Sunshine moments and diasies,
Words and worlds of fantasy.
Followed by a stint at the laptop,
And 808 words I’ve written make me happy 🌸
Sunshine moments and diasies,
Words and worlds of fantasy.
Followed by a stint at the laptop,
And 808 words I’ve written make me happy 🌸
I’m meant to be working.
I am working; been on the road for over an hour. All workers need a break, even the Bosses 👌🏼
This is the third Sarah Knight book – and is as eye-opening as her first two reads.
I discovered them at a time in my life where I was ready for a little push in the right direction, not because I was googling self-help books but because my daughter informed me I needed to ‘get my shit together’ when I’d lost the house keys for the third day running, and she could recommend a book of the same name because she was reading it herself.
‘Get Your Shit Together’
‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Not giving a F**k’
Overall Sarah leaves you with the knowledge that it’s seriously ok (and actually essential) to look after yourself first and foremost, yet explains how to do so without turning into a selfish bitch. Sarah is not vague with her words .. she is in fact a right-between-the-eyes writer. And I like that.
Thank goodness I brought this book on my deliveries today. It is my new read for this week. Have you heard of it?
Kiltie Jackson…… A Rock ‘n Roll Lovestyle
So who exactly is Sukie McClaren? A Cat lover? A Sound of Music Fanatic? A Fiercely Independent Woman? She’s all of the above. And when she is sent to Salzburg for a business trip in early December, she believes all her dreams have come true. Packing her suitcase, the only thing on her mind is finding the Sound of Music locations around the city and finally seeing the Doh-Ray-Me steps. Becoming the new best friend of the world’s hottest rock-star doesn’t even get a look in. Pete Wallace is a reclusive, rock-star and the world’s Number One, male solo artist. It’s been three years since his last tour and he’s preparing to go back on the road again. A week in Salzburg, schmoozing with the music press, is one of his worst nightmares. He can’t wait for it to be over. When Pete and Sukie meet, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Lonely for too long, he begins to remember how it feels to be happy and have people in his life who care for him. However… Eduardo di Santo’s wants Pete dead! His kid sister was badly injured at a Pete Wallace concert three years before and Eduardo is intent on getting revenge. The desire now consumes his every waking moment. When Pete’s new tour is announced, he begins to make his plans. Plans that will culminate in Pete’s demise! Is Pete and Sukie’s new friendship destined to die before it has a chance to flourish? A love story that begins in Austria.
I had everything crossed; fingers, toes, the works. But not my wires.
Lessons learned from experts in psychology and the verbal tools I’d been shown across months of study and placed in my toolbag of armoury came together in my first major test since they signed me off and wished me well (translate into hugged me, told me they were always at the end of a phone and would I be popping back to the coffee mornings to help new members at the start of their own journey? Too bloody right – it would be an honour).
Had I listened?
Had any of it truly sunk in?
Would I be able to respond differently to the age old vulgarities which escape through my mother’s lips, alongside wild statements about subjects she knows nothing about and her mood so often close to explosion that she walks around with the blue touch paper permanently lit.
I packed simply for our overnight London stay, my toolbag of armoury needing no physical space so is readily transportable.
The first major breakthrough was that she respected our non-smoking preference whilst inside the car. She actually said “Of course dear – that goes without saying!” as if I was being silly to even bring it up yet I had done so on the back of the previous trip, during which she had lowered the passenger window in an almost panic-state during what had become a slighter deeper than normal deep conversation, brought on by her peculiar need to talk deeply about everything. Mind you, it had been 18 minutes since her previous cigarette. “I’ll just hold this outside.” and while doing 50mph up the A1 past Huntingdon, I was speechless and watched in my perifery the swirl of cigarette smoke leaving the tip to reclaim solace through that inch of access back in to the car’s cockpit. And hey – guess what? In order to take a drag, where is Mother’s mouth? On her face… where is her face? Inside the bloody car 😤 … so it didn’t ‘go without saying’ did it!
(Before we go any further, may I take this opportunity to point out I do not negatively judge anyone for smoking if they choose to do so and enjoy it. That’s their prerogative and I respect others’ choices. What I do have a problem with is her antagonistic approach to smoking outside when visiting our home (with our asthmatic son) because she is disgusted that anyone who is a non-smoker should tell her “how to live her life” . So she will stand in open doorways, or outside an open window, pretending to smoke ‘outside’ when clearly the smoke billows straight back inside on a breeze. She relayed a huge argument she’d had with a couple a few years ago and whom they no longer see, who’d been life long ex-service friends, who had decided to give up smoking. My parents had gone to stay with them and had not been made aware of this couples’ new way of life (presumably because they didn’t see the difference as a problem). I guess the issue was mentioned, starting a deep discussion about smoking and how the guests had been ‘banished’ to “outside, no less. I can’t understand it – they were always such fun” .
