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Erastes [userpic]

Low carbs day 17 and other stuff, none of it good

June 15th, 2013 (05:57 pm)

I was a bit hungry today, and I can only put that down to a lack of fat – I didn’t have any butter with my breakfast fry up and all the day my stomach has been, not growling, but butterfly-y if you get me. I had a lot of yoghurt for lunch and a lot of chicken broth (home made) for dinner and i’m on 33 carbs which isn’t too bad.

Bad news about my father – the care home rang this afternoon and said that he’d had a fall and the GP had been called out. dad’s got a nasty chest infection (i put this squarely at him not having his vitamins every day, he’s never EVER had a cold, let alone a chest infection, but then for the last 40 years he’s had multivits, vitamin c, calcium supplements and cod liver oil every single day.) They asked me if there was a “higher directive” which I take to mean “instructions he’s left” as to whether in the instance it happens he didn’t want to go into hospital but is made comfortable at the nursing home. I had to be honest, he’s never said anything like that—although I think he would probably want it that way if he was compos mentis enough to be asked. I know he doesn’t want resuscitation, and I told them that when he was admitted, but just having to discuss that made me feel like a murderer.

so he’s on his way to the Norwich & Norfolk and whether he ever comes out again is a matter of time. I’ll go over to see how he’s doing tomorrow, although i doubt he’ll register the visit, he is really sunk into his own little world, but perhaps he might rally a bit in hospital. I suppose, though, although his decline has been sudden and shocking, at least he’s not in the pain mother was with her cancer.

I have two styes, never had a stye in my life and now I have two, one on the edge of my eyelid and one inside! really unpleasant.

Erastes [userpic]

Low carbs–day 16

June 14th, 2013 (12:50 pm)

I missed posting yesterday, but I’m sure you didn’t miss all this dull information!

I was good, though, and my total carb count was:23 this was mainly because I had bowls of chicken broth throughout the day and was never really in a hungry mood.

I wouldn’t mind some chocolate today but HATE dark/bitter stuff, I’ll have a good hard look at the GNAWFOLK peanut butter range when I go out with Sasha later, I’m only on around 10 so far today, so perhaps I can risk one bar of the stuff….



egg, bacon & mushroom hash cooked in butter as usual, cup white tea, half pint water

7 carbs

Lunch: hot roast chicken

home made hot lemon drink

white tea

3 carbs

Dinner: Not sure, possibly cauliflower and broccoli cheese.

Erastes [userpic]

Low Carbin’–two weeks!

June 12th, 2013 (07:17 pm)

And it’s been really easy, to be honest. Apart from today where I have had the carby munchies like you wouldn’t believe. this is not because I’m deprived of carbs, I think—but I lay the blame on an excess of vodka from last night…serves me right.

I set out to buy some pork scratchings – who would have thought that those disgustingly delicious bags of fat would work in a weight loss plan?—but failed to buy any. the guy in the garage I went into hadn’t even heard of them, so I got cheese instead.Pro think I’m going to have to find a real butcher (a rare thing these days) and get him to find me fatty meats and pig skin so I can make my own scratchings.

Probably just as well, anyway. I can imagine what people would think about a hugely fat person buying a bazillion bags of pork scratchings and a coke zero…

So today:

Breakfast hash as usual, black tea, pint of lemon drink – 7 carbs

Lunch/snacks 2 cups of home made chicken broth, huge lump of red leicester cheese, coke zero, some brazils, 2 frozen strawberries, celery stalk, white teas, 8 carbs

Dinner – tesco reformed peppered grill steaks x 2, pan of fried mushrooms and greens in butter 15 carbs. (although I need to get my tracker to recalculate the greens as they are coming up zero and that’s not right, but it’s the fibre, i should have added the fibre to the carbs, as it’s an american tracker which does that automatically!)

30 carbs in total.

Erastes [userpic]

Low carb Day 13

June 11th, 2013 (06:22 pm)

Aside from one slip, I’m proud of myself! sorry only to post about this stuff, but the other stuff going on? You really wouldn't want to hear about.!

and i am going to write 300 words today. I don’t know what on, but I’m going to OPEN WORD and do something. I hate the hundreds of emails in my inbox where everyone is having exciting new things happen to them—edits, publishing deals, conferences etc etc and all I have scheduled in my writing career is the release of I KNEW HIM later and that’s it. Nothing anywhere NEAR finished, or even having a plot where I know where it ends! If I can finish a book this year, that will be a goal I can do, and will help me get back on track.

I’m SO lucky—I know this—to have two wonderful publishers who believe in me, and friends who are happy to let me work stuff out and will welcome me back if and when I can drag my head out from under the duvet, so I need to stop grieving, stop navel gazing and get on with writing. My parents were both so supportive and proud of my writing—were they here, or able to understand, they would be disappointed and sad that I’m letting my writing slip because of them. If I can stick to this diet, sorry, new way of eating (not a diet)—and I am pretty sure I can, as it’s delicious—then I get get my head out of my arse and be the organised determined person I used to be with a single goal for my writing—to make gay historicals as popular as lesbian ones!

Breakfast: Scrambled Egg, Bacon, Mushrooms, fried in butter, white tea – 5 carbs

Lunch: lots of chicken, devoured Henry 8th stylee, natural yogurt with frozen blueberries –13 carbs

lemon drink – 2 pints – 2 carbs

wasn’t hungry in evening, nibbled on cucumber and brazils – possibly six carbs

24 total

Erastes [userpic]

Low Carb Day 12

June 10th, 2013 (11:43 am)

What I am looking forward to is getting my feet back. My feet started to go numb several years ago, just pins and needles in the toes at first and gradually worse and worse to the stage where I can’t now not wear shoes at any time (although the only shoes I can wear are Crocs, thank god for them (and Elin). I never wore shoes unless I had to, my mother encouraged that, as a child, taking the shoes off as soon as you got home—makes the feet healthier—and I’ve never changed from that. But now, because of the numbness of my feet, I have a reduced sense of balance. I’ve noticed that over the past 2 weeks the numbness is slightly (slightly) reduced, so I remain optimistic that I might get the feeling back eventually. I’m hoping the oedema will reduce too, although whether I’ll be left with hideous loose skin on my legs once the water retention has gone, or whether I’ll be stuck with it for ever, I don’t know.

Read more...Collapse )

Erastes [userpic]

Low carb day 11

June 8th, 2013 (06:10 pm)

Breakfast – breakfast: chopped bacon, one tomato, 2 oz cheese fried in butter, white tea - 8 carbs

Lunch: had breakfast quite late, and had to go and get the shopping at lunchtime so wasn’t hungry. pint of water, five strawberries – 4 carbs

dinner: really delicious! a big pan of wilted greens in butter and a dollop of peanut butter (you need a BUCKET of greens to get a decent amount…) 3 reformed pepper grillsteaks from tesco (first processed food, but only 2.3 carbs each, as they have breadcrumbs in them)  19 carbs

white tea – three– 2 carbs

pint of homemade lemon drink – 1 carb

34 carbs

Erastes [userpic]

Low carb day 10

June 7th, 2013 (08:42 pm)

Breakfast – bacon egg and mushrooms as before – pint of home made lemon drink 11 carbs

Lunch: roast chicken, 2 strawberries – pint of home made lemon drink – 3 carbs

dinner: asparagus in butter, s poached eggs, brocolli & cauli with cheese on 8 carbs

22 carbs(goalmax of 30)

i’m stuffed!

Erastes [userpic]

Low Carb day 9

June 6th, 2013 (06:01 pm)

I do feel better, which is the point I guess. Although I had a MAJOR sleepy hit me this morning after breakfast, so much so i had to go back to bed. don’t know if that is low carb related, or not. But I feel more alert in general, less ADHD ish.

No clue as to any weight loss, which is a shame because i really need that encouragement. However the water loss seems to be kicking in as I’m peeing for England. (tmi, I know…) Have bought some multivits, and some calcium+vitamin d to stop me fretting about lack of calcium and potassium.

today: Breakfast, 2 eggs, 3 rasher bacon, cup of sliced mushrooms fried in butter, black tea – 10 carbs

Lunch: roast chicken, 200g full fat yogurt with 10 blueberries and four Brazils: 15 carbs

dinner: two large mugs of home made chicken broth made with chicken carcass, matthesson sausage, celery stick, bacon and the onion from inside the chicken. – 3 carbs.

snack: 3 strawberries: 3 carbs

total 31 carbs. Open-mouthed smile

Erastes [userpic]

Day 8 (skips)

June 5th, 2013 (06:38 pm)

I never do this. I went into a store today – just to buy dog food – and started staring at the shelves and boggling at all the stuff I wasn’t allowed.

