A bit like the mice from Bagpuss…

I passed a retro sweetie shop the other day. So I went inside. Well, you know it would be rude not to…

Firstly I was hit with the sickly-sweet smell of marshmallows, followed closely by the sound of a chocolate fountain. You were given a choose of different fruit on sticks to dab into the waterfall of loveliness that takes your breath away (wiping drool away now!). Bliss. The array of colours and wrappings that have long ago disapeared from our supermarket shelves. I spent at least ten minutes coming out with some gobble-Dee-gook such as ‘Oh wow, I remember that?’ and ‘I’m sure that came in orange flavour too’ etc etc the list goes on. That would have been fine but I was by myself. Nutter.

I had no idea how long I stayed in there for but the ‘ahem’s’ and ‘tutt’s’ from the owner made me grab some needless but ‘I’m sure they will get eaten’ goodies before I was escorted out the place for stalking the coco beans, never mind licking the glass along the way.

I walked home reliving my youth, my newly purchased goodies swinging lightly in the bright bag by my side.

I remembered everything we ate back then. The Creamola Foam we used to get as a special ‘treat’. There was nothing else like it. From ‘bagsying’ who would get to open the jar with the wrong end of the spoon, to who would take the first plunge into the crystals.  It was the anticipation of the rise of the bubbles and whether or not  they would break over the rim of your glass that got us all screaming at the top of our lungs…mine never did though, no matter how long I stirred it for.

Apparently you had to have ‘The Knack’ – which when you are 4ft tall and 8 years younger than said Knack specialist, I didn’t have. Jog on – as they say.

It’s funny when you think back to doing things like this, you always made an involuntary noise – such as an unwanted fart in a space suit. Completely unnecessary but you can’t help yourself. A bit like the mice from Bagpuss.

Then came pudding. Call it what you will, but we called it pudding and I still do. Dessert is for people who live in hot countries, my once 6 year old naive brain thought – being from the Northern Hemisphere I had no idea what a hot country was until much later in life.

The Creme De La Creme of puddings when I was growing up was Angel Delight. Not just any flavour, it had to be Butterscotch. With halved pears dunked on top with whipped cream – Mr Whippy style.

Being an adult (easy now – I didn’t say a responsible citizen) I haven’t given my wee boys the above mentioned e-ridden joy-ride that is all things edible in the 70’s/80’s, but I may in time. Maybe when they are older and wiser unlike their Mum.

So, back to the Haribo’s for me then 🙂

Ten things to do when you can’t write!

So, here I am, slogging away, continually checking my twitter feed and hopelessly losing the will to write with every passing minute. It’s going to be one of those days!

I feel like I am back at school and doing everything in my power to avoid doing my homework. My notebook lies open beside me, glaring at me and mocking my lack of enthusiasm, a bit like spotting a slice of cake when your trying to be good.  So Mrs ‘Look at me all perfect and black’ Notebook your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to bring me round, muster up some energy for me somewhere or as I suspected you could just sit there and glare at me for the rest of the day.

Ten Things To Do When You Can’t Write:

1. Make a cup of tea. Ah yes, I hear you all sigh – the old faithful. That will do the trick surely?

2. Pick a letter of the alphabet and write down as many words as you can that describe how you are feeling. I am choosing ‘f’ today because it can involve a word I use when I am angry, lost and succumbed into silence by my inept brain… ‘flummoxed’ is the word I was thinking of. Of course it was! So today I am mostly: flummoxed, fraught, frightened and farty  (don’t ask – it’s a ‘can’t write’ thing) when I really should be flowing, full, frivolous and funny. Maybe tomorrow then?

3. Go for a walk. No this does not mean a slow trudge to the local newsagent, wearing your jammies under your coat (you know who you are!) to stock up on chocolate and tomato flavoured crisps (yum). It means a lovely meander through the misty fields nearby, letting the literary juices flow and a masterpiece under your belt by tea-time like Holly Hops on a Summers Day – oh wait, that’s wine I’m talking about now! Er, no thanks, not today.

4. There is a saying ‘A tidy house means a tidy mind’ or something along those lines, so maybe a wee spring clean or ‘gut’ as they say in these parts wouldn’t go amiss. But then that would mean actually thinking and doing stuff and that old chestnut ‘Making A Decision’ would come into play. Sigh.

5. Rant – now there’s a word that conjures up the fire in your belly. Have a good rant, in my case at myself as I am Home Alone. But then who is going to hear anyway? I have been known to rant at my wee cats, they are usually asleep and a leg twitch every now and again means that I have acknowledgement of sorts.

6. Hit the Library with a bag full of intentions – although the last time I did that – It Was A Disaster.com. There I was feeling the joys of Spring-ish Autumn and making my way down the road listening to a bit of The Bubbles (Michael Buble to anyone that doesn’t know what I am on about) and feeling ‘You are so right Michael, I haven’t met the agent of dreams yet but you never know’. I enter into the fantastic establishment that takes over a corner in Leith and lo and behold. RYME-TIME. For all those un-initiated this is a two hour slot of singing and general hilarity for the under 5’s. Don’t even try it, just turn around and walk away. As lovely as it is you can’t read or think for that matter when they all get going.  Reading this back, I think it’s fair to say I am slightly deranged and possibly about to celebrate my 80th birthday with a big bag of humbugs.

7. Exercise  – now there’s a word. Not like a nice lazy walk but a fat-burning-sweat-ridden visit to the gym. Moving on.

8. Therapeutic Archive Rummaging – nothing like a good rummage (easy now!) over your old files on your ‘pooter. I found some hidden gems that I am currently bringing up to date from about 5 years ago. Amazing stuff and makes me feel all better as I am prone to forget that I have been writing for a long time and a lot of unfinished work really needs to get completed instead of clogging up my meg storage allocation (check me – like I know what that is).

