Why mad drivers don’t intimidate me

 

Today I was harassed by a driver on the country road leading out of my village. He drove very close to me and was clearly trying to get me to go faster. I know I drive slowly when I leave the village and I’m aware that I brake on the bends. But what the driver behind didn’t know, was that in 2012 it was on just such a country road that I drove that little bit too fast because I was late for work. It ended with me not turning up at work at all and almost being too early into that next world.

It had been a wet morning and although the sun was now shining the roads weren’t dry. I can’t remember why I was late. But it was a long journey from my village to the surgery where I worked. It was all country lanes, sharp bends and nothing but green fields as my view for the entire journey. I remember approaching a bend and even before I reached it I knew I was going too fast. I had to brake. I’ve since learnt that is the worst thing to do on a wet road and on a bend. I immediately lost control of the car. I remember screaming and the world spinning around. Of course, it was the car spinning and not the world at all. But all I knew was that I wanted to get off. There were many bangs and strange feelings vibrated through me as the car things. I later learnt those things were a bollard, several trees, bushes, and more bushes. It had spun around in the middle of the road. Luckily there were no oncoming cars otherwise I would have hit them head on. It eventually crashed through more bushes, crushing barley in its wake and landed with a thud in the mud in the middle of a farmer’s field. I sat for several seconds dazed and looking around for my glasses which had flown off my head. My seat belt dug into me and I was disorientated. I could hear the traffic but couldn’t see it. I then realised it was the other side of the bushes. I stupidly attempted to start my car and then realised with some horror that bits of it were strewn around the field. There was the odd tyre, a piece of bumper, bits of metal. I calmly fumbled in my bag for my phone to see I had no signal. I thank God every day for the fact that my car landed in mud because had it overturned I could have laid there for hours. There would have been no way to reach anyone. I managed to unbuckle my seatbelt and shakily climb from the battered car and make my way to the road where my phone picked up signal and I called the police who then called an ambulance even though I said I was fine and that it was just the car that was damaged. In fact I wasn’t fine at all. I had bruised ribs which I didn’t even feel. I was in shock too but didn’t know it.

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My car was a write off. The police said they think I had a blow out as I took the bend. I believe I was driving too fast and my carelessness caused the accident. The car had to be craned out of the field. They also told me if it hadn’t have been raining and the field muddy then I most likely would have suffered serious injuries as the car would have turned over. As it was it got lodged in the mud.

I now always drive carefully and I never exceed the speed limit. If I’m late, then I’m late. I’m a terrible back street driver and always have my foot on an imaginary brake. I wince as bends approach when I’m in the passenger seat. A serious accident makes you aware. So drivers can drive close to me. They can get in my boot if they like but I won’t drive any faster. I had a lucky escape. I don’t think I’d be lucky a second time so why risk it?

The Day I Met Lady Gaga … Well As Close As.

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So, it was a very exciting day for me Saturday.

First I went to visit my mum. I always look forward to these visits while dreading them at the same time. Seeing your mum with her mind gone is the hardest thing on earth. Each visit I see a decline in her which is always depressing. But the fact that she smiles and sings for a lot of the time I am there, makes all the difference. She will be 90 in two months and I really was amazed at how chatty she was. We held hands, laughed, chatted and I kissed her many times and she seemed to like that. I talked about my books. I tried to tell her how many I had written. She always hoped I would be a published writer. She rambled for a bit longer and then amidst her ramblings was the word ‘pages’ making me wonder how much she really absorbs.

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And suddenly out of the blue she began to talk to somebody and look at them as though they were standing next to me. I looked to the side of me but there was no one there and suddenly she said ‘I love you Billy, I do.’

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My dad was known as Bill or Billy (when he was younger). I left feeling very emotional. I always used to chat to my mum and I so miss that. But we kind of chat and I guess I will have to be grateful for that.

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So we left mum and we were now heading for Putney to meet Katie, the owner of Outlandish Creations.  Katie is a ceramic designer and I had decided that the  main character in the new novel will be a ceramic designer too. So after a few exchanged emails Katie and I agreed to meet.

Now, Katie isn’t just a ceramic designer. She is the most abfab designer I know. Not only do I think so, but so does, Graham Norton, Lady Gaga and Ruby Wax, to mention just a few and here am I about to meet her. Only recently her work was featured in Vogue, so I was slightly nervous. It’s not every day you meet the woman who designed a cup that Lady Gaga drinks her tea from.

Katie was very welcoming, very pleasant and very helpful.  Watching her at work was very inspirational and all kinds of wonderful ideas for my character flowed through my mind. She took me to her workshop and showed me how she made her brilliant pieces. I’d already purchased one piece from her some time ago and still use it regularly and love it.

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So how could I not leave without another?  Here it is. Fab right?

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So when you read the next Little Perran novel, remember this blog. And do check out Katie’s work. It is truly Outlandish, funny, decadent and unique. I’m thrilled to own two pieces by her.

Keep tuned for the next novel but meanwhile don’t miss the special offer on ‘Perfect Weddings’ at the moment. Only 99p. Go here. Don’t miss it.

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To check out Outlandish Creations go here. You can also join her on Facebook here and read about her in Vogue here

Much love until next time

Lynda

x

Going All The Way With A Bus Driver

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So, I’ve got a bus pass. Let’s not go too much into how I got one, okay? I’d rather not go there. Anyway, a free bus I have. It’s been in my purse for months. I live out in the sticks, where buses run hourly (if that) so the thought of standing around waiting for a bus when I could pop into Oxford quite easily in my car seemed a silly choice to make … until. I met my friend Marie in Oxford for a few hours shop and some lunch and the car parking charge was over ten quid. Now, that’s just taking the Michael right? So, when we arranged to have another jolly (as Marie terms it) around Oxford, I thought why not use my bus pass? It’s free after all.

So, Organised I became. And that’s unusual for me. I checked the bus number, G3. It came to my village at a quarter to the hour, every hour. I then checked the times of the returning buses, emailed them to my phone. I prepared a chicken curry in the slow cooker, turned it onto low, after all I would be back by three so it would be safe enough. Armed with everything I needed for my bus trip, I set off to get the 11.45 bus which would get me into Oxford by 12.30 and all free of course. Marie never said a word but I sensed she was uncertain about the whole thing. It was a lovely sunny spring day. Perfect for my first venture on a bus, after all it must have been all of thirty years since I went on a bus. It was lovely. I travelled through several other local villages before heading onto the main road, and then finally towards Oxford Town itself.

‘Let me know when you arrive?’ Marie had texted.

I don’t know why she was so worried. I arrived on time and we had a great shop and several coffees. In fact we had been enjoying it so much that we lost track of time. It was almost four.

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‘Fancy something to eat?’ asked Marie.

My stomach churned at the thought of the chicken curry. It would be okay wouldn’t it? It was on low anyway. But to be on the safe said. I text my stepson who lived nearby to ask if he could pop in and turn it off, after all, better safe than sorry and then off we trotted to Pizza Express. Halfway through my phone bleeped. It was a text from my stepson.

‘Sorry not at home today, won’t be back until after 5.30.’

My stomach flipped over. Oh no. I’d just presumed he’d popped in around four and turned it off. Visions of my cottage on fire now began to haunt me. Oh no, this is a disaster. Even a free pass isn’t worth my house burning down.

We finished up our food and I glanced again at the time on my phone.

‘I’ll be in time for the 5.30 bus,’ I said confidently.

But I won’t be home until well gone six and by then we’ll either have char-grilled chicken curry or a burnt down cottage. I sent Andrew a message saying I should be home before him but to be aware the slow cooker had been on since 9.

‘You worry too much,’ he replied.

‘Where do you get your bus from?’ asked Marie as we hurried along, both of us conscious of my burning cottage.

My brain froze. I had no idea.

‘Presumably outside Debenhams,’ I said.. ‘That’s where I got off.’

‘Probably,’ said Marie, unworried.  ‘My friend used to get that bus and she picked it up around Debenhams.’

We kissed goodbye and she trotted off to her bus stop and me to find mine, except the G3 wasn’t mentioned at the Debenhams bus stop, or at the bus stop further down. I strolled around the corner to the next lot of bus stops. The sun had now gone down and the wind was sharp and cold and I didn’t have a coat. I tried not to panic, after all the G3 had to go back too didn’t it? Finally I found it. G3. I double checked it did go to my village, although I knew G3 was the right one. And then I waited and I waited and I waited. It was getting colder and there seemed to every bus in Oxford but the G3. I checked my phone again. There should have been one at 5.30. Then I saw it, large as life and the most beautiful sight ever, the G3 bus. Except it said it was terminating at Woodstock, which was quite a way from my village. Never the less I jumped on and checked.

‘You want the next one love,’ said the driver. ‘I’m not going the whole way.’

I sighed and clambered off into the cold again. Meanwhile another passenger waiting at the stop asked me about his bus. I simply gave him a blank look. I barely knew which, was my bus, let alone what was his. Plus, I had a lot more on my mind. Like my slow cooker. It seemed my stepson at this point was going to pop in and then he saw my car and presumed I was home. How was he to know I’d taken the stupid bus?

Finally another G3 came along and I jumped on, sighing with relief. Maybe I would be home just in time before the dinner dried up totally. I struggled to relax and focused on the two women chattering away behind me. My ears pricked up when one of them said

‘This is the Enstone bus isn’t it?’

I nearly threw up into my handbag. Enstone, what did she mean Enstone? Enstone is miles from my village. No, she must have it wrong surely. It’s the G3 and it goes to my village via Woodstock. Yes, here we are coming into Woodstock. The bus goes through the village as I hoped and then travels along the road that leads to the turn off for my village. I check the time. It’s now almost six. Andrew will soon be home. Please let him come home to a charred chicken rather than a charred cottage. The turning for my village loomed ahead. I’m ten minutes from home. I may even make it before Andrew. I get my phone out ready to dial 999. Best to be prepared, I always think.slowcook3

But the bus flies pass my turning and continues on into the countryside. Oh no, he is going to Enstone which is miles away. Has he gone insane? I jump from my seat, almost flying into his lap as he brakes sharply.

‘You want this stop?’ he asks.

I stammer out my village and he looks curiously at me.

‘I’m going to Chipping Norton,’ he says.

Oh my God that’s even further away. He may as well have said Dublin.

‘But … I thought …’ I begin.

‘You needed the Charlton G3,’ he said.

How many bloody G3’s are there? Why can’t there one like everyone else has.

‘But …’ I begin, but it’s no good telling him about my charcoal cottage is there

‘You’ll have to go all the way with me now,’ he says, moving off.

I sigh and text Andrew, fighting back my tears.

‘I’m so sorry for burning the house down. I only wanted to save parking fees.’

A quick message back tells me he is home and that home is still there in fact, and that the curry looks great. Meanwhile, I’m travelling through the countryside of Oxfordshire.

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We arrive at Chipping Norton where the driver tells me he has to wait a while before turning back.  We then go all the way back and finally reach the turn off for my village but instead of taking it he stops.

‘This is you,’ he says

‘But aren’t you going to …’

‘You need to cross over, get the next one. It should be five minutes and that will take you to the village.’

Oh for goodness sake.

‘One consolation,’ he says.

Oh really, is there one?

‘You won’t do this again will you?’

He’s quite right of course.   I cross the road, get the oncoming bus and get home at 6.45.

Still it could be argued I got the most out of my free bus pass.

You can buy Lynda’s latest bestselling comedy novel ‘Perfect Weddings’  here

 

Read the First Chapter of ‘Perfect Weddings’ by Lynda Renham

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Hi guys, I thought I’d give you a preview of ‘Perfect Weddings’

Here is Chapter One.

Enjoy

Chapter One

 

Don’t you just hate wedding jitters? Maybe you don’t. Perhaps your big day hasn’t come yet but trust me, it will. If I, Amy Fisher, can get married then anyone can. I’ve waited one year, three months and twelve days for my big day; that’s one year, three months and twelve days from the moment Greg proposed to me in the Little Chef. Yes I know, it isn’t the most romantic of places, but it was Valentine’s Day, so that makes everything all right. Although, to be strictly honest, it was me that proposed to him, but I am sure Greg would have done if I hadn’t got in first. You know what men are like, they just need a little push sometimes don’t they? We’d been on our way back from a Tottenham Hotspur match and stopped at the Little Chef. Did I mention that Greg likes football? Does the pope pray? Well, that’s how obsessed Greg is with football. It’s not just a game for him, it’s a religion. I think if Greg could marry Tottenham Hotspur instead of me, he would.  So, there we were, tucking into our All Day Breakfast when Greg looked over his grilled tomato, gazed into my eyes, and said,

‘You’re the perfect girl for me.’

