Spot The Difference

19 Mar

Sometime before Christmas, I was given an old drawers unit that was unwanted by our local community centre:

As you can see, it is tatty and grim-seventies in style, but functional. Exactly what I need, in fact, for my poetry collections and stationery; and I am extremely grateful to have it. My intention is to upcycle it in the summer i.e. give it a coat of paint.

The brown plastic drawers are miserable to look at and not conducive to making this housewife laugh, but I had a solution. The Hub bought me some gorgeous sticky back plastic: silver, glittery and textured. I confess, I like to stroke it, especially when I’m stressed. I have it on notebooks, backing a framed document signed by Queen Victoria, and now here:

I was really pleased with my temporary cheerful fix.

And then the Hub did this:

Yes, folks, that’s right: every time I sit at my desk, I get to look at the Hub’s ‘PENiS’.

Three guesses what I’m going to do with my next roll of sticky back plastic.



Yet More Dancing

14 Mar

An old pic of me dancing (in the rain)
The reason for oldmedancing is shared below

Thank you to everyone who made suggestions for my forthcoming book’s #I’mNotAllowedToSayTheNameYet dance song. I decided to go with – well, I had to, really, didn’t I? – the suggestion from ME Lewis at France Says:

Picture me boogying to this in my bedroom after hitting Send to my publisher.

You’ll have to picture it, because there are no pictures of it;  I haven’t boogied yet. Right after sending off my manuscript, I succumbed to a bacterial infection which saw me in bed for days, gulping down not one but two courses of those increasingly hard-to-get miracle pills, antibiotics. I’m on the mend now but it was touch and go for a while there whether I’d be able to eat all of my Maltesers. I’m happy to report that as of today I have none left.

When looking for a song, I came across this:

As much as I’d love to have used it, it’s not dancey enough. I found another which is quite dancey but, sadly, not entirely appropriate for a family-friendly blog. But go look it up; Google #MENOPAUSE MONDAYS®A Singing Uterus Explains Perimenopause and Menopause. Hilarious in an I-can’t-believe-what-I’m-seeing way.

The family and I – Hub, me, Spud, DisgustedwiththeTories Boy, and our newest member, Daddy’s Boy – were all dancing for joy this week, for an entirely different reason.

Debra at Breathe Lighter asked me a while back what Alex plans to do post-uni. I am now allowed to tell you that he got into not one, but two drama schools, and has accepted a funded place on a one year course at Oxford School of Drama.

When we heard the news, we all did this:

Image result for laura linney love actually gif

Just to be clear – we’re all Laura Linney, not Karl on the right, who is every new graduate who has just realised the fun’s over; real life starts and oh no! here come the bills.

Fortunately, that’s not Alex. He won’t start work at McDonald’s for at least another twelve months.


Frazzled – the battle with adrenaline

7 Mar

An amusing – and fraught! – read from a dear friend of mine. A terrifying insight into what awaits me…

Nicola Hulme Author

I’ve been so far out of my comfort zone for so long, I’m not sure I know my way back.

In the last 6 months, I’ve been drawn away from the pleasure of writing, to be called upon for public speaking events. Moving away from the private relationship between writer and page into a pubic life of presenting the published book to unknown audiences. It’s uncomfortable. It sounds ungrateful, and sulky, but for those of you, who long for the label of published, let me give you an insight into what is then expected of you.

The book launch itself was a huge party. Surrounded by friends and family I was supported throughout the whole event and I loved every minute. A lot of hard work studying the craft had paid off, and seeing my name of the front cover of a picture book was a dream come true.


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I Need A Dance Song

1 Mar

Three points:

  • I love writing but it is tedious at times, especially when you’re as anal as I am
  • I have no money
  • I like to reward myself when I finish something
  • I can’t count

When I completed my first two (unpublished) collections, at various stages I danced: a reward for sticking with the drafting/editing/proofing process. Dancing is better than money. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

The habit began by accident.  I wrote my South African collection over twenty years. One day, it occurred to me that I had unwittingly written a themed collection but it needed crafting. I listened to Mango Groove, a South African band, as I worked on it, and I felt like dancing after weeks slaving over a hot computer, so I put on Dance Sum More:

When it came to my second collection, Wholly Man, the South African vibe was all wrong, so I found this:

My third collection, published this summer, is a lighthearted look at menopause and motherhood. I have just completed the first draft and sent it off to my publisher* – literally ten minutes ago – and I was appalled to realise I have no dance song to celebrate.

Any suggestions?

It has to be cheerful and danceable and related to menopause and/or motherhood.

Find me something – I know you love a challenge.

*Which is why I haven’t yet replied to your comments; but I will, I promise…as soon as I finish reading my next course text (once I begin reading it) and write a poem based on it, due in tomorrow lunchtime.


Thank You

22 Feb

Thank you, everyone, for your good wishes this week. It’s a thrill to know how many friends I have, in the real and virtual worlds. I intend to respond to you all but this has been a manic week for me – although, these days, when is it not?

Image result for the music man

I wanted to take a minute to share a video with you. As you know, Alex has sung with Sheffield University Broadway Orchestra many times, performing lost (though presumably found by the time they get to him) and forgotten (though presumably remembered etc., etc.) songs, some of which he was the first person ever to sing, or the first person in Britain ever to sing, for as many as eighty years.

On Sunday, he will sing in what will probably be his last Broadway concert, as he graduates this year.  




Sorry, I needed a moment there. I have LOVED these concerts. Apart from The Tree of War (obviously), they have been my favourite shows to watch. They are fabulous.

