Friday, 8 June 2018

Ten random things

Red, white and blue. But where's the blue? I hear you cry. Here. Right here.

I thought I'd join in with Leanne, who has a lovely ten random things post up at the moment.

1. Let's start with the dog. Oh, he was so sad. Which made us so sad. We apologised and regretted and loathed ourselves. He didn't understand but loved us anyway. So we loathed ourselves even more.
A maelstrom of emotion. He refused to drink. In a stroke of genius I poured some water from a tin of tuna into his water, and hey presto, he loved it. You'll find your top tips here people.

2. Like Leanne, I too have a crab spider. He is lurking on the roses, waiting patiently for a bee to pass by. I keep going out to check on progress, with a sort of horrified fascination.

3. The rose is delightful, scenting the whole corner of the garden. I am spending far too much time gazing out of the window at the moment. It's all so green, I just can't stop. It's still at the stage where it's surprising.

4. Next on my to-do list is getting to grips with GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation for those of you from far away (it's an EU thing). While I'm happy to have less annoying phone calls and emails, it's all quite tricky and annoying for website owners and freelancers. That's probably why I'm here writing this instead of doing something from The List.

5. I found out the other day that I'm a bit low in iron. It was quite a surprise, I've always thought I was fairly healthy, but somewhere along the way all the iron has disappeared. I'd like to say I'm eating lots of dark green leafy things, but in reality I'm taking iron tablets and eating dark chocolate, the kind with 85% cocoa solids and not much sugar. I've convinced myself it's good for me. I don't think it's the easily absorbed sort of iron, but we'll gloss over that.

6. I am bracing myself for the last six weeks of school before the summer hols. It's usually ridiculously frantic, requiring a huge amount of parental involvement and payment for things. Much like the summer holidays themselves in fact. I am already thinking about Things To Do. Maybe making a bench from a pallet with the littlest boy (I know this probably comes under the heading of Far Too Ambitious Things that I dream up in spring and that seem like complete madness by the time summer comes around) and a bit of linocutting and printing, which the biggest boy might enjoy as well. Did you see Robert Gillmor on Springwatch the other day? He's one of the biggest boy's favourite wildlife artists. His linocuts are fantastic.

7. I've just started reading a book by a local indie writer. I really should do this sort of thing more often instead of relying on a diet supplied by mainstream publishing houses. Self-publishing is huge these days and some really great writers are choosing it.

8. I'm still working on fiction writing. I know I don't mention it much, but I am. Pretty much every evening. Time is always a problem, as it is for most of us. But I am carving out a little time each day. Slowly, slowly.

9. I've grown a wisteria up the back of the house, so now when I look out, the view is partly framed by leaves. I'm convinced that looking at green things is good for me. I saw a dusky pink one when I was out earlier and in the interests of being thrifty I didn't buy it. Now I'm wishing I did. But can I trust the label???

10. I am anticipating a quiet weekend. People have cricket to go to and there's a local ecology meeting, but other than that with the dog on minimal exercise I don't imagine I'll be required to go far. I am often envious of people who have lovely relaxing weekends, when I'm off here, there and everywhere, marching across the countryside and standing at the edge of football pitches. I'm hopeful I shall at some stage this weekend join the ranks of those relaxing at home. Although there's gardening to be done, writing to be written and GDPR to be comprehended and complied with. I shall no doubt be found looking out of the window with a blank look on my face. Wishing all a good couple of days. CJ xx


  1. Lovely post and pictures. Bertie's look says it all.
    Thanks, and you too. xx

  2. Poor darling Bertie. I'm sure he'll soon be up and running about again. Good to know that there's iron in dark chocolate - it justifies the brownies that I'm planning on making tomorrow! You've reminded me that our wisteria needs pruning - it's not so much framing the bedroom window as invading it in a rather triffid like fashion. Here's hoping you manage a bit of relaxation over the weekend. xx

  3. Bertie will soon have forgotten all the bad stuff. I do wonder whether GDPR could cause more problems than it solves.

  4. I loved your humor in this post, CJ! Its important to look at the fun side of a lot of situations. Poor Bertie...did I forget something, as far as him wearing a cone? You are a genius with the tuna water!! I'll remember that.

    I just started taking vitamin supplements. I've bought vitamins in the past and then they go back into the medicine cabinet long forgotten. I went with a small start up company. By filling out a questionnaire, The best vitamins were matched up with me and my issues; dry skin, high blood pressure., etc. I get a monthly supply of my little packet of daily vitamins. It's hard to mess up. I might blog about it soon.

    I grew wisteria on the front of the lakehouse. Everyone warned me as to how invasive and strong it is. It caused damage to our balcony and even wrapped its vines around a power line. We cut down as much as we could, but its back this spring.

    I hope you find time to relax this weekend. We have storms predicted and thats okay with me, I'd like to stay in an read myself as well.

    Take care!


