Saturday, 1 August 2015

34 In The Shade

Beach - Wednesday!
If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook you'd have learnt of my excitement about travelling to Spain for a few days.

I returned late Thursday, rose for work Friday, and then out with friends, and then worked again this morning. Nothing like burning the wick at both ends! I have now finally sat down and caught up with social media.

I had three nights and three days in Spain, flying out late Monday night.

To be honest, the plane ride was just as important to me as I love flying. I haven't been on a plane in over 10 years. The last time I flew was from Filton to Toulouse with work (Airbus). I had been 4-5 months pregnant, carrying Ben. So when my cousin invited me and 'my new passport' out to visit them, I flew at the opportunity :)

Mijas - Thursday am
I don't have huge amounts of holiday days available to take this year, and what I have got, I need to cover with childcare. But the boys were with their dad, and I thought I needed to get away. It was like drawing a line under the last 7 months. If I didn't do it now, it would be another year before I got the chance.

On the Tuesday I had to entertain myself. I took to reading in the shade a lot as it was 34 degrees Celsuis - in the shade! (I've been telling people this a lot since I've returned!) Spain are currently having a heat wave. Wednesday was spent with my cousin and her partner on the beach (Fuengirola) - taking brief dips in the sea - without a wetsuit! - avoiding the Medusa Jellyfish, then showering, then sitting back in the shade drinking ice cold beers. Thursday, a little more confident of the area, I spent the morning in Mijas, then went back to the public pool in the afternoon. It's a refreshing reward after a long walk up a mountain!

View from Mijas
The flight over wasn't too exciting, except I was talking to a handsome Spaniard (and sadly his girlfriend, although she was lovely too lol!) the whole flight. On my return, it was dark, and flying out of Spain was fabulous, seeing pockets of fairy lights on the ground. Somewhere on the horizon which could have been Spain or France, there was a thunder storm going on, and I could see these clouds light up in the dark, and forks of lightning. I was supposed to be reading my book, but found myself watching the sky.

And, believe it or not, as we came into the UK, it was clear too, so I saw Bristol all lit up. I could see car headlights going along roads. It was like looking down on miniature villages but at night. I couldn't work out where we were flying over, but I'm assuming we cut across Cornwall, and flew up the Bristol Channel as the (nearly) full moon lit up the sea.

And I'm now back to reality... and not even hitting 20 degrees C :'( And it's rained on my washing. Welcome back to the good old British Summer.


The Cave :)

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

My Secret Obsession With Short Men

It's not much of a secret, but the title sounded good.

Now, I'm 5'6". Not particularly tall, but not particularly short either for a woman. I'd say I'm average really.

I prefer tall/taller men. However, the man I married (now my ex-husband) was 5' 6" - actually he'd argue he was half an inch taller because that made all the difference. How did this happen, when I prefer taller men?

Actually I've learnt over the past couple of years, I don't really have a 'type' as such. They do have to have something appealing, and the chemistry, obviously, but it doesn't really matter if they're short or tall, I'll still fancy them - as long as they're not shorter than me! But it's hard to put a finger in my type of guy.

I've always preferred taller men, thinking they should always be that bit taller than their girlfriends/wives. And when writing, my heroes will always be tall, and taller than the heroines.

For me, I do like guys around the 5'10" mark or taller. Brad Pitt is 5' 11" - PERFECT!

Too much taller than 6' and they'd scare me I think. Bradley Cooper is 6' 0.5" (1.85m) - even better! So, basically, I'm looking for a guy between Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper :)

But what is it with short men, because I really like them too... yet the one needs to be tall. Please be tall!

I mean I just LOVE Martin Freeman but he is only 5' 6.5" tall (1.69m). (Arguably as tall as my ex-husband).

And then there is Richard Hammond in all his 5' 7" (1.7m) greatness. He is the only reason I watch Top Gear!

Tom Cruise is the same height as Richard Hammond.

However, in comparison, the lovely, delectable, Tom Hiddleston is 6' 1.75" tall (1.87m) - Another reason why I am in love with Tom. He's tall, he can dance, act... he has blond hair, blue eyes... What is not to like about Tom Hiddleston.

Opps, sorry, was supposed to be talking about my obsession for short men...



Thursday, 16 July 2015

He's Just Not That Into You

Who'd have thought a film would be so inspirational. It's fiction, but with so much truth in it.

Was it written by a woman, with some male influence?

A friend recommended the film He's Just Not That Into You. I ordered it; it arrived within a couple of days, and I watched it the other night.

I sat there thinking "OMG! I've heard most of those excuses."

I didn't think I'd watched the film before, but about twenty minutes in I realised I had. But clearly the first time I'd watched this movie I must have been still married and I didn't have the dating experience I now have under my belt.

Not by choice, I hasten to add. Would have been happy with #MrAquarius, or even #TheBoyWithTheDragonTattoo. But it doesn't matter how hard I try - I'm probably trying too hard! - I still end up with a broken heart - just like Gigi. I would say I'm probably not as bad as her - she may have been slightly stalkerish at times. But like Gigi, I wear my heart on my sleeve - I could empathise with this character. She looked for the positives in everything, and worried that if she didn't do a certain thing the guy would get the wrong signals. Had she told him enough of how much she was into him? Maybe she should call to let him know... because he may have lost his phone... etc. etc. etc. (I do it too! Worry).  But really, what she needed to hear was He's Just Not That Into You.

Even Drew Barrymore's character talks of the difficulties of modern dating. Because you're not only waiting for a text, there's social media, emails, all sorts of different channels two people can communicate through... so you're watching them all for that message to arrive... that doesn't.

So, I've come away from this movie enlightened, because if you're trying too hard to make a relationship work, even at the 'dating' stage, and it is really all one sided, then clearly, he's just not that into you. And you need to walk away.

Don't get me wrong, relationships are a two way thing, and both need to want it. And this could work vice versa. If the girl isn't so into the guy, the signs are the same.

However, I will say, generally a girl will tell the guy honestly that she's not into him early on, rather than make stupid excuses like 'it's not you it's me. shit.'

To be honest, you usually know after a couple of dates - I've known after the first date! - whether you want it to go further or not, or the chemistry is there... sometimes it can take a bit longer. Sometimes the chemistry is there... or so we're lead to believe... but it can fizzle. That's fine. But boys, be honest, don't drag it out!

Most (decent) women, if they don't connect with the guy, like to face their demons head on and tell it straight. We're just honest. Men are not. They tell us what they think we want to hear, rather than the honest truth, even if they don't mean it. "Yes, I'm happy to be friends" is bullshit. Why would we stay in touch? I have enough friends to go out drinking with.

And while you're 'in touch' she'll still be hoping you'll change your mind, and Mr Right might walk right past her, because she's too busy concentrating her efforts on you in the hope it will work out!

If you can't love her, set her free! Truthfully.

So girls, I recommend this movie if you need a wake up call! Because it is spot on, and you'll know if He's Just Not That Into You. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

LOL!

Will this be a new word in the dictionary: Lol!?

In my naive, early days on forums and such, of not understanding what it meant, I thought LOL was short for 'Lots Of Love'. I think because I'd seen it at the end of something, not in the middle. But I did wonder at the time, why would you put lots of love there? And to someone you hardly know?

Anyway, I got educated. Can't remember now if I asked what it meant or I googled it. Probably googled it. That's what I do nowadays. If in doubt, Google... or YouTube...

For those unsure, it means 'Laugh Out Loud'. It's expressing someone giggling, chuckling and having a good old laugh at whatever they've written or read. You're meant to take whatever the person has written as humorous. Or if you've found it funny, you'll answer with a 'lol'.

I do use it a lot in texting and messaging. I am guilty of this. In fact I like it sometimes better than a smiley face, but I do try not to over use it.

However, recently, I've noticed kids 'of today' - now I do sound old - are saying "Lol". Not as in saying L.O.L. spelling it out... like we spell out bad words that we don't what our kids to hear. (That only works until they go to school and learn to spell). These kids are actually saying 'loll', as in shortening a word like Lolly. My ten year old does it. And I heard a girl the other day shout it to her friend as they walked home from secondary school. The conversation had clearly amused her.

But why not laugh, or chuckle? Why are they saying Lol to express they've found something funny?

Am I getting old? Should I keep up with the times? I thought I was doing pretty well using it... and LMAO, or even better, if completely hilarious, ROFLMAO! (Roll on floor laughing my arse off).

Bet they can't say that!

Anyway, answers on a postcard, please. Lol!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

#2MinuteBeachClean Part 2

Back in May I blogged about #2MinuteBeachClean and the damage micro plastics were doing to the environment, especially to our sea life. This summer, every day you spend on the beach, make sure you do your #2MinuteBeachClean. You'll probably find a carrier bag amongst the rubbish to help you carry off what you find! I know I did.

And then I stumbled upon this very powerful video (below) on Facebook which I've been meaning to share for a while now.

Please watch it. It has Julia Roberts voice as Mother Nature. And it's so true. Mother Nature rocks... we - human beings - do not.

I was reading some of the comments on YouTube. Don't. Most of them have not got the purpose of this video. It is not about Julia Roberts. What this video is saying is that it doesn't matter what us humans do... Mother Nature will survive, she's been here for billions of years. We are destroying the environment that only 'we' can survive in. Once we're gone, the Earth will still turn, the waves will still crash against the beaches, albeit polluted. The rain will still fall, albeit acid, and the sun will still shine, albeit there will be no ozone to protect 'us' from it.

Once we are all dead and gone, the Earth will still be here doing its thing. All we're doing is shortening our existence on this planet. This is the message.


And then in light of the recent Glastonbury Festival (24th - 28th June), I saw this Guardian article...

Glastonbury Rubbish Green Ethos Ruin Festival Worthy Farm

Read that too. This is what we're doing. Human ignorance. There is absolutely no excuse for dropping litter in my opinion. But it's not just at Glastonbury, it's everywhere. We held a school disco to raise money for the school, and the amount of litter afterwards on the hall floor was horrendous. Children are not being taught to put litter in a bin! It starts with educating our children... all of it does!

I worked at Thorpe Park for four years, from the age of 15 to 19, as a litter-picker. I was in the 'Cleaning' department. Best job of my life. Four years I would never want to change.

My parents had already educated me not to drop litter, but this job cemented the importance of taking your litter home or holding onto it until you found a bin. If everybody litter-picked at a theme park for a day, preferably on August Bank Holiday Monday - the busiest day of the year - they would never drop litter again.

So that's my bit of green advice for the day. I'm not saying we all need to turn into tree huggers... but we do need to look after the environment we live in. And we need to teach our kids this too.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

My Online Dating Tips

I have decided to put together some online-dating tips. In the last three years of dating on and off through on-line dating sites, this is what I've learnt so far, (and will probably continue to learn when I decide to go back on-line, but for now I've taken myself off...).  It will be going into a book fictionally at some point. But I will share for fun.

In no particular order:

1) Most men on their profile will ask for someone genuine to get in touch. Sadly, this doesn't necessarily mean they are genuine in their hunt for a relationship. (See point 10).

2) Their pictures may not always match their true identity. And they can lie about age, height and weight... Make sure they've got plenty of pictures up and avoid profiles with hardly anything about the guy. If he can't be bothered to fill out a profile page, then he's not really serious in looking for love.

3) If you're looking for a relationship - usually this is why you're using on-line dating because if you just wanted a shag you would go out and get that on a night out, right? You'd think! - guys who state 'looking for a relationship' aren't necessarily being honest in that too. Really, they should have ticked the 'interested in only casual dating' button, but they know that doesn't get them a lot of interest. So just be warned....

4) If the guy doesn't show his teeth when smiling in his pictures - like in ALL of his pictures - it probably means he hasn't got great teeth... or he doesn't have any! If that's not a problem with you then fine... but if you've got a thing about teeth (I know I have!) try to get him to send a picture with him smiling, showing off his pearly whites.

5) Never, and I mean NEVER, interact with a cock shot. If his profile displays his jean-clad buldging cock (or pictures alike) do not interact. Even if you think it will be really funny to because you've had a few glasses of wine on a lonely Friday night. He is a dickhead, and you should not (pardon the pun) rise to it. You are just feeding the little prick. Ignore! Ignore! Ignore! And block him...

6) If you get into conversation with a guy because at first you thought he was genuine and then he starts asking if you want to meet up for sex, end conversation. Do not reply. Ignore, ignore, ignore. See above. Do not let him get a rise out of it.

7) If you get someone you're really not that keen on, but not sure how to turn him down gently. Start telling him about your baggage, how you've been dumped, hurt, you're still getting over your last boyfriend. They run so fast you can see dust!

8) Make sure you message for a bit on the site before swapping telephone numbers. Don't be so quick to give out your mobile number until you're certain (as best you can be) they're not weird. We can handle crazy, coz that can be fun, but we don't do weird.

9) Never message the guys. Let them message you. Let them make first contact! The boys should do the chasing from the off. This is one way of guaranteeing that they did actually like what they saw on your profile. Whether you like them is a different matter. You do not need to reply to them all. Only reply to the profiles you like. You're only giving the others false hope.

10) (Coincides with point 1) - Afterwards, when you thought you've actually met a genuine, decent guy and you think you've got great chemistry and everything is going fantastic, but he drops a great big bombshell that he is no longer looking for a relationship, or he has issues, or he's not sure what he wants any more, and it's not you, it's him, and quite clearly he's not been as genuine as you thought, but he's happy to stay in touch...

He won't, okay. Why would he stay in touch? He's just said that because he thinks that makes him look better, and he thinks that's what you want to hear. No, us girls would actually rather honesty and you grew a spine!

And he won't text you and say he's made a mistake and please take him back. He just won't. This is called romanticizing and it needs to stop. (It's my new word (which actually does exist in the dictionary) - it's fantasising about romantic ideas that just aren't going to happen, however much you want them to).

11) Stick to the three date rule... maybe even four dates. (Goes hand in hand with point 3 actually). If he likes you enough he'll wait. If he doesn't, well, you've just sifted the wheat from the chaff. And you're going to need to do A LOT of that.

12) Be yourself. If they can't love/like you for who you are, then they are not worth your time or effort. Again it's the old wheat and chaff thing.

13) However much you want to rage like a bunny boiler, always remain calm. Always be the better person. Hell, tell them they've hurt you. If these guys want to mess with girls' hearts, then they need to know what they've done, but always do it calmly and reasonably. You are the better person.

14) If he's telling you he loves you after three weeks, the guy probably has mental issues and is going to dump you in six weeks because he's unstable. He's doing you a favour... let him go! It might be worse, he might wait until you truly love him, then he dumps you... that hurts like hell. I recommend wine and a good dose of close friends.

15) If he goes a bit quite on the texting from day to day, but then texts you like mad just before the next agreed date... he's probably just using you for sex and wants a fuck buddy, rather than a relationship. Nip that one in the bud too, unless you're happy to be a doormat.

16) If it just so happens you've managed to get two dates at the same time. Do not tell them! The one you tell will try to persuade you he's the better guy. It's not necessarily so. Date both until you can make your own unbiased and informed decision - sticking to that 3 date rule of course!

17) And while you're searching for Mr Right, or The One, and it may take some time to find that one actual genuine guy on the internet not carry baggage and being a complete commitment-phobe I warn you, keep a picture of Tom Hiddleston close, to remind yourself of who you are searching for... your next hero... and besides, you can't get much better eye-candy than Tom Hiddleston (in my opinion).


If I think of any more, then of course, I'll do a part two blog post!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

No More Internet Dating!

Today is the first of the July, and the first day of the second half of the year. I'm drawing a line under the last six months and starting a fresh.

Yesterday another relationship came to a close. I'd been seeing #TheBoyWithTheDragonTattoo just over two months.

One could argue I met him way too soon after #MrAquarius. But at the time, I decided if it fizzled, he had been sent to me by the fairies (as I don't believe in God) to help heal my broken heart. And if it worked out, then #MrAquarius was really not meant to be.

And he did help do just that. He stopped me dwelling on the past and allowed me to start looking forward into the future again. As it turned out, we had a lot of chemistry (or at least I believed we did) and I really, really liked this guy. He was not a rebound. He ticked so many boxes, more boxes than #MrAquarius, and only time would tell if he ticked the really important ones. He told me I ticked his boxes, too. All good right? I think I could have loved him, if he'd let me.

However, it turns out, #TheBoyWithTheDragonTattoo is not looking for a relationship like I am.

Why do I always like the guys that don't like me so much back? Is it Karma for the guys that really like me, but I don't like them so much back?

The ever optimist, romance writer in me hopes he might change his mind and come back... but deep down, I know he won't. If someone wants to be in your life, then they'll make it happen, right?

In the meantime, I have decided to delete all (two) of my on-line dating accounts. I need to heal. And I need to remove the temptation of one lonely night going back on-line and unhiding my accounts. If they're deleted, I can't do it. I've been doing this on-line dating malarky on and off now for three years and it's not working. Either I find complete time wasters on there, or there are guys saying they want one thing, when actually they want another, or they don't know what the hell they want! Why be on-line then?

I always avoid the ones who say they want 'casual dates/nothings serious', because that's definitely not what I want. I message guys back who are "looking for a relationship." I do actually read their profile. I am choosy. If they want kids, I avoid. I get that you have to date to see if there is chemistry, and go from there... but I want a relationship to snowball.... gradually. Certainly not at the pace #MrAquarius took it, sweeping me up along... then crashing and shattering me into tiny pieces suddenly at the bottom of the mountain. The relationship I was trying to form with #TheBoyWithTheDragonTattoo was slow moving, but actually ideal for me.

I don't want someone to move in with me. I don't want to move in with them. I don't want any more kids! All I want is to share my time with someone, and do things with them, meals out, cinema, day trips... share a bottle of wine cuddled up in front of the telly. I want to be loved... and to love... I have so much to give!

Until I started dating on-line, I naively believed flawed heroes, ones carrying huge amounts of baggage, the commitment-phobes, were only in books. Silly me.

And so today, I need to empty my thoughts onto my blog, and get it off my chest. This is my healing process. Today is a new day. I'm going to live life on my own for a while with my good friends and family beside me, and see if love finds me naturally. I'm going to concentrate on me.

If the two men who I am referring to are reading this, then I'm sorry, but tough. Don't date a writer. They tend to like to write stuff down. And don't date a romance writer...! But just think it could have been worse - you could have dated a crime writer. (They know how to hide a body).

But what is romance? Do guys really know what it is when they say they're romantic? Sex is not romance. The little text message to make you know you're being thought of. That's romance. The surprise bouquet of flowers, however small... a small gift... a cuddle, a kiss, the wiping away of a tear... Romance is the little things, where you show one another you love/care for each other. Show, not tell. It's too easy to say 'I love you'... much more convincing to show.

Does true love only happen in books and films? Is there such a thing as a happy ever after?

I know on-line dating has worked for a few... but did you have to go through hell and back before meeting The One?

And so, today, my obsession for Tom Hiddleston re-commences....



Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Book Signing in Waterstones

D├ębut book signing in 2014
I'm so excited to announce that I will be doing another book signing in Waterstone's, Weston-super-Mare on Saturday 29th August at 2pm.

There will be copies of both of my books available (due to a little bit of a muddle from last year I believe, and 20 copies of Plus One is a Lucky Number arriving at their store in February - boy, were they pleased to see me).

So if you can make it, please come along! I will appreciate the support.

What I have learnt from last time is to have a pad, to check spellings of names if they want the book personalised, and have plenty of sweets!

I feel really lucky, because I know some Waterstone's stores are unable to allow book signings, but my store have been so supportive. Put the Saturday, 29th August in your diary!



Blurb: One Fine Day

Just a boy standing in front of a girl…

Actor Steve Mason has it all … gorgeous looks, the perfect starlet girlfriend hanging on his arm and his name on every Hollywood producer’s lips. That is, until it turns out the ‘perfect girl’ is actually a perfect PR stunt! Dumped and with his name plastered across every tabloid headline, Steve decides to head home to England, questioning if he’ll ever find a woman who genuinely loves him for who he is, and not just his place on the Sexiest Man Alive list.

It’s been fifteen long years since Ruby last saw her big brother – but the new LA version of Steve complete with designer wardrobe, California tan and an American accent is too much to bear – Ruby hardly recognises him and decides it’s time to get her brother back!

With Ruby’s help, Steve goes undercover as he plays the part of a regular guy who leads a regular life. And then one perfectly fine, ordinary day he meets lovely, funny, down-to-earth Lydia. But when Hollywood comes calling, will Steve be able to leave both Lydia and his little sister behind?


Buy Links:


Amazon UK Paperback ~ Amazon UK Ebook ~ Amazon US ~ Waterstone's ~ Kobo ~ Add On Goodreads ~ Harper Impulse


Blurb: Plus One is a Lucky Number


The wedding favour...

Sophie’s going to a wedding where the invite is strictly plus one… but with her single girl status not exactly fitting in with the bridesmaid dress code, and the best man being none other than the ex she would rather forget, Sophie needs a favour and she needs it fast!

Luckily for Sophie, her dreamy but distant co-worker Adam Reid owes their mutual friend James big time…and his gorgeousness more than fills the role of the ‘Perfect Boyfriend’!

As they take off to the sunny shores of Cornwall for the wedding weekend, it’s not long before pretence leads to passion and Sophie and Adam must decide; is their relationship real or is it all for show?


Buy Links:

Amazon UK Paperback ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Waterstone's ~ Harper Impulse ~ Add on Goodreads ~ Kobo