Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas on the brain

I saw a white goose caught in the hedge on a busy road.

It was in the distance and I watched it anxiously, terrified it would break free and run headlong into the traffic.

As I approached I planned my rescue mission.

I slowed down and got ready to put on my hazards when I realised it was a white plastic bag flapping about.

I think I have been daydreaming about goose for Christmas dinner way too much!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Trigger Happy Scissors

Cut my hair. I normally cut my hair but this time I got a bit trigger happy with the scissors.

There was a snip-snip here and a snip-snip there and I thought it looked quite good.

This morning I discovered that one side of my hair curls and the other sticks out in spike.

I now look like a hybrid of Brian May and Iggy Pop!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Illustrated Christmas Story

I'm currently working on an illustrated Christmas story for children. I've set myself the tough target of completing this before December 1st - hmmmm bit ambitious maybe.

This is a sad but uplifting tale of one child's wish that may not come true - reach for a hankie with this one...perhaps.

Here's the little darlings over excited about the prospect of festive delights!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Hope this isn't inapropriate!

Just made this card for my Father-in-Law.

Inside it says 'There'll be no green bottles standing on the wall' !!

When washing up is a good thing!

I actually like washing up at this time of year. My hands are so cold I look forward to plunging them in hot bubbly water just to warm them up!

A good laugh for free

There is a little swearing, a lot of embarrassment and loads of laughter - free on Amazon today...


Nothing New Under the Sun

Irrational Mummy Logic

Husband has just taken the kids out for an afternoon adventure. I had so many plans set out in my head and yet, now I have the chance to do them all I can think is, the house is eerily quiet and I don't know what to do with myself!

Friday, 20 November 2015

You either love it or hate it....

It doesn't take long for a home to become a midden!

My little boy was home from nursery for one day yesterday.

He was poorly with a temperature and spent much of the day in his duvet on the sofa - so why does my house now look like I nursed a herd of frolicking goats?

There are toys in every nook and cranny, so much laundry it's now a danger to health and safety and not one clean dish or fork to be had anywhere. I've just eaten toast off a place matt - don't ask what I used to butter it!

You know you're a parent when...

There's no such thing as a free lunch...

There's no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as free laughter.

My book about the stress and hilarity of going through the Autumnal seasons with little children, chaotic family life and bizarre friends is free today http://amzn.to/1lyehDl

Go on, cheer yourself up today!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Weekend mornings

Saturday morning, coffee has been plunged, children fed - I love the weekend! Despite this the place resembles a laundrette after a week with little ones suffering from a tummy upset.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Am I Being Unreasonable?

I had to go to the Headmaster's meeting at the school yesterday afternoon and I had to take my son with me. He's nearly four. Was I being unreasonable to expect him to sit quietly for half an hour?

Whether this was unreasonable or not, it certainly did not happen.

As he can now comprehend words, I thought he would be able to understand, 'Just sit next to me for a little bit and we'll listen to the headmaster.' If that didn't quite sink in, I really thought the promise of sweets at the end would keep him quiet. (Bribery is one of my trusted parenting techniques).

He nodded sagely and wriggled his bottom into the sit and quietly fiddled with the toy sword I had let him bring.

As soon as the Headmaster started his speech on the importance of online safety, my son threw the sword like a dart into the back on someone's head.

I retrieved the sword whispering many apologies.

Whilst doing so he collected all the leaflets off the empty chairs and threw them up in the air.

The Headmaster continued to talk on and on whilst I wrestled him onto my lap and tried to whisper loving things, funny things, promising things and finally threats in his shell like ears.

He wriggled off my lap and sprawled on the floor shouting, 'Help me mummy,' as though he were floating out to sea. When I ignored this he got to his feet and shouted, 'YOU DIDN'T HELP ME MUMMY!' Mortification settled heavily in my chest and shone bright red on my cheeks.

He screamed he wanted his sword. Should I give it back to him and risk it being launched as a missile again or should I deny him and endure the hysterical and loud fall out? I did the latter - the sound was deafening. He writhed about, accidentally head butting my nose and kicking my shin.

Just as I thought I might be the only parent to shout in the hall meeting - ever, he announced loudly, 'I need the toilet!'

Thank f**k thought I spying a chance to leave the room and give him a stern talking to in private.

Unfortunately a teacher walked in to the toilets just as I was berating him for his behaviour - why do I instantly feel guilty about this? By berating I mean that I was talking sternly about him being a big boy now and helping mummy, with a few references about missing out on future treats if he didn't behave himself. So why do I feel like I was caught out thrashing him with a chair whilst swearing?

I took the opportunity to leave the meeting at this point. Quite frankly I couldn't cope with the task set for me. This is the task set for any parents trying to deal with unruly children in a public space namely, you have to show an erratic infant that you are very angry whilst talking in a quiet and calm manner - impossible.

Am I being unreasonable to expect my child to behave himself when asked to?

Advice on keeping children occupied in a manner that lets me listen to a grown up talking, would be gratefully received!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Ups and Downs of Being a SAHM

So I'm half way through the week and, as usual there have been a few ups and downs.

The ups have been:

1) My little girl getting 100% in her spelling test.

2) My little boy prising himself away from the mountain of dinosaurs to kiss me goodbye at nursery - that must be true love, to choose me over dinosaurs!

3) I've managed to write the first chapter of my next Mrs Misfit short story, provisionally titled 'Autumn Antics'.

The downs have been:

1) Accidentally left my son's mattress draped over a heater. Returned to find it had melted and much of had welded itself to the radiator. I've spent many hours chiselling it off with a knife but it still looks like it's been shrink wrapped by a Tesco carrier bag.

2) Being repeatedly told, 'Unidentified object in the bagging area' in Tescos when the unidentified objects were my children. They just could not comprehend that when they sit or stand on the bagging area everything shuts down and mummy can't buy the new mattress protector to replace the one she melted!

