Friday, November 28, 2014

4 beautiful things

Four Beautiful Things in one morning!

1. We have a surprise visitor. A long-time friend who we’d lost touch with until recently. Cayn Theakston was a top professional cyclist and won the Tour of Portugal in 1988. Cayn gives better hugs than anyone else I know and his crinkly smile lights up the room.

2. A letter from the hospital. The LSO’s appointment for his angioplasty is on Dec 8. It’s a relief to know the date.

3. The man who is building a house for himself on the plot of land next to us comes around to ask if we’d like our hedge cut. So grateful because the LSO can’t do it at the moment and it would have taken me a week a little bit at a time.

4. I put in a Cosmic Order for a parking spot near to the optician’s. ‘Turn left,’ I tell the LSO and there’s a space right around the corner.’ And there it was!

Monday, November 24, 2014

10 Reasons to visit a bookshop

I have pledged not to use Amazon for the whole of December but why wait? I stopped mid-November and had so much fun I may never use it to buy anything ever again. I realise, as writers, we need Amazon/Kindle in order to sell our own books but let’s hope someone with higher morals will come along to replace this company, or at least give us a choice.
On our Sabbath (any day of the week we choose to take off and do no work) the LSO and I visited Tewkesbury and called in at Alison’s Book shop. And my heart expanded as I realised what I’d been missing.

1. All those books to see, touch, feel, smell, try out…
2. Enough corners to hide behind so I could sniff the volumes in private.
3. An experienced salesperson to chat to.
4. Chairs to sit on whilst peering at the packed shelves or reading a few pages and making decisions.
5. A chance to listen to customers and hear how helpful the man behind the counter was. Examples. ‘Do you have a book of poetry – I’ve forgotten the title- but it has a poem about larks in it?’ ‘I’ve got some numbers for the books I want but they may have been written down wrongly…’
6. The joy of finding a favourite author and one of his books that I’d never read.
7. Discovering that the book is signed.
8. Getting a chance to discuss the author with the salesperson and discover he visits the shop to sign his books each time a new one comes out. I’ll be there next time.
9. To look at books that a certain company would never have recommended for me and find ones that I had never considered before.
10. The joy of wandering around with a bagful of books knowing that I had hours and hours of pleasure to come.

And a post-script. People who wander the streets, oblivious to others and to traffic, texting on their mobile phones annoy me so why did a guy walking through the shopping centre reading a book make me smile?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Coming Out. The LSO reveals his secret.

Yes. He’s come out. It’s no longer a secret that the LSO (Long Suffering One) is teaching himself to play the clarinet.
Last night he serenaded me with Love Me Tender.

Monday, November 17, 2014

75,000 Reasons to be grateful

Another of Brian Feinblum’s ideas for a blog is to comment on an anniversary of an important event.
This time eight years ago I was waiting for my Deal Or No Deal appearance to be aired. I’d been on for three weeks, opening boxes, and my actual show was due to go out on the 20th. I’d been asked not to tell too many people about the outcome so my winning £75,000 was a secret. The local pub was going to show my game on their big screen and friends had been invited. The LSO and I had said we’d pay for the drinks. ‘But don’t let it get over £50,’ the LSO told Dave, the landlord, making him think the worst.
When it got to the final two boxes – one with 10p in and the other with £75,000 – Dave groaned and everyone in the pub was shouting Deal to the offer the Banker had made me – Walk away now with £22,075. Of course, back in October when I’d played the game I’d said No Deal and walked away with the big money.
A few years previously we’d lost our business and our home and were re-building our lives when the LSO has his heart attacks. Sick pay was just over £50 per week so we were back to being broke. We’d borrowed the money to get to the studio in Bristol. Deal Or No Deal changed our lives. And I’m still making money out of it by giving talks on my experiences. 
Oh, that's not the LSO I'm hugging. It's the charismatic Noel Edmonds.
You can check out my game on Youtube. Put in Deal Or No Deal 2007 Lynn. (Wrong year and wrong spelling of my name but it gets you there.)


Monday, November 10, 2014

Secret Diary of Lynne (aged 9 and nearly a quarter)

Another page from my school diary today. Library visits happened two or three times a week. I would read in bed, in front of the telly, while I was eating, when I was walking to school. My mother would tell me to stop sitting around and do something which is strange because she was an avid reader too. Maybe what she really wanted was for me to read something other than Enid Blyton but I was addicted.

When I finally began finding The Famous Five etc a bit on the boring side I asked Mom what I should read and she handed me a huge book – Hatter’s Castle by A J Cronin. There were no teen books back then so we leapt from kids’ to adults’ reading material. Hatter’s Castle was the most wonderful experience and I remember crying when I read how the author, once he’d finished writing it, had attempted to burn his book on a garden bonfire. It was saved by his wife.

After that Mom introduced me to Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury and my love of reading was ensured.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

November giggle blog

A bit late this month. That’s because the LSO had an angiogram on Friday. He already has six stents (sort of scaffolding holding open his arteries). Now he needs two more as another artery is blocked. It may mean a bypass but we’re hoping not. So what is there to laugh about? Well, he was told to rest for 48 hours so I’ve been on his case, giving him orders about what he can and cannot do. This morning I told him off for doing something – I can’t remember what – and his reply was, ‘I don’t mind doing what I’m told as long as you remember what you told me to do.’
We’ll be getting through this tough time with a lot of giggles and great friendships.

Over to Sue Blackburn -
My mum had a great sense of humour and could always laugh at herself. We were discussing perfumes one day.
 “Oh,” she said, tutting away, “I much prefer talc. Those perfume smells get right up my nose.”
 Cue hysterics from both of us when she realised what she’d said.