Category Archives: depression

Where be the happiness?…

(Held over from yesterday as Blogger broke …)

Life News:

Lordy, what a week. I have to say it’s been pretty bad really and I do feel quite depressed. Groan. I think the fact that, as per the doctor’s instructions, I’ve been slowing coming off the HRT to try to solve the cyst issues, and this is my last week of having it hasn’t been helping. The HRT really lifts my mood but, without it I feel utterly overwhelmed by everything and basically tired and tearful. Poor K …

Neither has the fact that I’ve had to work Monday, Wednesday and tomorrow (Friday) been easing the confusion – I don’t really know what hat I have to wear in the mornings, and I just get used to the work hat when the home hat must be worn and vice versa. And it’s so ruddy busy and difficult too in the office, there’s hardly a moment to breathe. God, what a moaner I am. No change there then.

In addition I’ve had a screaming/swearing/shouting/sobbing match with the other consultant and AXA Healthcare, as they for some unknown reason have involved me in the fact that the consultant hasn’t been paid yet – as AXA say he’s not sent them the report and GP letter which enables them to pay my bill, though the consultant’s secretary says they have sent it, so I then went back to AXA who say they haven’t got it, and could I ring the consultant’s secretary back to get them to fax it to them, and no they can’t ring the doctor’s to get their fax numbers direct as they’re too busy to do that (as if I’m lazing around doing nothing, eh, eh …) and I must do it even though yes they understand that I pay for their ruddy private health cover and I’m the client. By which time I’m barking mad and so tearful I can barely speak to the sodding phone-idiot. Eventually he tries to ring the doctor whilst I’m sobbing on the phone but he says (liar, I’m sure) he can’t get through so I must ring back and get the fax number. So I put the phone down on him and ring the consultant’s secretary again by which point I’m beyond reason and shout at her to give me the effing fax number without any chit-chat as I don’t have time or energy for this kind of thing which in my view she should ruddy well be doing anyway. I get the fax number, ring AXA back, chant it to them, tell them to sort it out if they haven’t got paid without involving me again because I’m the sodding patient and I can’t be arsed with their stupidity and put the phone down on them too. Plonkers. If I never have to deal with (a) ruddy AXA Healthcare or (b) the other consultant’s secretary again, then frankly it won’t be a bloody moment too soon.  All that whilst at work too – no wonder Ruth took pity on me and got me a coffee, fully-caff. Ruth is an angel. No argument about that.

But really, no wonder I’m pissed off …

Not only that but the troublesome absentee neighbours in the middle flat are causing a fuss about K very kindly paying their share of the house building insurance for them as it was due and we thought the building should really continue to be insured (well, it seemed logical to us …). Anyway, they’re querying the long-standing division of costs, the rebuilding costs, the lease, the contents, what we might do if we decide to flood them (oh the temptation, don’t even mention it …) and anything else that springs to their troublesome minds. In addition, they have now started questioning the very lovely downstairs neighbours about whether she has been using their lawnmower (um no, she hasn’t …) and whether the garage she owns is in fact hers (it is. We know it is as this flat sold it to them in the 1960s and so it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the ruddy middle neighbours, who really just try to get their facts right or simply butt out of what is none of their business). The crux of the matter is I understand they hate us (we hate them too so it’s fair dues) but why they have to interfere with the perfectly innocent downstairs neighbour is way way beyond us. Perhaps they are just insane? It’s a definite possibility.

