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Sunday 29 July 2007

Blogs and blogging

I have been working on my computer all day . . . yes, yes, I know it's Sunday but I'm not a computer wizard so it takes me ages to upload things like widgets because I didn't even know what one was (I'm still not a 100% sure but have my fingers crossed that it's worked). Then I had to put my blog through a feedburner and the like. Well I ask you, isn't it about time that somebody brought out a dictionary of computer speak or am I so far behind I've missed that too? I'm wrung out!

And to top it all our little chicken Favour died at lunchtime. We rescued her from a chicken concentration camp a couple of years ago so she's been living a very free life, until today. Yesterday she didn't come down from the roost at all, but Sat Nav gave her food and water aplenty and we weren't concerned. In fact, we thought she was rather clever deciding to stay on the roost in the stable while the village was crawling with visitors especially arrived for our village sports day. She waddled along this morning for a late breakfast, fell over and that was just about it. She will be a big miss.

Monday 23 July 2007

Lincolnshire Pride 21st July 2007

The day began at 5am - it seemed like the middle of the night - it's a long time since I've seen 5am I can tell you!

The weather was dreadful. We were not flooded, were conscious that most of the country was and we didn't have a clue if we needed a car or a boat to get to Lincoln. But we always look on the bright side and although there was lots of rain and standing water we arrived without incident. Sat nav was on top form, bless her. The going South syndrome didn't strike. Maybe that was because we were going South then turning East lol!

We arrived at 9.30am. Of course it was still raining and it continued to rain all day which was sad as it affected the attendance. After unloading the car, ably assisted by four angels (don't know your names but thanks girls), I took the car to park and what happened next was a near disaster . . . my hair got wet!!! I had left the brolly in the car as the rain had stopped briefly only to come down again big time as I headed back to the building.

I have to say the organization could have been better. There was nothing directing people to the venue for the authors readings, nor was a time given for this. In fact helpers seemed to know little about it. It was a pleasure to meet Val Lee and Paul Burston and Val's friend Mary, who had traveled from early morning to be there and then had a long train journey home. It was very frustrating for them to find there was nothing set up; no tables, no refreshments not even water and no time/venue announcements.

This was my first Pride event and with hindsight perhaps I should have taken posters for the organizers to display. But to be honest I thought they would have done this automatically. Certainly a learning curve for everyone. As a result it was a small audience for us authors which is sad, everything considered. It meant a lot of people lost out on the opportunity of meeting us and buying a signed copy of our books. Although I did manage to sell a few downstairs in the 'market place' while I was drumming up interest, as well as at the reading.

You'll notice that we set off early. Well, this was because Sat Nav (my love) was exhibiting her beautiful paintings. It was very disappointing as she was placed upstairs on the walkway to a bar that was closed and out of the way of everything. I know it was the first time for an artist to attend but it was an insult that she wasn't listed on the brochure/flyers. So nobody knew she was there until we authors did our bit in the bar area. Again there were no signs directing people to her display. She had done work especially for the exhibition. Needless to say all of her beautiful paintings came home, and boy, did you all miss a treat. So go to Gloria's Gallery and take a look in a day or so.

We set off for home at 4.30pm (thanks again angels for helping us out) both thankful that we weren't going back on the Sunday, and that the river beside the University hadn't burst it's banks.

We don't want to put a downer on Lincoln Pride Organization, I know it's only their second year, but when authors/artists are specifically invited and give up their precious time to attend people need to know they are there.

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Dentist - Renewel of Filling

8.30am I set off to the dentist for a filling. I was not particularly looking forward to this but at the same time I wasn't scared either. I trust my dentist.

It was a sunny morning - and would you believe the sun is still shining - and to take my mind off my impending trial I sang out loud and long to the radio on my half hour journey no doubt frightening the wildlife to death . . . lol!!!

As dentists go mine is one of the best, and a real friendly place to visit. They play Radio 2 (is it to deaden the screams lol!!!) even the nurse sang along this morning. I won't mention whether it was in tune or not, but she was happy and that's what singing is all about. She did manage to vacuum my tongue a few times during the treatment but it's still in one piece and not bruised lol!!!

Louise, my dentist, is a laugh a minute and certainly puts you at ease. She decided I was just the right guinea pig to try out a new tool. And then she clamped my tooth - something I had never had done before. I said, 'I don't think I like that.' And she said, 'That's probably why I've never done it before.'
Mmmmm, that's something for me to remember for the future.
She calls the heavy drill Shake Rattle and Roll which says it all really - it just happens to loosen your ear wax too. So, if you need your ears syringing, and a filling, just visit the dentist and you get them both done at once lol!