3) Somehow managed to let loose an entire bag of sugar over all our shoes and boots in the porch. Such a tedious and fiddly job to get rid of it all before the ants get a whiff of it.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

10 Things That Mean You're a Parent.....

1) You know you're a parent when you find LEGO in your bed.

2) A common product in your hair is marmite.

3) You rejoice in a sunny day, not because you can sunbathe but because you can get your washing dry.

4) Your garden is the most overgrown in the street.

5) Your voice becomes more high pitched and overly jolly when you feel most frustrated. This is most evident when you're trying to prise your toddler off a rocking horse in front of other people. You say, 'Come along Freddie, time for home,' in an exuberant manner when you, and everyone else knows that what you really want to say is, 'Get off the bloody horse. I'm tired and want coffee after spending three years in this playground!'

6) It's a common occurrence for you to say things like, 'You can't make mud pies because the mud is on holiday.'

7) People look anxious when you ask them what they're doing at the weekend in case you ask them to babysit.

8) You know the term 'snuggle' does not mean to snooze and cuddle beneath the duvet. It means someone using you as a trampoline, driving a car up and down your legs and sticking a My Little Pony up your nose.

9) You've developed a crush on Mr Bloom.

10) You have an audience whenever you go to the toilet or perform any acts of personal hygiene.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Holiday Madness

Since becoming a mum I have found that various areas of my life that previously posed no real problems suddenly make my mind think irrationally. For example, going on holiday now addles my brains...

1) Appliances: On the day we are due to leave for our holiday, I suddenly look at normal electrical appliances in a suspicious manner. The kettle that is always plugged in suddenly changes function into something that wishes to catch fire and destroy our kitchen. The television, normally a happy form of entertainment transforms into a potential bomb with the onset of our leaving the house.

I make sure that all the things that are normally plugged into our electricity supply are unplugged as if they intend to incinerate all we hold dear behind our backs.

There is one exception - the fridge/freezer. For some reason this appliance is beneath suspicion and is the one and only thing that remains plugged in throughout our time away. While all our other electrical gadgets are shut down the fridge remains chilled - literally.

2) Clothes: When faced with choosing a few garments my brain switches into the illogical function that I try to hide on a regular basis. Obviously I have to travel light as all our luggage allowance goes on children's clothes (particularly pants for my 3 year old son), teddies and the special snuggly items the little dears can't live without (unfortunately my son is attached to a cot duvet - try squeezing that into a small holdall!)

In the moment of folding my attire into a gap no bigger than a lunch box I suddenly spurn my old favourite items that I believe lessen my look of a dishevelled hippie and go for things that I haven't worn in years simply because they don't crease and scrunch down to the size of a golf ball.

Hence, whilst on holiday I find myself wearing things that are too small (I no longer wear cropped tops, partly for my own dignity and to save others the sight of my pot belly bobbing about like a balloon trapped in a t-shirt), have mould on them or smell like the inside of my garden shed, they've been neglected so long.

3) Paranoia:  The final brain fart that lets me down on the brink of going on holiday is that I suddenly remember every horror movie I've seen that starts off with everyone piling onto the plane wreathed in smiles and ends with them all butchered in a ditch. Whilst on our recent trip to Budapest I was inspired by the beautiful architecture, the elegant statues and the rolling green of the Buda Hills, whilst all the time feeling I was one step away from entering a 'Hostel' movie.

There are wonderful things about going on holiday that make my mummy logic happy as a pig in poo...

1) Housework: While we're away I do not have to do housework. I can sit happily on the balcony and enjoy a glass of wine without thinking, 'In a minute I'll set too with the hoovering.'

2) Children: The cuteness of children interacting with people from a different country is enchanting. We taught our two a few words in Hungarian. I can guarantee this is worth its weight in gold when trying to squeeze on a packed bus or tram. Seeing the little cherubs chirp 'Thank you' in Hungarian has even the most miserable person smiling and clucking and offering help. Train your kids to be cute and you'll get away with so much.

3) Being Anonymous: It doesn't matter if I make a complete embarrassing twat of myself while abroad because nobody knows me. I just need to make sure my husband doesn't catch mortifying moments on his camera so that I'm spared the Facebook shame when we get home. (My husband thinks my humiliating cock ups are cute - they are not!)

Finally after all the fun and frolicks are over and we return home without being cut up into small pieces or arrested for the indecent exposure of a wobbly belly, there is the mountain of washing to get through. What I managed to squeeze into a small rucksack on the way out now becomes a mountain of washing that takes up all of the kitchen floor.

If you want to read a short story about another mum who has regular brain farts click on this link


For a funny extract on Mrs Misfit's disastrous attempt at erotic dance click on this link


Monday, 28 September 2015

A Few Tips for Amateur Erotic Dance

If a sexy dance for your partner is an idea swimming about in your mind, here are a few suggestions to make it successful:

1) Atmosphere - select appropriate music to cover up the grunting and heavy tread of your feet on the floor. This also helps if you suffer from sudden, unavoidable body noises.

2) Lighting - subtle lighting is always a good idea. Candles provide a perfect sultry, flattering setting - just remember where you've placed them when you shed your clothes. Material, especially lacy underwear will ignite in a flash if dropped on a candle.

3) Face - try to maintain sexy thoughts and not let your mind wander to household chores, work issues or what you need to buy for tea the next day. Your partner wants to see a suggestive, alluring expression not someone who looks like they're working out an algebra equation.

4) Issues - check whether you suffer from restriction issues before you let your partner tie you to something, particularly if you are attached to the scarf you're tied up with. Should you decide halfway through that bondage is not your thing say this to your partner rather than using your teeth to escape from your bonds.

5) Clear your surrounding area - this is very important if you wish to do particularly outlandish moves. Nothing kills the mood like the sound of tumbling books, breaking ornaments and limbs banging on furniture.

