Daybook Entry – 8th February

For Today… 8th February

Looking out my window… it’s raining and we are forecast more snow overnight.

I am thinking… about submitting a short story to a competition. But which one? And which competition?

I am thankful… that I managed to finish my assignment today. A screenplay of just the right length (15 minutes), a commentary that was plumb on the 1000 word limit and a proposal for my final piece which was also bob on the 300 word limit. Actually, I’m not so much thankful as rather smug this evening!

One of my favourite things… is making a game out of deadlines and word counts.

I am creating… some crotchet blanket squares. I’m trying a new pattern which hopefully will look like a Celtic knot, but it’s a bit tricky so far.

I am wearing… long legged pyjama bottoms in bed at the minute. It’s a bit cold out there isn’t it?

I am reading … the new Elly Griffiths book which was delivered to my Kindle today. It is the latest in the Ruth Galloway series, which I love. Book review coming up.

I am praying… for healing in certain quarters. The Lord knows where.

I am learning… how to write effective (and hopefully interesting) screenplay.

In my kitchen… it’s the week before payday so we had one of our standby favourites tonight. Pasta, chorizo, peas and prawns with a bit of cheese on top. Delish!

Post Script… this week is the hundredth anniversary of the Act of Parliament that allowed certain women the right to vote in the UK. I wrote a post about it the other day and what it means for us in our society today. I’d love it if you would have a little read for me and leave me a comment on it. I want to have a conversation in particular about what the notion of “equality” means for us in our society today.

Closing Notes… I was sent a link to this video a few days ago and we sang it tonight at study group. It’s based on Psalm 92 and I thought you might like to have a listen too. Enjoy Graham Kendrick singing one of his new songs




Daybook Entry 28th January 2018

For Today 28th January 2018

Looking out my window… one could almost imagine Spring is round the corner. Having said that, the weather forecast is said to go down to -9oC again this week. Brrr….

I am thinking… that the throat infection and flu I had over Christmas didn’t fully go away. I have had a pretty rough night last night and day today with swollen glands, fever, sore throat, aches and pains – oh my word the pains! I have just about had my morning shower (and it’s nearly bedtime now).

I am thankful… for the simple medication of paracetamol and the wonders it does.

One of my favourite things… is seeing the Spring flowers poking their heads up.

I am creating… a film script exploring different angles of “loss”.

I am wearing… my favourite rainbow crocheted blanket round my legs. For comfort more than warmth.

I am reading … “A Game of Thrones” by George R R Martin. Yes, I know. I am one of the 0.1% of the population who has either never seen the show nor read the book!

I am praying… for healing in a world of brokenness.

I am learning… that “showing” and “telling” work differently in real life than they do when writing drama and prose.

In my kitchen… Kevin made our dinner tonight, a lovely chicken “stewp”. It was halfway between a soup and a stew and absolutely delicious.

Post Script… It is four weeks now until the annual brass band “Area” contests take place, and we are well into rehearsals preparing for our performance at Pemberton Band. The “Areas” are qualifying competitions that are held each year in different areas of the country, and the winners of each section go through to a national final held later in the year. The Pemberton Band organisation is in the North West of England, so we compete in the North West Area contest, held in Blackpool. Ours is the first one this year, and the Yorkshire Area is held the week afterwards, with others around the country over the following weeks.

The bands who compete are graded according to their ability, with the best bands competing in the Championship Section, down to the Fourth Section (a bit like the Premier League down to the Second Division in football). Each section has a designated piece of music to perform on the day – the same pieces across the country – which are more and more difficult the higher up the sections they are played in. So, the Fourth Section piece is usually quite straightforward and tests bands on their attention to the “basics” of individual and ensemble playing rather than technical skill and as the sections go higher, the pieces get more technically difficult.  We are lucky at Pemberton that we have two competing bands – the “A” band (mine, which competes in the Championship section) and the “B” band in the section below, as well as a youth band and a training band.

The pieces are chosen by a panel during the summer and are announced at the finals in September  so that all competing bands have the same amount of time to prepare them.  There is always contention about the selected pieces being either “too difficult”, “too easy”, “not a test of skill”, “no music” in them and so on, and some pieces suit some bands more than others depending on the strengths or weaknesses as individual players and as an ensemble. The piece we are rehearsing at Pemberton is called “Odyssey” and it is technically quite a challenge to me as a player even with all the years of my experience. I’ll let you know how we get on.

