Friday, 27 June 2014

Finally, it's Friday

I have been ridiculously busy this week, so I'm celebrating a healthy work/life balance (she says, with her tongue firmly in her cheek).

I took a lovely taster session of yoga in a care home this morning, which was really interesting. If you have an elderly parent who is still fit and sprightly, celebrate.

Off to see John Bishop tonight. He's doing a warm-up gig ahead of his stadium tour. I reckon if you have to watch a comedian via a screen, he or she is too far away. The Derngate in Northampton is the perfect size.
'Celebrate the small things' is a bloghop instigated by VikLit on her blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and co-hosted by Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, Cyborg Mom (Katie) and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse. Details are here.   
Have a good weekend, folks.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wednesday Whimsy

Three completely unrelated items for you today.
  • This is what happens if you forget to pick your radishes. Aren't they pretty?
  • From the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport comes this gem. People under 20 years old automatically push a doorbell with their thumb, while those over 20 who use their index finger. Why? Because continued use of their mobile’s keypad for texting and online shopping has taught young people to use their thumb far more. So smartphones have already started to affect us physically as well as socially! 
  •  I really enjoyed my FutureLearn online course 'Start Writing Fiction'. If you fancy having a go, it is being run again on 27th October. More details here. The eight-week course is free - but prepared to be offered a printed 'Statement of Participation' for £24!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Musings for a Monday

A sorry sight
A newsletter has just come through the letterbox from our local councillor.* Our ward is called Clover Hill, which is a bit Enid Blyton - and none the worse for that. The newsletter is very cheerful this month. Another set of adult fitness equipment has been installed in the park and the Mayor is to cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony on Saturday. I think it would be more appropriate if he were to do a few minutes on the cross-trainer to show us how it's done. Perhaps he will.

There is also a snippet warning us of potential disruption when our road is resurfaced 'shortly'. Hmm. This has already happened - and there was very little fuss. Our road is now pothole free.

Best news, though, is that plans to use part of the former Maplefield School site (which is on my road) as community facilities are gathering pace. The school closed several years ago and since then the site has been left to decay behind ominous metal fencing. Actually it didn't close as such; the school moved to brand-new premises in nearby Corby where, coincidentally, I've run some yoga sessions for the teachers. Whatever: there are weeds and padlocks and an air of despondency on the old site. A small committee has been busy drawing up a constitution and fully costed business plan for the necessary alterations and everyday running costs of the facility.

The site is owned by the County Council, which supports the idea, but it is our local Borough Council that would need to give approval for the project to go ahead. Not quite sure how this works, but surely the good people on the local council won't object - will they?

* I was going to get in touch with him in response to the newsletter, but he doesn't have an email address!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Celebrate the small things again

Must be tired, because I typed 'small thongs'. That would be an entirely different post! Good job I spotted it before I clicked 'Publish'. Anyhoo...
Not much going on this week - so I'm celebrating that nothing has gone wrong. 
I'm going to a Come & Sing day tomorrow. We shall be closing our eyes and pulling back curtains as we explore music from 'Joseph'. Should be fun.
Then on Sunday, I'm planning to do absolutely nothing.
...and relax.

'Celebrate the small things' is a bloghop instigated by VikLit on her blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and co-hosted by Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, Cyborg Mom (Katie) and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse. Details are here.  

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Catch the pigeon

We've just had another comedy moment with a pigeon. Picture the scene: my office door was open to let in some air and sunshine; I was deeply engrossed in a little gentle editing; all was well.

Without warning, my son Joe came blundering in through the door that connects my room to our living room. Like me, he is not known for his delicate touch, which makes him a great drummer but not exactly stealthy.

Catch the pigeon!!
At some point a pigeon had wandered in to my office. It must have walked in because I wasn't concentrating so hard on my screen that I wouldn't have noticed something coming in to land on the slippery runway of my tiled floor. Having walked in, you'd think it would have known that all it had to do to leave was to turn and walk out again.

Joe's noisy arrival startled the pigeon. It took off, did a couple of aerial laps and then crashed into the open door several times before deciding that the best place to take refuge was on the shelf where a growing collection of spent light bulbs, ink cartridges and batteries is awaiting my next trip to the tip. You won't be surprised as the pigeon was to discover that these items are not stable. You know that bit in Scooby-Doo where his feet go round and round in mid-air before he begins to run? Yes, you've got it. That's what happened to the pigeon.

I should mention that Joe, brave soul that he is, had gone straight back into the living room and was watching all this through the glass in the connecting door. Meanwhile I'd picked up an old towel from the 'waiting to go to the charity shop' pile (you can tell how well appointed my office is) and was making soothing cooing noises to try to calm the stupid bird. Eventually I managed to pick it up and release it back into the garden and order was restored.

Friday, 13 June 2014

A Good Week

I don't know why, but I've had a very productive week. Perhaps it's down to the full moon. Let's start by celebrating that. I've submitted an article to fulfil a commission, and had another one commissioned. I need to take some pictures to go with it, but I'm well on the way with the words. I've entered a couple of low-key competitions, too.

