Sunday, 30 September 2012

September photo challenge -finale...

SO here are the last three days for the September photo challenge...

28 -A good thing - Home made Homity Pie

29 - Errand - a trip to the airport (in the pouring rain) to drop off Marion and Rosie.

30 - Me,then -a photo from Henfield C of E school days..

SO that's it for the September challenge.... now on to the October challenge, and if you'd like to play along just let me know and I'll send you the link, or the list for the photos...

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Friends in town.

At the moment we have some friends staying - albeit in a hotel on the seafront -which they really love -so we are busy entertaining at the moment.

Marion (AKA Hatty -a nickname leftover from our childhood days) and Rosie arrived on Tuesday and are here until Saturday. We've already had a night out at Gilda's when they arrived, yesterday I gave them the guided tour of VnG, and today we've been into BCN for the day.

It's great to be spending time with them both as we haven't properly had time together for ages. WE are nattering almost non-stop and laughing and chortling through the day.

One of the funny things I've noticed is that we all have different memories of various shared experiences, or perhaps that we have simialr memories but that we each remember different details.

I wonder what memories we'll all be taking away from these few days together?

Rosie and Hatty in BCN enjoying a couple of Claras -shandies (Taken with my new camera -notice the improved clarity!)

Photo challenge catch up...

SO according to my memory, and a quick bit of checking I had posted as far as the 22nd, which was 'UP'.
which means that there are five daily photos to catch up with.....

23... Before Bedtime........ some delicious cocktails on the seafront.

24 - Three things..... I need to continue my final edit - the book, a pencil and my laptop....

 25.. Frame - bit of a cheat really as the picture is more interesting- my mum's family back in the day - the frame is new as the old one fell apart...
26 - Near - Sprout checks out the new camera

27- Love/Hate - Love driving (even in the rain) - Hate Road Tolls (between VnG & BCN)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Yes  -we are home safe and sound, and have our land-legs back. We got home Sunday to find everything pretty much as we left it, which is always good. Although our internet service provider had changed our service and caused the router to malfunction, which meant I had to call them yesterday. Happily they responded well and quickly and this afternoon a new router arrived- basically plug and play and here I am back on line.

I haven't got round to uploading the photos from our hols as yet, but will plan to do so in the next few days. Also whilst we were away my new camera arrived -all singing, all dancing and a little scary if I'm honest. A little practice and I'm sure we'll be the best of friends. MY efforts will be on here as soon as I get round to it.  It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25, and looks pretty flash -even does 3D photos- not sure how that'll work out?

Today Hatty and Rosie arrived from the UK for a few days, so I've been up to the airport again and entertaining this afternoon. tonight we're all off for dinner at Gilda's again. Tomorrow they want a lazy day, which is good, so hopefully I'll get caught up with the 393 e-mails I've received -probably deleting will be the main option, and should get sorted with photos too, which will be god as I'm well aware that I'm a little behind (pun intended - see the entry for the 21st!), and will try to catch up with that too.

BTW did anyone read all the blog entries for our holiday- or was it just TMI all at once and overwhelming?

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Saturday. Dubrovnik.

Today is our last full day aboard. At lunchtime we will be arriving in Dubrovnik where there is a tender service to land.
Yesterday the show in the theatre was 'I have a dream'. A show performed by the staff from various departments who thougt they had a talent to share. Sadly they were wrong. Simon Cowell would have cried. Honestly I am sure there must be some better talent onboard.
The show was followed by our second gala dinner so we was boted and suited again and I have to say looking mighty fine. Although the food was 'pleasant' (Note the wording Julie!) It really wasn't gala. Cheese stuffed pasta followd by cheese stuffed profiteroles with salad and blue cheese dressing folloed by a plate of .. cheese. I think someone needs to have a word with the menu planner! Having said that we did have enough to eat and enjoyed our evening.
Today's photo prompt is 'up' . The first thing that caame to mind (you know me!) is not a photo I can publish here! So here's one I can....

Well when i take it that is... watch this space....

