Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gardens, glasses and angst

Book News:

Much to my surprise, A Dangerous Man briefly found itself at No 25 in the Amazon UK charts, so that was nice. In addition, The Hit List gained a 5-star review at Goodreads, so many thanks for that, Chris - much appreciated.

On the sales front, there's 25% off all my Untreed Reads titles until the end of the year, so shop early shop often, and start your New Year with a bang. As it were.

Only one meditation this week as I slowly slowly get back into the habit again, and here it is:

Meditation 475
Sometimes the best victory
and the one
you remember

is simply to outlive
the one
you hate.

Life News:

A bit of an up-and-down week really. We've had a lot of nice outings, including visiting The Egyptian Book of the Dead exhibition at the British Museum, which is well worth it especially if you're into death rituals and bodies, as I am. We also enjoyed seeing the Lewis chessmen, which are wonderful - much smaller than I thought they'd be (silly me, eh) but absolutely exquisite.

We've also visited Wakehurst Place in the fog, where the gardens were interesting but ... um ... foggy and we probably need to go back when we can actually see things. And today, we've had a lovely time at Savill Garden, which I love and which is just as beautiful in winter, with some amazing winter displays and trails, as it is in the summer. The shop's good too and I've finally managed to buy some decent new soapdishes, which I've been looking for for ages, and a nice big happy mug too. So I can aim to be happier in 2011, ho ho.

On the way back we popped into a garden centre to look for candles, and I managed to smash one of the displays and cut myself with glass whilst doing so. Good for me, eh. The staff were lovely though and I didn't have to pay for the chaos I caused, for which I am hugely grateful - it was probably the look of total shock and the blood dripping from the finger that brought out their compassionate side. Anyway, I've calmed down now, thank the Lord, and next time I want to look at anything breakable, I will get K to lift it up for me.

Meanwhile, I've also had another physio session and the frozen shoulder is definitely on the mend, though it makes itself known every now and then. And I've bought a really lovely winter coat in the sales at Debenhams, with which I am hugely happy.

This week's drama has been the Crisis of the Missing Glasses. I attempted to watch the Rolf Harris (I have a soft spot for dear old Rolf) art show last night and realised I couldn't find my tv watching/driving glasses anywhere. Cue frantic searching of the flat, weeping and sobbing (the latter two being mine, naturally). And cue recording of Rolf. I felt really stupid and assumed I'd somehow lost them in Guildford yesterday whilst meandering round the sales. So this morning I spend 45 minutes ringing round shops I can remember being in to see if they had found them. Everyone was really lovely but sadly no glasses. I then did some more weeping and rang the optician's to make an emergency appointment to get replacements. Bearing in mind you never know how long they're going to take and I do take a while choosing new ones anyway, I decided to chance it as it's only a short trip to Godalming and take the car in myself rather than make K wait around while I faffed about. I got in the car and there the buggers were!!! What joy and bliss abounding!!! You can't imagine the relief ... especially as I've just saved myself c£300 replacement costs, double hurrahs and put out the bunting.

Anyway, K has now made me put my phone number in both my reading and my "missing" glasses cases so if they do genuinely go astray at some point then I have a better chance of getting them back. And, when I rang the optician to cancel the appointment, they were hugely pleased that their long-distance customer service skills were as top-notch as ever, gawd bless 'em. How I love a happy ending.

As a result of all that, K and I have also had a discussion about how much of a stressed-out drama queen I'm becoming - though as he freely admits that when he first met me I was stressed-out and hugely unhappy way back then, then perhaps it's not as much of a shock to him as I always assume it is when I get myself in a state now. But I do think I'm getting much worse as I get older - is it my hormones?? Or perhaps the general lack of the sort of hopeful attitude I had twenty years ago that I most definitely don't have now? I'm sure I used to assume in my twenties that things would improve no matter how bad they were, whereas nowadays I just assume they'll probably get worse and I get very angry and frustrated about it. Lordy, what a delight I am to be with indeed ... Anyway, as a result of all this deep thought, I've bought myself an anger management book and a set of bible reading notes to start in January to see if that helps. I should also do more meditation too, I think, as I'm not really very committed to it these days, particularly as my church life went downhill earlier in the year. I'm wondering about going back to the gym too, maybe, as in the old old days beyond recall I used to get rid of a hell of a lot of steam there which helped with the aggression levels, but let's not get too over-enthusiastic. Bloody Rome wasn't built in a bloody day, eh. And I don't want to set myself up for too much personal failure before the year has even begun - there's plenty of time for that yet!

Happy New Year, in any case, to all.

Anne Brooke


Megan said...

Happy New Year Anne -
To your continuing writing success, to not being too hard on yourself and to much, much happiness and health to you in 2011!!
Love megan x

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks so much, Megan - and the same to you also! Hugs galore xxxxx

Drifter said...

Hope the New Year brings good things for you Anne. You've had a trying few months...

Do tell us if the anger management book works. I regularly can't find my keys and I get VERY cross. My husband usually hides in the cellar at such times.

Anne Brooke said...

Thank you! I'll let you know if it works - cellars can be soooo useful! :))

Jason Shaw said...

Oh I have to laugh, right along with you, regardling the glasses! I used to have the same problem, I was forever forgetting where I put my old goggles, and of course, they in turn were forever getting up and wandering away from where I put them!

So, when one of the stores had a 2 for 1 sale, I got 4 pairs, just to be safe! Bugger me, I've not lost a pair since! (Too frigging expensive to loose!)

Love Wakehurst, although not been for some years and never in the fog.

Do you feel that as our age number rises the less easy it is to be positive and optimistic? I find it so hard at times - but then again I am going through a mid-life crisis minus the red sports car and leather jacket. Oh well, never mind, personally I like a bit of a drama queen from time to time, stress or no stress, proves we're still alive after all!

Happy New Year.

Anne Brooke said...

Definitely my age, Jason! Though you're too young to claim that - but you'll suit the sports car & leather jacket - a perfect match!

Hugs to you!


Jilly said...

Happy New Year, Anne.

I know exactly how you feel about the glasses and how comparatively little things can make you get in a state. I'm sure it's something which gets worse with age for everyone.

I used to annoy my nearest and dearest by being so laid back I was nearly horizontal. Now I get stressed over minor things and annoy them like that instead!!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jilly - and happy new year to you also! Always good to keep one's nearest and dearest on their toes of course :))