Friday, April 25, 2008

So long, farewell...

As you read this I will be sitting, fingers crossed, Novenas said, praying for no last minute hitches to the first full and proper Allan family holiday.

It’s been seven years since I flew away “foreign” for some sunshine. In 2001 myself and the husband went on our honeymoon to the gloriously sunny (but sadly lacking in decent alcohol) country of Tunisia.

Since then, with trying to get our foot on the property ladder and start our family we’ve been unable to manage anything more exotic than a week in Rathmullan - and the last time we did that was three years ago (and it rained six out of the seven days).

So last year I made the firm decision that by hook or by crook we would be jetting off somewhere outside of Ireland for a week if it killed us. I hunted out suitable accommodation and suitable cheap flights and sat back patting myself on the back and looking forward to it.

What I failed to remember was just how much organising is involved. Not being a frequent traveller at all, I forgot until fairly recently that I would need insurance.

And then someone reminded me about those E111 leaflets (which don’t even exist any more!) and then on top of that it dawned on me that the boy - who before now hadn’t needed any form of photographic ID, had to get a passport.

Now getting a passport is not the easy task it once was. It’s no longer a matter of sticking a wain in a photobooth and telling them to smile. Now it’s more like a mug shot. You have to track some willing soul down to do it (not an easy task in this town) and then bribe a child - who has spent his entire life being told to smile at the camera - to keep as straight a face as possible.

And then I had to pack. Now I’ve always (you know, on that one time I’ve gone abroad) been an overpacker. When we went on honeymoon I took at least five pairs of shoes, as well as clothes enough to wear something different every day and almost everything from my dressing table - from three different perfumes, to full make up, to hair dryer - the works. Our suitcases got those dirty big “heavy” stickers battered all over them at the airport and we got filthy looks from the check in staff.

In the end, of course, I lived in two pairs of shorts, my swim suit, a pair of mules and stopped wearing perfume just as soon as I realised that it brought me out in a vicious heat rash under the glaring Saharan sun. (It’s very difficult to find anti-histamines in Tunisia when your knowledge of both French and Arabic is severely limited. Miming scratching myself all over to a baffled pharmacist was not my finest hour).

So this time I’ve been ruthless - well mostly ruthless. I have two pairs of shoes going with me, and I’m not bringing make up. (I know - it’s a risk...)

I have perfected the capsule wardrobe and I’m sure Gok Wan would be delighted with me and my efforts. But is my suitcase any lighter? Not a chance!

Instead my suitcase has been piled high with little shorts, t-shirts, UV protective hats, shoes, swim suits, goggles, snorkle set, Thomas the Tank Engine toys, sandals, new pyjamas and several stuffed toys.

The boy has, once again, made his impact on our holiday. But God love him, he is so excited. He has been screaming at the sky every time a plane has soared over head for the last six months asking if that’s the one which will take us to Spain.

For the last two weeks we have been counting down in terms of sleeps and this is where my nerves have taken the biggest battering. You see for the same last two weeks the boy has had the lurgy. And I’ve been informed that the chicken pox “are doing the rounds”. The poor pet has been subjected to daily spot checks to make sure there are no signs and now as we get even closer my worry has stepped up a notch.

It would be just my luck to wake up on Sunday morning and have the boy covered head to foot in blisters. (And it would bring back all too painful memories of when I had the pox myself as a child and had to miss the Brigini camp. I was disgusted.)

It has made me realise that all the planning in the world doesn’t really matter - things can and still will go wrong. I may have my insurance in place, and our passports stored in a safe place. I have the new European Health Card and I may have clearly labelled print outs of all our bookings - from the plane to the car hire to the accommodation, but I still know it’s in the hands of the Gods as to whether or not the boy will be fit to fly. (Pox-ridden children are not permitted on aeroplanes - and much as I’ve toyed with the idea of bandaging him ‘Invisible Man’ style, I couldn’t do it in good conscience.)

