Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas everyone.

Sorry I haven't been around much over the past few weeks, we have been busy trying to make the house look presentable for the festivities. Not an easy task but it doesn't look bad now.
Christmas is still a difficult time of the year for us but we manage the best we can. Keeping busy helps as does a few glasses of wine.
I hope to be more consistent with my blog next year and shall be updating you on the progress of the second draft of my novel.
So to all the Novel Racers and other visitors to this blog have a lovely Christmas and a creative 2010.
See you all in the New Year.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

First draft finished, well sort of !!!!

Now I am not claiming victory in the mini race with JJ, who by the way has done really well this week, but I have been struggling all week and have come to the conclusion that I have gone as far as I can for the time being. I have a bit over 70000 words and I have four pieces of research to pull together, which will get me close to my target of 85000 words. Now I have to start the second draft. It has taken me three years to get to this point and I feel the need to take a fresh look at the whole ms. It has to be a complete overhaul and I think I need to step back for a while before starting again. I also have a lot of other work to be doing over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas.
So I am taking some time off from my wip and I shall start the second draft in the new year. This will give me some time to do some other bits and pieces of writing and blog a bit more hopefully.
Sorry to leave the race early JJ but I shall be following your progress and will not accept any slacking. Perhaps you in turn will ensure that I get back to my wip in the New Year and not allow any bleating from me!!!!
Maybe we can have a race for second draft finished, no only kidding, one thing at a time, no multi tasking on the wip front. Although I might just make the odd note for my next wip.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sunday word count 8

Oh dear a very bad week, only 500 words and they felt like pulling teeth. I seem to have reached a bit of an impasse. I have been writing this first draft for THREE YEARS [started October 2006!!!!] and it has been written as and when an idea comes to me. Now I am not quite sure where I am. Finding where the continuity is missing is proving hard work. So like JJ I have to spend some time working through what I have already written and filling in the missing bits plus a bit more research to do. Atleast for that I have some friends in England who have very kindly agreed to help.
I think next week will be hard too but I am determined to sort myself out and get the rest of the draft finished.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sunday word count 7

Well another week gone by in a flash, where do the days go? I did another coffee morning for the Novel Racers last Friday which is my excuse for not posting here.
Now I won hands down last week but it was a rather hollow victory as JJ has been in England looking after her parents, and she may still be there. Where are you JJ?
Anyway my words for last week a reasonable but not spectacular 2800. This gets me over the 70000 mark so I really feel as if I am on the home stretch.
Just a few more weeks and I will have the Holy Grail, a first draft of my first novel woopee!!!!!!
There's no stopping me now, but a few cheers along the way will still be very welcome.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunday word count 6

A better week even though I didn't manage a post about the builders, I did host the Novel Racers coffee morning on Friday. I have got a bit stuck with some research I need to actually finish my wip so asked for help from the Novel Racers. They have given me some good ideas about where to go for help. So hopefully next week will see more progress.
Anyway back to the word count, I managed 2800 words, better than last week but not as many as I would have liked. So over to you JJ how was your week. Not too stressful I hope.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sunday word count 5

It's been a terrible week due to Builders which I will post about tomorrow, I have only managed a paultry 1000 words this week and even that was hard going, so it's a win for JJ this week but only just. So back on the treadmill tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sunday word count no. 4

Where does the time go ,it's Sunday already and I am hoping for another win over JJ I had a slow start to the week but then got on a bit of a roll when I saw JJ spending valuable writing time shopping, again!!!!

So a bit of a drum roll for a magnificent 3900 words this week. Beat that Bangkok tea drinker!!!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A blog award

I got this award from the lovely DJ The "Your Blog is Fabulous!" Award stands for: Integrity. Commitment to Excellence. Stubbornly Optimistic.The Rules:List five current obsessions: (What, only five?)

[I seem to have lost the award somewhere in the ether, never been very good with technical things, oh well it's the thought that counts. If you want to see what it looks like pop over to DJ's blog.]

My current obessions in no particular order are:

The Builders, if they don't finish soon they will probably take up residence. They started in Feb and should have finished in April, enough said. It's just as well they are nice people otherwise I would have buried them in their own concrete by now.

The mini-race with JJ this has really got me back at my desk. I am a very competitive person and I just hate losing, so watch out JJ.

Running. I run 5 times a week and get very grouchy if I don't get my regular fix. I have been running since I saw the first London Marathon and decided I wanted to do that. I competed in and finished the Race in 1989. I won't say how long it took me!!

Cooking. I just love cooking, I make my own sausages, bacon, ham etc. Plus all sorts of pies and pastries. When I've got my new kitchen up and running I shall be in seventh heaven.

Reading. Never without atleast two books on the go, and have the luxury of a decent TBR pile at the moment, so lots of choice.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sunday word count and Village fete

Well I've just about managed to beat JJ this week, but only just. I have written 3100 words so have fallen 400 short of my weekly target. I could blame the fact that we are spending several hours every day putting up HUGE sheets of plasterboard, getting covered in the stuff I use to stick the boards to the walls and ending up looking like Mr Pastry[who is he you are probably wondering, but I am not going to show my age by telling you] or that it's our village fete which lasts for three days and involves live music in the square every evening starting at 10.30pm and going on til 2 or 3am !!!!! But to be perfectly honest I got a bit bogged down with some research.
So next week I will have to keep my head down and try and do better.
Still it's good to be a winner again and I understand that JJ has another busy week coming up, oh dear [smirks quietly] of course she could be trying to lull me into a false sense of security.
So another evening of dancing and music then back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunday word count

Well another on target week with just over 3500 words. Considering the noise and mess the builders have been making I am quite pleased with the weeks work. However I know that it's going to get harder the closer I get to finishing. Because then I will have to do something with it!!!! While it's not finished I can keep it under wraps and keep those demons at bay. You know the ones, sit on your shoulder and tell you what rubbish it all is and you can't possibly let anyone else read this twaddle.
Still a way to go before that, so JJ how has your week been. And shouldn't you be with your family instead of indulging yourself in a Starbucks??????
I'm off to market now for a bit of people watching, so catch you later JJ.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Building work continues

Before and after photos of the new extension at the back of the house which will eventually be our new kitchen. The OH did the demolition of the old sheds, it was quite a job as the previous owner had used enormous beams for his construction, and all held together with 6 inch nails!!!!

I start a mini race with JJ and the builders return with a vengence. They have been replacing the tiles and some of the timbers on the old part of the house and at times the noise is too much to bear. It sounds like a herd of elephants with clogs on tap dancing!!!!!! And every job seems to be more complicated than anticipated, due I think to some previous rather eclectic building methods. Still the builders assure us it will all be alright in the end!!!!

Yesterday was so bad I took myself off for a walk, found a bench in the sun overlooking the village and managed about 700 words. Not bad in the circumstances. Today is not much better so may try the same again. At least the weather is on our side. Lovely warm sunny days.
I just can't wait for them to be finished and gone. Now I must try and do some of my wip.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Sunday word count

Thanks for all the enthusiastic comments, as the weeks go on I shall need all the help I can get to keep going. I know what I'm like so all "boots up bum" will be gratefully accepted.

So the first week went well, just about 3300 words which is close to my target of 3500 words a week for ten weeks. I also had a few ideas while I was out running yesterday which is encouraging. All I have to do now is keep it up for the next NINE WEEKS and who knows I might win the mini race. Although as Chris H said we both win if it helps us finish our wips.

Anyway it's a day off from writing today as I don't normally write at weekends but if JJ gets too far in the lead I may have to!!!!

Must go and check on the opposition now, see what sort of week JJ has had. Now if she's had a bad writing week do I have to offer her encouragement[while quietly sniggering]? Yes of course I do, and I'll try not to gloat.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Mini race with JJ

JJ and I have decided on a mini race to try and finish our respective wips before the end of the year. I have updated my word count to include recently typed words plus approx 3500 words written but not yet typed up. Now I need to get my head down and aim for 3500 words per week for 10 weeks which will get me to 85ooo by the end of November.

This may be wishful thinking on my part as the builders have just returned to replace the roof of the old part of the house. They haven't quite finished the extensions yet so I have to hope that they get a move on and leave me in peace as quickly as possible.

