Hambourne Noirish

Today’s tale carries on from Saturday’s story. As a newcomer to Hambourne, Charlotte could never have imagined that attending a few meetings of Happy Hambourne Creatives would have led to her being a possible murder suspect.

Charlotte felt three pairs of eyes piercing into her soul, surely she wouldn’t be one of the suspects, just because Robert Falstaff had been scathing about her novel languishing on Amazon Kindle and her blog.

There was an awkward pause then Erica suddenly started laughing.

‘Even poor Danny could not have thought of a murder or plot this bizarre.’

Charlotte was a little taken aback that there could be laughter so soon after Robert’s death, but at least the tension was broken and the attention taken off her.

‘Er… you mean Danny from the Happy Creatives group?’

‘Yes, he’s been rather quiet lately, but for years he’s been sending off scripts to the BBC, hoping to be the next Sunday night detective drama. He was always hoping Robert would put a word in for him, with all his supposed connections.’

‘Come on Erica, Mini’ said the third friend ‘time we all went, I don’t want to get a parking ticket.’

Charlotte found herself alone again, she should be going, but with all the morning’s drama she could not recall what she had planned to do after coffee, or was she planning to decide what to do while relaxing at the lovely Hambourne Refectory? She thought about poor Danny, rather a lost little soul she had felt, the couple of times she had seen him at the meetings. She could sympathize and now any hopes they both had of Robert introducing them to ‘someone’ at the BBC or on the literary scene were gone. Life was stranger than fiction, not just a cliché, but supposing it wasn’t. She imagined Danny thinking up a murder plot, wondering if it could realistically be played out and who better to try it out on than a man he resented, envied, even hated?

She stood up abruptly, checked her bag and made swiftly for the door, as if staff and customers might read her dangerous thoughts

Charlotte couldn’t leave those thoughts behind, but she could transfer them to her new heroine. As she walked through Hambourne Abbey’s graveyard the first chapter was already taking shape in her mind.

Recently widowed Lotte Lincoln had moved to the quaint town of Puddleminster looking for peace and quiet, but soon found herself investigating a murder. As a newcomer she had at first enjoyed wandering around exploring, enjoying the fresh frosty air as she strolled through the historic graveyard, popping into the local shops and admiring arts and crafts in the little gallery. But she was also lonely, peace and quiet wasn’t as soothing as she had anticipated, so she had begun to make more of an effort to chat to locals, little thinking this would soon lead to her being embroiled in a murder enquiry.

Charlotte mused upon the drama she could get Lotte involved in as she walked. The victim could be an artist, perhaps a woman so no one would think she had stolen a real life murder, in the unlikely event the novel would be published and actually read by residents of Hambourne. She suddenly found herself near Robert Falstaff’s little road, or she assumed the barricaded lane and heavy police presence indicated this was where he had lived. Now she was there it was impossible to see what was going on and she felt uncomfortable. As she turned to work out which way led to her little flat in the high street she almost bumped into a familiar figure.

‘Oh, em Daniel isn’t it, you probably don’t remember me, new in Hambourne, Charlotte, I went to a few meetings of the Happy Creatives…’

She felt herself rambling on in an effort to be friendly, to assuage her guilt for ever suspecting him of murder. The man looked awkward, then visibly pulled himself together.

‘Yes of course Charlotte, I remember you, that dreadful man making you feel so small, no way to treat newcomers… oh I shouldn’t be speaking ill of the dead.’

‘You heard the news then, of course I hardly knew him. I gather this must be the mu… where Robert lived?’

‘Yes, not exactly the first murder we’ve had, or at least there have been strange events in Hambourne… ‘ he looked up as a police officer approached ‘…anyway, I must be going.’

Danny made a hasty exit and Charlotte wondered why had he come to the crime scene. Her thoughts were interrupted by the policewoman.

‘Good morning, do you live nearby, are you trying to get to your home?’

Charlotte felt herself flushing.