So as you read this column offer up a wee prayer than on Sunday morning me, and my heavy suitcases, make it on to the plane - because I’ve heard Rathmullan is pretty booked up this summer.

*In a Marian Keyes stylee, I'd like to point out that my house will not be empty for the next week. We have house sitters - so I'll not be blogging between now and departure as I have to clean the damn thing so that our guests don't realise what a complete slattern I really am.

See you in one (hopefully sunny) week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Book Me Me

I've been tagged by the gorgeous Keris to do this.. my disclaimer before I start is that I'm at work and my access to books is very sadly limited. I have a few press freebies namely "Quoteable Love" (which my colleague Erin and I had hours of fun with one day by finishing every quote off with "in yer hole" - which is very crude and not dignified but we thought it funny).

I also have 'Planning to Get Pregnant' - which I'm not, if you wondered by some PR company person thought it would be funny to let everyone in the office think I am.

Which brings me to the book I do have... and the full text of the me me

Here's how it works:
1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open it to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you (and I understand that etiquette calls for you to avoid "tagging" someone else who has already been sent the meme, if possible).

My book is called (ahem) The Cbeebies Treasury (bookclub, a fiver, bargain!)

But later, when Jake gave Doodles some biscuits to cheer him up, Doodles licked his lips and said: "Mine, all mine! I mean, have a biscuit, everyone!"

The End.

Aren't you delighted it had a happy ending??
And now I tag Elle, Donna, Sarah and erm... Keris, you tagged all my regulars...

Fugly days

Do you ever have days when you just wake up ugly?
Now I'm no stunner by any means - I'm just about passable with my make up on and hair brushed but there seem to be days when the world conspires against you make you feel as fugly as possible. (And fugly = f***ing ugly, for those who don't know).

Today is one such day. I'm retaining water. That's a pleasant way to described "feeling fatter than a fatty on a fat day". All this is not helped by the boy piping up with "Mammy, your belly is fatter than Santa's, ha ha ha ha ha".
Yes, ha fecking ha.
So I slip into my work clothes and set about painting on my face, except I'm having one of those days where my skin can not decide if it wants to be greasy or dry so I have a patchy look at best.
My hair seemed to behave when I brushed it, but by the time I reached the car and looked in the rear view mirror it had morphed into Wurzel Gummidge's mop.
I also became keenly aware that there is a smattering of grey at the temples and that my eyebrows are in dire need of some attention with hot wax.

After a couple of hard weeks on the keyboard trying to reach the 80,000 mark of book three before I go on my holliers my nails are also broken, battered and abused. Oh, for a parafin wax manicure.
And I have a cold, so am sniffing in a tres unattractive manner.

Oh dear.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here we go again...

And book two, Feels Like Maybe, is now available for pre-order on Amazon!
The release date is August 25 and, although I can't share just yet, I've seen the cover and it is a thing of beauty and very, deliciously, pink!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Things that seemed a good idea at the time...

NUMBER ONE: Drinking two glasses (large ones) of wine on a work night.

Okay, so I'm already kind of in holiday mode. On Sunday I jet off to Murcia for a much needed, long overdue week in the sun. So when I got in last night I decided I really fancied a nice cold glass of wine.
So I poured one and sipped it slowly while doing a little online chatting, writing and facebooking.
And then when that was done, I thought (against my usual one-glass-of-wine limit for work nights) to pour another (large) glass.
I went to bed tipsy, slightly room spinny, and fell into a mad sleep filled with weird and wonderful dreams.

But this morning, well, not so good.
I arrived in work sans breakfast and decided to treat myself to a medicinal sausage bap and bottle of Lucozade. It was only then I realise I left my purse at home so I had to suffer the indignity of asking a colleague for a sub.
Now, it's only 12.11 and I'm feeling the full effects of my hangover*. The sausage bap didn't work and all I want to do is sleep.

Remind me not to do this again.

*Yes, for the record I know I am a complete wuss to feel hungover after two glasses of wine.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Why writing is like having sex when you're married

I've said this before, but I thought it would be worth explaining exactly what I meant.

You see when you first start writing, you kind of love it. You are in the honeymoon phase. When you are at work, at the gym (Ha! Me? At the gym?), wandering around the aisles of Tesco, all you can think about is doing it.
You get very excited at the thought of some alone time with your laptop (wahey!) and you plan ways of sneaking in a quickie session every now and again. I've been known to do it at lunchtime when the urge has been too strong.
And then, over time, you fall into a routine. You tend to know when the best time to do it is. (For example, forget about it on a Tuesday night when Desperate Housewives is on, or on Thursdays when Dr. House is tending to his patients.)
You know that a couple of glasses of wine definitely puts you in the mood for it, but that your results might not be the best in that state. It's always better to go into a decent session with a clear head.

Then, further in, when maybe you have children and other responsibilities, it can - at times - feel like a bit of burden. You do it out of a sense of duty and because there is something in you that refuses to admit you actually can think of better things to do with your time. You desire your passion for it back and will try different methods to increase your writing libido. Perhaps you'll read a good book, watch a good film, take a walk outside. Varying the routine and adding the surprise element can help. Going back to your first experiences, replaying them in your mind, can also help. As can taking the pressure off. Telling yourself there is no way you are going to do it is a sure fire way to get your brain craving a quick fiddle with your keyboard.

And then, you see, this is when it becomes most of all like married sex. You really can't be bothered, but you do it anyway. And you find you enjoy it. You find you lose yourself in it and let go of your inhibitions until you are battering away furiously, a feeling of exhileration flowing from your body.
And you wonder why you don't do it more. And you vow not to leave it so long til the next time, because as all good writers know, the more you do it, the more you want to.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm printing this out and sticking it on my (messy) fridge

A few months ago I started to receive emails from Carrie and Danielle, who are lifecoaches. I've no idea why I started getting their emails (entirely possibly I registered for them and then forgot) but I like their Friday thoughts.

Today I like their words of wisdom a lot.

If you need to get the dishes done, tidy up, or have tranquility before your ideas can flow, your creative genius may be a bit insulted. (And insulted guests are reluctant to keep coming 'round.)
Devotion, be it to a person, a business plan, or your life’s calling, is a mighty force. It's bigger than foibles, chaos, and complaints. So be ruthlessly devoted. Hunker down. Give what's really important your ultimate reverence. The messiness won't disappear, but it will matter less as you get where you want to go.

Think I can convince Mr Allan that it's okay to live in squalor???

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I think I may have a new addiction

Now a wee while back Keris (who has just got a book deal, doncha know??) started a bit of an addiction with celebrity properties and how to have a good nose through them.
And yesterday author Sharon Owens and I were coveting a deliciously white and sunny apartment in Belfast via the t'interweb.
Just today I noticed Sharon had posted a picture of her study on her website and now I am coveting it also.
While Penelope (another blogger) has just had her dining room and living room refloored and has posted new pics.
It is entirely possible that I'm becoming addicted to other people's interiors.
Still, it's better than a cocaine addiction I suppose.

Well it made me snort in a very undignified manner...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Those miss you nights

I like to complain about the fact my four year has decided our marital bed is his bed and daddy should sleep permanently in the spare room.
I like to complain about the fact that despite having the whole of a kingsize bed to sleep on, the boy only really likes to sleep cuddled up as tight as possible to his mummy. (ie me).
I like to complain that my last five minutes of sleep are inevitably disturbed by a wee voice calling out "Mummeeeee" and pudgy hands trying to pry open my eyelids.