So I suppose I had better go and make a start. Now where's my notebook as I haven't seen it in a while!!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Virginia Dare

Every day I receive to my inbox The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor which is basically a poem and a list of birthdays of writers, poets and other significant people with a short precis of their lives and achievements. It gives me the opportunity to read a diverse range of Poets and to come across some interesting and original people. And it sometimes sparks a creative idea.

A couple of weeks ago it gave the birthday of Virginia Dare. The first recorded birth of a child to white parents on the North American continent. She was born to a colony of more than 100 men women and children who were trying to establish themselves on Roanoke Island off the coast of N.Carolina. The date was recorded because her Grandfather was the Governor of the colony and returned to England for more supplies. To cut a long story short his return to the colony was delayed by three years and when he did finally make it he found no trace of the Colony.

The disappearance of "The Lost Colony" and of Virginia Dare has been the subject of countless books and films and has passed into American Folklore.

I found this story very intriguing and this poem came to me:

Virginia Dare or The Birth of a Nation

Born 18th August 1587
A tiny mewling baby all red and splotchy
And already fiercely independant.
What joy filled their hearts as her cries
Drifted on the scented air.
So many hopes and fears swaddled tight,
One small bundle with the future of a nation
Grasped briefly in her chubby pink fingers.

What became of Virginia Dare
And the others of the "Lost Colony"?
How long did they search
With no trace ever found.
Only the grey eyed Indians
Perhaps held the key.
How long did she live?

Such an heroic name for little Virginia Dare
One name remembered amongst a multitude
Of others long forgotten.

And I thought I was quite brave moving to France and taking up Sheep farming.

Monday, 20 July 2009

One long year

A year ago our son died suddenly it was Sunday 20th July. We had spent the morning at our local market, drinking a beer at the cafe and watching the world go by. When we got home we had a phone call that no-one should ever have to take. Our lives changed that day and it has been a long and painful journey for us.

I have found it hard to blog or do much writing but fellow bloggers and Novel Racers have been very supportive for which I thank you. I am hopeful that my writing is getting back on track and that one of these days I will finally finish the first draft of my wip. It has been a long time coming!! I have been writing some short stories and of course some poems. The poems have been my way of grieving, words that have demanded to be written.

I wrote this poem last September.

I was not there

I was not there when death came on silent wings
I was not there to hold your hand or ease the pain
As an icy hand gripped your heart and held it til it was still.
I was not there to say a last goodbye
I was not there as your soul
Slipped it's earthly bonds.
I was not there.

I was not there as they sang "Jerusalem"
And "All things bright and beautiful"
I was not there as my tears fell silently.
I was not there as they lowered your body
Into the dark earth.
My soul had slipped its bonds
And was searching desperately for you
But you were not there.
My body called me back.
But I was not there as the sad procession
Walked slowly away
Leaving us alone.

Now all I have are memories
I must not let them slip
From my grasp
As I let you slip.

I was not there.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

TBR pile and book review

For once I have a fabulous tbr pile of books. The most I have ever had and it's amazing to have such a choice. I have met someone here who runs an english language bookstall where you can borrow books. All secondhand that generally she gets given , so it is basically recycling. When she found out my passion for books she very kindly bought me a whole carrier bagful of books she thought i might like. How kind is that? And to add to that i had visited some charity shops with an old schoolfriend while in England and picked up half a dozen books plus some friends brought me the new books I had ordered at Xmas from Amazon. So I have this wonderful selection some picked by me some by an old friend and some by a new friend who has the same feelings towards books as I have so I have lent her a couple of mine as I know she will take care of them. When i have some more time I will put up a list of what I am reading at the moment and what else is in my lovely tbr pile.

I have only just received Black Boxes that i ordered at xmas so here is my review.

Black Boxes by Caroline Smailes.

I wondered how Caroline would follow such an original work as In Search of Adam but she has certainly achieved it with Black Boxes. It is another difficult read with a harrowing storyline but with her perceptive use of the English language it is very readable. It is not a book to "enjoy" because of the subject matter: bullying at school, post-natal depression, the break up of families. It takes you out of your comfort zone and brings you face to face with other peoples misery. The tension she engenders is palpable, her descriptions of the daughters life are heart-rending and realistic and leave you with a feeling of anger and impotence. The attention to detail with the sign language suggests to me a very intelligent and imaginative lady. Her characters come alive and die on the page and you care about them. It leaves you with unanswered questions and I will definitely re-read Black Boxes as I did In Search of Adam, as there are subtelties that demand another read. It has left me impatient for her next novel.

Now I have a lovely dilemma which book shall I read next?

Friday, 26 June 2009

Snails at play

We have enormous snails in our garden, and couldn't resist a photo of this amorous pair! Hope I didn't put them off although I'm not sure if I want all those baby snails.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Bittersweet tears

Hi I've been intending to write this post for some time now but decided to wait til after my trip to England. As followers of this blog know my son died suddenly last July. He left behind two young children from his first marriage and a second wife whom he had been married to for 5 years. Shortly after his funeral his wife found out that she was expecting their first child. She was so pleased that she would have something so tangible to remember my son by but I have to say that I was devestated by the news. I was obviously delighted for her but all I could think was what my son was going to miss and of a child who would never know their Father. It added to my grief and this is what I wrote at the time.

I am lost

From his death there is a beginning
A new life has grown from his seed.
Her heart filling with joy and love
As her cheeks bloom and her belly blossoms.
But my heart is splitting in many fragments.
I should be happy
But the pain is still too strong.
I am lost
Floundering in a well
Of sorrow
I have not yet said farewell
How can I now say welcome?
I am overwhelmed with sadness
For you.

At the beginning of April our daughter-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy. A very healthy 9lb 5oz. At the beginning of June we went back to England for the first time since the funeral. We were going to see his children from his first marriage and of course the new baby, and we were going to visit our son. The whole trip was so hard, the plane, the drive down to Devon, trying to hold myself together for the grandchildren and for our daughter-in-law who has been amazingly strong. The baby is a lovely happy baby and I know that he will come to know his father through his mother his friends and of course us. But even writing this is bringing tears to my eyes.

We then went to the graveyard. As I said before it is set in open fields and is a beautiful place, he is laid under a tree. But on that day the heavens had opened.

We stood before the place where our son lay
A dead threatening sky enveloped us
An unrelenting gloom, no glimmer of light
No words can describe the feeling of utter desolation
My tears mingled with the dark curtain of rain
And seeped into the earth around him.
I did not want to leave him.

It will soon be a year since he died and I know it will be another difficult milestone to cope with. Everyone deals with grief differently and for me putting some of my poems and feelings on this blog has helped.

Allen Ginsberg wrote " Poetry is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private."

Poetry is my "other" me, my private face in public.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Time shifts and building works.

Well that's the only way I can describe the speed with which time is flying by at the moment!!! No update for nearly two months. The builders are making good progress but we will be very pleased whan they finally leave us in peace. It's amazing how much it disturbs our routines and then of course there is the noise and dirt. But it will be worth all the aggro in the long run. But once the builders have finished then the hard work will really start. We are aiming to do the finishing works ourselves, and "flushed" with the success of the new plumbing we are raring to go.

And the sunny weather is finally with us, it's been an iffy spring but now the sun has reappeared with a real warmth in it and the promise of much more to come and good dry weather will make our work easier.

As for my wip I have barely looked at it for weeks but once I get back after my trip to England next week I shall be buckling down to it again. Well at least that's the idea, I just hope I haven't forgotten what it's about!! So just a quick update and more to come soon.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Sunshine, builders and phone.

What more could I ask for? After another week with no phone or internet, "they" finally seem to have got their act together and we have our own phone number back and internet. Only three weeks messing us about!!! The builder has returned with the sunshine and the plumbing is going well. We have a working wash basin for the new loo, and soon a wash basin in the bedroom plus a shower. I have been very impressed by the OH's prowess with a blowtorch!!

All I need now is to knuckle down to my wip. I haven't done anything to it for some time but I have been trying some short stories and poems, which counts as writing doesn't it?

Some thoughts while out running:

Often when I run
I have moments of lucidity.
Ideas crowd my mind
Sentences beg to be written.
But when I return home
They are wiped away
With the sweat!
Why is a blank page so terrifying?
Anxious vanity and fear of ridicule
Check the pen from moving.
On my desk there stands a mug
Full of pens all different hues,
Jostling for my attention.
Which one will it be today?
Choose me, choose me they cry.
One insinuates it's way into my hand,
Willing to slide and slither across the page,
Giving substance to the ideas and images
That wait for life and form
In the jumbled recesses of my mind.

Okay, enough of this, I'm off for a run now and you never know I might just get some new ideas.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Pay it forwards.

A few weeks ago the lovely Caroline offered to send small gifts of friendship to the first three bloggers to leave a comment on her blog. This idea had come via JJ, I had missed that opportunity so was pleased when I was the third blogger. Well my lovely little gifts arrived last week and they proved again what a very thoughtful and kind person Caroline is.

My little parcel contained a beautiful Momiji doll with a secret message from Caroline tucked inside her Kimono. A Sheep Poo Paper book mark, which is exactly what it says it is, from Welsh sheep, and a little magic wand to help all my dreams come true.

I'm not sure I can manage anything quite so exciting but if any of you would like to join in this Pay it forwards then all you need to do is leave a comment asking to join in, then you will need to send me your name and address and I will send you a small gift of friendship. All you then have to do is do a blog about it and link back to me. If you wish to continue the Pay it forwards then that would be entirely up to you. I offer this to the first three bloggers to leave a comment, there is no cost to you and the gift will be small, just a token of friendship and good wishes from one blogger to another.
Now an update on Builders and phones. No builders yet and we still have someone elses phone number, a Technician is due to call Thursday afternoon. That will be two weeks of utter annoyance.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Sorry another rant required!!!

I had intended to do a blog about the lovely Caroline today but I have been exasperated by phone problems. Unbelievably our phone number has been replaced by somebody else's, so we have been receiving somebody else's calls!!!!!. For the past two days we have been able to dial out but not receive calls to our number, I had phoned to complain and been told that this was being looked into. Then this morning we started to get someone elses calls. So I made yet another phone call which lasted for about 16 minutes with me trying to convince the technician that if I did as he said and disconnected the phone line I would not be able to continue the conversation with him!!!! Eventually he recognised the difficulty, now we have to wait for a text message to our mobile to inform us when the problem is resolved. In the meantime we can phone out but only receive someone elses calls, and the poor lady whose phone number we now have has no phone or internet. She phoned me earlier after a friend told her about getting hold of me on her number and all in French of course.

Confused, yes and so are we!!!! All I wanted was to save us some money. I wonder if I could write a short story about this, no it's too far fetched for anyone to believe.
Normal service will resume soon, I hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Incommunicado for a week!!!!

It has been very stressful in our household for over a week now. I made the mistake of trying to save us some money by changing our phone and internet provider. Oh dear oh dear, and it's just aswell you couldn't hear what I was saying over the last few days. It wasn't very ladylike I'm afraid and I think I have a lot more grey hairs!!!!

We lost the phone and internet last Thursday and I have been on the mobile for what seems like hours trying to get through to a human being. If I hear anymore recorded messages I shall not be responsible for my behaviour. And for the first time in our lives we had to resort to an internet cafe!!!! Ooh that was interesting.

Finally yesterday we were reconnected but still cannot receive incoming calls. So yet another call this morning and we have to wait for another technician to visit.

Oh and the builder has been awol since last Thursday although he has promised to return tomorrow. We shall see!

Anyway enough of this rant, tomorrows post will be a much happier one as I have received my lovely surprises from Caroline so I will tell you about that then, I just had to have a virtual scream before getting back to normal.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Update on building work!

This is the two storey extension we are having built at the front of the house. The builders are making good progress.
If only writing was as simple as bricklaying, well I suppose it is in a way, just one word at a time and before you know it you have a novel. Okay I'm off to write todays word!!!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

In memory of The Hesitant Scribe

This should have todays date the 12th February.
The photo makes me feel peaceful and I know that Lisa is at peace now. She lost her battle last Thursday. I didn't know Lisa except through the Novel Racers and her blog but I admired her courage and I am thinking of her family on this very difficult day for them all.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

It has started!!

