Living Between the Lines

A wry look at family life

  • Living Between the Lines

    Misplaced Guilt…

    Do you suffer from misplaced guilt? The smallest thing can cause this condition to appear, such as wondering if you have said the right thing or if your actions have been misunderstood—the latter is a big one for me. I am working on it though. I give myself a good talking to if unwarranted guilt threatens. That said, it is always there, biding its time, ready to pounce at any given moment. It can seem as though someone is standing at my side demanding, “Explain yourself!” Today there were two occasions when misplaced guilt raised its ugly head. The first was as I left the supermarket and headed back to…

  • Living Between the Lines

    Mother’s Day Mayhem

    “Aha! You are the ones who are in the Gods!” The lady who met us at the hotel reception seemed triumphant. We were bemused. The last time I recall being, “in the Gods,” was the time I went to Her Majesty’s Theatre, to see Phantom of the Opera, starring Michael Crawford. Our seats were so high up on the vertical incline of seats, that one had to hang onto the rail in front to avoid being sucked down into the abyss below us. The hotel we now found ourselves in, bore no true resemblance to her Majesty’s Theatre although it was Olde Worlde with a plentiful supply of oak beams…

  • Living Between the Lines

    Basket only…

    The checkout operator had paused to alert a supervisor of a problem with her till. The lady in front of me had just loaded her shopping onto the conveyor belt and the customer being served was waiting to pay, I presume. I was happy to wait and was rather enjoying the time to stand and observe those around me. (Those conversational gems might crop up, one never knows). It was a busy Monday morning. Several tills were unmanned, clearly something the hovering supervisor was not happy with. He signalled for a young lad to man the till next to me. It was of no use to me of course, it…

  • Living Between the Lines

    The mind boggles…

    It seems that having launched my debut Christmas novel on an unsuspecting world, sending it into the wide blue yonder – perhaps never to be seen again, I have been slow to rekindle the fire of the written word. It isn’t that I have not wanted to, nor that I have not tried. I have begun editing the final chapters of my next novel and it lies begging for attention. I have read and enjoyed a couple of excellent novels and can feel the muse bubbling up inside me. Yet, housework, family demands and life in general, have thwarted any real progress these past few weeks. So, it was with…

  • Living Between the Lines

    Paperback in town!

    I have jumped through hoops with the formatting, made some mistakes and learnt a lot. Here it is then, the paperback version of my debut novel (debut in the sense it is the first of my novels to be published) Once Upon a Christmas Eve. Christmas is upon us and tomorrow I will be watching yet another nativity in which my two younger grandsons are starring. One is a King, the other a camel. I say starring because aren’t they all stars? The first nativity I attended as a grandparent was quite eventful. Child number one was overcome with anxiety and stared out like a frightened rabbit from the makeshift…

  • Living Between the Lines

    Once Upon a Christmas Eve

    I have been talking about this for long enough it seems so, at long last, I have taken the bull by the horns and uploaded my manuscript to Amazon. I hope I have ironed out all the layout problems that could affect it. For better or worse, there it sits. Once Upon a Christmas Eve The Kindle version is available for download now, the paperback version coming shortly. I am ready to tweak the file over the next few days if necessary but fingers crossed, it should be fine. I am quite chuffed to have managed to upload it by the beginning of December. Click here to view

  • Living Between the Lines,  Remember when

    At the school gate

    Forced to rest after having major surgery this month, I have watched every episode of Motherland on television. Have you seen it? This sitcom is so representative of school gate life that I can recognise most of the characters in it as though I were standing next to them yesterday. Yesterday being from 1984-1998 if I have the dates right. I knew the teachers well, I even took my youngest into the classroom aged eight months, for a study the seven year olds were doing on human development, at their teacher’s request. I helped with crafts and read to the children on special occasions, but only when time permitted. This…

  • Living Between the Lines

    Stretching the Truth

    Halloween and I have a strange relationship. All Hallow’s Eve falls on the day before my birthday. Last year, on a family get together in a Scottish faux castle, (the brochure had stretched the truth a little in declaring it an old Castle. It is a downsized replica of Warwick Castle, apparently,) my birthday was preceded by a big Halloween party. Who had the energy for another the following night? Mind you, it was an excellent party though I say so myself. My adult children had all surpassed themselves with their costumes/decorations and planning. Our grandchildren were only too happy to put on their costumes though the younger ones had…

  • Living Between the Lines

    There is nowt so queer as folk

    “What is that child doing?” This was the question we asked ourselves as we prepared to eat our long-awaited meal. The child in question was a girl of perhaps eight years of age. Prior to this point, she had been sitting with her large family, at the next table, chatting quite happily. What happened next was most bizarre. I should explain that Fowey was incredibly busy on Saturday night. We know one has to book a table if one wants to eat out in the holiday period. We had left it too late. Hence, at 7.30pm, we joined the other, “forgot-to-book” holidaymakers, shuffling along the busy streets in the vain…

  • Living Between the Lines,  Remember when

    “Ooh Betty!”

    My brother-in-law was a character indeed. When he left this world in November 2007, it became a poorer place without him. A devout born again Christian, he preached the gospel and prayed every day. Even in his darkest moments, when death beckoned, he believed he would be saved. I sincerely hope he was. His faith was strong but so was his sense of humour. He had learnt to laugh at himself because there really was no other way. Anyone who is familiar with Frank Crawford’s Frank Spencer from, “Some mothers do ‘ave em,” can easily imagine what Stuart looked like. He was the image of a young Michael Crawford in…