I like to complain about it, but take it all away, and I feel a little bit lost.
Last night I stayed in Belfast in a relatively nice hotel and had a bed all to myself.
And I couldn't get to sleep.
I tossed and turned, despite it being very late and me being very tired and my brain kept doing that warm and fuzzy just about to fall asleep thing before the wee voice in my head said "Hey, look at you, just about to fall asleep" and woke me up again.
And then I woke up, approximately once every hour, feeling as if a part of me was missing.
When I eventually woke up proper I phoned home and the boy told me how he was eating his breakfast and he was going to go to school soon.
I thought "That's my job" - all those morning things which drive me to distraction every day. It's my job to be woken by a hyper child, and to try and feed him a semi- nutritious breakfast, and get him dressed, brush his teeth and usher him out the door. It's my job to chatter to him all the way there in the car and to get the biggest kiss and cuddle ever when he leaves me to go into school.
Perhaps I have been taking my job for granted a little too much.
It's 3.5 hours til home time - til I get a big squishy and tell him I love him. I can barely wait.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Did ya ever get one of those days?

Okay, I didn't sleep well last night so this post is brought you by the letters T.I.R.E and D and the numbers 666 (to suit my mood).

But anyway, up I get this morning cheered by the bright haze of sunshine glowing through the curtains. I dress myself and even manage to straighten my hair in preparation for my stint on "the UTV" tonight.
I get the boy ready and he, for once, actually eats his breakfast and gets dressed with minimum fuss.
And then I walked out to the car to get us in.
And I notice, bizarrely, that all the doors are open.
And then I notice that my CD player (£10.00, Argoose) is gone and my MP3 player (£10.99, Tesco) is also gone.
My steering wheel is also locked into a position that indicates some arsewipe has been trying to jiggle it but was foiled by the immobiliser.

Now my CD player and my MP3 player did not cost a lot of money. But they were mine. And my car is a heap of shit, but is is my heap of shit. I paid MY money for it. And it takes me to work. I have taxed it, paid a fortune at the garage getting it repaired and look after it the best I can.
So what makes anyone think they have a right to break into it, to steal from it, to try and steal it themselves?
It's events such as these which make me think the right wing eejits who write for the Daily Mail have a point.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The telly box

Monday night
'Late and Live'
Hoping I don't talk shite/ swear/ make an arse of myself/ look too fat/ babble incoherently/ break down half way there/ not realise I have a big booger hanging out of my nose/ yawn (as it is late AND live)/ snore/ burp/ fart/ get caught pulling a really stupid face.

Wish me luck

Friday, April 11, 2008

It's so inspiring, I'm sharing it

Fionnuala posted this passage this morning.
I know I have heard it before and perhaps have never paid attention to it to fully. But I read it today and realised this all makes sense.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I'm going to get to working on letting my light shine a bit more.

I've spent the last year, for the most part, playing down my joy and my pride over being a published author. I've been afraid to say I think my book is brilliant (I'm even blushing typing this) in case everyone else thinks it is rubbish and I'm making an eejit of myself.
But on some level, I know it is good. I know I can read passages of it now, two years after finishing it, and be moved to tears or laughter. (And of course I cringe sometimes too, I'm not a total egotist).

So for today anyway, I'm giving myself permission to be happy and be proud.

Things to melt your heart part 3

The boy seems to be going through a particularly affectionate phase.
Of course I'm ignoring any mention of an Oedipus complex and just enjoying the copious hugs and kisses. I know that I have a son and as such my time getting kisses and hugs from him is seriously limited.
Whereas girls tend to remain relatively affectionate into their teenage years and adulthood, I know a time will come when the boy will shrug off my kisses and hugs because "it's so not cool, mum". He might even swear, or refuse to talk to me at all. Our conversations may become a series of grunts and sniffs. I am mentally preparing myself for that - and it's not easy.
So I'm revelling in his desire to tell me he loves me and that I am the best mummy in the world. (Yes, I do know it is wrong on some level to look for reassurance from a four year old, but I'm neurotic, get over it).

So anyway yesterday morning I was getting him ready for school and showed him my new "I got to number 2 in the charts" ring, and the following conversation ensued.

