After the Snow and Winds

Naughty Nell and I have been on our familiar walk today. Now the rain has washed all the snow away it’s revealing the devastation that lay underneath over a metre of the cold stuff. We heard the trees crashing and falling during the worst of the wintry precipitation, not helped by the thick ropes of ivy … Continue reading

Day 29: Four Goals for the next 30 Days…

goalsWell, as I’ve unofficially taken August off as a kind of healing/holiday time in bits and pieces, I shall consider my goals for September. Simon has been out on gardening commitments and I’ve had Mrs Mop duties most weekends but in between we’ve popped down to our local pool of an afternoon which has been delightful. A lot of people are quite shocked that we don’t have our own swimming pool – the stereotypical expat apparently does. Well there isn’t anything stereo typical about us and anyway at 5 Euro’s a day, ten minutes down the road band someone else cleaning the pool, what’s not to like?

I’m going to set myself four ‘big’ goals, one for each week, which won’t get completed within the week, but will be started so here we go.

  1. Complete the edit on All Will Be Well (and as of this morning I may have a better title – a writer is never away from her work.
  2. Full read through of The Promise (next WiP for publication) and identify plot problems
  3. Write one new Penny and George story – in desperate need of some humour
  4. Submit a short story for publication, possibly a third for the Story Shack – I love them because they have illustrations especially drawn for your piece.
  5. Yeah, I know I said four but a girl can change her mind can’t she? I’m going to start practising lettering. I’ve been hankering a desire to learn calligraphy and this is a start (this month I’ve been practising doodling…)

Oh, and make a plan so that these goals happen 😉

Ciao for now,


April Garden

Procrastination Prevails

Words: 19flag-1024413_960_72000 but I’ve done so much more…
Carbs and Cals: Pastry, chips and onion rings. Tut, tut
Workout: A beach and river walk this week
Reading: The Night Manager by John Le Carre, loved the series
Weather: Sun and showers, very April like
Watched: The Lady in the Van – brilliant
Word of the Week: GIMCRACK: adjective 1. showy but useless. noun 1. a showy, useless trifle; gewgaw.
International Day of the Week: Tell a Story Day 27th April

Although I’ve had a productive week, I know that I’ve wasted a lot of hours. I’m plagued by procrastination. If there is a hint of a distraction, off I go following blindly until two, maybe three hours have passed with nothing to show for it. I wish there was a pill I could take, or maybe a help group… maybe not.

I have, in my defense, crossed off one of my household tasks this week. Well, not household exactly, painting a wall, steps, stone bath and porch. It’s just plain grey concrete underneath which is very boring, so I paint it a brilliant white and with all the lavender and geraniums which will grow along side it will, eventually, look very Mediterranean. Piccie will be posted later…

The best way to get something done, is to begin

I’ve written my blog over at Louise Charles on Writing Productivity and what does it mean? A lot of writers swear by word count and when I’m writing new stuff, so do I. But as a self published, ‘indie’ , writer and author there are so many other activities which are not so easily measurable. But does it matter at the end of the day? Isn’t the end result proof enough of my output?

Today is my grandsons birthday. Morgan is sixteen. No I can’t believe I’m a Nonna to a 16 year old. A glam gran I like to think 🙂 He is the most wonderful young man I know. I’m biased, of course, but he doesn’t seem to have the angst or hang ups that so many young folks do. He loves his Xbox and his smart phone, of course, but he can hold a conversation and he makes me laugh. Credit to my son, Ben and his lovely wife, Clare without a doubt.

And my bout of procrastination? Well, all cured now but it all related to be obsession with journals (so it’s bound to return at some point). I am forever changing my system but I’m hoping this time, this method will work for me. I kind of do it anyway, already. It’s called Bullet Journaling and I shall be blogging about it over at Lou’s in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and Happy St George’s day.




Keeping the Critters out

12967299_1161739623838445_2650160998637840758_oProductivity: Complete macro edit of All Will Be Well (75,000k)
Carbs and Cals: I’m now 75kgs (from 80kgs) 🙂
Workout: Mowing, yes again!
Reading: Almost finished Shift by Hugh Howey, riveting
Weather: Glorious sunshine and 30 degrees
Watched: The Book Thief –  brilliant, as good as the book
Word of the Week: Wofflestompers, plural noun 1. ankle boots with ridged soles, used especially for hiking.
International Day of the Week: Talk Like Shakespeare Day, Saturday 25 April

It’s a busy time of the year in the garden. And the fence to keep chicks and dogs out is now complete. Hurrah!  Now is the time we plant the majority of our vegetables. It’s quite a commitment. Contrary to popular belief you can’t just shove the plants in and vegetables abound. It takes a lot more work than that, but it is so satisfying when you have a plate full of fresh stuff you’ve just picked that morning. Having a south facing garden, we thought it was cushty but too much sun can be very devastating so makeshift parasols are a necessity. My favourite summer veg is sweetcorn, griddled on the BBQ and dripping with butter… yum
I promised myself that I would only have one diary system this year. Last year, I spent some of my Mrs Mop money on a lovely leather A4 Filofax and print of the inserts. But I’ve just come across bullet journalling, which is essentially what I do, and I’m hooked. So have spent some time this week looking at Moleskines, again… Simon will never forgive me.

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” ― Mark Twain

I’ve listened to the whole of my manuscript using the free version of Natural Reader. It’s a great way to edit and I pick up so much more that I would do just reading. I think it’s because I probably skip stuff and read what I think is on the page but it isn’t.



Trojans and Bugs

I’ve spent the last week fighting off a bug. But I haven’t had a head full of cold, or a runny nose, in fact not even a sneeze. There is no doubt, however that I have been attacked by a virus, or rather my laptop has. Last Tuesday, Simon opened an email (which looked very official) from our electricity provider. It was our monthly statement. Simon sat in a state of shock at the amount due, four times as much as we usually use. An attachment, parading as a PDF and promising us all the information wouldn’t open. We ran around like headless chickens, trying to work out how we could have used 400 Euros worth more electricity than last month. Bottom line is we didn’t. On closer inspection it was a spam email, not from Enel at all but using everything that we were familiar with. Since then our laptop has been held to ‘ransom’. And that’s no joke. It was a Trojan. Whatever one of them is. Even though we haven’t been asked to pay anything, Windows Defender kept throwing up notifications, that the laptop was as serious risk. Written in blood red.bug

Anyway, to cut a long story short and much hair pulling, I spent 10 hours last night(yes, ten, plus five hours on Friday evening) on-line with a Microsoft technician trying to purge my poorly laptop of the disease.  I finally got to bed at 3am this morning and 119 Euro’s poorer still not knowing if the machine would live or die. It was a terminal situation and another full body scan was needed…there was nothing more I could do. 🙁

And this morning, after a fretful sleep, my laptop is free of the virus and no more nasty notifications… I on the other hand feel as though I’m coming down with something. Atishoo!

Ciao x

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