Then I cheered up, bought a matthesson garlic sausage and scoffed it in the car. Open-mouthed smile carb free wickedness!


Breakfast 2 eggs/bacon/mushroom fried hash in butter, handful of blueberries – 8 carbs

Lunch: hot roast chicken legs,  - zero carbs, two strawberries: 2 carbs

snack: aforesaid matthesson garlic sausage – zero carbs

two pints of water with lemon juice and hermesetas – 1 carb

dinner vegetable stock, three tomatoes, – half cup brazils – 15 carbs

total 26 (target, not more than 30)

Erastes [userpic]

day 7

June 4th, 2013 (07:18 pm)

Am disgustingly pleased with myself that I’ve done a week. Shopping is easy as I just re-order most of what I had last week from Tesco online. No temptation from the demon supermarkets. I’ve just seen, that as long as I faithfully feed the english muffin to Sasha/throw it out of the window, I can even have a double sausage egg mcmuffin from time to time which is great news because it’s only the meat eggs and cheese i like anyway.

Missed breakfast this morning as the shopping didn’t arrive until lunchtime, had 3 boiled eggs, an ounce of cheese and a cuppa tea for lunch. Then a steak, and vegetable cheese (boiled mixed veg covered in cheese and grilled) for dinner with four large strawberries. .

I want to move to Philly as I think cheese steak is possibly my favourite thing ever. Don’t know why I haven’t mixed the two before seeing as how cheeseburgers are such a great love!

I’m using the www.sparkpeople.com food tracker – it doesn't track low carb diets specifically, but you can tweak the tracking to track net carbs in the final report which you request when you’ve eaten everything. It’s a tad confusing because the carbs it tracks as you go are carbs with fibre, so it always seems you are scoffing more carbs than you are. However, today I managed to get a reasonable calorie count as well as a good carb count, so that’s a double win. It also tracks potassium and i’m lacking, so that’s handy to know.

I am beginning to want alcohol, though. However, vodka is about the only option (that I like and is carb free) and I hesitate from suddenly becoming that woman who buys wine once a week to the woman who buys a bottle of vodka once a week…..and it’s blood test day tomorrow but buggrit. Haven’t had a drink for nearly two weeks and I NEED IT!! 

Erastes [userpic]

Day six!

June 3rd, 2013 (05:21 pm)

Cor! day six!

The major problem I have is that I am unable to weigh myself due the to the heaviness. I went into the doctors a few years back and told him that I (obviously) wanted to lose weight and could I come in and weigh myself once a week and he said no. (He’s terribly supportive as you can tell). He said he couldn’t tie up a nurse once a week to do something like that. turns out also that he doesn’t have one of those sliding weight scales anyway that goes up to major stones. I can easily highlight this man’s incompetence by the way he tried to weigh me. He put me on TWO sets of scales, one foot on each…. amazingly – and that will should you – that didn’t work!

There used to be scales everywhere in public places  what happened to them?

So the only way I can assess my loss is by clothes or by measuring my waist, perhaps. It’s annoying because I won’t get that encouragement or even know if I AM losing. My doubt about the programme is still very high, despite all the books/articles/websites, still finding it difficult to understand that I can have a lovely mess of bacon and eggs in butter and lose weight  it still goes against everything I’ve ever been taught.

Yesterday: Breakfast: egg and bacon and veggies in butter. Lunch  -(quite a lot of) chicken off the bone, celery and cucumber, dinner: asparagus in butter, yoghurt blueberries brazils, couple of huge strawberries.

Today: Breakfast: egg and bacon and veggies as above, lunch: chicken bouillon made with veggies and carcass of chicken, dinner: trout, asparagus in olive oil. strawberries.

Didn’t want dinner, actually, but thought i’d better eat rather than get hungry later and scoff all the strawberries in the fridge (have loads of them!)

Erastes [userpic]

Day 5 and Dad

June 2nd, 2013 (10:42 am)

It’s interesting, actually. When I was living at home my mother had a very simple “diet” that she or my dad would do just to knock off a stone if they’d crept up too much.

Neither of them were overweight – so I can’t exactly blame the genes, but dad would creep up to 11 or 12 stone and mum would go up to 9 stone and then they’d act (Mum was short).

she simply restricted bread cakes biscuits and anything with wheat!  One potato a day, or one slice of bread a day and the weight would fall off the pair of them. I don’t think at all that she knew the science of it, simply that it worked.

Looks like my mother could have been Atkins and made a fortune if she’d published a cook book back in the 60’s!!

It’s nice to learn that several of you have been inspired to Low carb-along with me, so let us all encourage each other. I’m going to make a list with you in an read it separately. I DO feel better, which is possibly just psychosomatic, but I do. The sun helps a lot, too.

Had a call from Dad’s Nursing Home last night to tell me that Dad isn’t very well and could I come over and visit as he’s “low” in spirits. I’m going over today, although I don’t think my presence will do anything, as he doesn’t seem aware that I’m there, tbh.

what annoyed me was it was a so-called “Nurse” that called me, and couldn’t tell me what the doctor had said. “he’s got an infection so he’s on antibiotics” she said. and when I asked “infection of what?” she said “Oh, just a general infection” which is complete bollocks. She refused to admit that a particular thing must be infected and ended up getting annoyed with me for asking questions. I was not impressed when they had specifically said to me that I would be informed AT EVERY SINGLE CHANGE that he had had the practice nurse called out last thursday and I hadn’t been rung. she said “oh we tried your land line on saturday but there was no answer” which is NO EXCUSE. they have my mobile number (er… can we say TEXTS if you can’t get through on the mobile) and they have my email address so I’m singuglarly unimpressed.

I hope dad isn’t going into a decline, but – and I know this sounds awful – I don’t know if it wouldn’t be the best thing for him, as his quality of life is just about zero. He’s never been sick in his life (and I’m not exaggerating here, he’s had about one cold in 40 years, and other than breaking some ribs at Shell, and having a hernia he’s just never been sick – so all these “infections” are worrying, but I suppose it’s what old people pick up from each other in close proximity. *worries*

Erastes [userpic]

Day 4

June 1st, 2013 (05:01 pm)

Yesterday: Breakast: eggs, bacon & veggies sauteed in butter, tea. water water water

Lunch: trout & veggies sauteed with sour cream and butter (!) tea, water water water

dinner: , chicken with raw veggies, half cup of natural full fat yog with hermeseta, blueberries and brazils

Although people say lard is good, my upbringing really finds it difficult to grok that it IS good for you – full of omega 3 and vitamin d, apparently, but I can’t get my head around the goodness of it. I’ll stick with butter right now.

today: Breakfast eggs & bacon,

Lunch: lots of raw veggies and a little chicken just cooked for tomorrow.

dinner: chicken and vegetable soup/broth made from bones of chicken – delicious! – half cup yoghurt, blueberries and brazils.

Loving this  - I have to say. I think it helps that I’ve never been someone who’s eaten normally and grazes, I don’t miss carbs at all, but they say I might get a carb crash in the second week, although I don’t know what that might feel like.

Erastes [userpic]

Keepy Uppy

May 31st, 2013 (09:18 am)

Day 3!

Yesterday there was:

bacon & egg hash with tea/half cup yoghurt with brazils and blueberries

nibbles during the day, cucumber, celery, brazils, cherry tomatoes

inside of a pork pie (had to take a punt on this – know it’s high fat but wasn’t sure what the filling was mixed with) picked off ALL the pastry and gave it to Sasha…Spo

Dinner, roast chicken with skin, raw veggies broccoli and cauliflower.

Not enough fat, I realise that  - will cook in butter from now, rather than Olive Oil, that should help, and I have some soured cream which I can do something with eggs and cheese today I’m sure. (oh the days when I could pour butter and sour cream over a big baked spud) Someone needs to genetically engineer a 15 glycaemic potato. they’d make a FORTUNE.

But all in all its pretty enjoyable. I’m not hungry (although that’s not unusual, I’m rarely hungry and don’t EAT because I’m hungry but I am appreciating food a little more, and I’m having breakfast which is a change – before it was often 4pm before I ate anything leaving me strung out.

This morning I made a bacon and egg hash again (fatty bacon misshapes from tesco, none of your lean rubbish ) with fried vegetables mixed in. Cup of tea, couple of Brazils. the Brazils have so much crunch I think they fool my brain into thinking “toast”.

Lunch will be pan fried trout (half of one) in butter with loads of veggies, some yoghurt and blueberries.

I’ve made a big bottle of water, flavoured with lemon juice with a couple of hermesetas dissolved in, it’s really nice!

Had a headache yesterday, and a small one today - looked it up, probably salt reduction (other option was caffeine but I’m having the same amount of tea as before) so am adding a little more salt to food than I normally would, and a touch in the water too.

THANK YOU ALL for your suggestions, links and tips. It’s so great to know that you are interested and behind me on this. Here’s hoping the fog will lift and I’ll be wanting to write soon.

Erastes [userpic]

well, it’s a start

May 30th, 2013 (09:00 am)

I am not as big as I was yesterday. It may be minuscule, but it’s true!


several cups of tea (didn’t drink enough fluid, i know that..)

punnet blueberries

half a trout  - panfried, how wonderful, haven’t had fried anything for so long

lots of raw broccoli and cauli dipped in salsa (which I shouldn’t have bought, i should have made)

half a raw carrot

handful of Brazils.

not a great deal, but then i don’t move around much. calorie wise it’s not enough, I know, but I can’t count calories AND do carbs. in fact, if you go on what atkins starts you at (20mg) I had too many carbs, as the blueberries seem to be stuffed with them, so I don’t know why they are recommended, but ho hum – some of this stuff is a real mystery.

Today: Just had a pan of egg and bacon hash. – wonderful to have fried food and not care about it. I mean wow!  I’ll have the remaining trout and some veggies for lunch and probably a yogurt and brazil bowl of stuff in the evening. it’s the boredom munchies that also get to me, and i can’t eat a ton of fruit, so it will have to be more raw veggies until i can do some research into other stuff. I want to buy some flat mushrooms as the idea of cheese filled mushrooms is making my mouth water.

i’m feeling confident about this – i have found a low carb bread recipe made from nut flour, but the ingredients may be hard to track down around here!  I’ll see how desperate i get for bread before I go that way, anyway – if i need to change my habits, just going back to bread and butter isn’t going to do it.

Erastes [userpic]


May 29th, 2013 (09:49 am)

After months of Not Starting The Healthy Eating, I’ve been reading a lot (since a segment on BBC The Food Programme) about sugar being the cause of ills and cutting carbs and therefore sugars as being the best way to lose weight.

So…I’m going to give a low carb/sugar eating regime a try and have consequently bought this week’s shopping in light of that.

What is very hard for me to grasp is to lose hold of all the “rules” I’ve been taught and thought were sacrosanct, such as consuming fat isn’t bad and changing to full fat milk/yogs and the like – things like cheeseburgers are OK (as long as not processed) as long as there’s no bun. It’s a complete change in my mindset and will probably take a lot more research and absorbing.

Cold drinks are going to be a bit of an issue because I do like cold drinks and probably drink too much squash (although it is sugar free) and sugar free fizzy drinks. But they are stuffed with carbs, apparently – who knew? – and are a no-no now. I looked at a bottled of flavoured water – Volvic lemon – and was rather shocked at the amount of carbohydrate and sugar in it – 15 percent of a RDA in each 100ml. I mean, wow. So, as I drank the entire litre in one car ride, I drank 150 % of my RDA with just that bottle of what I THOUGHT was just water.

Tea and milk are OK, so I’ll fall back on the old cuppa – and perhaps, if it gets hot, think about making jugs of iced lemon tea. I got addicted to lemon tea when I did my world trip, but it never tasted the same back here, but I can experiment and get that refreshment back.

So, wish me luck. I MUST do this now, as I’m really finding walking about difficult. Swollen legs painful knees and more. If I can shed a couple of stone quite quickly (here’s hoping) it will help my mobility which will help with the activity. I’ve put on even more weight since dad was hospitalised, because I haven’t been moving about during the day like I used to be – and not eating as healthily while I was there – much easier to buy a pizza than to cook meat and two veg for one.

I know that a few of you have given this a go, so any advice, sites, recipes, tips you can give me would be so completely appreciated you can’t imagine. I have been obsessing already about the lack of pasta, and have found some suritaki noodles which are made from some magical plant roots and are carb/sugar free which sounds fabulous. I won’t care if they taste like nothing because hell – I CAN HAVE CHEESE! Open-mouthed smile

I’m trusting my addictive nature that if I research the hell out of this, rather than sticking my head in the sand like I normally do, I can be as obsessive about this as I have with other hobbies.

Erastes [userpic]

ok–here’s the update

May 16th, 2013 (12:52 pm)

sorry sorry – I’ve been missing and there’s no real good reason for it.

Basically the short story is that Dad went into mental assessment, and was found not to need full time mental care but did need to go into care so that’s what’s happened. I didn’t deal with it very well and for months now I’ve been hiding away from the world in general. I haven’t been chatting, or emailing (my email inbox is at the 3,000 mark…) I haven’t been writing and I can’t even find the enthusiasm to READ. That worries me because I’ve always been a voracious reader and now I can’t stay focussed to read more than a couple of pages. I am fairly sure it’s depression but whether it’s because of Dad or the last 18 months of winter or my age I don’t know.

I have an appointment with the doc this evening, but I’m not holding out much hope that he’ll be any help.

Dad has really gone downhill. It may be the drugs but he’s almost immobile – six months ago he was fitter than me, and could run and climb ladders and the like, now he can hardly stand and he shuffles about. He’s gone almost entirely grey (this may not sound unusual for an 84 year old but he’s never been grey until now) and LOOKS 84 if not older. He doesn’t talk just sits. I am sure he knows who I am and he’s probably pleased to see me but I doubt he knows I was there and he doesn’t miss me. It’s a bit of a shock to realise that both parents have gone, especially if one is still there in shell form, at least.

I just have no interest in doing anything. Like right this minute, I’m sitting in Dad’s house and I should be packing china into boxes and frankly I can’t be arsed but I know it has to be done. Instead I’m blogging this and watching coronation street and playing freecell. I’ve just never felt like this before, and it’s not nice.

I feel better than I did, perhaps a month or so ago, perhaps that’s the better weather – I’ve been making sure I go and sit in the sun for at least half an hour a day, thanks goodness for sasha, because she has to have her run and therefore I have to go out. Thank goodness for her in general, as she refuses to let me cry which I found myself doing a lot until recently, she LAUNCHES herself onto my lap and licks me until i start laughing and all the tears have gone. She’s very anti-crying!

anyway – that’s the situation at the mo, because of my inability to want to do anything I haven’t got the house cleared/decorated/cleaned but that should all be happening in the next week or so. then i can get it rented out, but even with two decent pensions AND the rental, it’s not going to cover the £600 a week care home fee, so the rest will accumulate as a debt against the house, but it SHOULD mean that as only a portion of the fees will go against the house, there SHOULD be some money left in the equity when the house comes to me. that’s if dad goes first! I’ve also got a work experience placement to apply for, and I’m worried sick as to what to do with Sasha, she’ll have to go into kennels, I suppose as a daily boarder and I hate to do that to her. that’s if I get it, so I’ll worry about that if i do.

so, I’ll try and be around a bit more, even if it’s only once a week. I have some editing to do for “I Knew Him” which needs to be done by end of July so it will come out later in the year so I’ll keep you posted on that too.

Cheers, me dears.

Erastes [userpic]

for those keeping score

February 4th, 2013 (03:55 pm)

I haven’t fallen off the wagon – but I came close!  I had a “couple” of drinks on Friday night and then was hit by something on saturday that I haven’t experienced since my youf – the munchies like you wouldn’t BE-LEEVE. real carbohydrate – omg i must eat them or DIEE…. munchies. I managed to get through them by making a massive bowl of pasta and putting in light soft cheese – not terribly slimming but it could have been a lot lot worse considering i had to drive past a McDonald’s.

So no major mishap and I’m still keeping on. It’s great to say “Day SIX” instead of not having started at all.

I FEEL better. More alert, more … well-being, if you get me. Even if it’s still an effort to get around. I will NOT go immobile. I will NOT.

Went to see Dad on saturday, but frankly I am beginning to wonder why – what the point is. It doesn’t make me feel any better and while it might make him happy for a minute or two, he generally gets argumentative after about ten minutes and the very moment he’s out of my eyesight for one second, he’s forgotten I ever came down. I’m still waiting to hear about his assessment and where they are going to put him next.

Finished Sasha’s jacket, but I’m not happy with it, it’s too large around the waist even though i made it a lot smaller than the pattern said but it will do for cold mornings in the car, and the forecast says we are going to get more arctic weather this week. I didn’t do cuffs around the leg holes because I think that would be too restrictive but it’s not bad. I don’t think i’d try this pattern again, but perhaps look for one for a dog with her measurements. Her trouble is she’s an extra large around the chest (takes after her mother! Open-mouthed smile) but with a tiny waist (not so much… )


Erastes [userpic]

#Plumpy'Nut© Challenge!

