Just finished painting our living room, while working out Hilary’s next steps in the sequel I’m working on.  Great displacement activity – I can think about writing, which sort of counts (doesn’t it?)…  Managed to avoid ending up with a tri-coloured cat – although I think black/white/mocha would be an interesting combo.


Hilary Darke – now available in hard copy

Just added Hilary to the Create Space website, which has been an interesting experience.  I’m aware that lots of people still prefer reading in hard copy, so I thought i should make her availabl that way too!  You can access her via the following link:  Just enter the following code for a 25% discount:  FT8XTXN9

New publication

New year, new book: The Accidental Career of Hilary Darke.

A darkly comic thriller, which centres on Hilary Darke, struggling writer and reluctant temp, who experiences more success as a murderer than as an author.

Hilary’s dreams of being a successful writer seem to recede further into the distance the more she gets sucked into the daily grind of the civil service. Dealing with her bullying boss, Ros, is enough to push her over the edge. But Hilary is resourceful. She’s determind to find success, whatever it takes. You might miss Hilary in a crowd, but she wouldn’t miss you.

If that’s caught your interest, it’s available on Amazon via the following link:

Gerkins, be gone!

I took my daughter to McDonald’s yesterday lunchtime for a treat.  (Make of that what you will.)  As I was waiting for our order, a very cross customer came and complained to the manager.  Someone had made a mistake with his order.  To add insult to injury, he said (more or less), someone had also written a rude message on the wrapper.  What was this rude message?  I began to wonder.  I was imagining all kinds of things, but was disappointed to hear that it actually said, “Gerkins, be gone!” 

I don’t know what gherkins have done to justify his anger, but the customer was really not happy.  Rectifying the order wasn’t enough.  What compensation could he expect for this?  Compensation?  Compensation for what?  Loss of his sense of humour?  McDonald’s may be a multi-trillion global conglomerate, but I think that was beyond even them.

Actually I felt sorry for the poor guy or gal who’d written the message – probably in an attempt to make the job of dishing hundreds of burgers in a hot kitchen on a sunny day a little more bearable.  What price a little humour?

Is it safe?

Going to the dentist is my least favourite activity in the world. Ranked right down there below unblocking a drain and changing a nappy. But being a parent means, amongst other things, Putting On A Brave Face and Setting A Good Example. So I dutifully went for my six-month check up last week, only to be told that I need to have an inlay. Isn’t that something you do to furniture?

The dentist was kind enough to show me a close-up of said tooth in glorious technicolor on the TV monitor. It has a crack running through it the size of the Grand Canyon. Hasn’t he ever heard the phrase too much information?  And fixing it won’t be cheap…

I’m not at my best when I’m in the chair. (Is anyone?) I have to admit I’ve done more than more than my fair share of whimpering there – which is probably pretty trying for the dentist. You might ask why I’m such a scaredy cat when it comes to dentists. Well, I had a couple of bad experiences when I was a child and I’ve also watched a lot of films…

As I said, though, it’s all about setting a good example. So paying to be terrified in the name of being a good parent, and keeping a tooth of course, is probably the right thing to do. And, who knows, maybe I’ll fetch a fortune on the Antiques Roadshow.

Wardrobes and sprouts

My cat hid in the wardrobe this morning.  “I don’t blame you,” I told her.  “I often feel like that.” 

Actually, she’s been stalking me constantly since we picked her up from the cattery last week.  She makes me feel like a marked woman.  I never quite know when she’s going to accost me and continue her running commentary about how heartless we are, leaving her behind while we went up north to see relations.  Or maybe she’s griping about the fact that wet food is only the menu once a day – it’s dried kibbles the rest of the time.  (They’re good for you, Milly. Honestly!)  I suppose it’s like being serves sprouts at every meal…  But let’s not go there.

Meanwhile spring creeps on apace here – NOT.  I had some bulbs that started to come out in the mistaken belief that the seasons were on the change.  I don’t know where they got that silly idea from.  It’s b*&$%”* corpsing here, as my husband would say.  Still, hope springs eternal.  And it’s only 19 days till the next bank holiday…

If they don’t pay rent…

Gave the cat her monthly flea treatment this week.  So that makes me the bad cop for the next couple of days.  Afterwards she skulks behind the furniture, then makes a point of sitting in front of me in the living room, back turned.  If only she knew it was for her own good.  I suppose fleas have their part to play in the natural order of things (although I’ve no idea what), but there’s no room for free-loaders in this household.

Still, it looks as if we’re friends again now and she’s even brought me an Ikea mouse as a present.  It’s amazing what a packet of wet cat food can do to restore good relations.  So all is hunky dory for another few weeks.  Little does she know, it’s flea and worm treatment next month.  Like I said, there’s no room for free-loaders here…