Saturday, 5 November 2011


So now I've taken on another challenge. What is it about me and challenges? NaNoWriMo; write a novel in a month. Yeah right. A. I don't have the time, and B. I probably don't have the skill. Well I don't know about the latter, I'll never know if I don't have a go. The feedback I've had from the Arvon courses I've been on are that I do have writing ability and that I learn quickly. What I probably lack is application. And that's largely because I get distracted by all the other things I've got on. But I say quite often to staff and students "You find time to do the things that are important to you". So if my writing is important to me I need to find time to do. NaNoWriMo feels manageable. Writing 50,000 words is imaginable. I wrote 80,000 for my thesis, many more if you include the pre-edited versions. So 50,000 is not impossible. And the brilliant thing about NaNoWriMo is that you go for quantity not quality. Yes that's right, quantity not quality. It's all about writing with self-edit turned off. It doesn't matter what you are writing, what matter is that you are writing. It's day 5 and I'm a bit behind with my daily allocation - the 50,000 words works out to 1667 words a day, every day, for the whole of November. I've still got 537 words to do today to get back on target but that feels doable. Especially as it's only 6.30 in the morning and it's a Saturday. I'm sure I can bang out another few hundred words today, even get ahead of myself again and bank a few more hundred against days when I am struggling. After all I am writing this aren't I? I clearly haven't run out of words yet. NaNoWriMo is getting me out of bed early in the morning. I feel the urge to get up and get cracking. I need to get at least a chunk of my word count under my belt by the time I set off for work and then with this notebook I can carry on typing on the train which is brilliant. And it is so liberating just typing without going back to check anything. Just type, and type and type. So here's to NaNoWriMo and the long days ahead. Roll on end of November and those 50,000 words.

Friday, 26 August 2011


Now this might be a bit daft considering all the other stuff I've got going on at the moment - new business to set up (Glorious Gluten Free Foods), a full time job, lots of WIPs in the wool department (including 400 balls of locally produced Aran wool to knit), Twitter (which has become alarmingly time consuming due to my fixation with not missing anything), a Kindle full of books to read (including War & Peace of course) - but I've just agreed to take on an allotment. About 3 months ago I put my name down on what the local allotment society website said was a 12 year waiting list. That 12 years just became 12 weeks and OH and I went over last night to have a look at our potential new project. Yes there were lots of reasons why we shouldn't be taking this on but it was just too tempting. So I am about to phone to accept a half plot (only a half, but it's still a lot of digging). It is currently very overgrown but I am assured that those are just very easily pull uppable weeds and that the person who used to have the plot (before the people who let the weeds grow) had a very productive piece of ground. I have already harvested a few broad beans from amongst the weeds and they were scrummy. So tomorrow we're off to Liverpool to meet up with some Norwegian friends of ours who are over at a Beatles experience weekend, and then Sunday will be allotment day! How very exciting. I think. I think this is a good time to take it on as we can do some digging and weeding now, harvest whatever we can from the plot and then do lots of planning over the winter, armchair gardening is so appealing. One day I'd like to set up a farmers' market in the village and encourage everyone to shop locally; maybe this allotment is the first step. Any tips anyone?

Friday, 19 August 2011

What a lot to do!

I am still knitting, some successful projects, some not so successful. Most annoying thing was finishing a jumper for my daughter and taking care for once to finish it off properly. And it was a disaster! She tried to pretend it wasn't but it was too small (me having worried most of the time about it being too big) and my picking up for the neckband was very messy. So it's back in my bag awaiting unraveling and re-knitting. You may get it for Christmas Jo! I have also taken the plunge and launched a new venture - baking gluten free foods. I have a friend who is coeliac and have discovered just how difficult it is for her to find good quality delicious baked goods. I have baked for her for a while and have now done some market testing. There is definitely a gap in the market big enough for me to wriggle into. I've started a separate blog to post about my new venture and market my delicious cakes and biscuits. Exciting times and busy ones too as I've just taken on an allotment. There was a 12 year waiting list according to our village website so I thought a few months ago I had better get my name down. 12 years seemed long enough away not to have to worry and I could always decide nearer the time if I really wanted one. Then I got a phone call to say I was at the top of the list and one had become free. A bit of a shock but I thought it too good an opportunity to miss. It's all about organisation and time management..... So I sing, I ring, I read, I swim, I knit, I bake and now I have an allotment. I need to go and lie down now.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Long time no blogging!

Haven't blogged on here for a while - a long while! But have been busy knitting. Have also joined Ravelry and am in process of putting photos of my projects on there. Have been doing lots of knitting, mainly for Gracie my adorable granddaughter born August 15th 2010. Have also set up another blog to post about my experiences of being a grandmother. Am going to try to blog more frequently and advertise the fact. Have got a period of change coming up so will write about that as well as posting pictures of some of my knitting projects. Have written a short story today - An Old Woman Falling - and am looking for a suitable competition to enter it for, or a magazine that might be interested in publishing. Have finally understood that the reason I am not published is because I don't submit! Am following Writers Mistakes which is very supportive and sensible. My plans for the future include writing, writing, writing. As well as the knitting and baking. All three are creative so hopefully will feed one another, as well as me.