Me And Mine · So it's Saturday

What do we watch now?

I am going to risk the copyright issue on the grounds that I couldn’t get there and my tax money paid for the event (I  wonder if that would stand up in court, maybe they should be paying us to take pictures of an event we funded hmmm) anyway, I am bereft, its all over, the flame is out and London will return to normality.

Now obviously being a Brit I am biased, I accept that but when athletes and commentators are all saying what an amazing games it has been, several even say THE BEST then we have done something right.

Opening with a Bang

I am not going to dwell on the opening as lets face it we have done that to death, instead I want to pick out a few things which I think made these games such a huge success.

The torch nears the end of its journey

From the minute the olympic torch began its journey from John O’Groats no matter what the weather people lined the route cheering on those priviledged to carry it be they celebrity or someone nominated for their own personal achievements.  For many they stood hours in the rain to watch it pass by to only catch a brief glance.

Visitors to our shores having experienced the weather will probably appreciate oyr sense of humour far more now after all if we couldn’t laugh and make the best out of any situation we would be the most miserably nation on the planet.

Our royal family, love em or hate em the younger generation have done us proud during these games.

Royal Roadshow

Harry, William and Kate deserve gold medals for most events attended they have been everywhere, sitting in the velodrome then straight to the pool or off to the track, they made an effort to attend every event they could possibly get to and not to forget watching their cousin compete.

Zara Phillips

One of my favourite moments was when Zara won her medal and it was presented to her by her mum.  Now we all know there are protocols for not only handing over medals but for the royals themselves so when Anne broke them and gave her daughter a well deserved kiss and hug the cheer was not for a princess but a mother showing her girl she done good.

Mothers love

And lets talk about medals, we brits don’t expect to win many, we usually know exactly who will win one and who will put in a good show but be and also ran, the thing is we don’t actually always care if we win.  We know we can only win so many but what we care about most is our guys do their best.

Golden girl

If their best brings gold obviously we are overjoyed, and there have been plenty for us to ge excited about Jessica Ennis started the ball rolling after two amazing days of competition in the heptathlon, follwed by so many others.

Prancing to music

We watched sports that under other circumstances get little airtime and though we didn’t have a clue really what was going on we cheered along anyway.  It also brought the opportunity to have a bit of fun and enjoy our selves I saw this picture and thought if there was ever one time the phrase fire at Will could land you in trouble it was this…

Other won golds in spirit even if the one round their neck was a slightly different colour, we saw some of our athletes go out on a high as they ended their professional careers, other new names emerging to carry the torch onwards to the next games we hope.

Another golden girl even if her medal wasn’t

The british love an underdog, they respect that people put in the hours of training just to take their chance at a moment in history, after all history is not just about the medals.

We saw women compete from nations who have never allowed women to participate before, every event the last place competitor came home to as bit a cheer as those who crossed the line first, no one would have dreamed of leaving the streets until the last cyclist or runner had passed by, we love the underdog with as much passion as we love the stars.

And there were stars regardless of nationality who we could not fail to appreciate, in the pool Michael Phelps got a standing ovation as he became the most successful Olympian ever setting a record it is hard to imagine anyone will ever beat.

On the track, the Bolt roadshow gave us a master class in sprinting, and paid tribute to our own Mo Farrah with his celebrations.

The medal table shows our success in strictly academic terms, but it does not show the depth of this achievement, if population were a factor as in golds per head then we brits would top the table but what really made these games a real success were these….

The people who filled the stadiums and arenas, who lined the streets and filled the parks watching the big screens, we brits may not be the best at anything but hell we know how to throw a party and this is what this olypmics have been a two week long party.

I saw this tweet last night and I think in many ways it sums up the british attitude to so much .

And now the cauldren has been extinguished but in out hearts the flame will continue to burn

I will leave you with a few pics from the closing ceremony while I go flick listlessly through channels looking for something to watch.

