Saturday, 30 January 2010

A lovely email

Hi Hazel,
We just wanted to email you to say how much we are enjoying your first book.
Well done.
I'm reading it as well as my son who is ten and we keep trying to out pace each other in who gets further in the story. At the moment my son is winning!
Your descriptions are excellent. We are enjoying them, and my son especially enjoyed the jokes!
I've never seen him finish a book so quickly as he usually has at least ten books on the go at once but your book he has been unable to put down!
We do hope you go on to write more Bree adventures. It really 'floods' the imagination, and also gives out a strong message of hope through struggle and grief.
It would be great as a film. We are already imagining some of the scenes!
My daughter is a budding writer and I hope she goes on to write as well as
you do.
Kind Regards

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

I'm a bit miserable today. I've got a mild dose of tonsillitis which has left me with jelly legs and a banging head. It's not as bad as it has been in the past though, which I am most grateful for. I've actually been hospitalised with tonsillitis before. My throat is the first thing to 'go' when I am feeling stressed or run down so the minute I felt that scratchy, blistery sensation at the back of my throat yesterday morning I headed straight for the doctor. I have antibiotics and I am just trying to rest and keep cosy in the hope that my sore throat will pass quickly.
There's nothing like a dose of something horrible to make you feel a bit sorry for yourself. Today, I miss my friend Caroline. She is currently off touring the US and climbing lots of big, dangerous boulders with hunky young American guys. I'm not at all jealous of course as I sit here in my fluffy slippers looking out onto a grey and damp Edinburgh morning (!) I am just so proud of her and extremely envious of her fearless approach to life. She's an inspirational person. I miss her all the time but today I really miss her - you know that kind of tugging sensation at the centre of your stomach? The kind of gut wrenching knowledge that she is not just around the corner and a five minute bike ride away.
I consider myself incredibly lucky to have such good friends, people who have been in my life forever and who know me inside out. I know I could not have written about Bree's relationship with Sandy and Honey if I had not had the privilege of good friendships. I value my friends above all else. It's really tough when your close friends branch out and move in different ways to you. It takes a while to come to terms with the fact that they are choosing a path that doesn't involve you. Of course, it doesn't mean they don't think about you and care about you it's just the way life goes. We are all very different people with different values and interests. It is inevitable that at some point we are going to travel different roads. I have compartmentalised my friends. Caroline is the one I call on if I am down in the dumps and need a good laugh, the kind of laugh where you can't quite catch your breath and worry you might lose control of your bodily functions. She has this canny knack of turning me into a giggling thirteen year old girl again. It is impossible to be sad in Caroline's company. I could really do with her being here today to lift my spirits but that's probably being a little selfish. I know I shouldn't grumble. I have spent the last few days telling Junior that we have no right to moan about anything considering the recent, terrible events in Haiti. We only have to turn on the news to get the wake up call we really need during periods of sadness and inertia. Still, it doesn't make our small problems any less real.
Caroline, today I really miss your chuckle and positive, refreshing approach to life. Thanks for being my friend. x

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!

During our New Year walk to the (frozen) canal Junior spotted a discarded crisp packet lying in the snow. This was the conversation that followed - a somewhat typical exchange of words with a curious 6 year old boy:

Junior: Look Mummy, someone has dropped their crisp packet!
Me: I HATE that! There's no excuse for dropping litter.
Junior: What if there's no bin?
Me: Well, you just put it in your pocket and take it home with you.
Junior: But what if you don't have any pockets?
Me: Then you would just carry it in your hand and when you get home you can put it in the bin.
Junior: What if you haven't got any hands?
Me: You probably wouldn't be eating crisps if you didn't have any hands.
Junior: You might have a friend who was feeding you the crisps.
Me: Well in that case you would ask your friend to carry the crisp packet home for you.
Junior: But they might not be going home.
Me (slightly exasperated): Well, that might be the only time you would drop the crisp packet then.
Junior: So there IS an excuse for dropping litter then, Mummy!

Wishing you all the best for the coming year. May 2010 be happy, fruitful and trouble free. X