Saturday, June 30, 2012

Disaster dinner

This is how it was supposed to look.

This is how it looked.
And it didn't even taste nice.

Ah, well, I decided that as dinner was so awful I deserved a treat: a Crunchie choc ice when we went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We've started running community cinema at Linden and this was the second film to be shown and it was to a full house. 

Excellent gentle entertainment for an evening. My very favourite line came from Maggie Smith who said something along these lines: "I'm too old to plan for the future; I don't even buy green bananas." I don't know why it tickled me so much but I'm still chuckling about that.

Oh and my treat included butter popcorn too. But only a small bag!

Lady writer on the tv

Not really but in the library. It's just the words of the Dire Straits song that kept going around in my head.

I had a lovely time this morning in Gowerton Library. I'd been invited to speak there as it's National Reading Group Day and most of the audience (some had left by the time we took this photo) belonged to reading groups  at the library. They were a lovely gang of ladies who I think would have managed to enjoy themselves anywhere and were very chatty, asked lots of questions and empathised with the situations Alison gets herself into. Especially as one was called Marilyn and another Fifi (you have to read the book to understand the significance). 
And there were M and S cupcakes with tea afterwards! And the librarian gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers as a thank you! I feel just like a proper author! Although I always feel someone's going to find me out one day and expose me for the fraud I am!


What a plethora of exclamation marks! But it was that sort of morning. It takes me some time to 'come down' after events like these and I feel the need to 'do something'. Unfortunately I can't think of anything so I'm going to have to resort to cleaning? Or I could make a cake ... but I'm on a diet. But then again I have to use up the rhubarb in the garden ...


P.S. I found something to do other than clean or bake: I went to Mumbles and posted a copy of This Time Next Year to Di/Trubes in Liverpool. Thanks, Di.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wrecking Ball


A great interview with Bruce Springsteen on his latest CD, Wrecking Ball - which, incidentally is brilliant. Best one for a while I think. And full of depth and challenge.


Thanks to Banksy Boy from whom I stole this link.

Did someone say Wimbledon?

You'd hardly know that there'd been a recent Wales rugby tour if you only read my blog. 


The trouble is that the games (in Australia) haven't been live on television, at least not live as it happens. They're done live but 12 hours later and it's incredibly difficult to pass 12 hours without hearing the score. It becomes almost an obsession to not listen to the radio, not look at newspapers and, hardest of all, not go on Facebook.


The fact that Wales lost all three test matches has nothing to do with my lack of blogging about it. (Okay, if they'd beaten Australia on Australian soil, I might just have mentioned it. Once or twice.) As it was, Wales missed the best opportunities they've had in years to beat Australia, apparently it seems, mainly through indiscipline. The second game was lost on the last kick of the 80 minutes and the final game lost in the last 5. 


In all it's been a disappointing summer of rugby tours for the home nations. The best England could do was one draw with South Africa but nevertheless they've moved up the Rugby Nations Top Ten to 4th place while Wales, the current holders of the Six Nations championship title, has moved down to 6th. 


Deprived thus of the opportunity to watch beefy men charging about the pitch I was obliged to sit through the football of the England versus Italy quarter final on Sunday evening. I say obliged; I could have left the room but we'd had an extra-long journey back from visiting Elder Son and family in Surrey so flopping in front of the television was all I wanted to do.


It's been a long time since I watched a football match and most of the ones I have seen involved my sons as players while in junior school - and, frankly, they were more entertaining than Sunday's offering - if only because they involved shouting loudly and incessantly and occasionally stopping passing dogs poo-ing on the pitch. 


I had forgotten just how boring football is. There's none of the action and interaction of rugby: in that even when no-one's close to scoring it can still be exciting. Sunday's game was just yawn-inducing. And this was during the Euro championships so presumably the best players the countries have to offer.


And they weren't even good-looking.

Now listen to me!

Thanks to Anonymous who sent me the link I'm able to share my interview with you! Aren't you pleased?! 


You can listen to me here (skip to 1:09:25)  telling the world not how marvellous my book is but that I'm related to Lady Godiva, Boudicca and Wodin (yes, him of Wednesday fame).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Don't think I even mentioned the book title

I was early in town so I called into Waterstone's to see if I could find my book. I did: it's on the shelves and the title is facing outwards (as opposed to the spine) so that's good but they still have all 5 copies that I took in originally so that wasn't good. I was tempted t move one copy onto the Beach Reading table but there was an assistant tidying shelves just next to me and I'm not good enough an actress to make it look as if it were by accident.


