Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nutrimetics, counselling and party readings

An action-packed day today - my head is spinning! First off was tea & chat with Jane Hide, which was great (see, Jane - I mentioned you!). She's just settling down into her new career as a part-time Nutrimetics ( consultant, so I have ordered some products (all of which smell wonderful) - which will, I hope, make me into a new woman with a perfect look. Will Lord H recognise me is the question? Hmm, I'll come back to you on that one. By the way, if anyone is interested in Nutrimetics (cheaper than Clarins or Clinique, and all natural ingredients - see, Jane, I was listening!) and is in the Guildford area, then I can pass your details on to her. She won't mess you around and won't force you to buy things you don't need or want - and you might even pick something up for Christmas!

Next stop was my counselling appointment with Kunu ( God, it took me fifty minutes - fifty minutes!! - to find a bloody carpark space in bloody Guildford and by the time I found one in the carpark I'd originally looked at, I was just about ready to do myself in, and take a few ruddy town councillors with me to the great beyond at the same time. Would have served them bloody right - but there's only so many people you can run over in a Ford Fiesta. I only just made my appointment on time. Think it was worth it though - I talked about my angry weekend, my "anger box" - which I perhaps need to make bigger - and we discussed how it's okay to see people I enjoy seeing, and not worry about the rest. (Don't worry, Jane H - you're still on my nice people's list, so you haven't got rid of me yet!...).

Back home I'm preparing for tonight's Goldenford ( readings at the Barclays Christmas staff party. Oh God, how I hate doing these things - I've been stressing it all day (well, 2 or 3 days actually), and will be so bloody glad when it's over. Would be nice to sell some books though - but I'm not optimistic. Am I ever?

Today's nice things:

1. Seeing Jane
2. Counselling.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Concert and shopping

Another dull day. At one point late afternoon, I felt like screaming and pushing time to persuade it to go a little faster. I didn't though - which the office are grateful for, I'm sure (if only they knew ...). Went to the lunchtime concert at the Performing Arts centre - haven't been for a while as Counselling used to be on a Wednesday - but I enjoyed it. Great singing, and the piano piece was grand. Always prefer the older, more tuneful stuff though - which probably goes to show what a pleb I am, but what the hell.

Went shopping after work, and actually got some Christmas presents - standard girlie stuff, which I'm sure will find a use for someone! My, how noble I am ... Got home to yet another rejection from bloody Mslexia - honestly, I don't think I'll bother sending to them again. It's a waste of time, and I get the same old condescending standard reply each time. You'd think they'd change the reel at least once in a blue moon. I also wonder if you have to be a 1970s-style faux-lesbian to get accepted these days (with some honourable exceptions of course, amongst those folk I know ...)! And I've sent off another partial of "Maloney's Law" to Two Ravens Press (, courtesy of a Writewords ( tip-off. My, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Tonight, it's Oz & James' marvellous wine journey (very tongue-in-cheek!) and "Torchwood" on TV, so that'll be good. Might do some ironing though - just to show willing.

Today's nice things:

1. The concert
2. Sending out "M's L" - to somewhere, at least!

Anne Brooke

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Reflexology & Kinesiology

Goodness, what an action-packed life I have ... Today was very dull. I read some more about how to be a depressed Christian - and got very pissed off with the author being rather high-handed about things about which he obviously knows nothing. Funny how you can tell a straight, white middle-class Evangelical at 50 paces. Anyway, I now have my doubts about the validity of the bloody book for me, and am significantly less keen about finishing it. Looks like I'll have to make my own ruddy way through the jungle. As per usual.

Still, reflexology ( was wonderful - as ever - and once again I fell asleep in the middle of it. I definitely need the relaxation time. And after work, I had another session with my kinesiologist ( and - very reluctantly - have decided to give up alcohol for 3 weeks and see what happens. Annoying - but it does gel with what I've been thinking recently, and if it improves my health - even if temporarily - then who am I to argue?

Ooh, and Ellie on MySpace ( left me a comment saying she'd enjoyed my website and the short stories on there - huge thanks, Ellie - that's really cheered me!

Today's nice things:

1. Reflexology
2. Kinesiology
3. Ellie's kind comments.

Anne Brooke

Monday, November 27, 2006

The minute queen

Spent the whole day typing up the minutes of last week's Student Affairs Committee meeting. I'm now the expert in whatever is going on which involves students. Hell. Can't see that lasting for long. It was a disaster of a morning - felt bloody depressed, so much so that I think I even managed to irritate my colleague, who is normally very cheery. Ah well.

Escaped from the drudgery at lunchtime and took a walk to the cathedral - where I bought myself a Childrens' Good News bible on the grounds that even if I don't like the words at least the pictures are nice. Also bought a gift book for myself called "356 blessings for women" - which gives me a paragraph and a brief bible quote for each day. That has pictures too, which is also nice. Bloody hell, that might be all I can cope with right now - we'll see.