‘No, yes, I mean I’m new in the town, just strolling around and got lost, I’ve got a flat in Hambourne Mews.’

She hadn’t intended to give away where she lived. The policewoman gave her a patronising look.

‘You were heading in the wrong direction, but Hambourne often has visitors flummoxed. So if you are new you probably didn’t know the victim.’

‘No, well only a little.’

Charlotte immediately regretted her words as the officer’s face lit up.

‘Ah, I hope you don’t mind giving me your name and address, we do need to interview everybody who knew him.’

Charlotte felt a mixture of fear and excitement. She might end up a suspect, but it would be interesting research for her novel, to discover what it was like to be interviewed about a crime. Everyone meant they were bound to talk to Daniel as well, she was sure he had been uncomfortable hanging around near police officers…

Saturday Short Story – Hambourne Noir

You may like to read the first tale about Charlotte in this blog.

ttps://tidalscribe.com/2022/08/18/thursday-tiny-tale-2053/

Charlotte found inspiration for her new novel much quicker than she expected, but not in a way she welcomed. News spread fast in Hambourne, but while Charlotte enjoyed listening to local gossip she rarely took it seriously. As a newcomer she had no idea who they were talking about most of the time.

But today, sitting in the Hambourne Abbey Refectory, her favourite coffee stop, she heard shocked whispers at the next table then felt the gaze of the three women fall upon her. One of them she thought she recognised as the timid ‘mouse woman’ from the Hambourne Happy Creatives. She pretended to be absorbed in her phone, though she had no messages.

‘Charlotte isn’t it, you were at the group last week.’

Mouse Woman was addressing her.

‘Yes, yes, er I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name.’

‘That’s okay, not many people do and when you’re new it’s hard isn’t it.’

Charlotte was happy to meet her again, she had been friendly and unintimidating at last week’s meeting.

‘Come and join us’ said one of the other women, who did look intimidating.

Charlotte imagined that mouse woman would not have issued the invitation herself, now she looked pleased to have official approval of her new friend. Like being the new girl at school, Charlotte felt pathetically grateful to be admitted to the inner circle.

‘I’m afraid we have heard some dreadful news Charlotte’ said the intimidating lady. ‘I gather you were a friend of the gentleman in question.’

Charlotte thought this unlikely as she didn’t have any friends in Hambourne yet and certainly not of the gentleman variety.

‘Oh I don’t think …’

Mouse Woman could not contain her excitement ‘Robert Falstaff, murdered.’

‘Oh no, are you sure, I mean perhaps it was natural causes, heart attack, not a suicide…’

‘Definitely murder’ said the intimidating woman.

‘Are you sure Erica?’ said Mouse Woman.

‘Yes Mini, he could hardly have stuffed his screwed up manuscripts in his mouth and cut his own hands off.’

There was a collective gasp and Charlotte felt quite sick. Hambourne Noir, what sort of place had she chosen to live? Mini the Mouse, for a moment she stifled a giggle at her appropriate name, Mini now had colour in her cheeks and it was the liveliest Charlotte had seen her. She looked around the café, a few other tables were occupied.

‘It wasn’t on the local news this morning and nobody else appears to be talking about it.’

Erica looked affronted at her doubt. ‘I happen to live a few doors away from Robert. I stepped outside to see what on earth all the commotion was this morning and there was Trudy his cleaning lady sitting on the steps of the ambulance, aluminium blanket round her, just like a TV drama.’

‘Lucky to get an ambulance,’ interrupted Mini ‘with all these strikes and hold ups at A&E, old Mr Reeves had to wait fourteen hours with his hip…’

Erica frowned ‘…so to cut a long story short I went over to see if Trudy was alright and insisted the police officers let her come inside my house and get warm, have a proper cup of tea and be interviewed away from prying eyes.’

‘You’re not supposed to give hot tea for shock’ said Mini.

‘That was hot sweet tea when my mother was with St. John’s, I didn’t put sugar in.’

‘But what did she say?’ The others were all agog.

“The blood will never come out of that Persian rug, Mr. Falstaff would be horrified at the mess.” She kept saying that over and over.’

Charlotte was wondering how long Erica was going to drag out the drama and indignant that this dislikeable woman should be privy to all the action when it was Charlotte who was the writer.

‘So how did you find out what actually happened Erica?’

‘Large drop of brandy in the tea and luckily the WPC, not that they call them that these days, had a call on her radio and went out into the hall to answer so we couldn’t hear. Managed to get the words out of Trudy before the police woman ushered me out of my own sitting room…’ she paused for effect then enacted the cleaning lady’s words. “Blue, his face all blue… and purple, bloated, then I noticed his hands were missing, well not missing, just not attached to his arms, placed neatly on his writing desk can you believe it… trail of blood all over the Persian rug, family heirloom it was, not that he had anyone to pass it on to…”

‘So she said quite a lot then’ said Mini.

‘Oh she was in a state.’

‘But who would have done such a dreadful thing’ said Charlotte. ‘Where is it you live Erica?’ she added, wondering if she could walk home that way and catch a glimpse of the drama scene, not the body obviously, but take in the atmosphere.

‘Well shall we say he wasn’t loved by everyone in Hambourne.’

‘Indeed, he was very nasty to Charlotte at the creative group’ said Mini.

Charlotte felt three pairs of eyes piercing into her soul, surely she wouldn’t be one of the suspects, just because Robert Falstaff had been scathing about her novel languishing on Amazon Kindle and her blog.

Read what happens next in the new blog…

Read tales from the Hambourne Chronicles in this collection.

Thursday Tiny Tale – 2053

Charlotte was beginning to regret joining the new Hambourne Happy Creatives group. As a newcomer to the pretty town it had seemed the obvious group to join to keep her energised in her rocky writing career. She was eager to write a more cheery novel than her last and hoped Hambourne would inspire her to write about her new heroine, a recently widowed writer who moves to a country town for peace and quiet, but finds herself investigating a murder.

If she had been a local she would have known to keep Robert Falstaff at arm’s length. To Charlotte, at first, he was a charming man who had advice to freely offer, from dealing with computer problems to publishing and promotion. His apparent connections to television had her fantasising about a Sunday evening cosy drama.

Now, at this evening’s meeting, she found herself at the centre of attention, with her languishing novel ‘2053’ the topic of a discussion led by Robert. The other members were kindly in their questions, but she felt herself and the novel horribly exposed.

‘What made you choose the title, or that year Charlotte?’

‘I wanted it to be in the future, but still in a time frame when I could conceivably still be alive. How was I to know when I was writing it that all the events would come true by 2022!’

‘You could change the year, or perhaps call it The Covid Chronicles.’

‘Oh dear no, does anyone want to read novels about Covid?’

‘Hmm, I am writing a novel about Covid and the horror it brought to a town like Hambourne’ said a tight lipped woman.

‘Well, the novel is out there, published on Amazon,’ said Robert with an expression of disdain ‘so let’s concentrate on how Charlotte could do much better with promotion.’

‘Um, I was hoping to have a stall at your arts festival…’

‘Internationally I mean.’

‘I do have my blog and quite a few followers from every continent, except Antarctica.’

Robert scrolled down his iPad, Charlotte shuddered to see the familiar sky blue background of Thinking Through. Was her poor little blog to be exposed to ridicule?

‘Oh yes, I am thinking of starting a blog’ said a timid lady Charlotte immediately warmed to.

‘Silly Saturday, Silly Sunday, Monday Madness, Tuesday Tiny Tales, Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Trifles and Fun Friday’ sneered Robert. ‘Charlotte dear, you are not exactly coming across as a serious author.’

It’s a long time since I visited Hambourne and I wondered what had been going on there since 2013. You can read the Hambourne Chronicles in Hallows and Heretics.

Hallows and Heretics

I published my last book on Amazon Kindle and in paperback in November 2019. I have never stopped writing short fiction since then, but for the first time I don’t have a novel underway and I have barely started putting together another collection to publish. But Hey Ho, with all that’s happened in the past couple of years it doesn’t matter and I do have five novels and four collections always available – unless something happens to Amazon! The late Cyberspouse always helped me with the technical side and designed the covers, which made up for him never reading my fiction! Later on I was thrilled when it became possible to produce paperbacks through Amazon Kindle, at last my mother could hold and read ‘real’ books by me.  

If you have read all my books and are waiting for a new one let me know… To read about all my books here just link in above to My Books. In the meantime, I am always thrilled when a fellow blogger mentions one of my books in his blog and especially if he gives it a Five star review…

Top review from the United States

Geoff

5.0 out of 5 stars All Good Whether Dark or Light

Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2022

Verified Purchase

I purchased Hallows and Heretics because I favor short stories. These are all winners because you do not know where you are headed when you begin reading one. Gogerty is comfortable in both ordinary and quirky settings. Relax and enjoy the twisting journey through two dozen different stories. Fun reads.

Take a look at Geoff Stamper’s blogs if you aren’t already following him.

Insurance Strategies | Suicide Squeeze (wordpress.com)

Prologue:      Hallows and Heretics is my second collection of short stories. Twenty four tales to take you through the year. ‘Gate’ is set in a Western Australian summer, return to Saints and Sinners for an English spring and pass through all the seasons in the British Isles. ‘Red Car’ and ‘Moving On’ take place in my local area. Discover the Hambourne Chronicles, other places you may not find on the map… These are short stories, the shortest is 700 words, the longest 3,000 words. As in the previous collection ‘Dark and Milk,’ some tales are light and others are very dark, but you won’t know which is which until it’s too late to turn back.

Hallows and Heretics was published in 2013. I was going to call it Saints and Sinners, after the first story in the Hambourne Chronicles, but after looking it up I discovered many books on Amazon had the same title. Hallows and Heretics reflects the good and evil in some of the darker stories. Hambourne is a place you may not find on the map, though perhaps it will feel familiar if you have visited Middle England. All the stories in the Hambourne Chronicles were written to read out at our writers’ group and are linked.

Some of my stories were entered for competitions and ‘Experiment’ was written for a competition run by Diamond Light Source, which does really exist.

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron. It works like a giant microscope, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines to viruses and vaccines.

About Us – – Diamond Light Source

Alas, visits by the public are now put on hold due to Covid. But in my story the hapless Gregory, hoping for inspiration for the science fiction thrillers he writes, gets an experience he hasn’t bargained for… I wasn’t placed in that competition, but I entered it for a local competition in 2013 and came second. Amusingly, when I went up to get my prize, the judge was totally astonished that I wasn’t a man, she assumed only men write such stories?

Have a peep inside the book.

Sunday Salon – February 2021

May not be an accurate representation of my salon

I have not invited anyone to a Sunday Salon for a year; blame that on Covid, we’re not allowed to have visitors! I also got behind with reviewing the books I have read – and got behind with actually reading books. I also like to review television programmes and films. I have not been to the cinema for ages, who has? But I did get to watch that Korean film on Netflix… meanwhile here are some of the books I have enjoyed. As usual Amazon rejected all my reviews and it’s not just books. I have needed to order a lot on Amazon this past year, essentials and presents, nearly always with success…except for the picture frame. It came with the glass broken! So when Amazon asked if I was happy with the delivery I put a sad face and wrote a review, which they rejected! The story had a happy ending as I also noticed you could email the frame company direct and they replied quickly and sent me a replacement that was plastic.

 All these reviews are on Goodreads and on my Facebook Author page. I am not a book reviewer, I write short reviews, but I do aim to review every book I read and flag up my enjoyment or interest.

May not be an accurate representation of my office.

You Beneath Your Skin  by  Biswas Damyanti – 5 Star review

I enjoy reading about other countries, other cities and interesting characters and situations. This is a powerful story of complex characters with a jigsaw family put together in a loving home contrasting with the hard life of the streets and the various layers of society in a foggy New Delhi. Crime, corruption and touching love at the heart of a difficult investigation keep us totally absorbed.

Marriage Unarranged   by Ritu Bhathal   – 5 Star review

I have not been to India, but the pictures the author paints are how I imagine from stories told by British Asians ‘going home’ and others visiting for the first time. This is a romantic story, but also an amusing one, young people on holiday to India without their elders hiring drivers and keeping to an agenda. They want to visit a real cinema, not the new multiplex, travel around like locals. There is glamour, for this is also a business trip for Aashi’s older brother who wants to reinvent the family fashion shop, but solemn moments as they contemplate dark historic events. As the five visit the Golden Temple there is an insight into the faith of the Sikhs. New friendships are made, Aashi’s broken heart might be mending, but how will life work out when they all return home to Birmingham?
I would love to see this as a Bollywood movie, the settings in India and the wonderful clothes they have a chance to model, fashions they hope to take back to Birmingham.

Little Big Boy   by Max Power    5 Star Review

This is a story about a little boy’s first love, his mother. It is not autobiographical, but is so powerful readers might assume it was, with its vivid evocation of early childhood. It is more than that, a story of families, of Ireland in the early nineteen seventies. There are many things that are dark inside and outside the home, that will make you angry, but the tale also bursts with life, of young boys exploring and having adventures with their friends.

Warning Signs  by Carol Balawyder   5 Star Review

More vivid than a television murder drama, this is an intelligent psychological thriller with the killer trying to understand why he could be tempted to kill and how he can stop himself. It is also the story anyone will recognise of young women looking for love, the dating game. Everyone is a stranger when you first meet them, when do we start trusting a person and when you begin dating someone how do you know if you are safe? A great story that kept me on edge all the way through.

With Love Comes Hope      4 Star Review

A poignant and rare opportunity to have in one book views from many different parts of the world. All the contributors are writing in the first half of 2020 about the first half of 2020; their impressions, worries and hopes about this unique experience that has affected every human being. The atmosphere of the first lockdown now seems quite different from the various lockdowns we have had since, will we see again streets quite so empty? Every country has had different approaches to containing the virus and we have only seen what’s happening outside our own countries from news programmes. This book gives us the insiders’ views.

Silly Saturday – if novels were blogs…

When we write and post our blogs we hope people will read our words of wisdom, we hope they will read our post to the end. We all have different ideas; ‘how long is a piece of string’ comes to mind. But with varying degrees of success at dealing with WordPress, we might break up our tedious words with pictures or get a little carried away with the colour settings; anything to make sure readers don’t get bored. When we read a paperback or Kindle novel we happily expect to read hundreds of thousands of words with only chapter headings to break up the endless pages, but what if we published our novels in the same style as our blogs?





Chapter One Valentine’s Night

Ellen had never felt the house shake before. It was not unusual to hear the South Westerly driving rain against the bedroom windows. It was not unusual to be kept awake by torrential rain pounding the sloping roof above their heads, but this storm was getting scary. Gary was snoring through it all.

She crept out of bed and peeped through the curtains; in the orange glow of the street lights gusts of horizontal rain glittered and the road was a moving stream. She thought of what they had done the evening before, the man would be getting more than any of them had bargained for. Ellen’s part had merely been to lend the spare key and make sure they found the right number.

Ellen slipped back into bed. She had told no one, not even Gary. It would be foolish for her to go down to the seafront alone in this freak weather. The brothers were going to let him out in the morning with a warning to leave their sister alone. Before the storm, Ellen’s only worry had been that her beach hut would be damaged if the man tried to break out.

Gary was taking the boys to football.

‘Don’t go out in this weather Love, we don’t need any shopping and don’t do one of your “let’s go to the cliff top to look at the high spring tide” – it won’t be safe, they’re warning people to stay away from coastal areas.’

As soon as they had gone Ellen wrapped up and headed out on the five minute walk to the cliff top. In any other circumstances she would have loved the wind stinging her face. The record breaking wet winter had drawn her to study tide times and photograph flooding rivers and pounding waves.

At the cliff top she leaned into the howling wind, safe from falling, clinging onto the flimsy fence to prevent herself being blown backwards. But nothing could have prepared her for what she saw when she peered over the edge. The promenade was piled with wood, beach huts reduced to matchsticks. She was not the only person out; several photographers and distraught fellow beach hut owners struggled against the wind to make their way down the zig zag path. They picked their way past planks with dangerously protruding nails, huge Calor gas bottles and plastic body boards. Waves lapped over the strewn debris; some beach huts remained intact, but at bizarre angles. Nobody could hear themselves speak in the roaring wind, some stood by the empty space where their beach huts had been. Ellen stood where her beach hut used to be and picked up all that was left, the kettle. She looked out to sea and up and down the promenade, dreading the moment when someone would wave frantically and point to a boot sticking out from the planks, or a shape in the waves.

On Saturday morning at 10am, 15th February 2014, Ellen faced the probability she had become an accessory to manslaughter or murder. At 10.02am her thought processes had become those of a criminal. The man might have somehow saved himself, but if he had not, no evidence remained to link his death to her or her beach hut.

Read my novel for real here….

Silly Saturday on Sunday – Rave Reviews

There have been rave reviews for my latest novel At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream; from my mother, that chap at writers’ group, the husband of someone at knitting group, someone at knitting group, the young chap next door, a friend whose review was rejected by Amazon… I could go on and on… Of course you won’t see these reviews as they are by word of mouth, but you can take my word for it.

And I must not forget to thank Baz the Bad Blogger who posted a one star review on Amazon and Badreads, my first one star review, I was so excited, though it is true that Baz gives every book he reviews one star, as none of them are a patch on his first and only novel I Zomboid.

Here is his review.

Not Enough Zombies. I started reeding this novel, whose title I keep forgetting, when it came out in November 2019, I couldn’t put it down and had finished it by August 2020. I usually take a couple of years to reed a book. The plot was a bit complycated for me and two many karacters, I prefer stories with too characters. There wur not enuff zombies and hardly any violence, but apart from that it was a great reed and I past it on to my mum who loved it and said it was nearly as good as my novel.

I don’t know how Baz managed to get his review accepted as in recent years Amazon has rejected almost every review I have written. Therefore I think we can safely assume Amazon must be rejecting the thousands of reviews readers have written of my novels.

My novels are not for the faint hearted, though I can guarantee there are no zombies. You never know what may happen or how long they might last, but if you are as brave as Baz download a copy or order a paperback for your Mum.

Read more about the novel here at my website or visit Amazon. https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-six-fiction-focus/

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days. In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Novel Virus or Virus Novel?

The word novel has been taken from writers, or perhaps taken back; it means new and a novel virus is… ‘a virus that has never previously infected humans, or hasn’t infected humans for a long time, it’s likely that almost no one will have immunity, or antibody to protect them against the novel virus.’
But that is the least of our worries as writers. Are you currently writing a novel set in the present? A spy or crime drama, a hero or con man moving in high society; they can’t go to the casino, it’s closed, Las Vegas and Monte Carlo are closed. The fifty storey power tower where your ruthless villain does his wheeling and dealing is empty and no one wants to meet up with him. Perhaps he will lend his extravagant new international exhibition centre to be used as a field hospital; unlikely, he has already fled to self isolate on that remote Pacific island he bought last month; luckily the hundred original occupants had already been ‘relocated.’

DSCN2065
Perhaps you were writing about real people, ordinary good people who sit on London Bridges holding up everyday life to plead for the planet to be saved. Now everyday life has been halted in a spectacular fashion they could never have imagined and they are stuck at home wondering what to do next. You can’t write about ordinary bad people either. Fleeing from the police and getting lost in the crowd is off, so is getting on a plane and starting a new life in Brazil; all flights are cancelled and the police catch up with you at the bus station, arresting you merely for being outside, not for your impressive crime record.
What if your genre is modern romance? No one is going to find love with that person at work they hated at first, nor will they fall for the stranger in the bar. There is still on line dating, but if they can’t meet, how will the plot develop?

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Perhaps you should start a brand new novel, a novel novel, a virus novel. Your hero is the scientist nobody believed, who reveals biological warfare and a virus stolen from a laboratory. Or closer to home, a cosy mystery; has the best friend really died alone in hospital with the virus, or is that just a cover for their disappearance?
Not to waste a good bad character, take up the plot on that Pacific Island where the villain is planning to use the pandemic to take control of the whole world; bring in your new heroine Jayne Blond.
Don’t forget children’s fiction. Paddington Pangolin; rescued from a wet market by a young woman teaching English as a second language. She smuggles him back to Heathrow on the last flight out and takes him on the Heathrow Express to Paddington Railway Station, where he unfortunately gets lost. More troubles lie in store when he is blamed for starting Corvid 19. Can he find his friend, can she keep him safe?

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What are you latest ideas for writing?
My latest novel is set in 2014, which seems like history now, so why not escape to the past…

Silly Saturday – Unresolution

One of my New Year resolutions has been broken already, on the second of January; to cook dinner on time. As Cyberspouse had cooked dinner on the first of January this was a record failure to keep a resolution. Another resolution failed; to go to bed earlier, as opposed to early in the morning. The most obvious excuse is that I have been kidnapped by aliens, my memory wiped so I have no recollection of hours stolen.

This picture cannot be taken as an accurate representation of dinner  ChezTidalscribe.

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Or it might just be that I was busy keeping up with that other New Year favourite with writers and bloggers – GOALS. Some bloggers have blogfuls of goals, while the rest of us are just trying to keep up with self imposed targets of writing blogs and interacting with other bloggers.

blogger-recognition-2019
I did fulfil one big goal I set myself in January 2019 – finish my novel. Not too difficult as I had been writing it for *** years. The ‘final manuscript’ was finished in July so I’m not sure what happened between then and November.


Perhaps goals are easier to attain than resolutions, the latter implies a bit of soul searching. You can have a goal to eat less meat, but you will need a resolution to become a vegan, especially now it is officially a philosophy. Ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” and so is protected in law, a tribunal has ruled for the first time. It makes my resolution to just cook dinner on time seem more attainable.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50981359

I can do it when we have visitors; there is a good incentive to have a meal ready so adults don’t stay too late and little children don’t get hungry and grumpy or tired and grumpy and can be put to bed on time.

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What are some other attainable goals writers and normal people can aspire to?
Look into joining a gym – this is much cheaper than actually joining a gym and only going once.
Take advantage of goals set by others. Use less plastic. Sainsbury’s supermarket has now dispensed with those annoying flimsy plastic bags, that I could never open, for their loose fruit and veg. Now you must take your own containers or buy some netting bags.
Start a novel, much easier than finishing one.
Go to bed at a reasonable time; taking your lap top with you because you have a bad cough and need to sit propped up in bed.
Cook meals from scratch. Avoid buying any food in plastic packaging and you will find yourself cooking from scratch…
Cut down on computer time – buy a puppy of a large energetic breed or acquire an energetic human toddler. You will spend lots more time outside, off line AND get plenty of exercise, so no need to even look into joining a gym.
Cheat – Blog about running or cycling twenty miles a day, post a few pictures you took while parked at that scenic viewpoint… we will never know it’s not true.

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Have you bothered with resolutions or set any goals?