Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The dog ate my homework?

I know I'm guilty of severe Blog Neglect when I have to remind blogger who I am (and remember passwords.) Ironically, my excuse for not blogging last month was that I was saving up every typed word and every writing moment for my ms, but since I submitted that just before the Royal Wedding and haven't yet had instructions from my editor to re-write it, I can't exactly use extreme busyness as an excuse.

However, although my fingers aren't flying over the keyboard, my head is pretty taken up, sorting out the threads of a story that has been weaving itself in my mind for years now. I remember thinking through it as I lay in the bath at the old house (the one that we left in 2005) and, magpie-like, I've been collecting bits of information to go into it ever since and waiting for the right time to write it. Or at least, waiting until I couldn't put off writing it any longer. That's kind of how it feels at the moment, although I'm doing a pretty good job of putting it off by losing myself in endless absorbing research involving early photography, the Royal Flying Corps and Victorian asylums, amongst other things.

In other news, GCSEs have started and daughter #1 (who I swear was only setting off with her Little Mermaid rucksack for her first day at Nursery a couple of weeks ago) is in exam mode - alternating between exhilaration and despair and showing up my ignorance at every turn by firing questions about Titration Equations and Covalent Bonding at me, none of which I can understand, never mind answer. This makes a slight mockery of my selfless decision not to go to the RNA Summer Party tonight so I could be on hand to dispense wisdom and support, although I like to think that I really couldn't be spared from my Scrambled-Egg-Making post in the morning. A humble role, but vital.

Last night I did take the evening off thinking about the new book and having my ignorance exposed, and went to the cinema with my very naughty friend Liz to see Water for Elephants. It was utterly fabulous. Pure escapism (except for the part during the very, very quiet love scene when Liz said loudly 'What are they doing? I don't understand.') I fell wildly in love with Rosie the elephant, and with Robert Pattinson (predictably) who looks even better with a bit of colour in his cheeks. Christopher Waltz was also brilliant. Here's a trailer - go and see it!

Monday, 2 May 2011

This season's Must-Have accessory

The blissful, extended Bank Holiday weekend is stretching on forever here in sun-baked Britain, and in our house we're slowly getting buried in drifts of newspaper featuring a photographic record of just about every imaginable aspect of Friday's Royal Wedding. Usually I don't have time to do more than scan the headlines and snatch a wistful glance at the Travel section of the weekend papers, but with The Book off my desk (for the time being at least) and nothing more pressing to do than laze around in the sun I seem to have inadvertently become a bit of an expert on the whole occasion. If you want to know what Wills really whispered to Kate's father when they arrived at the altar, or the history of the blue Aston Martin in which they left the reception, I'm probably your woman.

I now feel pretty well qualified to give my own little fashion round-up of the event, and have concluded that while hats (apparently fixed with a drawing pin to the centre of the forehead) may be enjoying a bit of a moment, the thing to be seen in this year is cheap, easily available outside of Bond Street, and transforms any outfit. It is, ladies, The Smile. Let's see who was in on fashion's hottest secret...

And who wasn't...


Oh dear. Who's going to break it to Mrs B that the bored, pouty look is so last year?

Tomorrow it's finally back to school and normality. This will be a bit of a shock, since today everyone here was still in bed at the time when daughter #3 would usually be having morning playtime, but, in the light of my research, am planning to finish off my usual school-run look (consisting of whatever's been left draped over the end of the bed in the last few days and wild-woman hair) with a dazzling smile, a la Middleton ladies. Potential to look slightly deranged is definitely there, but am going to give it a go. It's been that kind of week.