The afternoon flowed much more smoothly - how I hate Monday mornings! I have decided to take things slowly and do fewer things involving parties and people. I think those just upset me, so why put myself through it?

This evening, Lord H is out at his theology class, at which the Bishop of Dorking (nice bloke, average sermons) will be presenting a talk on the Eucharist. Cue much joking about whether one has to kiss the bishop's ring or not. I advised not - either way! Tee hee. I'm hoping to get an odd line or two done on "The Gifting" sometime this evening, but I'm not pushing it. And I've had my fix of the "Strictly Come Dancing" update, hurrah! So I feel a little better - but for how long?

Today's nice things:

1. Buying a picture bible & gift book
2. TV
3. Getting the first draft of the minutes done.

Anne Brooke

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Church hell - again

Decided to be noble and actually go to church today. Big mistake. I would have been better off staying at home and not wasting my morning. Still, with Lord H doing his head server duties, it did mean I was able to skulk at the back and not go up to Communion. Or pretend to sing any of the hymns or say any of the words. So I suppose it wasn't all bad news, eh? And I know everyone's very well-meaning, but was it really necessary to crowd round me post-service like children exclaiming over a sick animal?? Hmm, I think not, people! It's enough to send me screaming for normality to the Buddhists ... Though, that said, Hilary was nice, and did say some sensible things about useful drugs - so thanks for that, Hilary. However, the way things are at the moment, I doubt I'll be going again for a while.

And none of this was helped by the struggle of getting through yesterday's dinner with my old university friends. Nice food though, Jane M - but I'm not really up to it right now. At one point, I felt very railroaded into agreeing to have yet another (oh God, no!!) pre-Christmas gals' social event shoved into a week where I actually want to be (a) at home with my loved one on our own and (b) quiet. It made me feel incredibly angry that they assume I'll want to do things I would have wanted to do twenty years ago. Well, frankly, I can't be arsed to have yet another social evening when I pretend to be something I'm not (which is how they seem to prefer me to be) and make them laugh a lot. Hell, find your own jokes, gals! Actually, I think the way forward is to back out at the last minute. It's what everyone else does after all. That said, I am looking forward to the dancing classes Keith W and I have decided to book for next year. And I think I've managed to get us out of going out on New Year - hurrah!

All this made my dreams last night very, very angry ones. In fact I woke up, shaking with it. It felt way too big to fit into my "anger box" - Lord H said I could always squash it into the corners, but will I be able to close the lid? It's a mystery! At one point in the dream, I remember I was a man at work who had suddenly flipped and was beating up someone I know, and then having to bring it all back under control again and think how to apologise and explain it. Hell, wouldn't it be good if you could beat people up in real life? Without the bloody repercussions. Bliss!

This afternoon, I've been cheering myself up by watching the video of "Strictly Come Dancing". Hurrah - Mark & Matt are still in! I was sorry to lose Claire & Brendan though - I really liked them. I soooo wish that ruddy tosser, Vincent, and his no-brain partner, Louisa, would go. I really can't stand them. And I'm not convinced their dancing is all that good either - and neither is Baby Bunton's, to my mind.

This week's haiku:

Spaces in my heart
let the poems through. They bleed.
Sunlight destroys them.

(Hell - on a day like today , what did you expect - sweetness and light??!!)

Today's nice things:

1. Getting out of bloody church - at last!
2. Strictly Come Dancing
3. Being at home with Lord H.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Visiting, cleaning & napping

Goodness, what a wide variety of exciting activities makes up my day! Finally managed to pop in to see Gladys this morning - but didn't stay long as she was very confused, and I think my answers weren't making anything clearer. To either of us. We also had fun trying to change the battery in her hearing aid - why do the manufacturers make these things so damn complicated? You'd think they'd have more sense!!

Came home to help Lord H do the cleaning - finally! It's my most hated task, but I have to admit the flat does look less like a war zone now. Still got the hoovering to do though - hell, it's a man's job, ha! Spent the rest of the afternoon lapping up old Star Trek episodes before giving in to the overwhelming desire to nap. Have to catch up on my sleep somehow, y'know. Oh, and I also wrote a poem about spaces - which I think I'm fairly happy with. I'll type it up later.

Tonight, Lord H & I are off for dinner with some of my old university friends. It's funny how I used to feel they were the ones I was closest to, and now I don't. I think things have moved on for us all, to be honest. It'll be a pleasant enough evening, I'm sure, but the thought of making the 1.5-2hr journey down south just for food is a little exhausting. Still, at least we've decided not to stay overnight - I always find that prospect awkward, no matter who I'm staying with. My prime desire is to be home at all times!

Today's nice things:

1. Napping
2. Star Trek
3. Writing a poem.

Anne Brooke

Friday, November 24, 2006

Lunch in Wokingham

A wild shopping trip around Godalming this morning - goodness me, the carpark is filling up earlier and earlier - even at 9am it was busy. The curse of Christmas, no doubt ... Back home, I finalised a poem about anger (write about what you know, eh?), and started another one about spaces. Never say my subject matter is too narrow.

Then it was a trip to Wokingham to meet a friend for lunch. Despite it being somewhere I've never been, I was actually less hyped-up than usual - maybe I'm just too tired at the end of the week to be anxious? - but it did strike me that Wokingham is a place with absolutely no obvious street name signs. Not easy for the unsuspecting traveller - they mustn't like the thought of strangers. Still, I did manage to find a car-park at last and get directions to Pizza Express from a friendly native. And lunch with Sarah was grand. She brought her youngest, David, which filled me with fear - but he's not a bad child, and I think we bonded sufficiently over his teddy bear and Sarah's rather chic pink handbag. I ate like a pig - so no surprises there then.

Have again skipped the weekly visit to Gladys - so the guilt is subtly mounting. I'll try to pop over tomorrow, in between bouts of cleaning, attempting (ha!) to write and preparing for Saturday dinner out. Honest!

And as for reading, well, I've just given up on Robert Finn's "Ex Machina". Load of self-obsessed tripe, to my mind. I got through the first 100 pages, and think it could wisely have been cut to about 10. I was still waiting for the story, dammit! Does no-one think of speaking to a sensible editor these days?? And I've also got to the end of Hamish Robinson's poetry collection, "The Gift Returned". Um. Wish I had returned it - the poetry was totally unmemorable, so I can't really give you any idea of what it was like, and frankly life's too short to attempt to read it again. In both cases, buy something else is my advice.

Tonight, it's rubbish TV and the "Strictly Come Dancing" update - hurrah!

Today's nice things:

1. Lunch with Sarah
2. Deciding to give up on the Finn book.

Anne Brooke

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Counselling and a good review

Woke up this morning, terrified by the amount of stuff I had to do today. And rather befuddled by the bottle of red Lord H and I consumed last night. (He was making stew, so naturally we had to finish the bottle ...). Hell, I'm too old for this midweek drinking lark. Mind you, I probably shouldn't have had that sherry first. Hmm ...

So, a bright and early doctor's appointment (8.30am - what was I thinking??) to look at how I'm doing in the depression stakes. I do think those Vit B pills he gave me might be kicking in now, as I feel a bit stronger. I've another month's supply left and apparently I could buy them over the counter afterwards, which I think I will do. We'll see. I'm still trying to take it easy and not push myself too much. Once again, the good doctor was super-keen on a few moments of prayer at the end of our discussion - which this time I rather felt was something of an imposition. Please, oh good Christian people! I'm not of that mindset at the moment - it's hard enough being me without having a frame of references pushed onto my head ...

Which made my first counselling session at the Castle Street Clinic ( - but it's probably not working right now ...) very good, as I could tell my new Counsellor, Kunu, this and she seemed to think it was all very normal. For a mad person (sorry - that's my addition, not hers!...). Actually, she was great, and I felt very positive afterwards, so I've booked a set of six with her, starting next week. Then, it was onto the garage to sort out my broken wing mirror - which Lord H has managed to knock back into a position where I can now partially use it. The garage are going to get a new one and give me a ring when it's in, but until then I shall be a bird with a broken wing. All very seasonal, somehow. The thing that made me most proud, however, was the fact that the girl at the Service reception actually recognised me from her time as the barmaid of The Squirrel in Hurtmore. Hell, at last I have local contacts!! Though of course everyone in the garage instantly had me marked as a rampant alcoholic. Mind you, after last night's wine, I can't say I blame them ...

After all that, it was a quick sprint home for my lunchtime golf game with Marian - we had fun, but did badly. We blamed the wet grass of course ... Decided to come home without seeing Gladys, as I think I've had too much social inclusion for one day. Way too much! I'll see how I feel about popping in tomorrow.

But - joy! At home, I found another 5-star review of "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" on Amazon, which has really cheered me up. I attach it for your amusement below:

“A cracking good story and such wonderful characters, none of them too wicked nor too pious. They are all so real and colourful. John aka Jolene has just the right mix of impudence, sauciness and humanity to make us love him/her. It is, of course, Angie's story, and we are with her all the way. This is one of those books you don't want to put down or finish. Another story about Angie would be fantastic!”

Hurrah - people are reading the darn thing - miracle of miracles! Not sure I'm much of a sequel person though ...