His words had sent a tingle down my spine. We’d been together for nine months and I just knew Greg was my Mr Right. I loved everything about him from his receding hairline to his bouncy walk.  So, while still buzzing from our Tottenham Hotspur win, I asked him, right there, right then, in the Little Chef, to marry me. He looked so handsome in his Tottenham shirt that I just couldn’t help myself. There was a heart stopping moment when he hesitated, but then he said yes. That was one year, three months and twelve days ago. The time has flown by in a flurry of wedding magazines, dress fittings, reception venues, guest lists, seating plans, wedding cakes and of course football. And now the day is here. My stomach gurgles with excitement and mum fumbles in her bag for the Windeze.

‘Maybe pop a couple.’ she suggests. ‘Better safe than sorry, after all, we want a packed church don’t we?’

I glance at a box of Thorntons chocolates that sit on the dressing table. One white chocolate truffle won’t do any harm will it?

‘I’m hungry,’ I say. ‘I didn’t have breakfast.’

‘How can you think about food today of all days?’ scolds mum.

I’m not thinking about food, I’m just thinking about chocolate. I’ve never been so nervous in my life and chocolate is the answer to all ills isn’t it?

‘Just one,’ I say. ‘One won’t hurt, will it?’

She sighs and opens the box. I devour the white chocolate truffle and then feel myself drawn to the Hazelnut Heaven, but mum slams the lid down and puts the box back on the dressing table.

‘I’ll straighten your veil,’ she says nervously.

I look at my reflection in the wardrobe mirror. I can’t believe I’m standing in my wedding dress. My hair hangs in a perfect short bob with a pretty slide clipping back one side so my diamante earrings can be seen. I’d gone for the natural look. There is nothing worse than an over made up bride is there? I’d applied a small amount of blusher to my cheeks and a pink tint onto my lips with just a light brush of mascara to my lashes. I’m blessed with a clear, fair complexion and natural brown wavy hair. I’m not beautiful or anything but I think I’m reasonably attractive.

‘You look stunning,’ says mum.

‘You don’t think I look a bit chubby?’ I ask, swallowing the white chocolate truffle.

‘Chubby?’ says mum, just a little too loudly. ‘Of course not, you’ve lost loads of weight.’

That’s true. I did lose a lot of weight. The only problem is I put it on again at the food tasting for the reception. At least that was the start, the diet went pear shaped after that. Still, I can lose it again after the honeymoon can’t I? After all, Greg loves me for who I am.  Mum adjusts the veil while I fiddle with the pearls around my neck. The dress looks terrific. It had cost a fortune but it was worth every penny. I’d been dreaming of this since I was a child. It is the happiest day of my life and I want to savour every moment. I embrace a bouquet of lilies and sigh contentedly.

‘You look like a princess,’ says mum.

‘Not like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids?’ I ask worriedly.

‘Don’t be silly. Anyway she was the bridesmaid, not the bride, so you can’t look like her.’

‘You know what I mean.’

I reach for the Hazelnut Heaven before she can stop me. The chocolate hits my blood stream sending a wave of temporary euphoria through me. I tick off an imaginary list in my head. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe. The slide in my hair is the something old, borrowed from my grandmother. That’s if borrowing something from someone dead actually counts, but I’m sure it does. She would have lent it to me had she been alive. The something new is the wedding dress. No way was I having a second-hand dress.  I’ve got a garter which belongs to my mother, just in case borrowing from my grandmother doesn’t count, and the something blue is the ribbon tied around my bouquet. The silver sixpence is pressed tightly against my little toe. I had forgotten nothing. There will be no bad luck on my special day. I’m marrying my Prince Charming, Greg Martin. Just the thought of him makes me quiver inside. Life is going to be magical from this day forth.

I walk carefully into the living room where dad is waiting.

‘Aw, you look a picture,’ he says proudly.

‘I’ll see you at the church. Don’t be on time,’ laughs mum. ‘And don’t get too nervous, you don’t want to stutter through your vows.’

I’m going to be exactly three minutes late, no longer. I read in Bride magazine that it is unfair to make the groom stand at the altar for too long.  I fidget as the garter cuts into my thigh. Those extra three minutes may be the difference between life and death the way this garter is constricting my blood flow.

‘Ready?’  asks dad.

I nod. I’d better go before my leg turns purple. The neighbours stand at their gates and ‘ooh and ah’ at me.

‘Doesn’t she look lovely,’ says one as I climb into the Rolls Royce.

There’s nothing like a wedding is there, to cheer everyone up?’

‘Bring us back some cake,’ shouts another.

We’ve got a three tier wedding cake in blue and white icing. Blue and white are Tottenham’s colours and Greg was insistent they should be the colours of the cake. Not my choice but you’ve got to have a bit of give and take haven’t you? The photographer flashes pictures of me in the car making me feel like a celebrity, and then we’re off. I wave in manner of Kate Middleton, and feel very regal, aside from my numb leg. It takes ten minutes to reach the church. I glance at my wedding finger and tremble with excitement. Soon I will be travelling back as Mrs Greg Martin. It’s better than winning the lottery.

‘We should go in,’ dad says anxiously.

‘Once more around the block,’ I say, ‘it’s not time yet.’

I seriously can’t feel my foot. After one more drive around the block we finally stop at the church and I can’t say I’m not relieved. This garter is worse than a tourniquet. I’ll have deep vein thrombosis if we wait any longer. So, here we are, or at least here I am, about to get married and I couldn’t be happier. I limp from the car and dad fiddles with the dress while managing to stand on my veil.

‘Oh damn, I’m sorry love.’

‘Not to worry, it could be worse.’

I’m more concerned about the pins and needles in my leg. At this rate I will be limping down the aisle like a zombie bride.  It’s then I see Rosie wiping tears from her eyes. At first I presume them to be tears of happiness but then I see my mother crying too and my stomach tenses. Then Jack, the best man, begins talking earnestly to my dad who this time steps on my wedding train. My stomach churns the half box of Thornton’s chocolates that I had eaten this morning and for one awful moment I think I’m going to be sick down my three thousand pound dress. That would be the pits wouldn’t it? First my dad’s foot and then my vomit. Not the best start to marital bliss. But something tells me that this wedding isn’t going to start at all, that something had happened, something awful. Oh God, Greg has been fatally injured in a pile up or at the very least broken both legs.

‘Greg isn’t coming. I’m so sorry,’ says Jack.

‘Is he sick?’ I ask stupidly.

‘He said he can’t go through with it. I’m so sorry.’

It takes me a few seconds to understand what he’s saying. Obviously, I’m relieved that they haven’t dragged Greg’s battered body from a mangled car or amputated both his legs, but my relief turns to disappointment and then anger, and then I want to stab him to death myself.

‘He’s not coming?’ I stutter, knowing I’m stating the bloody obvious.

Jack doesn’t speak. My world reels around me. I try to cling onto dad but I can’t see him through my tears.

‘Oh don’t cry Amy, please don’t cry.’

Everyone looks at me, watching my humiliation.  The man I love is not coming. I suddenly feel fat, vulnerable and stupid.

‘What a sod,’ says mum.

I couldn’t have put it better myself, although I can think of more appropriate words for him. I, Amy Fisher, have been jilted by Greg Martin, and if there is anything worse than your dad standing on your veil, this has to be it.

To read more go here  £1.99 on Amazon.

much love

Lynda

xx

 

You’re Invited to Perfect Weddings

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Hi everyone,

I thought I would never get over here. Things were manic on my Facebook and Twitter page yesterday because … hurrah it was the launch day for my new novel ‘Perfect Weddings’

I’m so excited about this book as everyone is saying they think it is my best one yet.

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I love the cover thanks to Katie Grace Klumpp, who is so talented, you have to agree. Click her name to check out her work.

 

I hope you enjoy ‘Perfect Weddings’ If you like weddings then you are bound to.

Do you remember Amy Perfect who wrote ‘A Christmas Romance?’ Well, my bit of fun was to name the main character in ‘Perfect Weddings’ Amy Perfect too 🙂

A Christmas Romance Design!

 

And by the way, while we are talking about ‘A Christmas Romance’ it is now 99p. It is the first in the Little Perran series and it doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy it. So why not treat yourself to both. That’s only £2.98 for two books. What can you buy for that these days? Go here for ‘A Christmas Romance’

So what is ‘Perfect Weddings’ about?

‘Every bride wants a perfect wedding and that includes Georgina Winters. Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners so who best to plan Georgina s wedding… except the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina the most imperfect wedding backfire on her? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben Garret put a spanner in the works? Arab princes, spoilt brides and wedding catastrophes make Perfect Weddings a page-turning romantic comedy that will keep you guessing until the very last page.’

I do hope you enjoy it. You can get yours here

http://goo.gl/Vp78vS

Much love as always

Lynda

x

Back From the Dead

 

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Thirteen years ago one cold foggy evening I held a knife to my husband’s throat. We weren’t married then and after that I’m very surprised we ever did get married.

Those were bleak days. I would pack a suitcase every weekend and leave him. It may have been for something as stupid as him making a comment on my washing up. I cried all the time. I felt like some other being had possessed my body when I wasn’t looking and was now determined to destroy all I held dear to me.

The knife incident was the final straw. It was one month before Christmas.  Andrew didn’t want to be murdered before the festivities. You can’t really blame him and frankly I didn’t want to spend my life behind bars for killing him. Although I feel sure I would have got off due to hormonal imbalance and me not being of sound mind, although it can be argued I’m not of sound mind most of the time anyway. But that’s a whole other blog. I was also suffering severely from Bartholin cysts. If you’ve never heard of them they are little cysts that develop on the inside of the vulva, on, of course, the Bartholin gland. They make it hard to sit down. They throb and sometimes bleed. Taking a pee is nightmarish. The many years I had them no doctor seemed to know how to treat them. By the time I got an appointment to see a doctor they would have gone down. I was given creams, antibiotics and told to shower rather than bath. The antibiotics helped but the cysts would always return.

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So, I went to the GP. Of course, some may have said I needed a psychiatrist but I felt the GP was good to begin with. He was.  I was told I was peri menopausal and put on hormone replacement therapy. My life changed. The terrible tension I had suffered stopped. The cysts went away and never came back. The migraines I had been suffering with for many years stopped. My eyes, which were always dry and gritty suddenly felt normal. It was like a miracle had happened. I continued taking Femoston 2/10 my HRT tablet for the next thirteen years. But then my periods got heavier and more painful. I began having brown staining before a bleed. I went back to the doctor and asked if I could change to something else that would perhaps stop my periods. I felt sure they must have stopped and I was simply having a break-through bleed on the cyclical HRT. This was the beginning of a whole new nightmare for me. They began telling me I had been on the HRT for a long time and it was time to come off. You know what they say about opening Pandora’s box or poking a hornet’s nest? Don’t do it. I changed doctors for a completely different reason and went to request my HRT medication and was told I needed to see the doctor first. I made an appointment and saw a male doctor who banged angrily on the table when I told him what I wanted and declared ‘I would not get that poison from them’ My blood pressure had been slightly raised on a previous visit and he told me I could have a heart attack or stroke any day. I did not leave feeling reassured.

I like to be in charge of my own body. After all it belongs to me. My quality of life matters only to me and those closest to me. A GP who doesn’t really know me has no idea the kind of nightmare I am living. To refuse me a drug I had been on for 13 years was both distressing and worrying for me. I was fully aware of the risks and took as much care as possible to check on them. The buck was passed to the menopause clinic at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxfordshire. I met my consultant and after a long chat she agreed that if my quality of life was severely affected then I was a candidate to stay on HRT for as long as needed, but it is always a good idea to wean off if at all possible.

Let me tell you weaning yourself off something that not only helps you feel like a normal functioning adult and also does wonders for your skin and the aging process is not an easy thing to do. However I agreed to go on a patch which I was assured would stop me bleeding. However, three months and I was still staining badly a week or more before my bleed. The stomach cramps were now worse and continued past my break through bleed. An ultra sound was arranged. It showed a thickened womb lining. I was given a different medication to encourage bleeding in the hope this would eventually thin the lining. It didn’t. A second US showed the lining was still thick. It was decided a hysteroscopy should be performed so they could look inside and if anything needed removing they would remove it. So, under I went and they discovered multiple polyps which were removed. My womb lining was scraped and home I came. Weeks later I went back on my old HRT and felt fine. Then after a few months we tried the patches again and I attempted to reduce my dosage by cutting a small piece off each time.

