Posted in Writing




Days out in the car always involve a bit of a tussle over whose music gets played.  We’ve now come to a deal that one of us will have their iPod playing on the outward journey, the other on the return.  Problem sorted, right?  Well not quite; you see neither of us really like each other’s music!

It’s a crazy thing because when I met my other half one of the things we found we had in common was that our music tastes were quite similar.  In fact when we moved in together and our record collections were merged we found there was quite a bit of duplication.  Time, however, appears to have completely turned that on its head.  I do have quite an eclectic taste – ballads, R & B, even occasional electropop but guitar driven rock music is my main love.  My other half acknowledges that some of my taste is good but a lot of it gets a definite thumbs down and at times a sort of ‘Are you kidding me?’ look.   But then why complain when my feelings about his choices are just the same?    So every trip out listening to his iPod becomes a bit of a travel lottery.  Can I cope with it all?  Should I take ear plugs?  The reason for the latter comment is because one of his favourite bands are Yes who were very big in the seventies.  Now I can cope with one or two tracks, but if I’m trapped in a car for any length of time with Jon Anderson’s falsetto voice I’m likely to want to open the door and take my chances with the tarmac!

Today as we drove down into Somerset for lunch with friends my other half’s music was playing.  I was supposed to connect my iPod for the return journey but for whatever reason it didn’t happen.  Usually I would have been a little miffed but on this occasion the music wasn’t bad and I felt fairly relaxed – probably helped by the large amount of wine consumed over lunch!  The sun was out the sky blue and we sang along very loudly like a couple of twelve year olds to things like Yellow Submarine, Can’t Buy Me Love and Ticket to Ride as the Beatles came up on the shuffle.  The Killers, Coldplay, Keane, Kasabian  and similar followed with not a Yes track in sight! It’s obvious the shuffle fairy was on my side (thank goodness!). There have been times, however, when I’ve had to sit through track after track of the most uninspiring stuff which left me wondering ‘how did these guys get a recording contract for heaven’s sake?’

Still, like beauty I guess it’s all in the eyes (or in this case ears) of the beholder.  As far as I’m concerned Reggae is a non-starter.  Artists like Bob Marley. Desmond Dekker, Aswad and Steel Pulse completely bypassed me.  Then there is Country Music.  Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers doing Islands in the Stream is guaranteed to bring out the worst in me as is Tammy Wynette’s Stand by Your Man – or should I say Mayun?  ‘Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman’ she drawls and for me it’s like someone dragging fingernails down a blackboard.  Yes it is I want to tell her; men can be very difficult, support is one thing but sounding as if you are turning yourself into an accommodating doormat is bad, very bad Tammy!

Seriously though such a blanket statement about my dislike of Country Music is a little OTT, it’s simply the twee stuff I don’t like.  I love  Jude Cole and Shania Twain, especially  her single It Don’t Impress Me Much because there’s a verse in that which aptly describes my other half.  It’s the bit about kissing his car goodnight that really hits the spot with me because he’s absolutely passionate about his motors.  Whenever I hear the song it always makes me laugh out loud and think ‘now that is so true!’ The kissing goodnight might be a tad far-fetched but there is no denying  he does lavish a lot of attention on his four-wheeled ‘ladies’.

Well this lady has come to the end of her blog journey for today and will now leave you with some music to enjoy.  Strangely I’ve found the choice this time very difficult, although I’m not sure why.  There’s so much music out there which I really love and this time around because I simply could not decide what to choose I’ve done a blindfold and pin job instead.  This really is a case of big production – melody and loads of energy.  It’s U2 and of course with The Edge you have that brilliant guitar work as well.  Enjoy or not as the case may be.  Next time around I’ll try and post something a little less dramatic – Spanish guitar maybe or those wonderful Corrs  – it’s a promise, but for now, till next week…

Apologies for the YouTube video not appearing – please click to view



untitled909Wednesday 7th May 2014

I’m in trouble! My Sunday blog slot has slipped yet again.  The problem is I tend to get so engrossed in writing and so tied up with where my story is, what the characters are doing and the dialogue for each scene that everything else goes out of the window!  However, this evening I’ve left my fictitious places and my characters frozen in time, waiting to be defrosted and brought back to life tomorrow morning.  Instead I’m planning to spend this evening writing something for the blog.

Topics are always difficult.  I don’t think I could undertake a daily blog, unless it was some sort of diarised thing about my life in general. However, normal life as lived in the suburbs has very little high drama, although a few weeks ago we did have a power cut which blew out two local pole mounted electricity transformers – huge explosion, flames, smoke and the eventual arrival of two fire tenders – I’m still trying to work out why we women find firemen so sexy but oh we do and the guys who arrived did not disappoint! Tonight with a holiday coming up in 16 days time I thought I’d share the occasions I’ve been the holiday albatross – you know the person who for whatever reason manages to almost wreck  a well planned vacation.