J: Mummy, why do girls wear rings?
M: Because we like shiny things* and they are pretty.
J: And boys don't wear rings?
M: Some boys do. Daddy wears a ring, it's because him and mummy got married.
J: *pained look* But I wanted to marry you mummy.
M: It's okay sweetie Mummy loves you very much.
J: Can you buy me a wedding ring so we can get married too?

* Yes, I know I'm stereotyping, but admit it, we women do like shiny things.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Today's reason to be cheerful

It's been a manic day, once more today.
It seems as if someone has hit the fast forward button on my life. This morning I had to get up (at 6.30 thanks to my son because 'It's light, so it;s morning. Wake up mummy'.) and get showered and get the house sorted before leaving at 8.20 to get the boy to nursery and the niece to the childminders.
Then it was on to get petrol before the car carked in on the New Bridge* and then back to the chapel five doors down from my house** for a funeral Mass, then into work for the briefest of moments to check in on my email before heading out again to do an interview with Twink (see previous post on Twink/ Auschwitz randomness) and then it was back to the office for an afternoon of writing til smoke was coming off my keyboard because tomorrow I'll be on page make-up/ sub-editing duties.
It's now 3.50pm and I've my column to write and the afore-mentioned Twink article to get through and I've already put through a different feature in record time.
BUT, while in town interviewing said Twink, I called into Next*** and bought not one, but two, rings. Okay, the diamonds aren't real but they are shiny and twinkly and every time I look down at my right hand I feel all smilie.
It almost makes my manic typing enjoyable - at least now the typing has the bling factor.

*The New Bridge is a bridge in Derry which is not new. But it is newer than the old bridge and forever will be known as the New Bridge unless someone builds another one and then perhaps it will be known as the middle bridge.

** The chapel isn't really five doors down from my house, but I'm putting burglars off the scent.

*** The interview ran into lunch time so I was not swizzing my employers.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sorry for not blogging today...

I just didn't get the chance.
But I did buy a pair of nice shoes.
And they make me feel good.
And pretty.
And I love them.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Spot the odd one out

My son is a man of many talents and many disguises.
On each given day he can be Fireman Sam, Troy Bolton, Ray (the best Ghostbuster), Bob the Builder, Shaggy from Scooby Doo, Ben Ten or Thomas the Tank Engine.
He is a Mr. Benn - a king of disguise and funny voices and a born actor.
Of course part of me worries he has some multi-personality disorder. Then again perhaps he is just four and maybe we should all embrace some of the fourness. Wear a snorkel in the kitchen just for the craic, or wear your bike helmet to school because (apparantly) it's what Shaggy from Scooby Doo would do.
I bet life is much more fun that way.

Twenty words...

Fionnuala posted a blog post this morning about twenty words which reveal something about you.. Here are the choices

Champagne or Beer
Knickers or Thong
Red or White Wine
Boots or Shoes
Trousers or Skirts
Fish or Meat
Savoury or Sweet
V Neck or Crew Neck
Sauvignon or Chardonnay
Fly or Sail
Relaxed or Stressed
Night or Day
Half Full or Half Empty
Lilly or RoseRed or Green
Flip flops or Sandals
Happy or Sad
Coast or Inland
Sean Connery or Johnny Depp
Catherine Zeta Jones or Uma Thurman

My choices? It's a warm summers day. I'm sitting in my sun trap patio (the one that single handedly caused the pish summer of last year). I am wearing a loose skirt, a white v-neck t-shirt and flip flops. I can feel the sun warm my skin and it feels good. I feel happy. I am wearing my big pants (as I have no wee pants - wee pants and big bums don't go) and I feel comfortable - relaxed even which is a rarity for me. My glass of sauvignon blanc is half empty and I'm planning on opening the champagne later while I book a flight to the sun.
Johnny Depp is going to meet me there - and feed me chocolate covered strawberries while Uma Thurman chats with me about gossip and the like.
And as for the flowers - lillies please, and lots of them.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Oooooh, book name news

Sorry for not updating before now, but we have a name.
The very talented Emily came up with "Feels Like Maybe" and we love it. (We being me, and Paula from Poolbeg) so there you have it - book 2 is on its way.
Five months and counting!

