Category Archives: house

House news and the vanishing Kindle

Life News:

Great imminent joy afoot in the House Department, you’ll be glad to hear – it’s possible that we may have an exchange date of next Thursday, with a completion date two weeks from that. At least that’s what we’re aiming for but, what with the bank holiday, we have yet to have that confirmed by the vendors. I’m hoping that will be okay though, as I’d ideally like to be in our new expanded house by the middle of September. Watch this space …

Whilst waiting for all that to go through (we hope!), there’s more exciting news on the Amazon Kindle front – they attempted to deliver it yesterday but we were out so I know it exists somewhere in the hemisphere and is attempting to reach me, hurrah. I imagine they’ll try to deliver again on Tuesday, by which time I’ll be at work, so I’m planning to ring them up early then and see if I can collect it from the despatch point in Guildford after work. I can’t wait!

And I’m back at my Alexander Technique lessons – they’ve been off for the summer as my tutor broke her foot, poor thing, but she’s well enough to restart now, so I hope my terribly stiff neck might be sorted out soon. Double hurrahs if that’s the case indeed.

Yesterday, we spent a day at Mother’s (hence the inability to receive my Kindle), and today we popped into the Benefice Communion service as Church returns to its routine after the usual C of E August shennanigans (sp?). Much amusement at the start of the service when the lady vicar forgot her glasses and was making please lend me some glasses signs behind the altar plus lots of giggling. Thankfully someone in the congregation swiped his wife’s glasses (I assume he had permission but really who’s to say …!) and leapt into the breach. I think said wife then borrowed someone else’s and so it went on. Heck we all know the service by now so we really don’t need to see the words …

Meanwhile, at The Bemused Gardener, I am bamboozled by compost and tomatoes. Probably not in that order.

Book News:

I’m happy to see that four of my short stories are in the Waterstone’s Top 10 e-short stories list, so that’s nice. And The Delaneys and Me managed to get to No 32 in the Amazon Gay Fiction charts, but has now dropped out entirely.

I was pleased however that Angels and Airheads gained a nice review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews, so thank you for that.

This week’s meditation poems are:

Meditation 412
When preparing for war
the voice of God

sent everyone home
unbloodied and whole;

if only today
some brave politician

would stand and proclaim
a similar goal.

Meditation 413
God is so distant
sometimes

that only the thought
of gold

can act as a substitute
for love.

Meditation 414
The old paths
are not the best ones
today;

retrace your steps
another way.

This week’s haiku is:

The garden rises
in my dreams: green and haunting,
whispering of leaves.

Anne Brooke
The Bemused Gardener

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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

Haikus, houses and Holmes

Book News:

I’m happy to say that my latest poetry collection, Sunday Haiku, has already received two 4-star reviews at Goodreads, one from Kim and one from Lisa, who says amongst other comments that she “felt captured within the calm of the poetry” which is precisely the feeling I was trying to attain. Thank you very much, both. And you can now also find Sunday Haiku on sale in PDF version at Rainbow Ebooks, so I hope that covers all buying possibilities. Enjoy!

In addition, I’m getting towards writing the final few scenes of The Prayer Seeker’s Journal, where you can now find the latest episode. There’s a time lag between writing them and actually uploading them, but I hope to finish the first draft by the autumn or thereabouts, though I suspect the last few chapters will be fairly long.

Other books news includes the following: Creative Accountancy for Beginners found itself in the Smashwords Top 10 Humour Bestsellers list, which has been a lovely boost; Painting from Life gained a 4-star review at Goodreads; and The Bones of Summer also had a 4-star Goodreads review – many thanks, Nene, for reading! Meanwhile The Delaneys and Me, continues its rise and fall through the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts, rising as high as No 32 this week.

Recent meditations are:

Meditation 396
No matter
how many lists you make –

table, lampstand,
flowers, cups, bowls

and all the paraphernalia
of fire and hope –

you cannot keep God
contained by your

limitation.

Meditation 397
A cloudy day
and a simple ritual,

wood and stone
and silent angels,

but when the light
arrives, it dazzles you

to the eternal changeability
of prayer.

Meditation 398
The slow history
of stone

wraps you round
in memory

and truth,
helps you

pray again.

And here’s a poem I’ve also written this week:

East

These eastern winds
are an icy layer
leaving you
and me

too close
for comfort

and too far away
to see.

This week’s haiku:

Two blue bicycles
energise the road, piercing
the day’s warm silence.

Life News:

The very big news this week which is both exciting and terrifying is that we and our deceased neighbour’s nephews have agreed on a price for his old flat (below ours) – it’s at the upper limit of our budget but we think that with a bit of scraping around and with the wind in the right direction we can do it, hurrah! So we’re now plunged into the process of conveyancing and soliciting (as it were) and mortgaging, and we hope to have contracts exchanged – all things being equal – by the end of August. I hope it all goes to plan, as it would be great to have more space, not to mention a part of the house garden and a garage. And two floors, well gosh. Whatever next? We won’t be able to eat or go on holiday for the next five years, but what the heck, eh. Who needs food or aeroplanes? We do so love the house, which has got an NVQ Level 5 in Character, though those old Victorian pipes can be a tad dodgy (don’t ask, but never ever put anything at all if you can possibly help it down the loo in a Victorian house – a piece of Life Advice you can have for free …!), so it would be lovely to have more of it. So watch this space, and wish us luck.

Marian and I had a good round of golf on Friday, though we can tell that the schools are ready to break up, as it took a lot longer to go round. I started off with two pretty damn glorious pars (hurrah!) but rapidly faded, so only just managed to scrape victory from the certain jaws of defeat. Yesterday, I was briefly (on a Saturday, how dreadful!) back at work to help out in the afternoon at the University’s open day – which I must say was the busiest I’ve ever known, so I did a heck of a lot of smiling, and was utterly shattered when I got home. So much so that I nearly fell asleep in front of our recorded episode of Midsomer Murders and had to go to bed at 9.30pm, which is really unheard of.

I’m still tired today as well, but this might have been a good thing as they sprang a cunning double christening at church on us today, so there was a lot of water and gurgling, not all of which was me. I’m not a great fan of christenings to be honest – too child-centred for my tastes, but I did a lot of smiling and trying to look normal, so I think people were fooled. Mind you, the family had dressed up to the nines, which was nice to see, and all looked very glam. We’re not used to that in the Sunday crowd …

Ooh, and tonight I and Lord H are hugely looking forward to the new updated version of Sherlock Holmes, which I’m sure will be well worth catching – 9pm on BBC. Don’t miss it! Must dash and get my violin and deerstalker hat ready, if only for old times’ sake.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal