Thursday, May 10, 2007

Interpretation of Murder

Tuesday 8th May 2007

So it was book group tonight, and the book we had all been reading was ‘The Interpretation of Murder’ by Jed Rubenfield. KT was in charge, she forgot the bloody questions lol! However we all took it in turn to make one up. I have noticed in book group we all slate the book to death.

I thought the book was good, the ending is a bit of a let down after you have put your effort into the twists and turns of the first 400+ pages but its not a crap book and yet we gave it a hammering when we talked about it. For me it took me back to New York in the early 1900’s totally. I do think sadly it has been slightly over hyped! Richard & Judy’s people do choose cracking reads, the next book we are reading is from there selection this year.

We ate at Ultimate Burger and that and the company was the highlight of the evening! I did somehow manage to offend everyone as some point, unintentionally, and it did make everyone laugh in a slightly nervous ‘but everything is fine and funny… isn’t it’ way. I asked ME why his Mum didn’t live at ‘Daddy’s House’ he replied ‘they got divorced when I was young’ I felt like instant poop! I decided then to ask everyone if the 2.4 children family thing still existed and asked another member ‘what about your parents?’ the reply… ‘no not divorced… my mum died when I was four’. Instant poop two! What is wrong with me, foot in mouth syndrome or what?

We all went book shopping after – thank god for borders and its midnight closing time – the next book was bought in bulk its ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I wasn’t sure at first but after devouring 100 pages in an evening I think I really like it. Night x

A Stitch In Time

Tuesday 8th May 2007

My stitches have come out – hoorah! Why do they always tell you it won’t hurt when it always bloody does? The nurse looked at the wound and my tackle and simply said ‘oh, you must have had a bad week, musn’t you? Don’t worry it wont hurt much and then you can, well you can get back to… things’ I think by this she meant having a sex life, which would be quite nice to be honest!

The line ‘it wont hurt much’ was my major offence to put it bluntly. They cut the stitches in half which is not that great (and a close shave) and then pull them. Well the wound has healed around it hasn’t it? It’s not as bad as having teeth pulled, but imagine your hair slowly being pulled out really painfully for about 30 seconds and then a final evil tug. Yes it’s that nice… so I just thought would tell you all about it.

Oh my nerves and crying about going back to work was all just a bit of drama I think, it was fine! Right have to get ready for book group!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Vision of the Future

Monday May 7th 2007

Its bank holiday Monday and most couples will have spent the day doing something outside (mind you it has pissed down but then became beautiful sunshine) together and just being young and having fun. Myself and Mr B settled for a taster of the future… sat indoors playing board games. That’s the life!

We did venture out in the rain but only to get supplies of booze, food for a wholesome lasagne and domino’s, Frustration, connect 4, cards and top trumps. Yes really – thank god for Woolworths I say! I have to say it did bring out the competitive side in both of us. Mr B was thriving on dominoes as he beat me three games, I then had a winning streak and won five games and suddenly he didn’t want to play! Frustration brought out our evil streaks… he cheated mercilessly and I kept knocking him back to ‘home’, how sad are we?

The thing is I had so much fun it was lovely, so relaxing! If this is a vision of our retirement at home doing bugger all it’s given me something to look forward to! I have just noticed I really am an old man – I am wearing a cardigan, my new favourite purchase. All I need is the slippers and the pipe next… and a nice warm fire.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Where Do You Write?

I love the article that they do every Saturday in The Guardian’s Review, it’s called ‘Writers Rooms’ (I’m not plagiarising I just like the idea) and published writers tell you all about the space they use to write and create new worlds, scenario’s and characters. So I decided to do a tongue in cheek version as I don’t have a writing room, more a writing desk in my flat! So what items do I have there that inspire me and make me work!?

Laptop – yep really obvious but I don’t use a typewriter (my mum used to have one and I never liked it much) and I generally have two other methods for notes – see below, all my stuff gets put on the laptop as I find it easier basically.

Blank A4 Pad & Notebooks – I like to have a blank A4 notepad in front of me not for the reasons you might think. Once I start writing I normally find myself in full flow. I do however have a habit of thinking of new characters or situations etc that could be used in another book or much later on, so I store them on there. The two pads I have are for when I am out and about. The checked one is solely for ‘Miriam Perry’ works and the black on is for Columns or any other idea’s that pop into my head!

