Saturday, 27 April 2013

On the Road Again!

We've just returned from a lovely few days away in Gemsquash. I say 'lovely' because it's always great fun to camp, behave like tourists, be lazy, read and generally loll about. However, the campsite was in the middle of the town of Montagu, a beautifully kept, tidy and pet friendly park. The ablution blocks were spotless and the grass was green and lush.

They visited us daily for Alfie's food!

The only other people around were pensioners, like ourselves!

Rob showing a few photos to our neighbours!

So, what was wrong I hear you asking? The noise from the traffic was unbelievable! Remember, we have about twelve cars passing us on a busy day here, so we forget what it is like in town! We were directed to a corner of the park that was next to a road that went up a hill and had a sharp turn at the bottom, so we had brake noise, revving noise, hooting noise, radio noise, general engine noise and the odd shouts of drivers to pedestrians noise! Add dogs barking and you have some idea of what it was like. Apart from that, it was super, and we met some really nice people who all fell in love with Alfie!

Friday, 19 April 2013

A Dog, a Cat and a Croc!

I am constantly amazed and enchanted by nature. Animals seem to get on with a sort of  'Oh well, he's here now, nothing I can do about it, let's just make the most of it.' Look how this dog, cat and croc lie together without fear!


As you see, Basil is still here with us (did you doubt it really?), and on Monday he is off to the V-E-T, for a quick neuter! He will then board with them until Friday as we are heading off in Gemsquash for a few days to a caravan park in Montague. Pet friendly and very quiet, we have decided that this will probably be the last trip before winter (and the rain) makes camping unpleasant. Much as I love caravanning  I am a Fair Weather Camper, I really do not enjoy wet towels, leaking windows and mud! I don't mind being cold, but please not wet and cold.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

So, What Happens Now?

I know that this may be a strange title for a blog post, but it's not a blog's a book!

To be more specific, it's MY book. And to be more specific still, I wrote it!! Yes, I am now joining the ranks of The Published Author! And here it is:

My Book!
I realise that I am sounding very show-offy and braggy, but I am so excited that I can burst.

But, let me begin where I should begin, at the beginning!
Around the year 2002 I started to write a novel. I had no plan, no idea where it would go, but I started and it just sort of took me with it and I got swept along and became caught up in the plot and the characters. I made myself laugh and cry, Rob helped me with phrases and I read bits to him for his input. I sat every day after school if I had a few spare minutes and over weekends and the holidays I sat for longer. As I completed the chapters, Rob put them onto a memory stick and I rushed up the road to have them printed in case the computer broke or was stolen, or I fiddled and somehow lost it all in the process!

Finally I put the last full stop onto the page, re-read the ending, cried a bit (I think it's a good ending but you will have to buy the book!) and downloaded a list of publishers! I was sure that they would be fighting over my manuscript and I would eventually sell to the highest bidder. In my mind I was the next Maeve Binchy. I was ready to paint my own cover picture, a gentle watercolour of farmland, a farmhouse in the distance, a windmill. I posted off several copies and waited for the phone to ring!

Yes, well, it didn't happen that way at all! I had really nice letters back from the Publishers, (together with the manuscripts), all saying basically 'Thanks but no thanks'. And so that was that really. A few friends read the manuscript and I think most of them enjoyed it.

My daughter nagged me a bit about self-publishing and I procrastinated and dragged my feet. You see, I really had a vision of a pile of my books gracing the shops, Exclusive Books would organise a signing, I would tour the country and become famous (and rich!)

Well, that's not where the story ends because, today, I received my birthday present from Catherine. My book! A real book with pages, a cover, a stunning photo on the front, and my name on the cover! Catherine had organised all this without a word to me! Rob knew but said nothing! All I knew was that there was a parcel coming from Catherine for my birthday. She told me to check the post box and let her know when it arrived.

I am completely overwhelmed, I think this must rate as the one of the very best gifts that I have ever received, and guess what?
I have already sold four copies!!! Mine, Catherine's, and two friends who have bought via Amazon, from the Kindle Store!!


Here's the link!! Just for fun, you can read a sample of it. (Or buy it....)

So, What Happens Now? on Amazon (paperback and kindle versions available)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Lost and Found!

They say that things always happen in threes, and last weekend was no exception! The schools closed on Thursday for the Easter break and the weekend was a long one, so our little village was full of holidaymakers. Also, I think a few people from here went away to spend time inland, so there has been a fair number of comings and goings as you can imagine!

So, on Friday morning I was standing idly chatting to my neighbour and watching two little boys riding their bikes round the block, followed by a sort of Jack Russell mix female dog with a long tail. They were having great fun, and every now and then the dog plunged into the bushes to try and catch a francolin (no chance there!). As they rode past for about the fourth time, I said to them 'Gosh, your dog is fit, isn't she tired yet?' They stopped to chat and the younger boy said 'It's not our dog!' (I had a flashback moment to the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movie when he asked the chap 'Does your dog bite?' and the answer was 'no' but it did bite and then it turned out that it wasn't his dog!) Apparently this little dog had simply arrived at the boys house and played with them, spent the night and was more than happy to stay.