Awards · So it's Saturday

So its Sunday

For Christians it is the day of rest, for most of us it is another day to run round like headless chickens.  After spending an hour at the laundrette this morning trying to put a dent in the washing pile I returned home to start Operation Cable Box this involved a lot of cursing from me and a lot of heavy lifting for Lee.  The cable box was of course hidden behind a huge bookcase, have you ever noticed just how many books it takes to fill one, of course not, not until you have to empty it and see the huge piles stacked everywhere.  I decided while we were at it that one of the smaller bookshelves and all my university box files which were stacked on top of the bookshelf to the ceiling should go upstairs ready for the big move round when the daughter moves out next month.  I only have a two bedroom house so since the monsters arrival things have been a little cramped with him having a bed in my room and the teenager having the other, my ‘office’ has been a corner of the living room rather than the desk I have in my bedroom but soon all that will change, no more getting distracted while writing all official writing shall soon be done at my desk once I rebuild my room.  I also thought it would be a bright idea while we (okay I was only supervising) were moving things to send monsters bookcase upstairs aswell as the daughter is taking hers from that room with her although in hindsight it may have been easier to offer her the money for a new one to leave that one there.  Next the tv unit had to be pulled out because the actual box the phone gets plugged into is behind that.  Then time to clean up, I am terrible for not pulling furniture out to clean behind it because with my bad bad it just hurts too much when no one will see.  Of course puppy and monster took mummy cleaning as a chance to cause more havoc as usual.

It is only now I sit down coming up to 7pm here in the UK to accept a few awards before hopefully persuading the monster to snuggle up on the sofa and watch the closing cermony for the Olympics.

I apologise for not accepting them sooner in some cases but here we go….

Rules for this one

1. Link back to the person who nominated you

2. Post the award image to your page

3. Tell 7 facts about yourself

4. Nominate 15 other blogs

Okay so I have a couple of people to thank for this one first of all History of The Ancient World, what can I say about their blog I wish I could nominate it back because their blog truly is inspirational, the research they put in to give an insight into the wonder of ancient civilastaions is amazing an I love visiting their blog I have started saving their posts until the monster is at the computer with me as he loves looking at the pictures so what better way to introduce him the the sights of Rome and Athens.  Next for this one is from Terry1954, what can I say about this lady, well one she is one of the most compassionate people I have ever come across whether online or in real life, her on going story she has been writing moved me to tears, and she is facing making one of the hardest decisions of her life with dignity and honesty, I wish I could throw some of these awards back at her as she has given me a plethora of them as you will see.

So 7 more facts about me…this really is getting harder each time

1)  I collected Elephants for years and still have lots round the house although many were packed away when the monster came along, children and trunks do not mix

2)  At school I did long jump for my local athletics club Castleford and Featherstone and had to wear a navy kit with orange stripes

3)  I meditate occasionally and wish I could make time to do it more but I have mastered the art of letting my mind go completely blank which is harder than it sounds

4)  I used to do yoga before by back went but could never do the downward dog without getting dizzy

5)  I only drink a couple of cups of coffee a day but my mug collection is growing I have around ten I alternate between

6)  I very rarely watch the news or read the papers unless there is a specific story I am interested in, I see enough doom and gloom as the front pages come through the checkout at work

7)  I have quite a collection, well about forty audio books I sometimes listen to instead of music while doing the house work

The next award is….

This comes from the Lovely Debbie Rea Johnston again it is hard to express my appreciation and if you haven’t visited her blog please do so, she writes the most heart felt book reviews and so much more.

There are five guidelines for accepting this award:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.
  3. Tell them seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
  5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated

Well you already had seven so they can double up lol

The next one…

The rules for accepting this award are:

I. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back. 

3. Share a random thing about yourself. 

4. Select five or more nominees and notify them on their blogs.

5. Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

This one comes thanks to Ms Katykins Spineless Wonders this is possibly the monsters favourite blog of all the ones he likes to look at, how she finds time to do two fabulous blogs is beyond me but I am so thankful she does.

Again you have had a random fact or 7 so I will now pick a load of people who can choose from any of the above awards…

Melissa M.Wolff


A Writer’s Process

Adam Ickes

Neither Here nor There….

Christopher De Voss

A Detailed House

brainsnorts inc >.<



Rebeka Harrington

“The Light-Bearer Series” Novelist, Emily Guido

Brad Geagley

The Exhibition List

Okay onto the next award…

This comes from the lovely Terry1954 and when I saw what it stood for a huge smile spread across my face, What is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

So what do we have to do to show our appreciation?

  1. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
  2. Choose 11 bloggers and link them in your post.
  3. Go to their page and tell them.

-If you could go anywhere, where would you go, and why? Egypt, to see the pyramids or Pompeii I love ancient history the idea that these places are eroding and may not be there in a few more generations is tragic

-What was your reason for starting a blog on WordPress? I turned forty and was determined to finally get my novel written I did think of it as an online journal at first I never thought anyone would be interested in reading my ramblings

What is your most frequently visited blog and why? it was actually my Twitter Trolls post I would guess because everyone was looking online as news spread of what had happened

-Did you look at Freshly Pressed today? If so, which featured blog post did you like the most? I didn’t I very rarely do as I already follow so many wonderful blogs and I know whenever I do I end up with at least a couple more

-What most inspires you? My kids everytime I feel overwhelmed I look at them and think about what legacy I want to leave them with

-What type of atmosphere most inspires you to write/take photos/illustrate/whatever it is that you like to do? For most things I can write anywhere but poetry comes easist to me sat in a field or in the woods and i actually have a couple of woodland videos and soundtracks on my computer for writers block time

 -If you could be any celebrity for a day, who would you be? Hmm thats a tough one, I think maybe JK Rowling just to know how it feels from such difficult circumstances to see all your dreams come true and know how it feels to know your words trandscend borders, language barriers and age in a way few other books ever truly have

-Favorite movie quote? From Breakfast At Tiffanys Holly Golightly: It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door. I’ll give you two.

-Favourite Starbucks drink? I prefer Costa but at either it is a Vanilla Latte

If you were a word, what word would you be? Hmm another tough one, unique or at least I hope I am

Now you give your answers to these same questions.


Everyone Has A Story

Becoming Cliche

50 Year Project

Hunter’s Writing

Josh Mosey | Writer



Coco J. Ginger Says

T. W. Dittmer



Okay the final award…

For the Family of Bloggers Award:

Make sure to pay credit to the one who nominated you

Place a link to the one who nominated you on your award page

Tell what attributes you bring to the family, using an anagram of the word FAMILY.

Nominate at least 4 other people to be in your family of bloggers, and for this award, and notify them of their nomination.

This one again comes curtesy of Terry1954, the link to her page is on the first award, so check that one

F – feisty, despite my broken post I can be quite feisty when I get my heckles up

A – Animal loving, I find in many ways I prefer animals to people, even when they are brutal it is from necessity not greed

M – Mad, sanity is overrated anyway

I – Impatient, it is a fault I hate leaving things that can be done, the words ‘I’ll do it later’ drive me round the bend

L – loving, I am honest

Y – Yay!!!!!! I love being able to congratulate friends on their achievements and try to always find the positives in things

Susan Daniels Poetry



Breezy Books

Inside the mind of a fantasy writer

M.S. Fowle

The View Outside

Help Me Rhonda

If I haven’t mentioned you it is only there are so many wonderful people out there and also the ceremony is about to start and it will take me at least an hour notifying people lol


Sometimes Sundays

Weekly Round Up #9

Well if I say it has been a week I wish I could forget that would be an understatement, as most of you guessed from last nights post things are a little stressful at the minute,loving someone who has depression is draining, I do not know at this point whether things are damaged beyond repair, but I have been in worse places than this before and have pulled through.  It is true sometimes we do not realise how strong we are until after the fact and though at the minute I am tired and weary, I pick myself up and face another day, thankyou to you all for your comments of support both here and on facebook after reading, I did not intend to let so much out but once I started it came and I could not hold back the tide.  Of course it always comes in threes so on top of the personal stuff the monster flooded the bathroom which came through the kitchen ceiling and I have no electric in the kitchen, while this is a good excuse for take aways I need to get some washing done so a trip to the laudrette tomorrow if it still wont come back on without throwing the switch then a call for a repairman.  On top of that my phone stopped working on Wednesday I thought it was the handset that was broken so off I went today and bought a new one after much wrigging of arms behind furniture I switched it…nothing.  So after what seemed like an eternity on hold while they ran line tests my suppliers told me they need to send an engineer out on Monday, great I will get my phone fixed the down side I have to move two huge fully laden book shelves and the tv cabinet for the engineer to get access, what fun.

