Around Here

And so, Isla is nearly two.  I’m finding this harder to deal with than last year.  But I’m hoping she’ll let me share her cake.  That’ll help, yeah?

In related news, Neil and I recently celebrated three years of marriage with a seafood dinner and the same message he’s been writing in all my cards for nearly seven years.  And just so he knows: You’re welcome, Dude.  The pleasure (and heartburn) is all mine.

In my absence from blogging, there’s been a lot of Peppa Pig, and library trips.  And ‘Isla, sit forward, please.’  Netflix and very little chill.  Gotta work on that.

But Isla’s good.  She says ‘peas’ and ‘tank you’ and ‘beshew’ when people sneeze.  And fart.  She loves to read and then pile all her books on you.

She has her father’s eyes and her mother’s sarcasm.

Last week, we were counting pennies for the piggy bank  fart tin.

‘One, two, three, six,’ she says.

‘How much are you?’

‘Too much!’ she says.

True enough, I thought.  But keep going, kiddo.

She’s funny and smart and she grows in her sleep.  I cry every time she leaves the house without me.  Even when she brings me home flowers.  Because she brings me home flowers.  And coffee.

Isla knows that I’m fuelled by coffee and hugs and Judge Judy.

Isla sleeps better than I do these days.  She sleeps through the night and I don’t.  I do my best worrying, and reading, at 4 in the morning.

I distract myself from swirling thoughts by reading and taking pictures of my books and messaging friends to ask, ‘why am I awake at 4am?’

I also yell at The Gilmore Girls and The Batchelor.  I yell things like:

  1. You’re a dick.  Don’t be a dick.

B. Does anyone ever not accept the rose?  No, say no.  Don’t stoop.

iii. Well.  That was awkward.

D. Why am I watching The Batchelor?

And then it’s not 4am anymore, it’s 9. And Isla, who now sleeps in a real bed, shuffles through and it starts all over again.

Coffee, Ma?







Worthy of Note

1. Neil and I went furniture shopping in Inverness over the weekend. We decided on, and ordered stuff that does not come from Ikea.

1b. We only needed one do-over.

1c. We are still married.

2. We’re still not online in the house. Have been checking in at the library once a week, and today, I’m at Dad’s house.

3. This is me writing from my new laptop. Let’s call him Frank. Frank is good. Frank is productive. Frank is a machine.

3b. Well, yes. Frank is a machine. My point is this. Well. Never mind.

4. Neil and I got each other the same penguin-themed Valentine card. He bought mine in Edinburgh, I bought his in Portree. That’s love. And geographical weirdness.

5. Isla. Isla. Isla. She’s still great. And speaking in sentences. We don’t understand most of them yet, but she does. And that seems to work for now. She is also very tall. She is wonderful. But I am having some issues. My very independent child is A Very Independent Child. Or something.

5b. Crying on the Keyboard isn’t covered on the warranty. So I’ll stop.

More later.

Goals For 2016

Start here.

Part of the re-vamp of this blog will be me participating more regularly in memes, blog-hops and other social blogging projects that I like/make sense to me/want to share with others.

One of those such things is Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish.

Today’s list is Resolutions for 2016. I prefer the term goals. Let’s call them goals. See, they’re trees, um, goals.

And here they are with nifty categories.


Start/continue the journal/letters to Isla and show her that life is mostly beautiful and always an adventure, with a lesson in there somewhere. I’ll also be mentioning that all her weirdness comes from her father. And me. OK, both of us. Sorry not sorry.

Participate as far as I can in NYC Midnight’s Short Story Challenge. I thought about it last year. This year I’m in.

Write more consistently/constantly, generally-speaking. I want to get back to that person who filled a notebook every night and wrote a story every week. That person was me. And I have writing to do.


Finish the books I start. This could be said for the ones I’ve started writing, as well. But for now let’s talk about books by other people.

My husband calls me a flippant reader. To illustrate this point, up until a few days ago, I had 57 (!) books on Goodreads listed under currently reading.

I have this thing where if I see something that hits me somewhere, I have to read it RIGHT NOW. All the books. Or at least 57 of them. Then I had a baby. And moved. Either that, or I lost the book. Or fell asleep. Or read the last page. And then picked up another book.

Anyway, 57 became 4. Because, well, I’m currently reading them.

Leave a stack to read through this month, and pack the rest.

Finish that series. And that one. And this one.


Organise the new place, when we get there. Or at least try.

Get new bookshelves. My current ones have followed me around since I was 18. There’s mutual love there. But they are tired. And scuffed. And missing some damn dowels.

Find a mosaic coffee-table. Or maybe make one. Does that mean I get to break shit? And call it art? OK, then.

Paint a wall with chalkboard paint. For Isla. For us.


Let go of anxiety. I’ve had the one with the big A since Isla’s been around. I’d like it to move out already.

Be. Laugh with my kid, and Neil. Read. Write. Drink coffee. Neflix. And chill. No, really.

So that’s 12. Or maybe its only two, and the rest is how I get there.