So I drove and promised I would stop every so often for comfort breaks; in my case that meant what you just pictured followed possibly by a chai tea latte or cappuccino. In her case that meant teetering off to find an area of grass in which to smoke two cigarettes (because she can’t abide sharing normal smoking allocated areas with ‘common’ people) and continue her verbal assault on my father, who was not there to defend himself and probably wouldn’t have tried had he been. He’d have turned his hearing aid off and furtively studied the depth of tyre tread on the DB5 on the flatbed trailer behind a truck, perhaps returning from some classic car rally or event.
That evening I heated up another lasagne from that COOK shop and my daughter joined us at the Airbnb apartment for dinner. Her Oscar-winning performance of delighted granddaughter in the presence of her (mostly for 19 years disinterested) granny was something to behold. I listened to her animated explanation of Section 20s needing to be added to contracts where tenants share a block, from the kitchen area where I was bent double, head in the oven attempting to work out whether I’d had the fan oven on for the previous half hour or was it just the grill as the knob illustrations had long since been rubbed away.
The Airbnb was seriously cute; a ground floor garden flat with access to a private patio (I’d searched for one specially 😇) which showed clear evidence of previous smokers, stubs on the concrete 👌🏼, meant she could, having negotiated the exit, puff away to her heart’s content and I should hopefully maintain my usual 5/5 ‘guest star rating’.
Daughter departed to prepare for an early meeting the next day and I drove mother and I down to Little Venice, an area I’d not visited before but been meaning to .. and it was stunning! (Derrick, you were right!)
We sat outside the cutest Italian restaurant, so she could relax while the small glass of Merlot turned her dried lips black, the blue touch paper fizzing away in the background, and admired the Edwardian architecture of a large London pub opposite.
When the friendly waitress came outside to ask if we would like top-ups, mother enquired if she could buy the ashtray. The wicker chair refused to absorb my embarrassed being and instead I adopted small apologetic smile as the waitress faultered and asked her to repeat the question before concluding she would “ask my boss”.
So beautiful was this area that I suggested with calm and kindness across my face yesterday morning that “I would like to go back and see the barges in the daylight, if that is agreeable?” … (this was me practising my self esteem as she had hinted the evening before we should go reminiscing half hour the other way to an area we lived when I was 13-15). Mother does spend a lot of her day living in the past, recalling “the good times” …
… yet I recall a small private girls school and silently enduring some atrocious bullying from a particularly unsavoury character who ultimately got expelled – but not before she’d repeatedly bruised the top of my skull on a school trip with her elasticated purse belt with it’s 3 metal connectors at either end. She was sat in the seats behind me ‘entertaining her entourage’ … I did nothing 😡 (show me that cow now.)
Little Venice is like the cutest oasis amongst the red buses and black cab-filled roads of W2. The Pièce de Résistance simply has to be an amazing cafe built across this tiny section of the Grand Union canal, Cafe Laville.
.. in which we could have sat overlooking the water, watching as bargemen expertly handled their moving homes. Alas, I made do with this photo while our takeaway coffees were being made. We instead sat outside near the entrance, at one of a handful of tables on the pavement next to the A5.
I am definitely going back there, whether it’s with my daughter, Man of the Woods or Daniel Craig if I remember to send an email. It’s truly stunning.
It was such a delight to arrive back home. MoW welcomed me home and listened to some funny tales .. and laughed at the fact the Airbnb had displayed a Japanese hat (which I found to be a very happy coincidence)
By the way .. that first day I was absent from you? The one I called my DayBreak? It was brilliant. I avoided all 4 apps, as planned and felt free to type away and managed over 1,400 words 👌🏼 … not quite the 2,000 I wanted but I was very pleased. I didhalf hour ironing too! 😂
Just finished ‘after you’ by JoJo Moyes (I did sit on the tractor for half hour first 👌🏼)
407 pages of humour, heart-strings and every day life for Lou Clark … learning to live a life after Will 💔
JoJo has captured the essence of family relationships with such delightful accuracy you find yourself living with and loving these people. I mean, they’re real right? Not just characters on a page.
And now she’s on a flight to New York, having left her new soulmate behind at the airport. Shit, why has the kitchen roll run out just when you need a piece? 😭😭😭
I would start the 3rd part as I have it – ‘still me’ – but I can’t. Not yet. I need to give Lou the seven hours it takes to fly to New York, to grieve a little and perhaps partake in an in-flight vodka and coke.
What have I missed the last two days?
God, I’ve got so much to tell you. But I’m exhausted. I never knew that making a permanent effort not to respond to pretty much 80% of what mother talks about could be so tiring! It was like I had my counsellors words next to me at all times, like my little genie of the lamp 👌🏼💫
Tomorrow I promise, we’ll do tea and biscuits. Have you a favourite? Custard creams? Bourbons? Pink Wafers?
‘The Songs of Us’ by Emma Cooper is a novel I simply cannot wait to read. I love the cover and I’ve seen this book discussed now in literary circles for a few weeks. As I prefer to roll around the bed holding a paperback, I am duly waiting until the end of the summer this year to read it, but I know its been available for pre-publishing reviews on net gallery.
Blurb: If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.
If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.
But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.
I feel very privileged to my tiny claim to fame insofar that Emma Cooper and I are members of the same amazing online reading group on Facebook, #fitioncafebookclub.
For an amazing recent review by another mutual member of that same group, check out ALittleBookProblem‘s sizzling review now. I knew it was going to be GOOD, but after reading this, my skin is literally itching for the weeks to pass!
Roll on summer – actually, have you seen the forecasted temperatures due towards the middle to end of next week here in the UK?!
Song – Daily Word Prompt
… has finally arrived. Thank you Mr Postman.
Anyone else read it?
(I wonder if there’s a monk in it….)
Noon update – 4 pages in and I’m hooked 🤗Sunshine break from horse rugs and a coffee; heaven!
The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family’s summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu’s secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu’s generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu’s soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.
I just had to start with a GIF; I just love them and we haven’t enjoyed one for a while have we? Look at this baby’s face; that fascination with shapes on a cardboard page. Colours perhaps, faces which we all know babies zone in to from a very young age.
Our desire to hold and communicate with any form of reading material is born with us. Some let it slide and prefer instead to develop dexterity in other areas, such as my son. By four he could just about write his name when he started school, but give him a ball – rather than a book -of any shape or size, and he would hurl it through the air using his right shoulder for propulsion, aiming for and often making contact with some previously decided location on his horizon.
When he was two and his neat two-plaits big sister was at school, devouring the reading scheme books with ease (but who couldn’t catch a balloon from three paces), I took him out. Everywhere. I was determined the next generation of farmer in this family would not be shy of leaving the village boundary and I had two years of 9am-3pm alone time with him to lay the base of interest and intrigue in his mind outside the farm, while his dad did the Man of the Woods and tractors bits onsite.
I digress (never) because I was talking about reading and that spark of something – happiness maybe – we feel when we engage with words which strike a cord or make us laugh. Or cry in my case. I luurve a weepy (they know that 🙄 oh yeah).
You know when you’ve written a blog, a poem, a short story, 2000 words on your WIP (that would be nice… sometime, when you’re ready) you feel quite satisfied and sit back and press publish, or throw the phone to one side like it is covered in the plague and you ‘shalt no longer need it pray’
It’s that same part of our brain engaging which the baby has tapped into in the first GIF. When Mike writes about his old cars, for example, he relaxes. You can hear it. Well I can but I’m weird.
Joseph Beech, another clever blogger friend is also writing and has experienced that questioning thing which gets in the way. Check out his Part 1 of something he has dreamed up and I find rather fascinating. Joseph’s writing takes some concentrating but if you look, you will see depths and hidden whispers. Well I do, but I told you – I’m weird!
He and I were idly chatting yesterday about the possibility of starting a little reading club. Just a silky bit of literary chit chat fun, nothing pressured like wallcharts and marks out of ten.
We thought some of you might like to join in and read perhaps a chapter of a chosen book and all ‘meet up’ on a set day, across a 24hr span perhaps? To chat and share or thoughts on the same chapter.
It will be no pressure because usually there is a whole book to wade through and I just cba (as my daughter would text these days) when I’ve got really important things taking up my valuable time…. like my present rather sexy read; have I shown you? Sshhh … the main lead? He’s mine 🖤
I’m so excited – I sort of know the author!!! 😬🙈😍🥂. I am SERIOUSLY impressed with this author.. she has written a trilogy (this is the first) and self-published then. OMG .. I’ve just had genius on-the-spot idea … I shall invite her on for a guest blog spot .. yes!! Once I’ve finished this, ok? 💃🏼
Anyway, Joseph and I wondered if anyone would be interested in a chapter reading club… so here’s me asking you to let us know in my comments with a simple YES (preferably followed by an emoji because life is too serious without them) …
Book choice to be agreed – perhaps you could suggest some and we can pluck from a choice of 10.
Bagsy I bring the popcorn coz I like it sweet where those pieces have sat in the toffee a bit too long 😍