Monday, 29 November 2010

Best laid plans…

tube-strike163844 So, remember me mentioning that I had an interview today? Yeah, well, that’s not going to happen. Firstly I had zero sleep last night (thanks insomnia) but I was up and all set to get ready to go when I watched the news. Strikes were affecting all my travel options and I caught something about delays due to weather. So I rang TFL for travel advice and basically, it was going to be a nightmare.
Did I really want all that for a job that I didn’t even really want? Ok, so I’m pretty desperate for cash (my savings are a-dwindling) but this was only ever going to be very occasional work. So I decided not to risk catching cold while waiting for rail replacement buses and being sneezed on by some random bloke who is standing on my feet (true story – he sneezed right into my parting). I really have too much on this week to get ill!
But today is not going to be wasted. I’m off to buy wrapping paper, pick up a Metro for the job section, then I’m going to tear through some job applications and get a few other things done. At some point today, with any luck, I’ll also feel warm.
But it is not all rubbish news! Merlin was incredible this weekend, I had a good night out and Vulpes Libris had a mention in The Guardian. Woo! Speaking of VL, got two reviews up this week (Tuesday and Friday) so check them out!
In other news, I’m living with the Grinch. Only don’t tell her I said that. Also, my weakness for boys in bands with guitars is approaching legendary proportions.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

About! TURN!

So, you know that new novel I’ve been kicking about for a while now? Well, let’s put that to one side for a moment, shall we?

There I was, chilling out in the bath last night, minding my own business and then bang – it hit me. Novel Number 1 is not finished. If I’m honest, when I saved it for the last time under the defiant title “FINAL DRAFT!” I sort of had a niggling feeling that it wasn’t finished. But I’d had enough of it by that point. I was sick to death of editing. And I honestly couldn’t think what it was that was niggling at me, what needed to be changed.

But it hit me last night and I wanted to leap out of the bath and get editing. I wanted to stay up all night to sketch in this big change. But I didn’t, mainly because the fire was off and we have no heating. And I was really tired. So while I got dressed, brushed my hair, washed my face, brushed my teeth, it was all going mad in my head.

So today I sat down and I sketched in that big change. I adapted the scenes that needed adapting, changed the names that now needed changing. It’s basically all there now (and 2,500 words shorter! Wimper) but I do need to get on with the fine detail editing. That could take two week’s hard work.

I’m not looking forward to it. I quite enjoy editing short stories because you can lay the whole thing out before you and it’s so easy to find things, check things. A novel is not quite so manageable. But I know it’s going to be worth it.

I’m going to be able to put the niggling feeling to bed and I’m finally going to feel like it’s finished and I can stop playing with it. And I’ll finally feel free to work on my next novel.

So I’m psyched up for this. I really am. Can’t wait to get started on it.

But first I’m going out to see Harry Potter. Byee!!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

One of those days.

The library was utterly DEVOID of what I wanted.

William Boyd?


Ken Follett?

Um, only one of his.

Charles Nicholl?


This is deeply unfair and unjust. How can you put Boyd and Follett on TV and not carry them in the library?? And don’t you know it’s Shakespeare week on Vulpes Libris?? So give me Charles Nicholl!!

Yes, I was a tad annoyed by that, but I still managed to find seven books. One of which I think is about a girl who falls in love with a polar bear. If this is not what it’s about, I’m going to be properly disappointed.

I have yet to make a Harry Potter date. Monday was suggested but Monday is protected by the golden halo of being the day of The Class. As yet, no further plans have been made. So if I go fruit loop it’s because I CANNOT BEAR THE WAITING ANY LONGER!!

Oh and some Tory MP has resigned because he made some bloody stupid comment about how we’ve “never had it so good.” Yes, he has resigned because he said something daft. Does this strike anyone else as completely ridiculous? Yes, I thought he was a moron for saying it and quite obviously not living in the real world, but for goodness sake! Where is your backbone, Lord Young? I say half a dozen stupid things before breakfast so what should I do – kill myself??

But all things – from a disappointing library jaunt to spineless Tories – can be cured by Knights! 



Friday, 19 November 2010

The girl gets a makeover.

biscuits A lot of things happen when you give up chocolate, cake and biscuits. I thought I’d be absolute hell to live with considering I build my day around chocolate breaks and biccies keep me going between breakfast and lunch. But I’m actually not too bad, occasionally a bit tetchy, but that’s nothing. And hey, half way through the month and I’ve only suffered a two day wobble (hardly my fault when there was a CARRIER BAG of chocolate buttons in the house!) And I’m starting to get these looks from le fam. Little sideways ones when they think I’m not looking, while they’re having tea and biscuits and I’m just sipping my green tea. They’re actually starting to look quite impressed.

Secondly, you lose weight. I hadn’t realised that I actually eat pretty healthily and I don’t eat loads. Take away all those sugary snacks and I’m a breakfast-lunch-dinner girl. It’s surprising how pecking away at biscuits between meals, cake for elevenses and chocolate for pudding makes you think you’ve eaten loads that day. Which – calorie-wise – you probably have.

Anyway, I’m doing less running because it’s getting too chilly for a wuss like me, but I’ve got back into Pilates and yoga. Pilates had slid away when I got into running and I had forgotten that it was actually a cardio workout and crikey, it doesn’t half make your legs ache. But combined with the no-sugar-month the results were super speedy and I’m feeling pretty good. Bring on that Christmas Little Black Dress! I’ll be cranking up the Flirt-o-Factor so watch out Laaandaaaan!

So, my skin is glowing because I’ve been so healthy these last couple of weeks and I’ve got into the habit of drinking water when a sugar craving hits. I’m feeling pretty fit and good about my figure.

And then insomnia made me decide to cut my hair. I was tossing and turning and when your hair reaches down almost to the middle of your back, it gets in the way. I woke up with a birds nest and spent nearly ten minutes untangling it. And that was it, its fate was sealed. But my good mate C couldn’t fit me in for a cut for a couple of weeks so it’s been driving me mad for a while. So when it went I was totally ok with it. Relieved even. I would have gone shorter, I love cute little bobs, but I’m lazy and this is just long enough that I can tie it up if I don’t have time to style it or I’m having a bad hair day.

And here’s the results (posing is not my forte):
In other news, I’ve received a couple of ever so polite rejections. The sort that made me think that in any other time I might have made it to the interview stage. This is both heartening and depressing! Still, I’m plugging away and that’s the main thing.

The writing goes well too, which is wonderful and possibly the only thing that’s keeping me from climbing on the roof and going “Wooooee is meeeeeee!” And, rather excitingly, I’m going to a script-writing class on Monday. This makes me very happy indeed!

Oh and this week is Shakespeare Week on Vulpes Libris and it’s been rather wonderful. Here’s the link to my contribution: Shakespeare and Me

Monday, 8 November 2010

Dream Bike and Duckworth’s Demise.

I’ve been saving up for a bike for a while, but without any specific bike in mind. I just knew I wanted something a bit retro. But then I spent Sunday in Camden with a friend and we walked past Evans bikes, where I discovered this beauty:


Isn’t it gorgeous? That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Dawes Diploma 2009 and I’ve got a fair bit of saving to do to get it. But it’s gorgeous. I’m absolutely in love with it.


Also, is anyone else still sad about Jack Duckworth dying in Corrie? Poorly edited at the end there, I thought (who cares about Nick and Leanne after seeing Jack and Vera reunited?) but a bloody sad ending nonetheless. I’ll miss you, Jack.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The news in brief.

Saw my oldest pal this week. There was so much chatter, it was nuts. Massive amounts of gossip and the realisation that I’d forget to tell him large-ish occurrences in my life, yet I still manage to text “Omigosh! Merlin was epic tonight!!” or “Gavin Henson dances like a cardboard box.” Perhaps it’s not a big deal if the Pal doesn’t know.

The November Challenge is fine, by the way. My Nan offered me a biscuit and when I said no, ta, she said, “Go on, I won’t look.” How can you resist an offer like that? With great difficulty, that’s how, but I did. So take that, sugar addiction.

Did I mention I’ve got an interview at the end of the month? It’s for occasional work that is certainly not going to set my world on fire, but there’s a chance that if I get it my bank statement’s won’t look like this anymore:

IN: £0.00

OUT: £78.56

I’ve applied to a few other jobs and otherwise caned the writing this week. There was also post-birthday-sorry-I-couldn’t-make-it drinks with H. And I’m about halfway through my Christmas shopping (sorry, bank account) and I’m counting the days till the 19th. Bring on the Potter!! (Although as far as I’m concerned it’s Bring on the Neville!!)

Otherwise I’m pooped. Bye-bye, motivation. See you in the spring. There’s something really depressing about not earning at this time of year. I’m not doing what I did last year and buying crappy small presents to save money. I’m not chucking my savings around like a man with no arms, but I am buying nice gifts, thank you very much. Maybe it’s the darkness, it’s not exactly conducive to going out there and smacking the world on the nose. It’s hibernation time as far as I’m concerned. Still got my good feeling though.

To keep me cosy on these long, dark nights I’m looking for a cosy and baggy read, like last year’s Bleak House, since I’ve heard sweet FA about an upcoming BBC period drama. I was hoping to get The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, but the library doesn’t have it. Also is it fogey if I was stunned that they were playing MUSIC in the LIBRARY??

P.S. Matt or Kara for Strictly champ 2010! (X who?)

Monday, 1 November 2010

The November Challenge

1476_MEDIUM What is it about autumn that makes me want to cook everything and eat everything? What with Nigella and Nigel Slater as well as Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals, I feel like I could eat the world! It doesn’t hurt that now is the season for eating up and keeping warm. Oooo, butternut squash, honey-roasted parsnips, sweet potatoes, spinach, courgette, cauliflower. How do I love thee, let me count the ways…

Yesterday I made vegetarian Lincolnshire sausages with roasted butternut squash and sweet potato wedges and stuffed mushrooms (did I mention how much I adore mushrooms?). I can actually cook, what a revelation! And it tasted goooooood.

So, as I’m able to glory in the wonders of autumn veg and my new – miraculous – ability not to poison people, I’m giving myself cadbury-milk-chocolatea bit of a challenge. My family, through long acquaintance with my gluttonous adoration of all things chocolate, thinks I can’t give it up. That I cannot do without it. And true, I haven’t exactly done anything to dispel this idea, I am after all the only person I know that gets brownie mix in my fringe when licking the bowl. But I’ve decided to prove ‘em wrong. Not a lick of chocolate will pass my lips until 1st December. Surely there’ll be some tins of Quality Street going cheap in Asda by then? I’m already facing the knowing chortles of le fam (mainly because even a yeast intolerance hasn’t curbed my appetite for peanut butter sandwiches). But I’m coming over all Obama on this – Yes I can!!

In other news, I am wildly attempting to get tickets to see the RSC production of Romeo and Juliet at the Roundhouse and Nan has decided she doesn’t like Einstein in the new Genius gluten-free bread advert. Why? “He makes me feel like I’ve shit meself.” Eloquent as ever, Nan.