Tag Archives: holiday

Welcome to 2018

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Candice: Well it’s another new year.  They just seem to fly by I must say.  We were watching ‘Back to the Future’ over Christmas and I still can’t believe it was made in 1985.  We also introduced the near four year old to it, and she really liked the skateboard chase so that was a good sign.  None of this Disney rubbish in our house (except ‘Frozen’ from which she likes to re-enact ‘Let it go’ in full, including cape toss and hair loosening).

I have to say I do like Christmas but I find the day a bit flat after the build up.  There is all that planning and shopping and discussing and eating and then the big day comes… and I open my presents and go… “oh”.  It’s not necessarily that the presents are bad its just the build-up is so much I need a lie down after all that.  I prefer the bit afterwards; or would that be known as the sale shopping afterwards? I got some good bargains this year and could keep going but have just had to rein myself in before the credit card bill got too large.

January has become more of a big thing in our house as we now have two birthday’s to celebrate, my daughter’s and my husband’s.  I go in to full planning mode as soon as boxing day comes round getting ready for their big days, especially as this will be the last year we can celebrate with my daughter before she goes to school.

And of course, there is the need to book a holiday to look forward to.  Tick, that one is done.

And so on to book reading and writing.  I haven’t had the chance to watch ‘The Miniaturist’ as it was on over Christmas but I shall be interested to see how it compares to the book. We did watch the first episode of ‘McMafia’ last night, which looks quite good.  But the brain is already ticking over thinking of ideas for Book 3.  I have a few but Phil and I need to book in our Post-It note session to work out the plot before we go in hell for leather, as we found last time, it works better that way.

Happy writing.

 

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Christmas is here

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Candice: I’ve let Phil do most of the writing on the blog this year.  Being a parent and working full time does not allow a lot of time for thinking so I keep it for book writing and editing rather than blog writing.

But I felt we were  missing our traditional Christmas blog post about photocopying bums at Christmas parties.

The first book finishes with a Christmas party, and I still like the way that it opens.  I can still see dry ice and characters walking through the fog in a ‘Batman and Robin’ style.

I had my work’s Christmas party last week.  I can only just write this blog now as my head is still recovering.  I am not the best drinker so try to keep the alcohol intake to a minimum, this was not the case with my work colleagues who also decided that, as organiser of the Christmas do, I should have lots of free drinks as thanks.  One of those was a Jagerbomb…

I sloped off at midnight as I’d had a good two hours dancing and drinking since a lot earlier, I was an early bird compared to most.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Christmas party.  I pretty much always end up organising it, because no one else will, but it also means I have to spend a lot of time dealing with people asking stupid questions – what time does it start, how much is it etc.  But once the meal part is out of the way – ‘ herding cats’ is how a colleague described it, then I got what I really wanted. A chance to show that Mrs Demure in the office knows how to shake her butt.  Think more Tracey than Kate.

The other thing I had to organise was the Secret Santa, yet another herding cats experience.  However, I ended up with a well thought of present… a magic mug with that – when you put hot water in to it, the book appears.  Someone had been listening then.  So thanks to Secret Santa, I’m chuffed with it.

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Superwoman?

 

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Candice: I had a moment the other week were I realised I was trying to be superwoman, and I had to just give up.

The week before I went on holiday I’d been to Leeds for a meeting on the Monday, London for the same on the Tuesday and then down to London again on the Wednesday night for our speaking event.  I then had a weekend of packing and child entertaining before three more days of work, two trips to the gym and then off on hols.  I remember putting a post on Facebook saying I was a little overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done  before we went away. I then also promised Phil a blog post on our Books show off experience before the flight.

Well the morning of our holiday it was spent running around like a headless chicken packing and sorting before the parents arrived to give us a lift to the airport. There were documents to print, cats to sort and children to collect.  In the middle of it all I managed to cut my finger open on a broken glass so ended up going to the airport with dried blood still on my hand!