Anyway, I arrived at the studio and a sound engineer let me in and settled me down. He was very reassuring but then disappeared as he had something else to do. Leaving me, in the studio, to pretend to do the traffic report and sing a song ... before noticing the security camera.


Roy (see how I'm on first names terms with nationally-known radio presenters?) (admittedly nationally meaning Wales isn't that famous) was very easy to chat to and I came away thinking it had been a success: at least I'd only lost the thread of my sentence before the end on only one occasion. I put my sunglasses on before leaving the premises in case the paparazzi were outside and I didn't want to be recognised.


Then I had to collect George from the kennels and I made the mistake of listening to the rest of the show on the car radio. They had another author on and she was MUCH better than me. I hated her. She was flirting and giggling girlishly. Then I started remembering what I'd said and realising how much rubbish I'd spoken and all the things I hadn't said - and all the things I shouldn't have said.


I've had to eat chocolate.

Today's radio interview

I'm on the Roy Noble Show on BBC Radio Wales just after 3 today. Trouble is Roy Noble is in Cardiff and I'm in Swansea so I'll be speaking into the air. Husband said, 'There's no need to stress: it's only like talking on the telephone.'
'I hate talking on the telephone!'


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Now and then

Thirty-four years ago today.
At Deb and Nick's anniversary party last weekend.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Big and bouncy

Husband suggested - but then I think regretted - that I should have a trampoline for my 60th birthday. Isn't that the brilliantest idea you've ever heard?


We had talked about getting one for when the grandchildren come to stay but if we get a big enough one I can use it. And I was reading about them and they're good for exercising as well as fun. So it's all positive.


Only trouble is that my birthday isn't until winter so, really, I need to have an early birthday present because it's no use waiting until then as I won't be able to make use of it properly. Husband says I'll expect another present on my birthday if we do that but I won't. Honest.


The wonderful thing about tiggers ...



educational too

One of the ladies from Zac's has recently returned from a 'pilgrimage' to ... an ex-Eastern bloc country the name of which escapes me. Possibly Macedonia. Which might not be eastern bloc. Anyway she brought me back this pretty bracelet. Each bead or charm on it has significance in the story of Jesus and is supposed to be used as a way of telling others about Christ. Well, maybe I won't be doing that but it was very sweet of her. 


I haven't heard much about her trip but I know she went with a group* of nuns and they were very strict. Mostly I've heard that she's 'never going in a plane again.' As far as I can gather from this lady, who is one of the real characters at Zac's, nothing out of the ordinary happened while on the plane but she didn't stop shaking for three weeks. 

* I googled the term for a group of nuns. Wikipedia suggested a superfluity, which sounded as though it could be of doubtful origin so I checked a bit more and, according to Oxford dictionaries, this is a fanciful term from the 15th century that probably was never in popular use. They suggest a community of nuns.

I should have worn wellies

Then I wouldn't have had to tuck my trousers in my knickers and I wouldn't have got a boot full of mud.
 Which was strangely comfortable; the mud sort of cwched my foot. This is the bit of path responsible, where I stood on a bit of mud pretending to be a stone.
 But this was the really intriguing find in the middle of the woods
No-one with a crutch could walk along this path and if he had a crutch starting out why did he no longer need it? Unless ... 
YES! He fell into the mud too and was miraculously healed! Clyne river has healing properties! We can make a shrine there and sell bottles of water and tins of mud and make lots of money ... I mean, help lots of people.

And we'll tell people not to go somewhere else but to come to us, the only, real, genuine, approved by the Pope purveyors of Clyne Healing waters.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I can't make pastry


We have loads of milk at the moment for some reason so, while baking a teisen lap (cake on a plate) for Zac's yesterday, I decided I'd make some custard tarts too. 
It's a long story involving too much filling then not enough pastry and changing my mind halfway through but I ended up with 12 small custard tarts with home-made pastry and 1 large one made with left-over and slightly dried-out filo pastry.

I am convinced I can't make pastry so I don't very often. My gran made wonderful pastry and even though she showed me how to do exactly what she does, my pastry is never as good as hers was.
So as I'm making it I'm scared. They say pastry is very susceptible to moods (or maybe I just made that up) so mine is destined to fail before I begin.
Having said that, my little tarts were very nice. Pastry was a bit thick and rose not leaving much room for filling but apart from that ...

