Saturday, December 31, 2005


Congratulations to my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law Mike & Caroline, who got engaged on Christmas Day!!! This means we definitely get a trip home this summer/Autumn (wedding date willing) as DH is the Bestman.

I have a couple of New Year Resolutions for 2006--I only make them when I really want to keep them.

1. To lose the jellybelly.
2. To balance writing, family and me time.

3. To love everyone a little bit better.

To all the people I have known and for all my Scottish friends...
Auld Lang Syne...(Please sing in key ;-))

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.
Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne,
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld ang syne.

We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne.
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Men in 4-wheel drives

I blogged yesterday on the Great Escape Artists about some of the great books I've been reading recently. My secret Santa gifts arrived (thanks Mikey) so I have Keith Urban's CD on the computer (though I'm frustrated I can't copy it onto the hard drive, grrrhhh) and last night I started reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips' latest, Match me if you can. Isn't that the nicest cover ever?

So far it is everything I expected and more :) That woman is as funny as hell.

Writing-wise, I haven't done much. I was going to (and doesn't that sound like the classic excuse working itself up), but we were supposed to have visitors today, so I figured I'd better vaccuum the week's worth of dog hairs and crap off the floor, and wash the sticky fingerprints off the TV, and maybe dust, so people could breathe. Good plan. But the visits are cancelled due to unexpected illness--DD running a fever and puking. At least the place is clean for a couple of days!! DH is at work--where else would he be during the holidays? And he has the car, WHICH HE FREAKING DENTED A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO!!! I'm getting over it, honest! He had the nerve to blame the corner where it happened, saying his buddy had done the same thing a couple of weeks ago--duh--

'So you already knew it was a dangerous corner?'

I AM getting over it, I swear!!

So... I guess I should list the great things he's done, like clear the roof of snow, cooking ect, but I'm venting and this is MY blog :)

We are having weird weather--it has hovered around zero during the day, going down to -4C at night? I'm awaiting the big freeze, but this weather is set to last for a few more days at least. We have lots of snow, so when DH gets home from work I'm going to take DS into the front garden and build a snowman.

Happy 30th everyone!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Web page

After two days of trying I have finally got a website made and published! is the address and I'm about to add it to the side bar. I'm especially proud of my excerpts page though it worries me slightly. Please let me know what you think, it'll probably load slow the first time, but hopefully after that it'll be OK. Please tell me if you find bugs--I hate bugs!!

Too computer weary to post anything else so except the following :)

What Color is Your Soul? {8 results + artsitic pics}

brought to you by Quizilla


Thought I'd post some light relief. Sean Bean is one of my favourite actors...and the basis for the hero of the (let me think) third book I want to write this year. I have really high hopes for his character as a police detective in a mystery series set in St Andrews. He doesn't have a name yet--it'll come to me, but he has a great backstory and sidekick and I spend a lot of time adding to that history at all sorts of odd hours of the day. Like his girlfriend was killed in an unusual way, his mother was devoted to him, but he never knew his father. He's solidly working class and falls for an American Prof at the uni whose father is a Senator and possibly going to stand for President at some future date (this will test my writing skills). We're talking chalk and cheese characters and I guarantee fireworks and lots of emotional anx.

And lots of dead bodies...I seem to fall over them in my scripts so apologies in advance to my CPs! Have a lovely...Wednesday (they all merge together in the holidays!!!!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tipping--the dark side

OK, I don't usually write anything controversial, but I'm going to today because it is my blog (dagnamit!!).

I hate the forced 'tipping' they do in the States. Everywhere you go, people are more than willing to help you out, but when people do it with their hand extended I get seriously embarrassed and insulted.

Firstly, I never carry cash, ever. My dad says I'm like royalty. Secondly, if a job is worth doing people should be paid the wages to do it. It shouldn't be up to other workers to supplement crappy salaries.

I know Brits have a stingy reputation, but we're not stingy--just look who always sends aid in a crisis and look at how generous the British people are during Children in Need and Red Nose Days. We are just not used to tipping everybody we smile at, or ask for directions, or who holds a door open for us.