 

Then the nightmare began. I suddenly went from being a happy fun-loving woman to a grumpy, exhausted wreck. My joints began to ache. Tiredness overwhelmed me. It would take me twenty minutes to make the bed. I would stop to lie on it several times in between changing the sheets. I was tense, irritable, and no fun to be around. My eyes were dry and gritty again. I couldn’t work. I kept crying. I couldn’t pull my aching tired limbs from the bed in the morning. My sex life was non-existent. I didn’t care if I never had sex again. My back ached. I moaned. Cooking dinner was a chore that wore me out. I was a shadow of my former self and no one seemed to care aside from Andrew. I googled joint pain and tiredness. I came to the conclusion that I was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome again along with fibromyalgia. Some people even suggested this may just be my age. At a certain age you stop wanting sex apparently. But I also noticed that the day before I was due to change my patch I suddenly felt increasingly worse but would feel marginally better the following day after the new patch had been put on. This encouraged me to contact my consultant at the menopause clinic and to also do some more research myself on HRT, the risks, the preparations, the delivery and so on.  I also researched Tibilone. I was also tired of being tired and of not feeling sexy anymore. I pushed my case as hard as I could and requested Tibolone, fully expecting to be refused. However, my eyes were so red and sore that she was convinced I was tearful. ‘We can’t have you like this,’ she said understandingly. My blood pressure was taken, the risks of stroke were laid out to me. I said I understood and wanted to try it. My blood pressure unfortunately was 140/80 and considered far too high. I explained that I had been anxious about attending, had a difficult time parking, eventually sliding my Seat into a disabled space. She agreed to me having my blood pressure taken at my GP surgery and arranged a blood test to check my oestrogen level.

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That evening she emailed me. Hurrah, I was extremely low in oestrogen. I had not been absorbing the patch very well. That night on her advice I went back to taking HRT in pill form. The next day I felt brighter, more energetic but still with joint pains. I collected my Tibolone later that day and started it that night. I woke up the next morning and felt so much better. We went out with my stepson and grandson and larked around Waddesdon Manor. I returned with my husband and met friends for lunch. We came home and then I went shopping. I felt more alive than I have in months. Today was my second day on Tibolone and let’s just say there has been a little more action in this cottage than there has been for some time.

Yes, it could all be in my mind. Maybe I expect to feel better but I can’t explain why my eyes are back to normal. Why I feel happier, why things feel and seem so much better. It’s like being brought back from the dead and that really isn’t an exaggeration.

I’m not advocating HRT for everyone but I would certainly recommend it if you are suffering terribly from menopausal symptoms. Do check out the risks yourself and if someone tells you ‘It’s just your age, don’t accept it’ You can get older and still have a life.

I shall be monitoring my symptoms over the next few months and I am very much hoping that things stay as they are today.

 

Don’t Kill the Husband

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I’m going to see my consultant tomorrow to discuss HRT yet again. I’m not feeling very hopeful.

I’ve spent the weekend researching as much as I can about hormone replacement therapy.

I’m suffering. I know other women are suffering too. I’m afraid. Afraid of the side effects of HRT because the side effects are all they drum into me whenever I have a consultation about it.

I’ve gone from pills to patches. I’ve gone from high oestrogen levels to low oestrogen levels.

I’ve bled consistently and then not bled at all. I’ve been manic enough to put a knife to my husband’s throat.

Two days ago I felt so ill that I wouldn’t have cared if I died. I was totally exhausted. It was an effort to climb the stairs. Every joint ached. My knees hurt, my head ached. My eyes felt sunken. The pain in my shoulders was unbearable. I was tired and yet I couldn’t sleep. I felt weak, unable to focus and my skin was drier than it has ever been. It took me twenty minutes to make the bed and even longer to get out of it. Last night I changed my patch and felt somewhat better. Not a coincidence. Hormonal imbalance is debilitating and any doctor who disagrees needs to train themselves better in women’s health.

My sex life is non-existent.  I’ve gone from being a sexual woman to one who couldn’t care less in a matter of months.

My oestrogen intake was vastly decreased when I changed to patches. I only wish I had researched this earlier but I stupidly believed and trusted the doctors. It is only now after my own vast research, do I understand what is happening to me.

My eyes are always dry. Some days the grittiness makes it impossible for me to focus on my work.

Tomorrow I am going to demand more oestrogen. I’m going to request a preparation that will give me back my sex drive. After all, I’m not over the hill yet.

Wish me luck. I don’t imagine it will be easy and I only hope I come home victorious.

 

 

Christmas Cheer to you all

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So, I haven’t been on my blog too much these past six months or more. In fact I haven’t been on social networking much at all, aside from Twitter. Twitter, of course, is easy, quick and doesn’t take much effort and energy and effort seems to be seriously lacking in me lately. BUT … I’ve decided the New Year will see a more relaxed and hopefully more energetic me. I hate to complain. I feel it is important to be positive no matter what the situation. I’m looking into ways to ease my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I really don’t want to be giving in to it or being negative about it.
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I mentioned in a previous blog. It has not improved as much as I had hoped but hey, there are people worse off than me. I’ve also had a fair bit of pain which apparently can be part of it. But I have refused to slow down or change my lifestyle, so inevitably the pain and tiredness has increased some days. Where I use to get buoyed up when social networking, I now find I don’t so much, BUT that is about to change.
I’m writing more. It’s what I love but I’m also being kinder to myself. I intend to interact more on social network sites in the New Year. After looking into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and thyroid problems I am starting to think there is a connection. By the evening I feel quite exhausted and stress of any kind just aggravates the condition. I’m aware I need to reduce my stress levels and I’m working on that. I find I need to limit what I do, which is frustrating for me. I read much on Facebook of people who have joint pain and tiredness and only now do I realise just what they go through. My thoughts and sympathies go out to you. However, after all this research, I have decided not to slow down in any way. I have a lot of books I want to write. A lot of books I want to read and a lot of living that I want to do. CFS is not going to stop me doing any of that.
Christmas is upon us and as usual we have been busy celebrating in our village. We have our street advent calendar and this year we are number 18. All year we have our little stone animals in the garden which we move around on a regular basis. The school children like looking for them. So we decided what better than to give the animals their own nativity scene. It’s been very popular.
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There have been many Christmas parties and dinners and we still have more before the Christmas season is over.

A Christmas Romance Design!
My Christmas novella ‘A Christmas Romance’ is doing fabulously well and I am thrilled. The village of Little Perran where the novel is set has become a real favourite of mine and I can’t wait to start a new story there and hope to produce one for the summer. Meanwhile I am finishing off my new romantic comedy which should be out in the spring of 2016. I have wonderful readers and want to thank all of you for buying the books and also for reviewing them. I hope I continue to give you as much pleasure next year as I have this year.
I have made some lovely friends, many who visited me for the book signing at my house. To all my lovely readers, thank you so much for your support this past year. You make it all worthwhile.
Merry Christmas to you and thank you to all those that have sent us cards and I look forward to interacting more with you in the New Year.
To all those who have bought my books, thank you so much. I appreciate it more than you can ever know and your reviews have really made my year.
Much love
Lynda
xx

Woo Hoo, Christmas Is Coming

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Christmas is not far away. I love this time of year. Lot’s of great things happen don’t they?

So, what better way to celebrate than this!

Today for one day only my new Christmas novella ‘A Christmas Romance’ is only **99p**

I couldn’t let Black Friday and Cyber Monday come and go without doing something special could I?

So hurry over to Amazon here and get yours.

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Coming soon is my Christmas newsletter. So if you haven’t signed up for that then please do. Just go to the right hand side and scroll down to the newsletter subscription and simply click.

Meanwhile here is a little extract from the Christmas novella … Enjoy.

 A Christmas Romance

Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect

Chapter One

Frankie opened the oven door and gently prodded the fruit cake, the rich aroma making her mouth water. Fruit cake was her favourite. She wiped her hands on her apron and began cracking eggs into a bowl. There were just the fairy cakes to make now; the mince pies to go into the oven and the filling into the sponge, and she would be finished. She turned from the bowl and stopped to drink in the view from her kitchen window, the smell of a freshly baked Victoria sponge wafting past her. The tree in the garden twinkled under the dusting of snow that had been falling gently all morning, and she reminded herself to get some Christmas tree lights to go around it. This was going to be one of the coldest winters in years. The weather forecast predicted a white Christmas and Frankie was looking forward to cosy evenings by the fire with a hot chocolate and a good novel. The kitchen was lovely and warm with the heat from the oven but she still shivered at the sight of the falling snow. Then, not for the first time, she wondered what Paul was doing right now. Of course Christmas in Australia would be very different from Little Perran. Frankie couldn’t imagine Christmas on the beach. It seemed unnatural. She shook her head, irritated with herself for thinking about Paul, and turned back to the bowl of eggs. She didn’t need a man in her life. She was coping very well, thank you very much. Her eyes fell on the small Christmas tree in the corner of her living room. Buster slept happily underneath it. It was no good telling a dog that only presents go under the tree. I wonder if they have a Christmas tree in Australia, she thought idly. Of course they do, she reprimanded herself. After all, it wasn’t the back of beyond was it? She beat the eggs angrily. She must stop thinking about Paul. He was most likely sunning himself on the beach with …

Her thoughts were halted by a tapping on the back door. Birdie popped her rosy cheeks around it and sniffed appreciatively.

‘Primrose Cottage always smells good,’ she said, quickly closing the door. ‘It’s bitter outside. I went to the library but you weren’t there.’

‘I took the day off to bake cakes for the Christmas fete.’ Frankie felt the cold air brushing against her bare feet.

‘And fabulous they look too,’ said Birdie, pulling off her wellies and throwing them outside the back door.

Birdie’s thick brown hair had been wound into a tight plait which she had secured at the nape of her neck with a hair pin. Her cheeks were rosy from the cold and her lips pink where she had applied some lip salve.

‘I’m knackered. I’ve been cleaning out. That’s the trouble with having the animals inside. And the tractor is knackered too. Ben has asked Joe to come and look at it for us. Aren’t you glad you’re not a farmer? I wish I worked in a library. Mind you I’d be reading all day.’

Frankie laughed.

‘You’d be bored to death. You know how you love the outdoors.’

Birdie spotted the Christmas cake on the kitchen counter and gasped.

‘You’ve made it?’ she said, looking at the cake admiringly.

‘That was the easy bit. I’ve got to ice it now. I’m nervous about being too experimental though.’

‘Don’t be silly. It will be great. I so want you to win. I heard Cynthia is hiding hers.’

Frankie felt her heart sink.

‘I bet it’s lovely. That’s why she wins every year.’

‘A bit of cheating helps,’ scoffed Birdie.

‘Birdie, I’m sure that’s not true.’

Birdie nodded.

‘As sure as eggs is eggs, it’s true,’ she laughed.

Frankie carefully pulled a sketch pad from the kitchen drawer and opened it.

‘This is a rough plan of my theme, Santa falling down the chimney. What do you think?’

Birdie’s eyes widened.

‘Oh Frankie, that’s amazing.’

‘It will be if I can recreate it with icing,’ Frankie said worriedly.

‘You can do it, I know you can. Any chance of a cuppa and a piece of that sponge?’ she smiled licking her lips. ‘We should celebrate.’

‘No.’ Frankie wagged her finger. ‘That’s for tomorrow’s fete. But I have some chocolate cake?’

She opened a Quality Street tin. Birdie peeked inside and sighed.

‘I love your chocolate cake. Now, I have some exciting news. But I think you already know don’t you?’

Frankie’s heart skipped a beat. Was this something to do with Paul? Of course it wasn’t. When would she stop thinking about him? It had been almost a year now since he broke off their engagement. When would she accept that he wasn’t going to come back to Little Perran? More to the point did she even want him back?

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about Birdie.’

‘Really? I had a feeling you didn’t know. Otherwise I’m sure you would have told me. That’s why I popped round really. Make a cuppa and sit down. I’m not telling you until you do. I don’ want you going into a dead faint.’

‘Ooh heavens, what is it?’ asked Frankie, her hand poised to whip the eggs. Maybe it was to do with Paul after all. Her heart fluttered in her chest.

