Monday, 31 December 2012

Another New Year.

Just a couple of hours to go. 2012 is nearly over, and what a great year it's been, one of many.

In a couple of hours it will be 2013. I'm sure it'll be another good one with loads of fun, and maybe a few challenges, but I'm ready for it. I am grateful to have made it to another and look forward to whatever it may bring.

I wish you all a wonderful year with incredible times. May it be everything you wish for and everything you need.

Sunday, 30 December 2012


Been out and about a bit today...

I started by meeting my new chum, John - whom I met through NaNoWriMo, for a coffee on the seafront. We had a good old chin-wag.

From there I drove round to St Pere de Ribes to feed Loli, Victoria's cat, as she's away visiting her family down south.  Loli is lovely and sat on my lap for almost the whole hour that I was there.

I've spent the afternoon doing bits and bobs, as well as reading - I started a new book a couple of days ago - Home to Barcelona: A foreigner's story, by Richard Manchester Set in Barcelona it's about an American that has settled there and is, at the part that I'm reading, working as an English teacher.

Doesn't really sound like much, but it's filled my day.

And for today's photo I'm adding perhaps my favourite from one Christmas day- Cuddy thrilled with her present.  Good grief how much do I love that dog?!?!?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Still ...

... going on about food.

Christmas Day we had a right old feast - starter of a TulStig Medley of guacamole, pate and coleslaw. Main course of 14 veggies plus stuffing balls and Yorkshire puddings with lashings of onion and red wine gravy. Dessert of orange and chocolate trifle and late Chocolate bombe.

Boxing Day we had the same veggies again but casseroled in the oven, more trifle and mince pies for pud.

27th we took advantage of the voucher that the other Supernova teachers gave me for my birthday and lunched out at Gilda's. 3 course feasting again.

28th had some of said teachers round for late lunch - Veggie curry, Leek and espigalls in cheese sauce, Cheese and onion Quiche and a variety of other dishes on the buffet. Luckily I wanted everyone to bring Tupperware so most of it left with our guests.

Today. Lentil soup for lunch, remaining curry for dinner... 

If I haven't put on a few pound over this festive season I will be amazed.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Reviving Passion...

Needless to say we've had a great Christmas- a techno free one too -The PC laid dormant all day yesterday.

Friends, food and fun were the orders of the day. And today a bit of relaxing, but still plenty of food and friends through the ether (whatsapp, facebook etc etc). Technology was on the cards today. So much so that in the last couple of hours I've even heard from a first cousin who I've not seen or heard from for maybe 25-30 years - I really can't remember when we last saw each other. We're just starting to catch up now!

I've also been thinking of one of my passions over the last couple of days.... the Camino.... The bubbling in my blood has begun again. Last week I bought my new trainers - a December tradition now (more or less), so that they will be broken in ready for June. The style are exactly the same- why change something that ain't broken? - can you tell which are the new ones?

Next year I plan to do the Camino Ingles- from Ferrol to Santiago, then go on to Finisterre and Muxia. Dates and timings not really decided yet. I know that some readers of this page indicated a thought about joining me. If you are keen and have any particular dates that wouldn't suit around the end of June, beginning of July let me know before it's too late!

Just writing those few words about something that is ingrained in me know has stirred up feelings of excitement and nervousness for the walk, and it's not just a head thing I can actually feel tingling in my arms and legs for it all. How rare and exciting and how lucky am I?! ... 

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Sunday

After I'd walked the dogs, and fed everyone, and Tony had been round the corner for his morning drinkie we set out for a local shopping centre. We wanted to get there early-ish so as to miss any crowds.

Anec Blue (The Blue duck) shopping centre in Caseldelfells (I have no idea why it's called that?? either!) didn't have everything we wanted so we headed on to Gavá (Olga's home town) and shopped some more, finding most of what we wanted/needed.

Happily neither shopping centre was too busy and we had a really nice time shopping together- Now this doesn't happen too often. Tony doesn't usually join my on shopping trips and when he does we tend to have a word or two. This time none of that- clearly 'tis the season to be jolly.

So tomorrow we have to take R2 back to the vets for a booster antibiotics shot, then Tone is shopping down town while I hit the supermarket for the final purchases. Then we shall hunker down and start the preparations in earnest. So far we have a selection of 8 vegetables, plus stuffing and Yorkshire puds, plus all the usual trimmings and peripheries.

This evening we have been watching 'Morecombe and Wise' and the 'Victoria Wood' - oh such memories. 
Christmas is well under way in the TulStig household, and I can feel it in my water - it's going to be a great one!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Let the fun begin

Well the festivities have well and truly begun.

Thursday evening we had our Christmas bash from the school. A few glasses of the red stuff and a a few tapas. Unfortunately something disagreed with me -I'm sure  I tasted fish in the salad, and that always makes me hurl! Otherwise it was a good evening.