January 29th, 2013 (10:51 am)

I’ve never asked for money or sponsorship on this blog but I’m going to do so today.

On 21st February, I’ll be doing the Plumpy'Nut© Challenge which entails eating nothing but Plumpy'Nut© for one whole day.


This challenge is for everyone, just live off on Plumpy'Nut© for one day! This is the very same food that Merlin provides to take children from the doorstep of starvation to living health lives. Raise just £50 and help to spread the word!


What is Plumpy'Nut©?

It’s an edible peanut paste, packed with calories and vitamins, that is specially formulated to feed starving children. In 2012, Merlin has saved the lives of countless children using nutty pastes just like this.

What’s the Challenge?

Plumpy'Nut© is the last resort for many children in east Africa. Some are so badly malnourished their lives are so much in danger, it can take up to eight weeks to stabilise them.

I’m hoping to raise approximately fifty quid – that’s not much is it? But it will make a difference. Fifty pounds is all that’s needed to take a starving child from malnourished to healthy, so please consider giving what you can.  Here’s my fundraising page. At no point does the money pass through my hands, so you know that it’s all going to charity and not into my pocket!!

On the day I’ll be tweeting about the experience and boring you all rigid!  I hope the threat of that spurs you into taking part too.

Erastes [userpic]

Knitting! End of one project, start of another/Dominion

January 19th, 2013 (09:43 pm)

Had to Frog – (completely dismantle, i.e. rippit, rippit) my Jayne hat, as I finished it and 1. it was HUGE and 2. it was twisted and irredemably so. So I guess I will have to learn how to use circular needles properly, won’t i? I’m rather the sort of person who will just “open the box and start using” – I never bother to read any kind of instructions. And it gets me into trouble more often than not.

However, I’ve just ordered some wool for a big jacket. Got grey (which is not at all my colour) because basically all the cool colours were sold out or too bloody expensive and if I want to wear my lovely scarf with it, it needs to be neutral, and I wear too much black as it is.

Here’s the jacket: I did buy very cheap wool, so it will only cost me £20 for the whole thing. The wool they suggest was five quid a ball, which would have come out as £105!!! Luxurious but rather defeats the object of “saving me money by making my own clothes.” If I could afford that money, I’d be buying gorgeous things from, yanno, SHOPS.


I had mouth watering moments over some lovely cable cardigans but I am going to have to work up to something like that – I’ve only done simple cables once and that was a long time ago, and am not ready to re-size an existing pattern including cables.

As for my scarf, I really don’t know what I did without it!  Not only can i wear it as a traditional scarf, but also as it’s so wide, as a headscarf/scarf, and the other day on the beach I could not only sit on it, saving me from piles from the freezing concrete sea-wall, but could also put it over my knees!

Anyway, of little interest to most of you, I know, but it’s nice to talk about something more optimistic.

I’ve been reading “Dominion” by CJ Samson and I’ll do a full review when it’s done, but I have to say that these best-selling authors aren’t any better than the rest of us. It’s a good premise (what would have happened if Britain had caved after Dunkirk and Churchill hadn’t been PM) but the pacing is frankly terrible. For some reason, Samson seems to want to tell us the ins and outs of every single character’s background which is achieved by gurt big lumping bits of backstory which KEEP shoe horning into the plot whenever it manages to get going and when the plot really starts to ramp up and get SCARY – he STILL does it by going back and telling us what somebody did earlier in the fucking day. I’m enjoying it, but I feel I’m just putting up with the crappy bits in an effort to find out what happens.

Which is something I do with Dan Brown, and it’s better than that. Not a great deal, to be honest, but a bit.

It also has the (as far as I’m concerned) frankly unforgiveable method of having the character consider his own appearance—whether it’s in a mirror or a shop reflection or whatever. PLEASE, authors. Don’t do this. We don’t really need to know that badly. And it’s easily dealt with via ANOTHER character’s POV. The backstory could have also been dealt with in the plot itself too, for the main part.

Anyway. Onwards and upwards.

Erastes [userpic]

Dad, Snow, Sasha

January 18th, 2013 (07:17 pm)

Well, I’ve been down to see Dad a couple of times since he went into the Mental Ward and I don’t know if I’m not making matters worse. Probably it’s only bad for me, because I know he doesn’t remember that I’ve been there literally a few seconds after I go, but my visits consist of us sitting in a visiting lounge holding hands and him asking me over and over where he is and what he should do. The first time I went he was very dopey but yesterday he was a lot more alert, although just as confused. When I went to go he started searching for his coat and said “you can drop me off” and then when I said “no, you have to stay here” he started off with the “no, please don’t lock me in a home” as he did when he was first put into the residential home he didn’t stay in. It’s heartbreaking. The nurses – whilst not being at all as reassuring or interested in me as the care home nurses were (after all, they aren’t being paid a fortune, so I can sort of understand that) are professional and on the ball. I waved one down and she came and distracted him while another nurse let me out.

I can’t say I could ever work in that environment as what they seem to spend most of their time doing is chasing the patients around the place!  I couldn’t understand why they didn’t let visitors into the lounge, but now I suppose it’s because it’s a big place with a lot of (possibly) potentially dangerous people around so they can’t really say you are going to be safe unless you are in a one-to-one situation with your relative.  It’s upsetting but I’m grateful—particularly today with the six inches of snow—that he’s in somewhere warm and secure where someone is feeding him, because this is the worst weather we’ve had since he’s been as incapable as he is now and I’d have had to go over every day in the snow.

Anyway, that’s where we are at the moment, he’ll be there for up to 28 days, possibly less and then they’ll place him somewhere else. He’s been playing up at night, they say, saying that all these people have to get out of his house, and although I’m sad to hear he’s that confused, I’m glad they’ve seen that behaviour, becuase I think adult protection is the only route in the future. We’ll have to see.

It’s wonderfully snowy, snowy enough even for this snow-phile. Poor Sasha has only had a short run today, but she did love it and ran around like a loony.  Hence the slightly blurry video.

Hopefully I’ll be back on form soon, I am trying, but all I feel like doing is pulling the covers over my head to be honest!

Erastes [userpic]

Dad again…

January 12th, 2013 (05:34 pm)

OK – so I had a call  yesterday from the social services who were over at Dad’s nursing home, she’d gone over with 2 doctors to assess dad under the Mental Health Act and they had decided that he needed to be in a mental ward of a hospital while he’s properly assessed – sectioned in other words, poor man. I knew it would come to that, to be honest. I didn’t think the care home would be any good for him, despite all their assurances. So they took him over there last evening, and I rang first thing to see how he was copying.  The nurse I spoke to was a lot less obsequious than the care home managers (I guess it’s because the patient isn’t paying £500 a week) but he was factual and informative – said Dad had had something to eat last night and actually got some sleep after two nights of not sleeping – he was still asleep when I called in fact. The visiting times are not all day, but I’ll pop over for an hour or however long it takes sometime tomorrow – they said to ring in the morning.

It’s terribly sad for him, he’ll know that he has been taken from his home and I don’t know what they’ve told him but I actually feel less upset about it than I did a couple of days ago. I have no idea what the place is like, i suppose i’ll find out tomorrow.

Thanks to each and every one of you that has passed on your good wishes – I haven’t been able to reply to most of them, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me for that.

I feel a tad lost, because I feel I’m in limbo – I feel there’s something I should be doing – my life has pretty much revolved around him for so many years and suddenly I’ve nothing to do. I suppose I’ll have to write! Stress drives that right out of the window, I’m afraid.

As for the Amazon debacle – what a load of wankers. hundreds of my reviews have been deleted – so I’m simply not going to bother in future, only on Speak Its Name and on Goodreads.

Erastes [userpic]

Don’t Know Why I thought it was over…

January 11th, 2013 (09:59 am)

So Dad isn’t settling, despite all the care home’s reassurances that he’d be settled in nicely after a couple of days. I knew he wouldn’t be. He’s not confused enough to suddenly think it’s his home – so he’s been acting up pretty badly.

They rang me at FOUR O CLOCK – I mean for fuck’s sake – I mean what the hell was I supposed to do that they couldn’t? To tell me that he’d “abused a service user” which is jargon for he’d manhandled another inmate. Luckily I wasn’t awake at 4am or 7am when they rang, and my mobile doesn’t have much signal at home, and was downstairs anyway so I didn’t get the calls and I called them back at 9 to get the details.

Apparently he pulled an old woman out of her bed – saying that if it was HIS house, as everyone had been saying, that he wanted everyone to leave. I can sort of understand his reasoning. But that’s not good behaviour, obviously. So his doctor is going to see him today (like THAT will help…) and they are pushing to get the mental health assessment done as soon as possible. I was told that that would happen YESTERDAY but apparently it didn’t.

