Sunday, 22 July 2012

Empty nest syndrome

Family is everything to me, as anyone who knows me will realise. However, I am also not what you would call an earth mother either-I regularly burn meals, send out for take out, don't listen hard enough, don't iron, shout a lot, get easily distracted...etc! Nevertheless, I do hope I am a loving mum and gran and generally a caring person-the jury is out I guess? So, it is very odd that I have experienced a chasm of emotion and uncertainty today-my youngest is away on holiday. It suddenly struck me that this was a dry run for September when she will be University if all goes to plan. Well, we plugged the gap momentarily as we were babysitting our almost 3 year old grandson...but then his parents came and there we were...the two of us...for what seemed like the first time for 30 years...childless!

The times I have bewailed the lack of spare time. How often have I thought-we should spend time together...? What could I do with a free Sunday? Well...nothing! Absolutely zilch achieved! Not a job done, no outstanding issues solved, no DIY, no walk in the country, no trip to the pub! Instead lassitude and fecklessness and silence! Just shows, what you can't have you will always desire, what you do have you always take for granted and what you want is always the opposite to what you have! What perverse beings we humans are...or is that just me?

Family-what its all about!
However, I WILL BE BUSY AGAIN TOMORROW-interviewing students for the new courses and our new company. A bit of social walking planned for Tuesday-weather permitting and on Wednesday North Lonsdale Show. I am looking forward to this-not least because there will be the chance to sell books-including Guy the Grumpy Gargoyle-of which I now have advanced copies; but also its the chance to meet people and chat. I love it-and I have to admit I meet people who are SO interesting that their caricature may well appear in my future books. People watching-I love it!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

It's a mad world...

Having had a birthday this week I am feeling very sage and wise...and I am the proud owner of a new ipad as well, so I also feel quite cool as this is a fairly up to date bit of kit! It certainly upset a few of the younger family members that I have one. 

For information, I have left Bluebirds Study Centre@ Barrow AFC and my colleague and I have set up our own company-New Horizons Education Ltd. We will be fully operative in September and are interviewing STLiS students now. We are both excited at the prospect and will be looking to develop our services to include children as well as adults. It seems a risk in the current climate, but quite frankly it will be great to be in charge of our own destiny and be able to create a service which has our own stamp on it. Watch this space...any interested parties can contact us via the facebook page or our We will be an accredited City and Guilds provider and will be in partnership with Cumbria Adult Education.

Well what on earth is happening to the Olympic debacle? It seems to me that the most obvious choice of personnel for security would have been the police and the army. However, the geniuses at the top subbed it out to G4S...and now its all gone pear shaped! What a surprise! Why employ amateurs to do a professional's job? Disgraceful! You tend to reap what you sow sometimes and the government have certainly done that! Now the armed services and police will have to step up to the mark yet again...despite already being demoralised and marginalised by cut backs and redundancies. Will they get any thanks? Doubtful! As usual they will be taken for granted and only the deficits and mistakes which are probably inevitable with so little time to plan and arrange strategy will be highlighted! What a mad world! Hopefully, this rush to fill the void will not result in gaps and opportunities for those intent on evil doings during the games. Good luck to all those police and servicemen who will be so heavily relied upon...and thank you.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Perfect weekend

Reflecting on the weekend-busy every minute and packed with an eclectic range of activities. Had a great days signing at Waterstones Chester-what a busy shop! Had good sales and engaged with loads of new readers. Got the chance to promote Furness Abbey to people who have never been too!

I reached home and found a box of books-Guy the Grumpy Gargoyle to be precise. It looks lovely and on the whole I am pleased with it. Just two small issues-both caused by me missing something-which I will now have to live with! Shows how careful you have to be-and I am-but do sometimes miss things with the sequencing issues. I am now getting ready to launch this book and can't wait for the signings I have planned. Going to be a busy summer.

BBC The Hollow Crown series is proving to be very exciting and compelling. What an amazing feat to be able to engage an audience over the centuries...makes you think-all the hype around books like 50 Shades of Grey-will these last? Certainly not as long as Shakespeare! In fact once the fuss has  died down I expect it will sink without trace. Obviously, the content is what is attracting the readers...for many I would think-out of curiosity. Well, I've had a look and I can't see what the fuss is seems poorly written, with little story and sensational sex scenes-kind of a "News of the World" novelette. Perhaps I am a literary snob, but call me old fashioned-I like to have a plot...with some purpose...can't see it in this I'm afraid. Ah well each to his own I guess...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Meeting myself, coming back

Really nice day today-which has made up for quite a challenging few days. We had a very busy day at the Barrow Carnival on Saturday-in which I had to make up the numbers as a monk-passing out leaflets and collecting pennies around the centre of Barrow. Can't say how many embarrassing moments I had seeing people I knew! Ah well-all in a good cause. We then did a long stint on the stall-raising money for Furness Abbey Fellowship and the Dock Museum. We netted £120 not bad-but a gruelling 8 hour day for those of us who set up at 8am.

Sunday was Rock around the Dock at the Dock Museum. What an excellent day. Lots of nice exhibits and stalls, great live music and an authentic 1950s Tea room. It was lovely and the cakes were to die for. That done I met up with son and grandson and raced around the playground for a couple of hours. Result-one knackered Nannie! But worth it!

Today-a brilliant visit to Year 7 and 8 at Dowdales school Dalton-in-Furness in their lovely library. We had a lot of discussion about writing and "show don't tell"-which is harder to describe than you'd think. There were some burgeoning writers and there was a great deal of interest. Did a book signing and lots more kids want to bring in money tomorrow for books. Thanks to Laura at Waterstones and Janet the librarian from Dowdales for organising.

Can't say much yet-but at the end of this week big changes are afoot in my working life. Its exciting and scary at the same time-but I look on it as being a new chapter in more senses than one. Ending the week-is a signing at Waterstones at Chester. I am looking forward to this and it will be good to reach a new audience. Pictures to follow later