The filo tart was fine too although the pastry underneath seemed to disappear. And the custard was lovely and tasty and perfectly wobbly so how Husband managed to break a knife cutting it is a mystery to me.

Remember this?

I spotted this Judy annual in a second-hand book shop the other day and I had to have it. I thought at first that it might well be one I'd had as a child but I think by 1966 I'd have moved on and been into Jackie.
I used to love Judy and Bunty comics and wait eagerly for my mum to bring them home with her on the days they came out.
Before these it was Princess; the only character I can remember from that is Harold Hare! Judy and Bunty were full of school stories with lots of ballerinas and horse riders. The idyllic life of children in comics before reality got to them. Not that these characters didn't have to cope with difficulties but they always came through smiling, brave little heroes that they were.I loved them.

Blooming lovely

The garden is starting to come into bloom. The roses are gorgeous this year in spite of all the rain we've had that looked as id it would make them wet and mildewed.

This Welsh poppy I bought from the man at the car boot sale earlier this year.
And - whisper this - years ago I persuaded Husband to dig up a small wild rose from the tip to plant in our garden. It was a single petal layered rose (there's probably an official term for that) in the wild but has loads of petals now. But still retains the wonderful wild rose perfume.


More than David Nobbs

The librarian was delighted to tell me that more people had come to my book launch than attended the talk given by David Nobbs (professional writer and creator of Reggie Perrin). So I needn't have worried. A few people who'd said they'd come forgot but others I hadn't expected turned up so that was really lovely.
And it all went well. I talked a little about the writing and publishing and then read some extracts. I possibly read for a bit too long but everyone laughed in the right places and we sold a good number of copies. We being my accountant, aka Husband, and I.


To give your a flavour here I am reading about Alison's experience in the lingerie shop. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

No jokes, please

'How was it?' Husband asked me when I got home after taking yesterday's prison service.
'I've known better,' I said.


I was awake at 6.30 going over the talk in my head: there were two bits I just couldn't make stick. But then I had a good idea: when I begin I'll mention my book launch and make some joke about the chaplain  running a coach trip for the prisoners.


I arrived at prison and the first thing the chaplain said was, 'You haven't got any jokes in your talk, have you? Only we've had a suicide this week.'
'Oh.'


Went downhill from then really. There was a noticeable tension between men from different wings and though they were quiet when I was speaking - on the whole - I struggled. Jez, our songwriting guitarist, did a brilliant song that made the morning but I was glad to get out of there.


Really the book launch tonight can't be any worse. Can it?

Zero hour approaching

I am blogging to take my mind off the fact that in just over an hour I'll be doing my book launch.


I am petrified.


Normally I'm fine when I'm reading at someone else's event. But this is different. I'm asking people to come and support me in something that is entirely about me (not the novel, the launch). Years ago a friend told me not to expect anything and then I wouldn't be disappointed. If I don't expect many people to come does that mean I won't be disappointed? Or that I will be?


Either way I'm scared.


The librarian wasn't very hopeful about people turning up either. There are lots of other things happening in the village at the same time including another book launch! (My old tutor from the MA creative writing course is compering that one but it's altogether a different class of literature so our audiences are unlikely to clash.)


Ah well, all the more chocolate for me if no-one comes. (I doubt if anyone will want to eat it anyway as I left it in the car this morning and it melted ...) (It won't stop me, of course.)


And it can't be worse than prison yesterday.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I do it to myself

I leave everything to the last minute. It seems sensible at the time - until the last minute arrives and I realise, whoops, it's not long enough.


Monday I have my book launch - have I mentioned that? Oystermouth Library, 7.00 pm? (My boss has thoughtfully arranged a church meeting to clash with my launch so I won't have to worry about too many people coming. He's supportive like that.)


And tomorrow morning I'm leading the service in prison. Two big things, both need preparation, and I've got to fit in food shopping and a party tonight. (I'm delighted to go to Debs and Nick's 25th anniversary do, I just wish it wasn't tonight.) But, as I said, it's my own fault for leaving it until now. 


I've prepared the talk for prison; I just need to rehearse it and tweak it here and there. And then I've got the rest of Sunday - oh bother, Father's day, I have to look after Husband in the absence of children. Perhaps we'll postpone it a week ... or two. 