I shall try. We shall see.

What about you?

10 Things You Can Do In The Dark

Let’s say there’s a power-cut.  In the middle of the day.  This day is particularly overcast and spooky, with little or no natural light.  You know, like April.  You are either home from work or you don’t have a job outside of that home.  The point is, apparently, you don’t have any juice inside it, either.

Here’s what you might do:

1.  Consider, for a moment, that you’ve finally done it.  With the computer on, the music on and for some reason all the damn lights on, you have blown all the fuses.  In the world. Ever.  This power outage is your fault.  You were listening to Sun Volt, and now there are no volts.  Neeener, neener.  Screw you, you big hippie.

2.  Wonder if the apocalypse/the extra weird part of The Passage has come true.

3.  Compose yourself.  Text your boyfriend/girlfriend/anyone who does not jump to stupid conclusions.  They might be at work.  Just sayin’.

‘Are you out, too?’


Oh, good.  Kinda.  At least the whole building, the whole street, the whole town will not blame you.  This also means the bill is paid and the apocalypse has not arrived.  Good deals.

4.  Now that you know it isn’t your fault, you are bored.  You amuse yourself by getting dressed.  In the dark.  Before NO JUICE you may have been hanging out in your robe.  Because you can.

5.  You may quote that line from Al Pacino.  All over the house.  And you may laugh.  Because it makes sense.  And you are stupid.

6.  You may read.  In the dark.  Because you can.  The Kindle isn’t so bad, after all.

7.  You may feel vindicated. 7b. But still a little dirty.

8.  You might worry that the food in your fridge is sweating.  Your freezer is defrosting.

9.  You eat.  Some grapes.  A sandwich without the bread.  You contemplate the dubious yogurt.  You don’t think so.

10.  You remember that old episode of Rosanne where their power goes out.  No, not that one.  The tornado one.  You think of helmets.  And ghost stories.  You might write a ghost story when the power comes back on.

Which it does. Eventually.

This whole list may have played out in the space of twenty minutes.  In my house.  Which now has power.  Of course.

How many film and TV references can I make in one post.  Or two.  (Image via:
How many film and TV references can I make in one post. Or two. (Image via:

7 Ways To Become A Cliche

I think I might be one.  If you think you are too, here are the warning signs:

Your job is all you can talk about.  Until you become a boring stresshead to your friends.  You know, the people who knew you before you got the job.  The people who know you are indeed American, but you haven’t really lived there for 17 years, so your Americaness is well, no BFD.

You’re sitting in your jacket and scarf and boots.  With your badge flashing a strained smile around your neck.  This would have been fine, or at least OK.  Except you’re in your living-room, where you’ve been for an hour.

You unwind from a hard week by:

a.  Drinking with friends and showing off photographic evidence of it.

2.  Listening to Garth Brooks at full blast.

iii. Catching up with Dr Phil and counting the ways aforementioned stressful job may be affecting your relationship.  One reason being your long-suffering, but not really you hope, partner has to make the dinner.

d.  Taking a book and some chocolate to the bath.  Where you may or may not pretend you are advertising Calgon.

79.  All of the above.




10 Reasons I Love Pinterest

1.  It complements my healthy-eating plan.  When I’m eating grapes or rice-cakes and therefore hungry, it helps to re-pin cake recipes.

2.  I can keep wedding ideas together without glue or paper-cuts.

3.  It’s a source of my daily Zen.

4.  And sometimes it tells me what to do next.

5.  It’s shown my that broken books can be beautiful.

6.  It tells me I’m not the only one.

7.  If I pin a project, I might actually try it.

8.  It helps me visualise.

9.  It’s trying to entice me to eat vegetables.

10.  And I can pin all of the above without jabbing my fingers, dropping the pin, driving over it and getting a flat tire.  It’s accessible that way.

How do you use Pinterest?

Will Do Kegels For Cheesecake

Some more maybe not-so-little known facts about me:

I have a serious problem with spending money in places that don’t have accessible toilets, or  anywhere I have to move furniture to get around.  I engage Go Go (or not) Gadget Camel if the place sells books or cheesecake.  I’m weak.

Current obsessions include: Yankee Candles, escapist books, my father’s incredible shrinking tumour, episodes of Roseanne (before they won the lottery) and wedding blogs.

The highlight of my day yesterday was finding a bright orange mop you can throw in the wash.  I was immediately reminded of this.

I need a holiday.  Obviously.

I have one regret.  It is purely academic.  Really.

I want to open a bookshop and hire myself to work in it.

Popcorn is sacred.  And a food group.

I miss the days when people went down the street without texting or taking a photo.  Just live.

As I was saying, I recently took this:

On the way home from the train station.













Most of my actual writing these days happens in the green notebook Dad gave me.  While listening to Fleetwood Mac.  The notebook isn’t finished yet.  I should work on that.

Post inspired by the people behind 12 Books in 12 Months, Coffee and Chaos and The Terrain of Symmetry.  Because they kinda asked for it.

So, what would you do for cheesecake?