So, what with all this, I’m now deeply worried about what will happen and what problems they might cause if we ever get a buyer for our flat (academic question at the moment as dammit but no-one’s come near the place and it’s been a week already, sigh …) and whether they’ll decide to block the sales agreement (their right as a one-third freeholder) and therefore prevent us from selling at all. Maybe I’m over-dramatising, but yes I am worried about this. Whatever happens, I do not want to be in this flat for my next birthday in summer 2011. I’ve really seriously got to be out of here by then, if only for reasons of mental wellbeing, even if we have to abandon it and simply buy a similar property elsewhere. I fear Flat 2 might become an albatross round our neck we’re never going to be rid of and therefore the dream of an extra bedroom we might use as a study plus a garden and a garage might be vanishing away. And if the neighbours won’t let us sell it, then they’re unlikely to allow us to rent it out either, further sighing … If all this has taught me one thing and a thing I will freely share with you now, it’s this: never ever buy leasehold, no matter how lovely the people are you’re sharing it with – as things move on and other people come in, and you can never ever tell what might happen. Still, I hope it doesn’t come to this, as I just want us or them to leave. Yes, I’m probably being paranoid, but it’s been a difficult week and getting perspective is really really tough. On the brighter side, I’m sure (sort of) that the middle neighbours must want us to leave – why wouldn’t they?? After all, from the evidence of this paragraph we are of course insane … In the meantime I’ve started to take 2 St John’s Wort pills per day instead of one to try to bring back the happiness though – I’ll let you know if it works, ho hum.

Book News:

A Dangerous Man did really well in the recent giveaway at Jessewave Reviews, so I’m very pleased about that. It’s also now available at Amazon UK and also at Rainbow Ebooks, so that’s nice. Apparently people are even buying it, well gosh.

At Vulpes Libris, I reviewed The Book of Happy Endings by Elise Valmorbida – she’s an author I do admire, but I don’t think true short stories bring out any of her natural clarity and humanity, which is a shame. Neither are they very happy either, but hey maybe that’s my mood. Who can tell.

Meditation 449

Any miracle
leaves its mark:

the memory of poison
thwarted; bread

too numerous to eat;
an echo of wonder.

Meditation 450

If only all diseases
could be cured as easily

by this simple matter
of washing

and understanding
the subtle magic
in the earth.

Anne Brooke

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Milestones and mortgages

Life News:

A slightly earlier mid-week blog than usual as I’m fiddling around with my days this week, so am working tomorrow and then straight out to London to see a friend. As a result today has been hugely busy and I appear to have driven at least 75 miles in the pursuit of health and happiness.

Had my appointment with the lovely gynae consultant at the hospital today, who is cautiously pleased with my progress thus far but is altering the doses of my HRT in order to take the St John’s Wort happy pills into account – so I’m a bit concerned about how that will affect things, but once again we’ll have to see. I’m also being referred to another gynae expert in Guildford to see whether I might at some stage need another op or not. I hope not, but you never can tell. Such is the exciting health life of we middle-aged Surrey women. Hey ho.

Immediately after that I drove across to near where Lord H works in order to sort out, with him, the conveyancing on our new flat purchase, so we’ve now instructed a conveyancer and a mortgage company, so I’m not sure there are any other orders we need to give anyone. Not yet anyway. So far, there are only a couple of issues that need sorting out – so I will I suspect feel calmer when they’re out of the way. All this unfamiliar stuff is making me terribly jittery – which doesn’t surprise me.

Thank goodness for tonight, when we’re out to see The Importance of Being Oscar at the Guildford Theatre, so an opportunity to relax and enjoy definitely beckons. How I need it!

Other life excitements this week so far have been the redoing of the tarmac at the University car park which means everyone is desperately juggling for spaces and we all have to get in early in order to find one. Not too much of a problem, and these things have to be done – my only difficulty has been attempting to find where the heck I’ve put the car at the end of the day as it’s not in my usual place and, being me and a creature of routine, I end up staring soulfully through the fencing at where I usually park and wondering why I can’t get there, and why indeed the car isn’t there at all. Really, how people live lives of adventure and change is beyond me – I like structure and for things to be the same. Lordy, what a wimp, eh.

Book News:

The Delaneys and Me continues its whistle-stop tour round the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts, and was up as high as Number 20 earlier this week. Many thanks to those people who are buying – it’s very much appreciated.

I’m also very happy to say that I’ve reached the 40,000 word marker in my blogged novella, The Prayer Seeker, and you can read the latest episode here. I reckon it might end up being 45-50,000 words, but certainly no more.

Not only that, but I’ve reached my 400th meditation poem, hurrah! Here are the latest two:

Meditation 399
Through all the bustle
and clamour,

the demands, the dreams
and the night-waking fears,

the greatest desire of all
is simply to be heard.

