NB THIS SECTION HAS BEEN REMOVED DUE TO LEGAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE PUBLISHER CONCERNED, AT THEIR REQUEST.
Anyway, keeping to the publisher theme, I'm very happy indeed with the 2nd quarter royalties from Untreed Reads, so evidently some of my books do sell somewhere. And I've been lucky enough to be asked for an interview by Reasons To Be Beautiful Magazine - many thanks, Stephanie and Madel. The questions certainly made me think!
Meanwhile, at Vulpes Libris, I've reviewed I Love The 80s by Megan Crane, which is very much a book of two halves, but it does warm up, so worth a read.
And here are two recent meditations:
These hills swallow up
the dead where even the swords
all the noise and smell
of battle stilled
by evening air
and the sure approach
a good many cities
simply in order
to rebuild them again.
It’s a shame
he can’t do likewise
with all the people,
their memories and pain.
It was my birthday on 21 June, hurrah! So a big thank you to everyone who sent their good wishes and/or cards as both were very much appreciated. K bought me a lovely jewellery box so I don't have to push my earrings in a tiny drawer where I can't see anything properly, and also a wonderful SatNav system - which I absolutely love and which is my new best friend. I'm hoping this means no more panicking and getting hopelessly lost, but you never know. Anyway, it's nice to have someone else in the car sharing the pain, if only a disembodied voice.
Other birthday amusements were the utter mystery of why my mother had bought me a box of contact lens solution when I don't actually wear contact lenses. Is she going senile at last?? Is it a subtle hint to tell me she's never liked my glasses?... We puzzled over it for some time until the mystery was solved - when I opened the box there was a bottle of my favourite peppermint foot cream. Aha! There's method in the old gal's madness, and Mother is not as strange as we thought she was for a while. Though, possibly, I am. In addition, in the evening, after my first glass of champagne (only one, mind you - honest!), I heard the neighbours outside chatting to the house gardener and so went outside to say hello. K joined me to be sociable and it was then that the wind caught the front door and slammed it shut. Arrggh! Naturally, neither of us had our keys, and so Steve from one of the other flats very sweetly went to see if he had a spare key. Sadly, he had all the keys to all the flats in the known universe, but not ours. There was therefore no option but for K to pick me up, lift me over the thankfully open window in the living room and push. My, how all the neighbours loved that - and are still talking about it ... K appeared at one point to be paying a great deal of attention to my bottom, which was most definitely not stuck in any way, but he maintains he was only trying to help. Hmmm ... Still, I broke in to our own flat successfully and the problem was solved, hurrah. Mind you, K is very happy to claim that in our 18 years of marriage, he has lifted me over the threshold of both the flats we've lived in in some way or other (the first time upon return from our honeymoon, ah bless) and is limbering up to do the same again for our next house. I'd best lay off the chocolate then ...
Plus there's wonderful news on our flat sale - we've exchanged at last, triple hurrahs and put out the bunting, big-time!! Completion date is 1 July. It's so unbelievable that I can hardly believe it myself. I think I might even have cried, goodness me - tell no-one. As a result, we're seriously back on the house hunt again. Today we have 2, possibly 3, houses to see, and another 3 tomorrow. It's all hotting up here in the outback of Woking, I can tell you.
Really, it's been a veritable Week of Firsts. I've shopped online for the first time, and our order was successfully delivered by Tesco on Monday night. They gave me exactly what I asked for - so I have made a mental note that ice cream cartons are larger than I think (we ended up with the miniscule versions) and I don't really need enough cheese to feed the Roman army, should they wish to pop by. K resigning himself to weeks and weeks of cheese sandwich lunches ahead ...
The dishwasher is proving a truly wonderful invention too - though yesterday I spent the whole afternoon puzzling over why it should eat a tupperware pot lid and searching through the kitchen to try and find it. At one point I was even chatting to the dishwasher asking it to give the lid back, but I appreciate that's probably not something I should admit, at least not in normal society. However, that mystery too was solved when K came back home and pointed out the lid was in the cutlery drawer. Goodness knows why, but at least my lunchtime rice is no longer likely to spill everywhere on my way to work. Result.
Last night we went to see The Pitmen Painters at the theatre, which is absolutely marvellous and everyone should see it. The only thing was the ending rather faded out, and K and I think it would have been much better with simply a quiet scene between George and Oliver as they prepare for another day in the mines - it would have been stronger like that, but it's still one you should see. The interesting thing, for me, was that it's set in the North-East where my mother's family come from - and the moment they started talking, I was right back there in my childhood with the menfolk in my family talking about the mines in those glorious accents. The playwright is also spot on with the phrases they use and the ways of saying things, as it could easily have been my uncle/cousins/grandfather speaking. Great stuff.