Friday was a full day with far too many classes for the last day of term, but they all went well and by 10.00pm I was on holiday. So Andy & I stopped for a beer before returning to our homes and spouses.

Today we've been shopping in the market for veggies for Christmas day, went our own ways for a bit of Christmas shopping and then met up for a coffee. This lunchtime we went to Julie's for a celebratory lunch, which was delicious. She'd even made Egg Nog. We are now watching a mash up of Christmas programmes, and the final of 'Strictly come dancing'. All very relaxing. And the sunset from Julie's balcony was stunning:

Tomorrow we're off to the Anec Blau shopping centre for a bit of festive shopping and lunch... holidays are under way and we're making the most of them.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Two days to go

..till the end of term, or even time!

Well that's that then.

For some time now I've been biting my tongue, and finally I've shared. I feel better for it, but am wondering what happens now- Oh well -In two days time it is the 21.12 -The Mayans predicted some kind of sea-change!

Busy day running round, especially when I was out in the wilds of Catalonia and realised that the tank was nearly empty. No matter I got back to Sabeco for petrol - all okay- someone's always watching over me.

Tomorrow I have another 'last-before-Christmas-class' and they all decided they would like the lesson in a bar- OK by me, so we're having a drink while they practise their English. After that we've got our Teacher's Christmas party in a bar on the Rambla -watch out for those candid photos on Facebook and Picasa Friday.

Friday is the final day for final classes before Christmas, of course Mayan predictions being for change and not apocalypse.  Then that'll be me done until 7th February. A little time for some R&R and catching up on the things that I've let slide a bit recently, and of course a quick trip to the UK.

For now I'm off to my bed... but just before I retire here's a pic of one of the shop-fronts in VnG -Cute Santas!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

He's back...

I picked up Tony at the airport this morning - I enjoyed myself while he was away, but it's nice to have him home. He's come home bearing gifts and cards. My most favourite is a swede - yummy for Christmas lunch, and so appropriate for such a foodie as me.

I have realised over the past few days that I have a very close relationship with food. I love it. I love preparing it. I love cooking it. I love sharing it. I love eating it. I just bloody love it... I love healthy food, and perhaps too often food that isn't that healthy or good for me,, but all in all I have a great relationship with it, even though it rates high up on my priority list!

Christmas English style has also hit VnG big time as Lidl  are now selling mince pies, and from Thursday they are going to be selling Christmas pudding... There we are back to food... so on another subject....

This week had been a good one for 'The Magic of the Camino'. Sales continue to creep up on the Lulu page. I've sold 3 more signed copies today, with three more orders for the same (one from Canada). The Canadian request also informed me that a copy was on sale on Amazon.Ca for nearly double it's normal price. I e-mailed the guy who was selling it and he's taken it off- cheeky! Then I found an advert on a charity site that I regularly visit- what a surprise that was:

Sunday, 16 December 2012

It's beginning...

... to feel a lot like Christmas...

This weekend I've been doing things all christmassy...

But before that I must just share my most exciting news- The translation (to Spanish) of the magic of the Camino is finished... Victoria e-mailed me to let me know it's all done. Now it's up to me to format everything and prepare it ready for publishing... watch this space for more news... HUGE THANKS to Victoria!!

SO Christmas -

On Saturday I went up to Al Campo in St Boi to do a bit of Christmas shopping, after having dropped off a cake for Andy's and Sue's birthday, at school.

After a bit of shopping I made my way over to Deirdre's in Casteldelfells for a festive carol concert and mince pie extravaganza. Even Gizmo was dressed up for the occasion and happy enough to pose in front of the tree in his finery.

Then today I met Sue and Jordi(and Lili) in the Town square for a bit of Ice-skating. The first time in over 30 years, and the last time wasn't even on real ice. I was surprised to find that they did actually have boots in my size. TO start with I was really nervous and held onto the side almost all the way round as kids whizzed past without a care in the world.  A cute young man did ask if I needed any help, and I foolishly said I was fine - flirting on ice is far more difficult than on dry land!

After a few circuits around the ice we met up with John and while Sue and Jordi went home for Lili's lunch time John and I went off to Lizeran for a bottle of cider and a few tapas. 

I have also spoken to Tony this evening who has had a nice Christmas lunch out with the family. Tomorrow he leaves for a hotel near the airport in Leeds and as it seems everyone is busy his mum is paying for him to take a taxi from hers to there.  Travel in luxury, at least as far as the airport... then on Tuesday he'll be flying with Ryan Air... hmmm, no comment!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Day two - home alone...

A fairly busy day to report her at TulStig Towers, despite the old man being in Blighty.

First thing was the usual dog walk, although we changed the route slightly today- madness I know, but there you go. Spontaneous little me!

I then threw together a banana, apple and raisin cake which I shall deliver to school tomorrow for Andy and Sue's birthdays which are both this weekend. At the same time (well more or less) I made some vegetarian sausage rolls to take to the Carol Party that I am going to tomorrow afternoon.  With a little bit of cleaning and tidying that was my morning, pretty much. Oh and had a chat with Janey, while the cake was in the oven, about my trip to the UK in January. We have decided to have a little  get together on the Saturday at theirs -A Three Kings' Party!

After a light lunch of cheese rolls I took a customary Friday siesta, only to be woken halfway through by the phone, which I studiously ignored.

On waking I prepared lessons for this evenings classes then dutifully wound my way to school to teach for a few hours. Whilst preparing said classes I was Whatsapping with Andrea in England, and e-mailing Nick, also in England.  Technological issues sorted (well as far as I can tell).

Arriving home this evening I cooked up a spaghetti delight for my dinner, whilst chatting with hubby, who called from Withernsea.

I've just enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours with the animals eating my dinner, imbibing of a can of beer and reading in the light of the Christmas tree lights. Ah such pleasure...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Alone again...

... naturally. I'll name that song in (go on then -song artist and year!)

Well at Casa TulStig one is never alone with six sets of four-paws running around. I really couldn't imagine our home without a few of the furry creatures that share our world in it to cause some kind of chaos.

This week R2 was a bit unwell. Well to be precise he was unwell at the weekend. Some time back he had bladder crystals which blocked his urethra- very serious. It was touch and go for a while- the worry was that the blockage had back-fed into his kidneys. He had to be catheter'ed and have a load of drugs and fortunately was okay. Little devil pulled the catheter out himself- that must have stung (how many of you winced then?). Anyway this time despite my panic he only (only I say) had a urinary tract infection, and after a couple of shots is on the mend and running round like the others. He's been put on a special diet which is supposed to stop this happening again, but that's no problem, apart from the other cats all enjoying it too.

Anyway that was just an aside -I am sort of alone as Tone went off to Yorkshire this morning, well almost this morning. His flight was delayed somewhat by freezing fog in Bradford, but he's just called to say he's arrived safe and sound.  English bloody weather!!

So whilst I'm on my own I tend to not cook well for myself- Huh - says who. This evening on arriving in from work I threw together and ate a spinach pizza, well most of it anyway:

This evening I've had a wealth of technology issues that I shall overcome, but for now am off to my bed, where two sleepy dogs are waiting.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12.12.12 and all that

So that was 12.12.12 - what an amazing day  - My world changed unbelievably- For a start I'm not using sarcasm any more.... Tee, Hee!!!

Sorry for the tease. Nothing changed here,a s far as I could see. Walking, Working, Washing, W... and so on.

Tomorrow Tone's off to the UK for the weekend. Not an easy trip, especially for him with his walking issues.  As I've an early morning class Julie is going to pick him up and drop him at the airport, then when he gets to Leeds/Bradford Lynne is picking him up for onward journey to his mum's in Withernsea. Aren't we lucky to have such kind friends.

So my weekend here will be free and easy... I've a pile of washing to do, the flat needs a good cleaning too, there'll also be a bit of shopping, and of course Deirdre's Christmas carol and Mince pie celebration on Saturday. I'll squeeze in a bit of work too... and who knows I may even get a bit of 'Key' edited and proofed.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

I'm back...

I've been away.... Yes but I'm back now - a cheeky steal from which movie? answers in comments PLEASE!!

MY last post on here was few days ago, but he I am ready to write again. I0'm not sure what happened there, but after finishing the NaNoWriMo challenge in November I kinda lost the ganas as we say here (inclination is probably the best translation). IT wasn't that I was anti-writing it was just that it really wasn't in my head. Until just the other day when one of the children in my novel piped up with a starting place for the next book. MY characters are brought to life and rule me!

THe last week or so was tremendous.

First of all we had Sussi staying for afew days so were out and about entertaining, and the car had to go into the garage following the bump it had a little while back.

This last weekend was a long (holiday -  puente) weekend. Thursday to Sunday no work.

Thursday we put up the decorations for Christmas - whilst sipping sherry and eating home-made sausage rolls and mince pies.

Friday - My big day (number 52) we had a day out with friends down the coast in Salou. A walk along the coast followed by a traditional Christmas lunch - fun, friends, food and a drink or two- a prefect birthday all in all.

Saturday - now where did that go?

Sunday. I went to  Christmas market with June and bought a few goodies. June is going to find out about the possibility of me having a stall there next year for my fabulous cakes, pickles etc etc.

Monday back at work was a bit of a shock, but with just two weeks to go till Christmas it really is all downhill from here.