‘Sit down. Leave those eggs for a minute, they won’t go off.’

Frankie did as she was told and sat down. It was a relief to get off her legs. She pulled the scrunch out of her curly auburn hair and twisted it neatly into a bun before securing it again.

‘Okay,’ said Birdie, tapping a drum-roll with her hands. ‘The Biggest heart-throb ever is only coming to live at Little Perran. He’s moving into Briar Lodge in a few days’ time.’

She looked at Frankie with wide eyes.

‘Briar Lodge, are you certain?’ asked Frankie.

If anyone was coming to live at Briar Lodge then surely she of all people would know.

‘Isn’t it exciting? He’ll be here for Christmas. Every single woman in the village will be after him, except me of course, as I’ve got Ben, but I’ll be tempted.’

Frankie stared at her.

‘Well, what do you think?’ asked Birdie, pouring water into the teapot.

‘You haven’t told me who it is?’

‘Oh, I thought I did. I’m so excited that’s why. Roux Lockhart, can you believe it?’ said Birdie slicing into the chocolate cake.

‘Roux Lockhart, the film star do you mean?’

‘In the flesh,’ Birdie swooned.

‘But why is he coming here?’

‘They’re making a movie. He’ll be staying here for the filming. I’m not supposed to be telling anyone this yet. It’s top secret. The parish council will be delivering letters today. I’ve brought yours. We’re not to talk to the press, or anyone outside the village who asks about him. Only a few of us have been told he’s staying at Briar Lodge. I thought you of all people would have known.’

Frankie felt her blood boil.

‘But Aunty Rose never mentioned renting out Briar Lodge while she was in the States.’

‘Oh dear,’ said Birdie, her face flushing.

‘I can’t believe it,’ exclaimed Frankie, jumping up to beat the eggs.

‘Were you planning on using the Lodge over Christmas?’ asked Birdie worriedly.

Frankie grimaced.

‘Don’t be silly Birdie. You know I’ve got no one coming for Christmas.’

‘You can come to us, you know that? We’d love to have you.’

Frankie forced a smile.

‘I know, but I don’t want to leave Buster.’

‘He’ll be okay for one evening.’

‘I’ll see. I just can’t believe Aunty Rose didn’t tell me about Roux Lockhart. I’m supposed to be watering her plants. How could she forget to tell me a famous film star was coming to stay?’

‘Ooh you’ve got a good excuse to go over there then,’ Birdie grinned.

‘All the same she might have told me.’

‘I think it was all done very suddenly. Your Aunty Rose told the parish council. You know what she’s like. She probably thought she had told you. Can you imagine though? He’s got pots of money. I bet Stella will be round there before he’s even got the kettle on.’

Frankie laughed.

‘I bet he’s got pots of ego too,’ she said, rescuing the fruit cake from the oven.

‘I wonder if he’ll go to the Christmas ball?’ said Birdie thoughtfully. ‘Hey, he can be your date.’

‘Very funny.’ Frankie hurriedly dropped the hot cake onto a place mat. ‘Anyway, I’ve decided I’m not going to the ball this year.’

Birdie’s mouth dropped open.

‘But you always go.’

‘I’ve always had a partner,’ Frankie tried to keep her voice upbeat but felt sure she was failing miserably.

‘You can still go without a partner,’ insisted Birdie.

‘I’ll see.’

‘I’m going to put that on your tombstone,’ laughed Birdie, getting up. ‘Right I’d better get back. Ben will want to fix the tractor. You’re still coming to The Hand and Shears tonight aren’t you for pre-fete drinks.’

Frankie nodded, although the truth was she didn’t really want to go. She’d got into the habit of staying home these days with Buster for company. In fact she quite liked cosy nights in Primrose Cottage, doing her cross stitch while watching some rubbish on the tele. Honestly, she couldn’t get more boring if she tried. She’d be drinking Horlicks next and going to bed at nine o’clock.

‘Great see you later,’ waved Birdie, stepping into her wellies.

Frankie cleared away the dishes. It occurred to her that she ought to check Briar Lodge. Maybe leave a couple of mince pies there. At least someone famous in the village would stop her thinking about Paul. With that in mind, she placed the mince pies in the oven, switched on the radio and forced herself to sing along with the Christmas carols.

To read more, get your copy here.

 

 

 

 

Christmas with Robert Bryndza

Guess who I have on my blog today? Only the brilliant Robert Bryndza, just in time for Christmas too. What’s more I have an extract from his Christmas novella, Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story. Also at the end of this post is news of Rob’s fab Christmas competition. Wonderful prizes, so don’t miss it.

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I love Robert’s books. They are so funny and this one is no exception.

 So, curl up in front of the fire with a hot chocolate – or something stronger! I know that’s what I’m going to do, and enjoy a slice of hilarious Christmas nostalgia with Coco Pinchard and the must-have toy of Christmas past… 

So, over to Rob…

It’s December 1992, and children are going CRAZY for the Tracy Island Toy – almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz.

Throw into the mix a horrible boss, a lazy husband, and the prospect of her in-laws arriving for the festivities, and Coco wishes she could cancel Christmas and sail off to a desert island somewhere – preferably with the gorgeous-yet-unattainable Tom from work.

But retail therapy is at hand! Coco’s faithful friends Chris and Marika rally round, and even her mother-in-law Ethel tries to help in her own eccentric way.

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story is a hilarious feel-good comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child this year’s must-have Christmas toy?

If you are new to the best selling Coco Pinchard series, fear not, Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone Christmas treat – and it has zero calories!

 Extract;

Monday 14th December

 I arrived home just after five, exhausted. It was dark and cold, and light was glowing softly against the closed curtains of the living room. When I opened the front door I could hear the end of Newsround. I put my bag down in the hall and poked my head around the living room door. Rosencrantz was sitting atop his favourite beanbag, his tiny legs poking out with his Thunderbirds slippers on.

‘Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!’ he shouted, leaping up and grabbing at my legs. He’d left a tiny imprint in the beanbag, like the well in a cake mix where you break the egg. I lifted him up and he kissed my cheeks and gave me a hug.

“How was school?” I asked.

“Today I ate all my dinner, even though it was a bit cold… and Melanie Jones was told off for filling up the toilet with loo roll… and we had the rehearsals for the Nativity play. Joseph can’t remember his lines.”

“But you know all yours?”

“Of course I know all my lines, Mummy,” he said seriously.

“And you’ve got your brilliant song. Did you sing it for everyone?”

“No, Mummy. I only made that up to make you and Daddy laugh. I have to stick to the script. Even if I only have to bring the Frankincense,” he said, rolling his little eyes as if his talents were being squandered as a mere Wise Man.

“You are going to be the best, wisest Wise Man,” I said.

“It’s going to be a big production,” he added, like a seasoned pro. “Mrs Masters is lending her four Dulux dogs for the manger scene. They’ve just had their hair cut so they look a bit like camels.”

“It sounds… interesting,” I said.

We looked up as Blue Peter started on the television.

“Mummy! They’re making a Tracy Island on Blue Peter! Am I going to get Tracy Island for Christmas?”

Bugger, bugger, bollocks, I thought.

“You posted your letter to Father Christmas?” I asked.

He nodded furiously. “I licked the stamp and everything!”

“Then of course you’re going to get Tracy Island for Christmas.” You’re a rotten lying mother, said a voice in my head.

Rosencrantz did a little jiggle of happiness then climbed back into his dent in the beanbag. On the TV in the corner of the living room, Anthea Turner was dressed in her fluffy Blue Peter jumper and listing all the bits you needed to make a Tracy Island at home. I stood by the door and watched Rosencrantz’s happy little face for a moment, then went through to the kitchen.

Daniel was sitting at the kitchen table. He looked up and gave me a grin. His mother was standing by the sink in her flowery housecoat.

“Hello Ethel, I didn’t know you were coming over, again?” I said, trying to keep my voice light.

“Didn’t know I ‘ad to make an appointment?” she said. She picked up the teapot, swilled it round and tipped cold tealeaves down the sink.

“Course you don’t, Ethel. You just seem to be in town a lot lately,” I said, kissing Daniel on top of his head.

“Mum came up to town to get her ears syringed,” he explained.

“Was it a success? Has it improved your eavesdropping skills?” I asked.

“Thought I’d pop in see my favourite boys… An’ you, love, of course,” said Ethel.

We gave each other an insincere smile. I pulled the kitchen door shut and fished The Sun out of my bag.

“We need to talk. Have you seen the paper?” I said, smoothing it out on the kitchen table.

“I know. Poor Princess Diane, splitting up with that Charles,” said Ethel, spooning fresh tealeaves into the pot. “She won’t leave the Royal Family and come out alive.”

Why is Ethel the only person in the world who calls her Princess Diane?

“Who’d want to hurt Princess Diana?” I asked.

“She gave the Queen an Anus Horribilis,” explained Ethel.

“It’s Annus Horribilis,” I corrected.

“Well, whatever it is, it sounds painful,” said Ethel. “That Diane should watch ‘er back, tha’s all I’m saying.”

The kettle clicked off and she poured hot water into the pot. I resisted the urge to press the Diana/Diane debate.

“Anyway, I’m not talking about Diana. Look!” I said.

I opened the newspaper and flicked through to the page about Tracy Island. Ethel came over to the table and she and Daniel both peered at the article in silence. Ethel’s lips moved as she read.

“Blimey,” said Daniel, sitting back and reaching for a cigarette.

“Coco, iss only a week or so till Christmas! What ‘ave you bin doing for the past two months?” exclaimed Ethel.

“I’ve been at work! You’ve spent the past two months on the bus up here and back to Catford. You could have jumped off at Hamley’s, Ethel,” I retorted.

“I’ve been up and down to the ‘ospital with all sorts, Coco. I’ve got a bad back, bad hips…”

“And there’s all that earwax,” I said.

“Okay you two,” said Daniel. “Let’s go outside and have a cigarette.”

“The door’s shut, Danny, the smoke won’t reach little Rosencrantz,” said Ethel.

“No. We smoke outside, Ethel,” I said.

We grabbed our coats and reconvened on the terrace. The moon was now up and the lawn had frozen and was glistening in the moonlight.

“Maybe we can persuade Rosencrantz to like another toy. What about Action Man?” suggested Daniel.

“We could make a Tracy Island? They were just on Blue Peter, using toilet rolls and margarine tubs,” I began.

“You can’t give ‘im something made up of all the old shit you’d throw away!’ said Ethel. She had a point.

There was a knock on the door and Rosencrantz pressed his nose against the glass.

“Everybody, I just thought up a funny Thunderbirds joke!” he shrilled.

We stubbed out our cigarettes and came back inside, relishing the warmth from the kitchen.

“Go on, tell us yer joke, love,” said Ethel.

Rosencrantz took a deep breath.

“Why is Parker called Parker?”

“I don’t know, why is Parker called Parker?” I asked.

“Cos he’s a good parker!” Rosencrantz cried, grinning with his little row of milk teeth. Ethel and I laughed.

“Oooh! Tha’s funny!” she said, scooping him up for a cuddle.

Only Daniel remained confused.

“Who’s Parker?” he asked.

“Oh Daddy, you’re a ding-dong dilly noodle,” said Rosencrantz. “Don’t you know anything? Parker is Lady Penelope’s chauffeur in Thunderbirds!”

Rosencrantz jumped down from Ethel’s arms and started to swan round the kitchen, doing a rather brilliant Lady Penelope voice and jigging gently as if he were suspended from strings.

Parker, we appear to have intruders. I think they are going to take my jewels,” he said. “Yes, M’lady, but h’I fink we might be unable to stop ‘em,” he said, switching to an equally good impression of Parker. “EVERYONE! I can’t wait for Christmas Day! Thunderbirds are go, go, GO!” he shouted and ran round the kitchen and back through to the living room.

Ethel looked at me and raised an eyebrow.

“Right I’ve gotta be orf,” she said picking up her bag. She saw my despondent face. “Don’t worry Coco, love, we’ll sort something out.”

“Yeah Cokes, there’s still a few shopping days to go till Christmas,” added Daniel.

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To carry on reading you can download your copy from Amazon here;

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013J05F5M

Amazon USA http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013J05F5M

I’m also running a competition to win some Christmas goodies. The giveaway will be one prize consisting of;

A signed dedicated paperback copy of Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story

A £20/$20 Amazon voucher

 A limited edition A Very Coco Christmas mug, filled with Marks and Spencer’s chocolate Brussel Sprouts

 A signed dedicated paperback copy of A Very Coco Christmas

 Head on over to my Facebook author page to enter! https://www.facebook.com/bryndzarobert/

 

 

 

A Fab book signing x

 

christmasrom2Finally, I am back to blog posting.