6) Finally if things do go wrong make sure you have a bag of frozen peas and a fire extinguisher handy.

Unfortunately Mrs Misfit failed dismally on all the above points. You can read about her many disastrous and hilarious attempts to spice up her sex life in the short story:

Funny Love:  http://amzn.to/1UNIokw

Here is a snippet from Funny Love:

Mr Misfit was tired. He sat on the edge of the bed, sagging with weariness and looked forward to a good night's sleep.

Suddenly the bedroom door was flung open to reveal his wife, weaving towards him and swirling a scarf about her completely naked body.

There then proceeded a show which, at best could be called laughable and, at worst downright bizarre.

The main let down for Marianne was the lack of any music to enhance her performance. Instead the noises were stomping bare feet on floorboards and heavy breathing. To make matters further removed from a sexy show, she couldn't stop herself from grunting like an old woman every time she bent too low.

There were two mortifying moments where she actually broke wind, one time very close to her husband's face, clearly her body was not used to being stretched and twisted in this manner.

Their bedroom was a small cottage affair, not suited to amateur erotic dance. Every time she flung out a hand she sent something flying. Thudding and clattering noises made her wince. She was no longer trying to imagine that she was an erotic temptress pouting and making suggestive expressions. Now she was thinking more about the potential mess she'd have to tidy up after this show and her face looked like she was preoccupied and grumpy. She knocked over a pile of underwear and her feet got tangled in her bra and pants.

Mr Misfit continued to watch his wife cavort about their bedroom. Sweat sprang out in beads, making her hair stick to her face and her scalp itch. In between lurid gestures she would scratch her head and wipe her arm pits with the scarf. The fiasco was no longer sexy (if it ever had been) and Marianne was struggling with how she was going to end the performance with anything that would make her husband want to have sex with her.

She moved closer, panting and gyrating, then pushed him back onto the bed. They rolled about a bit and kissed but she was still determined to do something out of the ordinary, so she suggested that he tie her up with the scarf.

Her husband obliged and secured her wrists to the bed posts with the scarf. Marianne realised too late that she suffered from severe claustrophobia. Initially her writhing and screeching were taken as indications of her enjoyment. He became more ardent as did she. Unfortunately they were not on the same page. Andrew was becoming more passionately involved with this endeavour while Marianne became more frantic to escape.

She was free within ten minutes. She had shredded her scarf with her teeth and elbowed her husband in the eye in the process. The rest of the evening was spent with Andy pressing a bag of frozen peas on his face and Marianne pissed off about her scarf and fed up with picking up the things she had swiped off the shelves and re-folding the laundry.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Sublime Noises of Family Life

Lying in bed this morning with a shaft of sunlight streaming through her cottage window I heard the noise of my husband blowing raspberries on little tummies. There was much laughter like the sound of angels stomping on Autumnal leaves - family life is littered with these sublime moments.

Funny Short Story About Spicing Sex Lives

I've just published my first funny short story about the daft antics of Mrs Misfit as she tries to spice up her sex life.

It's available on Amazon http://amzn.to/1UNIokw

When Marianne Misfits visits her ever so perfect neighbour Patsy, she inadvertently opens a can of worms. Talking about ham stuck to her slipper somehow transforms into an embarrassing dissection of her her sex life with her husband.
With their lunatic assumptions, odd advice and utterly embarrassing behaviour, Marianne's friends encourage her to embark on a series of hilarious attempts to spice up her love life with disastrous results, trips to Marks and Spencer will never be the same again.

Will Marianne finally get to the bottom of what her husband really wants in the bedroom?
Is Patsy's life as perfect as it seems?
And will Lottie's geraniums ever recover from the horrors of her 'Happy Ending Harness'?
This is a romantic comedy of misfits trying to spice up their sex lives and offering friendship of the heartfelt but humiliating kind.
This tale of one woman's plight to spice up her marital relations will have you either laughing at her misadventures or relating to her misguided but very real insecurities.

Buy Now on Amazon http://amzn.to/1UNIokw

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

OK I promised I would post a chapter of my novel 'The Metamorphosis of Elissa Brown' each week.

This is THE EVENT where the boy Elissa dreams about actually lives up to one of her dreams and does something strange and unprecedented - this is the start of her adventure. (I'd like to add a musical fanfare of somesort there to add emphasis - I can't so please imagine something exciting is about the happen!)

This book can be purchased at http://amzn.to/1dZKxes

Any feedback, comments, reviews would be fabulous...

