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Monday 31 October 2011

Scary Story!

Halloween has prompted a new story on Quirky Tales today. It's a creepy one, called 'Night Walking' - that should give you a pretty good idea! It comes with a warning: it's not one for the young or the nervous. Read at your own risk!
Hope you enjoy it, and remember, it's only a story!

Saturday 29 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is fast approaching. My favourite aspect of the festival is the smell of the Jack-O-Lanterns once their candles have been burning for a while. 
We carved ours this afternoon, with a certain degree of stressing, muttering and the odd bad word on my part! Hopefully they're suitably spooky without being scary enough to terrify the little children.

Friday 28 October 2011

Property of the Week

Here's some good news for those FTSE100 company bosses who are no doubt puzzling over where to invest this year's stonking great pay rises: Santo Spirito, an island in the Laguna Venezia is up for sale, and what's more, they only want 20 million euros for it.
Seems like a bargain to me, there are probably few better places to witness the excitement of rising sea levels, and you get your own ruined convent too!

Lapland: Heart of the Social Network

Facebook is opening a data centre in Lapland. Apparently the location was chosen for its natural cooling abilities - data centres get pretty hot, Lapland gets pretty cold, Facebook can use Lapland's cold to stop their data centre getting too hot.
It all makes perfect sense, but I just can't quite square it with my image of snow dusted trees, sleighs and reindeer.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

MOD PR Machine?

I think the MOD needs to take some beginners' lessons in public relations. Or possibly they could be held up as an example in such lessons of how not to do it. The family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan have been told they must repay £400 worth of wages that their loved one received before his death.
Makes you so proud, doesn't it? Good to know we take such good care of our soldiers and their families!

Dear Father Christmas ...

Ahh, how I remember that excitement of the countdown to Christmas. As I gazed at all those windows on my advent calendar on the 1st December it seemed as though the big day might never arrive. And the presents I dreamed of, longed for! Lego, colouring pencils, perhaps a new tractor for my toy farm, bits and bobs of stationery all wrapped in bright paper - all the things that made a Christmas stocking wonderful.
The Toy Retailers' Association has drawn up a list of this year's must haves and I suspect Santa is sitting in his grotto, shaking his head sadly and wondering where it all went wrong. Of course there are the expected items, Lego, dolls, Fireman Sam, but also prominent on the list is 'Doggy Doo' - a game where the players have to scoop as much plastic dog poop as possible. How very festive!
The least said about the toys that play themselves, such as the never-ending stream of robots and dancing animals, the better. I always hated that sort of thing. I wanted to play, not sit and watch!
So, my Christmas list for this year (just in case Father Christmas is following) pens and pencils, more notepads (I keep filling mine up, then forgetting where I've put them), an old fashioned family game (please, no dog poop), a nice box of jellied fruit, and a good book. I'd ask for Lego, but I suspect Father Christmas might think me a little too old for that now!

For this year's predicted Christmas list click the link, and start saving - the price range is £20 - £90!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

A Residence fit for a Dormouse

I tried to resist, honestly I did, but some things are just too cute to pass up:
An excellent use for a pumpkin, in my opinion. I may opt for making a dormouse home out of mine this year, and forget about the Jack-O-Lantern!

Swapped at Birth

I came across a story today about a woman who discovered that the child she has raised for 12 years is not her own. Her baby was swapped with another woman's baby in the hospital, and the mix-up only came to light when she had to fight her ex-husband for financial support for their daughter. DNA testing revealed that girl was not the biological offspring of either of them.  The woman turned to the police to help her track down her daughter and now both families have regular contact, although she admits that things are strained.
It's a fascinating story that raises so many questions. It's so hard to imagine how it could happen. I get a sense when reading her story that the mother who discovered the error would have been in some ways happy to discover that her biological child had been abandoned or orphaned so that she could legitimately offer both girls a home. I can imagine feeling a similar way.
It would be impossible to stop regarding the child you have raised as your own, and almost impossible to stop yourself from interfering in the life of your biological child. The potential for resentments on all sides is huge, and I actually find it hard to visualise a happy outcome for the people involved. On the whole, I suspect it would have been better to have never discovered the mistake.

