Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A Poorly Boy on Christmas Eve

Looking forward to Christmas
After being either heavily pregnant, nursing a small baby or a combination of both for the last four Christmases I looked forward to an easier time this year. Since both Girlie Girl and Toddler Boy have settled into a bedtime routine I thought it reasonable to assume Christmas would be no exception. Visions of a glass of wine before the fire danced in my mind's eye as I tucked them into bed and put out the light.

A Cry in the Night
All went well until 11pm. Just as my eyelids drooped and I felt I couldn't possibly stay awake any longer there was a cry from upstairs. This signalled a long and worrying night.

Toddler Boy, face flushed, eyes bleary, temperature soaring at 39.3 degrees.

Febrile Convulsions
Immediate fears of Febrile Convulsions erupted in my breast. I shall never forget the terror on Halloween when Toddler Boy suddenly flopped forward unresponsive with no apparent breathing. Desperate attempts to revive him ensued. We thought he was choking so turned him upside down and tried to prise open his mouth that was clenched shut - no success. After what seemed like aeons of time his eyelids flickered open and that glorious sound of breath being taken followed.

NHS Helpline
Here on this stormy Christmas Eve night I feared the same would occur. A long time was spent on the NHS helpline. I sent my husband to bed anticipating he would need to be on top form to look after Girlie Girl on Christmas day. I sat cradling my little boy waiting to hear from the doctor. At 3am I got the call to bring Toddler Boy into hospital. The storm howled about us and the outside world seemed so menacing I wondered which was more frightening; stay at home and face the illness alone or risk the turbulent drive to hospital to face waiting rooms of bleeding party goers and germs which could result in an even more poorly boy. Luckily, thankfully, the Paracetamol and Ibuprophen worked their magic and his temperature dropped. This was my answer and the lovely doctor on the phone agreed.

Parents are Super Heroes
Sitting in a moment of relieved peace it struck me hard and clear what position us parents are in. The guardians of these tiny beings whose safety can be threatened in the blink of an eye. The decisions we make can stretch to the ends of the earth and are made in moments of weakness, emotional and physical fatigue. In such moments even a storm mutates into a howling monster intent on clawing the car off the road if we venture out.

I'm sure I'm not alone. Many mums and dads will no doubt find themselves facing these dilemmas in the dead of night. Then there are those whose Christmas has been flooded and bereft of heat, light, cosy cheer and festivity. Parents who have to wade through their sodden homes to try to make a special Christmas for their little ones and families.

It makes me realise that Super Heroes are not fictional characters at all. They are living in houses all over the world being strong and saving their loved ones every day and every night.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Pukefest 2013

Just when I thought I was on a roll with blogging and had all these ideas for future articles I was suddenly invited to Pukefest 2013.
The venue was my children's bedroom, the start time was 11pm, the finish time was yet to be decided.
The support act was toddler boy. He started proceedings with his unique projectile style, covering a 1 metre radius of his cot.
His endeavours were closely followed by girly girl. Her style was much more laid back, preferring instead to remain in sleeping position, head lolling over the side of the bed, dowsing much of the surrounding carpet.
Though I certainly did not shout 'Encore' at the end of each act of Pukefest 2013, they insisted on re-enacting their original performance a further four times throughout the night and early dawn.
By 3am there was not one single item of bedding or pyjamas that had not performed in Pukefest 2013. Quite a few cuddly toys along with a good amount of carpet and wall had also taken part in this astounding event.
The following few days were filled with cleaning and washing the entire contents of a shared bedroom and wardrobe along with a growing desperation of finding places to dry sheets.
The notion of sitting at my computer and feeling inspired to write was the stuff of dreams until today when the final load of washing whirred into life and girly girl said 'Goodbye' at the school lunch table.
It's a funny mix for me. When my little ones are poorly there is the stress and strain of looking after them and all the fall out of mess and mahem that ensues but there is also plenty of cuddles. In their subdued poorly state even toddler boy snuggles on the sofa and sits quietly with blanket - well for a few minutes at least!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Bless all the dear children - a little festive cheer

Today my little girl picked up the nativity story and said proudly, 'This is the story of manger mummy.' Love it, all the talk of Jesus and Santa and she remembers the manger.

Whilst looking at turkey crowns in the supermarket she said, 'I like all these turtles.' They actually do look like turtles.

Naughty Idea: Should I call the turkey a turtle when I dish up Christmas dinner? It could be one of those scenarios that results in my little ones believing they are eating turtle at Christmas for years to come. This reminds me that me and my brothers believed my mum was a cave girl in 'The Land That Time Forgot'. She had an answer for everything, she said she'd been covered in boot polish and changed her name so her parents wouldn't find out and we wholeheartedly believed her and told all the kids at school.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Funny Family Life...