I’ve been chained to my lap top for the past few months producing my Christmas novella. I so enjoyed writing it too. It’s titled ‘A Christmas Romance’  I’ve written it under the name of Amy Perfect. Simply because it is a romance.It’s a novel that will pull at your heart-strings. There is lots of romance and Christmas spirit is in abundance. It is most certainly a book to be read while enjoying a mug of hot chocolate and a mince pie and of course sitting in front of a roaring fire.

I enjoyed writing this book so much that I didn’t want it to end. So, I have decided to write more about the village of Little Perran. There will be a Summer novel and later in the year another Christmas novella. I hope you enjoy them.

*Romance is the last thing on Frankie Bell’s mind as she gets ready for Christmas in the English village of Little Perran. It’s going to be a quiet affair once the annual Great Little Perran Christmas Bake Off cake competition is over, with Frankie, and her little dog Buster, tucked up warmly in Primrose Cottage. Fate, however, has other plans and Little Perran is thrown into turmoil when the film star, Roux Lockhart, comes to stay. 
The spirit of the season weaves its magic and a freak snow storm that blows in a surprise visitor. Frankie discovers love from an unexpected quarter, but can she trust it? And is someone cheating with their Christmas cake?
 *

To celebrate the release of ‘A Christmas Romance’ I arranged a book signing at my home. I was to meet several of my readers for the first time. It was nerve-wracking to say the least. But they were all warm and lovely. We had a super day. Books were signed and mince pies consumed. What more can you ask for with Christmas approaching?

Later, a few of us went onto dinner at my local pub. It was a wonderful day. I can’t wait to do it again. Many thanks to Tina and Aiden, Suz, Jaydee, Katie, Carrie and Mark, Anne and David, Sarah, Rachel and Raley. Also thanks to Yvie, her mum and Michelle, Gemma and Sally. Not forgetting Nicola and Debbie. It was a great day. Thanks to my wonderful husband who made the teas and to Louise for her support.IMGP2719IMGP2716selfiesigning 23

Enjoy ‘A Christmas Romance’ You can purchase your copy here

A Christmas Romance Design!

Much love

Lynda

xx

 

 

 

 

Sunday Dinners

Fellow author and friend, Jon Rance, has a new novel out. Such excitement! To celebrate I invited Jon onto the blog for tea and a chat. The novel ‘Sunday Dinners’ was released yesterday and is a fabulous and funny read, as are all of Jon’s books. You can get your copy on Amazon for just 99p! Just go here

‘The Wilde family have always had a roast dinner on Sundays. Greg Wilde made sure of it. Him, his wife, Lizzy, and their three children around the table; for years it was the glue that held them together. But now with the children all grown up and moving out, and Greg and Lizzy’s marriage facing an uncertain future, their lives are becoming increasingly unstuck. Greg soon begins to realise that creating a happy family is one thing, but staying that way is an entirely different story.’

Told from each of the family’s perspectives at their monthly Sunday roast dinners, this is a bitter-sweet comedy about parenthood, marriage, love, life and roast dinners.’

SD-COVER-PB-8 Now without further ado, over to you Jon. Tell us all about it …

Hello. Firstly, a big thank you to Lynda for having me over for a cup of tea, a biscuit, and a nice chat about my new novel SUNDAY DINNERS. It’s wonderful to be here.

So my new book SUNDAY DINNERS is out and I’m excited to be here to talk about it. So what’s it about? You’re probably asking. This is my fourth book and like my others it’s firmly about love. It’s not a rom-com in any sense of the word though, but a book about the love between parents and children, brothers and sisters, and a husband and wife.

The book is told from five different first person perspectives. There’s the father, Greg Wilde, his wife, Lizzy, eldest child, Lucy, middle child, Matt, and youngest, Holly. They live in north London and from the outside look like the perfect middle class family. But as the book unfolds at each of their monthly Sunday roast dinners, we discover that none of the family are happy and all are struggling to cope. Greg and Lizzy’s marriage is hanging by a thread. The golden child, Lucy, is dating someone at work she shouldn’t and is facing failure for the first time in her life. Matt is heartbroken and in a rut, but is trying to move on and gets more than he bargained for. Holly is off to university soon and is facing a crisis of sexual identity. And then there’s Joan, Greg’s mum, who’s having a hard time living life without her dead husband.

The biggest influence on the book was the quote, “Life is a delicate balance of holding on and letting go.” I used this to really inspire the central theme of the book. The book takes place at that moment when all the children are leaving home, the parent’s marriage is failing, and so all the characters are facing a tipping point in their lives. They need to let go and move on and yet they’re still holding onto the past through their Sunday roast dinners.

I think the book is about something very British. It’s about the importance of family getting together and eating roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. During the week we’re all too busy to really sit down and spend time together, but for an hour or two on Sunday afternoon, time stops and we have the best meal of the week together. It’s a ritual that means so much to me and I’m sure to you too. It’s uniquely British and I hope that shines through in the book because it’s something I wanted to really celebrate. It’s almost an extra character!

SUNDAY DINNERS is a comedy drama about parenthood, marriage, love, life and roast dinners and it’s out now for just 99p! If you love funny, heart-warming books about love and life and have a passion for properly cooked roast beef, crispy roast potatoes, and homemade thick gravy, you’ll love this!

 

Cheers,

Jon X

Thanks so much Jon. Good luck with the book. Pop over to Amazon to get your copy. See you all again soon and keep reading.

 

 

 

Sample of ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ a heart throb to rival Christian Grey

Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown

Meet Ark Morgan a heart throb to rival Christian Grey

Chapter One

 ‘Mr Morgan will see you now.’ The receptionist points at the lift where he is waiting for me. The doors slide shut and I inhale the clean smell that is uniquely him. I’m intoxicated. He could have me now, here in the hotel lift. My legs tremble and he supports me with one hand while his fingers trace my face with the other. I shudder with desire. His breath hitches, or is it mine? There seems to be so much hitching of breath when I’m with him that it is difficult to tell who it is that is doing the hitching. No, it can’t be me; I can barely breathe at all. My eyes lock onto his lips. Kiss me I implore silently. Spank me until I’m raw. Take me, do what you will.

 I bite my lip and he sighs.

‘How many times do I have to tell you about that?’ he whispers. ‘You know how it tempts me.’

‘I’m sorry,’ I breathe, feeling my desire for him, way down below.

I lick the blood from my bitten lip. He’s right, I must stop this. I already have two blisters. Anastasia Steele never has this problem. His breathing has become heavier while I’m barely breathing at all. ‘Pull away,’ cries my subconscious voice. ‘Pull away while you can.’ But I can’t. I can’t pull away from the muscular toned body of Ark Morgan. I’m mesmerised by him.

‘You should stay away from me. I’m not the man you think I am,’ he whispers into my ear.

‘Who are you then?’ I ask huskily, running my hand through his damp tousled hair.

My head is swimming.

‘You’re next,’ he says.

‘Next?’ I repeat.

Holy crap, he really is going to initiate me. I bite my lip in anticipation and cry out in pain. ‘Stop that lip biting,’ scolds my inner goddess, ‘or you’ll have no bloody lips left. You’ve got more pain than this to come.’

I shiver with anticipation.

Next,’ echoes a voice. ‘You want serving?’

What? Did he ask if I wanted spanking? I’m dragged from my Fifty Shades fantasy and come face to face with the shop assistant.

‘Fifteen thirty-five,’ grunts the purple-haired cashier, holding out a ringed hand that could be mistaken for a knuckleduster.

By the time she’s pushed her gum into a rounded bubble through her over-painted pink lips I’ve dredged the depths of my little floral purse and realise I don’t have enough. It occurs to me I could do a runner but who do you know does a runner from Aldi? I shouldn’t have got the wine.

‘Erm,’ I begin, biding for time while I rummage through my bag for those odd coins that loiter at the bottom. ‘I’m sure I had more. I’m really sorry.’

‘Ain’t you got enough money?’ she says loudly, affronted, like I’ve done it on purpose just to annoy her.

‘Ain’t you sure you don’t need a megaphone?’ I mimic.

Don’t you just hate it when shit happens? Maybe you don’t. Perhaps shit doesn’t happen to you. It happens all the time to me. I’m forever treading in the metaphorical shit in my well-worn twenty quid Matalan boots. Purple Head shakes her mop of hair and rolls her eyes in the direction of a Liz McDonald lookalike standing behind me. Lookalike’s perfume is seriously clogging up my throat that I fear I may well have to guzzle the unpaid-for wine right here at the Aldi checkout. Lookalike groans and stares accusingly at my bulging carrier bag. I pull out a packet of custard creams and some sliced ham.

‘I don’t really need these,’ I say with a smile. ‘We’ve got loads at home.’

‘Why you buy more then? That stupid, no?’ says the Polish assistant at the next till, scanning items with such speed I feel sure I see sparks fly. I never get this abuse at Patel’s corner shop.

‘Doug,’ yells Purple Head, ‘she ain’t got enough money. Can you put this stuff back?’

‘Do you have to shout?’ I say softly.

‘Can you ‘urry, I’m on me lunch break,’ says lookalike, swinging her peroxide hair and showering me in a volcanic cloud of perfume.

‘Can’t she sodding pay?’ yells someone from the queue.

I feel my face burn as everyone glowers at me. Honestly you’d think they’d keep such outrage for a shoplifter wouldn’t you? I’m giving things back not bloody nicking them.

‘Now look what you’ve done,’ pouts the assistant.

‘If you hadn’t shouted,’ I protest.

‘Thirteen eighty,’ she says her face devoid of emotion. ‘Or do you want to give something else back that you’re stockpiling?’

And have Doug make a second trip? I don’t think so. I scrape together the thirteen eighty and grudgingly hand it over.

‘Thanks for your patience,’ I say sarcastically.

‘You want patience you go to Waitrose,’ says Purple Head.

‘This Aldi, not ‘arrods and you no Princess Diana,’ quips the Polish assistant.

‘And you no Aldi’s queen of people’s hearts,’ I snap.

‘What you say?’

I’m about to answer when I see through the windows two little buggers trying to remove the wheels from my Ford Fiesta. Honestly, the bloody thing barely moves as it is, and that’s with wheels.

‘Shit,’ I grab the carrier bag and run from the store. ‘Bugger off you little sods,’ I shout, clouting one around the ear.

‘Hey, that’s abuse,’ he spits, rubbing his head.

‘Good,’ I retort, giving him another one for good measure.

‘You’re bald anyway,’ he says cheekily ‘I ‘ope you get done.’

‘You cheeky bugger, I’m not bald at all.’

‘Your tyres, you silly tart. You’ll get done.’

‘I’ll do you if you don’t push off.’

I sigh and watch them run off before checking my car. I’m Roxie Brown by the way, short for Roxanne. I’d like to say my name was inspired by the Moulin Rouge movie but it’s not as romantic as that I’m afraid. My mum was obsessed with The Police. The eighties rock band that is, not the force. She was obsessed with Sting to be more precise. She still is actually. She spends more time talking about tantric sex than anyone I know. In fact, I don’t know anyone else who talks about tantric sex. I only hope she doesn’t spend as much time actually doing it. It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it? Sting and Trudi whatserface doing it at their age is one thing, but your parents … Well, I don’t like to dwell on it. It’s a bit demoralising to think your parents are having longer sex sessions than you. Mind you, just about everyone must be having longer sex sessions than me and Darren. Tantric sex with Darren lasts about ten minutes and by our standards that’s a mammoth session. It doesn’t end with any real spiritual connection either, unless Darren mumbling ‘alright Babe’ counts, but I don’t actually think it does. By then I’m usually out for the count. So if there was any Dalai Lama stuff going on I’ve most certainly missed it. Anyway, the only Tibet Darren knows is the Tibetan Palace curry house in town, so I doubt he even knows who the Dalai Lama is. He’d probably think it’s a new dish on the menu. Not that we have it that often, sex that is, not curry. If Darren had his way we’d have that every night. Curry that is, not sex. Darren is more interested in looking through his telescope. He has a thing about stars, the ones in the sky that is, not those on the telly. He loves the galaxy he says, while I’m more interested in actually eating one, while in bed, reading my erotic novels and fantasising about my Christian Grey boss, Ark Morgan. Not that Ark Morgan would look twice at me. I’d be lucky if he looked once. Not that I’m unattractive or anything but multimillionaires just don’t look at chambermaids do they? But there’s no harm in a little fantasy is there, and if you saw him you’d understand. I’ve seen him in person only once and that was at the staff Christmas party. He didn’t stay long but he was so close that if I’d reached out I could have touched his sensual thigh. My table was that near to the podium. He gave all the chambermaids Viktor@Rolf Flowerbomb perfume and a bottle of champagne. Not that I wear it much. Darren says it gives him a headache and I do get runny eyes when I wear it. But it was a fabulous gift, you have to agree. Ark Morgan is very generous to his staff. I imagine he thinks I’ve got sawdust for brains. People think that about cleaners. Not that I’ve always been a cleaner, mind you. I once worked in the pharmacy department of Boots as a dispensing assistant. I had all the qualifications and everything but the pay was rubbish and I got a bit punch drunk counting out pills all day long. At least my job has some variation now, although I can’t say I like cleaning but the pay is brilliant.