Writing -
  • I've been going through the Spanish Edition of the Magic today- Victoria has done a wonderful job, and just has the final chapter to translate. Then it's down to me to format everything and get the publishing under-way. With a bit of luck it'll be on sale in the New Year. Alan is on hand ready for the cover.
  • The Search for the Magic Key is sitting on my desk waiting edit. I think I shall tackle the first one during the Christmas Holidays.  Illustrations are being sourced, and a sequel is already banging around with an energy of its own. Don't worry Janey I shall have a copy for you as soon as humanly possible.
  • MOre royalties popped into my paypal account this week. I am so grateful to everyone who has purchased a copy of one or more of my books, and am thrilled they are still selling worldwide -the Magic of the Camino primarily.

So that's just about where I am at the moment. AS the year comes to an end, just ater my personal year came to an end I am also reassessing and re-evaluating things - but more of that later. For now I've rambled enough....

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December photo Challenge 3&4

Day Three: Something I held.  Gosh this could have quite easily have gone such a different way, but I'll just leave that to your imagination! So here are my sticks from Camino Three - on the Primitivo... I held them and they held me up!

Day Four Black and White - A little too obvious maybe...  Vinnie

Coming soon ..... Day five ....
December is bundling along very nicely here in VnG. The cold snap has been a bit of a shock to us humanoids, but the dogs are loving it.  Xali particularly is enjoying running in the field of a cold morning.

This week we have Sussi staying with us - remember her? The crazy Finn from Camino number one! Last night we were out at Gilda's (Yes gain -we do love that place- staff excellent, food excellent, wine excellent and ambiance just about excellent too. Even the price is amazingly excellent at just 12.50 € a head. We have been a bit limited in our activities what with the car being in the garage, but we've been out and about. Yesterday afternoon we even walked up to Decathlon with Sue for a little bit of shopping.

This morning, so I could plan lessons for this evening and catch up on a few bits and bobs Tony and Sussi took themselves off into town on the bus. Tony arrived back laden with a bag which he kept secret - is it Christmas goodies, or something special for Friday I wonder?!?

Yesterday I finished reading Mitch Albom's latest book -The Timekeeper, having started it just under 24 hours earlier. It is amazing. I loved it.  An interesting tale with messages interwoven, as always, and enough pathos to bring a tear to my eye. I thoroughly recommend adding this to your Santa list.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The first Sunday in December...

Normally the first Sunday of the month would see us putting up our Christmas Decorations. Not so this year. Far too much going on today.
This morning I shared a small part of a stall with Sue and Jordi at the second hand market -yes this hoarder is still clearing the clutter, and it made me a few Euros at the same time. One man's garbage is another man's treasure. Whilst on the stall I also had two enquiries about my books- follow up should achieve more sales, and an enquiry about Reiki classes.
Immediately after the market Tony and I went to a wine tasting just down the road. It was also an oil and Espigall tasting.  Espigall is a locally grown green (Cabbage family) veg that we love, an is peculiar to this region and this season. Unfortunately the tasting was very limited, with just one Espigall dish. I was hoping for a few recipe suggestions. Frankly my achievements with this veg already outstripped what I saw today (big head did someone say?)

We stayed for a short while then returned home.  I needed to catch up with the Newsletter, which I am happy to say is now winging its way around the world via e-mail.
In a short while we are heading out to the airport to pick up Sussi (remember Camino 2010- one of the Famous five) and then we will be heading straight off for dinner.
December is always a busy month in TulStig towers, and this year is going to be no different.

And this month I am back into the Fatmumslim photo challenge:

Day ONE - 8'clock - Walking with my kids- Cuddy so loves a puddle...


Friday, 30 November 2012

A Queer kind of day

Today was the first day in a month that I haven't sat at the PC and ploughed through a couple of thousand words, and strange that has felt too.

The characters are still so alive in my head, and still twittering away. 'The sisters' whom you shall meet if you stick your head into the pages of my latest offering are asking that their story be told too. Whilst the cousins are still pumped up and full of energy ready for their next adventure.
The other day whilst chatting with John, a fellow NaNoWriMO, we spoke about how the book and characters take on a life of their own, and that if you try to pull them in the wrong direction your story stalls. Well they are the ones doing the pulling now, for sure, but as for me I need a little bit of a break from daily keyboard addiction. 

This morning I shopped without that nagging thought at the back of my head 'gotta get back, 1700 words  to write'! The morning was more or less my own. OF course there were the usual daily chores, especially since Sussi arrives on Sunday, so I had to do  bit of cleaning up here and there. Still we've shared Albergues that were so much more grubby, and less comfortable than our luxurious guest room quite!

Have I missed the writing? Well you could surmise from my ramblings here that I have, and to be truthful I really have. I've loved the race of the chase to send the cousins on the next step of their adventure. I've loved the challenge of coming up with the all important verses that flow through the story, and I've missed the rush that I get when I close the document seeing I've written far more words that I could have dreamed of in the short time allowed for my passion.

