Friday, June 13, 2008


Just a little something...

Talking of sharing, here's my brother's blog... He 'knows' things about music, and writes rather well...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Does eBay have a spell checker?

In the same way that autism can be viewed as a spectrum, I've got to wondering if writers' propensity to judge/fume/giggle/bitch about errors in grammar* and spelling might have a spectrum all of its very own.

I'll own up to a certain sense of smugness when I spot glaring errors. In the days when - as a teacher - I invariably had a board marker in my pocket, I was one of 'those' people, who took glee in doing that 'apostrophe thing' in public spaces.

However. Nothing brings me so close to strange mix of shock and mild amusement as eBay. It's an absolute wonder for true gems. Here's just a tiny selection that I found without even looking...

No items can be returned as all descriptions are fully arcrate.

Yes, this fills me with great confidence.

Topshop, Miss Selfride, Oasis shirt, Indie, Vintage, Emo, Kate Moss.

Perhaps this shirt has a severe psychiatric disorder? Surely, no shirt could be all of these things all at the same time? Even if it could, do people really exist who want to look 'Indie-vintage-emo-Kate Moss'?

Topshop Red Dressy Up Size 10 - Excellant Condition.

No thanks, I'd rather buy things from a charity shop...


Um. No comment. If anyone knows what a guar is, please explain. On second thoughts, please don't.

I'm sure that with a little searching** the best of these are yet to be discovered...

*Note to self - remember to check, check and, recheck this blog entry for errors...

** aka procrastinating.

DISCLAIMER - any errors found within this post were left intentionally by the author...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Defying (the laws of) Gravity.

EXT: Miss-C sits on doorstep in early morning sunbeams with cup of hot coffee.

Enter: First Bumble bee of the summer. Fuzzy and yellow, it stops to drink from lavender flowers.

M-C: Smiles.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I've been a bit knocked sideways by a virus that has taken out half of Oz's school this week. Today, is the first day I've been able to stand vertically for more than 3 mins. This led to a moment of revelation in the shower.

As I stood in the shower, the postman knocked.

This gave me a strange sense of deja vu - didn't the postman try to get in yesterday? Only with the hindsight of a recently departed fever does it occur to me that perhaps, the postman didn't actually climb in through the window yesterday. It now seems (highly) probable that the postman didn't climb through the window with several stangers, and that none of them actually argued about who would sign for the letter he was trying to deliver.

At the time this 'happened' I was simply quite grateful that no one seemed to mind, or particularly care, that I was unable to even open the door - relieved that I didn't seem rude. They seemed quite happy to bicker amongst themselves in the middle of the living room, before letting themselves out and politely leaving me to my hot, sticky slumber on the sofa.

Fever is a funny thing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lollypops and raindrops.

I was late to the world of statcounters with this blog. Somehow thought it would be too complicated. However, now I know things that I should never have known otherwise.

It seems that the majority of 'strangers' stumbling here have googled 'lollypop ladies' and (for some bizzare reason, probably only understood by SEO experts) this post comes up first.

It seemed only fitting to mark this strange Number One slot with a post. I'll never cease to be amazed the wonderfully random world of the w.w.w and google-ness.

Good also to celebrate the real lollypop ladies (and men), not least because they probably all got rather wet this morning.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Reality Check?

Freelancing feels slightly precarious, to say the least, and there are moments when I'm tempted to scurry back to the stability of a salary and stability etc. However, it does have some wonderful moments.

Today I spent an afternoon as a 'Reality Checker'.

Best job title ever, just wish I'd had a badge to pin above my desk to keep my spirits high on cloudier days. I've got a 'pack' of literature that explains my role for the afternoon - and it's there in 12pt Arial 'Reality Checker will...'

Just wonder if there's any chance of making a career out of this? But then I realise that checking other people's reality might not necessarily be the same as keeping a check on my own...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

La La

Apologies for the slightly upside down/back to front entries below, seems to be one of those days.

Just received sample spreads for my book. Should be a very happy thing. (Good times?)

But. There is not a single word written by me in the spread, and the way it reads leaves me cringing. There was no indication from my editor that they were unhappy with my content, or that there was a problem. Kind of leaves me in a strange dilemma. (Bad times?)

Perhaps I'll just go
and watch the blossom again
and ponder on this.*

[* Note to self - leave dodgy haiku alone...]

La La La

First day of seeing apple blossom always makes me smile. Wanted to 'share' the blossom feeling...