9. Have a bath – depending on the time of day possibly without the glass of wine, candles and soothing music lulling you to sleep – if this happens, start at number 1 on this list and work your way down until you are fully awake and functional again.

10. Eat – now you’re talking!

So folks, I have done 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 so far today. I’m thinking maybe a 9 followed by a lot of 10 and I’ll be ready to start back at The Desk Of My Writing Life aka my sofa with laptop on knee.

Have a good day y’all (I’m not American but I have always wanted to say that).

‘The blog for ‘Brit Writers and Writers Everywhere‘ blog.’

From the sun to the rain

After a joyous week in the sun with the nutters (aka my family) – we come back to rain.

Not lovely big puddly rain that you can run through with your wellies on but that ‘fine rain that soaks you right through’ as Mr P Kay often says. Didn’t think it was raining at all this morning until I caught a glimpse of my reflection on the way to school – a drowned rat would have looked more appealing!

I read some fantastic books while I was away – some work related, others just plain old exquisite escapism while lying by the pool.

I completed ‘Still Alice’ by Lisa Genova just before I left but if you get the chance to read it then do. Amazing. I keep thinking about it, which doesn’t happen very often when I read books as I usually just start on the next one. It’s based on a story of a Professor at Harvard who has to resign from her position as she is diagnosed with Alzheimers. It gives a fantastic insight into how the brain works especially with this disease.  It is centred around her families reaction to the news and how it affects their lives going forward. And no I didn’t bubble at all, I smiled and laughed quite a lot and hugged my mad boys even tighter each night.

I am a huge fan of Nicola Morgan, a long term Edinburgh author and sadly missed out on attending any of her slots at the Edinburgh Book Festival this year, so I took a couple of her books away with me. One is about publishing which a lot of you won’t be interested in, however the other was ‘Monday’s are Red’.  This book is used in English classes up and down the country and is the story of a boy who is slightly delusional after contracting Meningitis. Once he wakes up from an induced coma he sees everything in colours and smells which is called Synaesthesia, very cleverly written.

To top off my weird and  wonderful taste in literature – I also finished a fantastic book called ‘All She Wants’ by Jonathan Harvey. It’s based around a town in Liverpool near the set of the soap ‘Acaicia Avenue’. One of those books that you eat your lunch while still reading and end up wearing half of it down your front because it is so good you can’t take your eyes away from it. Yip, tomato sauce everywhere that day!

Thursdays In The Park by Hilary Boyd – was a nice story, but I felt myself getting annoyed with the main character and her lack of gumption. However the story makes me care about what she becomes. Which means it was well written – if you see what I mean?

And to throw it all in the mix The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst is a period drama involving the brood of a widow and how relationships can be easily mis-construed between siblings. A bit hard going but I will persevere – not a Mr Darcy in sight though!

Now then, off out now for some more drizzle rat-drowning impressions.


It’s been years….

…since I had a hot date. Yes it might have been with my youngest wee rugrat, but it was still ‘a date’ as such because we ate and drank together in a cafe lol. I’m not sure if you have the same kind of life that I lead but it was magic and not in a spells and potions kind of way – just a greatness that leaves a wee warm feeling in your belly and a big satisfied grin on your face. I can’t remember only ever having one child to look after of an afternoon.
First question to wee C ‘What shall we do this afternoon?’ ‘ Erm, not sure, what do you want to do Mum?’ ‘ Well, this is your afternoon so what would be a great thing to do, just me and you?
So in true wee C style…cupcakes, pink lemonade, the hunt for wellies in a size 13, visit to the (kill me now) Bear factory for a bizarre ‘Hulk costume’ for Charger the camouflage bear (don’t ask me – I don’t make the names up!), rounded off with some 1970’s Scooby Doo, what more could you ask for? I had a ball! I also had lots of cuddles from a sleepy wee boy who is trying so hard to stay awake now. Aren’t kids great!
Night night C – remember cover the zombies in chocolate and eat them!

My Favourite Place

Well now that the school holidays are nearly over, I have had a couple of nanoseconds to reflect on where I go from here and try to get some writing done – failing miserably I might add.  So in true Sarah Broadley style, I have entered some competitions with the hope of publication or even just some recognition would be nice 🙂 Well, what else do you do of an afternoon when watching Andy Murray get his first gold at the Olympics…and yes I was blubbering like an idiot along with the rest of you.

Scottish Book Trust : I have submitted a poem that describes a place in Scotland that you have been too and is considered one of your favourite places to go. As some of you are aware, we hired a motor home for a week and went touring with the boys round the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. One of the best memories I have from our holiday is our walk up The Old Man of Storr. I am so proud of the boys for climbing that high, we had an amazing time and were rewarded with fantastic views over Skye and the Scottish mainland. So, on the back of our wee expedition, I have created a rhyming story called ‘Two Wee Boys Meet Storr’s Old Man’.

The deadline for this competition is the end of August 2012, not long to go. It should be on the web site in the next couple of days via the link below. Wish me luck!



New Writers Award : I have written a story called ‘One Glass Too Many’ which I am considering submitting for the New Writers Award through the Scottish Book Trust. As with all the prose I write, I delay any finalisation for weeks, changing paragraphs and adding in bits here and there as I never think it’s good enough. So, I will decide this week whether I will go for it or not. I am waiting to see if I can submit Learning To Fall or The Perfect Patch but I need to check due to them being published on web sites etc already. As with a lot of these competitions you can only submit one entry – so it’s either going to be prose, poems or Scots…decisions, decisions.

Exciting times ahead though.