Awww Betty

Betty is the main character. She is funny, odd, loves her dog and her kids (like me). She’s house proud, somewhat subservient at times and great at sewing. NOT LIKE ME.
Though my son, funny boy, did ask me when I was explaining her character to the family if, as Betty is a bit like me, that means I also let the dog go on the settee when nobody is looking…

I am supposed to be at 50,000 words by the end of Monday. Phew. I have a way to go.
Wonder what I will be doing this weekend then?
Apart from running up and downstairs with food etc for a young man in quarantine…


Just to let you know…

So NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow, and I am all excited and raring to go.

It was one of those last minute, split second decisions after a throw away comment from my husband, which encouraged me to go ahead with it.

Writing has taken a backseat for me the past few years, despite it being my passion. Of course, bringing up four whole children needed to take priority and then, as they aged and became more independent, I started up my own tutoring business and that took up another massive heap of my time. I have enjoyed doing that, I love kids, as you might be able to tell, with me having four of my own.

But then Covid hit and what with lockdowns and risk categories life changed for me quite fundamentally.
It meant that I had time to write again, but as my husband pointed out, what I really needed, to stop my procrastination, was a deadline.

Hence NaNoWriMo.

I’m ready to go, after much pondering. I know my main character well and I’m ready for her adventure.

To help me along my way with my target I’ve enlisted my family. I ordered asked my daughter to draw me a tortoise (otherwise known as Molly). And I commanded requested that my husband make it into a gif. He taught my daughter how to do it and she has quite literally spent most of her school holiday on the computer designing the graphics. Which he has in turn compiled, and all I can tell you is, when it’s uploaded onto my page, some kind of magic stuff happens.

Molly has way exceeded my expectations. I welled up when I was initially introduced to her. And now, of course, I am even more excited.

Molly will be available for you, from tomorrow, in the form of a sticky post (quite thrilling in itself as I’ve never had a sticky post before!!). So you can always check and recheck how I am doing.

50,000 words here I come.

Hue thanks to my hubby and Akasha!!

NaNoWriMo 2020


I have decided to take part in NaNoWriMo 2020. Does anyone know if there is a widget or something I can attach to my blog to show my progress. I found one but I’d have to pay WordPress 300 Euros (I guess Euros) for the year. I would like a free widget!!

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank you!!

For those who don’t understand this post – NaNoWriMo is a writing project which takes place every November. The idea is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month with support and motivation from within the group. If you are also interested in taking part here’s a link and if you want to check me out as a buddy my username is: schnuffi.

A little bit about what I’m actually doing right now

After reading Dianne’s comment I decided that maybe it’s time I gave you a little introduction to the book I’m writing:

In The Toilet

A few years ago, while being blown around the Isle of Skye, we happened upon a lovely little B&B with delicious breakfasts, though, I do admit, not quite as heavenly as those we’d discovered the week before in Aberdeen. But I digress.

The family run B&B had something I wouldn’t normally go for: a shared bathroom. However, 8pm had been and gone and we were hungry so we decided that beggars couldn’t be choosers and we booked in. And in the spirit of honesty, we’d almost ran out of petrol.

While squatting in the bathroom, as you do, I discovered something truly magnificent: a ‘toilet book shelf’.

Perched there, on the edge of my throne, I had the good fortune of being seated next to a carefully chosen selection of reading material. Most of the books were humorous but whatever the genre, each book had one particular thing in common: they were all the type that you could just dip into. Open a page and be entertained. Indeed, nipping out to the loo became something to look forward to.

I brought the idea back to my new home in Germany. I wanted to develop my own little ‘toilet book shelf’.

But, it’s not as easy as you may think. Firstly, the guest toilet in our flat had no natural light, and no space for a shelf. I swear, in a previous life, it had only existed as a broom cupboard!

So, for a while, I had no possible shelf and had to be content with looking around for the right little books. This was an almost impossible task, as my German reading skills are, to be honest, crap. I had no idea if the gags were really funny or not. And I didn’t improve myself by constantly ordering English books from As you might have gathered I’m a bit of a reader. (Seriously, I should have asked them to start one of those loyalty programs. I’d have been up for the star prize…)

Then, excitingly, we did the grown up thing, we stopped renting and bought ourselves a house. The added bonus? (Or was it stipulated necessity?) A light, bright guest toilet…. With marble windowsill in tact. Doubling as our ‘toilet book shelf’.

Except, I still only had a couple of books.

So I made a decision. I’d write my own ‘Toilet Book’ for my ‘toilet book shelf’ and perhaps even, for yours? 😉

Something Terrible Happened Today

I wrote a complete story today for my NaNoWriMo book of short stories.

I did a quick read through and stuck to my bare minimal correction (as Tilly tells me: I have to write 50,000 words in 30 days, if I correct properly, I won’t finish) and I was happy with the story, particularly the ending.

I saved it. Please read again. I SAVED it. And then my self-hosting, private WordPress thingy-me-jiggy changed the screen and said I had to re-log in.

Being an obedient person, I did exactly that.

It took me straight back to my ‘post writing screen’ where I then discovered the last THIRD of my story had vanished.


Like, into thin air.

I clicked the back arrow. I clicked the forward arrow.

I shouted at the screen.

(Rather loudly.)

(Sorry neighbours.)

I banged my hand on the desk.

But it didn’t come back.

I looked at the previous drafts but it’s as if I never typed the last third of the story.

I called the computer competent one, aka my husband, but he’d abandoned me and my one third – he didn’t even pick up the phone.

I tried to pull myself together and remember the lines I’d written but CATASTROPHE: I had to leave the house to pick up the little one from Kindergarten.

All the way there I tried to make bullet points in my head reminding me of each point I’d written.

(In my next life, quite clearly, I’ll be a goldfish, I remember nothing. OK, truthfully, I remember odd things that no one else can like the date that the bacon that’s lazying around in the fridge will go off and the number plate of that abandoned car I spotted 18 years ago, but important stuff, that just flies out of my head.)

I told the little one NOT to talk to me as I recited:

  • Lori
  • Invisble
  • Mess up random
  • But to destroy Christmas

I ran in the door, chucked my coat on the floor, dived upstairs and wrote with my heart pounding.

I love computers. But I hate them. You get me?

NaNoWriMo Day one

So I got up this morning, left mess everywhere ran 5km on the cross trainer and then wrote 3888 words.

I had already planned to take tomorrow off (my five-year old will turn six).

My husband baked cake and took the still five-year old to the doctor.

He even brought me a latte and a filled roll upstairs for lunch.

I could really get used to this life. 🙂

I’ve made the decision, now it’s just the sticking to it

Friday, really was a truly hilarious day.

One of those days in fact, when you just think: It doesn’t get better than this.

It went along something like this:

I thought I had it covered. I had a list and everything.

Really. I started off in a nice relaxed mood this morning, as my husband took my son to the clinic for me, in order to have him weighed and pick up his new prescription. He’s not a baby. He’s 12. But apparently he needs to be popped on the scales so we can be given the drugs that stop him climbing out of windows and unhanging doors and unscrewing toilet seats and stashing empty, moulding milk cartons in his wardrobe and hiding homework in random bushes. My son has severe ADHD, you see.

It wasn’t enough to be popped on the scales in 19 days at his next actual appointment. The receptionist said that he needs to come in today.

I have a deep fondness for receptionists.

Anyway, I felt confident this morning. And very excited. Though somewhat nervous. Especially given that I have four children and I regularly spend oodles of time with receptionists.

You see, I have finally come to my decision, I have signed up to NaNoWriMo.

The whole signing up caused me so much giddiness this morning that I began the day by pouring milk into the sugar bowl, instead of onto my cereal.

No matter. I rinsed it out and giggled gleefully.

I checked off my updated list ‘rinse milk out of sugar bowl’ and called the eye doctor.

You guessed right. I wanted to grab an earful have a chat with another receptionist. I’ve been collecting styes again. Thanks to my immune suppressants.

Unfortunately, she refused to reply so I had to settle with ‘attempt to buy shoes for two children’.

I bundled an array of legs and elbows into the car and proceeded to drive right past the shoe shop. Toward the eye doctor, in fact.

I turned the car around and chuckled to alarmed used-to-it legs and elbow owners (I did try to blame it on the book) and managed to buy gym shoes for one child.

My list had included a plan to purchase ingredients for and prepare in advance a few healthy meals, to ease my duties in November.

On tasting I discovered, however, that I’d forgotten to put the beans in the minestrone and I’d left the carrot and orange soup stockless.

Then my helpful teenager chopped the tomatoes but left them on the tabletop instead of popping them into the pasta sauce with the rest of the ingredients.

It bubbled away for its full 45 minutes before I actually managed to notice.

But still, determined, I ploughed on making a lovely tomato tart except the pastry refused to be separated from the buttered flan dish so I found myself forced into chilling it for tomorrow instead of freezing it for next month.

Meanwhile my generous five-year old shovelled out the chilli.

I attempted again to call the eye doctor but as it turns out he’s off on holiday for just over a week. Not enamoured at the thought of yet another pusy eye I decided to contact my GP. Well you know what I mean. His receptionist.

I got through but for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of my stye prescription so she insisted I call the chemist where I regularly pick up my eye drops.

Naturally, I called the wrong chemist who had no idea whatsoever what I was blabbering on about.

But at least she kindly gave me the number for my actual pharmacist.

As it turns out I still don’t know my German letters properly (even though I have lived here for a full eight years) so I had to ask a couple of times, then wrote down z’s and f’s and y’s where there were absolutely none.

I tried to call the receptionist back, but she’d intermittently had the cheek to take another call, so the line, naturally was engaged. I hung around, with all the time in the world, recooking sauces and burning my tongue off in the chilli comparison test.

A few minutes later she answered my call and I listed out z’s and f’s and y’s where there absolutely were none and she refused to give me any medicine. With hindsight I’m pleased. What if it had been the name of a real medication for vaginal warts or something and I’d have glooped it into my eye?

I apologised profoundly for being an idiot foreigner and I called the chemist all over again.

I explained, you know, that I’m an idiot foreigner and that although this is now my home country I can’t even get the alphabet right and she took mercy on me and offered to spell out the name again.

Cleverly I had intercepted my own stupidity and I had asked the internet what possible medications could be offered to me by my friendly chemist.

The internet had given me a multiple choice of answers but with the help of the lovely lady and one non-pusy eye I managed to work out which medication I should take.

I called the engaged receptionist.

Finally, I spoke to her. I thanked her for her patience and lack of dispensation of vaginal wart cream and she sympathetically offered to have the prescription ready in half an hour.

I told her that although I couldn’t wait for our next meeting, I actually could because I needed to find beans for the minestrone and pick up my sons ADHD medication.

When I finally returned home, I opened my sons pills to see they had only given us enough to last us for 12.5 days. Even though our next appointment isn’t for 19 days.

Better still, we must order the tablets four whole days before we need them.

I started to clean and prepare for tomorrow’s lesson with my new student. I looked forward to making ‘novel notes’.

Then the phone rang.

Head lice alert.

I spent the following two hours dragging a bloody nit comb through conditioned hair.

I’m happy to report those two wasted hours that thorough search revealed not a single louse in the house.

I live the high life, I tell you.