Tuesday, 7 September 2010

FALLING DOWN

I wouldn't have minded so much, but I hadn't even had a drink! There I was, lying in bed, doing nothing more harmful than trying to get to sleep when WHAM!!!! I turned over and felt exceedingly dizzy. I carefully moved my head. There it was again. Oh, gawd, I've had this before and it is definitely not fun.
Obviously knackered because I fell asleep despite 'im indoors snoring for England - but woke next morning, fell over when I tried to get up and just about made it to the bathroom before I was horribly and violently ill. Not nice! Poor 'im indoor didn't quite know what to do - he offered his services as a leaning post, which was gratefully received, but I couldn't eat or drink a thing and was sentenced to spending the next five days on the couch. Doctor called in labryinthitis - I call it getting drunk but without the fun and alcohol. Actually it's put me off the drink! Weird. I could barely touch a drop the other day - and I'd come off the pills, so there was no excuse really.
I'm rambling.
As usual.
We're back from Cornwall where I managed to persuade him indoors he didn't need to spend the entire time gardening - we ate and drank and walked and caught up with friends, which is so much nicer. Mick, if you're reading this, I love you really.
So, it's back to work. Head is fine, stomach is fine. Still not interested in booze, and even the cigarettes are beginning to pall. Perhaps this is another phase in my life where I shall become a saintly non-smoking tea-totaller, who is also slim, gorgeous and absolutely successful in everything I do.
Dream on Tamara.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Summer days and lost instructions

Hi there, I know it has been a while, and I apologise. I lost the piece of paper that had my address and password on it! Don't laugh, brain like a sieve at the moment - office in chaos - social life out of control - weather far too gorgeous to be stuck in an office. I had to guess several times before I could get into this thing, but now I'm here, I don't really know how to begin.
Having worked solidly for several months, him indoors and I went to France to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Lots of lovely shopping in St Malo with the other girls while the men played golf - followed by a recitation and exaggeration of every ball, hole and bunker played by the men as we sat and drank lovely wine. We didn't brag and boast, didn't bemoan the shoes we couldn't find, the bargain we missed - we just held up all the shopping bags and hid the price tags - but then that's what girls do.
Back home now and the weather has been great. My daughter has moved back into her flat and we're carting her stuff from our attic over to her. It's amazing how a whole life can fit in an attic, isn't it? Tonight we're borrowing a car and trailer to get her couch and bed across - unless it rains - and it has rained, something the gardens are really enjoying. But not the cushions on my new terrace furniture - they are sodden and at the moment hanging on the washing line in the hopes they dry out before it rains again. Sunshine and showers, lovely - I just wish the showers would all come at night, much more sensible.
Right, I'm talking rubbish. Bye for now, will let you know how him indoors and I get on in Cornwall.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Under a cloud

Firstly, thank you to Tracey and Brigitte for commenting on my blogs. I have lots of favourite books and authors, at the moment I'm readin Penny Vincenzie - love them! It seems I'm not the only one who suffers from an 'im indoors! The organization of the Thailand trip was left entirely in his hands, so I have no-one else to blame but myself. It sounded so romantic, a night boat to Koh Tao, would even make a great title for a book - the reality was somewhat of a let down, but it was an adventure, and when I'm old and grey - in about five minutes - I can look back and laugh about it!
The cloud I'm under has come over the UK from Iceland. Poor devils, as if they haven't had enough problems in the past year what with going bankrupt! All airports are shut down, the ferries and trains are doing a roaring trade, and all we need now is for the French to go on strike so no-one can get of this small, overpopulated island. I can't think why they haven't already struck - they are usually superb at doing so right at the most inconvenient moment - I do with the British were the same.
The cloud has yet to arrive here in the south - we had white stuff come down, but it was frost! Charming at this time of the year when all the bedding plants are struggling for survival.
Talking of clouds, 'im indoors has a bad back!!!!! I'll say no more!!!!!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Two left feet

I love him indoors - I really do - but there are times when I wish..... Never mind.
He organised a wonderful birthday surprise, and although he admits he can't dance, thought it best to come with me to the Strictly Come Dancing four days at a hotel in Somerset as he didn't trust me with anyone else!? Moi? At my age? Give me a break.
We went off to our respective classes and of course in the evening dressed up to strut our stuff on the dancefloor. Poor love, him indoors has all the grace of a rugby prop forward after a night in the pub - my poor feet - trampled by size elevens - not that much fun really. He got red around the ears, and in the face - lost his temper, got frustrated and flounced off - Well, I say flounced, sixteen stone men don't flounce, they barge, stomp or simply disappear to the bar!
Unfortunately we seem to be the only two that are uncoordinated - the others swept around the floor, sashaying, hands waving, heads bobbing, smiles plastered as their feet twinkled and their pitying gazes glanced over us. It's at times like these that I wish him indoors was Antonio Banderas - at least he knows how to tango. - but then in the real world, I wouldn't swop him indoors for a hundred Antonios - life's too short to have to fight to get to the mirror first.