So what's next, aside form the editing and proofing? Happily there's another Camino book in my head and in my heart that needs writing. Pulling together my two passions writing and the Camino is such a pleasure that I am looking forward to telling the story of My Camino Primitivo.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Search for the Magic Key

Today was the day I finally finished writing my very first children's novel.  I was so thrilled. The story has had some twists and turns that I hadn't foreseen. My characters, as is often the case when I write, carried the plot along for me, and pushed, pulled or ragged me in the direction that they wanted to go. I loved being there with them.

Today I wrote 2,346 words, and ended with an average of 2,043 words a day. My total number of words being 59,256. This may change slightly as I edit and proof, but will be more or less the same.

I'm putting it all aside for a few days then will pick it up and run with it again. BUt for now my new baby is born, and I am sooooooooooooo happy.

Advance orders being accepted!!

BTW - this is not a true depiction of the key - It's so much more incredible than this. As is the whole book!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Done, but not dusted

As a quick explanation of where I've been the last few days: (just over 52 000 words)

SO the challenge of writing 50,000 word is completed. Now I just have to hunker down to finish the novel. Give me a few days and I'll be there...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday in VnG

Today we had a lunch engagement in town. We were saying goodbye to Christine, who is leaving Supernova where she has worked for the last 'forever' as the French (and English) teacher.
WE met up in a place that has been renovated this year. It was originally an OAP haven, but has been spruced up and is the perfect venue for meet ups like this having plenty of space, good food- even as the token veggies we were happy, and reasonable prices.

On returning home I took up my 'November position' at the PC and typed a few words in the story that is going to smash the book charts. A new character popped up today, and I feel she may be a regular, in what could be a series of books. I say series as the ideas that are popping up for adventures would mean an epic tale if I put them all in this one.

So far I have written 37589 words, which puts me just over 75% of the total needed to fulfil the challenge. Will I make it to 50,000 -oh yes, and then some. Will I do it before the 30th of November -oh yes, and then the editing and proofing will begin.

MY main concern now is to find an illustrator to collaborate and throw together a few pictures to bring the book alive even more. SO if you can draw, or know someone who can please let me know, or put them in touch with me. I'm looking for 'basic' pencil /pen drawings- less is more?!

Photo Challenge catch up 15 - 18

15 - In my bag -well the bag from the shop which has a veggie fruit, nuts and seeds mix - Yummy!

16 - The view from my window

17 - The last thing I bought - a crunchy apple

18 - Happened this weekend - Christine's leaving party

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Hard times

Yesterday I didn't get much writing done; under a thousand, in fact, which was the lowest count since I started. Life threw a few heavy ones my way and I was buckling under the weight. I felt emotional and vulnerable. I was not feeling very creative, my muse went into hiding and my plot line stuck.

I've always had a plot outline, but this changes from day to day as the plot develops. Yesterday I wasn't sure where the next chapter was going, nor where it was coming from.

This morning whilst walking with Cuddy and Xali I asked the universe for a bit of inspiration.- Zap-Pow- a rhyme bounced into my head that fit exactly where my story was, and as I walked the current chapter started to fall into place. I have a beautiful new character, and a plot that's back on track. Today I've been working and needed siesta this afternoon, but when I woke up I sat here and typed a few words, those few words turned into over 1700 in no time.. I'm back on tracks and this train is running well....

The photo challenge has suffered as well... tomorrow I shall catch up on that one.But for now here's one I've stolen off the web....

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Today's photo challenge - Man made:  The Bishop's Palace in Astorga, as designed by Gaudi -Mad made doesn't have to mean bad or ugly!

Oh and BTW writing total toady - 30,401 words - over 60% of the challenge done, but less than 60% of the book. I feel it will be a wee bit longer than 50,000 words, and have a sense that it's my best work yet. Not only that it's filling me with childlike glee as I 'pen' the incredible antics of the cousins.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Typical Tuesday.

A typical Tuesday in November in Casa TulStig. (If there really is such a thing)