Black Creative Zen – I like to listen to music when I am writing, if it’s a really crucial part then I will turn it off. However if my other half is about then the headphones come in really handy as while they are watching TV I am in my own little writing bubble, some music can help your mood of writing too. My Zen is awesome as it’s got about 9,000 songs on it, so I have songs for every occasion.

Magazines – I like to get the latest magazines to see if there is anything missing, or something I think I could contribute to them. It’s good to keep up to date with the publications that you would like to write for. They maybe advertising positions or looking for new talent. That is how I got my column in Bent, so if you keep looking you can find new work.

Colourful Folders – They are kind of hidden under books, but these are files for various things. ‘Things to do’ is full of articles I need to chase or contacts I would like to make. ‘Ideas’ is all the stuff I write on the blank pad and store. The list could go one.

Books – I have three piles of books. From left to right… books I have to review for various sites/magazines like ‘The Raw Shark Diaries’ and ‘The End of Mr Y’. Next books that are research for future projects at the moment I am fascinated by The Pendle Witch Trials so I have quite a few on them. Finally a pile of books I want to read in my spare time, reading books by people whose style you like or is the same genre as you wish to write is always a good thing, its not plagiarism, its research.

Scented candles and Incense Sticks – I like all my senses working so as am looking at my work, listening to Kylie and stuffing my self with chocolates I also have some aroma’s going on, sounds a bit pretentious that doesn’t it?

Pens – I seem to collect them and I use different colours for different projects.
Chocolates – I treat myself for every thousand words I manage with a chocolate or if am having a bad day every hundred words I type.

A Mug of Tea – Always good, I think I am made of 90% Tea. This mug is really special as it’s got a picture of Michelle and me on it, I am writing a novel with her so it helps keep me focused! It’s also a very silly picture so when I am feeling down I look at it and laugh lots.

Hope you enjoyed that? Please ignore the pink blow up sofa and the pile of laundry – that’s kust me being busy writing and not tidying! I would love to see what other peoples ‘creative space’ looks like and why – go on have a go!

Not in the Telegraph, But Am in Boyz

Sadly I found out today that I didn’t make it into the final 50 of The Telegraph’s ‘Novel in a Year Award’. I am quite upset, the prize was only a book, but then if you were in the final five you get to have dinner and stuff with agents, publicists and authors which would have been a good crack. I guess I just have to take it with a pinch of salt and move on.

One slight criticism was that as they only expected a few hundred entries and got over 2,000 it is claimed they only read the first paragraph, I wouldn’t say that was the fairest way to read, and also they didn’t judge them as a panel but separately. Seems a little half hearted to me, but hey ho. I didn’t get it and I wish the final 50 lots and lots of luck. I am actually looking forward to reading some of them.

Then a funny thing happened later though, I was just relaxing at home flicking through Boyz… and there was me on the whole of page 18! I couldn’t believe it and may have even let out a slight squeal. Sssshhhh, don’t tell anyone. It’s the advert I did for GMFA the charity, all about HIV awareness, just to put you all straight I am not HIV positive (I know my Dad reads this) I just did it for the charity. See picture above! So that made me laugh, I can’t get onto the pages of the Telegraph, but I can Boyz, and I know which I would rather!

Oh spoke to my mate Mark for first time in donkeys (we both get a bit hectic) and after his transplant he is doing really well, he was even featured in the press too! Aren’t we a pair of media whores…

Friday, May 04, 2007

Losing The Plot & Then Joining In

Yesterday was not a good day I am quite embarrassed. I think the fact I have been cooped up all week and not been sleeping very well has a lot to do with it, the rest is that I am a bit of a grumpy old slag at the moment, and possibly a touch self obsessed and ‘woe is me’. I realised that I had been a bit of a dick when three of my mates phoned me saying ‘was that aimed at me’ and no it wasn’t. I was just being a prick. We all have those days I guess. Yesterday was just a ‘dark day’.

