Thursday, 27 September 2012

Am I still grieving?

I met somebody when I was out at crossword class. She asked me how I was doing. When I told her that despite everything going well, I felt more miserable than I had in ages. She said it sounded as though the grieving process had caught up with me.
I wonder if she’s right. In a way, I hope she is because that means, given time, I’ll start to feel better.
Joanna from the Writers Circle sent me an email saying she’s hoping to get to the next meeting (Monday, 1st October) so I’m going to try and make the effort  to get there too. I  think I’ve only been once this entire year so far. It will be good to catch up plus it will get me out of the house and stop me playing computer games for hours and hours on end. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Trying to put me off

A number of people have been trying to put me off the house I want to buy round the corner. There are no perfect properties, but as soon as somebody starts to say negative things, the doubts start to creep in. I’ve been told that youths drink and throw bottles about behind the off license which is on the main road and the car park for which the house backs on to. As I’ll be on my own, I obviously don’t want any trouble, but is this a real problem or not? I’ve also been told about smells from a takeaway. If either problem is bad, the vendors are hardly likely to tell me.
What do I do now? Go and hang about behind the off–license and see for myself?  I guess I’ll have to. What larks!
I went to the singing group again today, despite the driving rain. There are only 2 more practises before we’re meant to perform, so goodness how that’s going to  work. Fingers crossed I suppose

Monday, 24 September 2012

Busy doing nothing

I have done nothing today apart from tidy the house a bit. 
Otherwise, it’s just been computer games over and over. I ALMOST reached the point earlier when I wanted to throw the machine in the bin so with any luck, this energy sapping period is on its way out.
Tomorrow morning, I’m having the house valued and maybe put on the market. I’m also viewing a bungalow just to see what they’re like inside. It’s on an estate that seems to tick a lot of boxes so I might as well be nosey.
Right now, I could really use a tame builder to go and look at the house I’m hoping to buy. Having a proper survey done is very expensive and in the past I’ve always found them unsatisfactory. Any possible problems and they’ve always said, have further investigations made. If anyone in the Leeds area knows anyone who would be able to go to the house and check out the structural side – roof, loft space, electrics, walls, etc, do, please get in touch.
All I want to know is if there’s anything major I should know about. I'm obviously willing to pay. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Kitchen finished!

I’ve just finished wallpapering the kitchen, a job I started a year ago. It looks so much better now it’s done, so much brighter. It’s a shame it’s taken planning to move to get me motivated!
I actually enjoy hanging paper (not so keen on the stripping and preparation though). It’s a wonderful way to transform a room  and doesn’t take that long to do either.
The house is starting to look better. I’m keen to find out what the estate agent has to say on Tuesday. I’ve asked the Exeter agent to call the man buying Mum’s house to see if he’s had the go ahead for the loan he wanted.
Thanks for the message, Jacula. Eminently sensible and insightful as always. Fingers crossed the calm seas stay and that I start to not only cope with, but also enjoy them.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Day in Scarborough

I had a lovely day with Val in Scarborough yesterday. She has so much talent, it’s a shame to see her not using it. She can paint, sculpt, all kinds of things.
I had such a good time, and there was such a lot to see (lots of charity shops too)  I decided to book a weekend there with National Holidays in October. The wind off the sea was a bit sharp though, but the rain stayed away which was all anyone can really ask for at this time of year. I challenged Val to enter the themed competitions in Writers News as they’re free. The plan is I write a story and send it to her for feedback and she does the same. I’m hoping that will be the prod I need to get me started on stories again. It’s worth a try.
Today I’ve been sprucing up the house a bit ready for Tuesday when the estate agent comes to give me a valuation. Before then I need to finish wallpapering the kitchen. It’s all stripped, filled and ready, all I need is a large dose of enthusiasm and energy.
I still don’t feel right in my head. I don’t think it’s depression, I just feel a bit flat and don’t want to do anything, not even watch TV or listen to music. It’s so great that things are going well, I guess it takes some getting used to.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


I have been pondering.
Nothing significant, just the meaning of life.
Now that things are going well, it’s rather caught me on the hop. It’s been too many years since life was this calm and it’s taking some getting used to. I still don’t really know what I want to do other than take life a bit easier for a while.
I also needed to decide what to do about various people who, to quote the old saying, had ‘done me wrong’. Today I wrote to the solicitor who handled Mum’s affairs and asked for compensation and reimbursement of the fees I paid to him. I have no idea what they’ll do but I didn’t feel able to just let them get away with everything.
I’m not doing much at the moment other than things I have to do – my column, Writers Bureau scripts, people wanting feedback, sending out the odd rewritten story. Tomorrow I’m going to Scarborough to see Val. I’ve been meaning to for months but never managed to get round to it. I’m also toying with the idea of taking a three day break there in October, the idea being that if I take a pad and some starting points for stories, I might just be able to get back to work. I know once I start, I’ll be fine. It’s that first step that’s the scary one.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Word has done a wobbly

I had plans to write up several posts and catch up with everything, but you know what they say about plans? Word has just decided to thorw a wobbly on my PC and I can't raise the enthusiasm to go back into it so will be brief instead.
I went back to the Tuesday singing group today. I used to go fairly often but fell out of the habit more than a year ago when I was down. They've moved  and the new venue is a 20 minute walk from the station but I had a really good time and will try to make the effort again next week, specially as I've decide to put Heydays on hold for this term at least. The rest of today has been spent on marking assignments for the Writers Bureau. I still haven't got to grips with the email ones yet so it takes me an age to each one but so long as I enjoy doing it, that's fine.
My head is starting to  get to grips with this new, relaxed style of life. I'm still not sure what I want to do, but have decided to just go with the flow for a while and see what happens.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A lot going on

Apologies for neglecting the blog. I’ve had a lot going on!
Top of the list, subject to contract, I’ve sold the house in Exeter and hope to have the sale completed before the end of October. I’ve also bought a house, again subject to contract, just round the corner from where I am now. The garden is much much smaller  which I need at the moment, and it has the right layout – kitchen big enough to eat in, doors between living and dining room so that I can open up the space (or not), and a lovely airy main bedroom which will be my office/music/art/chill room. My offer was accepted on Friday which just happened to be the 15th anniversary of Gareth’s death. I found that strangely comforting.
I’ve been busy in the garden today. BEFORE I knew I was moving, I bought, literally, hundreds of bulbs – narcissi, tulips, iris etc. They need planting but obviously I’d like to take them with me, so, I’ve been replanting all my pots and putting the bulbs into those./ It’s taken me hours. Now I have to go round the garden, digging up just a few plants to take with me. I’m particularly fond of hebes, grasses and hostas so want to take a few of those, and the odd lavender bush if possible.
The result of all this frenetic activity is that I’m way behind with everything else. Of course there’s more to do. The kitchen that I started decorating before Mum died needs finishing, the whole garden needs a major tidy,  so does the house in general, then I can put it up for sale. The idea is to sell Exeter asap and follow that more or less immediately with buying the house. Then I’d like a month’s gap before the sale of this house goes through so I can move slowly. Anyway, that’s the plan.
Now to think about food followed by the return of Strictly. Yes, I’m an addict and proud of it too.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Feeling stuck

Things are going well right now –  the house in Devon has been cleared, it’s on the market and people are making offers, yet I feel terrible.
It’s as though I don’t know how to cope when there isn’t some major problem looming over me. I just can’t seem to make myself get on with anything. Instead, I’m just wasting time. I hope this is just a passing  phase. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

A quick recap

I’m so far behind with this blog, my head’s spinning.
On 31st August, I went to Nottingham for the NAWG Festival of Writing where I was teaching a short story course. I had an excellent time, mainly down to the wonderful people I met there. I’d name some of them but that would mean leaving others out!
As always, the organisation was a bit shambolic, but everything worked in its own, wonky kind of way. I’d just like to say to all those lovely people I met, PLEASE do keep in touch. I was very bad about collecting cards and taking phone numbers because my head was already in Exeter!
I came home from Nottingham late on Sunday afternoon (September 2nd)  and spent a chaotic few hours rushing about finishing packing for my trip down to Devon. My mother died in March, leaving me her house. There was a big complication  in the shape of her carer who was still living there. This is a very long story, so I’m not going to tell it here, suffice to say that having found out certain things through doing probate, I gave him a choice, leave or face the consequences.
He moved out on the 24th August. If it hadn’t been for NAWG I would have gone down the next day. As it was, I had to wait until September 3rd. When I got there, the house was in a right old state. Filthy just about covers it. The garden was also in a mess, overgrown and full of weeds. I also discovered that quite a few things were missing, including the three piece suite and other furniture.
I set about putting the house to rights. I’d been concerned that staying there might have been upsetting. I have few happy memories of the house and wondered if I’d have trouble sleeping there but it was fine. In fact as I cleaned and scrubbed and tidied, I found myself starting to like the house and wishing it was in Leeds so that I could live there!  Without the clutter and the angry vibes, its sunny, spacious, light, side began to show. 
John, my ex, took me down in his car. I had him going back and forth to the skip with car loads of rubbish probably a dozen times.
Once most of the furniture was cleared, I could see the potential of the place. Of course, that made me sad as I hadn’t been able to do anything to improve things while Mum was alive. Once Denis came along, I was elbowed out. I let that happen as I thought it was best for Mum. I know better now.
While I was there, I spent a pleasant evening with some friends (they used to be my neighbours when I lived in Exeter) which was great. I also took a morning off to tour the shops, and had a few hours in Exmouth so that I at least got to see the sea!
The estate agent came round on the Tuesday to measure up (he took the photos after I’d had the furniture cleared) and the first viewers started to come along. I took a liking to family with 3 small children. They made such a noise exploring, it was lovely to see. It would be nice to sell to a family and think of the house being a happy home again.
I left on Sunday, coming home by train. John is still there, visiting friends and family.
By the time I got to Leeds, I was so tired, I couldn’t do very much at all except unpack, check some emails, then go to bed (8 p.m.!).
I’m still feeling tired today. It feels as though my feet have hardly touched the ground since before Swanwick.

Back from Devon

posted earlier on Facebook

I’ve been off line since 30th August. Straight after the NAWG Festival, I went down to Exeter to clear, clean, and put Mum’s house on the market. The trip went far better than hoped. I was worried that I’d find it hard, staying in the house, but as it turned out, it was fine. The weather was perfect, dry and warm so I was able to do lots of work in the garden. It’s amazing what a difference a tidy weed free garden makes. The house felt light and welcoming and the longer I stayed there, the more I realised what a nice house it actually is! If it was in Leeds, I’d live there myself and no, I don’t want to move back to Devon. .
I’ve already had an offer from an interested buyer. I would have accepted it but the estate agent has told me to give it a few more days first.
I arrived home yesterday evening, feeling exhausted.
It’s going to take me quite a while to get back up to speed but I think I’m getting there, slowly. Thanks again to everyone who’s been so kind to me recently. Your support has meant a great deal to me.
I’ve missed a lot of friends’ birthdays and other news while I’ve been away and hope you will, please, forgive me. I also have a mountain of emails to climb!