07.00 wake up to cat purrs in my ear.
07.05 Shave , Shower Teeth.
07.30 Dress.
07.40 Feed cats.
07.50 Take Xali and Cuddy for a walk.
08.30 Hang leads back up and feed dogs. Pop toast in toaster.
08.45 Eat breakfast and fire up the PC
08.50 Check e-mails and Facebook posts, replying as necesasry. Maybe aquick game of something on facebook.
09.00 Leave for school
09.15 Arrive at 'Eurobar' for preschool chat with Andy
09.30 Teach First Certificate class
11.15 Kick students out
11.16 Meet Sue and Lily for a walk down the Rambla and a Coffee somewhere.
12.30 Home again - make soup for lunch.
13.00 Eat lunch
13.30 Back at the PC - check the internet for any important updates. Write.... Tony goes off for a Siesta at some point now.
15.00 Time for a break - juice
15.10 More writing - (today reach 28,351 words)
16.30 Time for a drink and a biscuit. Pick up book and read some.
17.00 Tony reappears from his siesta. Chat and stuff.
18.00 Get ready and head off to school.
18.20 Do photocopying etc.
19.00 Teach Pre-First Certificate class.
20.15 Kick students out.
20.18 Walk home
21.00 Dinner at home - Thanks to the week's daily chef- Mr Tone.
21.30 More PC stuff -Blog, check facebook, e-mails etc
22.30 Settle down in front of TV after giving cats and dogs their supper biscuits.
24.00 Bedtime.....

And as for today's photo challenge - 'Where you slept'
ON the first night of my first Camino -in a dorm with over 100 others - for more details read the excellent 'Magic of the Camino' available on  (unashamed self plug over!)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Half way; plus...

I started the morning off with a Skype call with Michelle in Australia, who is also doing the NaNoWriMo challenge.  We had a great chat about our writing projects and other things , and I felt even more than inspired by the time we had finished. 

I had set myself a goal to have at least 25,00 words written before turning the computer off tonight, well I am happy to say I have now written 26.066 words and had done by five thirty this afternoon despite:

  • Having to go to the supermarket to get a new microwave as ours had started 'sparking'.
  • Wrangle with our neighbour who had crashed into our car while reversing in the road, then lied about it- lucky the boys in the bar were watching and called him on it.
  • Then had to spend nearly two hours talking with the insurance company and copying and sending them documents by e-mail.
  • Had a 'long' interruption when two women came from the electric company to check our bill, and wanted me to sign something without reading it.
  • Had to prepare lessons, and actually teach some English (can you believe the inconvenience of it all) 
SO I'm signing off for now to go give myself another pat on the back.  Oh and BTW I am having such a great time travelling with my characters. 

Today's Photo Challenge:
 Drink... A Bailey's bananacolada -just one of the delicious cocktails we had whilst cruising the Adriatic back in September. Mm could do with one of those now! 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fira de Noviembre

OK so first things first - Not much writing down today, but I am at 22,291 words and the story's going well.

So why not much writing today- because it's been a relaxing day enjoying the Vilanova November Fair. We did intend to pop out for a couple of hours, but then bumped into some of the Supernova teachers and ended up joining in the wine tasting, and enjoying a few glasses of the red stuff.

Interestingly whilst we were drinking a man came up to me and said "Shouldn't you be at home writing?" -it was a fellow NanoWriMo writer who had recognised me from my profile picture on the site. We chatted a while and agreed to meet up again during the week, or next weekend.

Anyway we ended up back home around five , and I promptly fell asleep on the sofa. 'The best laid plans of mice and men' ... as they say!

I set myself a challenge to get to the halfway mark (25,000) by shut down of PC time tomorrow evening, and am still feeling confident. 2,700 words (just over) - I think I can do that, even with the Monday to-do list I have.

And Today's photo challenge : night - and here's R2 (or is it Erasmus??) in his favourite night place, well at least until he joins us in bed when the lights go out.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Early morning magic

"Just how much does this writing take over your life?" someone asked me the other day. "Oh I manage it okay" I replied, so do I? I wonder? .. just read on... 

This morning (last night) I woke at around 4.30am. Something had interrupted my sleep and for a while I lie there waiting for sleep to return. Then my author head engaged and I started thinking about where I had got to in my story, and in the still of the night four important lines for my story bounced into and around in my head.

To start with I relayed the words over and over so I wouldn't forget the. I then realised that really wasn't going to work, so crept out of bed an wrote the all important four lines down in my notebook.

I used to keep the notebook beside the bed but realised it was too invasive as I needed light to write (turn on the beside lamp, or fumble round for a torch) , not to mention my glasses. (more fumbling around) and then where did that pen go.... By the time I sorted myself out to write down my thoughts I could have woken the whole house, so now find it easier to make a quick and quiet trip to my desk to make notes.

Thank goodness I did make a note of those four lines for in the morning they were no longer in my head, but there they were on the desk in black and white, and they have moved the story along considerably.

Today I have written on and off, around the daily tasks and things that usually fill our Saturdays. I am happy with today's progress, and am giving myself a goal of getting halfway thourgh the challenge by Monday... so that's 25,000 words before I turn off the PC no Monday night. With any luck I'll be there long before that, but let's wait and see .....

A for today's photo challenge:
Day Ten - something you can't (or won't) do without:

Friday, 9 November 2012

Friday, ready for the weekend.

Today's photo challenge prompt - small:
                                                   From little acorns.... 

