In ‘Train’ ing…

Just a quickie from me which is par for the course these days!

‘In training’ for what, I hear you cry? Well, possibly for a nervous breakdown!

Ha haaaa! *laughs like a maniac*

Since I last wrote, I’ve had a bad back (still got it a bit but the exercises seem to be helping), my mum’s been taken into hospital, where she is still languishing and not very well at all ☹ and I am visiting her in Gloucester which is a 3 – 4 hour round trip every day, soooo, – related to those two things – I’ve had to ask for an extension on the delivery date of my first draft.

It was supposed to be this Friday (aaagh) 17th March but it is now March 24th, a week later. No excuses this time, it HAS to be done.

But in slightly more cheery news, I have also had a very rare Day Out.

My Day Out

It was organised by the RNA’s ‘Birmingham Chapter’ (which, as my friend Chris pointed out, sounds a bit Hell’s Angel-ish – they have ‘chapters’, don’t they? But it’s the Romantic Novelists’ Association so, nothing to do with bikers!).

It was a workshop/writing day in central Brum, which had originally been arranged for October but due to the train strike, had to be cancelled, so this was the re-arranged date, which wasn’t ideal for me, given my deadline (did I mention I had a deadline?) but I threw caution to the wind and decided to go anyway.


Before we even arrived at the venue, we had an adventure.

The train, which we had boarded at 8.30, full of excitement and station café tea, stopped after about 20 minutes. After a short wait and a garbled excuse over the intercom about ‘signals’ or something, it reversed back to the last station we’d been through, which was Dorridge. This, you may or may not know, is in Solihull and is quite a long way from central Birmingham and, we were cheerfully told, there would be no alternative transport laid on.

Nooo! The much-anticipated day out was in jeopardy!

But then, hallelujah, we met a Young Person (she actually overheard us discussing the likelihood of being able to get a taxi outside the station and said she’d happily share with us, if we liked…?) We DID like! Because, by the time we got off the train, she’d booked and paid for* an Uber and could tell us exactly where it was and when it would arrive!

Ah, the wonders of technology!

So, yeah… *flicks back hair*.. we jumped in an Uber and arrived at the venue exactly on time! And a very good day we had, too. (*we paid our share! Don’t want you to think we made a Young Person pay for us).

Chris and I have ‘form’ when it comes to disastrous – or at least, near-disastrous – train journeys.

Ten years ago (eek) we went to Italy for a writing holiday and I wrote about it here. Honestly, we still laugh about that day and all that running. Not sure we could do it now… ! (I certainly couldn’t with my bad back!)

In other news…

I am still deciding on a name for character #3. She’s been Spud, Tattie and Dunk. But I’m still not happy. I will let you know.

I’ve just finished reading (or rather, listening to, on audio), ‘Leonard and Hungry Paul’ a debut by Dublin-based writer Ronan Hession. Anyone else read it?

I enjoyed it. It’s a bit like ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ but (shhh) perhaps not quite so good (because I LURVE Eleanor O) but definitely not as dark as Eleanor Oliphant. If you want a nice, gentle, feel-good book, that makes you laugh and think and won’t give you nightmares or make you cry, then I can recommend it.

This entry was posted in Books, West Midlands and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to In ‘Train’ ing…

  1. Penny A says:

    Yes, have read Leonard and Hungry Paul! Thought it strange but agreeable, clever too. The sort of book I was certain I would never hear about again, but couldn’t forget! Well I never…

    • There’s been quite a ‘buzz’ about Leonard and Hungry Paul (perhaps on Twitter? I can’t remember but I kept seeing recommendations for it and when I asked for book club suggestions by a male author, quite a few people said that book). I agree, it’s slightly odd and can imagine some people would hate it, but I liked it. A good gentle ‘listen’ on my long car journeys and it made me laugh, so that has to be a good thing!

  2. Beverley says:

    I like Tattie best.

    • Tattie is good, I agree, but it doesn’t work with another word I use in the novel, which is ‘Tallie’ (for the Italian POWs). They’re too similar, so Tattie had to go, sadly!

  3. Helen Lowry says:

    Sorry to hear about mum, that’s a long trip every day. Good luck with the extension, I’m sure you’ll get it finished in time.

    • Thanks Helen. Well, I’ve got to, so whatever state it’s in, I’ll just have to send it and hope for the best! There will be time for editing, anyway! (possibly lots of editing..!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s