The Event

Elissa had plain orange hair, the kind of orange that had absolutely nothing going for it. It was not a flame of wondrous shimmering locks or a fantastic pillar-box red, she was no auburn haired temptress, she was plain orange and nothing more.
She was thin and pale with a vivid imagination. Her mind perpetually roamed through many dreams where her uneventful life was full of wonders, magic, love and adventure.
With all this in mind it was hard for anyone to believe or understand what happened to Elissa on a dark winter afternoon, an incident which had rumours rife and which would signal the change of everything about her and her life forever.
Jaret was the most sought after man in college, and to add salt to the pounding, wounded teenage hearts of his adoring fans, he only ever dated girls from outside the college. No girl could resist his startling blue eyes, ruffled unkempt mop of deep brown hair and his roguish charm. Light hearted, popular and sporty, he smiled easily, exhibiting dimples to die for and a flash of beautiful white teeth. So everyone was completely shocked to hear that Jaret had pinned Elissa Brown against the wall in a very passionate manner.
Now, rumours do have a habit of being exaggerated and embellished, so it’s sensible to disregard the wild allegations that he virtually had sex with her in the corridor. However, there had been an altercation where Elissa had been singled out for his attention in a manner that no other girl could ever lay claim to, and it had caused quite a stir.
Though Elissa and Jaret had lived next door to each other all their lives, their paths barely crossed. Indeed Jaret would did know anything about Elissa other than her name and her scars.
J: A ripple has been detected, a change that signals the beginning of it all. She does not know it yet, but we are watching and waiting….
Naturally Elissa, Alex and Dora, had to meet after the event to analyse it in minute detail.
The meeting place was Elissa’s little cottage home, which she shared with her grandmother Beatrice.
Upon arriving home, Elissa went straight to the bright little kitchen with bumpy white washed granite walls. At one end, by two wonky steps that lead out into a snug lounge was a bright red, shining Aga set back in its own granite alcove. There was always an array of drying herbs, flowers, fruits and spices festooned about the flue. A half drunk cup of tea sat on the hot plate, keeping warm for Beatrice. She would never waste a thing, so the tea would be left to simmer gently on the Aga until she deigned to retrieve it.
Beatrice was not interested in cooking and left much of it to Elissa. Elissa’s plan this particular afternoon was to make a large pan of beef stew. Their garden had brought forth a mountain of vegetables all at risk of rotting and so Elissa’s first half hour was spent chopping and plopping vegetables into a simmering stock.
The event popped into Elissa’s mind with a jolt. She paused to soak up every second of it, relishing that snapshot of…well what was it? Here her hands stopped peeling, parsnip poised above a mountain of multi-coloured vegetable peelings.
It had been an average lunch hour spent with Dora, Ben and Alex. They had all feasted in their usual picnic style, each contributing a dish of something tasty, except for Ben, who just helped himself to their proffering. There was roasted vegetables with garlic piled on lemon infused couscous with hummus and pita bread. Elissa gorged herself as usual.
As they staggered to their next lessons, there was a sudden whooshing in Elissa’s ears and the feeling that her boring orange hair was sweeping about her as if in a gale. Just as she thought that was probably the most life her dull hairdo had ever had she saw him. His face was so close she could make out each eyelash framing those captivating blue eyes. He stared fiercely as if pleading with her to provide an answer to some tormenting question. She thought for one heart stopping moment that he would actually kiss her and at the same time, lamented eating so much garlic. She blinked once and he was gone, so quick that she couldn’t make out his retreating figure among the thronging students all staring at her. But why?
The back door swung violently open to reveal Beatrice, clad in black gardening gear. In one hand she braced herself with her trusty walking stick, in the other she held trowel and gardening gloves, all encrusted with soil. ‘What are you doing to that parsnip?’ Beatrice asked in her well spoken manner. Looking at her hands Elissa realised that, whilst dwelling on this afternoon, she had gradually whittled the poor vegetable down to naught more than a pencil.
She did not wait to hear Elissa’s reply about the parsnip. Beatrice dumped the gardening items on the side, seized the tea from the Aga and departed from the kitchen, walking stiffly and clonking her cane on everything she passed. Laughing at her antics Elissa shook off the bewildering thoughts of Jaret and reached for another parsnip. From upstairs she could hear the faint rumble as Beatrice ran herself a bath. There was also the muffled voice of the small radio that she carried about the house, forever tuned to Radio 4.
Hearing these familiar sounds filled Elissa with warm comfort that translated into floppy butterflies flapping languidly about in her stomach.
Upstairs, swathed in a fluffy pink towel, Beatrice sat on the edge of the bath pouring copious amounts of rose bubbles into the water and singing snatches of songs in a warbling manner. Outside the bathroom door a figure stood listening before silently moving along the landing and into Elissa’s bedroom.
Just as she had sliced the last leek and plopped it, Elissa heard the front door open and shut, closely followed by laughter and the rustle of shopping bags. Dora and Alex bustled into the kitchen smelling of frosty air and joy. Immediately they dropped their bags and came jumping around Elissa like frogs at a wedding laughing and hugging her.
Oh my goodness,’ beamed Alex, unusually bubbly, ‘something amazing and extraordinary has happened to our Elissa.’ She even had tears in her eyes, though, if asked she would say it was the winter wind.
We must make tea!’ squealed Dora, aiming straight for the kettle. Alex picked up the bags and began setting everything out onto the kitchen table.
Dora and Alex had a plan to make money selling posh fairy cakes. Their endeavours were now employed in baking a large batch intended for the next Church fĂȘte. They would get people interested before going national and making their millions.
Such plans of sky rocketing aspirations were often dreamt about but rarely made it off the ground. As yet nothing had transpired in the manner that they had hoped. Deep down Elissa knew they would all be eating fairy cakes from now until Christmas.
Listen, I say we get the buns in sharpish, I am in desperate need of tea and cake,’ Elissa announced seriously.
Too right’ agreed Dora, ‘Jaret grabbing a nerd, outrageous!’ She seized a bag of flour. Alex and Elissa froze momentarily. Dora looked at them both in turn before saying sheepishly, ‘Sorry, I take that back.’ Dora frequently said something rude before she could stop herself. The phrase ‘I take it back’ had become a standard apology.
Dora was an enigmatic person, not technically right for a geeky gang. She was striking and attractive, always dressing in a bright, captivating fashion. Today her ensemble consisted of turquoise welly boots with heels, turquoise mini dress and a matching beret placed at a rakish angle. Her white blonde, tufty hair would make a pixie proud. As was her custom, her pale face was highlighted with a blood red slash of lipstick. As far as nerds go, Dora did not fit the bill. She was cool with long, shapely legs. Many suitors had approached her and been rejected.
So,’ Alex suddenly said. She was weighing out soft butter; her deep brown eyes twinkled mischievously.
Elissa suddenly, and for the first time, felt shy in front of her life long friends. Heat inflamed her cheeks. On her alabaster skin blushing blossomed in hot pink blobs, creating a clown like look. ‘So… what…?’ Elissa squeaked, trying to sound nonchalant.
You know what!’ chipped in Dora from the sink where she was cracking eggs into a bowl, then she shrieked ‘Jaret!!’ so loudly that Elissa actually believed he heard it next door which made her gut feel full of squirming eels.
Shhhh’ she hissed at them both.
Well you are sixteen,’ said Dora, hopping off the kitchen work surface. She had sat in a sticky splodge and was mortified to find it smeared all over her favourite frock. Wiping her buttock with the dishcloth as she spoke Dora continued, ‘Isn’t this the age where we all start burgeoning or something?’
Alex and Elissa immediately burst into laughter.
Oh you know,’ continued Dora distractedly still trying to get the mark out of her dress. She was unaware there was also butter daubed on the other side of her bottom. ‘Getting all hot and bothered, thinking about sex and hormones and all that.’
Alex chirruped, ‘Oh yes, I woke up on my sixteenth birthday and thought… hmmmm hormones, now there’s an interesting thing.’ She placed the bowl carefully in the large, white sink and handed Dora a piece of kitchen paper.
Anyway,’ sighed Dora, then added quietly ‘idiots’ and ‘I take it back’ all in one breath before taking the proffered paper towels. ‘Never mind all that, what about Elissa and Jaret eh?’ She dug her gangly friend playfully in the ribs causing Elissa to hug herself shyly.
Honestly though, what was that?! I mean, one minute I am walking to English Lit and the next minute someone grabs both my arms and pins me against the wall and I realise it’s Jaret and he’s staring right into my eyes, and then, he’s gone like the wind, and I am left standing there with everyone staring at me.’
