The Gifting is now available, both as a eBook and paperback, at Bluewood Publishing, and you can also find it, in paperback, at Amazon US, and in Kindle version, at Amazon US and Amazon UK. I gather some people have already bought copies, so thank you and I hope you enjoy the read. Mind you, if you're local and you know me (those brave few!...) - don't forget the launch is in July so you'll need to wait till then or I'll have no more buyers left, alas. It's also been a pleasure getting the boxes of author/launch copies delivered this week and I think I might stop stroking them now but don't hold your breath ... It is quite something when the book one has spent so many months and months giving birth to is finally ... um ... born. A scary and exhilarating feeling, I can tell you. I'm also compiling a list of potential reviewers so need to start working my way through that once I've liaised with Bluewood. Always good to be busy.
Meanwhile, The Art of the Delaneys gained its first 5-star review at Goodreads, so thank you, Marsha, for that. Much appreciated.
Here's a recent meditation (ah the joys and pains of being the youngest child - how well I know it!):
The youngest child
carries the sins
and joys of all
who came first.
They store memories
like dust or shadows:
The Sunday haiku is:
In sunlight and dust
I pack up my memories
for another day.
It's all change! As you may be able to tell from the haiku ... We had a phone call on Friday morning to say all the signed documents for selling our flat were now completed (gosh, the tricky neighbours have come through then, thank the good Lord for it ...) and our buyer wanted to complete and move in as soon as possible. So, I spent most of Friday and some of Saturday (not necessarily in this order) (a) driving to the removal firm in Cranleigh to redo our removal quote to include storage and sign it off there and then; (b) agreeing with our rental flat agent when we can move in; (c) filling in the documentation the rental agent sent us; (d) contacting the gas, water, electricity, credit card, pension and other financial people etc etc while K when home did the telephone and council tax people etc etc. My, what fun - especially when we find out that BT will not be able to connect us to the phone or internet in our new rented flat until 17 June, so it looks like we will be on radio silence, as they say, until then. Then again, it may do us good and we can rediscover the roses once more, hey ho.
So the upshot is that we will be moving on Tuesday 31 May, so a week on Tuesday we will be out of here, hurrah! And I will, after all my moaning and groaning, get to have my birthday somewhere else, so another reason to thank God of a Sunday (though, speaking of holy matters, surely He's got it wrong in that K and I are still here and haven't been Raptured?... I demand a recount ...). Anyway double hurrahs for all sorts of reasons and put out the bunting. And, for a woman moving in just over a week, I am startlingly calm. Must be the pills.
Anyway, in the midst of all this, I spent a pleasant morning yesterday seeing a friend in Maidstone (hello, Pauline!) whilst K looked at a very posh house that everyone appears to want, but thank goodness he didn't like it so we don't have to compete. Plus he thought the tenants were bitter and dodgy (much like us, then) and couldn't bear the thought of having to deal with them, so we're best off out of that one, to be sure.
Other good news of the weekend is that (sound the trumpets) K and I have actually managed to grow our first ever flower, well gosh. Everything else we've been trying out lately in our preparation to be gardeners has died and we've had to throw it out - but our rose bush which we pruned earlier on in the year in its little pot has produced one flower. This may not be much to you expert gardeners out there, but it is a huge achievement for us and we are rightly chuffed. In addition, whilst watching (a rather better than normal) Dr Who last night, I was thrilled to see the great man use a snowglobe as a scientific method of observing the universe. Ha! All these years I've collected snowglobes and everyone has laughed at me - but now I am proved right and they will laugh no more. I promise you that my catholic collection of snowglobes (including the old pope, the Holy Family, Noah's Ark, Pompeii, Dubai, Madeira and a host of other places I've been or people I like) is the only thing standing between us and the Rapture. Be thankful that I'm still here ...
So, to today. We have attended church and said our goodbyes to the people there - as we're unlikely to find time to go next Sunday and then we're off to Woking - though we didn't manage to catch up with the main vicar so will have to email him during the week. I'll miss them, and the intermittent bible study groups which were always great fun, but it's time to go and start again, if only temporarily, elsewhere. Also on our journeys this morning, we dropped into the parish's smaller sister church as that was the one we originally started going to until it suffered a very bad fire about two or three years ago. We didn't expect to be able to get in as it's not re-opening till next month and we knew building works were still ongoing - but actually another parishioner was showing his family round so we managed to get inside for a few minutes. It was nice to be able to say goodbye properly in that respect, as it's a beautiful and very peaceful building and they've done a magnificent repair job. We hope to drop in at some point once it's possible, but for now it felt like closure.
Finally, I am delighted to announce that I have at last found my ideal career - toy tiger marksman - as is now a possibility locally as you can see from this news item. Though, as K said, didn't they feel suspicious when the helicopter couldn't pick the ravening beast up on the thermal sensors? Perhaps they thought it might be a vampire tiger. Indeed, the end of the world is nigh ...