Sunday, 31 December 2006

The new, improved 2007 me

So...what's everyone got planned for 2007? Resolutions, anyone?
I'm not a fan of those 'denial' resolutions - ie giving up chocolate, booze, fun etc. I tried that once and it was rubbish, talk about a miserable January. All right, a miserable WEEK in January, but once bitten... I prefer my resolutions to be wildly ambitious ones, that make me feel better just for saying them. I'm an optimist, you see. For instance, here are my resolutions for 2007:

Sort out the house. We've been here four and a half years, but still haven't quite got this place up to House Beautiful standards. The excuse being, of course, that we moved here when our eldest was eighteen months old and I've popped out another two new babies since then so spare time for decorating has been practically non-existent. But - BUT! - 2007 will be different. Spare time will be mine. I will be Farrowing and Balling, Flashing and Cifing left right and centre. That's CLEANING with Flash, not actually Flashing. Well, only in the privacy of... Ahem. Not getting into that here. The loft will be converted from freezing-cold dumping ground of mysterious not-yet-unpacked boxes and "useful" pieces of wood/furniture etc that partner finds in skips/street into luxurious bedroom for partner and self with accompanying en-suite and PEACE and QUIET. Oh yes. This year, it will be different. You read it here first!

What else? I'll be tackling the garden, too. Okay, so I distinctly remember saying this one (and the house resolution) at this time last year too, but that was different. That was last year. This year, I'll get rid of all the weeds, I'll keep the lawn slightly shorter than jungle height, I'll dig and plant and sow. I'll probably be nominated for the Brighton in Bloom award, if such a thing exists.

Resolution number three: I'll be writing a new novel in 2007, too. Novel 3 will be starting this Tuesday, in fact. I can't wait to get stuck into it. And obviously it will be a doddle to write, and probably the biggest literary sensation the world has ever seen. Without a doubt. I'm going to have a race with the lovely Kate Harrison to see who can reach those magical words The End first. Go, team Diamond, go!

Finally, I will be more patient with the kids, stop moaning and of course, complete my Cultural Resolution. And I will be nicer to the cat. Just watch me!

Saturday, 30 December 2006

This was my Christmas

Hello everyone, hope you had a good one without any tears (to paraphrase John and Yoko).
This Christmas I have mostly been:

making Lego exo-force warriors and Bionicle thingies

constructing Scooby Doo Haunted House game

travelling by train and car to the Midlands and the West Country

swearing over the instructions of a fiendishly difficult electronic marble run (for eight-year-olds my arse)

drinking champagne and gin and wine and saying CHEERS! at any opportunity

consuming my own body weight in Roses and Cadbury's Heroes

tramping over a wintry Brighton beach on Christmas Day

enjoying Big, Tom Hanks at his finest, with the kids

enjoying The Sopranos series two on DVD, without the kids

oohing and aahing and cuddling my lovely baby nephew

making New Year's Resolutions (although definitely not ones denying myself more champagne, gin, wine, Roses or Heroes)

playing with a selection of fairies and their toadstool cottage

reading aloud Clarice Bean/The Hobbit/Captain Underpants

looking for tiny (lost) Polly Pocket shoes

pulling crackers

going crackers.

CHEERS!

Friday, 22 December 2006

You can call me Hugh

Admittedly, I'm not looking my foxiest first thing in the morning (glasses instead of contacts, lank all-over-the-place hair etc) but I received a particularly cutting comment from youngest child this morning. "Look, Mummy, there you on that book!" she cried excitedly, pointing to the dresser where we keep the cook books.

Who was my celeb chef looky-likey, I hear you ask? Was it yummy Nigella? Was it heck.
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. That's who she thinks I look like. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, with a pig under his arm as he appears on the spine of the River Cottage Cookbook. Cheers for that, love. Ta very much.

Still, the day has improved no end since that crushing blow to my self-esteem. A delivery of champagne and chocs...no note with it so could be mystery admirer but I think it was from WPL who I write a lot of children's books for. Very nice indeed. And - AND! - I am in today's Bookseller in the Paperback Preview for April. Do you want to know what it says? Of course you want to know what it says! Here goes:

Lucy Diamond
Any Way You Want Me
Pan, £6.99, 6th
9780330446433

Debut adult novel with lots of support, about a young, jaded mum inventing a life for herself. It's well written and mothers trapped at home with young children will certainly find lots to identify with.