And, really, I shouldn't be procrastinating now. I'll just quickly check my emails before I go and shower ...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just can't get away from them

We popped down to Paignton to see Younger Son and FiancĂ©e and it turned out to be the night that the bikers gather there. Must have been a couple of hundred of all shapes and sizes.


Oh George!

We were about 5 minutes into our journey home after our regular two days in Devon this week when my phone rang.
'Have you left something behind?' Husband said.
'No, I've got my camera and my glasses.' 


I finally found my phone in my bag and answered it. It was Son-in-law. 'Have you forgotten something?' he said.
And it was then that I had that awful moment of realisation, just like the mother in Home Alone, 'GEORGE!'


in need of servicing

As well as a bad back (lifting grandchildren awkwardly I suspect) I have another, potentially much more serious, problem: my warning bells aren't working.


I was doing an interview on local radio this lunchtime and when I set off I thought to myself, 'I'll take the short cut.' And that's when the bells should have started.


Ah well, I was only a little bit late and I had to wait at the studio for about 10 minutes anyway so it wasn't a problem but it did raise my stress levels. I always leave things too late and then get stressed. I can't seem to learn the lesson that if I want a carefree life I need to allow more time than I think I need to do anything/get anywhere. Better to be early and calm. 


If only I could learn that lesson.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is it just me?

Or are others experiencing lower visitor numbers of late?


It's probably me being boring about my novel and, also, just not posting as much as usual. My life is incredibly busy but - I was going to say not very exciting but that's not true. Well, perhaps not exciting but full of interest and fun. Maybe I just don't have the enthusiasm for blogging at the moment. I can't seem to think of entertaining posts. 


I could tell you about George falling down - but I didn't see it, just heard the thud and saw him limping pathetically towards us in the woods. (He's fine now.)
Or about Husband burning the driftwood I'd collected and left in the greenhouse to dry out.
You see, not very gripping.


During the Sunday service I even made notes with a thought in my head that I'd blog my ideas on the subject (church actually - no, I mean it, that's the title of the series, church actually) but ...


Pull yourself together, woman! Go and shower and ...


I asked Cherie, our teacher, to announce my book launch in slimming class this morning. About 4 people said they'd come - if only they weren't away on Monday. But Cherie has said that I can take copies in to sell so they won't get away with it that easily.


No wonder I don't have many readers if this is the best I can do.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The English stiff upper lip



Even though it was raining, as Husband had lit the chimera, he felt obliged to sit next to it - under the porch outside the back door. In his coat.


Meanwhile I was cooking Sunday dinner: sweet potato and chickpea bake.



The weather really is unbelievably bad for June. We can only hope that summer comes in July this year.


While down in Devon Younger Son is polishing up his cooking skills. For Saturday evening dinner he prepared, from scratch, olive and parmigiana bread rolls, courgette and beef burgers stuffed with mozzarella and feta, and coconut and chocolate cookies.
I'm so pleased that all three of my children love cooking.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Famous!

 Priscilla told me she'd spotted posters advertising the library event in Mumbles so, of course, I had to go and have a look at my name in if not lights then pink.
And as we were in Mumbles we thought we might as well take a walk to Verdi's where I had an ice cream not quite but nearly as big as the one I had to share the week before with GrandDaughter.
 This casualty of the recent high winds and tides was left high and dry on the rocky shore.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

99 days but who's counting?

99 days until Younger Son gets wed. 


After taking my books into Waterstone's I decided, as I was in town, I'd have a look at some wedding-type clothes. That didn't take me long.
So then I browsed through t-shirts. Sadly Husband has afflicted me with his mean streak. Everything I liked my head screamed, 'how much?!'


You know the shop you're in isn't the right one for you when you say, 'that's a nice top,' and it turns out to be a skirt.


Guess I'll have to make do with last year's (and several years before that) t-shirts, assuming we have any summer. But the main reason I wanted a new one was to go with the Monsoon (expensive shop) skirt I bought from a charity shop for £5. It's pretty and, cherry on the cake, it's a size 10 and it fits me. So I had to buy it.


Daughter is going to have to take me wedding-outfit shopping. While I would walk past outfits without a second glance she forces me to try things on and I'm sometimes surprised by the outcome. Sometimes. 


That also means we have 99 days to become fluent in Italian ...

