Sunday, April 22, 2012

The joys of jasmine and the wonder of weeds

Life News:

This weekend saw my second attempt at cake making, and this time it was the turn of chocolate fudge cake. Not too bad an effort, I think, though I did cheat a bit and use shop-bought icing, but the rest of it is real. I do need to find a way to make my actual cake a bit moister however - here we have a really hot oven so I'm going to need to work with shorter timings or the alternative is a teaspoon of mayonnaise, which has worked wonders in the past. So I may well get some of that.

I also had a lovely time as usual at Elstead Writers (hello, all!) and came away inspired, as well as full of leftover Easter chocolate. Thank you, Sue ... Sorry if I ate too much though. Also yesterday, K and I visited Wisley to pick the brains of their weeds experts and work out which weeds we have in the garden. Well, ground elder we knew about (I've beating the damn stuff to a pulp every 5 minutes, I swear it ...) but we also have couch grass, which I didn't realise before. So we've got rid of that today too. Plus  we've got a riot of a wonderful weed known as sticky willy (no, I am not making that up ...), so I've been pulling all that out too, but at least it comes out fairly easily (as it were), and yes, it is highly sticky. Anyway, whilst there, we got a load of more plants, including violas, pansies, a pink carnation, pulmonaria, etc etc, so need to plant those up at some point - between the weeds. Not only that, but we bought a lovely indoor jasmine, which today is making the whole house smell utterly beautiful, so that's pretty amazing. When I got up this morning to fetch tea for K (ah, a woman's work is never done ...), I could smell it at the top of the stairs, even though the door to the dining room where we'd put it was shut. Wonderful.

This morning we've been to church followed by the Annual General Meeting, which wasn't too bad actually. We managed by sheer force of will and pizzazz to avoid ending up on the PCC (thank the Lord!), but I am happy to volunteer for sidesperson duties, so have put my name down for that. Heck, I can do smiling, you know - I just have to practise it first.

Book News:

This week my most popular book on Amazon UK was gay romance Tommy's Blind Date, and on Amazon US it was gay menage story, Dating The Delaneys. So a subtle difference in tastes there really, though there's humour in both. I'm also very happy indeed to showcase the book cover for the upcoming Rentboys Anthology from Riptide Publishing - ain't it grand! Lovely to be in such distinguished company too.

Meanwhile gay comic romance Angels and Airheads gained a 4-star review at Goodreads, so thank you, Rachel, for that.

And don't forget that there's only ONE week left of the LibraryThing giveaway of fantasy novel The Gifting. So far I have 58 people entering the competition, and I'd really love to make it to 60, at least, so if you can sling your hat in the ring, I'd be really eternally thrilled and for ever in your debt - thank you!

A recent meditation poem is:

Meditation 643
So many storehouses
for so much wealth –
a blessing, he says,
from above –

but the only things
the rich man needs
are air and water
and love.

The Sunday haiku is:

Glorious sunshine
sweeps away all memory
of this endless rain.

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