How did I become hooked on a programme about baking? The Great British Bake Off commanded my attention every week and woe betide anyone who dared to telephone during that special hour. I watched the contestants whip, stir, pound, and stretch their creations with single minded attention. The crazy thing is that the last cake I made was about 20 years ago and the Prince Charming was so heavy that he ended up with his head buried in the blue icing (supposed to be the sea but a rather sick looking cross between a muddy pond and a cloudy sky). Anyway, since then my constant battle with the scales has forbidden indulgences such as chocolate cakes and iced buns.
So I am making a plea; why not get the contestants to tackle some recipes for watchers of weight and the growing population who suffer from diseases such as diabetes, etc? It would give a different meaning to carrot cake and banana breads and orange muffins.
Firstly thank you to Nina of http://www.awritersfountain.wordpress.com for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award. I am touched by the tribute. I am doing my thing in stages as I am under pressure to finish my novel so forgive the delay but my own nominations will be made in a few days.
11 Facts about me
1. In my previous life I was a nurse and midwife
2. I sailed across the Atlantic
3. I speak some Spanish
4. I love to dance.
5. I am a course junkie and love studying.
6. I did a practical course about motor maintenance and used to be able to do all of my own car service.
7. I was on the cover of a motoring magazine in my younger days.
8. I had a poem published when I was 14 years old.
9. I love popcorn.
10. I read everything including the back of the cereal box.
11. I write from my dark side but am ever so jolly in real life.
The 11 Questions that Nina asked me to answer;
- What is your favourite book?This is a difficult question to answer as I love so many books for many different reasons. Some of my favourites are ‘Shadow of the Wind’, ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, ‘Wild Swans’
- What would be your chosen pen name? Lindy the bestselling author
- What’s your favourite film(s)? Gone With the Wind (I’m a romantic at heart)
- Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do in your spare time? I love dancing modern jive and zumba, reading, writing of course, learning Spanish (there are not enough hours in the day)
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be? Everywhere. I love travelling. My favourite place was the Antartic – I couldn’t get enough of ice and penguins.
- The greatest lesson you have learnt in life? Happiness is being with people I love.
- Your hopes for the future? (Could be your future, the planet, your Country) To stay healthy and win the lottery so that I can give my kids a house.
- Name three things you did this morning. Went to gym (yuck), posted a competition entry, waved at someone out of my window.
- What was your first job? Breaking chicken at a fast food restaurant; then I got to toss the burgers.
- Who is your hero/ person you admire and are inspired by? My daughter. She has not allowed setbacks in life to get her down and reminds me that she is the greatest achievement in my life.
- If you could change 1 thing about yourself what would it be? I would have the energy that I had in my 20’s, the passion of my 30’s, the wisdom and patience of my 40’s; more than one I know but the list could go on.
Have fun and display your banners proudly!
This week I have been living in the land of no internet with a fractured communication pathway. This has left me time to focus on writing my novel. I discovered that my isolation has become a blessing in disguise as I have added more quality and bulk to my novel. This also meant that I was unable to respond to many of the lovely comments left in response to my work. Normally I do like to thank my readers for their feedback as I find it useful in assessing my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. In addition I like to acknowledge the time taken to give me that feedback and so I must apologize that I have been unable to give individual thanks this week.
I do think that it is appropriate to thank you, my readers, in this 100th post of mine.
I also thought that it may be useful to tell you of my writing plans this year. Currently I have a novel in progress. It is an investigative thriller and I hope to have it ready to submit to agents later this year. I like to write short stories and flash fiction to try to strengthen my writing skills, in particular my use of language, description and dialogue. In truth, I also love to tell a complete story in a few words; it suits my rather erratic brain. I will almost certainly continue writing in that form.
I think one of the great pleasures in my life is the ability to communicate with my fellow man, whether it be on paper or through personal interaction. Great stories come from life. My professional life as a nurse and midwife taught me that every one of us has a story to tell and I hope that you continue to enjoy mine.
I was speaking to someone last night who had planned for her night’s entertainment – plucking a duck. The unfortunate creature was one of ‘the girls’ as her little boy named them and had been producing eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner in copious amounts. However for several reasons she was destined for the table. The acceptance of this woman and her son for the fate of one of their farmyard beings was along the lines of ‘this is the natural order of things’.