The night boat to Koh Tao

When the plans had all been arranged and we told the offspring what they were, they threw their hands up in horror. Thailand was great - for back-packers - but it was a long journey across the country to the island, and did we really plan on taking the night boat? Him indoors looked puzzled and I began to have that squirming sensation in my stomach - a sense of impending doom. But the plans were made, there was no backing out.
It all started out so well. Upgraded by Emirates to business class, we arrived in Bangcock well refreshed and after an overnight stay took a short plane ride across Thailand to Krabbi. Perfection, blue sea, green palms, white sand - great monoliths of rock that were the focus of foolhardy, brave climbers who could be seen dotted about hanging from ropes way above the ground.
A longtail ride back to Krabbi town, a short journey in a minibus with Swedish back-packers, one of whom observed that he was born in Sweden but would probably die in Thailand if the driver kept on overtaking on bends! Three hours wait in the heat - 39 and rising, with eighty percent humidity! Not good.
Coach ride to Suratthani where the food market was in full throttle on the dockside. This is the first glimpse of our transport to Koh Tao - oh dear. The kids had warned me, and I was expecting hell - actually it wasn't that bad - not really - not if you shut your eyes and ears and covered your face with sarong!
The night boat was actually one of the better ones - more by luck than judgement - and was in reasonable shape. You entered at quay level to discover it was completely empty inside but for a short wooden staircase that led to a vast wooden floor. Laid out like sardines, the mattresses - lumpy, flea bitten - and god knows what else - lined both sides. There was a pillow - or should I say a lump of something resembling a brick - and nothing else.
Him indoors looked round, realised he would be lying next to a leggy, blonde young thing and grinned like a cheshire cat. Her boyfriend swapped places - I can't think why! I was next to a lovely Canadian girl who'd just come back from a long stay in Tasmania, so we had lots to talk about. Several lads arrived toting beer crates - obviously already well-oiled in one of the bars - it could be a long night.
But the real horror of the trip was not the beds, the drunken singing, the futive rustling of clothes etc., but the toilet. In the bowels of the ship, its miasmic stench permeated everything. I braved it at about four in the morning, only to find the bolt on the sliding door had been wrenched off, the floor was wet and the smell so bad from the hole in the ground that it was impossible to breathe. It's very difficult having a pee with one hand on the door, the other over your nose, and your skirt held up by your teeth. I didn't stay in there long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Koh Tao was it's usual lovely, hectic self, and there was my son waiting for me, surprised I think, that I'd survived. We had a wonderful holiday with him, and the only day it rained was on my birthday when it came down like a monsoon - stopped abruptly and when the sun came out shot the humidity up to about a hundred percent. I was wet all the time, either sweating, showering or swimming - and the ankles took umbrage at everything and decided to swell quite alarmingly - I blame it on the heat, but actually the booze probably had more to do with it.

Mothers and daughters

My lovely girl left home to live in Australia for a year, and I missed her terribly. We don't see a lot of each other even though she is less than an hour's drive away - but knowing she was on the other side of the world left a huge void. I've always advised my three children to be adventurous, to see the world and not get stuck in a rut - I just didn't think they would take me so literally! One is in Australia, married with two son - the other is in Thailand, unmarried, but having a wonderful time, and now my darling daugher has cleared off to the other side of the world and left me - the only Australian born one in this part of the family, high and dry in England.
But she came back. Oh, the joy of seeing her again, of hearing her adventures instead of reading them on her facebook - seeing her photos and being able to laugh and chat like old times. I know parents have to let their children go - it would be far too selfish to pin them down out of loyalty and emotional blackmail, and it's the hardest thing to do without crying - but the joy of them returning, so mature, alive, full of plans for the future - it's worth every salty teardrop! Our relationship has changed, deepened and strengthened because of that long parting - and although she might disappear again, I know that just because she's not close she's still thinking of me. Mothers and daughters eh?

Long time no blog

Firstly, I must apologise for being extremely lazy - but I do have several excuses, as you will see. Writing a daily diary was something I did as a teenager, but once married and bringing up children, there never seemed to be any time for such frippery. Once I'd taken up writing for a living I spent all day on a computer and the last thing I wanted to do was spend another hour writing up the minutae of my working day!
Being an author isn't very exciting actually - I sit at my desk for about eight hours while him indoors brings coffee, distraction and useless information - then it's downstairs to a glass of wine, supper - once I've cooked it, and an evening watching the tv. See? Boring!
I jest. It might seem boring to you, but I've spent all day in a different world to the one outside my window. I've been in Australia, in the outback, or on the coast, reliving all the glorious trips I've had over the years and making up my own little world. It takes a while to return to the real world, and if the phone rings, I am usually very cross to be disturbed.
Of course, once the book is finished - the long nights, the endless research, the angst over a piece of dialogue or where my characters are leading me - then I can relax.
But not for long. The editing is next - an exciting time where the book is polished and shined until it is as near perfect as I can get it. Then I can relax.
But then comes the invitations to do talks, signings, interviews - to travel and meet my readers. Then I can relax.
The book goes to my foreign publishers - it's released - reviews have to be read - discarded or held tightly as proof that I'm doing okay. Perhaps now I can really relax.
But I have an idea for another book. It's exciting and the research will lead me who knows where? Perhaps I wasn't meant to relax - after all, this is what I enjoy doing - it's what gets me up in the morning and gives me dreams at night.
Relax? Life's too short and the publishing world too speedy to let up for a minute. Relaxing is for other people. Now perhaps you can see why I don't have much time for blogging? Let alone twittering, face-booking et al.