I had a right old rant yesterday, which is not very like me! I do grumble on the odd occasion I admit, but I don’t normally start slagging the world and his wife off. Anyways all is resolved and today I have a positive hat on. I think this is to do with the fact that I slept for about 14 hours and that’s helped, plus I got some fresh air. Plus a HUGE thanks to Helen who gave me a good kick up the arse! My friends are the best (which is what I nearly always write) I just lost the plot a bit yesterday and brought out some dirty laundry that shouldn’t have been aired in public!

So what has today held in store? Well it saw me actually walk out the house (only as far as the end of the road) it felt like I had achieved something. I decided to join the library; it’s not far and will help me save money on books and stuff. It’s also good to use the library; you never know what gems you may find. I actually found a book that I used to read when I was about 11. It’s called ‘The Hounds of the Morrigan’ by Pat O’Shea and I couldn’t remember what it was or who by for the last 14 years and only recognised it by its cover! I was so chuffed, is that sad?

I got three other books, one a recommendation by my Gran. She is actually normally quite good with books though she hated ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ which I was hooked by! The book is ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ by Maggie O’Farrell it’s meant to be very good. I also got ‘The Swimming Pool Library’ by Alan Hollinghurst, and a book called ‘The Cello’ by James Riordan. The later is a book for teenagers about homophobia and should be quite an interesting read I reckon. I’ll let you know.

After that I went to the Leisure Centre. I am in no fit state to do anything there but as it was near by I decided I would check out the prices as I want to get fit, both for me personally and for next years ‘Big Day’. I cannot believe how cheap it is. For the spa facilities, gym and swimming its £45 a month! I think once payday arrives and my stitches are out I will be heading down there, it open till 11pm everyday! Plus it’s been done up (I am going to sound like a right snob) some leisure centres can be vile. I didn’t ask if you get free entry to Tooting Lido as I’d like to use that a lot in the summer! It’s the second biggest outdoor pool in Europe.

After that I started to ache, so I quickly nipped in the DVD shop to get something fun. I have ended up with ‘The Hogfather’ that TV adaptation of the Terry Pratchett novel. I am all about the book to film adaptations at the moment! So I think I shall watch that and then get tucked in bed with a good book! Night! X

A Two Parter

Yes today will see me writing a two part blog. One part is upbeat and chirpy like I have been feeling today, the second part is going to be a bit of a rant – so I apologise in advance. I just can’t decide what to do first. Ok the rant, that way the follow up bit will be a more positive me.


Ok so I am pissed of with a few things at the moment. Firstly is the fact that after commenting on so many peoples blog’s and trying so hard to keep up to date with people on myspace I don’t feel like I am getting much back. Ok so some of you are exempt from this. I don’t expect to make big friendships out of myspace but it would be nice. You know? I’m aiming to make mates with people that are like minded, mad or writers/book people. I guess I am whining for no reason. Can I just ask… people if you read the blog please leave a little comment – I try to always do it for you guys? Myspace moan over.

Being sick is pissing me off too. I mean having been ill in the past and this lump being where it is I would like people to understand what’s happening and not take the piss. I mean if anyone asks me how my ‘meat and two veg’ are one more time heaven help them! I am telling people about it so that anyone who goes through a ‘scare’ or not can see what you have to go through, not to have the piss taken out of me.

Finally the wedding... I have had some lovely cards from my great aunt, grandparents and aunty, sod all from my bloody mother. Oh well rant over… I probably sound like a right prick.

Enough of this, it’s a bit ugly and with my hair looking like a blondish bush and a beard to die for I am looking ugly enough!


Hoyden caught a mouse again this morning! It’s a delight when you are stuck in bed and she is throwing the poor creature around. Bless her! Thank goodness I have her or I might have a mouse problem. She was extremely pleased with herself.

I watched ‘The Night Listener’ a film version of the Armistead Maupin book. Toni Collette is as always fabulous in it! Robin Williams wasn’t as annoying as usual and his ‘gay relationship’ was very touching. A good film, not quite the Sixth Sense but almost.

My website is almost done! You can check it at if you want a link to your site on there please let me know and I will chuck it on for you! It’s not as good as I would like but I have made it all myself and so I should be a little proud of myself. I have to say though I spoke to my Dad today and he told me of my cousin (who I have never met) who has a site. My Dad reckons we are really, really, really similar as people (poor Graham) check his site out he has some hilarious cartoons on it, seriously look at it. I sent him a nice email that I hope he replies to!

