echinacea in the hope of fending off the inevitable.
The slightly surprising news is that I have discovered that if I have actual physical pain (such as the frozen shoulder), then I feel considerably less depressed. I can quite honestly say that during the first few days of FS I've never been mentally happier. Really, it was a great shock to me. On the other hand, now the FS is on the mend, I feel the customary gloom pouring in, and indeed yesterday evening was a real and serious downer, double groans and pass me the revolver. Back on a double dose of St John's Wort & Passion Flower, and today I feel marginally better, probably because I gave up totally on the day last night at 9pm and simply went to bed. So, the trick is to have a low level of real pain that is evident but not too debilitating and I am Ms. Sunshine herself. Dream on, eh.
Alongside all this, we had our first viewer of the flat this week - they were "very keen" apparently and would "definitely make an offer", according to the estate agent (ho ho, as if), and since then there's been silence. It now appears they don't like the outside stairs, and the estate agent (in the manner of all estate agents everywhere) is wrong. Now I can't believe I let myself fall even a little for the possibility of hope and I will certainly not be doing that again - it's part of what contributed to the serious meltdown of yesterday.
At the same time, Bellway Homes are getting very pushy indeed about our potential part-exchange situation and have been ringing us up every five minutes asking when they can send round yet another estate agent to give a PX value. Luckily they're on holiday now until next week so will not be pursuing us further for a while, and so I've left a message saying we're happy to sort another visit out in January when everyone's breathed after Christmas & the New Year again. Really, I have no idea what their sudden and frantic hurry is as the house of theirs we like isn't even built yet, for goodness sake. Plus I like to keep our options open just in case something better comes up (which they know) so have no intention of making any sort of final decision until at least the end of January. Ha! From now on I am no longer going to be super-nice (if indeed I ever was) but determined.
However, the overarching feeling about houses at the moment is that I really hate being in the flat and want to get out as soon as I can - like the year itself, our time here has way outstayed its welcome and I wish we'd got out sooner. If it gets to February and we have f**k all coming our way in terms of escape routes and Bellway are still playing silly devils with us, then quite frankly I'm out of here. If we have to sell this one later and live in a hovel until we do, then that is exactly what we'll do. A month ago, I didn't want to spend my birthday here, and now I'm damned if I have to spend Easter in the place. I really hate it and actually I really hate our absentee middle neighbours too. Thank God they don't actually live in the house.
Other delights of the season (ho, b****y ho) are this morning I had to go into Godalming to pay a cheque in to Santander Bank that I owe to my delightful absentee downstairs neighbours (hurrah, at least someone in the house is nice!). I must say Santander in Godalming wins the Grumpiest Staff of the Year award by a long way - they were really nasty to deal with and quite unforgivably rude to the customer in front of me too. Are they on drugs? Or maybe they should be ... Anyway it was an unpleasant experience all round and I'm just hugely glad I don't bank there. They're almost on par with Godalming Lloyds and that's saying something.
On a more positive note (at last!), I have wrapped all K's presents so am ready to fully ignore the Big Day on Saturday in the manner to which we have become accustomed over the last eighteen years. Somebody crack open the ruddy champagne already.
Happy Christmas and see you on the other side!