Embarrassing even by my standards

I did something so incredibly stupid last night. Even by my standards. And so acutely embarrassing that I'm not even going to tell you about it.
Suffice it to say that at one point I thought a trip to Casualty was imminent. And that would have been entertaining. 
'How did you do this, Mrs Hinds?'
'Well, it's like this, Doctor ...'


Anyway all's well and this afternoon I took copies of my book into Waterstone's.


All I need now is individuals from Rent-a-Crowd to go in to the shop at frequent intervals during the day, pick up my book and exclaim loudly, 'I've read this: it's brilliant.' And make sure it's in a prominent position, moving it if necessary.
Volunteers?

Tra dah!


Novel update

So, yes, having realised that my book launch is less than 2 weeks' away I am spurred into action on the publicity front.


I finished my press release and have already made some progress: I'm booked for an interview on Swansea Sound again. And this afternoon I'm taking copies of my novel into Waterstone's who've agreed to sell them for me - at a substantial discount you understand. Still it's getting it out there to the public and that's what's important.


So far the majority of my sales have been to my uncle who dug up even more lady friends he felt sure would want a copy. Twenty-five at the last count.


Then I suppose I should plan what I'm going to talk about and which bits I'm going to read that will take up one hour. 

Shall I procrastinate now ... or later?

It's amazing how urgent a sticky elbow can become when faced with an alternative that one wishes to put off.


For days there's been a sticky patch on my desk just where my left elbow rests. Each time I adjusted my position there was this unpleasant grabbiness between my cardi and the desk. I kept thinking, 'I should wipe that,' and then carrying on with whatever I was doing (blogging/sudoku/facebooking). 
This morning I set myself the task of seriously getting down to writing my press release ... and suddenly the sticky problem became unbearable. 'I must wipe that and NOW!'


Ah, the joys of procrastination.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Do they use a hot pole?

And then when I was making tea I overheard the end of a conversation.


Paul: Do they warm the pole up for the dancers?
Nigel: No, because they wouldn't have nipples then.


Me, wagging my finger: Excuse me! This is meant to be a place for Christian bible study! It's always the same when Sean goes away: you act like naughty schoolchildren! I'm going to tell him!


Honestly. Men.





Tuesday, June 05, 2012

I wish I drank ...

because I could do with a strong drink.


At the funeral last week, when I learnt that Sean would be away this week, I said, 'We'll just carry on with the study then, shall we?' Thus tonight arrived with me leading the bible study on  the first verses of Mark chapter 12. 


You could tell what the evening was going to be like when Chris told me, as I made his tea, that he'd been thrown out of his flat by his landlord who's currently in court charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and that, as a result, he was still wearing the suit he'd been given for his father's funeral the previous Thursday. Oh and that I looked 32 or would do if I went to the gym with him.


The evening went down hill from then on ...


The regulars were outnumbered in audio volume by the ... what shall I call them? Irregulars. Occasional visitors with lots of valid questions but who don't really want to listen to any answers. My voice got progressively louder and squeakier as the evening wore on. I needn't have bothered with the preparation as I don't think anyone really listened. Except Angie who picked up on the bit in the parable about people being killed and wanted to know why God killed people/why Jesus advocated killing people/ why her nan and her baby had died.
'Because people are all bad, all sinners,' said one helpful soul behind me.
'What? Even my unborn baby was bad?'
'Everyone's bad.'
(Oh, please shut up! This girl is distraught and you're telling her her baby is bad.) At that point Steve suggested that some questions might be better discussed on a one to one basis and perhaps we should close the formal bit of the study. (Formal, ha!) He told me after it was the only way he could think of to shut up 'Mr All People are Sinners'.


And I haven't mentioned Angie's previous questions.
'So Jesus' mother didn't have sex, right?'
'That's right.'
'I thought you had to "come" to get pregnant.'


I might have uttered a squeak at that point but it wouldn't have mattered as it was total chaos by then anyway.


And to think, at the beginning of the study, I said, 'It's back to normal this week.' Normal? What's that?


But that's what Zac's exists for. The irregulars, the lost and the hopeless. The ones asking questions who'll one day listen to the answers. The ones whose pain is obvious as well as those who hide it under a blanket of steel. It's there for the 29-year-old who's been clean for 6 months and today got his very first job. For Avril who's still waiting for her place in rehab but who's been clean for 6 weeks in spite of living with users. For Di and for Ric, for Kingsley and for Kay. For me.

Thank God.