I think that, as things are – and I told my doctor this months and months ago – and my mother had also done the same (so it just goes to show how long this has been the case as she died 6 years ago) he’s not able to integrate into a normal retirement home – even sedated, as he is now which has made no difference at all. I think he’s going to end up in a mental home, because I don’t know how else he’s going to be managed.

Erastes [userpic]

Dad update

January 9th, 2013 (07:17 pm)

Well, today he went into a home. He was all for it yesterday, when the ladies came and visited to tell him about it, but of course, he doesn’t remember them coming and he can change his mind in heartbeat (and then deny he ever had the opposite view, ever!) let alone overnight. So I didn’t pack him a bag before we went as I knew he’d object, so I just made it look like we were going out for lunch.  Once we got through the door he realised and started saying “What have you done!?” and saying he wanted to go home so they whisked me off to see his bedroom (very nice indeed with a lovely view of the courtyard garden, it’s an old Rectory) and had a talk with me with much much reassurance. Then they sneaked me out so he didn’t see me again and didn’t get more wound up. I packed a bag for him and took it back this afternoon.

Apparently it took him a couple of hours to calm down but by the time I got there he was chatting to one of the lady residents and was laughing and joking. They have told him he’s having a holiday so that I can have a holiday – which is partially true, and is actually something they can continue to tell him because he won’t know he’s been there for five minutes or five years.

But I feel like crap. Seriously like crap. I’m going to ring the Alzheimer’s society tomorrow just to talk to someone about it, and find out if there are counselling sessions or perhaps (hollow laugh) my doctor will be able to recommend somewhere (i doubt it)(he’ll probably blame it on my weight….) I feel guilty and sick and restless and although we didn’t talk much on the phone towards the end, because he didn’t hear it often, I can’t ring him and hear his voice.  I suppose i’ve got to go through all the normal symptoms with a load of added guilt, even though I know I’ve done the right thing. The only thing.

He’s being assessed tomorrow under the Mental Health Act, just in case he’s too much for them to handle, and if that happens he’ll be moved to a secure hospital and sectioned.But they say they can manage him, and I hope they can. When I was packing his bag, it was worrying the things I found – he had a hammer in his bedside table, a rolling pin in a drawer and a shillelagh by the bed. So it’s quite possible he might have hurt someone at some point.

i got very very drunk last night – and I wish I’d kept it for tonight, to be honest.

The home is a bit… faded, it has to be said – although they said that they are having an update “soon” but the social worker had already warned me that it’s not very plush but the care is excellent, and from what I’ve seen that’s true.

They don’t want me to visit for a week, which is fine, it will give me time to unwind and it will hopefully give him some time to settle in. I’m welcome to visit at any time of the day or night after that, take him out for the day etc, but i don’t really want to be doing that, because he’ll not want to go back or something. I’ll have to see how he is after his week.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me, or commented here, on FB, on Twitter, it’s much appreciated. You’ll never know how much. I don’t know what I’d do without al of you, and that’s the truth.

Erastes [userpic]

Dad Crisis continued.

January 8th, 2013 (02:11 pm)

The saga continues. And I don’t really understand why I have to deal with it. I know that sounds selfish, but I’m his daughter. I’m not his guardian, his wife, whatever. I’m his daughter, and yet everyone expects me to look after him 24/7 until this is all resolved. He’s got two other daughters, granted they are not in contact and I don’t know where they are anyway, but I don’t really get why “i’m responsible.” If I were to drive off on holiday, I suppose, no one would actually blame me – I could simply ring the Social services and tell them I’m off – and then they’d HAVE to do something about him, but of course, I’m not that kind of person although I truly wish I were. When I think the more base thoughts I have, and some of them are pretty base, believe me, at least I can shore myself up with the fact that I wouldn’t just drive off and desert him.

So. If you were listening yesterday, Read more...Collapse )

Erastes [userpic]

Dad crisis

January 5th, 2013 (01:15 pm)

So, Thursday I hadn't been in long, and the phone went - an unusual occurrence in itself and general doesn't mean anything good--the way telegrams didn't bring good news in wartime.

It's the ambulance service who had been called out because Dad was wandering about in the middle of the road with a parcel under his arm. Read more...Collapse )

Erastes [userpic]

What an unusual colour for a sky!

December 31st, 2012 (09:15 pm)

BLUE!  Bizarro! Who knew?


one slippered foot=one skippered foot

ganymede handed Zeus a cup=ganymede handed Zeus a cue

he raged against his broken heart=he raced against his broken heart

Dad sweet and jolly yesterday. today we had “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE AND NEVER COME BACK!” because of the tesco shopping (no, i don’t get it either)- Sasha gets so scared, and I hate him for that.

Been over the Standish manuscript one more time and hopefully have spotted any problems so it’s off to the publisher when I can get online at home tonight. Really looking forward to the re-issue of that, and hopefully it will pull it into the eye of people who haven’t read it yet. Specially with that eye-catching new cover.

I’ve emailed Running Press about getting the rights back to Transgressions, as they had promised me an answer by the end of October(!) but of course they had already stopped for their Christmas Break so I won’t hear anything there until the New Year at the earliest.

I’m also going to contact Jean Wossit at “Noble" whatever its called now, because – once again—he said he’d be able to tell me if I could have the rights back to Last Gasp weeks ago and I’ve heard nothing. I was promised that it would be promoted and put onto all sorts of 3rd party sites but seeing as how the royalties were again this time about 50p if that has been done—which I doubt—it’s made no difference to the sales. I seriously think that it would be better if all four authors published their parts separately. I know it would make more money for each of us that way. A four novella book (specially in print which is huge and ugly) puts people off I think and of course you don’t sell four times as much, you only get to share in a fourth of a normal sale. Lesson Learned, I think.

Finished my scarf – it’s not quite as long as I wanted it, but sadly I almost ran out of purple wool so I won’t be able to do a slouch hat that matches (bought the wool as a job lot on ebay with no bands or makers name or colour name so I have no idea what it is other than purple and green 4 play) so the decreasing doesn’t exactly match the increasing but you’d only notice with a tape measure. it’s SO WARM it’s wonderful and wide enough to use as a headscarf and a scarf at the same time. Going to carry on with the Jayne Hat now (which matches nothing I own, but never mind, Big Damn Heroes) and if it’s too big when I’ve done it, I’ll probably unpick it (or tink it, as I’ve heard the knitting world name is for it!) and start again with perhaps 100 stitches rather than 120.

Watched Ripper Street and Moon last night – Ripper Street was… Good Lord what HAS happened to BBC costume drama? It’s like they’ve fallen into the 50 Shades of Grey universe and they’ve got to make it as scandalous as possible or they are terrified that people won’t watch. Surely they could have learned a lesson from Downton Abbey where you can have 85 minutes of NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENING OTHER THAN AT THE END but it’s all so beautifully shot, beautifully locationed, beautifully costumed and beautifully acted no-one actually notices that the script is a pile of poo.

Ripper Street . The trouble is I know I’m going to stick with it for the meantime anyway, because, like millions of others I’m addicted to costume drama and the BBC know this. But … gah! it was almost unwatchable as far as I was concerned. When the characters weren’t mumbling out of the sides of their mouths (Jerome, please enunciate a little better!) they were drowned out by the sound effects or crowd noises and when people did have long speeches, mostly Wossit MacFadyen, what he said was so funny it wasn’t true. They were probably trying to make him unique and give him a unique voice but there was no explanation why he was using language more suited to Garrow’s Law than nearly 100 years later. Or perhaps he was given dialect words like “feared of no one” but when it comes out of the cut-glass accent of Macfadyens voice it doesn’t work. For gods sake GIVE US A REASON why he’s talking like a nitwit! It’s not good enough that “it’s in the past” because no one else was talking like that.

The plot line involved Victorian Snuff Movies. Yes. Really. The trouble with this being—not so much that someone was doing it, because as (I think it was) Bill Bailey said recently in QI – it took about ten minutes from the person who invented photography to work out he could take pictures of naked women, so I’m sure such things existed—but the bad research that in 1889 MacFadyen “detected” that the stills he spotted could possibly some new fangled invention, where the (gasp!) photographs could be shown to move.

REALLY.And when he found the miscreant he bellowed “whatever comes of this, whatever punishments, that device is extraordinary!” er… well, considered that moving pictures had been around for about 30 years prior to 1889 it’s not EXACTLY cutting edge. But perhaps wherever MacFadyen had been in his Georgian Yokel time tunnel he really hadn’t heard of Muybridge and Lumiere. 

The research relating to the tube stations was way off too. But then I’m picky about this stuff.