For the full story, click the link:

Monday 24 October 2011

Mischievous Autumn

It's happened to us all, if we're honest: that heart-stopping moment when a dark and suspiciously spider-like object turns out to be nothing more sinister than a piece of fluff. If you're anything like me, you give an embarrassed little chuckle and dispatch the fluff to the bin, where it can wait to shock someone else.
Knowing the feeling all too well, I have nothing but sympathy for the star of one story appearing on the news sites today featuring the Bengal tigress who was caught unawares by a maliciously floating leaf:
At least no-one's ever photographed me standing on a chair, screaming in terror at a ball of lint. That poor tiger may never be able to show her face again!

Trilogy Rewrite

I have an idea of how to rewrite the children's trilogy but am now facing a dilemma. Do I invent new characters, new names, new everything, or do I use the characters I've already created? I know the characters I have, I love them as friends, I know their moods, their strengths, their weaknesses. But I can envisage a situation where I could be accused of plagiarising my own work!
The fact is, the story will have to be dramatically different - the old one simply won't work in the new environment I've created - but I'm mindful that I have sent the original version to a few agents. They all rejected it, prompting me to review the work, but is it a good idea to incorporate the old with the new, or should I simply start all over?
On the whole, I'm desperate to let those characters out to have their moment. They're mine - I'm going to use them!

So That's Where the Council Tax Goes!

I got a speck of dust in my eye this morning. It hurt like hell and left me blundering around a busy car park blinking furiously with tears streaming down my cheeks. It only lasted a few seconds, and I quickly forgot about it. Until I read this:
I think I could be in line for a big payout in compensation for my pain and suffering! In fact, the other day whilst in town I almost tripped over a raised paving slab. Added to which, my hair ended up completely mussed thanks to all this heavy wind. Hm, I may never need to buy a lottery ticket again!

Friday 21 October 2011

Tree Houses

Inspiration comes from the oddest places. I happened to see some pictures of tree houses on my morning trawl of the news sites. I'm a big kid at heart and have always been drawn to tree houses, but there are some truly spectacular versions out there now. I've added a link to a blog that obviously shares my fascination:
I'd move into one tomorrow if I could! It's started a fresh train of thought for my children's story. I've been considering rewriting it - I think I may now have an entirely new and very exciting angle! All that trawling of news sites might just have paid off!

Thursday 20 October 2011

People Watching

I struck out in search of inspiration today. I spent the morning roaming the local shops, people watching, puzzling over 'must have' union jack cushions and this season's trend for lopsided knitwear. I filled two pages of my Pukka Pad, so something in the ol' noggin must have been stirred!
Perhaps it was the cottage in the village that smelled of wood smoke - no, I'm almost certain it wasn't on fire - or maybe it was the bewildered looking gentleman standing in the middle of Sainsburys with a bag of bananas in the crook of his arm, it could even have been the woman with the desperate look in her eye who had been nabbed by one of the energy salesman - they're getting sneaky, I saw one hiding behind the Heinz soup display and managed to take avoiding action - but it seems to have been a productive morning.
When I spotted the elderly couple sharing a brownie in the coffee shop I started to feel lonely. As much as I was out there 'working' I would much rather have been sharing a cake and pondering what it could have been that had so confused banana man with my husband. I headed homewards after that. There's nothing worse than feeling lonely in a crowd!

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Thin Ends of Wedges

A charity has suggested that older people still living in family homes should be 'encouraged' to move, thereby freeing up those houses for young couples wanting to start families. I may have missed a vital point somewhere but I can feel my blood pressure shooting through the roof we've struggled to pay for.
When we were first married we lived in a ramshackle old flat converted from a Victorian terrace, battling interests rates of 15%. Over the years we've overcome the crippling interest rates, long pay freezes, endowment mortgages and negative equity, through sacrifice and work. It's been tough. Just as it was tough for our parents. It's always tough, unless you inherit or are born to money.
Young couples may feel daunted by the challenges of getting onto the housing ladder, but it's always been the same. We felt daunted. We didn't think we would ever make it. Blaming the older generations doesn't help, doesn't make the necessary sacrifices any easier and certainly doesn't make family houses any cheaper.
Having made it through the long hard years, having lavished attention, love and money on our modest family home, anyone suggesting that once our daughter leaves home it'll be time for us to shuffle off to a sensible little bungalow risks having their eyes gouged out.
If we have to give up our homes once we reach a certain age, what's next I shudder to wonder? 

Storm in a Cupcake

A woman in Chicago got into a row with her husband and, in a fit of pique, threw a barrage of cupcakes at him. She was later charged with Domestic Battery. To paraphrase Theresa May, you couldn't make it up!
I'd invite one-liners from all you punsters out there, but I'm busy whipping up cupcake batter.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Caution: Free Speech Ahead!

