Wednesday, 27 July 2011


I am going through a mid-life writing crisis. My award-winning novel which was destined to be turned into an Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth, now languishes in a drawer marked “BLEUGH! – UTTER CODSWALLOP – START AGAIN”. My blog languishes in the ether, gathering on-line dust and my brain languishes in never-land, gathering pixie dust.

Because every time I sit down to write/tweet/blog - all I can think of is: what's the point? Admittedly, I have had this feeling about the blog for quite a time. Initially, it started off as a kind of letting off steam therapy to deal with being physically impaired. I imagined that any real purpose to it would become clear as I went along. In fact, the reverse was true.

I suppose everyone goes through this stage at some time in their lives -  where they question any “job” they are doing. I bet even the Queen has moments of doubt You know, halfway through another Royal Variety Performance when she is listening to a Brucie catchphrase for the hundredth time – I wonder if she ever feels like chucking her ermine slippers at the next interminable dance act and saying:  “Right!  That's it!  One has had it up to here with all this vacuous hokum and bunk. One is orff to breed rainbow trout in the Highlands. See ya later suckers”.

See ya!  Wouldn't wanna be ya!

I've mulled it over and over as to why I should feel this way right now. Maybe it's the lack of feeling “purposeful”. The menopause has screwed with my mind and swiped me around the head with a bucket of cold mortality. When I was younger my life would never end.  Now, even though I'm trying not to look, I know the finishing line is out there, and that thought has certainly been more pronounced since I've been ill. So, rather like leaving your homework until 7pm on Sunday night, I'm feeling time is running out and I haven't done anything yet. In fact, I even googled “how long have you got after menopause”. Google had no answers – only advertisements.

And of course, with my spaghetti puddle of a brain I then ponder the purpose of being purposeful:

Me: Why not be happy with just “being?”

Brain: Because you want to leave something behind. Because you don't want your life to have been for nothing.

Me: Why?

Brain: I don't know, what you asking me for? Ask Google.

For a moment, last week I thought I had cracked the block. A slightly amusing thing happened whilst I was being slowly pierced by accupuncture needles. Now another time, I would have written about it, either here or on Twitter. But then Mr Doubt looks up from behind his newspaper, taps his pipe on the table and says: “who cares? Who wants to read that nonsense anyway? And even though you are surprised that people read it - don't say you couldn't care less if no-one reads it – because you do”. So I said nothing about it. I wrote nothing. I tweeted....nothing.

So here we are, moping about without purpose, without anything worthy/interesting enough to blog about or Tweet about – and all the while the notion that I am wasting precious time is gnawing away at the keyboard.

My muse has gone out for a fag and I don't know how to tempt her back......

Sunday, 3 July 2011

7 DAYS WITH MUGGINS by Guest Blogger: Milly the Brownie

Last week my youngest daughter had to look after "Milly the Brownie" (the Brownie pack mascot).  She was very enthusiastic about it:  "I need to look after her and care for her every day for a whole week", she said.
She lasted approximately 4 hours.

For the rest of the time it was just Milly and Muggins (me). So this week I am handing over to guest blogger: Milly the Brownie and her photographic record of 7 days in Bury St Edmunds...... 

Camera-phone photos by Mama Tiara 
Words by Milly the Brownie (don't ask)

Well, here we are on our first stop:  The Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds
It's a garden on the site of the old Abbey (see what they did there?)
It's very popular with tourists and the local teenagers
Nice lawn....

These are the ruins of the old Abbey (well, they certainly look spoiled to me)
That's St Edmundsbury Cathedral in the background just popping up from behind the bushes
The local teenagers like to sit around here -
In fact, there's probably a couple of them on the other side of that wall right now...

Ah, now this is the Angel Hotel.
It's on Angel Hill (hmm, seems to be a pattern forming here)
Previous guests are rumoured to include Angelina Jolie, Pierce Brosnan and Charles Dickens (who mentioned it in the Pickwick Papers)
I don't think they were here all at the same time though
And what the dickens Angelina Jolie was doing round these parts, goodness only knows......she might have been lost or something....
Nice car

Anyway, they hold a large market here in the main town square every Wednesday and Saturday.
The stall-holders all have very nasally voices and sound like cockneys.
They shout things like:

"C'mon gells. Git yer best b'nanas 'ere - only a panned-a-panned!"

Which roughly translated means:

"Lovely ladies.  Do come and buy our exotic fresh bananas.  You can purchase 16 ounces of them for only 100 of the Queen's English pennies. Which is a very reasonable  price indeed!"

Back home
She says she is on a diet, but I can't say Muggins would qualify for a Brownies "healthy eating" badge...

Although her 5-a-day regime does seem to include an awful lot of grapes....

Oh dear, she says I have to stop embarrassing her.
So she has dragged me out again to the new(ish) shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds
Which is nice...
Ooh look!  You can just see Debenhams there in the background - and it looks like Clarks are having a bit of a sale as well
Now we are off to her favourite haunt.  The place where she seems to spend most of her time (and money)

NO, NO!!!! Not there!!
You silly Brownie!

Ah, this is where you can find her most days.  Earplugs in. Skinny latte and a laptop.  
She pretends she is writing a world-famous, blockbuster novel that will be turned into an Oscar winning film, with Colin Firth playing the leading man.
However, I can tell you that behind that screen, she is actually reading the latest copy of Grazia and checking on Twitter
Oh, no....I've gone too far....she's grabbing me by my plaits...Ouch! that hurts..... Brownie battering...that's what this is.... Gahh, she's stuffing me back in her bag and threatening to return me to Brown Owl....Let me out...LET ME OUT!!....I HAVE BROWNIE RIGHTS YOU KNOW.......

Well, thank you Milly the Brownie for that in-depth and educational look at everyday life in Suffolk.  The Bury St Edmunds Tourist Board will get back to you....