There's also been an unexpected celebration. Those of you kind souls who read my blog last week will be as surprised as I am to hear that I got the job! From the end of July I shall be teaching yoga once a week at a local hotel and spa. Thanks to my yoga friend Kerry for putting my name forward for this.

'Celebrate the small things' is a bloghop instigated by VikLit on her blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and co-hosted by Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, Cyborg Mom (Katie) and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse. Details are here

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Mixed media

I've been on local radio this afternoon (BBC Northampton) talking about the choir's forthcoming Come & Sing 'Joseph' event next Saturday. I was surprisingly nervous, given that I'm on the radio once a fortnight anyway, but I think it was because it was live by phone. I'd prepared myself with lots of notes and had the choir's website open on my PC screen, so I was able to answer all the presenter's questions. What I don't know, of course, is how it sounded. I do have a tendency to gable when I get excited. The proof will be whether anyone books a place.

Elsewhere, I've been grappling with Smashwords again and have put another short story up, this time for sale. I had quite a good response to my free story - if only I could contact everyone who downloaded it and say: Look! Here's another one!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Welcome to Monday

Product DetailsWell, that was a busy weekend! It began well on Friday evening, when I went to see Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies perform at a house concert. That was splendid in itself, but the evening took a delightful turn.

I was sitting next to Jenny, who is a friend via yoga as well as music. She had seen on my FB page that I was from Uttoxeter. She had been at uni with a chap from there: did I know him? Turns out I did, sort of. He was in the year above me at grammar school, but I definitely know who he was (though I don't think he'd know me). That was a coincidence, but then she said, 'I have another friend from Uttoxeter and she's here. Her name is Jo.' That was when it clicked that the woman who had been standing in front of me earlier in the evening and of whom I had remarked 'She looks just like someone I was at school with,' was, in fact someone I was at school with!

I hadn't seen Jo for VERY long time, but I reintroduced myself and she remembered me instantly. It's a cliche I know, but the years really did roll back. Naturally, we went to the pub after the concert for more catching up. Turns out we'd both moved to Kettering in the 1980s and we discovered our paths had crossed several times over the years, but we'd never realised it.

So that was Friday. On Saturday, I did various chores in the morning, then spent part of the afternoon in the pub (strictly lime and soda) because a couple of friends were playing at the hell that it is a Family Fun Day. The music was great, but Good Lord, the people! There's a sitcom waiting to be written - and yes I know what a snob that makes me sound.

Saturday evening found me strumming my ukulele at a fundraising event, which was hilarious in all sorts of ways, then yesterday I was co-hosting a yoga workshop.

It's all go - thank goodness.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Hurray! It's sunny...

...and that in itself is surely worth celebrating. It's been a busy and fairly productive week. Things I have to celebrate that have happened since last Friday include:
  • A blues ukulele workshop led by the gloriously named Manitoba Hal
  • A reasonable performance in the pub quiz with 'the girls'
  • Making it to two exercise classes
  • Putting the finishing touches to my teaching programme for Sunday's yoga workshop
  • Off out tonight to see Harry Bird and The Rubber Wellies
Have you got something to celebrate? 'Celebrate the small things' is a bloghop instigated by VikLit on her blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and co-hosted by Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, Cyborg Mom (Katie) and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse. Details are here

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The universe will decide

Ardha Chandrasana at the Rollright Stones
I paid a visit to a local spa hotel on Monday. Not, sadly, as a guest, but to have a tour with a view to taking some yoga sessions there. The lady who is currently doing this job is giving up soon and kindly put my name forward as a potential replacement.

The initial enquiry came via my website, which I then followed up with a phone call to find out more about what was required. 'Why don't you pop over? We'll have a chat and I'll show you round,' said the spa manager.

Monday was shaping up to be busy. The visit to the spa was the first job on my list, then I planned to go to a couple of banks, take something back to the library, deliver some proofs, buy bread and milk, and do a quick trawl of WHSmith for womags. I stepped out in smart jeans and a decent top.

It was only when I was greeted at the spa door by two young gentlemen in suits that I realised that 'Pop in for a chat' meant 'Come for a formal interview.' Oops. I'm hoping that my casual dress will have been taken for evidence that my yoga training has made me relaxed and comfortable with myself and my world. I was at least able to come up with some suggestions for how we might expand the yoga offering going forward, so to speak, and reassure them that I'm fully qualified and carry the necessary insurance cover. I am waiting to hear, but I'm not holding my breath.

Om shanti, shanti om.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Pigeons: possibly the dumbest birds in the world

There is really no excuse for posting this picture, except that I thought it might make you smile. We have a very small bird bath, barely big enough to house a sparrow, but that didn't deter this pigeon from taking up residence there this morning. Either he didn't realise that his tail was getting wet or he had a hot bottom; either way, I thought he looked daft enough to warrant a photo.

In other news today, I've had a little play with Smashwords (see previous post) and uploaded a short story. At least I think I have. If you try to read it but are stymied, please let me know. It's free.