I'm going to start this post by saying very clearly that I was appalled by the images of the riots in London, Birmingham and elsewhere. Businesses and properties were ruined, people died or suffered injury, and many were subjected to days and nights of terror. It was unforgivable, and it did nothing to help the rioters' 'cause', if indeed there was one. Make no mistake, I have no sympathies for those who rioted. Having made that clear, I now want to draw attention to the fact the powers-that-be seem to be using the understandable public outrage as an excuse for changing sentencing guidelines for their own benefit.
Two young men who posted 'incitements to riot' on Facebook have had their sentences upheld. On the face of it a natural response might be 'jolly good thing too', but maybe we should pause and consider. These young men were given four year sentences, pretty hefty for an online post. Car thieves, drug offenders, shoplifters, burglars etc. receive significantly lesser sentences, and yet they make a career out of causing misery to others.
These two young men were stupid. What they did was wrong, even though their actions did not actually lead to a riot, but if posting an inflammatory comment online is going to prompt such strong punishment we had all better watch out. This crosses into the murky and troublesome waters surrounding the slowly sinking island of free speech.
The government responded to the riots by demanding tough sentencing, and they got it. But was that right? There is a sense of shifting the goal posts after the game has started. Is this not simply opportunistic popular politics? It might even suggest that this is a clamp down against protest which, whilst not in anyway akin to that seen in Syria or the like, is worrying nevertheless. Our nation has proudly and bravely fought for the right to democratic rule. Part of democracy is free speech and the right to protest. I can see why a government might find that awkward, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty, but they are vital in a democratic, fair society. The rioters used protest as an excuse for criminality. That is completely unacceptable, but the behaviour of the few should not be used by the government to intimidate and cow a wider, law abiding society.
A noble sentiment, but even so, I think I may just check my old posts to ensure that nothing I've written could be misinterpreted!

Monday 17 October 2011


Samsung is trying to get the iPhone4S banned in Japan and Australia, for patent infringement. Apple managed to get the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned in Germany, for patent infringement.
Is it me, or is there a distinctive whiff of the playground here?

Friday 14 October 2011

Letwin's Letters

Clearly Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Office Minister, has not been following the advice I alluded to in yesterday's post on encryption and password protection. Whilst the rest of us diligently shred, burn and bury all our personal correspondence, he's taken a rather more cavalier approach, opting instead to simply chuck his in the bins of St James's Park. Here's the link for the full story:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15301859
I've probably watched too many spy movies, but I can't help picturing a shady character in mac and dark glasses leaping from the bushes to retrieve the minister's 'carelessly' discarded missives. Conspiracy theories on a postcard please!

It's a Cover-up!

Gloomy news for the nation's streakers today. Should they be seized by the compulsion to indulge in their hobby at the Olympics, they could face a fine of £20,000. I suppose that's one way to pay for the games!

Thursday 13 October 2011

Further News!

In another act of daring do Ben Fogle has completed the Alcatraz swim. This came as a surprise as I hadn't realised he'd been incarcerated. Still, it's nice to know he escaped. Congratulations Ben!


Three men filmed themselves clambering onto the roof of an external lift and riding it to the top of a hotel in Benidorm. That sounds pretty radical to me, since probably only as a means of escaping an enraged tiger would I ride such an elevator, as intended, let alone standing on top of it, but no, for these guys the ride was just a means of reaching the top. On arrival they had a very short debate about who was going first, then one by one, they base-jumped off it.
I have a colossal fear of high places, largely because there is that tiny voice in my head telling me to jump. Maybe these guys started base-jumping as a means of silencing the tiny voice. If so, it doesn't appear to have worked. I think I'll stick to good ol' dependable stairs. They don't get stuck between floors, their cables don't snap, and at least if I succumb to the tiny voice there, I won't make an unsightly blot on the pavement.
For the full story, with video, click the link:


Encrypted Inheritance

According to research, people are now leaving their passwords in their will. Whilst my initial reaction was an indignant scoff, on reflection it actually makes perfectly good sense. With concerns over personal data security at an all time high most of us now protect our work and business dealings with encryption and passwords. At the same time, all those passwords are supposed to be retained in our heads and nowhere else. After all, to write them down negates their purpose.
However, when we die it isn't possible for our loved ones to stick an SD card into our heads to download all that vital information, which means accessing vital documents (like potentially chart-topping unpublished manuscripts, ahem!) will be difficult or impossible for our loved ones.
The more I think about it, the more I see there is a need for a system for the passing on of our passwords to our benefactors. I'd get my solicitor to jot them down in my will, if only I could remember the damned things!