Two days into the holiday I had finally started to relax.  We’d sorted out sleeping arrangements (child with bedroom, parents on pull out bed in lounge), where breakfast was, the best sun loungers and optimal child entertainment. I’d even managed to crack open my first book of the trip. Then I realised… the promised blog post had not been written.

And I’m sorry, Phil, I just gave up on trying to be everything to everyone.

I had really enjoyed our event in London.  I’d been quite nervous but once I got up there, as always happens, I was fine.  I actually struggled to let Phil get a word in edgeways!

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But then life took over and I think that week took its toll.

Just before Erin was born Phil gave me a signed copy of a book by a lady we had been corresponding with, writer Daisy Waugh. Called “I don’t know why she bothers”, it is all about women trying to do too much for their children; baking cakes at midnight, making costumes etc.  Well this isn’t me trying to do it for my daughter, its me trying to do it for me.

I’m glad I tried to stop being a superwoman for a week.  We had a great holiday and I now feel much more relaxed as I try and get back into work.  I’m sure that frantic nature will rear its head again but I’ll be keeping it in check as best as I can.

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So much stuff

Candice: The family Nolan are off on holiday soon and I’m in the midst of lists and planning.  I enjoy going on holiday but I find the build up enjoyable/stressful especially since I now have to pack for an extra person.  I worry that if we forget something important we will have an very unhappy child for the whole holiday.   If we went without Teddy – there would be serious drama!

Anyway, there is a spare bedroom full of clothes and stuff ready for us to go.  OMG you have never seen some much stuff.  We have our bags, bags for the pushchair and car seat, baby food, toys, airbed for child (she’s too big for a travel cot and too small for a big bed).  We are now in the days of needing a trolley at the airport and meet and greet parking.

She’s very into Peppa Pig at the moment and there is one story about ‘Baby Alexander’.  When Peppa’s Auntie and Uncle arrive with Chloe and Alexander they start unloading the car.  Daddy Pig asks “Have you come for the week?”  Uncle Pig answers, “No, we just need all this stuff for the baby” as he lifts another box from the boot. How true this cartoon is.

One of the things I am trying to shoe horn into my bag is another  book.  I only have one so far and will be picking one up at the airport the way things are going.  However, I am three quarters of the way through finishing the one I am reading so have a quandary. Do I take it with me or leave it here?

If I take it, it will be finished within a day of arrival.  Not so bad you say, just leave it in the hotel library.  But I don’t want to as it’s a good book with a very clever twist and I want to give it to Phil to read.

I suppose with everything else we have to carry it’s not going to make that much difference!!

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Holidays – the good, the bad and ugly.

Candice: Yes, as Phil would say I have been off sunning myself again.  And I’ve come to write a blog post for Thursday and found he’s already done one, but I’m going to jump in on that.

Where have I been? Off to the Algarve part of Portugal.  Nice, slightly touristy part where all the Brits go to escape the ever decreasing sunshine and temps in the UK.  And how was it? Well, if I’d written this blog post last week as I had originally planned then I’d say it hadn’t been the greatest of breaks.  Why?

Well this is my list of what I do and don’t like about holidays:

Do’s

The sun – to be honest that is pretty much the only reason I go to enjoy some Vitamin D

Not being at work – that is the other important part.  I do like to work but everyone needs a break and a wind down

The atmosphere – not so much these days as we can’t take a near 2 year old yomping up some hill side to see a ruin, or swimming through tunnels, but I do like to go and get something different from the places I visit, a new food or sight.

Don’ts

Driving – I do miss the independence being able to drive gives you.  Some holidays we will hire a car but often we don’t and as much as I love to walk everywhere this can be a bit of a bind when you have to go to the supermarket everyday to carry your bottles of water back.

Clothes – what I actually mean is the breadth of wardrobe.  I can only get so much in a 20kg bag and by the end of 10 days I have got bored with throwing on one of my two options of shorts with varying tops.  At least when you go somewhere hot you don’t need many outfits.

