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Ostrich faces

They're motionless, unblinking, hoping that  that I can't see them - the reason? I've just got the nail clippers out...   
the Nail Clipper Monster is after us....


It's bedtime

Bedtime story, mug of warm milk, and you just can't beat snuggling up to mum...

... she's the one in the middle

I'm busy, please leave me alone... I'm busy, please leave me alone...
a very small dog who takes up hardly any space at all      a very small dog who takes up hardly

                      any space at all


Noodles, who isn't really supposed to be on the furniture but who might be allowed to stay if she makes herself invisible...


I'm collapsed in front of (the remains of) my computer. Its memory is failing (you do not have sufficient memory to keep your computer switched on, windows will assist you in your computer using experience by switching the dratted thing off - there you are, mission accomplished. Now what task would you like to do nex.... )
New computer (HAL) is arriving on Monday afternoon - the bunting is ready, the band is prepped.

Today I went to pay a bill. I got out of the car and as I stood up, the wind tore the cheque from my hand, whirling it up into the wet and drizzly pitch black of a late October evening. This wasn't a cheque which I could cancel, being from a savings account; it represented real, irreplacable cash to the tune of several hundred pounds. Standing in a dark country lane in deepest darkest Warwickshire I felt like weeping.

I went into the office and paid in cash (meant for my 'new' van) and came out in misery to give up and go home. The wind was gusting, then dropping, with no consistent direction, and street lights don't exist on narrow English country lanes. My friend and chauffeur was having none of it; she drove at walking pace behind me so that I could walk up and down a mile of that lane several times. Then we drove slowly together twice. I went off down a track to check out something flapping but it was a Macdonalds wrapper. We had been searching for over an hour by now and I really, really wanted to go home, stick my head under a pillow and howl long and hard.

Reaching the car, which was parked with headlights on, I heard a shout from across the road. My friend had found the cheque - I will never quite believe on such a wild night in pitch darkness that she managed it, but I've held it and seen the proof - soooooo relieved.

So, the chauffeur & the 'new' van - I have been wheel-deprived for a couple of months now, and it has made life almost impossible much of the time. I am finally able to search for a replacement and another very good friend asked her husband and his buddy to look for dog-friendly vans. First one was sold by the time I rang up. Second seemed OK when I rang last week, and we arranged for the chaps to visit tonight to view and secure it for me if it seemed suitable. I gave them a deposit this afternoon and off they went in the (aforementioned) wet and windy night.

They checked the van over, and it seemed good, so they called me to see if I still wanted it - I was by now scrutinising shadowy blades of grass, at risk of being run over and half-demented with misery. "Yes please" I answered, thinking that at least acquiring a van would moderate the torment of this so-awful evening.

I/we found the cheque. Friend and I danced a joyful dance in the wind, with cheque clutched FIRMLY in my paws. Mobile phone rings. "Sorry, the seller doesn't want to sell any more".

(Cover your ears)


So. I have cheque. I have adrenalin and misery pumping round my body. I have NO van. I think overall this evening was a success... but I can't quite be sure.  And I have this terrible desire to  laugh but it might turn manic. I'll let you know about the van search, but I'm currently on the way home via Birmingham New Street train station, where hundreds of people are milling about, signs are saying "All services suspended due to widespread disruption", rail staff have no clue about what is happening, and  the tannoy is contradicting itself at each announcement.

I'm staying on this platform; I've just seen several familiar but flushed faces belonging to poor fools who've actually been following the tannoy instructions. I wonder if somewhere there's a close circuit TV with a bored tannoy announcer passing the time before her/his shift ends...

Endings and anticipation...

I have watched all the chapters of the Graveyard Book and it was excellent, in no small measure due to Neil Gaiman's reading of it. Sad that it's finished, sad that the end meant partings both in and out of the written work. Sigh.
And loved how the reading of part 1 of chapter seven ended - Neil's a cruel man!

Now I'm starting on a sekrit project - photos when I complete it. I may need advice and words of wisdom from Jodi, (a sekrit warlord is ALWAYS useful to have on hand :)) but as soon as it comes to fruition you will know all :)

Sending healing thoughts and a lit candle to ssshunt.

