Two Days in the Valley

Day One proper of the Trip to the Forest has involved an inordinate amount of rain. I’m reliably informed that the same amount has fallen today that normally would in a month, and I can well believe the claim. I’ve not been on a road bike since San Franciso and so this morning a wet arse and horizontal water was quite educational. I am more confident that I remember being in such situations too, which makes me think all the effort with exercise is having a genuine improvement on other things. That was definitely borne out with playing badminton, where hitting stuff is showing a marked improvement.

I’m also beginning to realize just how tired I am after the last few weeks: returning from a morning of swimming and sport, I had a ‘I’ll just sit here for a second’ moment morph into a full on 45 minute kip. This evening I’ve also indulged in 3 drinks and the fatigue’s actually a struggle to flight against and as a result I’m getting to the end of this paragraph and giving up, mostly because relaxation’s something I’m really no good at and needs work, and I’d like to make the most of the moment while I have it. It takes coming away to make you grasp what’s wrong at home, and I’m beginning to understand what I’ll need to change when I get back to push forward in the long term.


I’m a really cheap date.

Coming Around Again

There was a momentary period of panic when it became apparent that no phone signal at my current location equated to no code for my two step authentication, but fortunately I have a list of codes to hand to negate the technological shortcomings. WordPress’ app, although beautifully simplistic, lacks a lot of the charm of the web-based version, most especially the ability to use your own images. That’s quite a big draw in itself, and I’d be lost if I didn’t have a fully functional browser to compose on. Mostly, what this shows is just how horrendously awful Blogger’s entire interface is, either web-based or otherwise. Mostly, I am again reminded of just what a fabulous idea it was to move everything away with Google and settle here.

Traveling was not particularly problematic, even with the blow out on the M1. My other half maintains his 100% unblemished record as Best Husband EU and had us up and running within 30 minutes of the incident. I used an emergency telephone for the first time in 20 or so years, and fortunately there was only 15 miles left to crawl on the spare. Mostly, it was just one of those things. Now we’re here? The weather looks horrendous for the week but no matter. I did seven miles on the site before dinner (salad, no dessert) and suspect I’ll do about the same every day, mostly because my back is playing up and walking is the only sure fire way to ensure I’m not in agony.

It should also help me sleep.


Bring on the next four days of exercise, more exercise, occasional food breaks, exercise and probably lying in a pile going ‘BLEURGH.’ Welcome to what passes for relaxation for me, and it does, because I’ve never been the kind of person who can just lie on a lounger and get a suntan. Holidays mean making the most of every moment, not eating too much and burning more calories away than I do at home. Yes, I am probably doing this wrong, but I can’t help what I am.

Time to sort out the swimming costume for the morning.

Ramble On

This time tomorrow, I will be on holiday.

That thought alone is really rather gratefully received, as it’s been pretty full on for the last couple of months. I’d like to say I’m not going to think about ‘work’ while I’m away too but that’s never really true: whenever I go anywhere, I’ll write when I’m able. Normally I’d have pre-prepared five days’ worth of Other Blog content to cover the shortfall but this time there’s simply not been enough hours in the day. That means I’ll be being creative in the next five days or so, and working pretty much on the fly.

It should be quite interesting to see what I can come up with as a result.


As I’m off to be fit for five days, there’s less likelihood of being distracted by tea and snacks, plus if the weather is good I have more chance to be outdoors doing stuff. I’ve also got a bit of cash earned to spend on some new clothing (as the place we’re at has shops on site.) It will be more expensive than normal, but I can at least try stuff on without needing to throw myself into a shopping centre. Mostly I have no idea what size I am any more: half my clothing appears to be far too large all of a sudden. There will be at least some time in the swimming pool, quite a lot of miles on the roads around the area and I suspect bike time too. I’ve not actually ridden a road bike since San Francisco last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing if all the work has finally produced an improvement.

For now, there’s things I must do before I start packing. I should probably try and find some shorts. Perhaps it is finally time to get my legs out for the summer.

Your Cheating Heart

I will admit this morning to feeling like a bit of a fraud when I woke up.