I tip at restuarants and I tip my hairdresser (God bless her). Everyone else can take a look at my overdraft and compare it to theirs, or check out my kids non-existant eductaion savings account or... you get the picture.

So there--I'm mean and stingy, but I do smile and open doors for free :)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Santa's gifts

We had a lovely up at 6.30 a.m., all excited because Santa had filled their stockings. We opened pressies, visited friends, DH cooked the turkey, I made pavlova. We had to wait till tea-time for dessert as we were so full. It was a very relaxing time with me catching Tootsie on the telly and DH playing lego.

My daughter had make-up from Santa and came in this morning with lipstick all around her mouth--very funny. She loves it and I don't care if she wants to wear it, as long as she's not at school. Son had some great wooden train sets and plastic dinosaurs and said 'I love it' regardless of the content.

I got a Wonderbra from Santa--Merry Christmas Ho Ho Ho!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

My favourite part of Christmas is Christmas Eve. When I was young, my granny would bring her fabulous mince pies over on the night of Christmas Eve and the presents, and we'd all have a sherry. Sherry featured heavily in Christmas, even as kids, our elderly relos would give us gallons of the fact, aged about 4 I got drunk on sherry. My dad had let us (elder brother and sister and me) have a sip, but I disappeared with the bottle behind the couch--by the time they realised, I was three-sheets-to-the-wind and I have this vague memory of singing on my way to bed.

Tomorrow we'll have a mince pie and a sherry when we're opening presents and I'll think of all the wonderful elderly relatives we used to visit on Christmas morning all through my childhood. There aren't many left now, bless them: my grandad, Uncle Lol, Aunty Molly, Aunty Nora, and I wish them all a very merry Christmas, along with my crazy family and DH's crazy family.

And I'll remember the people I've lost, my gran (I was so lucky to have her), my nan & grandad, my cousin Graham who died when he was 21, my sister-in-law Helen who died too young. But there won't be any tears, just happiness because it is Christmas, and we need happiness at Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005


My DH jumped out of bed at 7.20 A.M. and said 'Got to go to Sears!'

In a blur I said, 'No, you've done all your shopping, we're done.' Trying to calm him down, thinking he was dreaming about other years...but no, he jumps out of bed and heads into the freezing rain.

Well, figuring it was something for me, I smiled and went back to sleep until the wee ones woke up.

DH came home with dinosaurs and a colouring book???
The mall is miles away!
Also he wrapped all the presents, with only minor help from me...

What have the aliens done with my husband and can I keep this one?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Disney World Magic Kingdom

A five hour drive from Miami (with almost psychically, uncanny abilities to avoid the unmarked police cars), a night in a motel, a pre-dawn start...all for Mickey Mouse and the Disney Princesses!!

But seriously, my daughter's face was wonderful when we met Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Ariel. Wow. Me and DH were quite impressed too--DH really liked Ariel... hmmm

First up was the carosel--absolutely gorgeous. Then Dumbo, Ariel and Mini's House.

It was all brilliantly done. We went on Splash Mountain with DD, who was not scared at all and went on twice...but that was the only big ride she could go on because of height restrictions. We did do the Tea Cups and they were pretty darned fast :) But she hated Pirates of the Carribean, really hated it (whereas my monster loved it and broke his sword 30 seconds after getting hold of it!).

If you have never been (we hadn't) it is much more economic and sensible to spend a week there. We only saw a tiny fraction of the Magic Kingdom and I lose count of how many other parks there are in the complex. There is so much to do in that part of Florida with Sea World not far away and not to mention all the space stuff.

Anyway..enough of that. They were filming the Christmas Day Parade that day (in the zillion degree heat) and so if you watch it you might just see us having fun :)

Thanks Walt & Mickey :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

oow oow oow

Forgot... fell in love while I was away... Keith Urban (dur, didn't connect him with the aussie KU for a while). So Santa sent me a gift certificate for Amazon and I ordered Keith's CD (we are on first name terms), Sugarland, Jill's Get a Clue and SEP's Match me if You Can...

God bless Santa (thanks Mikey), and I really hope Keith and Nicole get the real deal, and wouldn't a baby be lovely...sigh (am I a sap?)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Wildlife

My favourite spot :D The Lighthouse at Bill Baggs Park

The cool thing about being a marine biologist is you can actually tell your kids what the creatures you find are...

Goose Barnacle...ugly buggers

Hermit crab--waving

Portugese Man O War

Bird (snigger)

And this is a view south-west off the Florida Keys...

And this was the best shot I got of a pair of gators...

And this guy lived on our balcony :D

Tomorrow Disney World :D


Ok, I've been slacking but I have excuses--we had a party Friday night, flew all day Saturday, party Sunday, party Monday... get the picture????

We stayed in Key Biscayne, a VERY exclusive community and millionaires playground. The accommodation was lovely, 3 pools (heated), private beach, tennis courts, nice apartment, grounds, fountains, gated community--the good stuff you know? But the people were lousy! I love the Spanish, me and DH spent a memorable New Year in Spain and partied with strangers all night. But the people (we met) on Key Biscayne? These people were the super rich, or the servants of the super rich--and you know what? They all looked liked they'd sucked lemons for breakfast.

Another nasty woman ruined my first dip in the pool with the kids because she insisted my son was peeing in the pool and he wasn't!!! He was wearing a swim diaper that fills with water and, therefore, slowly EMPTIES. Grrrr...

The anglos we met there were super friendly--and I'm not nationalist or racist, but everybody else was freaking rude and ill mannered to the extent that rather than saying 'Thank you' I was thinking '**** you' instead!

And the stolen bike... Well DH borrowed a bike off his colleague so he could cycle to work (and therefore we could save on the hire car ect). This worked fabulously until he popped to Winn Dixies on Sunday morning (he was inside for 10 mins) and came back to find the bike missing. The police said it was probably a local rich brat who couldn't be bothered to walk home. Grrrr. Still waiting to hear if it has been found. The upside of that was the two profs got a ride-along in a police crusier, looking for the stolen bike, and so did my son (who hopefully didn't get any ideas).

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Hi there, I was so sad without internet access--and even more frustrating was the fact that the library was next door--but the days that DH got back early were the days the library was closed early. DH was going in to work at 4 am regularly and back late some nights, so I wasn't going to hassle him (for a change).

Florida was great. First week we had a car, so I drove through Miami (Oh My God) to the Everglades and went on an airboat tour with the kids (DH was working). It was pretty cool, except for the wee man trying to throw himself overboard. I had no idea that gators got to be so big (I will post photo's when I can get them off DH's laptop). I also didn't realise they had crocs and gators in the Everglades (the biologist in me was bursting with questions for the tour guides).

On the first Tuesday we were there, DH finished at 2 pm and so we decided to 'pop' to the Florida Keys. A two-hour drive was a bit far (who knew?), but we stopped at Anne's Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key. The sea was flat calm and shallow, so we went swimming with the sun setting in the distance. I loved the Keys, even if we saw them only for a brief time--I'd love to go to Key West, so laid back after the hustle and bustle of Miami. I won't go into details about our only fight of the trip, when we got totally lost trying to drive back to Key Biscayne. Needless to say I am not used to being called stupid. We eventually stopped at what had to be Miami Dade's biggest police station where DH asked either an undercover cop, or a drug dealer, the way back. Anyway we made it--no biggy :0 What is it about men and asking for directions??

We went to South Beach (Miami Beach) the morning before we drove up to Orleando (5 hours). South Beach was lovely, we had breakfast at the News Cafe with the guy DH was working with and his gorgeous wife. I think we put them off kids for a few years LOL. Enjoyed the beautiful art-deco architecture and the fine sandy beach, our kids just stripped and climbed in the sea (as per usual).

Will fill you in on where we stayed, the stolen bike fiasco, and Disney World at a later date. Hope you are all well!!!!

I'm Back!!!

Great time was had by all. Now frantically busy putting up Christmas decorations and realising how few things we have for our much bigger house!! OK--I'll tell you all about our trip later today, but here is the high point for me and DH--please note the wee one asleep for the big moment :D