A moment from my day…


Meet Terry, the terrapin. He’s our adopted pet. I wasn’t too keen on him to begin with, especially when we were told that he would outlive us, but when you look at the exquisite detail on his skin and on his shell, how can you not love him? I could tell you about his little “moods” – which is something to behold, him being a reptile and all. But I can read him like a book and I know when he’s hungry, when he’s playful and when he’s bored. He lives in water but we get him out of the tank every now and again to dry him off completely and to allow him room to roam round the house. He is great in the garden when it’s sunny and quite often brings himself back in and heads for his tank on his own. He loves prawns. And carrots (don’t ask how we found that out…)

Closing thoughts… I am so fed up of feeling ill now – I wish this flu bug would just GO AWAY!!!





Daybook Entry 21st January 2018

For today… 21st January 2018

Looking out my window… it’s pretty awful weather out there. Rain one minute, snow the next. Slush on the ground which is freezing in places and just soggy wetness in others.

I am thinking… of having my hair cut. Or perhaps growing it and having it dyed. Or “under shaved” or something. Anything other than this “in-between” nothingness that it is at the minute.

I am thankful… that there is no budget this month to have my hair cut. I’d end up with something I would regret if I went this side of payday!

One of my favourite things… is knowing my children are happy.

I am creating… space on my bookshelf for … what else? … MORE books.

I am wearing… my favourite hoody, which unfortunately is starting to show signs of wear and tear and is not really suitable for wearing outside the house any more. It’s great for inside the house, but not for “best”, sadly.

I am reading … “Keeping The Dead” by Tess Gerritsen. It is the seventh in the Rizzoli and Isles series and I thought I had read all of them, but this one is one that has slipped my net. I am only a little way into it but it is showing signs of all the excellence of the rest of this series.

I am praying… that my sister in crime is going to be ok.

I am learning… about different ways of leading church worship. Among other things.

In my kitchen… we had home made teriyaki chicken casserole for tea last night. It was absolutely delicious and a fantastic dinner for two of us. Really easy to make too. All I did was put 180ml of soy sauce, 160ml of water, half a tsp of ground ginger, 2 minced cloves of garlic and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar into a pan and boiled it. Then I added 2 tablespoons of cornflour to some cold water to make a paste and added it to the boiling mixture. I think I put too much in because it instantly solidified, so I added some more water until it looked more like a sauce than the stuff they cover roads with. I then put most of that sauce over two chicken breasts in a casserole dish and baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes. I should have covered it with tin foil because the sauce went a bit crusty, but it was ok after the next stage. While I cooked the chicken in the sauce, I cooked 175g of Basmati rice and pack of stir fry vegetables.  I then shredded the chicken and mixed it with the sauce, then added the rice, the vegetables and the rest of the sauce and put it back into the oven for 10 minutes to heat through. It was absolutely delicious, but next time I wouldn’t put as much sugar in it and I will think about adding some more garlic.



Post Script… I have been thinking about making marionettes on and off for a couple of years now, and I found this on YouTube and it looks a fantastic way of constructing them. I will perhaps give it a go over the half term break in February.

A moment from my day… 



When your daughter has been travelling for nearly 7 hours from one end of the country to another, and you are on your way to meet her rendezvous point and this is the view ahead of you for the next 45 minutes. ARGH!!!!!

Closing Notes


A very tongue in cheek comment, but when confronted with this sign at the motorway services tonight, ought I to have been upset by the fact that I am not a lady? Does this sign only apply to those identifying as “ladies”, or is it a polite term to denote the fact there are no stand-up urinals in the room and all the toilets are behind cubicles? Should I have kicked up a fuss with the management that since I am not a “lady” there are no toilets available to me? Or should I just accept the fact that I am lucky I live in the western world where we have ready access to clean and safe sanitation no matter how it is labelled?


Blogging, Daybook

Daybook Entry – 9th January 2018

For Today 9th January 2018

Looking out my window… I can see the frost on the ground that has still not disappeared from this morning.