She held her arms out entreating them, ‘I am completely flummoxed by this,’ she was met by a pair of bewildered expressions.
So what did it feel like?’ Dora asked eagerly.
Alex snorted rather derisively at this and said, ‘Like Elissa felt anything, we don’t live in a romantic novel you know.’ Alex was always pragmatic and therefore the notion of romance was a completely alien thing to her. Romance for Alex was reading a good detective novel and guessing who the murderer was before the culprit was revealed.
Actually, I did feel something,’ Elissa admitted. Both friends were speechless. ‘I felt a sort of tingle, a shudder or … something.’ There had been something ‘electric’ between her and Jaret. She was sure she didn’t imagine it. A sort of sparkly, jittery connection. It was a strange mixture of excitement and something else – surely not fear?!
I know this sounds weird,’ said Alex, staring intently at Elissa, her eyes magnified in the thick lenses of her glasses, ‘but you do kind of look different.’ She turned to Dora, ‘Don’t you think?’
Dora launched into an impression of David Attenborough, walking towards Elissa and squinting as if examining a new species. ‘Hmm, this is a particularly rare flower that changes when a sexy man grabs her. She immediately thinks of boys and hormones.’ Through the resounding cackle of laughter, Alex could be heard continuing in her usual dogmatic manner.
Seriously, you look more…’ Alex hesitated trying to put her finger on the right word, ‘…attractive,’ she finally managed to say, a little hesitantly.
Thanks’ laughed Elissa, ‘so I was a gross before eh?’
Yes - I take it back!’ stammered Dora all in one breath. Elissa threw her a look of mock annoyance then turned her attention to the stew. Seizing a tea towel in each hand, she heaved the big pot off the stove and pushed it into the bottom oven of the Aga and closed the door, pushing it too with her foot.
You move differently too,’ observed Alex, her magnified eyes scanning Elissa repeatedly up and down like an owl. ‘Sort of graceful, smoother,’ Alex continued to muse. ‘Your eyes seem brighter too; in fact you seem more radiant all round.’ She paused before daring to ask, ‘Are you really… in love?’
     Elissa stared at them dumbfounded. Dora was now sitting on the worktop by the kitchen sink elegantly licking cake batter off a wooden spoon. Alex returned to the kitchen table to begin licking out the bowl. They finally, after a few arguments about baking techniques and bun flavours, pushed the last tray of batter into the main oven of the Aga.
Elissa remained frozen in her defensive pose staring at the empty space previously occupied by the analytical Alex. ‘Am I in love with him?’ she pondered internally. Notions of being romantically involved with Jaret had plagued her imagination for a long time. She was obsessed with him. If there was any small encounter where their paths crossed she would repeatedly rake over every detail desperately trying to glean something deeper, something which indicated there was a connection between them.
Alex and Dora were still licking their cake mix and occasionally glancing at Elissa who had frozen into a statue, still clutching the tea towel to her chest, her lips uttering silent words. They all knew each other's idiosyncrasies and merely waited patiently for normal activity to resume. After a few minutes they were rewarded with Elissa’s question, ‘I mean, why did he do that?’
Perhaps he suddenly felt overwhelmed with desire for you.’ Dora replied flatly, dumping the spoon in the sink. ‘He took one look at the hummus on your face and wanted to lick it off - I doubt it was your appearance that attracted him.’ Alex and Elissa waited. Three, two, one Elissa counted mentally before Dora said, ‘Sorry, I take that back.’
Seriously?’ Elissa blurted this out in exasperation.
Dora muttered, ‘Seriously, I am very sorry, I only meant that you aren’t exactly his type, you’re far too unusual and amazing for him, he normally goes for ditsy brainless birds.’
Not that Dora, I know exactly what you meant, I mean, seriously, what was it all about?’ Elissa with her head of muddy orange hair, tied messily back with an elastic band stood before the Aga in a pair of old black leggings that were now more a mouldy grey colour and so saggy round her nether regions that she could only wear long tops to cover the ever drooping bum hammock beneath. Elissa firmly believed that even her time honoured friends would have to concede that she was certainly no goddess that demanded to be ravished.
To confirm this, Alex said stoically, ‘No there must be another reason.’ Her dogmatic tone sent Dora and Elissa off into peals of laughter, leaving Alex completely bewildered by what they found so funny. She was unaware she had cake batter on her forehead and some in her fringe.
They cherished these moments, being together, sharing time and Elissa leaned back to feel the warmth of her trusty Aga behind her. The little plops and hisses coming from the pan and the sweet smell of cakes rising soothed her. ‘It’s all so very strange,’ she mused wistfully, already finding herself yielding to the world of daydreams.
Alex had finally polished off the cake batter in the mixing bowl and was meticulously wiping her glasses clean with a soft cloth. She resembled the slightly nerdy know it all in Scooby Doo. She had a brown bob of dense straight hair that reached her chin and skin the colour of rich cocoa and suffered bouts of acne. She wore thick-rimmed glasses and could always to be trusted to give a rational, logical perspective on any given situation.
So why did Jaret pin me against the wall?’ Elissa beseeched them again. She so longed for it to be an urge of desire on his part, goodness knows she had imagined it enough.
Both Alex and Dora looked back at her with ominous expressions. ‘What is it?’ Elissa asked urgently. ‘Have you heard something?’
Clearly reluctant to answer, her friends shifted uneasily in their seats before Dora finally muttered, ‘Well we heard some gossip about Jessica. Apparently she’s ‘gunning for you’ over what happened with Jaret.’
Elissa tried to remain calm, ‘I’ve had plenty of abuse off her in the past. I doubt she can do anything worse to me than what she’s done before.’
Like the time she stole your underwear at swim class and threw it all over the bus.’ Dora said nodding in a sympathetic manner.
Yeah,’ replied Elissa.
Or the time she spread the rumour that you had head lice,’ Alex chipped in, in the manner of someone offering helpful advice.
Yes,’ Elissa responded her voice hardening in annoyance at such reminders.
Oh, what about the time she locked you in the gardening shed at school and poured silage through the window.’ Dora remembered excitedly, as though this were now a competition as to who could identify the worst times Elissa had been bullied by Jessica Albright. ‘You really stank that day – sorry I take that back,’ she added.
Alright!’ snapped Elissa, ‘I get it, I am in for a whole lot more crap from the worst bully at college – great.’ Her face fell into a grim expression of woe.
Suddenly the oven timer emitted a burring noise, the cakes were ready. The ensuing hustle and bustle of getting oven gloves, cooling trays and cakes in place distracted them from the discussion.
A little spat erupted between Alex and Dora regarding the decoration of the cakes. As usual, Dora wanted hot pinks, poppy reds and fluorescent yellows whilst Alex wanted a more neutral palette. Whilst they were bickering back and forth, Dora seeming to say ‘I take it back’ incessantly, Elissa once again found herself slipping into a reverie.
She stepped back from her two friends, their ranting voices quietened. Elissa felt a composure mixed with control wash over her.
As Elissa watched her friends in this dreamy manner, she was keenly aware of a strong sense of knowing them inside out. As she stared at them their bodies became transparent. Their outlines were still present, moving about prettifying their collection of buns, but their clothes, skin and muscles had melted away. Within their outlines she could see webs all lit up, some more than others as they transmitted messages to different areas, all the time moulding, interpreting and transforming their personalities and their physicality.
As Elissa tried to work out whether this was real, thoughts of Jaret floated into her consciousness. She saw his inner ‘self’ too, only his was red, with a focus on veins and the blood pumping through those veins, fizzing and popping and….
Oh for crying out loud Dora!’ Alex’s shout snapped Elissa back to the present, the kitchen, the smells, the people of her life all startling and clear, causing her to blink rapidly as though a bright torch shone in her eyes. She could no longer see their inner selves; they had vanished, fizzled away, like butter in a hot pan. Alex stood back from the table, a look of disgust across her face and a large bright pink stain down the front of her white jumper as well as a smattering of it across her jeans. Dora was standing opposite her, poised over the mixing bowl with a dripping tube of pink food dye pointed like a gun at Alex. Dora’s face was a mask of amusement mixed with concern as Alex stiffly shuffled to the sink to try washing it off.
      Conversation reverted back to the hot topic, hotter than the hot pink Dora continued to squirt into the icing mix.
     ‘Do you think Jaret now has feelings for you?’ she asked beating the silky icing briskly, her beret teetering dangerously over the stained mixture.
Thinking long and hard, Elissa could only reply, ‘I honestly don’t know,’ and she sloped across the kitchen to put the kettle on to make a brew.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Funny little Tiddly Winks

