Saturday, 23 August 2008

A Missing Relative and a Peregrine Falcon

Expect the unexpected.

My missing relative is now safe and well after “escaping” from his wife as they drove through Italy. He walked away from the car with only his wallet and phone and the clothes on his back. Several people, myself included, received a brief phone call from him to say he was okay -- but he refused to tell anyone where he'd gone.

After searching for a month, his distraught wife eventually found him at a dilapidated farmhouse in southwest France. But he refused to speak to her, claiming a desperate need for peace and quiet. Several days later, he returned to their home.

That same day, after heavy rain, water started to pour through my bedroom ceiling. (I live on the top floor of a seven-storey building.) As I mopped up, the management company investigated the problem and found a Peregrine Falcon residing on the roof. It has been killing pigeons, plucking their feathers, eating the flesh, and discarding feathers and carcasses in the gutter above my bedroom... Wow!

Unfortunately, for health and safety reasons, I am not allowed up to the roof to look at the falcon. I once saw a large silhouette swoop down in front of my office window and realise it must have been this hunter. I now glance at the windows as often as possible, and am proud to have a falcon on my roof. :)

My no-longer-missing relative is getting on with his life as though nothing much happened.

“In Europe,” he told me, “husbands disappear all the time.”


Friday, 8 August 2008

Wonderful News!

In case you haven’t heard: Stuart Neville, AKA Conduit, has a two-book deal with Harvill Secker, an imprint of Random House. His first novel, The Ghosts of Belfast, will be published in the UK towards the end of next year.

You can read all about it at his blog.

UPDATED: And... the Japanese rights have sold to Random House Kodansha.


Thursday, 7 August 2008

A Quiet Place

I feel slightly ridiculous and a little bit embarrassed. But. It was only after announcing my temporary retirement that I found I needed a change, not a rest.

Yes, I now have a tumblelog (or tlog), A Quiet Place. It is quite different and more personal than this blog -- and you are welcome to visit!

After spending some time at my new blog (or tlog), I imagine I will move back and forth between A Quiet Place and Overnight at Thistletonthwaite Castle.

(It’s the Gypsy blood; I can’t stay in one place! ;) )

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

This Is Not Goodbye

I have a tendency to over-extend myself because there is so much I want to do. If only there was a microchip implant that meant one could read a book, write a letter, watch a film, and take a relaxing walk along a river, all at the same time!

Unfortunately, there isn’t -- and time constraints rule.

I’ve had to re-evaluate my use of the 24-hour restriction placed on each and every day. I have to prioritise my time, and it’s tough when some of the fun stuff has to slip away. Yes, this is a longwinded way of telling you that I'm temporarily retiring from blogging. And I will miss it ... greatly.

But this phase won’t last forever. And I will still be around, and can’t imagine I would ever stop reading my favourite blogs (and several more besides). Especially as I now have an iPhone 3G, so the Internet is always with me! (Gosh, I love technology.) :)

À bientôt!

Friday, 1 August 2008


Charming and clever; one of the best films I’ve seen in my life!

On Wednesday evening I took my mum to see WALL-E. I thought she would enjoy it, but she adored it, and cried buckets and buckets of tears. When we left the cinema she was a wreck.

Despite her puffy red eyes and dripping nose, she insisted I stop at Tesco before taking her home. She never misses an opportunity to swoop in and buy two or three things she needs urgently, but had forgotten.

She headed straight for the toy aisle, where she spent 20 minutes cooing over WALL-E and EVE and M-O.

She bought a pint of milk and some fresh fruit salad. Then I drove her home.

My grandmother’s favourite film was E.T. And I now know that my mum’s favourite film is WALL-E.

Which leaves me wondering: what will mine be…?