I am thinking…that sometimes, it’s the small things that affect us more than the big ones. For example, the papercut on my finger is distracting me beyond measure, yet the sore throat that I thought I had got rid of with antibiotics is now about half-way developed again and until I try to speak or swallow, it is not bothering me at all. And still, that papercut is making me feel utterly miserable.

I am thankful… for the easy access we have to medicine in our world. I know there are places on earth that don’t have ready access to even the basic medical care, so for those people, the throat infection I have had might have proved to bring a totally different outcome than the one I had.

One of my favourite things… is hitting on a great story idea and starting to plan out the characters and plot points to tell it properly. One of my least favourite is editing it once it has been written. Feels so much like destruction for a while, and then it gets creative again, but that initial destruction of an idea is one of my least favourite parts to writing.

I am creating… I made myself a long, chunky scarf a couple of weeks ago and I am trying to create a hat to match it. I am on for my fourth attempt so far (completed and undone to save yarn) and I am still not happy with it. The colours are great, but I just can’t get the right shape of hat. It’ll come!

I am wearing… warm clothes today. It’s not that cold outside, but as I’m still under the weather a little, I am feeling chilly in my bones.

I am reading … “Origin” by Dan Brown. I started it last week but I haven’t really been in the mood for reading since, and I am still only about three-quarters of the way through it. I will do a proper book review when I’ve finished it.

I am praying… for a tiny baby born too small for his gestational age and who is facing some complex health issues; for an old friend who has to face a serious operation in the next few days.

I am learning… to take care of my health. Not easy because I don’t like to say “no” to things, and because I have a tendency to push through things just so I can keep going. I have learned particularly over Christmas that that is not always possible – or advisable.

In my kitchen… we are “budget cooking” at the moment, and the challenge is on to find nutritious and filling yet inexpensive meals for the family. We are eating a lot of inexpensive protein, such as grains and pulses, which turns out to be a bit healthier too. Win win!

Post Script… You may already have a prayer pattern which you use daily, but if you haven’t or are perhaps looking for something different, why not give this a go? It is the Examen prayer as defined by St Ignatius of Loyola and is something I have used quite a bit and I find it useful when prayer is difficult.

St Ignatius of Loyola

Shared Quote… “The beginning is always today.” Mary Shelley

A moment from my day… Just your average Grandma playing about with your daughter’s Navy uniform…

Closing Notes… I am struck again by the valuable contact that I have through the people who come and read my blog. Thank you all for making yourselves known to me and for our conversation and debate we strike up online. Social media has such a bad reputation, but when I make contact with friends through my blog I am minded that we shouldn’t just take a reputation blindly, and be thankful for those times we buck the trend.



I like to do the Daybook entry now and again, and it is hosted by Peggy at Please hop along and have a go yourself if you’d like to link up with her.


Daybook Entry – 2nd January 2018

For Today… 2nd January 2018

Outside my window… Storm Eleanor is gearing up and we’re battening down the hatches for her to hit tomorrow sometime

I am thinking… about a story that is floating round my head that came to me in the night. Now, before you go thinking that writers are gifted stories all the time, this one was the result of about 4 hours tossing and turning, arguing with myself and having conversations with people that I know will never happen. In an attempt to try and get those negative thoughts turned off I started reciting nursery rhymes and was struck by Little Bo Peep and how that simple little rhyme could be turned into a three act/scene play. The next two hours of insomnia were spent jotting down notes and working out the what if’s and what then’s of a potential story. Inspiration doesn’t just strike, it’s a result of a lot of things!

I am thankful… that our NHS has been able to treat me, my husband and my son over the Christmas holiday. We have all been pretty ill at one stage or another and needed various stages of medical support in the last couple of days. Today’s thankfulness is the urgent treating of my husband’s kidney stone and subsequent water infection

I am praying for… a swift recovery for all of us so we can crack on with what needs to be done

I am creating… reams of notes

I am going… to try and do some studying tomorrow. I’m a bit behind the calendar but nothing that I can’t catch up

I am wondering… if I’m going to need further antibiotics for this horrible throat infection

I am reading… “Origin” by Dan Brown. It’s very much in the same mode as “The Da Vinci Code” et al, but it’s an entertaining read and quite thought provoking

I am hoping… my husband has a restful night tonight

I am learning… that the older I get, the longer it takes to shake illness off

In my garden… the bins have been blown all over, the fence panel has detached itself from its moorings and the shrubbery is looking a bit tattered. It’s stormy out there tonight!

