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!

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/myfavouriteplace

 

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.

 

 

 

Rain rain go away, come back another day!

Grrrrrrr.
That’s all I can really say about the rain these days. We are better off than some as we are a sandbag-free zone, but it is just endless. I thought we were meant to pack away our wellies for the ‘Scottish Summer’, but alas, not a hope.

I have now updated my blog site, yes I know it’s been a while, so please feel free to have a wee dander and let me know what you think.

What’s a girl to do though when it’s raining so hard the cats don’t even want to go outside? School holidays are upon us, trips in a camper van, sports clubs, cinema ‘let me eat the contents of your purse’ days out, visits to the zoo and copious amounts of wine to be drunk of evening as there is no need to get up early.

Did you hear me boys? THERE IS NO NEED TO GET UP EARLY. Sigh.

Enough said.

There is no good or bad news, there is only news…

As the famous (well in my wee boys minds anyway) Oogway the wise turtle once said, there is no good or bad news, there is only news!

So, the bad news first…

As most of my friends are aware, I entered a competition run by the Borders Writer’s Forum to raise much needed pennies for the Sick Kids Foundation. The winner would have their entry read out at the Borders Book Festival on Saturday 16th June along with receiving some beautiful crystal and going home with an amazing accolade under their belt.

As the theme was to be ‘Illness & the child’ I decided to embark on a rhyming story regarding Wee C’s visit to the sick kids recently. Six stitches for him and a large gin and tonic for mum after we got back.  Both of us are fine now though!

Anyway, I am digressing – I was short-listed from 38 entries down to 11, too much excitement and trepidation in my mind. Sadly It wasn’t meant to be but I still enjoy reading this poem (although not reliving the night itself) and as so many have asked to see it, I am going against all my plagiarism instincts and letting you have a wee look. Please let me know what you think!

Learning To Fall

I didn’t know what happened

When you fell and hurt your head,

You stood up straight away

But you were covered all in red.

 

The shock of your great fall

Really hit us hard,

Of all the bumps and scrapes you’ve had

This topped the list by far.

 

The hole that made it’s ugly mark

Was there for all to see,

You wondered what was going on

Sitting dazed upon my knee.

 

I pressed a towel to your wound

And watched as you grew quiet,

I couldn’t let you close your eyes

Not even for a minute.

 

We sang some songs together

While we waited patiently,

Daddy made a dash for home

– Ambulance on its way.

 

Your brother and your best friend too

They tried to make us laugh,

They did a dance and told us jokes

and pretended to be giraffe’s!

 

We wanted you to forget

Even for a little while,

Of all the pain in your head

in the hope that you might smile.

 

Accidents happen all the time

It’s just the way you are,

We love your scrapes, scuffs and all

Our fantastic little star.

 

We got you home all cleaned up

The end of day in sight,

You went to bed and fell asleep

While we watched you through the night.

 

Seven days later, bandages off

Another brave day for you,

Six stitches out, you were so proud

You even took them into school.

 

I won’t forget what happened

I think about it every day,

You’re such a brave wee boy

and special in every way.

 

After all the lessons learned that day

You still climb up that high,

It hasn’t put you off at all

but did you really want to fly?

 

The doctor’s and the nurses

Made our visit so care-free,

The Sick Kids in Edinburgh

Is the safest place to be.

 

So if you fall and hurt your wrist

Or break your collar bone,

There’s a magical place to make you well

At the other end of the phone.

© Sarah Broadley 2012

And the good news…

The NHS have decided that they really like my ‘Perfect Patch’ poem so much, they are getting in touch with some illustrators to take my idea forward for their web site….watch this space!