Sweet Freedom!

flowers in my hanging basket (violas? pansies?)

Hello, I’m back!

So, here’s the news (apologies, it’s a bit of a whinge-fest!)

The first draft of the new novel – 85,000 words – winged its way to the editor on Friday, which was the new deadline, so at least I achieved that.


And I have a small window of about two weeks (if past edits are anything to go by) before it comes back to me, so it’s not over yet!

But I do have a little bit of downtime now, which is good as… my mum is still in hospital, partly because, wouldn’t you know it, having kept her safe from the dreaded covids, for three years, she caught it on a ward that they’d only transferred her to the day before.

Anyway, I couldn’t visit for 9 days, which was not great (yes, I could ring her but half the time she couldn’t or didn’t answer her mobile). She seems to be over covid now but is still not 100%.

It’s hard to be creative when you are worried, isn’t it?

My head is a bit all over the place, so I probably wasn’t in the best frame of mind to see ‘Everything, Everywhere, All At Once’ at the cinema on Saturday night. (NB: first night out for two months).

Have you seen it?

It’s the one that’s scooped all the Oscars recently (it won 7, including best film) and I have to say that yes, the acting was very good and so were the special effects. But …erm, the rest of it was just a blur of kung fu, flashing lights, noise and fighting (lots of fighting). Which is a bit like my head feels at the moment anyway!

People walked out! And I wanted to do the same but my OH was quite enjoying it (!) so I tried to go to sleep instead, but it was too noisy so I sat there until the bitter (oh so bitter) end.

I told you this was a whinge-fest, didn’t I?


Something that does help on the long drive to Gloucester, is listening to an audiobook on my Bluetooth thingy in the car.

I started ‘Demon Copperhead’ by Barbara Kingsolver which I’m sure is very good – because she’s a brilliant writer – BUT it’s quite heavy going (and narrated in a deep Southern drawl, which I have to concentrate to understand) – so I gave up after about an hour and now I’m half way though Richard Osman’s second novel ‘The Man Who Died Twice’ which is much better.

Short chapters, not too complicated, clear narration from Lesley Manville and .. even better.. it actually makes me laugh. That’s a perfect audiobook for when you’re driving, imo.

Vending Machine at Exeter St. Davids Station

And finally, something quite jolly: Penguin Random House have installed a vending machine at the station in Exeter St. Davids, from which you can purchase books!

Apparently, it was at that very station, back in 1934, that Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin, got the idea for the company, as he perused the station book stall and was not impressed by the quality or choice of the books and magazines on sale. (He was on his way back to London after visiting Agatha Christie, don’t you know).

That’s all folks! Hopefully next time I will be a little perkier! (Whoops, just Googled ‘perky’ to see if I could find a suitable, funny little picture to add here and… hmm, no, I should not have done that!)

I’ll give you Pinky and Perky instead. Remember them?!

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4 Responses to Sweet Freedom!

  1. Amanda BARTON says:

    I’m sorry to say I’m old enough to remember Pinky and Perky; thanks for reminding me! Best wishes to your mum for a speedy recovery, and congratulations on getting the novel in. Btw, if you want a cracking, funny read, then you can’t go wrong with Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. You’ve probably already read it.

    • Thank you, Amanda. Yes, I have read ‘Lessons in Chemistry’! How did you guess?! I went to a bookish event last year and Bonnie Garmus was actually one of the authors talking about her book on stage. She was great. And so inspiring (first novel published at ..63 I think it was). And yes, I agree, it’s a good read.

  2. Penny A. says:

    Hope your Mum improves soon; you have much to deal with at present, no doubt.

    Ah, the Dalibor puppets! Weird and wonderful, even in b-and-w on telly!

    And.. is ‘Demon Copperhead’ a take on David Copperfield? I think I read a review of same recently. Am currently working my way through much reading, but hope to sample the Kingsolver book at some time.

  3. Thanks, Penny. Yes, Demon Copperhead is an interpretation of David Copperfield but that’s about all I know. I haven’t wanted to look at any reviews or read too much about it, for fear of spoilers! I will get back to the audiobook at some point!

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