Not actual garden footage, my new four legged friend moved too quickly for me to take a photo (or decide if it was a mouse or a rat).
The other day, fourteen year old Petal cat was meowing most vehemently at the back door.
Above is a photo of Petal cat in her favourite place, sitting on me, so I had been surprised at her interest in the garden, she hardly ever goes out.. I soon found out what Petal wanted when my eyes were drawn to a little brown bottom (followed by a thin tail) scooting behind a dividing wall. I froze at my back door. Meanwhile, Petal elegantly sniffed the air and returned back inside (I love how cats style things out as though they hadn’t intended to pounce anyway)..
Our next door neighbour informed Mr Henthorn that he had seen a mouse playing around at our shed door. When husband built the shed, he put gravel underneath it. I thought this was a fancy way of shed maintenance, but now the gravel has come in handy because I can see that it had been disrupted by our new guest.
I do hope you’re not reading this in search of advice about how to get rid of vermin. There is plenty of this on the internet – I know because I searched myself the other day. That is the sum total of what I have done, however. It has been very cold and wet here and my legs have been too hurty for any garden adventures. And in any case, Martha the Border terrier has taken a great interest in the shed door of late and even insists on a midnight visit to bark into the corner.
I think Martha has scared them off (whatever they were) the gravel remains safely under the shed today.
I started this year with a list of intended blog posts, the titles are all great… I just haven’t written them yet because my head has been full of nonsense.
Other mini-dramas, I have noticed this week is that… even though we are in this situation… you know what I’m talking about… people still find the time to be mean behind the screen.
Anyway, I have removed myself from the receiving end of the screen to free up the time to help my parents. My dad in particular has asked for my help with something and I would hate to have to put Mum and Dad off because my head is full of nonsense from outside sources.
I saw on the news that a parish council meeting in Cheshire is trending on Twitter:
Avoid people who are mean behind the screen. You wouldn’t want you to end up trending on Twitter, or living on Curmudgeon Avenue…
Me again! Today I want to talk about my latest book, published today (30th of September)
The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue
What is it about?
THE ONE WHERE THE B*TCH RETURNS
Reformed rent burglar Georgina Foote moves back to Whitefield and into number 13 Curmudgeon Avenue. She is desperately seeking Kevin but all she finds is nonsense. Collecting enemies at work and at home, Georgina Foote does not belong here.
Meanwhile, a mass exodus occurs when Wantha Rose, Ricky Ricketts and newbie Krystina moved to Greenmount. They think that the world does not revolve around Curmudgeon Avenue, will they find out that it does?
A denouement of sorts resolves the ghost’s stories when Harold takes up residence in the House of Commons, and Edith reunites with her first husband.
Zandra Bennett’s career takes on a new direction when she unwittingly starts channelling the ghost of Edith in the under-the-stairs space.
We finally get to find out Mrs Ali’s first name, her story and her source of all knowledge.
Wantha and Ricky nearly get married, and we learn why the Rose sisters have such daft names. Their mother, Patchouli is still living the life of luxury, and occasional abseiling with Gil Von Black
Not intended as a cosy read, the characters in this social satire provide an utterly British escape.
Will the nincompoops of Curmudgeon Avenue survive without the street? The ending is a shocker!
What is the series about?
Curmudgeon Avenue is a social satire comedy drama about a house that doesn’t like its inhabitants.
From Edna, Edith and Harold to Zandra and Gordon Bennett there are plenty of dramas, romances and quarrels.
The characters often come over as preposterous and unlikeable. Yet, they are all entertaining, in their own ways. Plenty of Manchester humour and language in the dialogue.
Readers are saying that the series is like a British sit-com, and one even said it is like a soap opera on speed.
How did I write book five?
Georgina Foote is a supporting character from book one. She had recently split from her husband Kevin, and so had moved home with her mother. But Pauline Foote had grown tired of her daughter, Georgina living with her and arranged for Georgina to rent a room at No.1 Curmudgeon Avenue. One day, she stole the rent and moved out, and we haven’t heard from her since.
IN BOOK FIVE Georgina is back, desperately trying to rekindle her relationship with Kevin. She thinks she is irresistible to men and cannot understand why Kevin is hiding from her… Or who is sending her hate mail.
While Georgina is collecting enemies all across Whitefield, Wantha and Ricky are trying to get married. But in an almost Far From The Madding Crowd style, Wantha turns up at the wrong venue.
Curmudgeon Avenue is a fictional street in the actual town of Whitefield, North Manchester. I named the series Curmudgeon Avenue after an incident with a disabled parking space. And I chose Whitefield, because that is the place I always got stuck in traffic on my way home from my old job.
In book 5, Georgina is a psychiatric nurse who works in a community mental health team. Initially, I thought twice about this. But I decided to go with it. As writers, why shouldn’t our characters work in mental health care? It is the same as if Georgina had been a hairdresser. Because of the genre, we don’t get to meet any of the ‘service users’ just the staff, which leads me onto my next point.