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Another New Story

I've posted another new story on QT. It's the story of a rather eccentric but totally harmless woman who was misunderstood and even feared by those around her. It's told in the voice of her grieving son. It might seem sad, but it's also a celebration of the life of someone remarkable. Take a look if you fancy:


Hope you enjoy it.

Anyone Got a Carrier Pigeon?

I think technology is wonderful, see my Skype post for proof of that, but it's also reassuringly fallible. Which is a good thing. Its frailties ensure that we don't totally lose the ability to communicate the old fashioned way, in person, or by letter.
Blackberry users have had a lengthy reminder of this in the last couple of days, as their messager service across Europe, the Middle East and Africa has been crippled by a technical fault. Outraged BBMers are, justifiably, furiously demanding refunds and threatening to switch to iPhones. Now that's fighting talk!
The thing is the system will be repaired, everyone will spend a couple of hours frantically messaging, venting their spleen and ranting about how badly the situation has been handled, and then they'll return to normal and forget all about it. One or two might take a stand and switch allegiance, but the majority will carry on as before.
It does make you wonder though. Maybe Harry Potter had the right idea. I'm pretty sure that owls don't suffer core switching failures (whatever the heck that means) and are not prone to backlogging data. The only question is, are they MAC compatible?

Tuesday 11 October 2011

New Story

There's a new story on Quirky Tales today. It's one I've been sitting on for a little while. I decided it was time to dust it off and give it an airing!


I'll hopefully get some more new stories up there in the coming days/ weeks.

Another Thing to Worry About

Apparently we are all being assessed, classified, approved or dismissed based upon - wait for it - the font we favour! I heard one chap describe fonts as modern handwriting. Heaven forbid, please tell me we are still teaching children to write with a pencil!
And now it seems that your choice of font leads to all manner of, sometimes rather unpleasant, conclusions being drawn about your mental health, cerebral capacity and sense of humour, or lack thereof. According to some, to use Comic Sans is to announce to the world at large that you are are unstable, humourless and unimaginative. Having worked in a school I can tell you it's an incredibly useful font, as it has none of the curlicues and squiggly nonsense of some of the more dramatic types. It's the only font that comes close to handwriting - useful when your target audience are all under the age of eight. And it's a cheery sort of fellow too. It might not be what I'd choose for a manuscript, or a begging letter to a publisher or agent, but it has its uses. Leave it alone!
As part of the discussion I was interested to hear that there are people out there whose job is designing fonts; they carry the rather grand title 'typographic engineer'. Rather than worrying about what font people are using, maybe they ought to be contemplating why it is they can never give anything a straightforward recognisable name! Font designing is a noble and useful enterprise, why do you need to dress it up with a convoluted, pompous name?
As for me, well I'll stick with Times New Roman, and you can draw whatever conclusion you like from that, as long as you don't tell me! NeoOffice did recently decide it was going to default to Calibri, which led to a good deal of rather inventive swearing each morning until I finally figured out how to change the preferences. Evidently even my computer has an opinion about my font choice!

Monday 10 October 2011

Software Wizards

I believe there to be something rather magical about Skype. Despite the vagaries of flaky internet connection, clunky video and annoying fraction of second audio delay, the sheer joy of having a 'face to face' conversation with a distant loved one is one of the wonders of the modern age. To see their happy, smiling face, to watch them laugh, to get a blurry look at the new plant they've bought, or even just to recognise the outfit they're wearing is such a reassuring and heartwarming thing. Thank you Skype wizardy people!