As you can tell, I've got no writing done so far, though I might manage a few lines this evening - in between catching up with "Strictly Come Dancing" and various TV comedies. How I love Catherine Tate - especially Nan and those wonderful ginger-haired people!! Nothing wrong with a redhead though - but hell we do need our sun-block ...!

Today's nice things:

1. The review
2. Counselling
3. Golf.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Not a bad day today, actually - though I am getting very down about the lack of communication from Flame Books ( about "A Dangerous Man" and from my agent ( about anything at all. And that's after sending them notification of my brand new email address. It's all very depressing really.

Still, I had an absolutely wonderful reflexology session at lunchtime - I could feel myself relaxing by the moment, and I even fell asleep a couple of times. I really, really needed it - so I've booked myself a once-a-week reflexology date up until Christmas. Hell, that should get me through the scary season ...

Oh, and some nasty bastard has trashed my driver's side wing mirror - bastards - though the glass is still intact, so I shall have to sort that out sometime, and add it into my action-packed schedule. Damn it. Hope it doesn't cost too much - famous last words ...

This afternoon, I had to minute the first meeting of the new Student Affairs Committee at work - not as terrifying as I'd expected, but still a hard slog. I managed to start on writing it up before I went home though - which always makes me feel better.

And tonight, it's wonderfully crap tv, including the great "Torchwood", though I do have the ironing to do. Chances of doing any writing? - um, nil.

Today's nice things:

1. Reflexology

That's it, really.

Anne Brooke

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

UniSWriters & Guildford Writers

A rather dull day today, enlivened only by UniSWriters at lunchtime - everyone was very focused and full of energy and all had something to read, which was great. And the writing game we played got everyone talking too, which was also good. It really raised my energy levels - so thanks, gang!

And then the slow drag of the afternoon - again cheered only by Guildford Writers ( this evening. I didn't take anything to read as I didn't feel strong enough, to be honest, but the stuff there was great, and we had a lot of fun with it.

Back home, Lord H and I are trying to set up new BT email accounts - as Compuserve is basically rubbish - but it's proving trickier than anticipated. Ah well. Perhaps it will all become clear with the course of time!

And I've just given up on Aline Templeton's "Cold in the Earth" - a bit too much backstory and detail for me, and I wasn't that interested in the characters or plot. Hmm, says it all really. But Lord H enjoyed it, and would read another by Templeton, so it's not all bad news.

Today's nice things:

1. UniSWriters
2. Guildford Writers.

Anne Brooke

Monday, November 20, 2006

Back to work

Groan. No, double groan. Hell, Mondays are bad enough, but after a holiday they're triply bad. As if I've been in heaven for a week and then am pushed back out into the lion's den. But without the two companions. Still, it's over, thank the Lord.

And in purely practical terms, it wasn't that bad - I managed to get up-to-date, with all emails sorted, by the middle of the afternoon, which is saying something. Lord H was less lucky - with 522 emails to deal with and a dodgy computer he had to hit with a spanner, and then a bigger spanner, to persuade into action. Ah, the joys of accountancy. That said, highlights of the day were Julia's emailed words of wisdom and a seriously hot picture of Daniel Craig in the new Bond movie emerging from the waves in a pair of speedos. Bliss. Serious bliss - it's part of my work screensave now - thanks, Julia! And Steph & Monique from the Health Centre have bought me a pair of red and white Christmas fluffy pens to add to my rapidly increasing collection. Thanks, gals - much appreciated!

Tonight, Lord H is doing weddings and funerals at his theology course - not that he can take either, as he's not on the vocational strand, but the theory will be fun. And I've got an evening of entering writing competitions planned - my monthly routine. And later on, it's "New Tricks" on tv. So it's not all bad.

Today's nice things:

1. Daniel Craig photo
2. Fluffy Christmas pens
3. Surviving my first day back.

Anne Brooke

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Shoebox Sunday and depression

Ah, the curse of Shoebox Sunday - it's here again, which means the hell of Christmas is only a stone's throw away. Damn it. For those not in the know (you lucky people, you ...), this is - in the Anglican church, and perhaps in others too, though I don't know for sure - the time when we all have to go out and buy toys to put in shoeboxes to send to children in the developing world. Lord only knows what they make of sparkly balls and white-faced dolls when they probably haven't eaten for a week, but far be it from me to attempt to rock the diocesan boat. If only we didn't have to wrap the damn shoeboxes up before we deliver them, then I'm sure many marriages would be calmer and the police stations sleepier. Hell, have you ever tried to wrap a bloody shoebox? It's impossible.

