Monday, 6 September 2010


Well, hello! I haven't 'set foot' in this blog for quite a while. I suppose that's because there hasn't been too much to report, writing-wise. I've been concentrating on short stories recently, and my success rate hasn't been bad. Of course, a fair proportion have come winging back, as always - but quite often they end up being accepted elsewhere after changes. And then there are the others - those that eventually get 'shelved' - given up on, after being rejected by everyone. If the message is that clear, I can take the hint! Recent acceptances have been with The People's Friend and Woman's Weekly (my best two markets), and a nice surprise was an acceptance - my first! - with The Weekly News. Even after all these years, it's exciting to be accepted by a completely new (for me) market. Publications recently have been (again!) in The People's Friend and in Yours. My next one will be in the 18 September issue of The People's Friend.

During the past few weeks, we've started looking after our little grandson Noah once a week, now that his mummy has gone back to work. It's been lovely to see him so regularly - and this week is very special, as tomorrow will be his first birthday. We had a family gathering here yesterday to celebrate. Of course, Noah has no idea what all the fuss is about, but it was a good excuse for all of us 'big people' to get together to sample some of the delicious chocolate hedgehog cake his mummy had made (as well as some wine and other goodies!).

Here he is with his mum and dad and The Cake!

And here, with his two lovely aunties - what a lucky boy.

As always, yesterday I found myself remembering similar occasions when the three girls were little themselves. Our first daughter was born in the summer, and her first birthday was in July 1976 - those of you old enough to remember will know that it was the hottest summer for decades, and we took her to the seaside on her birthday, setting the pattern for years to come. Her birthday parties were always held in the garden, with barbecues being the thing as she got older!

Then the second and third babies both came along at Christmas time - so their birthdays inevitably became part of the family celebrations: especially for the youngest daughter, who was born on Boxing Day. We always gave her a party just after Christmas. When they were toddlers they enjoyed having a big joint party between their two birthdays, but of course, once they were at school and making their own friends this wasn't fair, so with two birthday parties just after Christmas, it became a very busy and expensive time in our house!

None of our girls ever had to go to school on their birthdays - one being in the summer holidays and the other two in the Christmas holiday. But, as a September baby (like me!), Noah will be one of the oldest children in his class. But I think it's important to look for the advantages, whatever time of year a baby arrives, and not focus on the negatives. Our Christmas babies could have felt that they missed out in some ways - but on the other hand their birthdays were always at an exciting time, with so much going on and all the family together to celebrate with them. Equally, I don't think our summer baby was disadvantaged from being one of the youngest in her year, despite dire warnings about it: she still did really well at school and got a good degree too, which is a lot more than her September-born mum ever did!

So that's our first year of grandparenthood gone past already - and we decided he's now old enough to buy him his first car! Happy birthday little man!

Well, the next big celebration is our Ruby wedding anniversary, and we're off on an exciting holiday very soon in honour of that. So, as well as some great experiences, I'm hoping to have some good inspiration for my writing! I'll keep you guessing about where we're going ... and promise to write about it on the blog, with some pictures, when we come home.

See you soon -