An award all of my own

Ah, thanks to the lovely Elle at The IT Girl I have been presented with the E = Excellent Award for my services to blogging.
I am very delighted and hugely honoured to have such a title thrust upon me and it really makes up for me not being nominated for the Irish Book Awards*, so thank you to all the people I would have thanked if I hadgot an Irish Book Award - my agent, my lovely publishers (Poolbeg- The Lovely People), my huband, my son, my supplier of chocolate, my parents, my friends and blogger of course.
Anyway, I'm to nominate other people I deem worthy of this award - and I'm to nominate 10.
But, ya know, apart from the reciprocal Elle nomination, here are my other couple of faves
*In fairness I really would have loved an Irish book award nomination - but I guess this is not my year for world domination.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Five books which changed my life

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl (Age 7)
This was the first book I remember buying with my very own money. (It was my first Communion money and I was about 7 years old.)
I bought it in Toymaster in Derry and felt so proud of myself. My daddy had been reading the books of Roald Dahl to us for years and it really fostered a love of reading in me, so when I bought this book and read it my very own self I was hooked.
Book buying was a huge thing in our house. Whoever got to accompany daddy to Stewarts Supermarket on a Friday night always got bought one of those "Read it Yourself" type books. I fell in love with The Little Mermaid that way (the non-Disney sad ending one) and The Secret Garden. The first Roald Dahl we were bought was The Magic Finger and I still remember crammed onto one of our beds while daddy read to an enthralled audience.
We didn't get much in terms of presents when we were wee, but there was always time for books.

Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy (Age 14)
Having moved through the Secret Seven Books, through Judy Blume and on past the Barricades book about love in 70s Belfast, I was introduced to Maeve Binchy. Light a Penny Candle was set (from my memory) in 50s Ireland and was a tale of friendship, betrayal, trust and (dun, dun, dun) abortion. I was scandalised, but quickly became hooked.
My Maeve Binchy all time favourites are "Evening Class" (so very cleverly done) and "Circle of Friends". (Although again why Hollywood has to change the ending is beyond me!)

City Girl/ City Woman/ City Lives by Patricia Scanlan (Age 16)
Although technically three books, these were are all about the same three woman and their lives. I wanted to be Devlin. I wanted to open my own branch of City Girl (A gym/ salon) in Derry and I wanted to marry Luke. (Admittedly I didn't want to go through all her tragedy too, but she came good in the end).
This was probably the first time I really became aware of Poolbeg and thought "hmmmm, someday I would really, really like that lighthouse on the side of MY book".
I didn't turn into Devlin, open City Girl, or marry Luke but I got the damn lighthouse!!!

Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes (Aged 21)
Okay, so up to now I thought that every decent book set in Ireland had to be teeming with tragedy and steeped in misery and have every character at least once take a walk along the pier at Dun Laoghaire in the biting rain so that they could hide their tears.
Then I read Marian Keyes. And I laughed. Out loud. In public places. And I cried. Not so loudly. In public places. And I fell in love with the word feck.
And I decided that I would love, absolutely love, to write something that could make people laugh and cry like that - something that would be so heart stoppingly honest that you would swear I'd lived that life.
This book, it is fair to say, made me want to be a writer.

Rainy Days and Tuesdays by Claire Allan (Aged 30)
This is my book - with the lighthouse on the spine - with humour and bags of it and honesty too. It has changed my life- given me confidence in myself, kept me awake at nights, made me laugh and cry (for a number of reasons) and allowed me to believe that I could do this.
Anybody else want to share their pivotal reading moments? Keris? Diane? Fionnoodles?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Handbags and the gladrags

My very lovely writing friend Fionnuala - who is so achingly funny she deserves her own, erm, blog has started blogging.