My little ones found a moth in their bedroom this morning. It had clearly seen better days and was missing a leg.

I gently scooped it onto a piece of card and said, 'I wonder what he's doing inside.'

My little girl immediately said, 'Perhaps he came back to look for his leg.'

Bless the little ones. I was ordered to put him gently on the window outside so he could find his way home.

This is where little white lies come in handy as a parent.

Unfortunately a puff of wind swept him off the ledge and blew him into the garden many feet below.

Seeing their shocked little faces I found myself saying, 'Oh he must have spotted his leg and flew down to get it.'

Monday, 22 June 2015

I've been out the social media loop!!

I would like to say that my absence was due to having many adventures with a whip cracking, Indiana Jones figure, but no. It is due to the more mundane reason of being very busy with house and children and the chicken pox.

I have revisited my first novel to finally get it to behave and think I have done it.

It's available to download at:    http://amzn.to/1dZKxes

I will be posting a chapter a week on my blog to see if folk like it. The opening paragraph and prologue are posted below - eek!

If anyone wants a free download to review this for me I would be tickled pink and happy to send it to you.

I never thought I was someone that could make a difference, any kind of difference, let alone change people’s lives forever. Some people are born great, others achieve greatness, I, well, I had greatness thrust upon me…and it was great. In fact it was amazing, it altered my life and the lives of those around me. We all changed, we revelled in our greatness, we soared above everyone else, champions of the world, until, like little Icaruses the sun scorched our wings and we fell to the earth.’

  1. Prologue

Melanie Smythe was a quiet girl with few friends. She spent most of her time with her freckled nose firmly in a book. Elissa Brown found her in just such a stance, one hazy summer afternoon in the topmost turret of a castle.