Anyway, my mouth wasn't as solidly frozen as it would normally be after this visit and Sarah (nurse) explained why that was. No, don't ask me to explain, it's far too technical for me. It meant as soon as I got home I could drink a cup of tea without slurping and dribbling all over the place . . . yippeee!!! Still haven't had a kit kat yet though lol!!!

Forgot to mention the installation of the new air con in the treatment room - I am now suffering from the effects of wind chill........

Monday 16 July 2007

Swansea Surf Camp and Borders Book Signing

Friday the 13th we set off for Swansea at 8am and finally arrived at 5.30pm. What took you so long you might ask . . . well . . . I know it was black Friday, but the 13th is usually lucky for us and I guess it was as we were nearly, but not quite, involved in what would have been a nasty accident. The weather was NOT kind, neither was the traffic congestion 'down South' and the roadworks . . . oh dear! My sat nav (Glo as you know already) behaved beautifully . . . as always. She forced me to say this . . . ouch!

After a miserable drive, we arrived tired and a bit forlorn, but imagine our surprise when we walked into our room to be greeted by the most beautiful display of fresh flowers from our good friends Lorraine and Colin. Thanks a million you two - your kind gift certainly lifted our spirits. And while we're on the subject of thanks, a HUGE THANK YOU to both Tina and Lorraine for giving up their time and becoming our personal tour guides to Swansea. It's a nice place folks, you should visit.

Friday night our good friend and Welsh songbird Lorraine braved the weather with us (in her dainty clogs and pretty pale pink cords!) as we headed to Gower Peninsular to the Lesbian Surf Camp. The camp site was actually flooded in parts and the ground totally sodden and muddy. We found Alex and Julia who made us very welcome, and all we wanted to do was take everyone back to the hotel and dry them out. But no - these girls were enjoying it. Believe me in these conditions Camping is not for the faint hearted, but these girls were dedicated. We did a quick tour and met some lovely ladies then left them to it and went back to the warmth of our hotel. We had lost Lorraine along the way - she was busy distributing my leaflets and what a good job she did wrapped in her waterproof jacket, with it's hood up we didn't recognize her. Dee who we had originally arranged to meet, had her tent flooded and needed to go home to dry out. Oh the joys of camping.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny. Glo was poorly so was confined to barracks, while Lorraine and I went to sign copies of my book in Waterstones and have a look around the shops. Then we went to the marina and I'm happy to say that Glo was able to join us about 3pm. We thought we saw Hyacinth lurking around trying not to be conspicuous. I think she was looking to buy a new pleasure cruiser, and as we know Hyacinth's life is all about pleasure . . . lol!!!

On Saturday night we headed back to the Surf Camp as I'd promised to take some copies of Beautiful Strangers and sign them for the Surf Camp ladies. Our other good friend, Tina, another Welsh songbird, accompanied us this time. Most of the ladies were enjoying dinner and we were tantalized with delicious aromas - thanks for the excellent hospitality girls. We were sorry that we'd already eaten and Glo was even sorrier that she had to refuse several glasses of wine!
It was lovely to meet everybody...but I know that I didn't actually manage to meet everybody there so my apologies to those who I missed. Perhaps next year when hopefully I will be able to come along again and bring copies of the sequel.
It was nice to finally meet Dee and Mary.
If anyone would like a signed copy of Beautiful Strangers then please contact me via my website and I will be very happy to send one to you, along with a personal message of your choice.

After Surf Camp we spent a couple of hours at Mummbles - beautiful place - and then Tina and I had a cuppa in the Castellamre Restaurant, sadly even this was beyond Gloria.

Sunday 15th saw us heading to Borders Bookstore and another wet day. What a busy retail park this is on, but what good shopping!!!
Both Lorraine and Tina called in to see us as did David Bevan, in between managing his wedding cars. It was great to meet him at last, and we really appreciated his taking time out to make the visit.

Tina led us out to the main road...would we ever have found it without her? even 'Sat Nav' is doubtful about!!

Home again and into disgusting weather, but at least the ride home only took 6 hours.....

Many thanks to all the ladies who bought copies of my book at Surf Camp - enjoy!

The photos are Jude and Ruth top (thanks girls) Ellen and Tina middle and Ellen and Lorraine bottom (pole dancing).

Lincoln Pride next Saturday...

Saturday 7 July 2007

Leeds City Centre - Borders Bookstore and Shopping

Everybody warned us that getting into Leeds City Centre would be a nightmare and because we hadn't been for twelve years we were inclined to believe them. Imagine our surprise when we sailed in without any problems whatsoever. My sat nav (Gloria) was on top form so I'm not going to get a newer model lol!!! :) And guess what...the sun was shining all the way and all day for that matter.

We were in Borders Bookstore for 11am for a book signing and the hospitality was absolutely excellent. We were treated to tea and muffins (choc).
Special thanks to Sandra and David for making us so welcome and looking after us.

I enjoyed an interesting chat with a budding author and this very kind gentleman returned later with a small gift of hand made chocolates. I didn't get his name . . . but if you are reading this thank you so much.

I called at Waterstones later in the day to sign their copies of Beautiful Strangers but guess what? They had sold out . . . yippeee . . . sadly the new stock had not arrived. So if you want signed copies go to Borders as I signed extra copies there.

We enjoyed some great retail therapy and we both agree that Leeds is for us in the shopping stakes. And...for the people who can't find there way in or out . . . why not? It's easy lol!!!

Having said that, on the way in we spotted an ASDA store and as some of you know I have been on the lookout for Quaker Oat Crisps and thought aha I will call in there on the way out. Sadly, this was not to be as the way out isn't the same as the way in arrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh. So still without cereal, so Debbie I will try and get to ASDA in Harrogate soon. And their petrol was only 93.9p a litre so missed out there too.

Swansea next weekend - I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday 2 July 2007

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival

We had a lovely drive 'over the tops' to Hebden Bridge and arrived early afternoon in glorious sunshine. Our destination was the Northlights Studio to meet wildlife artist Hannah Lawson. Eventually we found our way there and met not only Hannah but many other artists who work out of this Studio too. It's a great set-up they have there.

After spending a lovely time we ventured out into the . . . yes, you've guessed it..torrential rain, to find the Heart Gallery. I'd discovered that very morning it was managed by a distant relative.

The rain was so bad that we headed for the car; the only sensible thing to do, as we had left the brolly in the boot yet again - when will we ever learn not to trust this bloody weather! Undeterred, and despite the wipers having difficulty coping with the deluge, I drove around and found the Heart Gallery so we were able to go in and say hello to Alison and her daughter Becky.

We headed for home on the main roads this time, again under a heavy sky, when we got a call to say that Gloria had won a raffle prize, however, we were too far along the road to return to Northlights studio to pick it up. Happily we can collect this on our next visit.

If you are ever in Hebden Bridge, do go to Northlights Studio and the Heart Gallery . . . remember to take your cheque books because I can guarantee you will be tempted by the beautiful things on offer.

We drove home through 'weather'......Gloria took this pic of the fabulous rainbow through the car window.

ELO Experience at Masham Town Hall

Due to the earlier book signing we missed the first half of the ELO Experience at Masham Town Hall, but what we did see was very good.

There was a great crowd in who obviously enjoyed and appreciated this band's performance. I had a few dances after borrowing my friend's husband - thanks Mandy you know he's safe with me lol!!! It was good to catch up with Shaun and Andy, albeit briefly.

Book Signing in Borders Bookstore York

After a week of thunder storms and downpours we set off for York complete with wellingtons and umbrella but wondering if we would need a canoe!

Luckily we didn't but we did have trouble finding our way in . . . so much for clear internet directions hah! But Tom, the manager of Borders bookstore, came to our rescue and talked us in. Gloria makes a very good sat nav! Although I think she needs updating lol!!!

We were a little late and left the brolly in the car . . . big mistake as it was absolutely degging it down when we came out of the store. Of course we got lost on the way out. How anybody can find their way around without being a native is a mystery to me and many other drivers who were looking as bemused as I was.

After saying all of that we had a terrific afternoon with the Borders staff. My books were beautifully set out ready for me and the hospitality was excellent. Tea and a muffin courtesy of the store were greatly appreciated, and I'm an authority on muffins now.

So sincere thanks to Tom (extra big thanks from Gloria who swears she would have navigated us into the Ouse if it hadn't been for you), Peter, Adam and Lorraine. You brought sunshine into a rainy day.