I pull my vibrating phone from my bag.

‘I’ve got carrots coming out of my ears,’ says Mum.

‘That’s unusual. They normally come out of the ground.’

‘Your dad’s been at the allotment, digging up God knows what.’

‘Well, as long as it wasn’t bodies I really don’t care,’ I say, yanking the door of my Fiesta. It squeaks noisily and I cringe.

‘I’ve packed a bag for you.’

‘Am I going somewhere?’ I ask, starting the engine, or at least trying to. It always needs at least three attempts.

‘A bag of carrots and some of your dad’s potatoes.’

‘There was me hoping you’d say Majorca.’

‘Your dad is really chuffed. Marge said she’d never seen one so big.’

‘We’re still talking about potatoes I hope?’ I say.

‘Well,’ she says proudly, ‘your dad has nothing to be ashamed of. Oh, that reminds me. I’ve got you a book, Tantric for the Busy Woman.’

‘Tantric on the go is it?’

‘Don’t be silly dear, it’s …’

‘I’ve got to get going,’ I break in as I see a police car pull into the car park. Holy shit, that’s all I need. Bald tyres, a noisy exhaust and a crack in the windscreen is not a car they’re exactly going to miss. Honestly, my day can only get better can’t it? I squint into the dazzling May sunlight and hope it’s blinded them enough that they haven’t spotted me. I try the engine again and thankfully it starts, and I edge the car slowly out of the car park only to have the damn thing stall. I curse and turn the key again when the police car flashes me. Shit. Why is this my life and on the other side of the world Angelina Jolie has hers? Why did I get Darren Smart and she got Brad Pitt? I mean, how is that fair? I undo the top button of my blouse and put on my vulnerable look.

‘Everything okay officer?’ I ask innocently, when it obviously isn’t.

‘Please step out of the vehicle madam,’ says one of the policemen while the other snoops around my Fiesta.

Don’t panic. That’s the key. Don’t give them any cause for suspicion.

I say policemen but police boys may be more appropriate from the look of them. Don’t you just hate getting pulled up by policemen that are younger than you? I step nervously from the car and make a huge attempt to look confident. Not easy when you’re struggling to remember if your insurance is up to date. Why can’t I be more mindful?

‘Can I see your driving licence please madam?’

I try to look nonchalant as the other one studies my tyres, while I rummage in my bag for my purse, only to find the damn licence isn’t in there. I begin pulling things out of my overstuffed shoulder bag and arranging them onto the bonnet. The policeman’s eyes widen at my well-thumbed copy of Fifty Shades. I blush profusely. It’s not a crime to enjoy a bit of erotica is it? Erotic literature that is. Goodness, I’ve not got time for the real thing. Let’s face it, if Darren and I haven’t got time for tantric sex we’ve certainly not got time to tie each other to the bedposts and shag one another senseless have we, as lovely as it sounds. One half-eaten Galaxy follows the book. I’d forgotten all about that. It has bits of hair stuck to it now. Shopping receipts and an assortment of hairbands are followed by torn-out recipes from magazines, a hairbrush, make-up bag, a lipstick with the lid off, and several chocolate covered leaflets on tantric sex that Mum had given me yonks ago. I’m looking like a sex-mad chocoholic. I feel my heart hammer in my chest when I realise there is no sign of the licence and then I spot the tear in the lining, and there it is along with three pound coins. Where were they when I needed them for the custard creams? I’ve a good mind to go back and stick them under Purple Head’s nose.

‘Are you aware two of your tyres are bald?’

Not until that little sod mentioned it earlier. I wish Darren would keep a check on these things.

‘Oh no,’ I say dramatically and feel real tears well up. ‘Is that bad?’

It’s always good to feign innocence isn’t it?

‘When was it last serviced?’

I jerk my head up. God, for one minute I thought he was asking when I was last serviced. I must stop reading Fifty Shades.

‘I’m not sure. My partner sees to those things.’

That’s a joke. I’m lucky if Darren fills the thing with petrol.

‘Looks like he hasn’t seen to those things for a while,’ says the policeman as he pokes the exhaust.

There are a lot of things Darren hasn’t been seeing to if you want my opinion. The car isn’t the only thing not getting a good service. I fight back a sigh. Please don’t let them say I can’t drive it. How will I get to my cleaning job? Come to that, how will Sylvie get to her cleaning job. Sylvie is my best friend by the way and she really is the best aside from saying Jesus wept a lot. I put that down to her Catholic School education. She’s also addicted to crime; I don’t mean crime like burglary or anything. That would be awful. While I’m into erotica Sylvie is into crime novels. She has visions of herself as another Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. I only wish she’d used her expertise and spotted my bald tyres before the police.

‘Make sure those tyres get replaced and that exhaust checked,’ says one of the police boys, handing me my licence.

‘Off you go.’

‘Yes sir.’

Did I really call him sir? I came close to curtseying too. I give a little wave as I drive out of the store’s car park and decide to stop at Patel’s and buy a lottery ticket with the money I found in the torn lining.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

‘Darren, he come in already and bought ticket, usual numbers,’ says Mrs Patel.

Usual useless numbers she means. We’ve been doing those numbers every week for the past three years and we must be the only people I know who haven’t even won a tenner.

‘I thought I’d do an extra one,’ I say.

She nods while arranging bags of Bombay Mix. I take the lottery slip over to the shelf in the corner and study the numbers. What am I doing? My chances of winning the lottery are 14 million to one. I’ve got a better chance of doing a house swap with Angelina Jolie. I stare at the ticket and curse that the numbers only go up to 49. How useless is that? My first number has to be 50 for Fifty Shades. I circle ‘49’ and then ‘1’. I bite the end of the pen while choosing the other numbers. I suppose ‘3’ should be another for the three pounds I found in the lining, after all, that was a stroke of luck wasn’t it? If I hadn’t found them I wouldn’t be buying another ticket would I? Okay, Darren won’t get his custard creams but that won’t kill him. I circle ‘30’ for today’s date and then ‘4’, the number of years I have worked for Ark Morgan as a chambermaid for his chain of hotels. You can’t get luckier than working for Ark Morgan, not that I ever see him, at least not close up. I fight back the little stomach flutter I get every time I think of Ark Morgan. Finally, I hover over the number ‘2’. I’m not sure if having two bald tyres is lucky exactly, but the police did let me off so that has to be my last lucky number.

‘Circle ‘6’,’ says Mrs Patel seeing me hovering. ‘That’s my lucky number.’

What a dilemma. I’m not sure the number 6 has ever been my lucky number but how can I not put it? Not now that she’s asked me. I hate that I can’t say no to people. I circle ‘6’ and hand the ticket to Mrs Patel.

‘You feeling lucky?’ she asks.

‘There’s always a chance isn’t there?’ I smile.

I take the ticket, tuck it into my purse and drive to my parents’ house. Mum opens the door and a hot blast of air hits me.

‘Have you got the heating on?’ I ask, feeling beads of perspiration form on my forehead.

‘We’ve just got back from Morrisons,’ she says, like that somehow explains it.

‘It’s a supermarket, not a morgue.’

‘I’m checking the answering machine. We advertised for swingers. Isn’t it exciting?’

Mum’s wearing one of those velvet kimonos with enormous shoulder pads. If they were any bigger she’d look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I look at her. Did she really say what I think she said? Have they gone completely mad? My dad swinging, good God, it’s too crazy to contemplate. I feel myself sway. It’s like a sauna in their house. It’s May for goodness’ sake. No wonder all her plants die. The only thing that seems to survive is the cacti in the living room, and they get bigger by the week. I’ll arrive one day to find their house looking like a remake of Lawrence of Arabia. I’m surprised the plastic covers on their three-piece suite haven’t melted. I so wish she would take them off. There’s nothing worse than sitting on plastic is there? It’s the getting off that’s the biggest problem. It’s not normal to get stuck to a couch if you want my opinion.

I hope they didn’t advertise in the Clapham Chronicle. This is dead embarrassing. What if they used their real names? My mum should have a degree in embarrassment. I still tremble at the memory of when I was a teenager and we lost our pet cat. Mum asked all my school friends if they had seen my pussy. I wanted to die.

‘Shoes,’ she barks.

Mum would have made Hitler a great wife. Even the cat is too afraid to shit in its own garden and goes to the neighbour’s. I exhale and pull off my boots.

‘You look tired,’ she says.

‘Well I do get up at five.’

‘Ridiculous godforsaken hour,’ she mumbles.

‘At least I finish early.’

‘Your cousin Helen is pregnant,’ she says almost accusingly, like I had something to do with it.

‘Oh,’ I say.

‘Everyone’s having babies except you.’

Not everyone. That’s a bit of an exaggeration isn’t it? Jennifer Aniston isn’t for one but I think better of saying that.

‘There’s plenty of time.’

‘You’re nearly thirty-two,’ she says, as if I could forget.

‘I’m not about to draw my pension.’

‘It’s getting late to have babies.’

‘Lots of women have babies late in life these days,’ I say.

‘I hope you’re not thinking of waiting until you’re sixty-two like that woman in Algeria. It’s a bit difficult spoiling your grandchildren when you’re dead.’

I sigh and follow her into the kitchen and slump onto a stool as messages issue from their antiquated answering machine.

‘Margo, it’s Joan, you don’t have a lemon squeezer do you? Geoff and I are trying something new for tonight.’

Lemon squeezer? Christ, what can they do with one of those?

‘Only me Margo. Just to let you know Pam’s husband has buggered off. We should all pop round later, cheer her up. What do you think? Call me.’

Mum’s name is Margaret by the way. But she decided after watching re-runs of The Good Life that Margo suited her better.

‘Hello, I’m responding to your advert for the garden swing. Is it still available?’

I stifle a giggle. Mum gives me a filthy look.

‘Honestly, some people,’ she huffs.

You have no more messages, announces the machine much to my relief.

‘I’m making camomile tea, do you want some?’ asks Mum, filling the kettle.

I nod, I think I need it.

‘What do you mean swingers? This is Clapham. People don’t swing in Clapham,’ I say dismissively. ‘This isn’t Surrey you know.’

‘You think we should advertise in Surrey?’ says Mum brightly, popping teabags into the teapot.

‘I don’t think you should advertise at all. What’s this?’ I point to a bulky envelope on the kitchen table. It’s addressed to me.

‘Sting and Trudie swing.’

Frankly I could swing for Sting and Trudie for the trouble they cause me.

‘Ah Roxie, how’s it going? You haven’t seen my sudoku book have you?’ says Dad, strolling into the kitchen.

Do people who do sudoku swing – surely not?

‘No,’ I say, removing my cardigan and socks. It’s hotter here than in the Bahamas.

‘Martin, please empty the recycling and move your trough off the kitchen table,’ snaps Mum.

I sigh.

‘Don’t you mean trowel?’ I say.

Things are worse than I thought if Dad is drinking from a trough, unless that’s part of their bondage games. I really must stop reading erotica if I’m starting to think my parents are at it. I did think about studying, English literature that is, not erotica. After all, thirty-one isn’t too old to start studying is it? But Darren doesn’t see the point in study.

‘You’ve got a good job Babe, haven’t you? What you going to do with knowledge, bloody dangerous if you ask me. Besides, I suppose we ought to get a baby at some point. You’ll never have time then,’ he’d said, making it sound like we’d just pop down to Aldi and buy one like you would buy a chicken. Talking of which … I stare through my parents’ kitchen window.

‘What’s that?’

‘Hens of course. Sting and Trudi have them.’

Oh well, that’s okay then isn’t it? I only hope Trudie and Sting don’t become cannibals. I’ll be in fear of my life.

‘Are you sure about that?’

She looks thoughtful.

‘I read it in Chat. Besides, think of all the eggs we’ll have.’

‘Think of all the mess you’ll have.’

‘I am thinking of it,’ says Dad, grimacing at the hen that is staring at us through the glass of the kitchen door.

‘Roxie thinks we should advertise in The Surry Advertiser,’ says Mum.

‘I never said that,’ I protest, fingering the envelope.

‘Do they know a lot about chickens in Surrey?’ asks Dad.

‘Don’t be stupid Martin, to advertise for swingers, of course.’

‘Oh that,’ he says dismissively. ‘Personally I’d rather keep bees,’ he adds, smiling at me. ‘I never did like Glenn Miller.’

What has Glenn Miller got to do with it?

‘I can’t believe you’re even considering it. You won’t even know these people. How can you trust them?’ I ask worriedly.

‘I’m writing a list of questions. For example, what is your favourite film? If they say Fatal Attraction we’ll avoid them like the plague, but there’ll be lots of us. How can it not be safe?’

Lots of us. Holy crap, as Anastasia Steele would say, they’re surely not thinking of an orgy?

‘Why can’t you copy someone safe, like Alan Titchmarsh for example?’

‘Absolutely,’ agrees Dad.

Mother scoffs.

‘Do you see Alan Titchmarsh swinging?’ she asks scathingly.

‘He is in his sixties,’ I say. ‘And probably too busy doing normal things like gardening.’

‘Well, we’re far from sixty and I really don’t understand why you’re making such a fuss about us doing a bit of swinging. It will be fun. We need a hobby now your dad has taken early retirement.’

A hobby? Jesus, I’ve heard swinging called some things but never a hobby.

‘It will be disgusting,’ I say, pulling a face.

‘I’ve got two left feet anyway. I’ll be useless,’ says Dad.

It’s either too hot in here or they’ve spiked my tea. What has his feet got to do with anything? I really don’t want to ask.

‘You’ll get the hang of it,’ says Mum.

‘I’m not sure I want to get the hang of it,’ says Dad, handing me a box.

‘Plenty of spuds in there, as well as carrots. If you want some broad beans I’ve got lots of them coming on.’

‘If Dad hasn’t got the hang of it by now he never will,’ I say feeling myself redden.

‘You have to practise, that’s the thing, Martin.’

I splutter on my tea.

‘Mum what do you think swinging is?’

‘Dancing to big band music of course, what else?’ she says, quickly spraying with Mr Muscle and mopping up my spilt tea.

Oh dear.

She points to the envelope.

‘That’s your book Tantric for the Busy Woman. I also bought you Fifty Shades number three.’

‘Ooh,’ I say excitedly. ‘Thanks so much Mum. I’ll hide them when I get home. Darren thinks I have too many books.’

‘The little things that make you happy,’ smiles Mum.

‘You shouldn’t need to hide anything,’ says Dad scathingly. ‘It’s not like you’re doing anything wrong.’

‘Don’t bring that up again Martin,’ says Mum.

‘I just don’t see why he should dictate what you do when he was the one playing away from home and …’

‘We’ve put it behind us,’ I say, pushing the package under the potatoes and carrots.

‘All the same, you earn good money and if you want to spend it on books …’

‘We shouldn’t get involved Martin,’ says Mum.

All the same Dad is right. If I want to spend my money on books, why shouldn’t I? I’m too easy-going that’s my problem.

‘Ah there it is,’ says Dad gleefully, pulling his sudoku book from under the box.

I finish my tea and stand up. I can’t leave without warning them can I?

‘Mum, most people think of swinging as wife swapping. I don’t think you should advertise anywhere else.’

Dad sighs.

‘Good heavens,’ cries Mum. ‘Are you sure? But Sting …’

‘Might do all kinds of things but you don’t have to do them too.’

‘Ooh Martin,’ she says worriedly.

Dad rolls his eyes.

‘It’ll be okay,’ he says in a soothing tone. ‘I’ll sort it, don’t you worry love,’ he says patting me on the shoulder.

I kiss him on the cheek and make for the door. Mum hugs me.

‘With your looks and figure you should have been a model. That Darren is holding you back if you ask me …’

‘I thought we weren’t getting involved Margaret,’ scolds Dad.

I kiss her on the cheek and lug the box to the car. They’re not wrong about Darren but that’s a partnership isn’t it? You’ve got to make it work. With that thought in my mind, I climb into my Fiesta and head home.

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK SIGNING FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

So, good news!

To celebrate Christmas coming, I am signing books and sending them in the post. More importantly I am selling them cheaper than the shops. I will be signing copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’ ‘The Dogs Bollocks’ and ‘It had to be You’ at a private book signing.

x4

 

All books are £4.99  (RRP £7.99) + £2.00 postage.

Great presents.

I will sign the books according to your requests.

Limited time only and orders need to be in by the end of October.

email your order to Christmas@raucouspublishing.co.uk

If you would like to attend the book signing please email booksigning@raucouspublishing.co.uk for details of the venue

Love

Lynda

xx

My Normal, Mad Behaviour

 

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Me with the geocache in France

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks. I’ve been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And just when you think it has gone, it rears its ugly head again with a vengeance. Leaving you drained and shattered and with thoughts that you don’t normally have.

However, it hasn’t stopped my normal mad behaviour. Now there’s a phrase you won’t see very often. Normal mad behaviour.

I got back from my holiday. Ooh I never told you about the weird happening on holiday. Here I go digressing. The doctor and I went on a little trek to look for a Geocache. If you’re never heard of Geocaching, then let me enlighten you. Dotted all over England and in Europe are little treasures. Nothing big but finding them is fun and they are nearly always hidden in beautiful parts of the country. The doctor and I do this a lot. Yes, you always wondered what we did in our spare time didn’t you. It’s a good way to get walking and walking in a nice place. So, while in France we decided to go Geocache hunting. You can check Geocache hunting here

Off we went on a lovely walk. We find the treasure. Took photos for the web page and started to walk back. By now we were both thirsty and a little hungry. The walk took us onto a dual carriageway where we never imagined for one moment to find an eating place. But there was the sign. Large and bold ‘Creperie’

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‘How lucky,’ I said.

We turned the corner to where the sign was large and welcoming again and even more welcoming was the open sign. In French, of course, but luckily the Doctor can speak some French.  Ahead of us was a large wrought iron gate and hooked through it was an odd padlock. Hooked through but not locked. We looked at each other for a moment and then pulled the lock through the gap in the gate. We then pushed the gate open only to hit a large paddle which had been laid in front of it.

‘I’m not sure we should go in,’ says the doctor.

‘But it’s open,’ I say, my throat closing up from thirst.

I’m beginning to know what it feels like to be stranded in the desert. Was this some kind of mirage? My first thought was that dogs may come racing towards us, tearing at our throats like something out of a Stephen King novel. I hesitated at the gate.

‘It does say open,’ I repeat, feeling my breathing return to normal after seeing there is no sign of mad, snarling dogs.

We step over the paddle and venture in. We turn a corner and see the café. It is all set up outdoors. We stare for a few seconds and then both become aware of the eerie silence. The huge house to the right of us is imposing. We look at the table and chairs and then I realise. They are all pulled out, like people left in a hurry. On the tables are jugs, half filled with water, just sitting in the sun. Also there was a bottle of wine and glasses, also sitting in the hot sunshine. On one table was a lighter and glasses.  On others half-drunk glasses of water, but the worst part was the eerie silence.

And then … that awful feeling of being watched.

‘We should go,’ says the doctor.

There is not even the clatter of crockery. That usual noise you hear when in a restaurant. We backed out slowly and I nervously began clicking away with my camera, focusing on the windows of the house.

We then hurriedly left and for some weird reason I felt an overwhelming need to look behind for at least twenty minutes. Here are the photos but they don’t do justice to the spookiness we felt.

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Back to my normal mad behaviour.

I got back from holiday, went to fill my car with petrol and couldn’t get the petrol cap off. I was turning it the right way but it just went round and round. When I turned it the other way it made a strange clicking sound. I spent twenty minutes in the garage. Finally I came home and considered pulling it off with a knife. I phoned the doctor first though. I didn’t want his wrath when he came home.

‘Take it to the garage where you bought it,’ he says. ‘It’s still under warranty.’

So, off I go to the next village with my car. Of course, by now, I am very low on petrol. I pull up and march into the office.

‘The petrol cap won’t come off,’ I complain. ‘That’s not very good. I’ve only had the car for a few months.’

You have to stand your ground in garages don’t you? especially if you’re a woman and blonde at that. They immediately assume you’re a dumb blonde don’t they? Well I’m here to prove them wrong.

He follows me to my car and turns the petrol cap until he has it off and is holding it in his hand.

I stare flabbagasted.

‘What did you do?’ I ask.

‘I undid the cap,’ he says flatly.

Ever felt like a dumb blonde.

‘But how?’ I ask.

He demonstrates and I realise when I thought the cap was locked it was in fact the right way to turn and just needed a little more turning to come off. I’d only been away a week and in that time I had managed to forget how to take the cap off my new car. I mumbled something about being tired and drove home.

Still at least I have a good reason for this madness now.

Lastly, my novels. Well, you didn’t think I would write a blog without doing a bit of promotion. My readers say they will buy anything I write. So, I don’t understand why no one is buying ‘The Diary of Rector Byrnes’ which is me writing under the name of Edith Waylen. Please give it a go, it is only 99p at the moment and you don’t often get Lynda Renham books for 99p.

Here it is.  It’s a chilling love story. Click here to purchase  It’s a tale of love, faith and much more.

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Meanwhile much love to you all and thank you for your support. This CFS is a bugger and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Lynda

xxxxx

 

 

I LOVE …. Number 2

 

 

Yey! Celebrating much needed weight loss.
Yey! Celebrating much-needed weight loss.

I love … Those wonderful friends and readers who have responded to my ‘coming out’ post so warmly. I have been surprised at how many people suffer with this CFS. It seems to a hight percentage of women I notice. Now, there is a blog waiting to be posted.

I’m feeling grateful and much happier today. Yesterday was a lovely day with a friend shopping and then lovely news that I have lost more weight at Slimmers World. Hurrah for Fitbit and healthy food.

I shall get better and very soon. One day at a time.

Meanwhile a humourous post coming later.

Much love

Lynda xx

Coming Out of the Closet

You may, or then again you may not, have wondered where I’ve been. I had decided not to say anything and then … Well, I’m a writer after all. I write about everything. But mostly I write comedy. I’m a cheerful, happy and funny person. At least, I was, until some months ago. I’ve decided not to hide. I’m coming out, so to speak. I came out on Facebook and it freed me and anyone who doesn’t understand, well, frankly, I don’t care. I’m that knackered most of the time that I don’t actually have the energy to care. BUT I want to say that my aim is to get back to normal as quickly as possible without compromising myself. I’ve missed writing humourous posts for this site and I have several up my sleeve. Particularly funny stories from my holiday which I plan to share with you.

But I know I can share this with you and that you will be understanding. It’s easier to share than to pretend all is well and to struggle to keep up with social networking which just adds to my stress. My note to Facebook was short but I hope clarifying. I will go into more depth here, however. This was my Facebook post.

Okay, coming clean here and not for tea and sympathy but just to explain why I’ve not been on Facebook as much as usual. And why when I am, I’m not my usual jolly, funny me.
A few months ago I had something of a meltdown. Several things contributed to this but mostly I was surrounded by an enormous amount of stress and it seems the stress doesn’t get you until it actually goes! Sounds crazy but that’s how the body works apparently.
So … after doing just a short amount, I feel exhausted, head swimming and generally washed out. Often unable to do anything apart from write my 1,000 words and some days I have been unable to do that. I’ve been weepy, and intolerant of most things.
But I’m getting better and as time goes on things feel easier. It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy. It feels like flu but a hundred times worse and your body feels like it has totally given up on you.
I miss interacting with you as I love my readers so much. I hope you will understand. I will be back with you very soon but I am conserving all my energy for the novels. Enjoy ‘Roxie Brown’ and hopefully there will be another one very soon. Who knows, maybe in time for Christmas.”

So there you have it. In short, I’ve had a mini meltdown and some days it is a struggle to get off the couch. My head spins, feels full of cotton wool. My legs feel like lead and it feels like I am walking through treacle. I feel like I have a bad case of flu. My heart races, my eyes hurt, my sight is blurry and my body feels so exhausted I can hardly think straight. Just as I think I am improving something mildly stressful may happen and I’m thrown back. This happened only yesterday. It is crippling and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m focusing on my new novel and that’s about all I can manage at the moment. I’ve tweeted a lot more as it is much easier than Facebook . After an hour of promotion I am totally knackered.

I’m not absolutely sure what brought this on. I’m putting it down to a lot of stress and to the fact that I’ve always been a deep thinker and analyser. I’ve possibly driven myself into a break down thinking about time running out and how I’m not getting any younger. Whatever the cause it is a slow walk back and I’m taking it slowly. To most I look no different. I’m good at putting on a good show and many will read this and be surprised. But I’ve decided honesty is the best policy. But I will be working the same so don’t hesitate to ask me anything. I can always say no and I’m getting better at that these days.

Meanwhile, a little plug. ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ is now out in paperback and as a download. Make a girl happy and treat yourself and let me know what you think.

Right, back to the Christmas music and the Christmas novel.

Much love and thanks as always

Lynda

xx

High Price not a £5 bang on the street corner.

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It’s here! ‘Fifty Shades of Brown’ and what a battle it has been to get it here. There was a frightening moment when it almost wasn’t here at all. In fact there was a shaky moment when it looked like there would never ever be another book.

I started ‘Roxie Brown’ about four months ago and during this time I had family move in with me. There is much to be said for having a young child in the home. They bring great pleasure. There is also a great deal of disruption. As it is I shed enough tears writing a novel. It became pretty clear I would be shedding more while writing this one. I’d been used to silence during my writing day. Now I was contending with toilet chains being pulled, bathroom doors banging, footsteps up and down the stairs, the sound of laughter from below my writing room and the clashing of pots and pans. And so the tears would come, partly out of frustration because the book wasn’t going the way I wanted and tears of stress from dealing with the noise while trying to write.

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To top it all I’m  OCD about the house and do prefer things just so. Occasionally I would pop downstairs for a drink and see the lounge was a tip where my little grandson was playing and my kitchen turned upside down as stepson cooked dinner. I’d creep back upstairs, shed a few more tears and continue with Roxie. So with all this going on it was not sensible of me to look at the Amazon charts as well was it?

I’d recently been signed to an agent, the lovely Samar Hammam who previously handled Bernard Cornwall among others. She was keen to represent me. I was keen to be represented. Then came the disappointments. Large traditional publishers are struggling to sell romantic comedy as so many self published or digitally published authors are selling e books for pennies. I didn’t want my e books to be sold for pennies. I work hard six months of the year to produce a book. I make my living from writing. When I worked part-time and wrote novels I was never able to produce two books a year as I do now. I wanted to continue as a full-time writer. A traditional publisher was interested, she said, but the advance would be very small. I checked out their authors on Amazon and saw again that their books were selling for pennies. I, then, stupidly checked the charts again and saw that the low-priced e books were high and mine were dropping.

I didn’t write for several days. I thought things through and told the doctor aka Andrew, my lovely husband, that ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ would be my last book. I was not prepared to compromise myself. I couldn’t sell my books cheaply. Samar suggested the occasional offer to promote sales. I was reluctant. I couldn’t understand readers not realising that a writer can not survive if they sell books for 99p or less. I saw readers putting their argument forward for downloading books free from a website by saying that they are not ‘all rich and comfortable’ like us authors. Hello! I wish I was. The only stinking rich authors are the likes of J K Rowling and E L James.  But all the same, you wouldn’t nick a bag from Debenhams would you? And that’s what free download sites are doing. Stealing authors hard work and giving it away. That was it! Roxie Brown would be my last book. I vowed never to write another. I stuck to this. I emailed a few close friends and close author friends and told them of my decision only to have them throw up their arms in horror. ‘You can’t stop writing, that would be madness.’

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I know it is not readers fault that the books are so cheap. It is e publishers and other writers that lower the prices. I bet Sylvia Plath never had this problem.

My husband chatted to me. A good friend chatted to me. I finally, albeit very reluctantly, changed my mind. But I have now decided that the charts don’t bother me. I’m not going to compete with 99p or less authors. I won’t drop the price of a new book to reach number one. I like to think my ego is not that inflated. I love my readers, I love interacting with them. They are good friends. So I will be writing for them. If new readers come on for the ride that is great.

I do believe that low-priced e books will eventually crash the market. Writers and publishers cannot survive. Everyone wants their pound of flesh and there isn’t much left out of 49p 89p and 99p. You can’t buy a roll of loo paper for that. It’s wonderful for the reader but I hope they realise that eventually the authors they like may stop writing simply because they cannot afford to. Imagine what they must earn per book by the time they have paid their publisher, Amazon and of course the damn VAT that is now slapped onto them. 10p a download maybe is what they may be getting. An author may as well go out into the street and ask ‘Do you want six months of hard work for free!’

I’ve worked long and hard for this. I won’t do that. I’d rather stop. I will allow the odd special. A past book for 99p or maybe the odd free promotion but I won’t sell new books for less than £1.99. I sometimes think that is too cheap. As an author friend once said to me ‘I’d rather be a high-priced call girl than a $5 bang on the street corner.’ I couldn’t agree more.

So, enjoy the new book and here’s hoping there will be another. I expect there will be. I find it too hard not to write.

Meanwhile ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ is available here

‘Croissants and Jam’ is on offer for a short time here

And you get all my other books at a reasonable price here

Thanks for you fab support. I love you all

Much love

Lynda

xx

The Fat Club

light  You know that moment. That light bulb moment. The moment when you think ‘I’m fat’? As opposed to I’m a little overweight or I’m a bit dumpy or, I’ve gained a few pounds. It’s that awful torturous realisation that it isn’t just a few pounds around the tummy and that those clothes in your wardrobe that don’t fit anymore, haven’t actually shrunk. And stuffing them to the back like they’re the ones that should be ashamed, isn’t really helping either. You’ve basically got bigger right? And you’ve only got bigger because you keep pushing stuff into your mouth. Yes, it really is that simple. The final straw for me was when the doctor aka my husband, said ‘Your bum really does look big in that dress.’ Shock horror, as I honestly thought he would never notice and that those baggy tops were hiding that extra two stone from his ever watchful eye. That sneaking those extra fig rolls into my mouth when he was at work meant he wouldn’t notice. It seems not. I had to face it. I was getting fat. I couldn’t pass off two stone as a couple of extra pounds any more. The Doctor was concerned I’d get diabetes but then he is always concerned I’d get diabetes. If I was anorexic he’d still be worrying I might get diabetes. He read somewhere that diabetes was the biggest killer of women and everything I do he watches with a sharp eye. The truth is I had been avoiding the long mirrors and telling myself that that new top didn’t fit in the shop because it obviously had the wrong size tag on it. Ha, there’s a limit to how many items have the wrong price tag on, right?

I know to use the word fat is not politically correct. I should say I’m overweight. That would make everyone more comfortable wouldn’t it, including me? But the fact is I am fat or at least I was. I’ll never be anorexic. Not that I underestimating the pain of anorexia. In fact someone close to me was anorexic. The fact is food is one of the most dangerous things we have in our house. It’s one of the things that most of us suffer some kind of dependency with, either using it too much or going the complete opposite. It’s never really about food but how we feel emotionally. I don’t see anything wrong in admitting that I was getting fat. In fact, by accepting it, I actually started doing something about it. After the light bulb moment I decided it was time to take action. I do sit around a lot. Not because I’m lazy you understand but because work dictates that I do. It’s quite hard to write a novel standing up. Although, having said that, I did get a fair amount of exercise every time I headed downstairs to stick my head in the fridge. I would eat a lot of liver pate on crackers and worse than that a lot of fig rolls. In fact I have been known to eat more than one packet in a day and then there was the chocolate. Not that we have it in the house. Oh no. Chocolate in the house is a no no. That was until the doctor’s son came to stay with his five year old son and that was it. I was doomed.  On a bad writing day I would think nothing of sneaking into their room and stealing some of the five year old’s stash, usually after I had run out of fig rolls. How low is that and I never felt guilty? God forbid I should get off my arse and walk to the shop, although it is a three mile walk there and back from where I live so you can’t really blame me. But before we all get too depressed about my fatness let’s get fat into perspective. If you can run up and down the stairs without getting breathless and your feet swelling then you’re not really fat are you? You don’t have to be a size 8 and look like Kate Moss. I’ve always been slightly overweight and that’s okay. I didn’t struggle with walks or even try to get out of them as I have been doing of late. But as soon as your health suffers then it’s time to take back the control. It’s not the worst thing in the world to be a bit overweight. But it is clearly a woman thing. Now I’ll be accused of being sexist but seriously there are more women at slimming clubs than men, although it could be argued all the women frighten them offfat

Yes, you’ve guessed it I popped along to a slimming club. This helped enormously in the first few minutes when I saw there were people (mostly women) much more overweight than me. But then I stepped on the scales and had a minor heart attack when I discovered I was well over twelve stone. I’d been kidding myself for the past year that I was ten stone. Mind you, the last time I weighed myself, I was, so I could be forgiven for deluding myself that nothing had changed.  I was given my booklets and told to ‘fill my boots’ I of course took this quite literally and hardly looked at the material except to see what the Syns were and how many I could consume on a daily basis. I didn’t take much notice of the A and B choices. Oh yes, slimming clubs are very technical but basically they all come down to the same thing. Eat less fat and sugar and basically you will lose weight. I chose only to hear ‘fill your boots’ and that is what I did the first week, stupidly expecting to have lost weight when I returned the following week. Far from it, in fact I gained.

And so it went on. I attended meetings religiously. I stuck to the plan religiously. Aside from literally stripping off when I got to the scales I did everything to make sure I was lighter before stepping on them. I walked to club. I peed before weigh in. I removed every item of clothing possible. One week I even prayed. I was actually getting close to bribing the weigh in girl with a huge bar of Yorkie. But I never lost more than a half pound and even then not every week. Some weeks I gained, some weeks I maintained and the odd week I may have lost a minute amount of fat. Depressing or what? I was sodding starving. I lived off porridge with fat free yogurt for breakfast and overdosed so much on sweetener that someone said I have no doubt given myself a brain tumour. I’m not sure what’s worse. To be fat or have the sweetener induced tumour. Anyway, let’s crack on. Lunch was Quorn mini sausages which taste foul but I’m used to them now, along with salad and Rollmops. Followed by more fat free yogurt and hey ho a treat, some sugar free jelly (more sweetener I hear you cry) I don’t stand a chance do I? Dinner would be fish and salad or a jacket potato. But no matter what I ate or how little, I still couldn’t seem to lose weight. Finally I lost it, my temper that is, not the weight. I came home and sent a text to my slimming buddy and said ‘I’m not going any more,’ and then immediately hit the chocolate. She later text back to say ‘Oh, well, I’m not either then. I’m not going alone,’ and she immediately hit the wine. The pleasures of making the decision to leave fat club … except it only lasted a day and I changed my mind. I invested in a fitbit and found my tape measure. I was losing weight. It may not show on the weighing scales but the fat was coming off. I started walking and more came off. I walked every day and even more came off. Walking became easier and I finally got into those clothes that had been shoved to the back of the wardrobe. Better still the doctor said ‘Your bum looks good in those leggings.’ What’s more I felt better. I also learnt that weighing scales aren’t the be-all and end-all. The important thing is that I’m getting fit and feeling good about it as I do. Yes, I’m still eating the rabbit food but it’s not so bad and I’ve begun to cut out carbs. But I do have chocolate on occasions and cheese. I’m more conscious of what I put into my body and even more conscious of how I treat it. I’m not a fitness freak but I’m certainly aware of my food intake and how it affects me. So, if you have any great recipes do let me know and if you haven’t tried overnight porridge then you really must. It’s fab, filling and helps you lose weight. Just weigh 35 grams of oats, add lots of raspberries or any other fruit of choice, top with lots of fat free natural yogurt, sprinkle with sweetener and stick in the fridge overnight. Delicious!

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Ooh a little PS, my new novel Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown is released on the 14th August. To celebrate, my two best-selling novels ‘Croissants and Jam’ and ‘Coconuts and Wonderbras’ are currently 99p on Amazon. Get them here, here and here. 

 

Much love

Lynda

xx