Thursday, 31 May 2012


Wuff! Harvey here again. You can't beat a good roll in the cool grass on a hot day. Cheese roll, turkey roll, plain roll with butter. Great stuff.

Mrs Boss says she's on a roll too, but I don't think it's the edible kind. She finally got round to sending her Pocket Novel off to Ulverscroft and they have accepted it for a large print book. When that book arrives, she won't get any work done at all. She'll be too busy gazing at it in disbelief. But she seems pretty happy anyway, if more lackadaisical than usual.

We've been in the garden a lot lately. Last summer we had builders next door and had to hide inside. Mrs Boss said if we sat outside, she couldn't get one sentence written without a voice yelling "Ow - my head" or "Two sugars, mate."

This year it's been nice and peaceful, except for when I have to frighten off the pigeons on the fence. Cheeky beggars. Don't they know that fence was built especially for me? Stops me escaping, you see. I do miss my impromptu visits to the neighbours. I keep trying to tunnel out instead, but Mrs Boss fills all the holes in as soon as she finds them. She says it's too hot for digging, and I'm to relax and enjoy the alliums.
Well, I've tried the alliums but they taste too oniony.

Have a lovely Jubilee weekend and may the sun forever shine on your street party.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Flying the flag

The bull outside Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre has a snazzy new outfit...
Is anyone planning to see the Olympic flame as it travels round the country? At one point it passes just a couple of streets from us. The only sport I ever watch is tennis, but it seems a shame not to see the torch relay when it's coming so close. The catch is, it visits here shortly after 7a.m. Am I unpatriotic for thinking that's a tiny bit early for me to get out of bed on a Sunday morning?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Three questions

The honesty is in flower all around the garden. There's always far more purple than white. My first question to all of you knowledgeable people out in Blogland is, will it come true from seed if I save the seeds from the white plants?

I recently finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's a book that manages to be entertainingly light, but has a serious heart. The subject is the German occupation of Guernsey during the second World War, and how it affected the islanders. Goodness - how we take our freedoms for granted. Apparently there's going to be a film of it too.

After that I read Joanne Harris' The Lollipop Shoes, for the second time. I enjoyed that very much as well, even more than her novel Chocolat which preceded it. It's set in Paris, you see, and in a few weeks I am off there myself. So my second question is, what other novels can I read which are also set in Paris? Classic or modern, I don't mind. Have already done A Tale of Two Cities and Les Miserables.

My third question is whether anyone can recommend vegetarian cafes in Paris. I have earmarked a couple that I've spotted on the Internet, but there's nothing like a personal tip from someone who's been. I am unlikely to go hungry in any event, with all that bread and cheese to sample. And maybe even some chocolat.

Not much writing news this week, although I was shortlisted for the spring Flash 500 competition. The judge was Margaret James, and if you go to the 'winning entries' page, she makes some helpful comments about what she was looking for. (Mine is the last one on the shortlist called 'When She Comes Home'.) The next closing date is at the end of June, if anyone wants to enter. There are very healthy cash prizes, results seem to be announced promptly, and it's a good place to try out your 500 worders.

Meanwhile, it's actually stopped raining and we are officially no longer in a drought zone. Just popping out to pull up some weeds...