The Science of the Beep

The other day the peace and quiet of our village was split by a furious blaring of horns. Without looking I knew what had happened. Someone had pulled out of the junction up the road in front of someone else who was carrying straight on. Happens all the time, and always leads to much disgruntled beeping.
It's curious that the beep can be made to mean so many different things and, even stranger, that we automatically interpret it. The tone doesn't change, the pitch is unwavering, the only variable is duration. 
A prolonged beeeep, particularly when accompanied by a squeal of tyres, is usually indicative of vexation. Whereas a short, curt bip tends to mean 'wake up sonny Jim, the lights have changed you know!' A double or triple bip is normally directed at an unsuspecting friend walking along the road and typically produces a brief moment of startled levitation in the recipient, followed by frantic waving as the bipper disappears in a cloud of exhaust smoke.
I suppose the science of the beep is further demonstration, as Stephen Fry would remind us, of the complexities of human communication, though I rather suspect that even he has never conducted an in depth investigation into the phenomenon.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Smelly Fridges and Useless Shredders

So far it's been one of those days. Having finally tracked down a putrid smell that has been driving me to distraction for the last fortnight to the fridge, we launched an all out assault on it this morning. Aside from finding long forgotten chutneys, pickled onions that were growing hair and a slab of feta that had turned runny, we discovered that the drain hole was blocked. It smells a lot more fragrant now, but I can't help thinking it looks a little shocked.
We rounded off that excitement by taking the new shredder for a test drive. It failed. A machine that promised to confetti cut our unwanted personal papers barely managed a ribbon cut. As a something of a jigsaw fanatic it would have taken me no time at all to piece it back together and make off with all our details - yes, I know I already know them! - so it was promptly returned to the shop. We're back to using the old one, which does a perfectly good job, as long as you only feed it one sheet of paper at a time and speak soothing words to it. The search for a shredder that can live up to its manufacturer's claims continues.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Cautious Optimism

After days/weeks of struggling to find inspiration I decided to start from a new point. I created a character, without having any particular story in mind. I don't normally work that way, but I seem to have the start of a story developing there already. I need to do a little research now, but I think I might have a project to work on at last!
I don't know if what I've had is writer's block, but it's been pretty grim, whatever it is. Let's hope this is the end of it. I've been searching for an idea for a new long work. There's going to be a lot of thinking before I can get started on this one, but it's great to actually be feeling creative again!

Traffic Update

I had to go shopping today. It's not something I like to do, but if we want to eat it has to be done. As I left Sainsburys, having inadvertently destroyed the milk shelf - don't ask - I found myself caught in a traffic jam tailing back from roadworks on the road to the right.
Firstly I was miffed at finding myself caught in someone else's jam and secondly I was staggered by the amount of traffic out there. Some of it was obviously work traffic - builder's trucks, delivery vehicles, reps in cheap suits - but there were an awful lot of private cars out there too.
It was the middle of the morning and I had expected the roads to be fairly quiet. Where did they all come from? What were they doing? And why they heck did they all have to be going the same way as me?

Sad Day

As a confirmed Apple fan I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs. The first computers in my school were Apples and I fondly remember that colourful logo. I remain a devotee to this day. 
Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Pest Control

A solution had to be found! You will perhaps have noticed the new addition to the right. I hired him, with help from my resident IT pro, as he seemed quite keen. To be honest, so far he doesn't seem to have had much effect upon my avian issue, but I suppose it's early days yet.

Irrational Fears and Amazon Therapy

According to the BBC, the nest of a venomous biting spider has been found in Bletchley. A fear of spiders is a ridiculous and utterly irrational thing. There is no sensible reason to run screaming from the room at the sight of the average British spider - and yet, I do. The thought of encountering one that has larger than average fangs and whose bite would be capable of putting me in hospital is not going to help me overcome my fear!
And so I'm all the more relieved that the new spider catcher we ordered at the weekend has arrived. We needed a new one, because the old one had a late night adventure. Having used it to bravely trap an enormous spider, the kind that wears boots, spurs and a holster, I had attempted to release it through the open window.
Convinced that, given the thorough shaking I had given it, the spider could not possibly still be in the trap, I pulled it back in, only to see the spider hanging by one leg, grinning at me in what I can only describe as a sinister manner.
What happened next occurred at some speed. I sucked in air, yanked back the curtain, and lobbed spider and catcher out of the window. The spider survived, I know, because it was back the next day. The catcher fared less well.
Now, thanks to the amazing distributive powers of Amazon, my gleaming new spider trap is assembled and waiting. So spiders, venomous or otherwise, I'm ready for you! 

Cameron to the Rescue

Cape of power flying behind him, Prime Minister David Cameron is soaring in to the rescue today. Rumour has it he has found the solution to the current economic turbulence and impending doom. Apparently all we have to do, and it's so simple now he mentions it, is pay off our debts!
I wonder why nobody else thought of that!

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Slow News Day

Two chapters edited. I decided to take a break and do a little writing but find myself uninspired. Normally a quick trawl of the news sites or a listen in to LBC triggers something, but it's hard to pick through the day's dominating story to find something curious.
Today, it's all about Amanda Knox being acquitted in Perugia. It's an endlessly fascinating story for some, but for me it's all just unutterably sad, both for the Knox family and, more so, for the Kercher family, for whom there's no happy ending.
One story that did stand out for me was the campaign to save a tree in Scarborough from the chop. For a few days now I've seen headlines about protestors taking up residence in the tree's branches but hadn't bothered to look into it. Today I decided to have a deeper look. It turns out that a couple asked for the tree to be felled after it came to their attention that it was damaging their house. I have to say, as much as I love trees, if one was threatening my home I'd be out there with a chain saw and I wouldn't have much sympathy for anyone who thought a tree was more valuable than my house.

Trials of Being a Debut Author

Today I am supposed to be continuing the fresh edit of 'Billy of Boldre Wood'. I'm having a hard time drumming up the enthusiasm for the task. I love the story, it's completely new, totally different, creative, exciting and colourful, but it's hard to keep working on something that has been rejected by ten agents.
Now I know ten isn't many. I know that a lot of people send their work to forty or fifty agents/ publishers before finding someone who recognises its potential, but do I have the resilience, the fortitude, to keep withstanding the knocks? I hope so. 
Is the basis of the story rubbish? Actually, I really don't think so, and I've asked the question repeatedly, prepared to walk away and give up on it if my answer was yes. But I genuinely don't believe it is. I think it's new, which I know is scary. I think it's imaginative, which again is scary, but I also think it's a terrific story. 
I just hope I get to tell it!

The Birds! The Birds!

You may have noticed the birds are resolutely sticking to the page. Efforts were made last night to expel them but all known remedies have thus far failed. I'm considering enlisting the services of a trained falcon, but then I'd need an eagle to get rid of the falcon ...

Monday 3 October 2011

Stocking up for Winter

Autumn has so far been a busy time in our household. The hedgerows have been bursting with fruit this year. Walks across the fields have inevitably led to yet more blackberries being picked, which have then been turned into crumble or jelly, depending on quantities picked and time available. Suffice to say we now have several jars of jelly in the store cupboard.
A friend has also very generously supplied us with pears from her garden, which have been carefully bottled and put aside for a Christmas treat. The sloes are dropping from the trees as they ripen, and plans have been muted to experiment with sloe gin this year.
With all this in mind, I am tempted to place the remaining empty jars I have outside to capture and preserve this glorious October heatwave for later use. It could come in handy in a few week's time!

Silly season

We're now into the third week of party conferences. The Lib Dems and Labour have had their party, now it's the Tories turn. The thing that strikes me most is that the rhetoric, whilst to a degree politically skewed, is largely the same across the parties. They're all on our side, nice to know, they all know we're suffering, which would have been hard to miss, and they're all keen to stand shoulder to shoulder with the hard working British public. This is all excellent news.
Things should, given the empathy our politicians have for our plight, soon be picking up. They understand that we're struggling, they know that rising prices are severely squeezing family budgets, they sympathise about the cost of running a car and heating a house. Such great understanding must signal a desire to implement policies that will make our lives better! Happy days!
Reading between the lines, they all want the hard working people's vote, and once they've got that, they all want the hard working people's money. 

Up and running!

So here I am, with my first post, and already I'm wondering if this was such a great idea! Last night's sleep was punctuated by dreams of blogs, followers, gadgets and backgrounds. I even dreamed of raiding the HTML code to root out those pesky birds – yes, I know they look very sweet, but they don't suit my image!
And then there's the question of what I should blog. Do I blog about politics? Writing? Current affairs? Arts and crafts? Daily life? Well, all of those will probably feature in one form or other. Should I blog about soaps? Big Brother? Strictly? Nope. I'm afraid those are deep and uncharted waters for me, I shall not venture to sail them!
So what is this blog all about then? Well, as a writer I'm always looking out for new ideas, new what ifs, new problems and new possibilities. Normally I stumble across something, ponder it for a while, and then either frantically hammer out a story, or forget all about it.
So I suppose this blog will be a form of journal, not so much a diary as a thought store. If one of these thoughts prompts a story worthy of my website I'll let you know and you can take a look at it if you wish to see if was all worth it!
That's it for now, I'm off to see if anyone has any idea how to get shot of the birds!