Sitting with my husband eating dinner tonight and I got totally fed up with the constant farting, licking and grunting, so I let the dog out!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

My Idiot Moment...

My idiot moment for today (probably one of many). Talking to another mum about the pressures of children etc. She said, 'Of course I've also got ME'. I thought she said 'Emmie' and asked if she was talking about her daughter. 'No, I have M. E.' This could have been understandable only I know only to well what her daughter's called, we talk about her every day!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Easy Peasy Chocolate Pudding

Sunday afternoon and I thought I'd have a go at 'easy peasy chocolate pudding', a recipe which claims you will be rewarded with a gooey chocolate mound oozing with melting chocolate in just 6 minutes.

Total disaster.

Husband wafted old postcard under my nose quizzing me as to what ancient part of the Cornish coastline it depicted. My mind whirred from sifting flour to sifting through mental images of Cornwall.
My little girl interrupted at the point I over microwaved the rock solid butter to show me her impression of 'toddling' like her little brother. She executed a funny wiggling backward walk then asked where her gloves were. My mind flitted to all the places her gloves might be whilst simultaneously working through Cornwall images and shoving ingredients into an undersized bowl, the butter was incinerated.
I then discovered my little boy had walked off with the chocolate.
Throwing caution to the wind I shoved the bowl in the microwave and hoped for the best.
Needless to say I did not succeed. The pudding was a shambles, the chocolate was found smeared round the bath, the postcard was of St.Agnes beach and I only found one glove.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Struggling Writer - The Seed of Doubt has Started to Sprout

The Metamorphosis of Elissa Brown is my first and, at present, only completed novel. The idea for it popped into my head when I was a teenager. Many years later, I had a baby sleeping and a husband working nights and found myself wanting to write. The discipline to keep going when my eye lids drooped and baby cried, failed and rekindled relentlessly until I finally managed to finish it and publish on Amazon.

Since then I have totally ignored it and feel dreadful.

Now I cannot look at it. I love this book but it feels like it has been buried in Pet Cemetry and returned a disfigured version of its former self. It lurks in the drawer whispering about neglect and betrayal.

Steeped in motherhood I am working on a children's book about a Cornish mermaid. Hopefully it will sit on the shelf next to my novel...hopefully.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Struggling Domestic Goddess - Relaxing Bath

Finally, a window of time to spoil myself with a candlelit bath with all the trimmings. Bath filled and bubbling brilliantly, glass of wine on the side and all my accoutrements at the ready. Wrapped in just a towel I light a match, lean forward and find that my children have snapped off every wick on every frigging candle.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Struggling Artist - Curiosity Cat

Couldn't resist another quick post before picking up little one from school. It feels like I've spent the last year trying to find my artistic style by running away from my artistic style. I have gone through the full circle of trying out different techniques, styles and media only to realise...I liked the way I was before!

When time is precious it's so frustrating to feel it's been wasted. However, whilst searching a flash drive I stumbled across an old illustration and now feel a little more hopeful.

Struggling Domestic Goddess - The Poo Saga

Lovely start to the day. Dog developed a severe bout of the squits over night and practically covered the garden with his own shade of mustard.

After half an hour of clearing this up I then had to do the walk of shame to the poo bin down the road. I say the walk of shame not because I think it's wrong to put my dog poo in the bin for the park. I doubt there is a radius within which the poo must be done to allow it access to the bin. The shame comes from the overly conspicuous Tesco carrier bag that I have to heave along with me.

Of course, when one wants to be discreet, the world and his wife are out. I had to stop at various points on my journey to exchange pleasantries about the weather etc whilst being painfully aware of my smelly cargo.

Others had tiny nappy sacks obviously containing poo from their own pooches. They can even gesticulate without worry of spillage and apparently enjoy odourless poop scooping whilst I stand in their midst with my sackful of effluence that honks to high heaven.

Why can I never be graceful and effortless in my endeavours?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Struggling Domestic Goddess - The Idyl is not Achievable!

Nothing ever turns out like the scenes depicted in glossy lifestyle magazines. I flick through the pages and feel inspired by the pictures of folk ambling along blossom bedecked country lanes with an obedient dog trotting at their side. Children, dressed in bright colours, cheeks aglow with fresh air and joy, picking flowers and frolicking in the sun.

Yeah, well, I experience the following:

Dog smells rabbits and tries to bolt straight through wire fence. Spend fifteen minutes untangling him, praying there is no damage as I can't afford massive vet bills right now. (Plus of course, I don't want him hurt!!!!)

Child screams relentlessly after low flying aircraft scares her witless.

Rather than soaking up the atmos and enjoying the scenery I spend much of my time fashioning the dog's rope toy into an effective weapon should we ever meet anyone dodgy (I have total paranoia about the safety of the kids.)

Return home exhausted, covered in horse shit after the dog dived into a huge puddle of manure before returning happily to sniff and rub itself all over everybody and everything taking part in the outing. The only blessing was that we suffered a sudden torrential downpour which washed some of the effluence off.

Spend afternoon washing clothes and listening to the dog whine because, with all the fracas he didn't actually get a proper walk after all.

Deep joy.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Struggling Domestic Goddess

I would make a rubbish cat burglar. With every fibre of my being I am desperately trying to practice the art of stealth as I traverse the children's bedroom at night to turn off thier lamp. Just when I think I have made it to the said lamp I manage to kick a packet of wet wipes across the room and lean on the noisiest pirate ship that lets off its canons triumphantly!
I am, as always, a struggling domestic goddess.

Sunday, 7 April 2013


'We all changed, we revelled in our greatness, we soared above everyone else, champions of the world, until, like little Icaruses, the sun scorched our wings and we fell to the earth.'

The Metamorphosis of Elissa Brown

The Metamorphosis of Elissa Brown will be available for free download on amazon starting 12 noon (GMT).

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Struggling Domestic Goddess

Being a successful domestic goddess was tricksy with one baby along with my creative endeavours jostling in the background demanding to get done.

My potential for casually putting together a nutritious meal in a kitchen bedecked with fairy lights that Nigella would be proud of whilst nonchalently typing on my laptop, nosedived when one child turned into two.

That was when the word 'struggle' seemed to feature prominently in my life. I am a struggling writer, illustrator and domestic goddess and therefore struggle to fit everything into each day. What I do not struggle with is finding humour and laughter in all trials and tribulations.

For example, when pulling out a tray of chips that, once again, were incinerated on one side and raw on the other, after they had romped through an hour of electricity I had a brainwave. Now I blitz the buggers in a microwave in little bursts til soft then pop them in the oven for the duration that it takes to cook a pizza - genius.

No anxious, long wait wondering if they will ever cook imagining our hard earned pounds flying off to the electricity provider. No struggling with toddler who is drawn to oven like moth to a flame, whilst my little girl wails about being hungry! Deep joy for little things.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

I have managed to put together the third page of 'The Perception of the Pughs' and posted it below

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Perception of the Pughs - Page Two

Here is the second page of this graphic novel.

Hopefully this graphic novel will unfold into a psychological thriller which plays around with the concept of perception. The next page should appear this time next week.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Perception of the Pughs

This is the first page of my graphic novel with the working title of 'The Perception of the Pughs.' It's a work in progress but I wanted to let the story unfold in my blog to see where it goes. All writing and artwork is my own creation.

Obviously I welcome any feedback on the writing and the pictures. One thing I've found when writing is that it's extremely hard to be objective. I love every character that I create and become very absorbed in their stories. This is makes it nearly impossible to know whether someone else would find them interesting so I rely on the viewpoint of others.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Struggling Domestic Goddess and Writer

Just when I really need the internet my computer refuses to work. Having dug out the antiquated pc from the back of the garage I have been forced to remember why it was ostracised in the first place.
Two hours of faffing and waiting for it to do anything I have come to the conclusion that I will have to while away the waiting time doing other little jobs such as putting washing out and doing the dishes. If I do not multi-task in this manner I fear for the safety of this computer and my writing hand!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Published on Amazon

So I have finally finished my first novel and actually had the courage to publish it for the world to see - only the world can't really find it at the moment! Being a bit of a social networking phobe this part of the journey has proved to be the most daunting.
I have joined bookblogs.ning.com and feel very welcomed.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Metamorphosis of Elissa Brown

Folk have been heard to say, 'There's madness in my family.' How would you feel if you found yourself saying, 'There's monsters in my family,' or even, 'Supernatural beings?'

Elissa Brown is an average, orange haired teenager who deems herself a geek. She lives with her Grandmother in a small village surrounded by sea and roaming hills. Her mother is dead leaving nothing but a few oddments and a smelly book of tales full of strange beings and stories of magic, love and loss.

Her heart yearns for the boy next door. Her love is unrequited until she stumbles into a world where romance becomes reality and the monsters of fairy tales are just a strand of DNA away, waiting for a catalyst to unleash them.