I was a psychiatric nurse for twenty years. When I started my training, aged 18, I was told that I would be ‘eaten alive’. This was the early 90s and, even that recently (and unfortunately) attitudes towards mental health patients were terrible.
Obviously, I have created the character Georgina Foote using my own imagination.
You can buy The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue HERE
This morning, The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue got a 5* rating from Readers’ Favorite (Thank you)
Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers’ Favorite
The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue replaces the stars of its previous novels with the Rose sisters (Toonan and Wantha), Georgina Foote, Zandra, and many other side characters (some fresh faces and some familiar ones). Wantha Rose stumbled upon Georgina Foote at Manchester Town Hall, where Wantha was scheduled to marry Ricky Ricketts. When Ricky Ricketts did not show up, the red-faced Wantha made Georgina swear that she would not talk about this day to another soul. However, Georgina Foote broke that promise over Facebook, thus insulting Wantha in her own territory, aka the internet. Georgina Foote, the rent-thief, continued her distasteful deeds, paving her way out of everybody’s hearts — not that she ever was in anybody’s heart — and onto their blacklists. On the paranormal side of the plot, with Edith’s ghostly help, Toonan created her tarot-card reading business. Since Edith was busy reconnecting with the ghost of her first husband behind Harold’s back, her inconsistent availability proved to be the biggest problem for Toonan’s business. The juicy gossips were just the right backdrop for the rib-tickling events.
Curmudgeon Avenue is a series that puts a never-fading smile on the lips of its readers as the nosey, loud, insensitive, and inappropriate nincompoops go about their ridiculous lives. The result is a hilarious novel that leaves its fans waiting for the next gossip of Curmudgeon Avenue. Although the star cast of the previous novels — Edna, Edith, and Harold — were mostly missing in this novel, “longer than reasonably necessary” and illogical conversations match the expectations of Curmudgeon Avenue series’ readers. Samantha Henthorn excels in introducing side characters in one novel and then putting these characters into the spotlight in the next book of the series. Her strategic act of passing the proverbial baton works flawlessly in just a matter of a couple of chapters. Wantha’s almost-wedding day, dishonorable actions by Georgina Foote, Zandra’s embarrassment about their unmentionable housewarming party were the building blocks of a novel that brimmed with excitement.
Samantha Henthorn has proved to be one of those authors who have a firm grasp of the expectations of their readers. Each novel of the Curmudgeon Avenue series is a testament to her awareness, and The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue is no exception to this fact. Humor fans will laugh at the illogical train of thoughts of the characters and gladly join in the gossip of Curmudgeon Avenue. I recommend not only this book but each novel of the Curmudgeon Avenue series to readers who enjoy light comedy.
IN OTHER NEWS!
Today is 30 days since book two of the Curmudgeon Avenue series ‘The Harold and Edith Adventures’ was submitted to ACX, so hopefully, it will be published soon for your listening pleasure.
Narrated by Lindsay McKinnon of Theatre of The Mind Productions
Lindsay has done a grand job again with awesome comic timing.
Lindsay is here on the left pictured at our book launch of book one’s audio at Radcliffe Library (pre-covid).
When I started this blog, I had big plans – I still do but I am finding that I don’t have enough time to read and comment on everything I want to (who does? Your eyes would be all over your face!)
This week, I’ve been procrastinating. I had a bit of a software meltdown but am getting there with the book. I’ve got MS everything takes me twice as long to do, I’ve got no energy. My husband does loads around the house, shopping etc but out of some warped fear of losing control I secretly try and do everything. Except it’s not secret because I drop stuff. Last week I had a smashing time with one of those fancy bowls, and a rogue pair of garden shears fell and punctured a can of beer (check me out – I can’t open the under the stairs cupboard without beer flying everywhere!) Wednesday I went to hydrotherapy – which is swimming with a physiotherapist (not the same thing as swimming with dolphins) I forced myself into my tracky pants and set off home, in the lift I felt all funny, the ‘whoosh’ of getting to the bottom floor made me dizzy, why did I feel funny? Turned out I had left my walking stick upstairs, there ensued a frantic search, a lifeguard’s dinner break was interrupted, I was fussed over ‘sit down, are you alright?’ My stick was in the toilet cubicle, how embarrassing! When I got home, I found I was tidying up, sorting things out so that I could have a clear head to write my next essay for my degree, on the Benin bronzes (BTW the next person who asks my why history is covered on a Creative Writing degree is off the Christmas card list, after being swiftly referred to the Open University module leader) . So after a day of procrastination, the following day produced no first draft of that essay either… (before you read the next bit, please be reassured I love my daughter loads, but she’s not a morning person)
Daughter : ