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Another Brilliant Review for the Christmas Compendium!

I'm really pleased that people seem to like the new collection of seasonal stories 'A Christmas Cracker ' .  This latest 5 sta...

Monday, 27 July 2015

Dogging my footsteps!



I've recently been tasked with walking my daughter's dog, a lanky chocolate labrador, so that he can do those things which a dog must do, without rendering the kitchen into a no-go zone.  I'm only required if my daughter and husband's respective shifts mean that the dog is going to be incarcerated for the full day, but that's been happening a bit just lately, so the dog and I have been getting to know each other quite well.

Our route normally takes us past the Stately Home that dominates their village. Between the road and the pavement, there is a grass verge (as in the picture above) and this seems to be his favoured spot for defecation.  The other day, he had just completed his morning movement and I was poised to clear the mess up.  Not, I must admit, my favourite occupation of all time but, in the immortal words of Arthur Guiterman:

"No matter what we are and who, Some duties everyone must do:"

The dog has an unfortunate habit of wandering as he dumps, despite my best efforts to stop this practice, so I'm poised with plastic bag in one hand, a supply of kitchen towel in the other and I'm steeling myself to deal with about a yard's worth of "ooh nasty" as Kenneth Williams used to say, when I notice a white car with a young couple in it drawing up to the pavement about 10 yards away.  

My initial reaction was, 'I don't blame you for keeping as far away as possible' as it must have been fairly evident what I was up to.  I was therefore more than a bit surprised when the car crawled along the road and came to a halt directly opposite where the dog and I were standing.  There were no other cars parked in the vicinity, so there was no need for them to be close to my area of operation at all, and yet they had deliberately moved from a perfectly good spot to one that I wouldn't have been anywhere near, given the choice.

It was a hot day, and they sat chatting, with the window down, apparently oblivious of me, the dog, and the dog's recent evacuations just a couple of feet away from where they were sitting.  I set about my allotted task as best I could, but the presence of an audience at such an intimate distance rather put me off my stride.  Even the dog had the good grace to look embarrassed.

I couldn't, for the life of me, understand what would possess anyone to deliberately move closer to the scene of such devastation?  Presumably, they were proposing to get out of the car at some point and this would, inevitably, involve the passenger stepping out onto the grass, exactly where the dog had just done his thing.  

It is not possible, no matter how diligent the clearing, to remove every trace of defecation from a grass verge without digging up a cubic metre of grass and soil, which would soon lead to the whole area looking like the Somme after a particularly bad barrage.  Therefore, it seemed to me, that the passenger could not hope to avoid a rather close encounter of the dog kind, that could have been easily averted!

To crib from Terry Wogan, "Is it me?"

Friday, 17 July 2015

A Decade of Grannys!





It only occurred to me the other day that this year constitutes the tenth year since my granny was let loose on an unsuspecting public!

To clarify, it was back in 2005 that I put together a collection of articles and musings, mostly about growing up in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, collectively titled 'Steady Past Your Granny's', which I then published via a Daily Mail offer (see image on left above).  Actually, published might be too strong a word, as I could only afford to have 20 (or it might have been 30, I'm not too clear on this) copies printed at £5 per copy.  Having foisted most of these on my patient and supportive relatives and friends, I then went berserk in 2006 and had a new edition desktop-published and printed (200 + copies) which could be sold in bookshops.  The image on the right (above) shows me at my first and only book signing at Ottakar's in Burton upon Trent (now Waterstone's).  The paperback version is still available and can be ordered through your friendly local book shop (there are some useful links on iAuthor) or through Amazon (follow this link, but you may have to pester them for it)

You can now find the Radio Derby interview that I did just prior to the book signing on You Tube

Having sold most of those, and with my usual speedy decision-making, in 2011 I uploaded the book to Amazon Kindle (Find it here) and Smashwords (here).  Now available (23.07.15) on Google Play Books

I wish I knew then what I know now!  At that time, I was pretty naive about e-books and therefore assumed that my average initial sales of over 40 copies per day, were par for the course.  I wasn't even over-excited when it reached 228 in the overall Amazon UK chart (I would be now).

There's a more in-depth account of my self-publishing journey in my blog post 'Booked Up

So, here we are, me and my granny ten years later, and we would both like to thank the more than 6,000 readers who have been kind enough to purchase the book (it's never been free, and never will be).  Thanks also to all of those who have taken the time to leave reviews.  Over the ten years, my granny has been joined by a motley collection of ducks


pantry doors


and bulls


but it's my granny that continues to outsell all of them, and long may that continue.

Thanks to everyone, from me, and my granny :-)