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Irresistibly Sweet

I’ve just been awarded The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.
Thank you, Pippa. Nice photo of you and Sylvester!

Here are the rules:

1. Thank and Link To the Person who Nominated You (that’d be Pippa here)

2. Share Seven Random Facts About Yourself.

3. Pass the Award on to 15 deserving blog buddies.

4. Contact those buddies to let them know.


A lot of the blogs I like have already been awarded The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award!
I’m tempted to give them another award – why not, after all?

But no, I shall keep my remaining awards safely in a cupboard until I stumble across new reads.

Here are the first round of awards:
Things I Learned From My Horse

The Stark Raving Cello Blog

Mark Yarwood – A Struggling Writer


My seven random facts:

  1. I hitchhiked round Ireland (without a fridge).
  2. We’ve just bought a house by the seaside.
  3. When I retire I’m going to open a cattery and keep rescue ponies in the back garden.
  4. I once did a nude photo shoot.
  5. I like swing dancing.
  6. I shared a bed with Rufus Sewell (Oh, alright, that’s not true. But he did stay in the same room in the same holiday home. Allegedly.)
  7. Crisps are my downfall.

(Photos from Photobucket)


Vote ‘yes’ to AV

Here’s why I’m voting for AV:

  • It’s easy and is tried and tested. Political parties use it to elect leaders, MPs use it to elect the Speaker, Hollywood uses if for the Academy Awards.
  • Votes really count. No wasted votes or tactical voting.
  • MPs will need 50% of the vote. At the last election, two thirds of the country didn’t vote Conservative but they were elected.

It’s a shame it’s such a dry subject. Not as exciting as the royal wedding or the death of Osama Bin Laden, and plagued by playground politics.  But I hope people aren’t so turned off they don’t bother to turn out and express a preference, whether it’s for or against.

who’d have thought a cat could be so stressful

Pippin’s big day, the first time outside.

He loved it – raced into the next door neighbour’s garden (naturally), climbed a tree, got stuck, scrambled back down again, chased birds and is now back inside, cock of the walk, going completely mental and panting.

I, on the other hand, am having a lie down in a darkened room with a cold compress and won’t be letting him out again until next year. He was oblivious to the sudden burst of the neighbour’s chain saw, the oil delivery lorry’s reversing beep. My blood pressure rocketed.

I preferred it when he ran and hid under the stairs.

Five books I’m reading

Wilkie Collins No Name
I’m really enjoying this, it’s a real page turner. The heroine is determined, principled and loyal and it looks like she’s going to go to any lengths to right the wrongs she’s inherited.

Chrissis Manby Getting Over Mr Right
Not one I’d normally read but my mother-in-law handed it to me in the library. Whatever you think of chick lit, this goes along at a cracking pace, with a cliff hanger at the end of each chapter and a really gripping plot line where our poor heroine fatally and exasperatingly keeps getting herself into worse and worse situations. I read it in a couple of hours and would give a lot to be able to write that sharply and lightly.

The Third Man by Peter Mandelson
Hm. I’m not much into political autobiographies but got this out for the human interest side: Gordon Brown, whatever you may think of him, certainly struck me as genuinely living for his politics; Tony Blair seemed a career politician but also sure of his own decisions. PM seemed attracted by power and his “no problem with people getting filthy rich” comment said shedloads about New Labour.
So I thought this book could be interesting.
From the off, his lack of modesty is fascinating and astonishing. I shamefully skim read the few chapters about his past and leapt to the chapters about the trio that I was interested in.
PM said there were thoughts about linking to the Greens, but Labour were pro-nuclear. A huge, vital issue. The reason for PM’s support for nuclear power? Because if they didn’t support it, that might upset the Sellafield constituents and the Labour MP there might lose his seat. I kid you not. That really important policy decision was made on the basis of keeping their mate in power.
So the book’s still sitting there. It’s enthralling in a sick kind of way but discouraging.

Fodor’s France 2011
For holiday ideas and to daydream over the glossy colour photos. We’re thinking Brittany, suggestions welcome!

Living With a Rescued Cat
One of many books I’ve been getting while Pippin settles in!

Iris by John Bayley
Just about to start this, another recommendation from my mil. My granny had Alzheimer’s so I’m interested in this. I made tea for a local support group the other day, mainly for carers, and one in five people over 80 have some form of dementia. It can be a tough and sometimes harrowing condition and the Alzheimer’s Society are just fantastic.

These were all library books and I would really, really miss the library if it closed.
We’ve been given a ‘consultation’ form here in Suffolk which is actually quite offensive: first, it claims that the threats of cuts are “an exciting opportunity” (no, they’re not). Then the council decide that if we the public can only come up with “disappointing” ideas about how to save the libraries (which we’ve only got until April to propose ) they’ll go ahead and make the financial cuts anyway!

Nice to see they’re not doing their jobs and are instead delegating an impossible task to the people they work for instead…

Three tips from a writer

Our friend, who used to be a copywriter in advertising, came to stay. A gentle soul with a gift for telling funny, engaging anecdotes, he gave me three tips about writing:

  • It’s less about writing, more about re-writing. Editing is hugely important.
  • When you’re stuck, just get anything down on paper. Just write.
  • Your employers aren’t your friends or family. You’re an orphan.

That last might sound a bit dramatic, and it’s not specifically about writing, but it’s a good point. And also quite inspiring. No parents means you get to let loose your mischievous, playful side and can concentrate on creativity, not pleasing the boss.