Friday. 21/9/12 All at sea

Yesterday after an interesting day out in Istanbul (yes there was plenty to look at....) we were treated to a great musical show. Why great? Because there was a lot of 80s music and of course some Abba.
Today we have been at sea all day with just the occasional island to break up the non-ending vista of ocean. Deep blue beautiful ocean I hasten to add.
Lunch was a disappointment - same veggie choice of pasta gratinada so I asked one of the maitre d's if there was another veggie option. He replied that Europe hadn't caught onto that fad yet. I begged to differ and told him it really wasn't acceptable. He offered to get me something specially prepared from the kitchen. Result I thought until one of the waitresses turned up with a plate of spaghettei in tomato sauce (Isn't that pasta?) And a plate of fish (I am veggie and had I wanted fish the buffet was overflowing  with it) Once again thwarted. I settled for salad yet again.
This evening is our second Gala night. Fingers crossed it is better that the first.
Today's photo prompt is 'sometimes'.... and I'm still pondering this one.... maybe this evening will give me a clue....
Know what it will be but havent taken foto yet.... to be continued.
Sometimes you just see the things you dint really want to

Thursday. Istanbul.

Yesterday evening in the restaurant,following my complaint of the night before, we were well looked after even the maitre d' slending time at our table to make sure we were happier with the food. Of course we were the menu was back to being excellent. Last night's show in rhe theatre was billed as 'Magic,mirth and musical - comedy show'. Lets just say it was musical and leave it at that sshall we?! This morning we have been in Istanbul. The Palaces and Mosques are spectacular and in general the good folk of the city friendly. Interestiing fact: 16 million people live here! Taxi drivers on the other hand are like many all over the world and ripped us off at every turn.... ah well I guess they need to make a living. The most frustrating thing for me has been the inability to coomunicate well as we speak no.Turkish and altough they profess to speak Enhlish they really dont understand. Tomorrow we are at sea all day so i shall mostly be reading and eating.... ><><><><><><><><><> Today's photo prompt is 'man-made'. A pic of the ship could have sufficed here but I have added one of the view of Istanbul showing the Topkapi Palace and blue mosque - man made and incredible.

Wednesday. Izmir in Turkey.

Yesterday's tour around Olympia was interesting and enjoyable. For a change we weren't rushed around and had free rein looking around the site of the ancient games.
Returning to the ship for lunch was a mad bunfight aseveryone wanted to eat at the same time. Not an enjoyable experience at all.
The evening was the first gala dinner, preceded by the Captain's cocktail and a 'fantasy spectacle' in the theatre.
Unfortunately the gala dinner didn't live up to its billing and was the worst gala menu ever. I ended up with a small salad and was far from a happy bunny.
Today's photo prompt is 'underneath' and I've no inspiration at the moment. I shall wait and see if our trip into Ephesus will help.... and indeed it did... underneath 10 metres of soil this is what they found....

Tuesday. Katakolon, Greece. CET +1

This morning we have arrived in Katakolon in Greece. It's only just 7am and we're up and breakfasted already.
Yesterday was a fantastic day in Bari. After disembarking we found some bike-taxis and jumped aboard to be shown round the city by a delightful Bulgarian girl who really knew her stuff.
In the first church we stopped at I saw the bones of Saint Nicholas - or as we usually say -Santa Claus.
Later on we saw a street lined with women making pasta by hand which was then left to dry in the sun.
Back on board for lunchtime and we set sail for Greece.
Last night in the theatre we saw Roberto Sinagoga. Another excellent, as was dinner.
Today we are off on an excursion to Olympia, details of which will be posted later.


Today's photo challenge is price.... it's given me a lot of food for thought. Price of the cruise.... a bargain. Price of drinks onboard.. usual good value. What price tourism... Venice protesters.. the price is right..... Price's shop in the high street where I grew up. So here's today's photo.... what price fame. Anyone any clue as to the photo reference?

Monday breakfast musings

I've decided I am going to write a daily blog post and publish it as and when I get free internet access.
Yesterday we boarded after hours of hanging around and queueing with the hordes. Cruising really isn't just for the elite any more. I guess we ourselves are proof of that, although we do try to maintain certain standards. There are some on board, however, that do not. Dress sense at dinner proved that once and for all last night! I mean, would one normally wear cut off denims and a megadeath t-shirt to a 'nice' restaurant. Yes, there we have it. The travelling snob in me is alive and well!
Our cabin is spacious and comfortable, comodious I guess one could say. And that's where I've left hubby happily snoring whilst I feast my way through a plate of hash browns and scrambled eggs, washed down with orange juice. And whilst on the subject of food let me just comment that although we did come straight (sic) onboard yesterday and grab some lunch, and enjoy a FULL dinner last night we are not hogging. Others, on.the other hand' are making the most of the availability of food and piling their plates high but sadly leaving them piled almost as high when they leave. The gluttony and waste is something I find remarkable on cruises, clearly as I have just remarked.
Today we are due to enter Bari. ( Fnaarr) We've not yet decided if we will get off (Fnaarr) or simply lounge around on deck. Quite frankly we're both a little jaded after the last few days of socialising, both here and at home in VnG so the later is a possibility. I shall apprise you of our decision later.
And today's photo challenge.. in my fridge:

Sunday, 16 September 2012


Waking up in a strange city - Venice. Waking up in a strange bed. Well it's not like I've never done that before.... oh for the crazy days of my youth.
Showering in a strange bathroom. It's so small (The bathroom!!) And is actully a wet-room.
Breakfast of a strange croisant. It already had the jam inside. Delightful and a sweet morning treat.
And later today onto a strange biat. Favulosa !!!!!
Today's photo prompt= strange. So here's that bathroom...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Adventure begins.

After an uneventful flight we arrived in Venice safe and sound. Catching the waterbus we arrived at Ponte de Goglia an spotted the hotel straight away. As we got off the boat I mentioned that I needed some cellotape. Turning round there was a paper shop selling the very item.
After dropping off our cases at the hotel we went out to explore and I realused I had forgotten to bring a spare memory card for the camera. The next shop we passed was a camera shop which was having a sale on those very cards.
After a wandsr and a beer we found a nice restaurant with tables by one of the canals. As we sat down a small group of musicians settled down there too and inccredibly started playing our song..... it seems that magic is in the air today!!
And the photo for today's prompt .... the first thing i see.... this is the first thing i see as i come out of the hotel.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Oh Happy Days

Yes today is a wonderful day in the TulStig household for Tony and I have been together 30 years today.  We met on 14th September 1982 and have been pretty much inseparable since.  When the law changed in Spain concerning marriage we tied the know on our 25th anniversary, just 5 years ago, surrounded by family and friends- and what a wonderful experience that was:

Today Jane and Amy are back in the house ready to babysit when we fly off to Venice tomorrow to begin our cruise of the Adriatic, and tonight we are all going out to dinner at one of our favourite places, with the wonderful Julie. This afternoon Tony will be having his new teeth fitted, so happily he will be in the holiday photos.


And to the photo challenge.
Yesterday's was Table: So here's one of the buffet's I have prepared over the past year (this one for the school's end of year party)...

And today's prompt is 'Favourite' -
'Gilda's' - Our favourite restaurant of the moment, where we will be dining tonight... 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

And the winners are...

The morning started off with a lesson from the law of attraction....

On Monday we went into a key-makers to get a copy of the car key made, just in case I should ever lose it -strange as it's never worried me before. After having made the key the keysmith found out he didn't have the right 'chi' to activate the key, so no spare was purchased.

Today I was about to rush out and went to pick up my car key off the hook - it wasn't there - "but it's always there," I cried. Turning the house upside down ensued, trying to retrace my steps, wailing and gnashing of teeth accompanying all actions.  After at least half an hour of hell I found the key in Cuddy's toybox -how it got there is a mystery -but it was definitely a message from the universe - that what you consider will be delivered.

At midday the draw for 'The Magic of the Camino' prize book draw took place -All the names were put in a hat (all 98 of them) and I drew two for the prizes:

And the winners are: Heidi Kirchhof and Nick Brennan. Both have been sent messages. Nick, already having the book has chosen to get some 'Camino goodies'. As yet I've not heard back from Heidi.


And today's photo challenge: Together
I had so many ideas for this one, but finally settled on this photo taken by Nick a couple of years back. It's one of my favourites of the two of us:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Let me be your Hero

Not much work done around here today as we were down the coast at Julie's for lunch.  So straight on to the photo challenge for today -DAY ELEVEN: Hero

Two for the price of one here!

Oh and a video for good measure:

Monday, 10 September 2012


Today we've been out shopping for new clothes for our upcoming holiday, and then when we got back on the doorstep was the first copy of my latest novel: 'Take Two'. So not only was the shopping trip great fun and so rewarding there was a super 'prize' on the mat when we got home.
So now there are three published books in the House of TulStig collection. Life is wonderful and truly surprising - I never, ever thought that I would publish one book let alone three, and I'm still in the process of writing another. 

Now my job is to give it a final proof- work has already started on that, before releasing it for sale.  If I have time before we  go away at the weekend I will do it, but if not it will be joining me on-board the Costa Favolosa for a little light work whilst we cruise the Adriatic. Tony had suggested I leave it until we get back and have a complete break, but I know that there are some of you out there waiting to find out the fate of the characters in Winner. The Diva in me is saying 'Oh but my public require it'!!! 


And today's photo challenge prompt - BLACK AND WHITE 
                    So who of you could have guessed:

Vinci- and he really is upside down - he takes up this position when he wants a tummy tickle, which is quite often.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

More promo

What fun last night Tweeting like a nutter during 'X-Factor' to promote 'Winner'. Doing a bit of the same last night, but the whole system seems a little slow. Thanks to Mr Brennan for helping out too -where were the rest of you Tweeters?

Been working on the Website again today - enjoying the creative process of putting pages and idea  together, but a bit scared about putting together the 'shop' part. Janey's agreed to be UK distribution for HoT products, just as well as there are already some on their way to Sussex.

As well as promoting all my own stuff I want to promote other Indie authors- anyone up for putting their products on my guest page? and how about an interview?

There's also going to be a News / blog type page giving out all the HoT news and anything related.

At the moment I am so tied up in the promotion and website set up that I'm rather neglecting the writing- there just aren't enough hours in the day- well there are but i guess I'm just not utilising them best. I'm really enjoying the 'other' creative processes at the moment, and then I'll have a holiday -after that I'll be getting back into the writing groove for sure.


And today's photo prompt -something I do most weekends- well that'll be a visit to the Passeig maritime (Seafront) for a little drinkie: 

BTW - The glass is crooked.

Saturday, 8 September 2012


I've spent most of the afternoon working on a webpage for House Of TulStig. Happy with it so far, but adding techno gadgets to make it the best ever.  Honestly this is just the front page and just the start:

 Any comments / all comments muchly welcomed. 

Tweeting during XFactor like a mad thing. Either going to get noticed or annoy everyone big time -but hey that's getting noticed too. If it helps sell even just one more book it's well worth it. Here's a selection:

See what REALLY goes on behind the scenes of
- Joey sang for his Nana and look where that got him - - This summer's must read -
: - Bounce would probably go just one better - - The incredible novel by MT -

The Key
Having had some great feedback for the first chapter of the book from selected readersI am very happy. One 'reviewer' read it to her young son at bedtime, and he loved it and wants more... so I'd best get writing. 


and so to today's photo challenge - AT NIGHT

A view from our double doors - Vinci in the garden...

Friday, 7 September 2012


Julie came home today. I met her at the airport, caught up on her holiday news and passed on the VnG gossip. Like her cats I am really pleased to see her home - I always miss my best playmates.

This afternoon I spent a good couple of hours putting together a promotional video for  The Magic of the Camino - [great idea from Nick] complete with background music and voice-over by yours truly. Then as I tried to save it I got an error message that it couldn't be saved. Slightly miffed, to say the least, yet I'm sure my next attempt when  I return to this project will be even better. 

I also spent a bit of time 'messing about' with the programmes to create a new website, but couldn't quite catch the creative urge. Project shelved until later.  


And to today's photo challenge. 
The prompt today is NATURAL. 

So here is one of my natural stones 
My Lemurian Crystal and a couple of others from my box of stones. 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

General Updates...

This morning Tony was at the dentist for an update on his teeth (or lack of). He now has to wait until next week to get a temporary set fitted ready for our holiday next weekend.

After Tony's appointment and a bit of shopping I had a lunchtime drink with some of my chums from work, and even surprised Sue by holding Lilly and calming her down. It is well known I don't do babies!

This afternoon after a much needed siesta a little bit of writing.

So here are the updates for my works in progress and the published ones.

HouseofTulStig Webpage
I now have the domain and have been playing around with building a website. I have to admit to having got a bit stuck. Not quite sure what I want it to look like, and want it to be right before I go live with it. This is possibly a project for after our hols ... any suggestions, helpful hints etc all welcomed...

The Magic of the Camino
I'm still promoting the book through Facebook. The school I work for has included a link on their page, and now I've well over a hundred 'likes' of the MOTC page. Next week there is a draw for two free copies of the book which has helped the promo no end.
The translation to Spanish is going well. Victoria is currently translating chapter 29. I'm hoping for a Christmas publishing date.

Sales are stalled at the moment, and I have to admit I've not down a lot of promotion, but intend to start a big push this weekend during 'The X-Factor' as suggested by Nick. It will be a twitter bonanza. If you're on twitter I'd love for you to join in and help with the push. Watch out for hashtags: #JoeyFischer #Winner #PopSensation all attached to the hashtag of the programme. I fyou are willing and able I'd be so pleased if you could use any of these hashtags creatively, and/or just retweet what I'll be putting out. 
Watch out for a Facebook innovation too.... 

Michael is still busy translating this one into German. Publication date probably in the new year.

Take Two
Still waiting on the proof copy to arrive in the post. Once it's here I'll be checking it thoroughly, revising what's necessary and setting up for sale. Then I'll be popping out  the promos for that too. 

The Key
Chapter Two is under way - And part of the secret is revealled as Aaron steps up at lunchtime at Nana's. Who knows where this story will take me, but I do have a good feeling about it. 

So I guess that just about is a round up of my writing projects. One thing  I do know is that there will be a blog-like page on the new website which will have all these updates. 


And so on to today's photo challenge. The prompt is 'Every Day' 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Today we said goodbye to our 'weekend guests -Jan and Lennie. although I only met them back in June, and Tony only met them a few days ago it's been like having family stay- and I mean that in the nice way. 

Yesterday evening we went to the seafront for a drink and then sat indoors listening to music and chatting whilst polishing off a bottle of Soberano. Fortunately None of us had hangovers this morning and I prepared a TulStig healthy breakfast for us all:
Soon after Jan and Lennie were on their way to do a little walking in the Pyrenees.  This evening we are missing them a little but have plenty of sayings Jan left us with - marvelous, Oh my Gosh!


Today's photo challenge: Bright.

So I chose to take a photo of a

Big Round Incandescent Glowing Hot Thing in the sky which greets me most mornings, and is one of the reasons we moved here and love living here:

The sun - BRIGHT in the sky at seven o'clock this morning.

Oh and if you'd like t osee how others are doing with the challenge follow the links:

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


We've been having a great time with our guests -Lennie and Jan - whom I met on the Camino this year. They are here from The Netherlands for a few days - Tomorrow they are off into the Pyrenees for a couple of days walking before returning home.


This month I've joined in a photography challenge -To take one photo a day linked to a list of prompts as set up my FatMumSLim - a blog site written by a fun girl called Chantelle.

FOr the 1st of September the prompt was - Me now:

It's not a brilliant shot, taken with the web-cam on our desktop PC- but it gets the message across -ME NOW - The 'famous author'


Day Two -Father.

I ummed and aahed a while with this one, as father is not a word that's in my vocab much, but came up with this - a photo of a photo. 
My dad as a lad:

Day three was 'Far Away'
After unsuccessfully trying to get a photo of the moon I settled on another place that's far away and begins with 'M' -Miami- here's a shot from the opening of 'CSI Miami' -Love this show! 


And Today -Day Four the prompt is 'In my mailbox'

Well I am waiting for something wonderful to drop into my mailbox, and am sure it will arrive this week. But today was not to be the day - 'Take Two' will arrive this week I am sure
NOthing else arrived n my mailbox, but this one is always busy:

From now on I intend to add the photos as a 'PS' to the daily blog. But am extending the challenge to you too. If you've got a camera (and who hasn't really!) start now and let's see how we compare!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Ups and downs of a Saturday Night

Last night we had a lovely dinner with Lennie and Jan at Gilda's, one of our new favourite restaurants.

Then walking home Tony tripped and fell flat on his face- breaking all his new teeth, cutting his lips and bashing his elbow and knee into the bargain.  Fortunately it's all superficial damage and tomorrow we're off to the dentist first thing - Hopefully Dr Ron will be able to fix Tony up quickly and before our Cruise in a couple of weeks, at least with some temporary crowns.