Naturally, I took the only course of action available to me at this point - after all, I hate children!! - and left it entirely to Lord H, and skipped church. However, in the general mild depression I'm currently wading through, I didn't do the writing I'd planned to do - and barely scraped out 400 words to "The Gifting" before giving it up as a bad job and playing Solitaire instead. Actually, I sometimes wonder if I should give up writing altogether, if only on a temporary basis, until the clouds have passed. Hmm, something to ponder on perhaps.

That said, I was given an unexpected boost by some lovely comments on "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" by a writing friend (thanks, Gill - who can be found at and also from Joanie at Writewords ( on the haiku I uploaded this morning. Thanks, Joanie. Much appreciated.

The rest of the day has heaved itself by. There was an interesting article in the latest "Church Times" though, which I devoured - all about Christians and depression. I really clicked with the comment from a Canon about how his depression felt as if he were carrying round a lead ball in his stomach all the time. Hey, mate - yes. You've got it in one. That's exactly how it feels - 90% of the time. The rest of the time I'm probably asleep. Anyway, it's inspired me to buy a book recommended on Amazon ( about the subject - which apparently isn't judgemental, demanding or shallow. Good, I like warm and woolly. I get enough damnfool comments or implied criticism elsewhere. I need something to say what's real about how I am now. Not how I should be.

So, this week's haiku:

Home pressures dissolve,
interior skies lighten:
a few days away.

And today's nice things:

1. Not going to church
2. Bakewell pudding for lunch
3. A glass of pre-lunch sherry.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Back from hols

Back today. Had a good time - very relaxing. High points for me were (a) Chatsworth - beautiful house & grounds, and so relaxing, and the special "Twelve Days of Christmas" focus was surprisingly good. It almost made me think Christmas was okay. I even got quite choked up in the chapel - scary biscuits indeed. (b) The magnificent Knox Road Church in Wellingborough - which we visited on our way there. (c) Seeing a stoat at Chatsworth. Not sure I've ever seen a real-life one. (d) Meeting fellow Writeworder ( Nik Perring ( was a delight. (e) Generally, being away from the pressure of it all - also very good.

Still, back now to the washing & ironing etc. Have finished Susan Hill's "The Pure in Heart" - marvellous. Not a great deal of plot but the characters are ace. Also started and finished "Book Lover" by Kaufman & Mack - again, no plot but a great main character. Rubbish ending though - but some authors are like that.

Came home to discover that someone has ordered "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" via the Goldenford ( PayPal facility - good on you, Mr Owen. And many thanks! It will be posted to you on Monday, first class. Very disappointed though that there's still no word on my publication date for "A Dangerous Man" from Flame Books ( - deep sigh. And still nothing from my agent ( about anything at all. Deeper sigh ...

Must dash now - the judging for "Strictly Come Dancing" is due to start and I absolutely can't miss it!

Anne Brooke

Monday, November 13, 2006

Packing and napping

A day when nowt much has happened, though I did get stuck into my latest Susan Hill book - "The Pure in Heart". I do love the Simon Serrailler series - they're absolutely hot! Which is funny as I haven't actually enjoyed any other Susan Hill stuff (I thought the one about the second Mrs de Winter was inordinately dull, redeemed only by a superb last paragraph - much like Wagner really ...). Still, the Serrailler series is good and I can only recommend it. Can't wait till the next one's in paperback. Good character studies (though Simon himself is a tad on the stiff side of stiff) and lots of page-turning tension.

Apart from that, I've packed for a few days away in rainy (yes, I've looked at the bloody weather forecast - big groan ...) Derbyshire and did a hell of a lot of napping. This evening, Lord H is at theology class, and I need to wash up, do the recycling and add at least a few more words to the story of Simon's (my Simon, not Ms Hill's!) mother in "The Gifting".

Today's nice things:

1. Napping
2. Reading.

Anne Brooke

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Remembrance Sunday

And I remembered my poppy. Thank goodness - there was a bit of a crisis a few years ago, when I couldn't find the darn thing and turned up late. I always think this one is the one service to go to in a year, even if you don't go any other time, as more than anything it's about who we are now and how much we owe to the past and what happened there. I have no personal knowledge of what hell it must have been, but that in itself is the freedom that was won and the least I can do is acknowledge the debt. Much like my feelings about women voting - if we don't, then what the hell did Mrs Pankhurst go through all that for? We owe it to her too.