Meditation 400
When all is done –
the words, the tears

and the hard-won hope –
what counts

above all
is mercy.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Free books and Sunday Haikus

Book News:

Am blogging a little earlier than usual today as there’s a competition at Jessewave Reviews to win a FREE copy of Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle for today only, so hurry on over and comment on the post to enter – good luck!

I am also absolutely and incredibly delighted that I have a new poetry collection out! Yes, my collection of haikus for 2009, called simply Sunday Haiku, is now available as an eBook direct from the publisher, Seventh Window, and also at Amazon Kindle. Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

Since 2002 Anne Brooke has written a haiku or two every Sunday. This book contains her haikus written in the year 2009. These short poems are Anne Brooke’s meditations on life, publishing, nature and herself. They are simply brilliant and beautiful.

And I’m sure you’ll all agree that the cover is lovely. All this has been a complete surprise to me as the lovely Ken Harrison of Seventh Window Publications only contacted me this week as he’s been enjoying my Sunday haikus on Facebook, and so it’s been a rollercoaster ride since Monday! I gather he’s even managed to sell some copies, so thank you to those of you who’ve taken a chance and I do hope you enjoy the read. Thank you, Ken! Goodness, how refreshingly different the world of ebooks can be.

I also continue to be bemused but happy at the fact that The Delaneys and Me continues to float around the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts and was apparently at one stage at the dizzy heights of No 16, well gosh. It’s fallen rather since then though, but I think the excitement might have been too much for the twins. Meanwhile, Martin and The Wolf recovered its dignity somewhat since its beating last week, with a 5-star Amazon review, so thank you, Amos, for that. Lucas sends love … fiercely, of course. And there’s been a nice round-up of my Untreed Reads fiction, including the latest offering, so thank you for those kind words also, Jay – though I’m not really sure that I move seamlessly anywhere in any part of my life, to be honest! I am from Essex after all, and we don’t do seamless.

Moving on to other people’s books, may I recommend this marvellous and very readable fantasy, which frankly is the best book I’ve read all year. Including my own, dammit. The good news is that I gather it’s shortly to be published by Untreed Reads in ebook version, so will be cheaper, and at that stage I intend to review it thoroughly for Vulpes Libris, so you’ll have to wait for that a while longer. But it’s definitely worth a read, and some.

Today, however, my review of Geoffrey Best’s Churchill, a Study in Greatness is at Vulpes instead, so you can admire The Great Man in a great and inspirational biography while you’re waiting. Never say I’m not good to you.

This week’s meditations:

Meditation 393
The fragility
of the lily

encased in the glory
of bronze

shines its delicacy
on your slow path.

Meditation 394
Metal and water
and the lily’s slow bloom:

strength made perfect
where delicacy dwells.

Meditation 395
If you possess
everything,

lions, bulls,
winged creatures

and palm trees,
then you’ll always need

a cart to put them in,
in bronze, of course.

Life News:

It’s been a very muddly and difficult week, work-wise, and really I seem to have been often at odds with the universe and the world around me. Does anyone else get weeks like that?? Or is it just me? I feel very much like I’m only just holding on to the sense of what’s going on in the office and how the heck to deal with it, and everything seems to have been a real effort. I suspect I’m simply overtired, and am not coping well and obsessing about the slightest thing – hmm, sounds of Lord H muttering that it doesn’t appear to be any different from usual really, but you know what I mean. I hope.

Mind you, all the angst and trauma has been rather mitigated by the success of last night’s work quiz at a local pub (which Ruth and I arranged) – though it has been causing some of the issues this week, not least because the pub’s phone has been out of order for a week so getting hold of them to sort things out has been … um … a challenge, though they are very nice. Anyway, it all went well in the end and our quizmaster was absolutely excellent, so everyone had a good time, phew. Including me.

Still, I was looking forward to a wonderful Clarins massage this afternoon at the House of Fraser Guildford to ease out the tensions of it all, but there’s been a mix-up, and they and I had different days down for my appointment, dammit. Not sure whose fault it is, but frankly I think they could have at least offered some sort of apology rather than sounding as if I was wasting their time by even existing, sigh. I’ve been a customer of theirs for seventeen years after all, and I think I’ve always been a very reliable and easy-to-deal-with one. It would be nice if I felt I was getting something back. Maybe I should go elsewhere? So if anyone knows another Clarins treatments provider in the Surrey area, please do let me know! I’m open to offers (as it were).

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Lions, Wolves and Angels

Book News:

I’m interviewed today about Dancing with Lions, so many thanks, Jenna, for that – much appreciated! I also think the whole concept of a 30-second “Drive Thru” interview is utterly grand.

I’m also happy to say that Maloney’s Law found itself at No 24 in the Amazon UK Gay Fiction charts, but has slipped down somewhat since then. A brief burst of glory is always nice though. Talking of which, The Delaneys and Me is lurking secretively at No 40 in the Amazon Kindle Gay Books chart, well gosh. People are obviously taking a shine to gay twins and off-beat humour – for which I am very grateful, thank you.

I’m also thrilled that Martin and The Wolf received a lovely review at Jessewave Reviews, so thank you, Jenre – glad you enjoyed the read. Not to be outdone, Angels and Airheads received a 4-star review at Goodreads (thank you, Ami!). Is the paranormal coming into its own? Who can tell …

Finally, in terms of news in this section, I’m delighted that the lovely Anders at Queer Magazine Online has published my article, entitled Things I’ve Learnt from my Fictional Gay Men, a subject which actually made me think fairly deeply about the eclectic mix of characters living somewhere in my head, Gawd bless them. If only I could take on board the good things about them all, then surely I might be a better, more together kind of person. I wish, eh.

Anyway, here’s a poem about bananas:

Banana Road


One lone banana
waits on an English road
for a banana tree

to rise up
out of English tarmac.

This week’s meditations:

Meditation 381
In matters of the heart
it’s true that mothers
may know best

as vengeance
and death
bring their men no rest.

Meditation 382
For a man
soon to be known

as the wisest
in the land

his first acts
are bathed

in blood and fear
proving that God

does indeed work
from the dark.

Meditation 383
You can vanish
in the city,

unnoticed by kings
or killers.

It is only when
the expansive skies

swallow you up
that your hours

are numbered.

Meditation 384
Finally he thinks
of asking
for wisdom –

a gift
willingly granted –
but many deaths

might have been avoided
if he’d only thought
of asking before.

Life News:

Bit of a difficult day today, as people seem to be proving tricky here and there, goddammit. So it’s very much a “retire to the nearest cave and wait for the storms to pass” sort of a day, sigh. Still, I had a great time earlier in the week seeing Jane & Ang (hello, both!) for dinner at our local Italian – which was fabulous on all fronts, hurrah! And I’ve had a lovely time visiting the neighbour today and catching up so that’s been nice too. I suppose we all have to hang on to the good bits of the week and let the tricksy bits go hang – sometimes easier said than done though. I just get cross!

Talking of which, I’m very angry and deeply disappointed that once again the Church of England has taken an historic opportunity and trashed it – a story which you can read here. When, oh when will gay people (not to mention women) be seen as equal in the church’s eyes? Honestly, surely this injustice and inequality is enough already. It does deeply sadden me that the church leadership fails every time to see things as most of us actual churchgoers do. When will we have leaders who really represent us, or who have the courage simply to stand up for what is right and just and generous? I do feel very let down by this. I’d like to see an openly gay bishop in my lifetime, and a female one too, but I wonder if that’s too much to hope for?…

Still, there are some things which remain good nonetheless: I must absolutely refer you to the totally stunning Rock Choir who are well worth your visit and who have produced a rollickingly good first album with some utterly toe-tapping tunes. I know this as I’ve just listened to the whole thing in the car and it’s sing-a-long city! I’m thrilled with this on two counts: first off, my friend Marian from golf and also the lovely lady, Alison, who does my reflexology are both in the choir, so it’s their first album – well done to both! And, secondly, if you buy a copy, profits from one of the tracks go to the UK charity, Refuge, which supports victims of domestic violence. A marvellous cause, I’m sure you’ll agree, so please do consider buying the album – it’s great!