In my kitchen… had this for lunch/dinner/tea today. A vegetable base, lamb stock, pearl barley and split peas with some leftover lamb from Mum’s New Year Dinner yesterday. Hearty yet delicate and made us all feel a bit better

A favourite quote for today…

A peek into one of my days… taken the week before Christmas. Hollingworth Lake near Littleborough

One of my favourite things… is finding a new box-set to watch on Netflix

From the board room… I love this hot water bottle cover. Might try to make this sometime!

Post Script:

There is some news I wish to share with you which I shared on Facebook just before Christmas. You may know that I have been exploring ministry in the last 18 months or so, and I have been put forward for a selection panel to see if I am suitable for training to be an ordained minister for the Church of England. I am really pleased to be able to tell you that I was successful, and I will be training from September to become ordained.  Thank you everyone who has prayed for me and offered me support in practical and spiritual ways on this journey thus far, and I hope you and I will continue our journey together as we see where God is calling me onward.

Blogging, Daybook

Daybook Entry – 4th November 2017

FOR TODAY 4th November 2017

Outside my window… the night sky is alight with fireworks and bonfires. It’s that time of year again!

I am thinking… that I’m glad I had my hair cut last week (professionally this time) but I am going to have to keep straightening it until it grows a bit and the curls drop out a little.

I am thankful… for my two wonderful children who have grown up to be such wonderful young adults.

In the kitchen… a new recipe of mine which I have perfected over the last couple of times of trying it, we had pearl barley risotto with chicken and mushrooms. Delish!

I am wearing… grey and blue. Not a reflection of my mood, thankfully.

I am creating… lots of stories! I am about 6 weeks into my Masters degree work and I have got short stories and flash fiction coming out of my ears at the minute. I am loving the creativity of writing, and of finding characters who speak to me so I can tell their stories. I will post some on here, but I have to be careful that I don’t share something which I am going to use as an assignment later or on else I could be caught out by the anti-plagiarism rules with the OU.

I am going… to go for a walk in Heaton Park tomorrow afternoon. Pictures to follow.

I am reading… “Rather Be The Devil” by Ian Rankin for fun, but oodles and oodles of other stuff for my Masters. I’m developing a bit of a crush on Victorian gothic horror at the minute which started out as research but is now turning into entertainment .

I am watching… “I know who you are”, which is a Spanish crime thriller shown on the BBC over the summer. I discovered it yesterday and I am hooked. It is the story of a lawyer who is accused of murder but who has lost his memory of any events before the alleged murder. It is in Spanish with English subtitles, so it needs some concentration (ie, no crocheting or Candy Crush while it is on!) but it is well worth it. Again, something I started to watch for research purposes but is turning out to be an entertainment piece too.

I am praying… in thanks for the safe delivery of a friend’s new baby, for the safe delivery of another friend’s baby in a couple of weeks and for the safe gestation for another friend who has had two heartbreaks in the last year. God is everywhere in creation, and for that I give thanks.

I am wondering… how I am going to get through the next 8 weeks until Christmas. As ever, the family calendar is FULL and if I don’t count studying, I have got 5 days between now and Boxing Day where I am not committed to something or other. I always go through this wobble around this time of year and I have never come unstuck before, but nevertheless, the next couple of months are going to be busy.

I am looking forward to… Boxing Day…!

From the boardroom…I really want to make these this year.

DIY ~~ making string ornaments.


I am hoping… Ethan and Megan are having a good time in Scotland this weekend.

I am learning… that I am stronger than I think I am.

Around the house… things are very quiet for a change. It’s weird.

I am pondering… how to present a discussion for my BAP* in a couple of weeks.

A favourite quote for today…

“Be careful how you are talking to yourself, you are listening” – Lisa M Hayes

One of my favourite things… is a book and brew in bed before sleep.

