Archive | January 2009

25 Things About Me

I was tagged to do this a while back, but prevaricated somewhat. Captain Black has put me to shame – so ….

1. When I was a child I felt ‘different’ from everyone else

2. I once ended up in A & E for two separate accidents on the same day

3. At the age of 7 I had a reading age of 14 and was thought by head teacher to be gifted (huh!!)

4. Accelerating me a year did me no good at all, because

5. I failed my eleven plus

6. I suffered from alopecia between the ages of 11 and 21 but refused to wear a wig

7. Rob and I were owner/occupiers at the age of 18 with a hefty mortgage (£46 a month)

8. I was pregnant from October 1979 until May 1982 (well – nearly all the time!)

9. I have taken part in international medical trials

10. I don’t like driving – it scares me

11. I am cross-coordinated (right-handed, left-footed, left-eyed) and don’t know left from right

12. I used to be able to read music, but now I’ve forgotten

13. It is 222 steps from my office to the library

14. I used to wear glasses but my eyes got better with advancing years!

15. I can ride a horse and even galloped once without falling off

16. I like thunderstorms, big waves and wild weather

17. Sometimes I pretend to be stupid when really I know the answer (why I ask myself?)

18. I have eight grey hairs in my head, which I pluck out 🙂

19. My best friend is a man

20. I can’t see the point in being secretive

21. I hate conflict and arguments – anything to keep the peace, I say

22. My head is full of useless information, untold stories and unanswered questions

23. I liked being a housewife when my children were small

24. I enjoy my job, but


(Gawd knows what a psychiatrist would make of that lot!)


Hiya. For those of you who want to know, I’ll pop a little note on CIF.



My mum, Margaret Rose Beasley, was one of this world’s little rays of sunshine. She never had a bad word to say about anyone. ‘If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say it at all,’ she would reprimand when Julie and I were slagging off some poor hapless soul. We’d give each other a guilty sideways look and stop being bitchy straight away. Mum had that effect on you.

She wasn’t old by today’s standards – only in her early 70s – and she was my best friend.

She’d make excuses for people who were moaners, or were discontented with their lot in life and make allowances for their behaviour. ‘It doesn’t pay to be nasty, girls,’ she’d say to us. ‘There’s always someone worse off than you. Be thankful for what you’ve got.’

Just before we all went to Ibiza on a family holiday at the end of July 2006 I was in my office, looking across the Council Offices car park towards the Art Gallery and Library. I just caught a back view of my mum, marching across the car park, Burberry shopping bag in hand. She was going to the library to change her library books ready to take on holiday on the following Monday.

Her house was about 35 minutes walk away from the town centre. She used to walk to town, go to the library and then walk home again. Fit as the proverbial fiddle she was. I kept one eye on the window, waiting for her to walk back across the car park.

About half an hour later I spotted her coming back and stood up, waving with both arms. She looked up at my office window and waved, a huge smile splitting her face and I swear I could see her cheerful eyes twinkling as she lifted up her sunglasses to make sure it was me who was waving at her. I ran down the stairs and she was already sitting on a seat in the foyer of the Council Offices, waiting for me.

We had a conversation. I told her to catch the bus back home, because it was such a hot day. (She didn’t!) She joked with one of my colleagues, Jean, about our forthcoming holiday and said she was hoping to meet a millionaire.

A couple of days later, just before we were all due to leave for the airport, mum was watering her lovely garden. She stood up with two watering cans full of water and felt something ‘go’ in her back.

That was the start. Fifteen weeks later the monstrous ‘C’ word had deftly side-stepped chemotherapy and claimed another victim: my lovely, gentle mum who was incredibly funny but didn’t know it; who’d never said a bad thing about anyone in all of her life; who loved us all unconditionally and hadn’t an enemy in the world.

I miss her so much and always will, and the memory of her walking across the car park, waving to me on that glorious summer’s day in July 2006 might be ordinary, but it is the one I treasure most of all. It shines like a precious diamond in a garden crammed full of beautiful memories of her.

One afternoon just before she died I said simply, ‘I love you, Mum’. I was expecting her to tell me she loved me too but she didn’t.

‘I know,’ she whispered. Although the words were small and light they were heavy with meaning. At that moment I knew she was content and at peace with the world and people she was leaving behind.

Oh My Word Part 2 and Predictions

Thank you to everyone for their kind comments on my previous post and also to those of you on ‘Cutting it Fine’ who have given me their feedback. I really appreciate it.

Captain – Hypnolove did indeed start out as a post on Cloud Line as my contribution to the Valentine’s Day exercise last year. I revised the story a bit for the competition.

Note to all those on Cloud Line: I’ve grabbed a smidgeon of success out of our little exercises so get out there and let’s make a huge effort in 2009 to have a little sidebar of Cloud Line successes.

Lane – I wonder what it feel’s like to have your name on a book cover? I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be browsing in the library and see your own book on the shelves.

Caroline – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for your exciting story ;-/

Helen – A successful and excitement filled 2009 to you too.

TF and Pat – I hope 2009 brings you all you have ever dreamed of.

L-Plate – If only publishing fiction was so easy, but you feel so cheated, don’t you when a Committee report you have written has your boss listed as the report author, or your work is copyrighted to the organisation you work for with no reference to the author.

Debs – It was a lovely Christmas present. Happy New Year to you too.

Dar – I’m still a wannabe really, just like the 37 other authors in the book. Some of their work has taken my breath away – there is some real talent out there

Tam – Me too, but the next time my name is in print will be in the local paper tonight on an official notice about the budget consultation at the Council!

Femin Susan – Thanks for visiting my blog and a Happy New Year to you too.

The Dotterel – Hi Tim. What’s it feel like to have made it? I bet you are up there on Cloud Nine, swinging your legs watching the rest of us struggle up the ladder.

Karen – Yeah, I was disappointed My Weekly didn’t publish ‘The Yellow Balloon’ at Christmas because they had said back in May that it would be in the December issue. Still, they have paid for it so it’s up to them when and if they use it.

Mother X – You too. I’m glad you’re back on track again after your hectic Christmas with your gorgeous boys. I bet you are glad they are back at school, though!


I couldn’t get to sleep the other night, so I thought I might make some predictions for 2009 (I only thought of about five before my brain went on a three-day-week and I fell asleep)

1. The first Facebook Wedding – Two people who met on Facebook will appear on the TV. 20,000 gatecrashers will then go on the rampage, causing tailbacks on the motorway and a trail of destruction. ‘Tracey’ will then appear on the TV with tear-streaked face and ‘Darren’ will sport a black eye.

2. The murderer who killed Rhys Jones gets beaten up in jail (now I thought this and then it actually happened a couple of days later, but it wasn’t really a prediction – just no surprise was it?)

3. There will be some scientific revelations about the Moon – triggered by India’s recent mission.

4. There will be more Royal shenanigans. This is a fair bet anyway – happens most years.

5. ‘Sunlight’ will nearly get published but not quite. The publisher who is interested will say it’s because of the economic climate blah, blah, blah. My novel was not quite good enough, burble, burble, burble. It’s the story of my life. I am such a ‘nearly’ person. I might cry, but then I’ll look back at this blog post and remind myself that I was expecting it anyway.

I’ve kept one New Year’s resolution and broken another. One of my resolutions was to try and keep up with blogging. The other one was not to let Facebook and Blogging get in the way of my early morning writing time. ‘Nuff said!

What are your predictions for 2009, both personal and in general?