School was coming to the end of its summer term. This would be the last class trip before everyone scattered to pastures new having come to the end of secondary education.

The class had travelled from their small school to Baylin Castle. The castle itself loomed tall, balancing on the edge of a cliff that fell sharply away into a large bay that fed out to sea. The tide was ebbing out revealing a bleak landscape of molten mud and sharp rocks.

Elissa was a day dreamer. When she sat with her two friends, Alex and Dora, to lunch on the grassy centre in the castle ruins, she realised she had left her bag somewhere.

When did you last have it?’ asked Alex, cheeks bulging with ham and pickle sandwich.

Elissa’s heart sank as she recalled leaving it in the tallest turret of the castle. Jaret had squeezed past her in the thickset doorway. She remembered the scene. He had actually been within a hair’s breadth of her, emanating a musky scent. In that moment she would have forgotten her own name, so her bag flopping off her shoulder to splat onto the floor was easily overlooked. She had clutched the moment to herself, willing it to last, willing this time to be different yet, all the while knowing it would not be.

Funny saying, ‘hair’s breath’ isn’t it?’ mused Elissa, still seated with her head tilted towards the sky, eyes squinting into the sun.

It’s not hair’s breath Elissa, hair doesn’t breathe, it’s ‘hair’s breadth’,’ corrected Alex in her usual peremptory manner.

You’re barmy as a box of frogs Elissa,’ muttered Dora. Her words were muffled through her sandwich but still loud enough for the other two to hear. Both heads swivelled round to look at Dora. ‘Sorry, I take that back,’ she said, and bent her head once more to take a bite.

Weren’t you supposed to be retrieving your bag?’ Alex reminded Elissa, her hands ferreting about in her large lunch box.

Oh yeah,’ replied Elissa and, sighing heavily, she unfolded her long legs out from under her, stood tall then stalked off to get it.

Her route to retrieve her bag took her past Jessica Albright and her posse of perfectly tailored, heavily made up manikins. ‘Oh bugger,’ Elissa inwardly said as she proceeded with dread.

Just as she thought she had managed to pass them unnoticed the familiar high pitched squawk of Albright piped up. ‘What was the idea behind today’s ensemble Elissa, stick insect crossed with scarecrow?’

Elissa bowed her head a little lower and quickened her pace. She was not quick enough to miss Albright yelling after her, ‘Freak show!’ Their laughter grew fainter as Elissa embarked upon the steep flight of steps towards her mislaid bag.

It was here in this tiny turret room, bathed in sunshine illuminating many disturbed flecks of dust, that Elissa found Melanie. Dressed in a bright yellow cardigan and red tartan skirt, Melanie cast a lonely figure, hunched over a battered copy of ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird.’ Elissa’s bag was where she had left it; she picked it up, slung it over her shoulder and turned to go. In the low doorway where, less than an hour ago, she came closer to the love of her life than she had ever done before, she paused.

Now Elissa could have continued on her way and nothing would have changed. She could have ignored the strange girl as usual, leaving Melanie alone to finish her book and live the rest of her life unaltered and alive. Unfortunately she did not. Instead, she felt a pang of empathy for the little figure, diligently reading about lives that were infinitely more interesting than her own. In a few weeks they would all escape for the summer. This might be the last time she saw Melanie before she was taken off into the mists of the future.

Elissa turned and approached Melanie, ‘All right?’ she asked brightly.

For a moment it appeared that Melanie was going to ignore her. Just as Elissa turned to go, Melanie looked up from the book with an expression one might have when first waking up and said dreamily, ‘Oh, hi, sorry, I was miles away, soaking up the atmos.’ As she said this she let loose a wide unabashed grin that lit up her face. Elissa suddenly wondered why she had never really spoken to Melanie for, in this moment, she seemed like such a nice girl.

Elissa approached her once more and sat next to her. ‘I know what you mean, it’s pretty impressive isn’t it and such a perfect day to look round.’

I imagine what it must have been like actually living here all those years ago, so different from today,’ Melanie said dreamily.

Yeah, they would probably be roasting a huge pig now and firing arrows at folk, maybe even have a dragon in a moat somewhere.’

Melanie laughed and threw her head back lightly touching Elissa's shoulder. Elissa shivered, though it was not cold. ‘Well, I better get back before the lunch break is over.’ She stood, retrieving her bag again. At the doorway she stopped, looked back and said, ‘You’re welcome to join us?’

Melanie did not reply. She did not look round but sat still as stone staring out over the wall that gave way to the sheer cliff face. The wind picked up a little and just as Elissa thought to go, Melanie stood up and, in one swift movement stepped towards the wall, clambered onto it and stood, arms outstretched.

Elissa’s heart leapt into her throat in an instance. Surely, Melanie did not intend to… but Melanie was leaning forward, bracing herself against the sudden stiff gale.

What are you doing?’ shrieked Elissa darting forward to pull the girl back. Her long fingers clutched at air. Melanie leapt from the wall, leaped forcefully so that she seemed to momentarily fly. She uttered something that was whisked away by the wind and was gone.

Elissa stared, rigid with shock, leaning over the battlement. The figure of Melanie Smythe, resembling a crumpled canary, was just discernible in the mud below. The bent pages of her book ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ fluttered like trembling angel wings on the flagstones by Elissa’s feet.

Next week is 'The Event' - Jaret does something weird and unexpected that has rumours rife and everyone shocked as to why he did it....

Friday, 20 March 2015

Children are my Artistic Inspiration

My children love anything that's personalised, particularly if it has their name or a saying they are fond of.

For example, my son's favourite saying at the moment is, 'I got Sinbad swords.'

This inspired me to create some personalised pictures for my Folksy shop.

NEVER Laugh at a Swear Word!!

I made the mistake of laughing at my son when he said the word, 'bollocks'.