For me however, it is a different story. I go to whichever local shop is in favour and purchase my food, already killed, plucked, gutted and hung. I was an adult before I realised that cows had to have been pregnant to produce milk (and I was a midwife at that point). My city type of life had not really educated or indeed prepared me for the reality of how our foods arrive in our home. So I became a big softy, cringing at the death of the goldfish and crying for a year when I lost my beloved McCafferty, an grumpy old cat.
That young boy however reacted to my expression of sympathy about his duck with a comment about how good his dinner would be and a lick of his salivating lips.
In a time when there is so much waste because of our shopping practices, I was hit hard by how poorly I had been prepared by my own education to survive. I had never been taught how to grow things or to know what was natural to my own environment. Most of my food arrived wrapped in cling film and polystyrene, contributing to the disturbing fact that man’s pollution is overrunning our world.
This little boy and his mother have reminded me of some of the valuable lessons we need to teach our children. The practice of them and not just the theory. So that our descendants are able to survive, no matter what their income.
I have been truly humbled today by someone’s generosity of spirit. As I grumbled about my difficulties getting a small piece of work right this woman was undergoing radical changes to her life as a result of a health issue. Yet she still found the time and humanity to give me a pat on the back.
Now, doesn’t that put things in perspective. As we sit at our computers typing away and creating our pretend worlds somewhere someone will be facing real life dangers, issues or adventures. While my heroine is struggling with her love issues, a real life heroine will be dealing with real life dangers. We are told as writers that we should write from our own experiences; as we all know we should write about what we know. I am certain that everyone of us knows someone who has used their writing as a therapeutic exercise, whether it has been to express grief, anger or joy.
A few years ago, I sailed across the Atlantic on a smallish yacht in a rally of a number of boats. Every single person on that adventure had their own story to tell at the end of the passage. Some of the stories were of self discovery, some were of unexpected adventures. One man, who suffered from dyslexia, wrote his own book and others wrote diaries. Some people discovered that their relationships grew stronger whereas others jumped ship before their boats were tied up at their journey’s end. One man became critically ill, leaving his wife to sail a large yacht single handed and another man spent over 24 hours in the sea when he was knocked overboard.
My own story was not that dramatic; we left one harbour and sixteen days later arrived at another. Mid ocean we swam behind our becalmed boat and a day or so later lost all of our electric power leaving us with some interesting challenges of navigating by the stars and how to manage food storage, sails, communications and all of the other things which are supported by power.
In writing my novel I am drawing from some of those experiences to develop the character of my heroine. On paper she does not live on the sea or sail a boat however it is observing how someone reacts to adversity or indeed any given situation which is how I am writing about what I know. My life as a nurse, midwife, wife, mother, sailor, daughter, friend, success, failure, and more informs my writing but in particular it is my observations of the wonderful human spirit which inspires me.
Hi. I hope that you all remember me. I haven’t had time to write on my blogsite recently due to the difficulties of writing a realistic love scene. In my novel there is a lovely young heroine and a good looking young man and plenty of opportunity so it should be easy. Until I put pen to paper. Then it is disaster. Tantalising touch becomes heavy handed and the words become sticky – like glue. Instead of a scene of passion, my efforts read like a newspaper report. And so, I edit and re-edit and re-re-edit. And finally end up with a just passable love scene.
In addition to my writing I have been zumba dancing to raise money for a cancer support charity. Five and a half hours was not good for the knees although it was a lot of fun and we did raise quite a bit of money. I have come to the conclusion that we zumbettes are mad. Some research was published recently which said that joint deterioration (particularly in the knees) can be due to too much or too little exercise. I am not sure which category I fall into.
As one of my new writing projects I have started a blog http://withoutasense.blogspot.com.es/ about hearing loss. I am going to try to create an interactive site with some of the trials and tribulations, some of the humour, useful tips, new products etc, all connected with the subject of hearing loss.
I am not totally deaf however when I was in my early 30’s I started noticing that I was missing words and sounds. Now in my mid 50’s I have had 20 years of experience of what it is like to live with reduced hearing. This is a condition which affects a huge number of people and can lead to social isolation for many. It can affect careers, home life, friendships and more. I have decided to take positive action to encourage others with hearing loss to avoid social isolation by promoting an open discussion forum about the condition.
Pleases stop by and take a look at my blog. It is in the infant stages however I hope that with feedback it will grow and maybe in the future will be a source of support and inspiration to anyone who begins to notice they are turning up the volume.