Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A very moving makeover

My lovely darling readers,

Don't tell anyone, but I've had the odd nip and tuck, and now, well, frankly I'm gorgeous. You'll find the new me at http://www.dulwichdivorcee.com/.

Please update your URL thingies, and come and join me for more adventures.

Lots of love,


Writer's Block

You know you have writer's block when:
1. You do little sums in your head to work out how many words you've already written and how many you still have to go before you hit the target of 500 a day.
2. These little sums get more and more complicated and start to involve calculators, square roots and counting long words as two or, in the case of antidisestablishmentarianism, as three. And that's a word that crops up surprisingly often in my book. Which is a little odd, as it's chicklit, not a critique of the 19th century High Church movement.
3. You find yourself welcoming the Ocado man like a long-lost friend and try to start a long chat with the words, 'lovely weather we're having!'. Then you notice it's raining.
4. The idea of clearing out the cellar becomes curiously compelling. That spider phobia? Yep, it's vanished.
5. The very act of opening up your novel gives you an irresistible thirst for tea. Then you realise that, whoops, you're out of teabags and, before you know it, you're in the middle of Sainsbury's studying the, erm, white wine section. Is it chardonnay o'clock yet?
6. You tell everyone not to ring you between 9 and ten. Then, when the phone goes, you leap on it and chat away to the double glazing sales lady. Eventually, she puts the phone down on you ....
7. You spend the whole day on Twitter, telling everyone you've got writer's block. But that doesn't seem to appy to those 140 characters, now does it?
8. You actually encourage the cat to come and sit on your computer keyboard. You can't possibly disturb her now she's settled down. She looks so cute!
9. As it's raining outside, her little wet paws short-circuit your ancient computer and blow the whole lot up. And you're glad!
10. You're just thinking of your 499th word, once the computer mender has left, when you catch sight of the clock. 3.20! Yikes, got to get the girls. Damn, and it was all going so well today too .....oh well, there's always tomorrow .....

Monday, 5 October 2009

Underlying health issues

My heart goes out to the parents of the poor 14-year-old girl who died after her cervical cancer jab last week. I can't imagine how awful it must be to face the death of a beloved daughter. My own Child One, on the cusp of 14 now, is such a delight all of a sudden that I can hardly bear to part with her for the obligatory every-other-weekend. The idea of eternity without her gentle smile just makes me cry. Though she still has (deeply) childish moments, I can see the lovely young woman she'll become. And she has a fabulous figure, waist-length blonde hair and endless legs, grrrr.

The whole cervical cancer injection thing is a worry, as Child Two is coming up fast to the jabbing age. The girl who died (I don't want to include her name as, if she were my daughter, I don't think I'd want it bandied about by unknown bloggers) turned out to have 'underlying health problems,' a favourite Government phrase which I find deeply sinister. In her case, it does seem as though the injection had little to do with her tragic death, but of course it's made me question the whole business.

Has the Government really tested this innoculation thoroughly? Is it using a generation of 13 and 14 year old girls as guinea pigs? A lot of girls at Child One's school seemed to suffer side effects. I did put it down, at the time, to girly-girly hysteria, though Child One herself did complain of a sore arm for days. At the time of the second injection, she had a slight temperature and had been staying with Mr X. He urged her to tell the nurse she wasn't well, and the injection was postponed - to my fury at the time, as Mr X had gaily left me with the lovely job of contacting the local NHS Trust, finding the right person, setting up an alternative appointment within the statutory 6 week period and, of course, chauffeuring Child One to and from it. In the end, I managed to wangle an injection at the school with some year 10 girls, who were much less prone to shrieking, and as a result she had no residual soreness after the jab.

While I cursed Mr X roundly at the time for messing things up, I now look back and am hugely relieved that Child One didn't have the injection while she wasn't 100 per cent well. Who's to say that she couldn't have become the first statistic, with a Government spokesperson intoning solemnly that she had 'underlying health issues'?. Will Child Two be having the injection next year? I'm not sure.