I’ve been spending money that would have been on cake and chocolate on a bi-weekly sports massage instead. As you can see, the night *after* a massage my body gets a really decent rest period, but undoubtedly this doesn’t last because of all manner of extraneous factors. One of those, I’ve discovered, is the fact I was eating too much processed sugar again. Except this week that’s been removed summarily from my diet. That meant, when I got on the scales this morning? I’ve lost a massive THREE POUNDS for the week. I don’t remember at any point being able to track my weight decreasing in this fashion. Normally I’m up and down like a fiddler’s elbow/tart’s drawers (delete where applicable) but the trend is never to keep going down with such speed. It means that not only am I lighter, but I feel appreciably more awake and alert. In fact, if I’m honest?

This is the best I’ve felt for several months.


The only donuts you’ll find here…

I’d like to apologise to those of you who’ve had to suffer five day’s worth of withdrawal symptoms as a result of this change, but I think the trauma is already worth the result. The biggest problem for me will be getting through the weekend as a Good Girl (TM) and then I have five days away with the kids for Half Term. However, I’m already planning ahead which says to me that actually? I’ve got this. The plan is to see if I can get under and stay under 160 pounds for a while and once I do, introducing the odd reward back into the eating regime won’t be the end of the world. However, I have to stop thinking about the destination whilst still on the journey. Willpower is the key, and then there’s the exercise.

This is the longest I’ve gone without a proper Gym visit since I began working seriously back in September, mostly because I’ve had to work and at least in part because Monday’s PT session was the hardest thing I’ve done for a very long time. However, I beat my step goal by some way yesterday and stuck walking into both Tuesday and Wednesday despite deadlines. I don’t want to stop exercising, far from it. The key now is to find a way to sustain a level of intensity, sleep enough and eat to maintain sanity. That’s meant more red meat in my diet than I can remember for a long time, and because that bothers me enough I’ll want to try and look for alternatives that aren’t so environmentally unfriendly. As it happens, I’ve become quite partial to pear and Stilton so cheese could be an option. I need to do more food research.


For now, however, I don’t want to be here typing, I need to be walking to the Gym.

Once I get back from holiday, we’ll see where things stand.

Almost Home

I can see light at the end of the Bond tunnel.

Last night I finally filled in the holes of plot that had been avoiding me for a couple of weeks, by effectively trashing a 10 thousand word section. ‘Kill your darlings’ is the thing I’ve always struggled with when writing, assuming that because a plot-line exists, I’m duty bound to maintain it at all costs. In this case however I was losing an important viewpoint, and that matters more than the action-based chapters that has preceded it. That means I’m back down to basics again, and can now spend the next couple of days putting meat on the bones. It allows me to go away next week with pretty much two thirds of the story done, and with only two major sections left to write in the final two chapters? My guess of an early June serialisation start’s not far off the reality. I do love it when a plan comes together.


After that, plans are afoot to start several new projects. The Big Grown Up Novel of Awesome is already 75% done, then the continuation/conclusion of The Sayers and after that? Lots of possibilities. Many, many things on the hard drive I feel confident enough now to pull out and play with. That’s the biggest stumbling block removed for my progression, an ability to feel confident enough with what I have to share it with the world.

That means that things get really interesting round about my 50th birthday. They say you’re never too old to start something new, right?


Last night, I plucked up the courage to share something with friends, and was quietly stunned at their positive reactions. I’ve stated on many occasions I enjoy the business of writing, but actually telling stories can be quite fraught. However, this one’s been around in my brain for a while and so I feel confident enough with the narrative to commit. What happens next, of course, is that I have to complete what I have begun. However, that’s nowhere near as frightening as it once was.

I’ve decided to ask for help in what might seem like an unexpected place.


My daughter’s taken her first steps into digital art thanks to a bunch of people I follow on Twitter, who inspired her to branch out from just pencil and paper. She has produced some amazing works in the last year, and it has made me realise just how influential other people’s interpretation of your world can be. So, I’ve approached a good friend (who’s currently doing the cover art for the upcoming Bond fanfic) and asked her if she’d be willing to draw my characters for me, based on my own words and suggestions. This means I have to actually create plausible and believable biographies for all of these individuals, and come up with physical attributes for them all. It’s all a part of learning process for my writing, that I’m finding more than a little enjoyable.


As a rule, I’m not that great at patience and organising myself, despite presentations to the contrary. This is something that makes me think and directs attention to characterisation, and can only be a good thing in the long term. Also, as I don’t intend to serialise this novel and would like to try and get the thing published ‘properly’ so I make real actual money from it? Having advertising material to draw people in without giving away plot would actually be rather useful. So this stuff will serve several purposes.

Mostly, its the steps into a larger Universe that are the most fun of all.