Now I am waiting for my pie to cook and watching ‘Jordan & Peter; The Next Chapter’ then it’s another favourite of mine… ‘Deadline’. So I shall depart!

Stranger Than Fiction

Wednesday 2nd May

I have been having a completely lazy ‘recovery’ day today and it’s been quite nice. I have finished a book and started on a new one (reading not writing, have done sod all writing) and have watched three DVD’s. Mr B has got over his throat infection so I was alone today, this can be a good and a bad thing.

Being alone for me is a double edged sword. I really relax, really write or really start to get bored. The later is a dangerous place. If I get bored I get cranky, when cranky nothing will lift me out of the boredom. I have acknowledged this little trait in myself, but how do you deal with this. I’m not in a good state to leave my bed and do anything, like dance around to Kylie, so it just sort of hangs over me… the boredom I mean.

However the films helped. Mr B got me three, they were ‘Eragon’, ‘Stranger than Fiction’ and ‘Perfume’. I won’t say too much about Eragon, it doesn’t need much said. I liked the book, the film however just wasn’t quite right. I didn’t like the ‘mind talking’ of the Dragon, it annoyed me, and whoever it was couldn’t act for toffee – it may have been Rachel Weiss and normally she’s really kind of ok. As a dragon she is shit. ‘Perfume’ is good; again not as good as the book but I much prefer books over movies on the whole. The whole orgy bit was a little dodgy, but then it took away from some of the acting – what a bitchy critic I am today.

The best film was ‘Stranger than Fiction’ not a movie made from a book and also one I had never heard of. Mr B chose well, I love, love, love Emma Thompson and she was brilliant in this. The story is of a normal man with no life, one day he wakes up with someone telling him exactly what he is doing and has just done. Eventually he realises someone is writing his life. When he works out who (Emma Thompson), he has to seek her out as she is famous for killing all her main characters. From that synopsis it might sound a bit shit but it’s actually brilliant, I didn’t even find Will Ferrell as annoying as usual.

Book wise I want to really ‘Big Up’ David Llewellyn’s ‘Eleven’. I have been meaning to read it since he became a ‘myspace friend’. I have now finished it and it was brilliant. I laughed at all the ‘wrong’ parts – which is always a good sign. It’s about a guy in Cardiff who wants to be a writer and is unhappy in his job. It’s all based on the email he gets on one day… which happens to be 9/11. It is so close to the truth ‘corporations’ not giving a shit while everyone else panics that the world is going to end, and is so involving. I only read a few pages yesterday but had finished the rest in an hour or so. So please, please check his myspace, and also check out his book ‘Eleven’ on Amazon. It’s great.

So that’s been my day really. I am in recovery from an op so I think being a completely lazy sod is allowed is it not?

Can Everyone Feel Sorry For Me Please?

May 1st 2007

I have had a rough and unexpected two days. I came back from Yorkshire feeling odd I admit. I didn’t however expect to be sat in A&E at 5am on Monday morning. I certainly didn’t expect to be sent home at lunch and then go into have surgery again in the afternoon.

I have this lump, its boring you all I am sure. I have gained a cyst via the infected fluid, I don’t know how that causes it but it does. So it has been removed. I was in for the night as there was some bleeding and an issue with my blood pressure. It has all been a bit of a shock really. I don’t understand why they couldn’t get the bloody main thing out – apparently St Georges aren’t specialists in that area.

So if I have said will see you this week – I won’t be – I am having lots of time in bed, or have ignored you then you now know why! Can I have lots of sympathy please? I am in pain and feeling quite pathetic!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wuthering, Wuthering, Wuthering Heights

Saturday 28th April 2007

It’s been a long but lovely day and I am blistered and a little achy but in general feeling quite exhilarated. We have been walking, by walking I don’t mean just a small wander around the town. We have been on a full on 8.5mile walk around the Dales.

Got up bright and early after a shit nights sleep, Mitch had to wake me as I forgot to set my alarm. As we were off getting breakfast and sorting the car ticket out we decided to go on a small walk just the two of us. I cannot tell you how much I love Mitch she’s special, well in many ways. We walked around the old graveyard which is a very strange place. Half of it is old flat tombs which look very strange, then the opposite side is all upright gravestones, it’s a stark contrast and also did you know over 4,000 people are buried in there, that’s madness. We then went and bought fresh jam, fresh bread and croissants, that and my amazing (if I do say so myself) scrambled egg and mushrooms was a stunning breakfast!