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Dangerous Men and Executioners

There. That’s a title to conjure with, on oh so many levels. Never say I don’t put some kind of effort into this writing lark, ho ho. Anyway, here’s this week’s news so far – my first few days of being 46, you know.

Book News:

I’m utterly thrilled with this new cover for A Dangerous Man which has been created by Scot D. Ryersson – what a genius. It’s incredible and I really love it. Thank you, Scot. I’m very fond of the original one too, of course, but this seems to be perfectly suited for the times now and, hey, it’s always good to have choices. I love it.

In terms of recent reviews, I’m pleased that literary short, Dancing with Lions, has gained a very enthusiastic 5-star review at Goodreads – many thanks for that, Rick. And it’s a particular pleasure as it’s this story’s first review. I was starting to think nobody had much time for a Biblical historical and feminist perspective on King David, so nice to know I was wrong, tee hee. Let the women of the Bible loose is what I say – there’s much modern value in them.

I’m also happy that the lovely Stephanie Watson has given The Secret Thoughts of Leaves a 4-star review, and also given a 5-star review to The Girl in the Painting – gosh, thanks, Stephanie! You read at a rate even faster than mine – do you not allow time to breathe?!…

Finally, in the reviews section, Martin and The Wolf and Angels and Airheads both received a very kind mention at Tam’s Reads – thank you, Tam! Though I do think that your admission that you appear to be on an “Anne Brooke diet” in terms of reading is scary for you and I believe I know a doctor who can help … Lord H at least has every sympathy for your predicament.

Keeping to the subject of reviews, my take on Malcolm Pryce’s Last Tango in Aberystwyth can be found at Vulpes Libris today. It’s the first in my Happy Reads series of reviews for the Book Foxes, and isn’t really an auspicious start, I fear. I’m hoping for better things.

In terms of current works, I’ve sent the final edits for Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle back to Amber Allure Press, and that’s due out on 18 July. And, in a truly miraculous feat, I have forced myself back into the game (steady, people, steady …) in respect of actually writing more of The Executioner’s Cane. A bit of a shocker that, as I’d all but forgotten what the hell was going on and what the characters were like. Hmm, still don’t know really. It took a while to get into it again this morning (lots of sighing, playing on the computer, mad displacement activity and groaning etc etc, but then again that is usual for me …) but yes I’ve done 1000 words. Phew. Ye gods and little fishes, Lord knows what the scribe thinks he’s up to now but I suppose it must be something. Probably another month before I hit the dang thing again then at this rate. Hey ho.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Martin and The Wolf is now available at Amazon Kindle, and there’s still time to win a free copy (hurrah!) at the Dancing Dove competition – it ends on 25 June (tomorrow) so best to rush!

I’m also delighted to say that I’ve joined the GLBT Author and Reader Yahoo Group, which looks a great place to be. So if you read or write GLBT fiction, do pop along for a visit. I’m especially pleased with my fun new Fiction Photo Album, which brings together all my gay fiction in one place. Not sure if you can see that unless you join as Yahoo in many respects remains a mystery to me but, believe me, it’s worth the 10 seconds it will take to apply for membership, honest! And you get to meet lots of really lovely people who are far, far less scary than me, so what are you waiting for?…

Life News:

I have time for a life?? Well, goodness me, who’d have thought it. I must squeeze it in somehow (as it were) between crazed book work. Anyway, my birthday (I’m 46 now, don’t you know – have I mentioned that already?) was fab-u-lous, in all respects, and I received some lovely presents from Lord H, and some totally strange presents from Mother. As usual. Bless. Still, I admit that though, at first, I laughed at her floral open-toed slippers gift (Mother has always bought presents for the lovely, fluffy, girly daughter she really wanted but, sadly, didn’t get …), now in this heat I can’t take them off. Even to go outside. I am softening towards them and wearing them even as I’m typing this. Perhaps in the end, Mother will indeed get the daughter of her dreams, and Lord H will hurtle off into the sunset wondering where the off-kilter, kick-ass woman that he married went to … Um, here’s hoping not, please God! On all counts. Anyway, one of Lord H’s gifts was a wonderful summery, dark blue dressing gown that is just what I wanted, as all my dressing gowns – Lordy, is that sad that I have several?? – are way, way too wintery. I am wearing it all the time too – with the slippers. Never say I am not stylish.

