Aaaaaaaaaaagh! The very word leaves me running around the house with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Why I hear you ask? Simple really. Like anyone, I love, love, love the idea of drying my washing in a gently warming breeze, of listening to birdsong, as bees hum around my lavender and of dining al fresco, waving our undercooked, barbecued chicken legs to the neighbours over the fence, whilst sampling a rather favourable, chilled Shloer.
Yes - this all sounds blissful, but I am also a major sufferer of PDMMGMBOIFOAIK. More commonly known as:
Now I love to feel sunshine on my skin, but I like to do it in isolation, preferably on a desert island where cameras and mirrors are banned and anyone else visiting has to, by law, wear an eye mask. The prospect of displaying my melonious chest, ripple of back fat and my chubby thighs to my nearest and dearest is not something I relish!
It’s my own fault. I know. Of course it is, no one is making me reach for the comfort of a cheese and onion pasty on a cold winter’s day at any number of service stations and no one is controlling the hand that slathers my toast with butter, as a balm to the chill on an autumnal morning – only me. But Jeez – before I know it and with all the good intentions resting on my tongue – summer is here again!
Thinking about it, I tell you what might work, in my quest to have a fit, fat free holiday, is there any way I could project a picture of me in my pants, back fat and all – onto the fridge door every time I go for a snack? This would surely make me slam it shut pretty darn quickly.
Joking apart how fast do the years fly by? I am starting to sound like my Nan, bless her. Next I’ll be telling you the same story three times in an hour, eating my supper at four in the afternoon and using whichever of the kids/grandkids/cousins/pets names trips on to my tongue first without regard for the person or topic. (I was called alternatively Luke or Winnie for the last couple of years of her life) actually just read this back and I am already guilty of at least two.
It’s been a busy six months.
I am over the moon at how well received my books have been this year. ‘The Food of Love,’ ‘The Idea of You’ and ‘The Art of Hiding,’ have all garnered strong reviews for which I am so very grateful, thank you.
My next books are a bit different and I truly cannot wait to let them fly! I have worked hard and can honestly say that I feel very proud of these new stories. A slightly different direction for me, but still a slice of high-emotion, family life that will wrap you up and carry you along on a journey that will seem familiar, but heart-wrenching nonetheless. I have created characters that I have loved spending time with and I hope you will too!
The kids are home at the moment. Sweet Mother of Betsy – how did we all live in this little house all of the time? Now don’t get me wrong, I am never happier than when they are back from university but good Lord! They take up the sofa, leave wet towels on the floor, empty the fridge (ooh this might actually be a good thing – see above!) The laundry basket is forever full and I bump into at least one of them or their mates every time I get up in the middle of the night, half awake, for a pee and it scares the bejeebers out of me!
Who am I kidding? When they leave and return to the places they share with mates, I will feel lost. I will hate the tidiness, the quiet, and the vacant bathroom. I will miss the raucous laughter, the beer cans under the sofa, the requests for a dozen bacon sandwiches at all hours of the day and night, and the general hubbub of life that makes me feel alive.
I hope your summer is warm and full of laughter and for those who are finding life tough right now, know that it will pass and please embrace the benefits of being outside. I know that when I feel low, a quick walk around the block helps clear my head and helps me breathe… There is an old proverb that I love “walk until you find the answer…” so true and I find it all clicks into place when you realise that walking IS the answer.
Thank you for your love, support, messages and kindness that light my path home at the end of many a dark day.
You are wonderful.