It's been a wet day here in VnG today, so I've been working towards my goal of hitting a total of 20,000 word in the Nanowrimo challenge.  There have been uncountable interruptions to stop me getting there, and I've just missed out by around 500 words, but I am consoling myself that,a as I have written a couple of e-mails, some posts in e-mail and this blog I have actually written over that amount, but just not as part of the challenge. Still being ahead of the number of words necessary a day I am happy with my progress. I have also had some very positive feedback about the first three chapters, so am feeling quietly confident. 

Yesterday we had our gas revision (check up) and today a technician came back to change the hose on our cooker, costing 150 euros for ten minutes work -nice job if you can get it.  Not only that he left all his rubbish in the kitchen for us to tidy up, and he wasn't even cute -some days things just don't run your way... but no matter I've a couple of classes in a little while, then we have the Vilanova November Fair... The weekend beckons....

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Isn't it amazing...

Yesterday I started the morning with a little bit of writing, which I happily interrupted for a Skype video-call with a great friend from down under. Despite a few technological problems (the call dropped out on and off) we had a great chat and catch up.  Isn't it amazing.... to be able to talk to someone the other side of the world and see each other at the same time.

At about 10am we found out that we had no water. There had been some kind of problem down the road and the water mains had been turned off.  Fortunately we had plenty of bottled water, but the number of times we went to the tap to run some water direct was incredible.... isn't it amazing how we (I) can take something so necessary to life for granted.

Having just seen an 'advert' for a charity that digs wells in Africa I think it's time I put my hand in my pocket again. Isn't it amazing how synchronicty works, and amazing how adverts can affect us deeply, and for me especially when it's about animals or young kids.

This morning I had a bout twenty minutes before setting off to school, so set myself a quick writing challenge. I pushed myself into a 'sprint-write. I gave myself 10 minute to type as much of my story as I could, without worrying about typos, and happily I wrote 496 words, with only a few typos, and moved the story along... isn't it amazing how we can when we try.

And so to my story... it's running along really well, I'm well on my way to the 20,000 milestone, which I hope to achieve tomorrow.  I'm still enjoying the character and the story immensely. I even gave up sitting in the sun to write some more this afternoon to make sure I'm reaching the daily goal. I have a couple of concerns about the writing - primarily is it the right register? (ie aimed at the right level for kids) and a couple of other more specific thoughts so if anyone fancies reading the first three chapters and giving me some constructive feedback I'd be most grateful.  Isn't it amazing how at this stage in my writing (just under halfway through) I always get the collywobbles and worry if I'm on the right track.

And the photo challenge.

Day 7 - Reflection. 
Now the nights are drawing n the french doors are reflecting back in the living room, often causing the animals to stop and ponder either the reflection, or just themselves reflected.

Day 8 - something I do every day...
Well at least at the moment. I take a few minutes out each afternoon for a cuppa (tea, coffee or juice), a biscuit and read a few pages of whatever book I'm currently into. And what I'm currently reading is 'The Moonstone Inn' a book edited by Alan Hayes, a very distant cousin who does the cover designs for my books. Also available on

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Tuesday's story

After an early morning class- well 10.00 - 11.15 I rushed home to drop Tony off at the dentists, whilst I did some of the weekly shop. This afternoon I wrote. I have now reached the quarter way point -25% written, well just over in fact with 12,957 words. I'm enjoying seeing the graph on the NaNoWriMo site creep up bit by bit.

Whilst I was writing I was thinking that I'd love to be in my book - well in all honesty I am in my book -in fact in some shape or form I am in all my books. I'd love to be part of the gang chasing up clues and having adventures, which of course I am as I write. I'm on the outside looking in as the story develops, which also puts me on the inside.

This morning whilst walking the dogs I had a twenty minute (or so) brainstorming session about the plot and a couple of 'stick'-ish points I had been pondering. Out in the fresh air my brain was working well and the ideas flowed, adding in some important factors that already were in the plot but that needed clarifying. Now they are clarified and things are swimming along just as nicely as before. Just one sticky-ish point to be resolved in this sector and tomorrow I shall ask my muse to join me on my walk and stump up the answer...

And today's photo...... Day SIX: a favourite thing....

This is 'Blue baby' and is one of Cuddy's favourite toys, and yes she even knows his name. If we tell her to go get him by name, she does just that- Intelligent my daughter!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Monday at Casa TulStig

Another busy day her eat the PC face, and indeed in Casa TulStig itself.

Tone had a morning down town, whilst I prepared classes for today and tomorrow, did two loads of washing, changed the bed, walked the dogs, swept through and even showered Xali (much to his chagrin!). Then at some point during the day I managed to write another just under , word in my children's fantasy adventure. I am loving how the story is coming together- it's great fun and even making me laugh out loud. At this rate I should have my novel completed before the end of the month without too many problems. although I know life can, and will, most likely interfere at some point.