Yesterday the builder started. Woopeeee!!!!! Finally we shall see some progress with the extensions to the house. Yesterday and today we have the sound of a pneumatic drill pounding in our ears but we are not complaining. We have also started on the bathroom, so far we have removed the old [navy blue] suite and all the [navy blue] tiles from the walls and ceiling!!!! so now we have bare walls that we will plasterboard then make a partition for the new loo. The middle bedroom will have an en-suite shower and basin leaving a larger more open landing. Well thats the theory!!!! The OH will attempt the plumbing with my invaluable advice and assistance so that any problems are down to both of us. We have miles or is that kms of copper piping and a shiny new blow torch and of course a cunning plan to avoid leaks. What cunning plan I hear you ask? A devilishly simple one ................we don't connect the water!!!!!!!! It will all be for show and guests will be required to use the outside loo and garden hose. He he he he.
Seriously though we are glad to be getting on with constructive work again. Oh and did I say it's snowing here. Nothing like poor old England but the hills are white in the distance.
At the moment I am sitting at the kitchen table because I can't use my laptop at my desk at the top of the house, I have earphones on with music to try and cut out the noise. However the other day as I was staring out of my little window this poem popped into my head.

My small window

Seated at my small window high above the village
From the deepening gloom lights spring forth.
The streets are glistenning from the rain
Car lights gleam briefly then retreat.
The tall conifer stands sentinel
Silhouetted against the distant hills.
Grey clouds heavy with expectation
Wallow slowly across the horizon
Catching the smoke that rises from the chimneys.
Darkness now envelopes the houses
Interspersed by pools of neon yellow,
Halos of light blossom above the lamp posts.
The temperature drops quickly
As the shutters are slammed shut.
Will the stars appear tonight
Or will they be obscured from view.
One of my bright stars has gone forever and it still hurts.

When I heard about our fellow racer who has such a desperate fight ahead of her this came to me because I know that we all guilty of wasting time.

Precious time

As the darkness folds in on itself
To make way for a new day
And the first tendrils of light
Creep along the edges of the earth
The world shakes the sleep
From its eyes
And promises renewed hope.
And as I get to glimpse another day
I am grateful.
But each new day
Means one less for me.
I have so little time to do
Everything I have dreamed of.
Yet when the days stretched
Endlessly before me
I was lazy and wasteful.
Now those precious moments
Have gone for good
Never to be retrieved.
So I must kidnap
The days that are left
Hold them tightly in both hands
And make of them what I can.
Pain and deep sorrow focus the mind
Fearing our own mortality
Concentrates our thoughts.
From grief and anguish ideas blossom and grow.

I have no idea whether these poems have any merit but it doesn't really matter. Atleast it feels creative so I let myself be led by the thoughts that come to me at all times of the day or night. Now I'm off to type up some of my wip as I don't think I can be very creative with the amount of noise around me at the moment.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

My window on the world

As we are renovating our entire house I have been relegated to a little space at the top of the house for writing. It is basically the landing to which the OH has added a small desk[piece of board balanced on the bannister] plus a comfy swivel chair. The walls are bare as we have stripped them ready for a new window and redecoration of the landing and stairs. As with everything here each job takes longer than anticipated due to a variety of complications. It's only saving grace is the small window which allows me to look out over the village and it's quiet, no disturbances up there, and I can leave my notebooks out. This morning I managed about 2000 words of my wip which are the first I've written this year. I have also written a few poems and a short story which I will post when I have tidied them up a bit.

The builder has promised he will start here on Thursday but we will believe him when we see him. Watch this space!!!
Oh and I have updated my wordcount and I am over halfway with some still to type up. Yippeee it's downhill all the way now, just hope I don't crash headlong into a blockade.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

A New Year and a fresh start.

Thankyou again to everyone who has left messages of support, it really does help to know that we are in your thoughts.
Christmas has been a difficult time and I am glad it is over and that we made it through.
When our son died suddenly 5 months ago it left us stunned and bewildered. Since then I think we have been treading water, going through the motions of living, marking time as we tried to come to terms with our terrible loss.
Now with the start of a new year I feel as if our spirits have lifted and that we have regained some enthusiasm. I feel stronger and ready to try and move on with our lives. We have lots to do.
I know there will still be events and anniversaries and black days to cope with but I think I can say that we are truly looking forward to 2009.

I hope that this year treats you all kindly too.