Saturday, 28 September 2013


Why does it feel so bad? All I’ve got is a cold! Still at least the sun is shining. I decided not to go to the BBQ. Not only do I feel bad, I look ghastly too, plus I’d feel terrible if I passed on my germs. Mind you that didn’t stop my ex as he’s the one I blame for giving me the cold in the first place.
I’ve been battling with cryptic crosswords so that the group has some to do next week. Probably not the best thing to do with a thick head but there you go. Apart from that, I’ve done a couple of pieces of Writers Bureau work and that’s about it. Still, it is the weekend.
I keep finding that whenever I make plans, they get scuppered. At the moment I want to be getting on with some stories but the way I feel right now, that’s just not possible. Louis arrives tomorrow and much as I adore him, he does get in the way of anything creative. When he wants me attention, he tends to get it, especially this time as he won’t be coming here again. It hurts me to say that. I do love that dog, but I have to draw a line. For the next year  at least I want to be unfettered so that I’m free to do whatever comes along. If at the end of that time, I’m still alone and unloved, then I can think about getting a lodger, or going back to dog boarding, but I feel that I need some time to breathe. As you might guess, that feels alien to me. It’s selfish and means thinking about what I want, and putting me first. I reckon if I can do that, at least for a while, I have a hope of leaving the dark days of depression behind me and getting on with some living for a change.  
Of course, I have to get rid of this blanket-blank cold first. Maybe some ice cream would help…

Friday, 27 September 2013

All alone and feeling sorry for myself

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that there’s very little worse than being on your own and having a bad cold.
I feel like **** today. What I really really want is somebody to wait on me hand and foot, mop my fevered brow, make me lemon tea and tuck me up in bed; instead, I have to get on with it.
Yesterday, before this bug caught hold, I went to crosswords. It was a disaster. The crosswords were so difficult it took an hour and a half to do two, and that was with quite a bit of cheating. When Jack was there, he’d done the crosswords beforehand and therefore knew how hard/easy they were. Now it’s just pot luck and it’s not working. I had the bright idea of maybe trying to do some crosswords before next week then taking those along. I wouldn’t be able to take part but I could give some help with clues. The problem was, I couldn’t do any of the ones I tried.
I’ve finished the Saturday Telegraph prize crossword three weeks in a row but I haven’t got a blank grid. On Saturday I’ll get two copies of the paper, then I’ll have a blank to copy. Sod’s law says I won’t be able to finish it!
I called Barbara when I got in. Her husband died very suddenly a few weeks ago and she’s stopped coming to crossword class. I called to let her know we were thinking of her . The poor woman’s in such a state. She says she can’t stop crying. I know exactly where she’s coming from as I lost Gareth like that. One minute he was there, the next – gone. There’s nothing I could say to make things better. Only time and the support of her family can do that. I think it helped her, talking to me. I hope so because when I hung up, I was the one in tears.  
Tomorrow is BBQ day but if I feel like this, I won’t be able to go. No point spreading the germs around, or risking making it worse by sitting outside, even if the weather is fabulous (at the moment I have al the windows open it’s so warm and bright and gorgeous).
I’m going to try to get some work done. There’s no way I can be creative with this thick head, but I might be able to rewrite an old story for The People’s Friend.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Frustration rules

Having made the decision to end the part time work I was doing, I’m now feeling increasingly frustrated.  I’ve had to give notice. I’m not the kind of person who just stops, that wouldn’t meet my ‘be fair to everyone’ syndrome. So now, I have to get on with the work and count the days until I’m free again.
Louis arrives on Sunday. His owners sent me an email the other day saying how much they wished I wasn’t stopping the boarding as their dog loves coming to say with me (he does) and they wouldn’t feel as happy leaving him with anyone else. It really upset me. I felt I was letting them down when, in fact, Louis loves everyone. I don’t think he cares who he’s with, providing they give him some attention when he’s in playful mode.
I almost wavered. After all, it wouldn’t hurt to spend the odd week looking after a dog I’m potty about, but I managed to resist. Just. The whole idea of cutting all my ties and commitments is to open up my life to other possibilities. I feel I need to be more spontaneous. I want to be able to try new social groups without having to check whether I’m free, dog wise.  Most of all, I want to be free to get back to proper writing. By that I mean writing things I want to write rather than stuff I HAVE to  write.
Today, there’s no Heydays.  I’ve arranged to meet a man from Leeds Writers for lunch. He’s a poet, a great one as far as I’m concerned as his words often touch my heart. He’s a bit down, I’m a bit down. I’ve no idea how it will go but who cares? I’m doing something different. After that, it’s off to the hairdressers for a cut and blow dry. I coloured it myself this time. Last time they did it, the colour faded dramatically in a couple of weeks so I figure better to spend £6 and do it myself. I’d meant to get a colour closer to the one my hair naturally fades too but managed to get it a bit wrong so that I’ve ended up a darker shade of brown than I’d intended, but at least it covers the grey…..