The first time I was honoured with this title was in 2006.  We were due to fly out to Corfu on the Monday and on late Saturday afternoon I was in the garden trying out a new camera.  My other half was being his usual helpful self standing on the balcony outside the dining room issuing instructions. Things like  ‘stand to the left a bit’ and ‘what about a shot of that?’  When our resident feline appeared and settled itself on the patio I heard ‘Go on, take one of the cat’ followed by ‘move closer, you’ll get a better shot.’  So I stepped from the lawn, across the border and onto the patio.  Simple?  Well not when you end up in the water feature!  What I fell over I have no idea, but one moment I was upright, the next sprawled in the wet with a gentle spray of water raining down on me. My other half shot down the steps to the garden to rescue…me?  Don’t be silly – the camera of course!  He did eventually help me up and as soon as I put my foot to the floor I knew I had a problem.  However, after walking around the lawn for a while the pain eased and my foot appeared to be  OK. False alarm I thought with a sigh of relief.  I went back to doing the normal pre-holiday stuff – sorting packing out, cooking supper, watching some TV and everything seemed fine.  However, when I woke on Sunday morning, my foot was swollen and I couldn’t put it to the floor.  After breakfast I was driven to ED which was surprisingly empty apart from three others all hobbling like me!  It must have been one of those falling over and wrecking your foot weekends!

After being booked in by the Triage Nurse and having an x-ray, I was advised I had a badly bruised foot and should take regular painkillers and keep my weight off it for a while.  ‘But I’m about to go on holiday, flying to Corfu tomorrow morning.’ I explained. Well make the most of it, get one of those airport buggy things to take you to the plane was the cheerful response.  I ignored their attempt at humour and my other half’s misgivings, asking whether we ought not to cancel.  The stubborn little Taurean bull in me was determined to go so I took regular painkillers and rested as best I could. By Monday morning with the bottom of my foot turning black, and me still full of cussed determination I fell into the taxi and made that flight! Everything went well and my limited mobility did not intrude into what was essentially a relaxing by the pool holiday.  One of the downsides my injury brought to this holiday,  however, was the fact  that all the time we were there, although the foot did get better I couldn’t wear heels – and that is a must for me.  I need high heels like I need to breathe! Even worse because I needed to support my foot it was impossible to even look at sandals. Instead I found myself spending the whole week in…trainers.  Now this is OK during the day, but when you’re planning to glam yourself up each evening to go out Nikes are a bit of a no-no.  Worse still, the wife of the couple we were with, without exception, always looks very glamorous. So wearing the bits of my holiday wardrobe which could cope with trainers I ended up feeling a bit like Cinderella before the fairy godmother hit town!

My next albatross moment was in the summer of 2010.  Again we were with the same couple and had driven down to North Devon for the husband’s birthday to this fabulous small hotel.  We got there late afternoon, unpacked, had a wander around and then went back to get ready to venture out for an evening meal.  My other half decides to take the first shower.  I’m reading.  He comes out of the shower towelling his hair and telling me he’s finished.  I close down the Kindle get off the bed walk around it to the shower room… straight into a chair leg.  Small toe on left foot very painful and going numb.  Examining my foot I’m sure this isn’t simply a case of the usual stubbed toe, it’s rather more serious than that.  So again I had to forsake my heels. This time, however, I managed to avoid the dreaded trainers discovering I could get into loafers which left me feeling slightly less of a fashion nightmare.  The next day my toe was still very painful (although not swollen) and as a precaution I anchored it with sticking plaster to its neighbour.  For that long weekend a box of plasters became my new best friend and again on painkillers I managed to keep mobile.  Returning home I visited ED again, wondering if this second visit qualified me for some sort of  loyalty card, and had it confirmed that the toe was broken and would take several weeks to heal.  They were impressed, however, at my first aid abilities.  Small toes cannot  be put in a plaster cast so using sticking plaster was the correct procedure for this (although I had no idea it was broken at the time).  Brownie points to me then!

My third and final pre-holiday horror was back in March this year.  Trouble comes in threes, so I’m hopeful this is my last brush with the accident fairy.  It was the day before we were due to fly out to Guernsey.  Some misguided idea brought me into the garden to sort out the bird feeder in one of the trees there.  Once refilled, I needed to secure the lid to the feeder before pulling it back up to hang among the branches.  Again I have no idea what happened.  One moment I was reaching up, the next I was lying flat on my back in a bed of daffodils. I think maybe the fact it was muddy and slightly slippery underfoot had something to do with it.  It all happened so quickly and in retrospect that was probably a good thing.  If I’d been aware of falling I would have probably tried to save myself and maybe made everything far worse. In those first few moments as I was lying there I remembered that one of our neighbours had ended up like this  just before Christmas when she was supporting the bottom of a ladder for her husband.  One of the rungs broke and he fell, pinning her to the ground.  She was injured quite badly and spent three days in hospital followed by a string of appointments with a consultant over damage to her lower back.  Looking up at the sky as I lay among the daffodils I closed my eyes and thought  ‘Oh please, no.’  Pushing myself up slowly I managed to get to my feet and walk back into the house. No apparent damage had been done, maybe the daffodils and soft earth had cushioned my fall, who knows?  Anyway I wasn’t taking any chances so had a very hot shower, rubbed in some pain relief and swallowed down a couple of paracetamol.  Gradually as the day progressed I felt better, but I kept up the medication for the next forty-eight hours.  The holiday was fine, we walked a lot which I think helped and by the time we flew home thankfully everything was back to normal.  Of course it could have been so very different – happily it seems I do have a guardian angel up there watching over me!

If you check the above dates it appears my potential for pre-holiday accidents is on a four-year cycle.  So this means I should be able to relax until 2018 – yes?   Well no actually, after this there’s no way I’m going to be taking my eye off the ball and becoming blasé.  These things happen so easily and when you least expect them – so from now on I’m definitely keeping a careful watch on where I put my feet or any other parts of my anatomy which may cause chaos!

See you next week.