As for “Moon” – it was an interesting little piece and I can understand why it was critically acclaimed. Good for Zowie Bowie to hide his light under a bushel and bill himself as his changed name of Duncan Jones. I enjoyed it but it also suffered from Mumbling Syndrome (and no, there’s nothing wrong with my ears) and I didn’t quite get how he escaped but it was an interesting concept although a little dull all round and had shades of Bladerunner and 2001 A Space Odyssey all over it.

Talking of Bladerunner, started to watch that after Moon but couldn’t stick it. Listen, Ridley. I GREW UP WITH THE ORIGINAL VERSION. I LOVE THE ORIGINAL VERSION. GIVE IT BACK TO ME. MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO BUY. I want the voiceover. It JUST DOESN’T WORK WITHOUT IT. Without it, it’s just a pretty film with long boring silences.

Drinking myself into the new year so whatever you are doing tonight, be safe and I hope 2013 brings me much of what you want and work for.

Oh – and if you fancy voting for me over at the m/m Goodreads polls as BEST AUTHOR!!!! then please do!


Erastes [userpic]

Post Christmas catchup

December 28th, 2012 (05:09 pm)

Well it was a quiet Christmas. Christmas Day was pretty ghastly, to be honest as Dad was in one of his worst moods and arguing with me whatever I said. It’s difficult to explain how he is, he’s not completely ga-ga as it were, he obviously thinks he’s quite compos mentis in his own head but he has no logical centre, or is losing it. He’ll put a dinner plate in his underwear drawer and then when I say “why did you put this in here?” he’ll say “I didn’t” and if I were to push it he’d be two steps from shouting me out of the house. So I no longer ask and I no longer push. On Christmas Day I was in the kitchen and said “please can you get me the breadknife” and he handed me a wooden spoon, “is this what you wanted?” So when I say it’s Christmas he just looks at me or says “Christmas, eh?” but he has no connection with it. You and I would automatically think “oh no, I didn’t get her a present” but he just looks up and then carries on with whatever he was doing. So that’s why it was a bit of a hard day – and when I served up his dinner (lovely rib of beef with all the christmassy trimmings, I didn’t even get a thank you, I was stupid enough to complain about it and then he was shouting and stomping off. Again. Sigh. Of course two minutes later he’s completely forgotten about it and there’s no point me asking for an apology because he completely denies he ever said anything nasty or shouted at all.

Another thing is that he doesn’t DO anything. Leisure activities that is. He’s never had any hobbies at all, which is pretty odd for a bloke, they generally have one thing that they are fanatical about. Doesn’t care about sports, doesn’t do any arts or crafts, doesn't do crosswords or jigsaws. If I’m not here to bring him a paper, I think he just reads older ones and wanders about the place. I’m learning that whatever he and mum did in their life was obviously all fuelled by her, the holidays, the fishing, the decorating… It worries me at times that he’s fit as a flea – far fitter than me – has nothing at all wrong with him aside from a touch of arthritis in his hands – and could easily live another 20 years and if (hollow laugh) i were to live that long, I’d be 70 odd and … well, you get the whining. (ETA: He’s just kicked off again over the stew when i asked him to get sideplates instead of putting the bread on the table and he’s thrown my coat and laptop bag into the hall and told  me to get out, and i’m lurking in the kitchen as I need to cook his supper and his food for tomorrow and it’s my day off.)

Well, sorry about that, that was a tad maudlin wasn’t it? I think it helps to get it off your chest though, or your shoulders so thanks for listening.

Most of the rest of the time I spent offline eating cheese and biscuits, watching TV—which was in the main pretty dire—and knitting. I’ve been working on my purple and green (sounds horrible, but isn’t) scarf. I got a great bargain on six big hanks of wool on ebay for only £4 and so I’m knitting it until it’s about twelve feet long. It’s also quite wide –wider than I meant it to be but I’ve discovered that it will go over my head because of that which is serendipitous and being the colour it is it doesn’t show the bally cats’ hair that everything i own is covered in. I’ll upload a picture later, for some reason this laptop doesn’t find my bluetooth connection on my phone neither does it find it when i plug it in. I love technology. not.

Erastes [userpic]

Strictly, Knee, Harry, GOFFY!

December 17th, 2012 (12:46 pm)


1. I think the right person got voted off on Strictly Come Dancing this week.Read more...Collapse )

2. I have water on the knee. Or bustitis, or gout. or something. it’s red, hot and painful. No point yelling at me to see the doctor. There’s very little he can do and he’ll automatically blame my weight (which will be right) – but he has no intention of helping me with that, so what’s the point of just going for more pills to placate? If I was a drug addict or a smoker or an alcoholic, he’d HAVE to put me in a programme to help me, but fat people are still treated like pariahs. (see the “I still haven’t had an MRI despite this heart problem” issue…)

3. Just finished COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher and wow wow wow!  Enjoyed it hugely. Read more...Collapse )

4. Decided to put “Gentleman of Fortune” away for the moment and get on with the gardening thingy because GOFortune needs mapping out. It’s not a mystery as in “whodunnit” so much, but more of a “follow the trail” and if I need to scatter red herrings and chekov guns in, it’s going to need more than “make it up as you go along.” So I’m aiming for 1000 words on The Gardening One today. or bust.

Erastes [userpic]

Editing, Knitting, Procrastination, Elin Gregory

December 16th, 2012 (12:12 pm)

It’s very odd – my editor has a problem with only my manuscripts – I’ve turned off Tracked Changes, and have accepted all the changes into the document and yet they are showing up – both sets – on his computer!  My mss’s are the only one he has this problem with and I have no idea why. Anyway, I’ve changed the docx to a doc and hope that solves the problem.

So, the re-write of Standish has gone off to the editor, we have a shiny new cover and now all we have to do is wait for the edits and release, which should be summer 2013.

I’m also expecting the edits back for “I Knew Him” at any point now, so that will be another excuse not to write anything. But I must. No more procrastination!

Talking of procrastination…

I always used to be a knitter. My mother taught me when I was six and ill in bed and although I’ve never tried anything complicated like cabling or lacework or blah de blah i was always good at really complicated colour patterns, like Aztec designs or Fair Isle and the like. So recently I’ve been buying up wools and needles (because for the life of me can’t find my old workbag anywhere) and have got two projects on the go:

A Tardis Scarf

and a Jayne Cobb hat.

A sort of scarfy/shawly thing

Don’t worry, I won’t be wearing them both in the park at the same time; I’m already the loony with the mad dog who doesn’t actually walk her dog but sits it—how mad would I look with both of those items on?  However I am veering towards the “when I am old I shall wear purple” because well, I’ve always worn purple metaphorically and I don’t see why being old should be an obstacle. I suppose a Jayne hat would have been more sensible in more muted colours than the original but hell, then it wouldn’t be a Jayne hat, would it?

I’m only doing the 3rd one because I ground to a halt with the Tardis as the white wool hasn’t arrived yet and I had a huge batch of purple wool and green wool in 4ply and this scarfy thing said knit two yarns together and the effect is rather interesting.

Anyway – that’s about all the procrastination news.

In other news:

Elin Gregory (whose light is so far under a bushel you have to use a tunnel to see it) has a new book out this week:  A Gay Historical called On a Lee Shore which is a great nautical adventure. I had the privilege of pre-reading the book (I don’t qualify what I do as “editing”) and it’s really really good. An adventure story with gay characters which is what the genre needs imho.  GO BUY IT IT’S GREAT.

Erastes [userpic]

New Cover for Standish!

December 13th, 2012 (10:58 pm)

Well I promised I would share with you as soon as I had something to share, and here it is:

Designed by the supremely talented Ben Baldwin – who did “Mere Mortals” too. Ben has a knack of getting right to the heart of a book, and this cover does just that, I think. Hope you agree. Click on the thumbnail to see the big version, it's worth it! Thank you, Lethe Press, it's just lovely!


Erastes [userpic]

The Next Big Thing Blog post

December 12th, 2012 (02:07 pm)

I’ve been tagged by Fiona Glass to do this meme. Her post was on the 6th and can be found here – well worth checking out, as are all the others, so follow the chain! I was thrilled to be tagged, too!

What is the working title of your book?Read more...Collapse )

Erastes [userpic]

Update - sorry been missing

December 9th, 2012 (03:23 pm)

By Gum it’s parky. minus 2 here today and a smattering of snow overnight – so don’t go believing the weathermen who say “snow on hills” because there’s no bloody hills around here.

The Speak Its Name advent calendar has started and we’ve had nine great posts so far and there are many many many more to come—and a chance every day to win something just by leaving a comment. There are also questions to save up every day until the 24th when you can send them all in—if you can answer them all, some are fiendish, mwahahahaha—to win a bundle of at least 2 books and some assorted goodies yet to be decided.