And it was a good job I had such a fabulous time on Monday, as Wednesday was UTTER crap, I must say. Depression City all round – exhaustion, heat, PMT big-time all came together to create the World’s Weepiest Wife all day, dammit and big groan. It was soooo bad that I took 2 St John’s Wort pills, 2 calming pills, a herbal sad person’s pill and some Rescue Remedy spray. Still didn’t work but at least I rattled a lot, so people could tell I was coming and still have time to escape. Weird how today all that crap has gone and I feel fine again. I am indeed a slave to my hormones, sigh. Thank God that’s over for another month.

All of which is probably something similar to what those astonishing and surely exhausted Wimbledon players must be feeling after yesterday’s game. Ye gods, but it’s made tennis interesting again – and you must read the article in the link as it’s laugh-out-loud good, even if you’re not a tennis fan. Which I’m not any more, but both Lord H and I wonder if the match will ever end as it enters its third day. Gosh! Don’t they have homes to go to, and how do those two men keep standing at all? Though let’s not go into the mysteries of how the umpire managed to go so many hours without a courtesy break … scary biscuits indeed.

Here are a couple of meditation poems to keep us all going:

Meditation 371
The ultimately
unfortunate soldier
whose spear has a shaft
as thick as the bar
on a weaver’s loom

probably didn’t reckon
on such a brief mention
in scripture
or on meeting his fate
quite so terribly soon.

Meditation 372
After the battle
comes the poetry

full of glory
and song

but I think
skipping the massacre

and going straight
to the music

wouldn’t entirely
be wrong.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Publishing and some personal thoughts

What a busy and sometimes vastly difficult week it’s been. Really, I’m astonished we’ve got to the end of it and are still standing. Just. Not that it’s been all bad news as it hasn’t, as there’s been lots of nice future publication activity, which has acted as a bit of a boost.

I’ve received and completed the contract for Rosie by Name from Bluewood Publishing and hope to post that back to them tomorrow, although I’ve also sent a copy by email. And I have a lovely new publication date for the new edition of A Dangerous Man from Cheyenne Publishing – it will be 15 October 2010, so it’s great to have something to look forward to after the inevitable exhaustion of the University’s Freshers’ Week.

At a less distant perspective, I’ve sent back the galley proofs of Martin and The Wolf, which now has a page at Amber Allure Press (NB: that page contains erotic content so be warned!). It will be published on Sunday 13 June, so not long to go now, hurrah.

And there’s a new interview with me for your delectation at Shae Connor’s Journal – thanks so much to Shae for allowing me to take over her journal for a day. It’s much appreciated.

However, on the slightly minus side, I’ve been giving some thought to my novel-writing vocation (I hesitate to say career!) over the last few weeks on and off, and I’ve decided that when I’ve finished The Executioner’s Cane, then I won’t be writing any more novels for the foreseeable future. When I started writing novels in the year 2000, I gave myself ten years to make some kind of go of it and, in all honesty, that hasn’t worked, and is causing me on the whole more grief than joy. So I think it’s time to call it a day, as they say, and move on. In any case, finishing Executioner will without doubt take me well into 2011 so I’ve given it my best shot. Yes, I’m sad to have to take this decision, but not taking it will I fear be even more detrimental to my mental/emotional health so I’d be stupid to do anything else.

