Sunday, August 07, 2011

Garden delights and The Thoughtful Corner

Book News:

Lots of exciting news this week, so hang on to your hats. As it were. I'm really pleased to say that my Christian novella, The Prayer Seeker, is set to be published by DWB Publishing on 5 December 2011, so the ideal Christmas present for your spiritually-minded friends indeed.

You can now find the latest August news on my website, and I've also started a quarterly newsletter which you're more than welcome to sign up for. It will contain fascinating writing snippets, exclusive extracts and free giveaways with each edition - so what have you got to lose! Go on, you know you want to, and hey it won't cost you anything either. What could be nicer?

On a rather more philosophical level, I've also started a new and quieter blog, called The Thoughtful Corner - where I'll be posting monthly on issues that make me think, so please do feel free to visit if you need a bit of a break from the demands of life, and indeed the fast-moving parts of the Internet. I like to think of it as a small opportunity to experience "life in the slow lane" and hey we all need a taste of that sometimes. The first issue I'm looking at is demands and delays, and how we can balance these contrasting pulls in our lives. I'd love to hear how you do that, or even if you do it, as I know it's something I find very hard, and more so as I get older! Heck, I need all the help I can get ...

In terms of reviews, I'm very happy to have received an interesting review on gay comedy The Hit List, some lovely comments on gay BDSM story Give and Take, and a 5-star review of gay romantic story Two Christmases. All from Goodreads, all in Italian (but Google Translate solved my problems in no time!) and all from a lovely lady called Anncleire - so very many thanks for that!

Meanwhile the equally lovely bestselling and very talented crime novelist Vicki Tyley has kindly showcased The Gifting on her blog - so thank you so much, Vicki - I'm really touched by that gesture. Well, you knew I was pretty odd anyway ...

There's one meditation poem this week:

Meditation 555
He fills the space
for prayer
with so many words

I can barely remember
if God is there
at all.

This week's haikus (the second one as we've had a rather tricky time with Celia Satnav this weekend, Gawd bless 'er ...) are:

Two grey cats yowling
their displeasure like soldiers
preparing for war.

Take the first exit
for joy, the fourth for sorrow.

Life News:

We attended our old neighbour's funeral on Friday - it was a very moving occasion, as these things often are, but I learnt a great deal about what we like to call his "middle years" which was great - as both M & G, his children, gave wonderful talks at the Crematorium. I knew a fair amount about Henry's war years, and of course about the last twenty years when he lived in the same house as us, but knew little about the time between. It was good to fill out the picture. I'll certainly miss him.

There's also some very positive news once more about the Elstead house. It looks like the completion date might end up being 1 or 2 September, which suits us fine, but we can't tell until tomorrow when our solicitor gets the final signed documents from ourselves (which we dropped in to her today) and I can get hold of our removal people to see if either of those dates are free for them. Ah, the tension is mounting, you know. I only hope we can actually get to exchange date without more disasters this time round! God willing.

And our new washing machine is totally fabulous. I think I am in love with it. It's sooo big. I could stuff a whole roomful of clothes in there and still have room for the odd extra cardigan or two. Bliss. It's just a damn shame we can't take it with us, sigh.

This weekend we have gone garden-mad, and really enjoyed it. Yesterday was the delights of The Savill Garden - which is well worth a visit, and the cappuccino and cupcakes were, once again, to die for. Mmmm. But, much to my horror, they've changed the shop!!! That shop was wonderful when we last visited, but they've now made it a lot smaller (why, oh why?...) and there's virtually nothing to buy. What could they have been thinking? Deeep sigh indeed.

Today, however, we are more than mollified by our visit to the utterly wonderful Old Croft Garden in Dorking. It was very beautiful indeed, incredibly peaceful and oh so cleverly designed. Ooh, and the mini cream tea was pretty good too. However, the definite comic highlight was the delightful old couple who were looking closely at the list of plants to work out what was what:

She: Are you sure you can read that without your glasses, darling?
He: But, my dear, I'm wearing my glasses ...

Honestly, you couldn't make it up. We're still chortling ... Sadly though, it's the last day this particular garden is open this year, but they're re-opening on both Sunday and Monday of both May bank holidays next year - so we plan to be there. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Anne Brooke
The Thoughtful Corner

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