Sermon over - thank God. And the good(ish) news is that I managed to survive the whole of church today by the simple trick of not listening to the religious bits. Aha! A way through the jungle of my slowly dying faith at last, eh? People were nice after the service though - and when asked, I did try to be honest: yes, I'm not well; yes, it's better than it was earlier in the year; yes, I'm taking it easily and trying not to do too much. Which about covers most of it. The visiting vicar (bless him) was very concerned and did ask if he could pray with me - oh God, no, how that makes me twist up inside!! - still, it's a request you can't very easily say no too, and at least he managed it when no-one else was around (thank God) and kept it brief. Mind you, I wasn't at all sure if I could honestly say "amen" to his request that I soon be restored to full mental and physical health in order to serve God better. Doesn't suit my agenda at all, thank you very much - I'd rather give the whole thing a wide berth and stay at home watching TV and eating chocolate instead. I'm certainly no advert for the Christian faith and never have been, much. Still, it was nice of him (from his world view) and he meant well.

The rest of the day has been spent writing a poem (at last! I hadn't written one for two weeks, and it was starting to make me twitchy), which I've uploaded onto the Writewords ( site for comment. And I've been doing more to my two profiles on MySpace ( Not only that, but I've asked my agent ( about two other possible leads for "Thorn in the Flesh" that I've seen, and I've entered an emailed short story competition. Oh, and I washed the car too, so I think the protestant work ethic has been satisfied.

Tonight, I'd better ring mother and arrange Christmas (arghh!! how I hate Christmas!!), and my reward for this is "Midsomer Murders" on TV. Thank God.

This week's haiku:

Loud smoke and people.
I struggle for connection,
lips a silent dance

Today's nice things:

1. Surviving church - and prayer
2. Writing a poem - at last
3. Playing on MySpace.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Surf city & TV

Hell, what a lazy morning today. Though I did clean the dustbins (what a heroine, eh!) and I'm still in line to do the cleaning tonight. Hurrah - um, not ... Spent the rest of the morning networking on MySpace ( and also setting up another account there for Angie, my heroine from "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice", which you can buy here: Heck, she's feisty enough for her own account - the gal deserves it!

Have also lulled away the afternoon watching "Star Trek" - so TV heaven. And tonight it's "Strictly Come Dancing". I've already voted for Mark & Karen - twice - so my duty is done. I might even get a chance to do some more to "The Gifting" - you never know ...

Today's nice things:

1. Setting up Angie's account
2. Finishing cleaning the wretched bins ...
3. Star Trek.

Anne Brooke

Friday, November 10, 2006

More writing ...

Well, I was intending to start the story about Simon's mother in "The Gifting", but I got waylaid by a sex scene. Oo-err, missus. Hell, it happens to the best of us. So I've done that today instead - how I do so love writing those, but don't we all??... - even though it happens later in the book. It was also an interesting exercise describing it from Simon's point of view, as he's much more subtle and more emotionally cautious than my gay male characters in other books. Still, I'm glad I finally got round to giving him a good time, as he's had a pretty rotten one up to this point. Ah, the power of the author ... and another 1000 words done. Hurrah!

At the same time, I've updated my website with the real or latest beginnings to all my current novels - feel free to visit and catch up. Go on, you know you want to ... possibly! And I've been establishing my page on - it's a great site and I'm really impressed with what can be done on it. A fun place to be.

A spot of shopping in Godalming this afternoon, and then tonight I might leave the cleaning till tomorrow (again) and just watch TV instead. Can't wait for the Strictly Come Dancing update - I'm completely hooked. Not to mention lots of Friday night comedy - bliss.

Today's nice things:

1. Writing Simon's sex scene in "The Gifting"
2. Playing with

Anne Brooke

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The writing - it's back!

Ye gods, I can still write. Re-sult! I approached "The Gifting" this morning with an anxious heart as I haven't worked on it for a couple of weeks or so, but I managed to bash out 500 words or thereabouts and get myself to the end of a chapter. Lord, but it feels sooooo good. And I've got ideas for scenes floating in silhouette round my head, so it looks like there's life in the old cat yet. Thank goodness. Now I have to think about how I tell the story of Simon's mother and what happened with her, and how I hint at the parts he must at this stage leave out. Hmm, no pressure then - but at least I'm thinking about it!

This morning, I fought a brave, fast and hard-won battle with a queen wasp in the bathroom - put the shakes back in me again, but so far there haven't been any more. Hope it stays that way. I got rid of the evil beast by opening the window very, very carefully and bashing it out with the home address book. But I must have had the quickest bath ever afterwards. Also popped into see Gladys as she's out of hospital. She was soooo glad to be home, but very frail so I didn't stay long. She probably needs her sleep - hell, don't we all ...

I've also rung our holiday hotel for next week and booked myself a back massage and an Indian head massage, so am looking forward to being super-chilled. If only for a while.

And tonight, Lord H and I are up in London for Jane's 50th birthday party. It's being held at the Pimlico Wine Library - which is definitely my sort of library, as long as it has books as well as plonk! - and I suspect it might be quite posh, so I'd better get the posh trousers out. I only have one pair, but they've done me proud for ... um ... twenty years or so. Oh Lord, I really am turning into my mother. Somebody help me!