In my defence I only tittered a little bit behind my hand but that was enough to have him belly laughing and saying the 'naughty word' repeatedly for the entire day.

Eventually, after many grown up discussions and simply telling him off he finally understood and stopped saying it.

Feeling like a competent mum for once I took both my children to the supermarket.

Whilst staring at bags of flour wondering whether I would ever make my own bread I heard my little girl whisper that her brother had, 'said a naughty word.'

In answer to this my son bellowed, 'I DIDN'T SAY BOLLOCKS!!!!'

Needless to say I inwardly cringed and thought '(a naughty word beginning with F) the bread!' and fled the crime scene with 'bollocks, bollocks, bollocks, bollocks' echoing in my ears.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Three Bad Things

They say bad things happen in threes, well here's my three for the past two weeks:

1) I fell down the stairs. I admit I was in a bit of a grump, missed my footing and went from top to bottom on my, er, bottom.

The result of this was a spell of lying on my stomach on the sofa whilst husband took up my role of mum.

It felt a bit odd lying like lady muck whilst my husband barely had his bum on the sofa before, 'I need a wee,' 'I need a poo,' 'I'm hungry.'

He made dinner - well, he pierced the film lid on a couple of curries, in doing so the kitchen went from this...

to this...
He also offered to get up in the night. When I was woken by a little cry from the children's room I nudged him awake. He got out of bed in the dark and walked into the wardrobe. After much slamming of doors and swearing he managed to find his way to our son.
I guess I didn't realise how much I do things without needing to think about it anymore. I sleep on the opposite side of the bedroom door yet manage to put on my slippers, navigate around the bed then the chest of drawers, and the wardrobe without turning on the light or making a noise.
2) (Number two is very apt!) I accidentally washed a poo with all my clothes (don't ask - it was a toddler moment). I never imagined the smell would persist through a further four washes or that the poo would adhere itself to the drum so vehemently.
3) I'm afraid this is yet another tale of woe regarding effluence - after all, my life does seem to revolve around the stomach and bowel habits of everyone in this house.
My dog got into his food bin and ate a week's worth of dog biscuits in one go. For the next two days he drank buckets of water while his stomach trebled in size. He kept leering at me over the baby gate with a look that said, 'I just couldn't help myself.' The point of inevitability came when said biscuits erupted from both ends in epic proportions. Luckily this occurred in the garden.
Needless to say I have had no time to be creative but there are still lovely moments. My children were absolutely adorable when I was in pain on the sofa. My little boy crawled gently into my arms and stayed there all afternoon whilst my dear little girl fetched my slippers and provided me with entertainment. Her favourite 'show' was to spin round repeatedly until she fell over. I also had a shaky rendition of 'Let it Go!' Which I consider to be good advice and will just let all the hassles of this past two weeks go!!


Friday, 27 February 2015

Pot roast with socks and pants

Having decided to roast a brisket joint in my slow cooker I was pleasantly surprised to find the wet towel I placed over the lid to keep the steam in had dried in a short time.

So here's a budget idea - why not layer your freshly laundered socks and pants on the slow cooker to dry.

Economy meal drying washing quickly - genius!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

My son's favourite insult...

My son's favourite insult at the moment is the word 'farted'.

This is a little embarrassing when his response to, 'Hold my hand,' while walking along a busy street is, 'NO MUMMY FARTED!'

You'd be surprised how many people look at me with an expression that says, 'Why would he want to hold your hand if you've just farted?'

The futility of parenthood...

So yesterday was interesting.

My children 'helped me' tidy their bedroom by putting every toy and item of clothing into my son's cot. They emptied every drawer, cleared every shelf and every nook into my son's cot.

Unfortunately I had spent some time sorting all their toys whilst daddy took them on a trip out. I painstakingly put together the squillion tiny Sylvanian Family bits into their doll's house, I folded every t-shirt and trouser, arranged every dolly and teddy on the shelf. I sorted people into one drawer, animals into another and dinosaurs in their own drawer. I even separated little cars and big cars into baskets.

Starting the day full of bright imaginings of us all playing with neatly arranged farm sets and small world houses I entered the bedroom and found a cot heaving with all their possessions rammed into it. Seeing their delighted faces, hearing their little voices talk proudly about all the things they had found I couldn't help but say 'well done!' (through slightly gritted teeth) and give them cuddles.

Whilst they drank their victory hot chocolate and watched 'Rapunzel' with daddy I spent the next twu hours putting everything back.

Is this the definition of futility for us parents?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The bittersweet curse of a butterfly mind...

I can only say that it's been a whirlwind of Christmas and both children's birthdays and my first attempt at hosting a children's birthday party (there will be a post about this and the humiliating theatre trip during the Christmas break to follow!) So much so that I have totally fallen out the loop of actually turning my computer on let alone going online.

However, here I am back in the saddle and relieved. I have to admit that I missed my social media life. I felt a bit like I'd left a party without saying goodbye.

Though my fingers have failed to trip the light fantastic on a keyboard, they have been busy creating an eclectic array of wonderous things.

I have actually finished my picture book, 'Odd Witch' a thing which forced me along a rollercoaster ride of delirious highs and crashing lows, to come out the end with something that I do actually love.

It's now available on amazon as an ebook and I'm currently waiting for a paperback proof, fingers crossed it turns up looking like a book and not some scrapbook full of wonky pictures!

Having completed my masterpiece my eclectic mind has veered off in a different direction. Trying to pin down my butterfly dreams has only found me procrastinating and crying whilst eating biscuits.

In the middle of a wine induced rant at my poor husband as he tried to watch Top Gear, I suddenly realised - I should embrace my butterfly mind and go with the flow.

So I have opened an etsy shop to sell my original watercolour nudes set against beautiful patterned backgrounds -

I will now take a deep breath and jump into the world of my butterfly mind and see what happens - but first, I think I'll have a gin and tonic!