And today's photo challenge - Five O'clock: no more needs to be said.... except I think I was just a few seconds late.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sunday goal acheived...

Sunday writing has gone well today. I've written over 3200 words (well more than my goal), and all that in just a few hours. I am so enjoying the process again, and get so into the story. Today I had to phone Janey and tease her a little about what is going on with 'the cousins'. The story has started to warm up nicely and the plot is thickening (I think that's what we say). This week I am going to try and write 2000 a day, but as I havea couple of busy days may not quite manage that. I love the NaNoWriMO page that let's me keep a check on my progress- it's so motivating:

ANd as for today's photo challenge:

Day 4 - TV ... The X-Factor's Dermot (or is it Russell from Pop Sensation?)...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

And life.......

...... kinda got in the way.....

Today I've only written a couple of hundred words as it's been a bit of a bust day in other ways.

This morning I was working, so no writing there, then I went to lunch with some of the other teachers, where one of them announced she was leaving, which is really sad. Needless to say we had a few bottles of the red stuff, and when I got home I had to relax a while on the sofa before I was much use for anything. I did write a few words, as I want to keep in touch with my story and my characters, but haven't been in the right head-space to write much more. I am now taking it easy for the rest of the day. I'm well ahead of the game at the moment, and tomorrow I'll be pushing myself a bit more to write.

Incidentally I'm actually watching X-Factor, and still have the attachment to my Winner and Take Two characters strong enough to expect to see them on the stage at any minute- scary how I get so deeply into my stories. 

I did take today's photo challenge though:

Day 3 - Breakfast.. which we actually had for dinner tonight... Scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes on toast...

Friday, 2 November 2012

November day Two..

I have decided (found out?) that when I am out under a little pressure I usually up my game and get on with it.

SO my goal for today, as it is for every day during November, is to write at least 1667 word to push my novel along towards completion. Today I've managed just over 2,000 so far, and that probably will be today's total as I am going to break for lunch. Then this afternoon I have classes until 21.45.

Before settling down to write this morning I had other jobs that needed doing.

Job one was to take the car in for it's annual road-worthiness check- The ITV (MOT). IT was booked for 09.30 this morning. Before that I walked the dogs, and having a bit of time on my hands afterwards planned a couple of lessons. Happily the car passed, with a few suggested revisions, so I don't have to go trawling around to the garage to get anything done urgently.

Getting back from the ITV job two was to do some washing, being a nice day, and get it out on the line. No problem there. After this I sat down to job three -more lesson planning. Again no problem and I'm pretty much sorted for this weekend- it's my Saturday to work!

And the next job was to do the weekend's chopping, so back in the car to Lidl, shop, home, unpack, and now for some writing.

Looking at the clock I was amazed to see all this was done before 10.30.

The writing has continued to flow again this morning, and the story is moving forward. My characters are settling into their roles. I can hear their voices clearly, and am getting well acquainted with them. This morning I even woke with another plot line to add- just as well I have that notebook always handy.

And so to today's photo challenge:

Day Two -Colour:
A late blooming (self seeded) sunflower that's adding a touch of summer colour to our autumn, and just look at the blue of that sky -magical! 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

November and challenges

  • This month I have started my second NaNoWriMo challenge- as if you didn't already know. This morning I completed all the usual things that I have to do in the morning -walk the dogs, put on some washing, sweep through etc etc, then settled down to a bit of writing. About an hour or so later I had written almost 3,500 words and have a story forming very nicely thank you. Once again I have immersed myself in the plot so deeply. I was writing about a storm, then got up to do something outside and was slightly surprised it was a sunny day.
  • Once again I am doing the photo a day challenge, which I really enjoy. Last month I posted seperate blog entry for this, but have decided to go back to plan A and include it in a daily blog entry, or if there's no blog entry for the day, as a stand alone one.  Today's prompt was 'something beginning with 'C'' so armed with my camera I went round and about taking shots of anything that fit and came up with this. How many can you name (and don't forget some of the words might be Spanish). There are at least 35...(you can click on the photo to enlarge it if you need help)

  •  An additional challenge this month is to get the car through its ITV (MOT in the UK). It's a bit of an old banger, but every year so far it has passed with no problems. This year I have my fingers crossed for the same, but am  a little worried I may have to spend a few bob to get it through this time... well that's tomorrow morning at 08.30 -so positive vibes everyone please!
This month isn't shaping up to be too busy at the moment (Challenges aside). We have the November Trade Fair in a couple of weeks, but aside from that no big events. This weekend we are having lunch out with some of the other teachers, and to kick off the month tonight Denise and Paolo are popping in for dinner, so I'd best step away from the PC for a while and tie myself to the cooker to get some good grub on the go.... LATERS. XX