The Graveyard Book is awesome :))))

Just listened to chapter one and now I can't wait to hear Neil reading an excerpt in London.
Very VERY exciting!!!!

Links to audio here

or watch the book tour video version here

And wishing ssshunt, who has had two operations in the last week, peace, healing and love XX

Neil Gaiman cometh!

I first discovered Neil Gaiman with The Wolves in the Walls; I don't know who enjoyed it more, my daughter or I.
A "favourite author" scenario ensued, with us trying to buy up any more Gaiman offerings. We found The day I swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx , which I loved more than my daughter did (she thought it was too young, while it just made me howl with its dry wit). We also found Coraline, which scared us both far more than Wolves had, and which we just loved to bits.
(Can't wait for the film due out in February from Henry Sellick, who did the Nightmare before Christmas www.neilgaiman.com/p/Cool_Stuff/Video_Clips  )

So my daughter is now a firm fan, and is desperate for The Graveyard book to be released. We know this will be good, but it's been hard waiting with more and more excellent reviews released all over the place, including one from Robin McKinley, no slouch at writing award winning books herself. In the meantime I tried American Gods for free on the web, enjoyed it so much that I needed physical paper, and bought it and read it in 24 hours. Great book.

And there's Stardust the film www.filmstalker.co.uk/archives/2007/08/stardust.html, the book, the graphic novel. All different, but all delicious. At some point I will have to hunt down the Sandman graphic novels, since although graphic novels aren't really my thing, I'm going to need a Gaiman fix when I run out of his other novels.
(Neverwhere is currently available online for free here  browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx  )

And for regular reading try Neil's blog, one of the most interesting and fun author blogs on the web journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/09/waking-up.html  , which ranges freely across idiosyncratic territory, from bees to comics, campaigns to Robopandas; and where his family visit, and guest blog, but never his wife... woowooteacup.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/neil-gaimans-wife/ 

Hannah and I have got tickets to the Halloween London launch of the Graveyard Book. I would squee, but I don't think I've had enough practice, and my upper lip is not sufficiently supple ;p However suffice it to say that I am tremendously excited, and I will be the adult who is being restrained by a teenager from embarrassing said teenager. I'm looking forward to it immensely :)

CHALICE is here!

I'm a HUGE Robin McKinley fan. My only complaint is that she has sometimes had a few years gap between new novels, but not at the moment; we're on a roll. DRAGONHAVEN came out last year, CHALICE is released this year, and an ELEMENTALS volume and PEGASUS are both in the wings, with mention of ALBION possibly following that. Exciting!

What I'm posting for today tho' is that I've just received my copy of CHALICE in a special delivery!

and     HURRAH!!!!!

So to celebrate, Hazel (who had won the opening ticket) and I held a Grand Opening, and then we took turns reading - great fun!

and of course we took photos to share -


Regret or resolve?

I unexpectedly had a free morning yesterday, which never (well, hardly ever) happens. And the sun was shining - now any of you in England this year will know how rare this is. A good friend and her dog had come over, and we decided to splurge all our freedom in one glorious morning, so we headed over to my local park. 

We sat outside (in the sunshine) drinking earl grey until it came out of our ears :) I had a late breakfast, and my friend with whom I'd just shared my small bar of chocolate succumbed to temptation and bought a large bar of chocolate to eat - excess is a virtue if indulged rarely (one of my mottos) - truly a morning of luxuries.

Overcome by enthusiasm, I resolved that we should meet regularly to walk together and train our dogs together. Now this might be a problem because both of us are time and transport challenged at the moment, so we'll require plenty of determination, planning and perseverance.
That was yesterday. Today I find I am still equally resolved, so hopefully we WILL manage to get together regularly. I'll take photos :)

And for a little light relief, here's Hazel...


Sep. 15th, 2008

I just spent over an hour writing a lovely entry, even with multicoloured text, and when I pressed post, lj ATE IT!!!! So I'm stopping now before I tear out my computer's entrails with my teeth, and will be back tomorrow to see what I can resurrect from my mainly defunct memory :(

Thanks for all the Happy Birthday wishes and I'll speak to you tomorrow...