And her first post got me to thinking.
My handbag (platinum coloured from Next. I love it almost as much as I love my child) is a cluttered mess which bears (or is it bares? I never know) more than a passing resemblence to a pharmacy encased in leather (probably pleather). So for all bloggers out there - who like to be a nosy fecker like me - here are the contents of my bag du jour

*Purse - contains a minimal amount of cash which worries me. It's 13 days 'til payday. It is also heaving with receipts which I really must sort out.

*Mobile - set on silent.

*Mahoosive bunch of keys which I still manage to lose every three seconds.

*Mother's Day card from the boy with random housekeeping sums scribbled on the envelope.

*A Happy Meal toy from McDonalds.

*A small fluffy duck - fallen off an Easter card made by the boy in nursery.

* The boy's assessment from the health visitor after his pre-school jags

* Four Tesco Computers for School Vouchers.

* A fork. (for my lunch)

* A L'Oreal lip gloss.

* Packets of Syndol (for headaches) Nurofen (for womenly issues) and my happy pills (for my healthy dose of crazy).

*A purple post-it note from Luisa Plaja who is a wonderfully funny author.

* A packet of batteries for my MP3 player

*A receipt from my weekly Tesco shop.

* Some Chapstick.

* Another L'Oreal lip gloss (because I'm worth two).

* A congratulations card from my godmother.

* And a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen.**

** I may have been lying about that one.


I was going to blog this morning about Marian Keyes' March Newsletter which is hilarious funny (esp the bit about pole vaulting onto her bed because it is so high).

And then I was going to blog about the very random conversation I had with Joseph this morning about guinea pigs.

And then I was going to blog about the random anxiety bleurghness that refuses to leave me at the moment.

And then, as I was driving into work I switched on to Today FM (I love them as they played my ad last summer) and Ray D'Arcy was starting his morning programme (and yes, I was a leetle bit late for work).

Anyway, he read out a letter from a family member of a baby Jack in Galway. Baby Jack turns 18 months old today and no one knows how much longer he will live for. He was born without a portion of his brain At the time of his diagnosis he was given just hours to live. He has defied all the odds and he's still here.
His family member asked that today we take a moment to offer up a prayer for him, light a candle, appreciate what we have. They are treating his 18 month birthday like his 18 year birthday.
So, for today, can we just do that? Thank you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Think of a name!

Okay bloggy people and anonymous readers - do you like a challenge?

I'm tasked with thinking of alternative names for my second book 'Blue Line Blues'.
Now we like that name, we think it is catchy but we don't want to put off non-pregnant/wanting to be pregnant/ parent type people.
So... we want to play about with other names.
This book is coming out in September of this year, publishing by Poolbeg, and I'm VERY excited about it. This book is very, very special to me and I want a name that stands out from the crowd.

Now originally it was called
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (carrying on the song theme from RD&T)

And the other suggestion I've received since sending a panicked email out to my bessie mates is
Keeping Mum

Now to save me from driving myself to distraction by googling Carpenter's lyrics, John Denver songs and Stevie Wonder anthems, please post your suggestions below.

And here, to help you, is the blurb

Aoife is 32 and in an on/off relationship with sexy singer Jake. When she finds out she is pregnant, he decides the relationship is most definitely off and leaves her before the pee has time to dry on the stick. Desperate to get him back- and convinced she can- Aoife doesn't tell her parents back home in Derry about her impending arrival until her episiotomy stitches are healing. She then has to return home to face the music - baby in tow and sanity absent without leave. Meanwhile her best friend has been keeping a secret of her own. Beth and her husband Dan have been trying to get pregnant for the past two years. According to the doctors there is no medical reason fortheir failure to conceive. And if there is no reason, there can't be a problem can there? Add a gorgeous gardener, an overbearing mother, a perfectly annoying sister-in-law and a well meaning aunt, - all with secrets of their own - into the mix and you have 'BLUE LINE BLUES'
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