Today's nice things:

1. Getting back into the writing again
2. Booking my holiday massages
3. Jane's party.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Toilets and holidays

A crap morning followed by a slightly better afternoon/evening is the summary of today. Was really fed up with life due to (a) the toilet still being broken - it's been broken since the weekend and we've been unable to flush and having to use buckets of water instead. Shades of the war years ... and (b) still being without anywhere to stay next week when our holidays beckon.

However, the day slowly brightened - Lord H rang me to say the toilet had been mended though the plumber charged us £70!! £70, I ask you - hell, I'm in the wrong bloody job!! Hope we were given gold-lined pipes for that - but actually the bliss of having it back in full working order is probably beyond price. Also, we've finally managed to book a holiday - in the end we went for the Peak District in a hotel which has a beauty salon too. Roll on more massages and Indian head treatments for me, I hope! It's such an incredible relief to get it sorted, as it's really been worrying me. Hurrah!

And so tonight, it's Torchwood and - please God, as I'm shattered - an early night. Or a relatively early one.

Today's nice things:

1. A mended toilet
2. Getting our holiday hotel.

Anne Brooke

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Indian Head Massage

A dull day at work today - more to do with my mood (low) than the actual work, which was fine. But, my goodness, the day dragged. Thank goodness for my Indian head massage at lunchtime, which I really, really needed. I had two moments during it when I actually felt quite happy. Hell, I'd forgotten what that was like. Signed up for another 6 sessions of reflexology, so that will be something to look forward to. It's sooooo relaxing ...

At home, began to feel really low, but I thought maybe if I can do a wee bit of writing tonight, things might feel better. It's hard to say sometimes, to be honest. I ought to tackle the Goldenford ( minutes tonight, or at least some of them, just in order to make a start on it. I also ought to practise my reading for our upcoming Barclays event on 30 November, as Lord H is out at the Village Hall Committee (how very country, m'dear ...!) - they've invited the Goldenford team to do readings for their pre-Christmas client party, which is lovely of them, I must say. Apparently there'll be 100 people there - our largest audience ever! Hope they'll like us ...

Today's nice things:

1. Indian Head Massage

Anne Brooke

Monday, November 06, 2006

Goldenford meeting

Goodness, Monday morning lasted all day today - a real effort not to run out of the room and across campus screaming! Still, in spite of that, I managed to get started on the amendments to our new mentoring handbook and finalise the Student Care Services annual report for Senate. So, I almost looked like a professional. For once.

Took a stroll round the university at lunchtime in spite of the galloping cold - and got myself warm enough to sit by the lake for a while and stare at the ducks. And moorhens, which are funnier.

Tonight we had a Goldenford ( meeting - lots of talk about marketing, next year's books and what to do for Christmas. Barclays in Guildford have invited us back for a Christmas reading on 30 November for a party they're having, I think, but Jennifer is finding out more details later. Good that they want us though - will now have to think of what reading to do!

Today's nice things:

1. Ducks
2. Moorhens
3. The Barclays invite.

Anne Brooke

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Enneagram weekend

Just come back from an Enneagram: My Personality weekend at Emmaus House in Bristol. Missed Lord H like crazy, but it was a good weekend. Well worth it. I think it's made a lot of things clearer. I'm definitely in the Type 4 (The Romantic) zone, and it resonated with me to be there - which means (surprise, surprise), I'm very up and down, feel things intently, look for connections, and am always thinking things will be better in the future (or they were better in the past). My proposed development work includes looking for balance and giving myself room to be me. Suits me, sir. And I also liked the fact they included some of the Alexander Technique in the sessions, so had a "whole person" view, which is something I'm realising is more and more important.

Anyway, there's a lot to take in, and I suspect it will take several weeks to digest it all. But I'd definitely like to go on the Enneagram 2 weekend next March. I think it's important.

But poor Lord H - he's got a terrible back now after trying to look at sorting the loo out. This week's tasks - call a doctor and a plumber. I'm worried about him.

This weekend's nice things:

1. Finding out about my Enneagram zone.

Anne Brooke

Friday, November 03, 2006

Golf and weekend retreat

Got up early, with Lord H today, to avoid the agony of getting dressed on my own in the flat surrounded by wasps. But so far ... no wasps. Let's hope it stays that way.

Updated my book information on the Writers Promote site ( - David Caldo has made this look really nice - thanks, David! Then played golf with Marian - fun but we're weren't great. Are we ever??

I'm now about to have lunch and then my hairdresser will come at 1.30pm-ish. After that, I'm driving to Bristol to stay at the Emmaus Centre for a weekend's retreat on "The Enneagram - Your Personality". Hope it will be good, and relaxing - and insect-free. I'll miss Lord H like crazy though - I always do. Back on Sunday. I'm dreading the journey - I hate going to new places on my own. Please God I get there in one piece!

Today's nice things:

1. Golf
2. Getting a decent haircut
3. The retreat - I hope.

Anne Brooke

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wasp city

God, it's a day for the bloody wasps today. Wasn't feeling too great this morning, so had a lie-in and a slow start. Managed to have a bath, thank the Lord, before the first evil beast dive-bombed me at breakfast. Then had to get dressed whilst holding another one at bay - not an easy task, I assure you. Which explains why I look like I've been flung together by a Trinny & Susannah reject right now. The last straw was another one on the attack while I was attempting to put my make up on. I gave up at that point and sat outside the flat on the communal stairs and rang Lord H, asking him to come home for lunch so he could sort it out.

Lord H turned up on his white charger an hour later, which meant at least I could put my shoes on while he stood guard. We found 5 dead bodies, and three more live ones. Curses. He then brown-taped every gap we could find in the walls (it's an old house ...) to try to stop them coming in. We think they might be dropping out of the trapdoor to the flat roof, though it's hard to be sure.

Anyway, I went to lunch with Robin when Lord H left - heck, it was good to be out of the flat - but I am now back, typing this in the dark whilst wearing my coat and fingerless gloves just in case I have to do a runner if another of the stripy demons turns up. Thank goodness I'm away this weekend on retreat in Bristol - Lord H will have to deal with them, or maybe ring our usual wasp man if things get nasty. I sooooooooooooooooooo hate wasps. They're evil bastards.

Tonight, we're out at the Glyndebourne Touring Opera's version of Britten's "The Turn of the Screw". So that might cheer me up. Hmm, maybe not ...

Oh, and I've had some positive and interesting comments from the Writewords ( site on my poem, "Black cloud", which has been uplifting. But, as you can tell, no writing has been done - though I have sent off my monthly poetry submission to the next magazine on my list and tried to drum up some interest in "Maloney's Law". Again. With little success. Ah well.

Today's nice things:

1. Lunch with Robin
2. The opera.

Anne Brooke

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A computer break-down, counselling and a car crisis

Hell, but I like starting everything with the same letter. It's obviously a "C" day. Couldn't post anything yesterday as Broadband dictated against it, but it now seems to be up and running so let's count our blessings. Not that much happened yesterday - felt a bit low, got up, did work, came home and went to sleep. Basically.

Actually, scrub that last bit - there were two nice things that happened yesterday. The Health Centre invited me to their spooky lunch (it being Halloween), and I thought "sod the theology, I'm pissed off, so why not?", went along and had a great time for an hour. Ate pizza, chicken satay, babies' hearts (figs, cheese & bacon, in case you're really worrying) and dead mens' fingers (shortbread slices with almonds for nails). Never say the Health Centre don't have a sense of humour. We played a Trick or Treat game, and I had fun being a monster, and then eating chocolate anyway. It was a hell of a lot better than my planned brisk walk and some pasta for lunch. Thanks for inviting me, Monique!

And the second nice thing of yesterday was finding two very supportive comments responding to the depressive posting of the day before - many thanks, Nik ( & Anon. Much appreciated.

Which brings me to today - not much excitement. But I did have my last counselling session at UniS with Zoe. It was good. We talked about how I should develop my hermit side, and give far more time to being quiet and alone (two things I love), rather than pretending to be a social person, which I'm not. Suits me, sir (or madam, rather). We also played a game in which I rearranged Zoe's collection of pepples, shells and coloured beads into a shape I thought was myself. Neither of us had done that before, and it was amazing what came out. I ended up with a line of shells/pebbles connected by small beads to each other (representing me) with, on either side, a clump (yes, that is the word) of ugly orange beads representing the world - which were as far away from "me" as possible. My problem was that I felt the connecting coloured lines which linked parts of "me" together were most often spent pretending to connect with the orange clumps when in fact they were expending the effort on keeping the world at bay. Are you still with me? Sit up at the back there ... So the plan is to develop the flexibility and strength of the linking parts so I can (a) keep myself together and real, and (b) bend round and touch the world now and again when I feel it's safe to do so.

So, there you have it. I'm sorry it's my last counselling session with Zoe, as she's been great and I really relate to her. But I've decided to carry on outside the university, and will be having an introductory counselling session at the Castle Street Clinic ( later in November. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Lord H is stuck in Waitrose as the car won't start and is waiting for the RAC. Hope they're quicker than the ruddy AA were in June ... I've taken him some food and brought back the frozen shopping, but I hope he'll be home soon. Bloody cars.

Today's nice things:

1. Counselling
2. When Lord H gets home - soon, I hope!

Anne Brooke