Baby stuff – what do you do with a fed up child who has a hacking cough?  It took us days to work out that she was really poorly rather than just playing up as we didn’t have enough toys or she wasn’t sleeping in her own bed.  Five nights of that and then it was off to the Doctors.  At home we would just have everything we needed to hand to sort things out.

But what I did get out of this holiday was a good read or two.  ‘Queen Mum’ by Kate Long being one.  I will write a review in the future but how did you know, Phil, when you lent me this it had the one scenario that I most worried about with Erin, being run over by a car. I don’t think that helped with the relaxation!

I will add, even after all that, I have spent the last hour looking for the next option for our holiday for next year….

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If you are making a Christmas list…

FestivePhilPhil: When the Nolan is away*, the Phil will play.

Christmas has been on my mind this week. I spent a day surrounded by fake trees on Tuesday. There was even an opportunity to wear my elf hat.

The festive season approaches fast and so I need to pull my finger out on the publishing front. We are determined that Kate vs The Dirtboffins is going to be available in some form by the time you are decking the halls with boughs of holly. It’s ready to go and just needs some technical formatting issues sorting out before Candice can launch a multi-million penny advertising campaign to see it on every Kindle out there.

The ability to say, “I’m going to publish” no matter what happens is one of the joys of the modern age. Recent train and tube trips show that e-publishing is freeing authors from the shackles of the big publishing houses. Yes, a paperback is very nice, but the ability to distribute electronic copies takes away all that complicated printing and the need to persuade a bookshop to give space over to your work. No need to drive a van full of paper around either, although I quite like driving vans but then I bet Dan Brown doesn’t do his own deliveries.

So, watch this space. We have a brilliant new cover to show off very soon for a start. In the meantime, if you are looking for something to while away a few hours with some tea and cake then I have another bookazine out, and with the Nolan out of the country I can mention it here without the eye-rolling admonishment at my nerdiness.

The British Railway Modelling guide to building your first model railway will hit WH Smiths magazine racks on October 12th. If you can’t wait (I know you are keen) then it’s available on-line now. I’ve already signed and wrapped a copy for my friend. She’s going to be so pleased. Don’t anyone tell her and spoilt the surprise.

The BRM Guide to Building Your First Model Railway

*apparently it’s easier to write when you are somewhere sunny near a swimming pool, or so I’m told…

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Summer Reading

summer-reading-ftr editCandice: Its that time of year, the schools have broken up, the roads are clear and everyone is off on holiday.  In the world of work it means that you spend your time trying to find a time for a meeting where everyone you want is working, and that can take the whole six week holiday to find a suitable slot.

It’s also is the time when the book charts will change as the summer holiday reads take over, a bit like the cinema where all the big blockbusters come out as the film companies capitalise on six weeks of bored children.  Jurassic World, Minions: they are all part of the summer push to get some money in.

So, if you look at the current top 10, it is a mixture of crime novels and holiday reads.  Some Marian Keyes with a Patricia Cornwell thrown in for good measure.  In the supermarket and at the Airport they will be lining them up ready for those last minute shoppers getting ready to jet off for a well deserved break.

An interesting comment Kate Long made at the Writing event we went to last week was that the Supermarkets rule.  She had to change the name and cover of her current book based on what the supermarket chain wanted.

Now, Phil and I are not precious about cover or name, we’d just like to be one of the options in Sainsbury’s for people to pick up.  I’d be happy if I saw our book in that line up being picked up by happy holiday makers to be read and discarded at a foreign hotel. In fact, if it 5 years time I found a battered copy in a hotel library I’d be ecstatic.  We not expecting to compete with Harper Lee and be the next English Literature read.

I’ve not another holiday planned until September and I’ll be looking forward to my reading for that break but for now I’ll dream about popping in to do the shopping and seeing ‘Kate vs the Dirtboffins’ next to the salad aisle.

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