If I could find the camera I'd take a picture - but it seems to be lost.

There was a song that I posted - but the html went bad.

So perhaps this might do. Cheesy? Possibly (or is that just because of American Idol?). But it does seem to spread the blossom sunshine feeling...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Time Travel?

In recent days mornings have turned from a frenzied flurry of activity, mostly involving me watching the clock and nagging my son, to a calm picture of serenity. I now get to drink a coffee, whilst sitting outside and watching the early morning sun, whilst Oz lounges on a chair with a book. No rows, no bickering. Magic.

The reason for this? Oz's strange take on the way time works.

Monday morning was the first day back to school after the Easter holidays. He resolutely refused to get up - pretending to be asleep with the duvet pulled firmly over his head. My response (after the usual hectic rush to get him out of the door to school) was to insist that he went to bed earlier.

His response was to suggest that if he got himself up earlier (claiming that he was usually awake but just didn't want to get up), could he still have a later bedtime.

"Fine" I said, with the perfect cynicism of a mother.

Next day he came bounding in to my bedroom, fully dressed at 6.45.

"Perhaps that's a bit too early." I said, with the perfect cynicism of a mother who thought it was a one off.

Since then, I've got up at 7.30, to find Oz fully dressed, breakfast eaten, reading a book. Not only that, he's reading (for the first time) a book that I really want to read when he's finished. [The Louis Sachar sequel to 'Holes".] This alone marks a turning point in our relationship, no longer me trying to recommend books that he 'might like', more a case of negotiating who gets to read something he's seen first.

But it got me thinking about the whole concept of time and timetables.

Do we only resist schedules and ticking clocks when they are on someone elses terms?

It must be more than the promise of not being sent to bed half an hour earlier that has changed the morning dynamic in this house. More to do with waking up and getting up independently, rather than being woken up by someone else. Of course the beautiful irony is that Oz is presumably 'losing' half an hours sleep by getting up earlier. But, if this were translated to staying up later, I know we would be back to being to full scale grouches with each other over the Cornflakes.

This strange perception of time was compounded as Mr-C left for work this morning with a celabratory "Hurrah, it's Thursday!" (Rough translation = only one more day tilll it's Friday.)

It suddenly dawned on me that now I'm self employed, Thursday means not wishing it were Friday, but rather a reality check that there are still loads of things I've got to tie up and finish before it is Friday. It's a much nicer feeling.

When I was teaching, I too spent each week wishing my life away - wishing it were Friday, wishing it were the holiday... I know I'm much happier (despite the absence of a stable salary or the 'TFI Friday' elation) working for myself. I know Oz is a lot happier fitting mornings into his own dreamy order, without me nagging in the background.

So, perhaps time travel is a legitimate possibility after all. It would seem it is possible without having a Tardis or similar contraption. Perhaps time travel comes from simply renegotiating our relationships with the clock. Time really does seem to bend in our favour when there are no external impositions.

As I write this, I realise that the deadline for an article and the Hollyoaks script competition really is tomorrow, and I really should be getting on with it... But, somehow knowing I can have a coffee break whenever I want, or work 'till 3 am if I choose, it really doesn't seem so bad.

[Having said that, if the Tardis does appear in the garden, I'll be gone...]

Monday, April 07, 2008


Been too long away from here for far too long, so time for a (brief) celebratory post.

* This is the first day (since the move) that I have a desk, in a house with phone and internet connected :)

* The book is very nearly a tangible item.

* Perhaps simultaneous snow and sunshine shouldn't be celebrated, but they do look very pretty together.

More to follow soon...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Room Of One's Own.

Losing my 'room with a view' and dreaming now of a quiet place to write.

That's all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Can someone explain?

There's a news feed on my email, and this caught my eye.

"Hollywood director Steven Spielberg's decision to quit the Beijing Olympics over the Darfur crisis is drawing condemnation by China's state-controlled media and a groundswell of criticism from the Chinese public."

Initially I thought Mr S was due to run in the 100m, but realised that this wasn't the case, take your pick for the story. It's left me with a few thoughts:

1) Nice one to Mr S for withdrawing and bringing greater attention to the Dafur situation.

2) It's not (sadly) just Dafur the world media should be talking about.

What about Tibet, or indeed the Chinese track record of failing to respect basic human rights in their own country? It has always seemed strange, if not terrifying, that the Olympic committee ever took a bid from China seriously, as this seems to contradict the basic mission statement of the games, as stated on the official site "The Games have always brought people together in peace to respect universal moral principles."

3) But. Can anyone explain, why an American film director was involved with the Chinese opening ceremony in the first place?

Monday, February 18, 2008


Moving again.

Can anyone out there see even a shred of something amusing to keep me going through a week of relentless-card-board-box-ness?

The cats are loving it - they assume that the boxes have been placed there purely for their amusement.

I'm giving it 48 hrs before I join them, climb into a box and just pretend that I'm not here until delivered there (to the new house) at the weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2008

And the winner is?

Spitting mad and fuming.

Not because of reading 'Observer Woman' (which, naturally, left me spitting mad). But on account viewing the glitz-spangle that is the BAFTAs.

At first it all seemed to be going well.

I was cheering from my sofa as less obvious, but thoroughly (in my opinion) well deserving films/people picked up awards and the (too) obvious Atonement failed to sweep the board. Control, Vie En Rose, Tilda Swinton, Diving Bell and The Butterfly...

Then came the award for best special (CGI) effects. At first it was great that Golden Compass won over Harry Potter, but then four men got on stage and proceeded to make the usual gushing acceptance speeches.

Children, parents, producers, partners...

All were given due and, I'm sure, well deserved, votes of thanks. But.

But, there was one glaring omission. Not a single mention of Philip Pulman.

Not even a nod or acknowledgment. Sure they did a great job on the special effects and the book really did spring to life, for once coming close to the parallel universe so vivid when I read the book. But, for all their technical skill, the blokes who picked up the award only realised the vision and imagination that had already been created by Pulman.

Without him there would have been no award. Without him there would have been no talking bears or daemons to bring to life.
So how can they stand there and not even hint that the world they brought to life was created by someone else.

I turned over pretty fast after that. After all, me raging from the sofa with a bowl of dorritos wasn't really going to achieve much.

It just seems so painfully ironic that some in the movie industry fail to recognise that all the magic and sparkle generally starts with the writers - their imagination, their insular relationship with a keyboard. Actors, producers, directors, CGI'ers all start with raw material. Hasn't the WGA strike achieved even a bit more awareness that without the writers the Hollywood dream boat will hit the rocks?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Funny Ha Ha

The lovely writer of this blog kindly requested that I share a little Cornish scenic-ness .

I'm blessed with the most beautiful view of the sea and harbour from my window, so frequently wait for my muse/procrastinate whilst gazing out to sea, watching the ships come and go with a coffee and roll-up.

Today is foggy. But I can still see a recently docked boat. "Horn Lines" is emblazoned across the side in six foot letters so not even the sea mist can obscure it. Try as I might, all I can do is giggle.

Having recently dusted off my thespian persona I'm involved with dumb-funded , a newly formed theatre group. It's a lot of fun, with a bunch of lovely people. Our last rehearsal (inevitably) ended up in the pubs and clubs of Falmouth town. As we're performing comedy sketches, the talk turned to our own comedy influences. At some point (after too many beers) I demonstrated my hugely inept comedic timing by launching into Derrek and Clive monologues. If I have a comedy hero it's probably Peter Cook - but a tirade of "Who are you to come round here calling me a f@*&?ng c@*t" is probably not even vaguely amusing to most people, especially at 2am.

Anyway, "Horn Lines" is still making me giggle ("I'll tell you what gives me the horn.." sketch trickling through my slightly addled mind) and got me thinking about what is/isn't funny.

Consumerism gone mad is funny.

Well, either a question of laugh or cry, but seeing a desk lamp with the (special?) feature 'on and off switch' announced proudly on the box made me smile.

As too do the products from this company. Perhaps it's the insular nature of self employed freelancing, but I've taken to watching their 'as seen on TV' looped ads in Woolies and have to confess that they sometimes leave me laughing till I cry.

Is it just me?

Now I've owned up to that, I'm comforted, and promise that:

a) I shan't ever try to pursue a career in writing comedy* and will try to get on with some 'serious' writing.
b) I won't go to Woolies today to see if there are any new products 'on TV'.

[To prove my point, OPC or Blue Cat amongst many others in the blogosphere are 'proper' funny]

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Today was beautifully sunny.

So sunny that we took a walk to the beach and sat with backs to a warm wall like lazy cats on a window sill. So sunny that walking was a pleasure. So sunny that my shoulders dropped down 2 whole inches.

It was (blatantly) so sunny that I'm inspired enough to blog again and ignore scrabulous for a whole day.

Now I've heard that it is going to snow on Friday...