Strange things to find on trees

Number 1
 Number 2


Beach booty

'We've got to go to Pobbles today to get some rope for Di's cross.'
'I've got some rope in the garage.'
'No, it's got to be washed up, thrown out, discarded rope to be authentic.'

For Baz's funeral Sean tied white ribbons that everyone from Zac's had written messages on around the driftwood cross I'd made for Zac's ages ago. When Di asked if it would be possible to have a cross as well I collected some driftwood from Swansea beach but I couldn't find any rope. Hence the trip to Pobbles this morning. 'There's always rope on Pobbles.'

Except today.

Husband and I wandered around until, after scrambling over some slippery rocks, Husband found a long piece of rope. That was wedged under one of the slabs. 
'Have you got a knife on you?' Husband asked. I'm not sure whom he thought he was addressing. If he'd wanted a dog biscuit, poo bag, prayer pebble, or Sainsbury's receipt I could have obliged but knives don't come high on my Must-carry-with-me-at-all-times list. Obviously they should.

I left Husband perched there trying to untie knots ('You used to be a sailor') while George and I continued beach-combing along the high tide mark.

Where we came across several pieces of rope as well as two spades.
I also spotted a fabulous tree stump that would have been big enough for a life-sized driftwood cross but Husband refused to drag it back up from the beach. 

He 'will do anything for love but I won't do that.'


The number of the ...

Oh look, my visitor count is 121112, which just happens to be my 60th birthday! Not really very interesting unless you're weird about numbers.


* * * * * * * * *
Remember my 'sports injury' from a few weeks' ago? Well, what began as an insignificant carpet burn has turned into two gungy blotches on my elbow. With another one on my hand. 


I've been using savlon but wasn't sure whether I should cover them or leave them exposed to air so I called in and asked the advice of the chemist (who was very indecisive). Afterwards, Husband, who'd been with me, said, 'Didn't you feel even a little embarrassed telling the chemist you had a carpet burn on your elbow?'
'No, why should ... oh, no! You mean he might have thought ... oh no! Should I go back and explain?'
Husband dragged me away suggesting I might have said too much already.


* * * * * * * * *
I was still in bed at 5 to 9 this morning when the phone rang. I contemplated not answering but decided that a call at that time on a bank holiday must be something really urgent. 
The person on the other end of the phone, after doing the 'I hope it's not too early' apology that isn't really an apology, asked if Linden was available on 15th September.


I might have been a tad churlish not to mention unhelpful in my reply.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Cold feet cold heart

When Sean saw the cake I'd made for Baz's funeral (with his image on it) he said, 'You must have found that hard to do.'
'No, not really.'


When Gareth knew I was reading at the funeral he said, 'Now don't worry if you get upset; we'll all understand.'
I said, 'I won't; I'm well 'ard.'
'Yeah, yeah, we're all hard until we're not.'
'No, really, I'm a hard cow.'


And I am. Cold-hearted. Gave up crying at funerals a long time ago.


Sometimes it's a good thing: I can read confidently without fear of breaking down. Other times I'd like nothing better than a good weep - if only to reassure myself I still have a heart.


Most alarming

On Friday in work I became aware that an alarm was going off. I assumed it was a car in the car park and carried on working.
After about 10 minutes it started to annoy me. 'Why doesn't someone switch that off?' Then it occurred to me that there wasn't anyone else in the building. I sighed, 'I'd suppose I'd better investigate.'
I walked out into the corridor and realised ... it was the building alarm that was going off.


The cleaners had been in and when they left they'd forgotten I was there - although how they failed to notice my car outside is a mystery.


Fortunately it doesn't link up to the police station or I might have had to explain to annoyed policemen why I was sitting there ignoring the alarm.


P.S. If any burglars are reading this, the alarm does link up to the police station really.

A life on the ocean waves

It's almost a principle that we don't venture out of the garden on bank holidays 'because everywhere will be too busy' so this afternoon when Husband said, 'Let's go out somewhere,' I almost fell off my chair. The danger was that if we didn't we'd both have fallen fast asleep: Daughter and her family have been staying for a few days and being grandparents is tiring!

Rather than go to Mumbles, which is busy any weekend, we went in the other direction and wandered along the beach and through the marina.

Looking back at the Tower, the tallest residential building in Wales.

This young sea dog was encouraging George to join him on his boat as he waited to go through the lock gates of the Tawe Barrage.
Some boats in the marina are for work ...
while others are for play.