The walk was a tentative thing due to me sadly. I was in pain. I am not normally a whiner but I was feeling shit! Aches and pains never make anyone that happy and after hardly any sleep I wasn’t really up for walking miles. We devised a plan, we would walk as far as Bronte Waterfalls and the Bronte Seat and if I was in agony we would head back. My aches lasted twenty minutes and then vanished so we did the whole lot.

I cannot believe how beautiful it is out there. A short walk out of the town and you are in the moors all heather and desolation. We walked from Howarth to the Bronte seat. Apparently the sisters would walk there to think and get inspiration from for there books. We sat and just took the whole site in, it was truly exhilarating.

We then did the next leg which was to the farm that inspired ‘Wuthering Heights’. You can actually see it from quite a few miles away! It’s one farm with a single tree in the middle of nowhere; on one of the highest points in the area. It’s sparse and strangely haunting. I could have sat up there for hours. Muffin decided to break in. ME took a picture and her face is not on there its quite spooky, like someone else is in front of the camera.

We headed back via the pub. It was another ‘haunted’ pub called The Old Ship but I cant remember the town it was next to, lunch was fabulous, all of us chipping into a Treacle Pudding. An hour or so later and relaxed in the sun with cups of tea, yes we are all OAP’s secretly! I had a soak and then it was time for a pub crawl. I can honestly say I have never seen such a bizarre mixture of people, one pub Howarth Hall is a bit of a hell hole, I wouldn’t go back there. The next pub we witnessed a teary lesbian and her vile massive grey thong! Then we went to the Black Bull again and onto the ‘good music’ pub. Oh saw the most amazingly chav-tastic thing at the first pub we refused to go in. A girl on the outside of a Vauxhall Frontera. She thought she was on Baywatch or something.

Just had a curry at 1am, they are all slagging it off, but I quite liked my Chicken Tikka Korma. I then fell asleep and dribbled on Mitch, whoops, what are friends for?

The Dales & Chicken Gate

Friday 27th April 2007

It took nearly six hours (including a few loo stops and lunch) to get here but here I am. The Yorkshire Dales and even better Howarth the home of the Bronte’s. It is simply stunning (am thinking wedding venues) here and I am so happy to be away from London and in the countryside… fresh air, it’s a revelation.

So far we haven’t really done very much. We found the house, after we went to completely the wrong one, Mitch has come up with the goods. The house is stunning and sadly up for sale. Its one of those really long houses with a cellar and three stories its not got a creepy feeling to it which I am slightly disappointed with, but K is very pleased.

We went on a food shop for a Roast Chicken dinner, more of that later, and then ended up in The Black Bull where Branwell Bronte (the opium addict and alcoholic brother who am reading about) used to frequent and supposedly haunts. I didn’t get a spooky vibe in there either, it has been on Most Haunted though so Mitch and I found that quite exciting. We also had a look at the shops that we are going to spend some severe money in on Sunday!

We all ended up in the ‘good music’ pub as it has been named by K. I wouldn’t go quite that far as it was cheesy karaoke but it was a laugh. We then realised it was almost 9pm and we hadn’t put the chicken in the oven. Now you wouldn’t think an uncooked chicken could cause issues. However, K and Muffin are quite food orientated and they plan there days on food, a habit I feel I may catch. So Mitch and Muffin went off to sort it. I didn’t realise when I went round to give them my lighter that World War III had broken out. It appeared Muffin wasn’t happy with Mitch helping. I know Muffin, have for 22 years and can officially say it wasn’t the way it was intended. Muffin can be a bit anal, but she admits that, she also wanted to have contributed something solely to the whole weekend.

So it became ‘Chicken Gate’ I tried to take a photo of the whole event but was promptly told to ‘knob off’, but an hour later all was sorted. There is a lovely ‘paparazzi’ photo that I will try and upload on here of the two ladies in question. Dinner was gorgeous I hasten to add. Now we are off to play Twister, we are a little drunk, my teeth and testicle hurt though, hope I don’t do anymore damage to myself.