That's good, isn't it? Well written!!! WELL WRITTEN!!! Cheers, Sarah Broadhurst. Very excited!

Off to buy some sprouts in a minute so better go. This probably my last post until after Christmas now as family due to start descending very soon.
Have a good one!

Thursday, 21 December 2006

A Cultural Resolution

Third post of the day! How eager am I? Clearly missing blogging more than I'd thought. Or maybe it's that second glass of wine I had at a friend's house over the road this afternoon.

But anyway. Just wanted to share my New Year's resolution with you, having discussed it with said friend over said wine. I've read lots of good cultural confessions lately on the blogs, from Scott Pack who started the whole thing off, and Marie and Susan Hill too, about all the gaps in their cultural lives and it made me think about the gaping holes in mine. So! New Year's Resolution is to plough through - I mean, enjoy - twelve classic novels, one a month this year. Friend recommended Our Mutual Friend as being her favourite Dickens, so I might start with that one in January, followed by Northanger Abbey/Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (haven't read either) and I read somewhere today that The Trumpet Major by Thomas Hardy is brilliant too. I think it was called that anyway, the wine is befuddling me. That's as far as I've got, March, so if you've got any great ideas for April-December 2007, feel free to suggest away. Virginia Woolf, lots I haven't read by her. And George Eliot too... Oh God. I'm going to need a big pile of easy reading too, to dilute all this high-brow stuff, I can see already. Maybe it's time to take out a subscription to Heat magazine...

Anyway, that's the resolution for the brain anyway, so with a bit of luck, this time next year, I'll be so much more learned and literary than I am now. That's the plan anyway. But now I think about it, it'll probably take more than twelve novels to do that....

Now that's what I call good news

Stop press! My brother's bringing Now the Christmas Album with him, although he's trying to pretend it's not really his. Fantastic!

Singalonga Shaky

I have a reader! How exciting. Hello, whoever you are. Welcome to the new blog. What do you think of it so far? (rubbish!)

Feeling very Christmassy today, have done the food shop and cleaned the house all ready for the invading hordes of family due to descend. We've got ten people staying here - and we live in a three bedroom terraced house, so not exactly spacious. The five of us (me, partner and three kids) are squashing into our bedroom together. Bets are on for who gets the least sleep. Still, nothing can knock my Christmassy mood. I even caught myself singing to Shakin' Stevens as I mopped the kitchen floor earlier... Snow is falling, all around me... etc. God, it's lucky I've only got one reader, isn't it, with confessions like that? Don't tell anyone I just said that, whatever you do. And don't tell anyone that I just emailed my family asking them if they had a Best of Christmas Hits CD to bring along either. I'm such an embarrassment to myself...

We've gone for the comedy Christmas tree this year. Absolutely enormous, scraping the ceiling, it's so huge. It was either that or a piddly little one - no choice really. Everyone who comes round laughs when they see it. It's like a hotel lobby Christmas tree. I love it!

I know what I meant to say. The West Wing! Have you seen it? Of course you have, it's a fact that partner and I are probably the last remaining humans on the planet who haven't seen it. Until now, when we got the first four episodes from the Amazon rental thingy. I'm a bit disappointed actually. The first episode I could hardly understand what was going on (admittedly I was eating my tea at the time, therefore not using my razor-sharp powers of concentration to their max) but the second, third and fourth episodes I COULD understand and... well, it's all right, but what's with the cheesy music all the time? And what's with the rushing up and down corridors all the time? Does nobody ever stand still to have a conversation in the White House? Tell me it gets better. Assure me!

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Favourite news story of the day

Lembit Opik and one of the Cheeky Girls? LEMBIT OPIK? with one of the CHEEKY GIRLS? I kid you not. Page two of the Guardian today. How fantastic is that?! You just couldn't make it up!

Next week: Ming Campbell and Kerry Katona. At least it might stop her doing those interminable Iceland ads. Here's hoping...

Back to the blogface

I'm back. Following my (some would say melodramatic) deletion of the old blog, I missed it so much, I've started another one.

I feel a bit daft. Ssssh, don't tell anyone.