    1. Yikes, I just went back and bought that wisteria. Should have read your comment first. Bertie was neutered last week. He's quite bouncy today though, so hopefully he won't be sad for too much longer. CJ xx

  5. Wishing you a very relaxing weekend too. I hear Guinness is very good for building up your iron reserves. I remember those last few weeks before summer holidays too. Manic is the only way to describe them. Some nice whittling activities in the holidays sounds great. Much window gazing at all the beauty here too but no crab spiders yet. They normally like to lurk in the Rugosa rose. Hopefully you’ll be bouncing with energy soon with Bertie. Send him a hug from me . B x

  6. We’ve got wisteria. It’s fine if you cut it back every winter. The goldfinches and pigeons nest in ours. Glad Bert is on the mend. They don’t stay sorrowful for long! Happy pre holidays. Xx

  7. Po-go sticks are so much fun. It takes a lot of balance to do it correctly and stay upright, if you can do it off the wall, well, wow! Poor you with the iron deficiency. Have you been tired? Well more tired than a mother of three, well four with the furry boy, wife, and fiction writer normally is? I say eat more chocolate! Poor baby with the operation. Our Hank sailed through it but Bear would not stop licking and got a big infection that required antibiotics. The next week Hank and an eye infection and a few weeks after that he had swollen paws that required anti-inflammatory meds. These two are costing me a fortune. HE is awfully cute, hope he is feeling better.

    1. Oh poor puppies, I feel for you. Vet's bills are shocking aren't they. And the insurance company informed me today that my premium would be higher now he's been neutered and would I like to pay now?! I thought it might be cheaper. Silly me. I have been rather tired, but like you say, just thought it was normal every day exhaustion. Of course now I have unrealistic hopes that increasing my iron will suddenly turn me into superwoman with boundless energy and enthusiasm. CJ xx

  8. Oww your poor sad to see him so....hope he will recover Ria x 💜

  9. Looking at green is definitely good for you! I think the world would be a better place is everybody could spend time looking at green growing things every day.

    Poor dogger! I hope he feels better soon. And you too. I had to go on iron last year. It was surprising to learn how little we absorb from our food. It took some weeks to build up, but it definitely helped.

    Good luck with your writing!

  10. I hope your wish of a quiet weekend came true! I also hope that Bertie is a bit more cheerful today, poor soul.

    Six weeks of school left, brace yourself for the shows and whatnot! We've got 11 days left and I am not even here for the last day... flying back from Canada, lucky me. Wishing you luck, strength and patience. xx

  11. Pretty garden pics, how lovely to have a wisteria - we've lived at our house for 25 years now and every year I've said I would plant a wisteria, how beautiful it would be if I had! Poor Bertie, I'm sure he won't be sad for long - the lampshade collar can be so tricky. I hope you feel better soon CJ, life is tiring enough sometimes without low iron levels and I hope you managed some quiet time at the weekend. Jx

  12. Laughing out loud at extreme po-going off walls!!!Oh, poor Bertie, been there so often, the quilt is quite horrific, especially taking them to the vets and them being so trusting and all. Hopefully time will flash by and Bertie will lose the collar of shame and be back to normal. Great idea re the tuna juice!!! Another lovely

  13. Bertie looks pretty forlorn in the cone.. I hope he gets to they point of healing soon that he can go without it. We got Meeka, the 3 year old German Shepherd fixed a few days ago and instead of a cone they put her in a little blue suit. I enjoyed your random thoughts. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  14. I do a lot of window watching as well. It's very soothing to look beyond the computer screen into the green space beyond (Tall lime trees obscuring the neighbouring flats) although hard to resist the temptation to go outside and garden. How lovely to find local authors to read; I'm currently reading Rhapsody in Green by Charlotte Mendelson who does actually live round the corner from me but is, I think, quite well known as a novelist. Hope Bertie is feeling much more chipper after the weekend - he looks so sorry for himself in your photo!

  15. Hey CJ,
    A lovely lost of randoms. Poor, poor Bertie. He reminds me of Marc when he had to have a similar operation.....
    We haven't seen the crab spider for a few days, but we have had an encounter with a very large false widow spider in the conservatory. Huge. Dragging a bee into his lair. It was like something from a horror movie. I found it all most distressing. Lovely smells and all the green in the garden here too. It's a great time waster, and I find that I can lose myself for chunks of the day, when I should be getting on more useful tasks. I'd love wisteria. My Dad has been cultivating his for a number of years, and it was looking rather gorgeous a few weeks ago.
    Have a good week, dear friend.

    Leanne xx

  16. I hope Bertie is on the mend. He looks so sad. I remember the frantic rush at the end of term. Hoping it all goes well.
    And keep eating the chocolate!

  17. A lovely list. I think it's fantastic you've been writing every day. I know it's hard to find the time, which is why the consistency is so important. Good for you. Eat a piece of chocolate for me!!