I set two targets last week..

1) Do some reading that means blogs and books

2) keep up with the schedule and relax

I don’t even need to go there do I……
So for this week here goes…

1) Read through Queen of Ages check for any typos I missed

2) 5000 towards the Ghost stories Collection

3) Do some reading

4) Schedule a nervous breakdown
Now as a bonus today as I depressed you all so much last night I want to share my day with you, well a couple of hours of it, in an attempt at normality we took the monster to the food festival that is on here in Huddersfield I indulged in a little retail therapy and spent far too much on crap but what the hell enjoy the pics, am going to try to add captions to them all and slow it so you can read them if I can rather than post each pic individually.

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Sometimes Sundays

Weekly Round Up #8

Well as I promised yesterday I shall explain the reason for my absence.  Editing, yes that dreaded word.

As many of you are aware the final date for submitting a novel for the Luke Bitmead Award was on friday.  After much procrastination I decided to go for it.  That meant that most of last week was spent going cross eyed trying to pick out all my typos and errors still remaining in the second draft, on top of that I had to write a detailed synopsis and a personal statement about why I would benefit from the bursary.  The last is harder than you would think… why should they give me ten grand, well I am awesome…I need it…I just broke the casing on my laptop..none of those reasons really felt natural to me I did my best now for that lovely waiting game.  In a week or so I shall go through the manuscript again and no doubt find numerous errors I missed but as I have had to submit a word count so unless it is changing a comma to a full stop not much I can really do for now.

It also meant I am way behind on your posts I shall catch up this week I promise.

So lets see how I did…

1) Keep following schedule by the end of next week I should have a better idea how you are all enjoying it

With the exception of thursday it has gone well so far you all seem to be enjoying the new schedule but if anyone has any suggestions I am always open to ideas

2) Keep editing – I know if I can find the hours to put in I can do it but it will literally be last minute if I make it

As I said yup I just about made it I also set up a submissions page here incase anyone is interested in seeing how many nails I am chewing off

3) If weather stays nice get out and do some writing in notebooks because I have been so busy I have been working on the computer the whole time which expains why no poetry I always seem to write poetry better on paper

I have only left the computer in the last 24 hours since I hit the send button lol so that would be a nope!!

4) Watch lots of sport – yup I am a sports junkie when the olympics are on and believe it or not once upon a lifetime ago I was a sporty person and used to do the long jump somewhere my mum has a pic of me competing but I have no idea where sadly

Errmmm I should say no I was far too busy editing but I would be lying if I said that I have fit in a few events mainly ones where team gb were likely to win, but if I had missed the deadline I would have blamed the swimmers

This is distracting during editing!!!!!!!!

Maybe I should give away a prize if you can guess the body lol I cut the head off as lets face it the faces are irrevlevant, no one is looking up there

5) Sort out my photos on my hard drive for use here on the blog I can’t even believe how many I have and how many I haven’t posted of places I have visited so before I go off anywhere else I need to sort out wht you have or haven’t seen.

Again failure on this one I blame the above reason lol

For next week only two as I am having an easy

1) Do some reading that means blogs and books

2) keep up with the schedule and relax

Questioning the World · So it's Saturday

Thought of the Day

Normally I would be heading off to grans but today my daughter is taking her little brother so I get a full days editing done.  To that end I am actually preparing this early.  As I write this you have all just had emails about my Twitter Trolls post, having got it off my chest now I feel a little calmer.

So what to write about when I have no travelling to do today.  Well given it is the Olympics it seems a good time to talk about dreams and aspirations.

Each athlete pulling on their national kit has one dream, to win an Olympic Gold, or do they?  For some it is simply the actual act of representing their country at an Olympics that is their dream.  When you think about it it is similar to our dreams as writers.  In our wildest dreams we top the best sellers list, having directors knocking on our doors to beg for the movie rights, but what we would really be happy with is simply seeing our books in print.