The show is composed of songs from The Music Man, in honour of its sixtieth birthday. I had thought that they are not lost or forgotten but the website says the show includes ten songs cut from the original. Either way, they are rarely performed these days so, if you are in the Sheffield area on Sunday night, why not pop along? Here’s a link: The Music Man

To whet your appetite, here’s a snippet from rehearsal. Alex is singing with his regular collaborator, Debra Finch.

Exciting News! (For Me, Anyway)

17 Feb

So guess what I did yesterday? You’ll never guess. I’ll just tell you, shall I?

I did this:

That’s me signing something.

Shall we have a poll? We haven’t had a poll in years. Let’s have a poll!


I may be a little giddy with excitement: I’ve always wanted my own Malteser factory. I mean, I’ve always wanted to put the Hub away. No, no, I mean, my first poetry collection is coming out in the summer. 

Here’s my publisher’s website. They are based in Marple and have been going for about twenty years.

Did you catch that? ‘Here’s my publisher’s website.’ Giddy doesn’t begin to cover it 🙂 



Happy Valentine’s Day?

14 Feb

I’m not in the mood (or the position) to make retailers rich today, but I am in the mood to make you laugh, and laughter is the greatest gift, so it’s a win for you, a win for me, and a win for my pocket. Assuming, of course, that my story, originally posted in 2012, amuses you. Image result for twelve days of christmas funny

A story of true love, it begins at Christmas…

Dear Judge,

I know I killed my True Love in a fit of rage but I think, once you hear my tale, you will have to acknowledge that I was provoked beyond what any reasonable person could stand.

Things started off well. On the first day of Christmas, my True Love sent me a partridge in a pear tree. A little weird, I thought, but I let it pass. To be honest, as the first day of Christmas is Christmas Day, I’d have preferred a turkey.

On the second day he sent me two turtle doves. Romantic, because I believe they mate for life, so I could see the symbolism. But he also sent me another partridge in a pear tree. What was that about?

Next day it was three French hens – or should I say, trois French hens? My little joke, Judge. I still had a sense of humour at that point. Plus two more doves and another partridge in a pear tree.

On the fourth day I was afraid to open the door to the postman. I was right to be afraid: ten birds arrived that morning, four of which were colly birds. Is there anyone on the planet who knows what a colly bird is? I think my True Love made that one up, or he ordered calling birds, but the shop saw a chance to finally offload the 36 colly birds they had lying around in the storeroom which they had ordered by accident.Image result for true love funny

Probably guessing from my enraged texts and emails that by now I was a little miffed, he had the good sense to send me five gold rings on day five of Christmasgate. I was mollified enough to think it would be okay to accept day six’s gift. Boy, was I ever wrong! Six – count them: one-two-three-four-five-SIX – geese-a-laying. The eggs would have been acceptable but I couldn’t get near them. Do you know how protective geese are of their eggs? I still have the bill marks on my legs. And it’s not nice to be hissed at by 42 geese (yes, 42; because he sent me six more geese who wouldn’t share, every day for the next six days).  It’s like I’m living in a really bad pantomime in the comfort of my own home – though there’s not much comfort to be had with 184 birds running around, making a racket and pooping like there’s no tomorrow. Which there wasn’t for those I managed to store in my freezer… Not to mention the 42 goslings under my feet, imprinting on me. It made shopping impossible.

Image result for true love funny

And yes, you did read that right, Judge: 184 birds in total is what my True Love sent to me. 226, if you count the inevitable babies.

But he saved the best for last, which I’ll call Day Seven, because it was. I may have been a little unhinged by this point. I refused to open the door so the delivery truck left my idiot boyfriend’s ridiculous idea of a love token in my tiny back garden: seven swans-a-swimming. Seven swans-a-swimming! You know what that means, don’t you? An inflatable pool! In my pocket garden! And not just one inflatable pool, oh no! SIX inflatable pools, because he sent me the same gift for the next five days, along with eight maids-a-milking, nine ladies dancing (I don’t even watch Strictly), ten lords-a-leaping (I’m interested in politics, yes, but not to the point of inviting the second chamber into my home – and the ornaments those old codgers broke…), eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming, right through my skull.Image result for true love funny

By the time I got the injunction against my True Love, it was too late – the neighbours had complained about the smell, the illegal poultry farm I had set up, and the music played at full volume at all hours of the day and night.  I was evicted by the council for antisocial behaviour.  I was homeless, penniless (having spent all my money on bird seed and feeding guests) and furious – mostly because all swans are owned by the Crown, so my True Love had scuppered the chance of me ever appearing on any future Honours List.

I admit to seeking out my True Love who, while big on romantic gestures, was a slacker when it came to paying for the upkeep of all those birds or feeding 140 people – though I’ll accept, the poultry and the eighty buckets of milk did come in handy there.Image result for true love funny

I also admit to pelting him with rock hard pears (they were out of season; what was the silly beggar thinking?) and, when that didn’t work, belting him with as many pipes, drums and drumsticks as I could lay my hands on. But the death stroke was, I’m convinced, administered by the swans, who didn’t like it when, weighed down by 40 gold rings, I fell into one of their pools and almost drowned whilst trying to pry the human leech off me.  I did manage to escape though he, sadly, did not.  All was not lost however – the sale of the forty rings to Gold ‘R ‘ Us paid for his funeral, and the cortege, comprised of my personal aviary, attracted media attention and led to my new career in reality TV, specifically, Come Dine With Me (which I won, thanks to some exotic poultry dishes), How Clean Is Your House? (not very, as it happens), and Farmer Wants A Wife.

So, dear Judge, I think you can see that I acted under extreme provocation while the balance of my mind was disturbed and my feet were in three tons of guano.

If you let me off, I will be free to marry one of the drummers, Bill, who has promised to give me only chocolates, toiletries and DVDs as Christmas presents.

I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

Signed, The Moulting Housewife


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