A few plans for the rest of the week: church tomorrow, Stay and Play then a pre-BAP meeting in the afternoon then band on Monday, band again Wednesday, Study group Thursday, praying at a funeral on Friday, band Friday night, then Messy Church on Saturday. Yes, it’s a tad busy this week!

A peek into my day…

I sit next to Gareth in band, and this is his “unique” way of keeping his music tidy during rehearsals *ahem*


*BAP – Bishop’s Advisory Panel. This is the 3-day selection panel where my suitability for ordination training is assessed and decided. I will be attending BAP at the end of November and there’s a bit of preparation to do before I go, including (and not limited to) booking my train tickets and deciding on how to invite a discussion around one of the church’s marks of mission.

Blogging, Daybook

Daybook Entry

Daybook EntryFor Today… 11th September 2017

Outside my window… the weather is having a party today. It’s sunny for now, but in another couple of minutes it will be stormy and throwing it down again. It’s been like this since yesterday morning and it is showing no signs of changing any time soon. I can only think that it if it so horrible here with high winds and heavy rain, it must be a million times worse for those in the Caribbean or in Florida.

I am thinking… that I’m glad things are back to “normal” after the summer break. I have always loved September, and I have always loved the sense of normality that comes with it. I love the summer holidays too, but September is always a special time of year and I love that sense of routine and normality that it brings.

I am thankful… for the new duvet my mum and dad have given us. It is lovely and cozy and just perfect for this horrible weather.

I am praying for… everyone who has been affected by natural disasters recently.

I am wearing… a clean t-shirt and my pyjama bottoms. I got soaked to the skin earlier so wanted to get my comfies on.

I am creating…  a piece of writing on the American Civil War. I want to turn it into a screenplay and so I’m blocking it out and making copious notes as I go through research and reading for it.

I am going… to meet with the new DDO (Diocese Director of Ordinands) tomorrow. He will be guiding me through the exploration stages of my vocation in the coming months and this will be our first meeting.

I am wondering… whether I can squeeze a nap in before I have to go and cook the tea tonight.

I am reading… “The Seagull” by Anne Cleeves. It is the eighth book in the Vera Stanhope series.

I am watching… “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix. Not my usual kind of thing (too much swearing and sex in it for me) but it’s fascinating to see how relationships ebb and flow in a confined space such as a prison, and I find it interesting to see how the script is written and how the programme is put together.

I am hoping… to get my hair cut soon. It has gone through the “cute and curly” stage to the “frizzy and uncontrollable” stage really quickly.

I am learning… that small changes in my morning routine are having a big affect on my productivity.

In my garden… things are starting to die back now as Autumn is starting to creep in.

In my kitchen… we are getting inventive with our food choices for mealtimes. Tonight will be something simple, like pasta with prawns and pesto. Might throw some peas in too, purely for alliterative purposes.

A favourite quote for today…

day quote

A peek into one of my days…

We spent a couple of days in Portsmouth last week to see my daughter’s passing out parade, and we spent a little time at the docks. This is a selection of photos from that time – the Spinnaker Tower (views are AMAZING!!), the Historic Dockyard showing HMS Queen Elizabeth (the UK’s newest aircraft carrier), HMS Victory (Nelson’s flagship, most famously used in the Battle of Waterloo in 1805) and the building in which the Mary Rose is housed, Henry VIII’s most expensive warship which sank in 1545.

One of my favourite things… is drinking Ovaltine at bedtimes when it is raining hard against the windows.

In other news: I said earlier that I liked September because it feels like a new start, and this year is no exception. I am going to be studying towards my Masters degree this year in Creative Writing, again with the Open University. I will be learning more about the process of writing as well as writing lots of stuff myself, and I will be learning about critiquing other students’ work which will be something new for me. I will hopefully be able to share some of my jottings and things on here in the coming months, but only once I’ve decided that they won’t be forming the basis of any of my work which will be marked by the OU. The last thing I need is to be done for plagiarism – even it it is of myself!

Things are progressing with my vocation exploration, and I will be going for my selection panel at the end of November (not next week as originally planned). I am preaching this Sunday at my home church, which I am looking forward to immensely. I might publish my text early next week if it goes down well enough on Sunday.

Blessings to you all.