Like athletes we invest time and energy into our words, we may not physically run a marathon but I should imagine mentally we do the full twenty six miles plus those few extra pesky yards.  We both need a great deal of self discipline to achieve our dreams, though admittedly they have far more will power on the diet and healthy eating than some writers, myself mainly on that one.

The important thing is accepting that in order to fulfil our dreams whether is be on the track, in the pool or appearing in a bookshop, the power to make it happen lies to a great extent in our own hands.  That some form of talent is needed is true but talent only takes you so far.  The rest of the way in determined by your desire to succeed, you willingness to put in the hours required to perfect your craft, your ability to accept advice and face your failings.  You will not always succeed but it is the drive to pick your self up, dust off your ego and keep trying that will determine your eventual success or failure.

I would rather fail having given all I had than regret not trying.

Questioning the World · So it's Saturday

Twitter Trolls

An extra post today I have spent a day watching sport with the monster.  His favourite event today…the diving.  The British pair of Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield came fourth the worst place for any athelete to finish.  Daley put his hand up taking responsibility for the one poor dive which may have cost them a medal.  They tried their best, tom made one small error and what happened….this

While Tom Daley makes me proud to be British, trolls like this make me ashamed.  What has this troll done with his life that he thinks he has the right to comment on anyones performance?  Has he spent hours training everyday for years to be deemed worthy of representing his country?

These sportsman are not the ones earning huge wages for a few hours kicking a ball about on a weekend.  The are the ones who wear their team uniforms for pride and deserve our support, win or lose.  The trolls are the people who society could do without, they are the ones whose parents should hang their heads in shame at their offspring.

As you can tell this has wound me up just a little bit.  Trolls are cropping up wherever social media exists, Twitter, Facebook even here on WordPress, yes we should try to ignore them not give them the attention they crave but I would ask everyone who knows a troll or worse still is related to one do the rest of us a favour and knock some sense into them.  Teach them that old saying If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes Sundays

Weekly Round Up #7

Well it has been a strange week hopes of hitting the deadline are being swept away mainly to be honest by my toddler and his puppy who seem intent on destroying the house and mummys sanity (what little I had to start with).  Strangely I am not as upset by this as I thought I would be, I do still have 6 days if I could persuade him to behave for just a couple of days then maybe I could do it but not holding my breath.

Watched the Olympic opening ceremony last night an amazing spectacle which did us proud, sadly at the minute the cyclists aren’t doing quite so well as I type maybe coming so soon after their magnificent performance in the Tour De France.  I was disappointed not to see Duran Duran last night I misunderstood and thought the link up to Hyde Park was going to work both ways but it seems they got to see the ceremony but we didn’t see the concert I shall be searching youtube in the hope someone posted something.

For those who didn’t make it to the end here are the fireworks

And the only clip I could find for the concert

Okay back to business last weeks tasks…

1) Try to stick to the new schedule I posted yesterday

Yup managed it and so far this week it has worked well a couple of quite serious posts this week so will try to lighten things back up again

2) Keep editing if I can reach end of part two there is still  chance

Not as far through as I hoped to be this time next week you will know if I made the deadline or not

3) Try to fit in some extra reading I just started a new book I really want to get my teeth into

Managed a little but not much the book is really good but not read anything from my kindle this week I tend to read that more when out and about and as I haven’t really been anywhere this week it hasn’t had much use

4) Now monster is at home as nursery has finished work out a writing schedule around him so that I am not always sat writing till the early hours

Failed miserably infact with the heat the monster is refusing to go to bed without a fight so even late night writing has been tough through sheer exhaustion

5) Organise some of my novel research ready for wednesday posts

I have made a start, this weeks post will be continuing on the characters and next week I have one lined up on medieval torture methods including the infamous chappy chopper just for Kyle

So for the week ahead..

1) Keep following schedule by the end of next week I should have a better idea how you are all enjoying it

2) Keep editing – I know if I can find the hours to put in I can do it but it will literally be last minute if I make it

3) If weather stays nice get out and do some writing in notebooks because I have been so busy I have been working on the computer the whole time which expains why no poetry I always seem to write poetry better on paper

4) Watch lots of sport – yup I am a sports junkie when the olympics are on and believe it or not once upon a lifetime ago I was a sporty person and used to do the long jump somewhere my mum has a pic of me competing but I have no idea where sadly

5) Sort out my photos on my hard drive for use here on the blog I can’t even believe how many I have and how many I haven’t posted of places I have visited so before I go off anywhere else I need to sort out wht you have or haven’t seen.