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Making plans

A quick update. My plan for the next few days is to catch up with various jobs, including some of the dreaded housework I've been avoiding lately.
Yesterday, a gardener came to quote for various jobs. I've given him the go ahead, starting 14th October. The jobs are all labour intensive - trim hedge (v tall, v long), replace worn out weed barrier and gravel with new barrier and wood chip, take down trellis diving wall, remove thorny bush and replace trellis with one that isn't falling apart, make a seating area near pond with path leading to it, put in small pond in back garden for wildlife, remove various large shrubs that I don't want, sort out front garden, again replacing worn out weed barrier plus putting a low, solid fence between me and next door (they have weeds weeds and more weeds in their patch that constantly spread into mine) 
Once all that's done, I can get on with growing things.
I've been taken to task for sacking my therapist. The point is I don't want to  go into great detail and when you encapsulate something, you have to miss lots out.  One of the things that persuaded me to leave was being told it would have to get worse before it gets better. A - I don't believe that, and B - if it got any worse than it did a few weeks ago, I'd be dead.
We're all different. It's easy to look at things from our own perspective but the truth is nobody knows how anyone else actually thinks or feels. All I know is that I have made the right decision for me at this  time. Yes, I would have loved her to have said, go for it girl. Why? because I don't have a close friend, a lover or any family to say that to me and although I was saying it to myself, over and over, I guess I wasn't listening. 
Now I am. I know what I want and I also know that it's up to me if I get it or not. The past doesn't exist. Neither does the future. All that matters is now.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Making decisions

I feel like I’m making progress. I’ve made some major decisions. 
I decided not to go back to the therapist. I wanted somebody with more positivity. For most of the session she just sat there, looking at me with this sad expression. I asked her to help me make a decision and she wasn’t any help at all, so that’s over. I’m glad for another reason. Getting to her involved either taxis or a lift from my ex.  I’d much rather be able to make my own way. If I feel the need to see anyone else, I’ll find somebody closer. 
The pills from the homeopath arrived this morning. I was a bit disappointed. I expected several different kinds, not just one, but if it works, who cares? Also on her advice I’m taking extra vitamins and drinking one cup of green tea every day. 
Decision number two was a biggie. I’ve given notice to the Writers Bureau and will stop tutoring for them on 31st October.  The relief is immense as I want to be able to get on with more writing (I also have the judging and critiques for NAWG's open short story competition in November - see  I've very much enjoyed the experience.  The discipline of working for the Bureau helped me get through some very difficult times. Now I need to go it alone. I can’t tell you how hard making that decision was, mainly because it meant turning down a small, but regular income, but it’s done now. At last. Note to Rae – I tried to call you but no reply. Have you done that filler?????
The highlight of the past few days has been a series of emails from a man down in Surrey.  It’s given me such a boost. Shame he isn’t closer.. 
Today I was meant to be at a flirting workshop but it was cancelled. So annoying as I really could use some tips. It’s been such a long time since I went on a date and even longer since I flirted with anyone.  With the workshop cancelled, I had time to see a gardener who’s going to quote for various jobs in the garden. I like growing things, I don’t mind weeding, pruning and all that kind of stuff either, but it’s the hard landscaping that’s beyond me right now. He’s due to call later today with some prices so fingers crossed.
I said the other day that I was feeling better. I still feel better. I’m not jumping about singing and laughing, but I feel as though I have a bit more energy, not a lot, but a bit. This week I made blackberry compote and a lovely coconut and lime drizzle cake. I like trying new recipes but haven’t tried anything different for months. Hopefully that’s another good sign. Of course the proof of the pudding will be when I go back to writing stories….. if they come out well, I’ll know I’m on the mend.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Feeling better. Again.

Once again, I feel better. Once again, I feel that things are starting to click in to place. What I need to do now is make decisions. What I want from life and how to get it. I had an interesting email discussion with a reader of this blog. I’d said I’d be happy with a man as a companion – separate rooms on holiday, that kind of thing – when the truth is I want more than that. I want the happy ever after, a warm, loving relationship that works on all levels.  At the moment that feels like an impossible dream but we all know that dreams CAN come true. I guess it’s up to me.
I’ve been writing lots of bits of stories that have been cluttering up my file. The way I work is I give a story a number so that I can keep track of it. Before now, they got a number as soon as I typed them up. That has meant that I’ve got some stories that are numbered but aren’t finished which makes it difficult to see where I am. So now I’m starting a new folder. Any ideas that I’ve started to beef up will be typed and go in there. Hopefully that will mean an end to having to search through dozens of notebooks looking for half done stories.  Then once a story is finished, THEN I’ll give it a number. That might not sound very exciting to you, but to me, it’s a big step. In the right direction.
I haven’t gone to Heydays this morning. It’s East Leeds Writers this afternoon and I couldn’t face doing both.  I’ll go early which will give me a chance to browse Tesco’s. I’ve started writing fillers again,  and need to research a few magazines.  I used to write a lot of fillers. They kept me going when I first started writing fiction, filing the (long) gaps between sales and giving me a much-needed boost with various prizes and sums of money. A boost or two  wouldn’t go amiss at the moment. If you don’t know what fillers are, maybe invest in my ebook.
It costs all of £1.53.
Now what to do next. Ah yes, get some of those story bits and pieces typed up.