Sasha’s coat arrived and here she is modelling it. She’s not terribly impressed as you can see, in fact it only just fits around her very wide chest (takes after her mother in that respect) but it’s only for the car in the mornings, when it’s freezing and she shivers. She won’t have to shame herself by wearing it in the park because she runs around like a loon and gets hot if anything.


Other than that, no news really – I know I’ve been awol but I do find it easier to keep people up to date with tweets during the day (@erastes) than slogging through a livejournal post.

One of my publishers RANG ME the other day – it made me feel like a PROPER author – Lethe Press. Steve Berman just wanted to touch base and find out where we were in relation to getting the MSS of Standish out to him. I had pretty much been hiding under the table where it had been concerned, but I’ve promised him it by the end of the year. It will be out in Summer 2013 hopefully so watch out for that. I also spoke to the cover designer (the lovely and talented Ben Baldwin) who I pitched two ideas for a cover and he’s running with one of them – can’t tell you any more than that right now as I’d like it to be a surprise.

I should begin the copy edits on “I Knew Him” in the new year too, and will work on “Gentleman of Fortune” (hate that title) to aim to get that over to Lethe by March. I know I can do it, it’s just i’ve let myself get out of focus and haven’t been setting myself any routines. If I’ve got the time to play stupid zynga games all day, I’ve got time to do 1000 words.

Erastes [userpic]

(no subject)

November 11th, 2012 (09:32 pm)

feeling: cold

Been mostly assassinating recently. Not been very  impressed – you can read my first impressions and quarter of the way through play thoughts over on my game journal:


I have written a BIT – about a chapter over the last month, which is pathetic but I have been editing Standish too, depurpling it – not entirely, more like down to a mild lavender perhaps – and cutting RIGHT back on the weeping protagonists. Ambrose, you’ll be pleased to hear does not burst into tears at every opportunity, although I couldn’t excise it entirely because he’s a soppy girl’s blouse at first.

What I’m working on is Gentleman of Fortune (although I like that title less and less as the work goes on) which is the 1941 London based Blitz spyish drama. I like the main character, I like the secondaries, but I have no idea what’s going to happen and that could be a problem with a mystery kind of fing…

And for my last trick – a (rather dark, sorry) picture of Sasha asleep. Yes, fast asleep. She’s not normal. *shakes head*

Erastes [userpic]

The Poppy & The Lilac

November 11th, 2012 (01:39 pm)

'It's an old soldiers' song,' he said.

'Really, sarge? But it's about angels.'

Yes, thought Vimes, and it's amazing what bits those angels cause to rise
up as the song progresses. It's a real soldiers' song: sentimental, with
dirty bits.

'As I recall, they used to sing it after battles,' he said. I've seen old
men cry when they sing it,' he added.

'Why? It sounds cheerful.'

They were remembering who they were not singing it with, thought Vimes.
You'll learn. I know you will.

--Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
all the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise heads up, heads up, heads up, they rise heads up, heads up high

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise knees up, knees up, knees up, they rise knees up, knees up high! All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise feet up, feet up, feet up, they rise feet up, feet up high!

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!

Erastes [userpic]

Downton Abbey–Lazy Writingitis

November 5th, 2012 (12:27 pm)

I am becoming more and more disillusioned and bored with Downton Abbey. I’ll probably continue to watch it for the rest of its natural life, but I wonder, quite honestly, how much of a life it has left because the plot element is almost zero.

entire post cut for spoilersCollapse )

Erastes [userpic]

Thank you!

November 1st, 2012 (09:31 am)

Thanks to all the lovely people who wished me a happy birthday – Dad hasn’t a Scooby when my birthday is now, and if he did he wouldn’t remember to get me anything, so to have a influx of lovely messages from all around the world always seems very magical to me. The weather has been perfect, cool and blue with loads of golden leaves, just how I remember Hallowe’en from my childhood. I had cake and ate exactly what i felt like and played computer games all day. That’s what birthdays should be about! I had over 300 messages – I mean – wow!


Erastes [userpic]

The Sneezles

October 30th, 2012 (06:52 pm)

With apologies to AA Milne for stealing and changing the pronoun

Erastes the Author
Had wheezles
And sneezles,
They bundled her
Her bed.
They gave her what goes
With a cold in the nose,
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered
If wheezles
Could turn
Into measles,
If sneezles
Would turn
Into mumps;
They examined her chest
For a rash,
And the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors
In sneezles
And wheezles
To tell them what ought
To be done.
All sorts and conditions
Of famous physicians
Came hurrying round
At a run.
They all made a note
Of the state of her throat,
They asked if she suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles
Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle
Came first.
They said, "If you teazle
A sneezle
Or wheezle,
A measle
May easily grow.
But humour or pleazle
The wheezle
Or sneezle,
The measle
Will certainly go."
They expounded the reazles
For sneezles
And wheezles,
The manner of measles
When new.
They said "If she freezles
In draughts and in breezles,
May even ensue."

Erastes [userpic]

Alpha Male Blog Hop

October 19th, 2012 (10:15 am)


THE ALPHA MALE BLOGSPOT - 200 place to visit, 200 prizes to win!

What is your favorite thing about Alpha Heroes? Well, we authors are ready to share our favorite Alpha Males, our favorite things about them, and everything sexy and heated about those Alpha Males you can think of. *wink* Starting on Friday and ending on Oct 22nd, over 200 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about those sexy men we know and love.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

My post is over on my website so please pop over and comment there – you’ll be in the running for now only my prize but the bumper prize too.

Erastes [userpic]

Game–The idiots.

October 16th, 2012 (03:03 pm)

You’ve got to love (sarcastic face) the pure idiocy of some help desks:

I’ve been trying to order Assassin’s Creed 3 from GAME. However, I want to have it on the day of release and on reading their FAQ it seems i have to order UK Order Express – all their deliveries are normally free, but UK Order Express will post it in advance.

So, I go through the motions, get to the checkout online and there’s no option for UK Order Express delivery.

I write an email to customer services and get an auto-response back saying they normally respond within 48 hours (speedy then <<<—more sarcasm) but due to an unprecedentedly huge use they are not meeting that target.

After six days I got pissed off and as they had ignored my email chasing them up on day four, I started being rude via Twitter. Ah – the wonders of Twitter.  That got a response!  They asked me to DM and I pointed out my problem. “all i wanted to know was how to order special delivery on ASsCreed3 on pre order as it's not an option on checkout”

Lo and behold I had an email almost immediately.

And this is what it said; (although I think you can probably guess…)

I can confirm that you need to select UK Order Express which will cost £4.95, however this should ensure that your order arrives on release date.


IS IT ME???? it’s not me, is it?

Erastes [userpic]

Advent Calendar Call to arms

October 11th, 2012 (02:22 pm)

Well, it's that time of year again - and this year will be year four! of the Advent Calendar.
Every year we post 24 days of articles, short stories, thoughts, blog posts, opinions - whatever for the month of December, and I'm putting out the call for volunteers now and hope you will consider joining up We've always had a full house - last year we were so bursting at the seams we actually doubled up a few days which was wonderful - I'm hoping that this year will be just as full.
You don't have to write about gay historicals - but if you are doing a short story, it would need to be in the genre!  but articles can be about anything - be it seasonal, historicals, gay themed, recipes, (any holiday celebration is included obviously, not just Christmas), If you are stuck for inspiration, go and have a look at the blog and use this tag to find all the posts:
Each blogger should be willing to supply a small gift which will be given to one random commenter - these prizes will all be announced on Christmas Day together with a larger prize of a couple of books and sweets or whatever I can get hold of.
Please email me directly on erastes@erastes.com if you want to sign up for a day (if you need a particular day, please specify) and I'll add you to the list. I'll then put you on a mailing group which i'll only use to keep people up to date.
Thanks in advance - please spread the word if you can and here's looking forward to a lovely holiday celebration!

Erastes [userpic]

As You Know, Bob Dialogue

October 9th, 2012 (08:10 pm)

Ok – here’s a classic piece of dialogue from Castle season 5 episode 2 which niftily demonstrates “You know, Bob” writing and makes me want to reach for the cut-throat razor.

Beckett: The department has a strict policy about co-workers dating.

Castle: But as I’m not technically being paid, we aren’t co-workers. Look, no one is going to find out, I haven’t even told Alexis or my mother.

Bethett: That’s because they are both in Europe, celebrating her graduation.

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Castle really needed to be told that. Goodness, perhaps he’d forgotten. (let’s not dwell on why he’s not over there, that’s irrelevant to my need to go on a rampage in the Castle writing room….)