The Muse · Thoughts on thursday

Fulfilling A Dream

I was going to do this blog over the weekend but todays announcement that the Olympics would be opened with a concert made me decide to bring it forward.  The four home nations will be represented by various bands with Duran Duran leading the English contingent.  There has been uproar from a few suggesting that the still popular and much-loved band are past it and should not have been awarded this honour but I strongly disagree I couldn’t think of anyone more suited.

My first introduction to the band was thanks to Top of the Pops, it took only one song and I was hooked.  All pocket-money went on saving up for those precious albums, as soon as they came out I would be there at HMV coming away clutching that precious cassette (for younger readers they were what existed before CDs) I remember the tears when my stupid cassette player chewed up Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  The of course there were all the magazines and posters.  Not to mention the badges, mirrors, scarves and all the other merchandise that no self-respecting Duranie could ever live without. Of course as with any band everyone has their favourites and as some of you will know from a previous blog mine was the base player John Taylor.  This picture of him wearing ‘the hat’ has special significance and if you bear with me you will understand.  This was the picture that I had posted on the ceiling above my bed until that fateful night when it fell down and got torn (yes more tears).  The point was this was what sparked my dreams at the time, I would dream about the books I had been reading and replace myself obviously as the damsel in distress and JT as the hero (sad I know but I was only thirteen.)  But that’s the point the Olympics is about dreams and who better than a band that throughout the decades has inspired millions of dreams to be part of it.

I longed to see them live but they were everything my dad couldn’t understand.  They wore frilly shirts, had long hair, wore make up, the list of reasons for my dads disapproval goes on.  And then came the fracturing of the band, members leaving, different projects and I thought I had missed my chance.

Until last year!

With the release of All You Need Is Now came a new tour, could it be possible I could finally fulfil a life long dream.  With trepidation I typed into google and looked at the dates.  Yes there was one I could get time off work for and there were tickets available.  After a few pleading looks towards the other half and a few clicks my dream was coming true.

So May comes round and the time draws nearer for my dream when it is postponed due to SLB’s laryngitis, nerves tear at my insides as I first await a new date then wait to see if I can change my week off to accommodate it ( I think my boss knew if I couldn’t I would quite probably be off sick anyway).

Roll on December and party time.  I was lucky enough to see them at their home town concert and they did not disappoint.  Unlike many bands they filled the venue I know this as I have a friend who works there and he commented on it at the time.  The majority of people there were like myself, people who had fallen in love with them in their teens, we had grown up to their music. Cried over broken hearts listening to their lyrics, but many like myself had never had the chance to see them live before.  That night they made dreams come true, well most, some we will hold onto as memories of our teenage selves the adult recognising how unrealistic they were.

From the first chords the almost the whole auditorium were on their feet dancing and singing along I say almost. The mixed the old and the new seamlessly they looked every bit as youthful and energetic as they did back in the day. This is a band that embrace new technology and are innovative as they always were exemplified by the big screen showing a backdrop of tweets during the concert. My long-suffering other half was one of a hand full of other halves dragged along but even though he would not dance I did catch him singing along and he thorough enjoyed the concert so much so that when I suggested the DDUK convention to him he automatically agreed to going. And that is another testament to their ongoing popularity demand for convention tickets proved so great that a lottery system was required and guess who was lucky enough to get a pair.  Yup come December I will have an excuse for writing another blog about them.The Other half

If a band that has inspired a generation of new musicians and fulfilled the dreams of so many people over a sustained period does not represent everything the Olympics stands for then who does.  The fact that their last album has been globally acclaimed shows they are still as relevant as popular as thirty years ago when they burst into our hearts and changed the music industry for ever.  If we truly want to embrace the Olympic spirit then who better than a band who has burned brighter than the Olympic torch and has a consistant Gold ranking.