On the other hand, that doesn’t mean I won’t be continuing writing the short stories and, perhaps, the odd novella or two. The short story career (and there, I do dare say that word, though with tongue very much in cheek of course!) has been doing surprisingly well recently, particularly with my new gay and literary fiction publishers (special thanks for this to Amber AllureTorquere Press and Untreed Reads), and bringing in more royalties than anything else put together, so I think it’s best to concentrate on that. Plus it’s more fun. In terms of novellas, I’d like to finish The Prayer Seeker’s Journal at about 40,000 words or so, and then I’ve got an idea about a gay romance novella, but I won’t start that until the last novel is done. Onward and sideways for sanity then, as they say …

Talking of health matters, which we are sort of, I’m disappointed to note that my second CA125 blood test results weren’t great, though almost identical to the first one – so, hell, at least I’m consistent! And the scan I had at the same time wasn’t perfect either, though that’s probably my usual and there’s nothing horrible to worry about there. Which I hope is true on all counts, but I’m seeing the specialist on Wednesday, so I’ll wait to hear what she has to say. Ho hum. Thank you hugely to all the people who’ve sent very kind messages – I’m very grateful indeed. While I’m at the hospital, I think I’m also going to ask her if I can change my current HRT doses in some way – I haven’t really been very happy at all over the last couple of months, and have been positively weepy on many occasions and furiously angry on others, though I think I’ve kept that out of the public domain on the whole (poor, poor Lord H – what a lot he’s had to put up with since March or so, and how much of a Superhero he really is!!). We think it might be the hormones, sigh. But, honestly, I really really can’t bear a summer of this as I have no clue at all as to how I’m going to feel from one moment to the next or even how I’m going to act. God preserve Surrey! Is it premenopausal, I wonder??

Which brings me (though I trust the link is only coincidental) somehow back to the Cumbria Question. Not on the matter of what happened this time, but on the matter of what’s happening now. I would like to nail my colours to the proverbial mast and say that if I live in a society where the press can without any qualms at all interview a 9-year-old boy about his reactions to the killings he witnessed, then we are in all honesty no longer living in either a civilised society or a humane one. The press deserve a hefty fine for this kind of child abuse, and the parents a hefty warning. God preserve us all indeed. Enough said. As I fear that in this age of celebrity-at-any-price and news-at-any-price, then people will do anything and my views are meaningless.

Anyway, here’s some poetry to calm us all down:

Meditation 368
There will always be ways
of putting your point across

but what matters most
is the listening.

This week’s haiku, because getting up yesterday morning was just sooo tricky! –

Sunlight pierces air,
calls me to the crystal day.
Reluctant riser.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Reviews, ratings and reflexology

Writing News:

Am pleased to say that Give and Take has a new review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews, so thanks for reading, Kassa – much appreciated!

At the same time, The Hit List gained a 4 star rating at Goodreads, so that’s very heartening too. Which is good as I must admit I’ve been feeling rather hopeless this week – the post-Easter droop, I fear. Ah well. Other good news is that Amber Allure Press have accepted my gay space travel story, Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle, and will be publishing it on 18 July, hurrah! Maybe it’s time to stop drooping around like a sick puppy then …

And I’ve finally (finally!) cancelled my subscription to the increasingly dreadful Mslexia Magazine – it’s so terribly 70s and pretentious pseudo-feminist, not to mention headmistressy, these days that I couldn’t even bear to take the last issue out of its wrapper before disposing of it. However no more copies will arrive now so I feel truly liberated. Perhaps time to burn my bra then. Yikes.

Life News:

Am rather stressed out with church at the moment – Lord H and I appear to have to do the coffee rota this Sunday and it’s the family service, and I absolutely hate the family service, but don’t feel there’s enough time to get someone else. In our defence, it wasn’t the FS when we signed up – the pesky religious powers have changed the damn thing! The woman running the service also rang us up and it appears to be chock-full of children, sigh, so am dreading the whole thing already. If I don’t feel strong enough to have to pretend to be normal once more, I might just send Lord H into the lion’s den, and pray a lot, ho ho … I feel an attack of the vapours coming on.

Anyway, I’ve had a lovely reflexology session today and I feel slightly more balanced (hurrah!). Plus I’ve had lunch and a pleasant afternoon’s shopping with Robin & Liz, so feel like a more integrated member of society. Hmm, I’ll have one delivered then … And, thanks to the true shopping genius of Robin, I have a new handbag and purse, 4 new tee-shirts and a lovely present for Liz’s upcoming 60th birthday (so here’s hoping she’s not going to be reading this). I am indeed – with the right support – a genius.

Anne Brooke – a genius in disguise
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal – in existential mood