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This is not exactly what I said to Wonderful Builder at 8.15 am this morning, but it is what the world feels like today. Another full inbox or two, a playroom which is impassable, cold and snow (they say) approaching. January throttling me.

Happy New Year, by the way.

Before I get really carried away, a breather: we enjoyed a sparkling and joyful Christmas with family and FOUR fluffy white cats meeting for the first time. Glad to report that after half a day of hissing and deliberate nonchalance, all are fast friends now. Sound familiar?!

Then four days back in the Lakes, where we shot up to Stickle Tarn like bats out of hell on the only good day for it. This time I did get a couple of pictures.

Yes, back too soon…I’ll hold onto these as long as I can though.

On the Way to Stickle Tarn

Happy holidays all! Hope everyone gets a chance for a breather and some nice food these next two weeks sometime.

And all the best for a peaceful 2008.

It would be remiss as all get-out (love this expression) of me not to mention that the launch for the paperback of Losing You is nearly upon us:

Losing You front coverDate: THIS Thursday 13 December

Time: 7pm

Venue: Crockatt & Powell, London SE1

I’ve heard from a number of folks who say they’ll be there, and others bound for Christmas do’s who won’t. If you’re undecided because, say, it’s late night shopping, and you really need to get on — you could always come buy some books to give for presents?!

Speaking of Christmas do’s, when I was working in London (as a secretary for a real estate firm), we always had slap-up Christmas parties. The one that stays with me is the mortifying one, when I

a) said clearly and within ear shot of my boss that I wouldn’t be around more than another six months (I wasn’t),

b) slow-danced with the head of sales in the City and inevitably,

c) threw up when I got home.

Of course, I do love parties. But not like that. I like the sort of party where — another Christmas one, this time in Canterbury, at our house — you end up in the icy street, trying to balance a broom on your forehead, coloured star lights in all the surrounding windows. And no one falls down or gets sick. And the next morning you watch as cars do slow slides into each other in the bright sunshine, down gentle gradients as if part of a big dance. No one gets hurt there either, and people get out of the cars and laugh. And you’re inside drinking hot chocolate.


From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning


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Who am I?

A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.