Writers: Don’t do this.

Erastes [userpic]

Someone loves her frisbee!

October 9th, 2012 (05:56 pm)

This is actually an action shot, and she’s running quite fast but she looks like she’s standing still. I’ve been trying to get her catching the frisbee but the shutter speed is so slow that by the time i take it she’s long gone and all there is to see is grass.

The frisbee is great, it’s soft rubber and although it doesn’t fly as well as a solid one, it’s safe for her to snatch out of the air no matter what position it’s in and it won’t hurt her mouth. click on the pic to get the really cheeky expression on her face.

Erastes [userpic]

Thoughts on Downton

October 8th, 2012 (12:59 pm)

1. What happened the ENTAIL, pray?  Read more...Collapse )

SOOOOOOOO – that being said. How the buggeration is, as he gets a bit financially strapped, Lord Grantham that is able to suddenly say “oh well, never mind, I’ll have to sell the monstrosity and we can all go and live in this hovel, cough, sorry, enormous OTHER house I appear to have over here.”

Inquiring minds need to know, Mr Fellowes. *folds arms*

2. I absolutely refuse to believe that a family of such standing would—as Edith rightly said—accept a chauffeur into the family and yet turn away A LORD OF THE REALM WITH A FUCK OFF GIRT BIG HOUSE just because Read more...Collapse )

3. What the bloody hell was the whole Bates thing about? Read more...Collapse )

4. As my good friend Henri says – (reverting back to Edith’s marriage) – Read more...Collapse )

5. Thomas. Now I love Thomas. Read more...Collapse )

Thoughts gratefully received, btw – in case you can explain any of these (particularly the Entail) or have a grumble of your own….

Erastes [userpic]


October 8th, 2012 (10:37 am)

Been AWOL a bit recently, and I apologise for that. I really admire people who can “blog” about subjects on a regular basis. It’s as much as I can do to scrawl down a few thoughts. Guess I won’t be a famous diarist when I’m dead.

Healthwise - I’m over the anaemia, thank goodness, although it’s taken it’s time and OMG I really really don’t want to go through that again. I live in fear of another period so I need to get down the Family Planning Clinic asap. I am forcing myself to walk small distances each day, even if it’s only to the next bench in the park.

Writing wise, I’m editing Standish for re-release, and working on the WIP and looking forward to the edits on “I Knew Him.” Busy busy!

I’ve joined “m/m sprint” a nice little Facebook group where you say “hello, I’m writing, anyone want to join me,” give yourself a target and others can write or edit at the same time. I’ve long been aware that I don’t really fall into the Writer in a Garrett mode and that I prefer someone to be along for the ride – that’s my fanfic roots showing I think – plus the very telling fact that as a toddler I refused to walk unless people were applauding. So nothing much has changed. Anyway, I’ve done over 2k of “Gentleman of Fortune” this week which is now around the 14k mark, which is a nice respectable – “you can’t give up now” percentage of around 18%. Which is nearly a fifth! Doesn’t sound so daunting when you put it like that. I have absolutely NO CLUE what’s going to happen, but for me that’s all part of the fun. It’s when I know what’s going to happen that i find the process boring and want someone else to write it for me.

Haven’t spoken much about Sasha recently, but she continues to be a delight. she’s matured into a beautiful, solid dog with muscles where I don’t even have places and she’s incredibly clever. Too much so really, because when we do training she usually anticipates what I want (we are working on “crawl” at the moment) and she’ll do ALL her tricks at once just to make me happy, all at once hoping that one of them is the right one. She’s also become a bit of a “helping hands” dog recently and has learned to pick stuff up that I drop, which is quite useful. Amusing this morning as I was arranging a bookshelf and she was passing up the books from the floor!

Anyway, here’s a recent pic. She was asleep and snoring. *snort*

Erastes [userpic]

Cautious Callooh Callaying

September 23rd, 2012 (01:51 pm)

feeling: happy

I probably shouldn’t be callooh callaying at all, as the contract isn’t signed yet, but I think I can announce that I KNEW HIM has been sold to Lethe Press.

I KNEW HIM – as the title suggests – takes themes from Hamlet. The main theme being a young man who comes down from University to find that his mother is planning to marry his Uncle. It’s set in Somerset in 1922 and the reason I chose this period was that the 1921 marriage act allowed a wife to do this for the first time since about 1560. But the law had been in place for such a long time people were genuinely shocked about it.

Also, the main character – the Hamlet character, is homosexual, and I’ve long been of the opinion that Shakespeare meant Hamlet to be homosexual but perhaps wasn’t brave enough to be as overt with it as Marlowe was in Edward II. When looked at it from that perspective, much of what Hamlet does in the play(particularly to Ophelia) makes a lot more sense.

As you can tell from this burble, I haven’t yet written a blurb.

Anyway, I’m pleased as punch that a great press like Lethe has taken it on, and I’ll keep you posted as to release dates etc.

Pink cava for me tonight! (again prematurely but what the hell). FRABJOUS.

Erastes [userpic]

OK–nearly back to normal

September 20th, 2012 (11:23 am)

1. Or as near to normal as I ever am! I’m still “out of puff” but that’s a matter of stamina now, because of weight and because of being knocked off my feet for a month. I went into the shop and back to the car and I was puffing afterwards, but believe me that’s a hell of a different proposition from “I don’t have enough oxygen in my body for this shit.” and it’s hard to explain the difference unless you’ve experienced it. The out of breathness I can work on, and I will, I’m going to walk a little every day, even if it’s only around Dad’s garden a couple of times. I went (finally, after being told a sneaky place to park close to the back of the hosp) to get my blood tested yesterday and seriously it was like running a marathon even with the reduced distance. My legs were like JELLY. I need to do some walking even if it’s only marching on the spot while I’m watching the TV.

2. Took Sasha to the beach yesterday which was glorious a lovely azure September day with a warm breeze. She adores it, but she’s hugely embarrassing because she won’t get her paws wet. I’d like to paddle and see if I can encourage her, but I’m not fit enough for that yet. I threw the ball into the sea twice and she just ran up and down the edge getting ever more desperate until some bloke who was paddling rescued the ball. Twice. Then he laughed and said “Are you sure she’s not a cat?” Oh, the shame, particularly when the spaniels, and yorkshire terriers, and labradors all came past, sploshing around in the shallows and getting wet over their ears.

3. Bought Sasha a Kong frisbee with my Amazon US vouchers and she’s sulking that I won’t let her play with it in the house. I’m meeeeen, apparently.

4. I’m hosting the Carina Press Twitter Feed (@Carinapress) this week and there’s a competition running there until this evening in celebration of yesterday’s Talk Like A Pirate Day (my 8th I believe…) – give me your Spoof Pirate Titles and the funniest will win an ebook of either of my Carina Press Titles. Don’t do it here, do it on the twitter feed.

5. It’s COLD today. Spring to Autumn this year. I blame Spring and Autumn Watch.

How you lot? Missed me?

Erastes [userpic]

Doctor Who

September 16th, 2012 (06:33 pm)

A Town Called MercyCollapse )

Erastes [userpic]

Reasons to be Cheerful Part IV

September 11th, 2012 (01:17 pm)

Why part four I hear you ask? Well, you’ll have to ask Ian that one…

Going to post a reason on a regular basis – hope you’ll share your reasons.

Erastes [userpic]

Update–better, thank you!/Doctor Who

September 11th, 2012 (12:49 pm)

I feel better in myself today, if that makes sense. Read more...Collapse )

THANK YOU to everyone who has IM’d, emailed and sent best wishes. My entire social life these days is wrapped up on the net, so to have so many people concerned and asking for regular updates is a real blessing.Sadly Dad doesn’t retain the information in his head for longer than a minute, and I have now given up trying to make him try.

As for Doctor Who this week, I actually enjoyed it. I’ve seen a few blog posts here and there wondering what the thread is this season, and I sort of hope that there isn’t one, and it’s just a case of the Doctor being dragged around the universe by the Tardis being where he needs to be, yanno, like it used to be. The Ponds can disappear any time they like the sooner the better, or Amy, anyway. Keep Rory. Loved the idea of Rory’s Dad rushing around with the Gang, although I wish they’d SHOW us that instead of “Doctor with Hot Girl Companion” you know we are capable of watching the Doctor with a male companion – there is precedent. Wasn’t really sure why the Doctor was quite so desperate to put the dinos back – or even that he had a concept of extinction but I went with it. 

What I didn’t like is Read more...Collapse )

What think you, fellow Doctor buffs? My knowledge of Old Series is limited because unlike the Americans, it hasn’t been shown on UK TV for decades. I’d like to know what you think about that “execution.”

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