Thursday, 24 June 2010

Friends, Football and Fings

I shan’t mention the football. I mean everyone will know we’re through, so why go on about it? But it makes you feel good doesn’t it? Isn’t it weird how everywhere goes quiet when there’s an England match on telly? And to be playing Germany on Sunday – brilliant!

I’ve got so many draft blogs in my blog file, bits and pieces of this and that and now I can’t remember which bits I’ve used, so if I ever repeat myself please forgive me.

Just let me say in this house a typical conversation with me goes:
Me: “Would you like tea or coffee?”
Other Person: “Coffee please.”
I put the kettle on . . .
“Erm? Did you say tea or coffee?”
“Coffee please.”
I reach for a mug.
“Um, was it tea?”
It can go on like that for some time and chances are the poor person will end up with tea anyway – or nothing at all if I get distracted, which isn’t unheard of.

So, a word about writing friends – that is friends who are also writers. Quite honestly I don’t know where I’d be without mine. In fact when I think of all the years I had no writing friends at all, I wonder how on earth I kept sane without anyone to talk to about it all.

While I was staying at my son’s house last week, during one very long night when I was awake worrying and checking my phone every five minutes, there was a sudden rustling and a weight landed on the bed.

It was their little black cat. She stomped on my feet for a moment, purring like mad, then she walked up my body and curled up on my chest, purring and rolling round and rubbing her head against my hands and face.

She is like a small version of my cat Gizzie and just as gentle and affectionate as he was. I could almost feel the worry seeping away and I calmed down enough to go to sleep. Amazing isn’t it, the calming power of animals.

Made me realise how much I miss having a cat around the house, but I still don’t think I will ever have another cat. Unless . . . no, my mind is made up. No more cats. But then . . . no really, I’ve decided.

I’m reading The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver at the moment. Like all his books I can’t put it down. I’m even reading it in the mornings when I should be getting dressed.

And yesterday my daughter gave me Julian Clary’s Devil in Disguise which I’m itching to read.

Finally got round to watching Pierrepoint, a film we recorded months, possibly years ago. It wasn’t an easy film to watch and as often happens I was scuttling off to the internet afterwards to look up Albert Pierrepoint to find out more about him.

I am generally opposed to the death penalty because too many mistakes have been made in the past. Not only the wrong people being hanged, but it happens to this day that people are released from prison having been jailed years before for something they didn’t do.

One of the hangings shown in the film was of Timothy Evans who was executed in 1950 for the murder of his daughter. Three years later, the real killer John Christie was executed for the murder and Timothy Evans was given a posthumous pardon. But that doesn’t give the guy his life back.

To have your daughter murdered and then be accused and found guilty of the crime when you know you are innocent – can you imagine the hell that man would have gone through knowing he would die while the real killer was still at large? And all the time suffering the pain of losing his daughter?

That was always my main opposition to the death penalty. But also someone has to carry out these executions and become legal killer and that someone has to bear the burden of that.

So yes, I am still opposed, but then again I see what some people do, the terrible, foul cruelties they carry out and I think that there should be a death penalty. But it is not a matter I would ever want to have to vote on.

Remember Jeremy Bamber? Ever visited his website? I can't get the hyperlink to work, but it's his name, dot com. Makes very interesting reading. The case is currently being reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

There, I went and got all serious didn’t I? You see once I start I can’t stop, so I’ll shut up now before I go off on something else.

But before I go – if you’re writing for magazines it’s time to be thinking of colder days and darker nights which is my excuse for adding this picture. It’s my very much missed Gizzie the Mo, the softest floppiest most cuddly cat I’ve ever known.


  1. I love these 'natters' over the virtual garden fence, Teresa. Somehow, very neighbourly.

  2. I must read Julian Clary. I love him to death, but can't seem to separate the personality from the writer. I often do that, though - find myself avoiding reading something by someone because I'd far rather think of them in their already successful career than convert them to an author.

  3. You are so right about needing writing friends. I don't know what I'd have done without you and my other writer friends over the last eight years in exile. And now the two above are added to my list. Martin, recently discovered and Diane, reacquainted with after many long years.

  4. I can't imagine writing without like-minded buddies to chat to. Rejects would hurt twice as much if there was no one to offer sympathy and encouragement to try again and acceptances wouldn't be so special if I didn't have people to tell about them.

  5. Neighbours, Martin! That's just what we are isn't it - neighbours in Blogland - I feel a song coming on!

    Diane I'm sure you'd love reading Julian Clary.

    Likewise, Lynne :-)

    Absolutely, Patsy. I wouldn't want to go back to those lonely early days.

  6. Teresa, cats are great. Take me for example...I'm v handsome maybe not so much up for cuddles but I'll let the Muttie One have a stroke and a snuggle up now and then. And yes, we're brill for relaxation. For goodness sake, you know you want another...what's the harm lady?

    Milt x

  7. You are extremely handsome, Milt (I felt calm just looking at pictures of you) and I agree wholeheartedly, cats are great! x

  8. I can be stressed to hell and back and a cuddle from my wee Jack Russels brings waves of calm. Just the best therapy ever. The purr of a cat is so relaxing and a great sound to drift off to.

    The death penalty? No, never.

  9. Hi Teresa
    Completely agree about virtual writing friends. Writing is the most wonderful thing, but it can be very isolating, can't it? And let's face it: "normal" people don't do it! So wonderful to be able to talk to others who "get it"! Really makes me feel I'm not the only one when things aren't going well! Loving the cat pic! x

  10. Do any of your writing friends have advice about how to get over writer's block? I just can't seem to break through, ever since the death of my dearest writing friend, fantasy author Louise Cooper. Maybe I should do more cat cuddling... or even consult Paul the Psychic Octopus!

  11. I love little Jack Russells, MOB - I used to know one who would jump from floor onto my lap when I was sitting on a high stool. Great little chap.

    It makes a world of difference doesn't it, Lydia, knowing others are in the same boat and also knowing people who really understand you!

    You're still grieving, Hydra. It is hard when you can no longer escape into writing. I don't really think there is an answer - what works for one person won't work for another. Have you tried writing a letter to Louise, perhaps that would free something inside you.

  12. I agree about writing friends - they're the best.

    Love the photo.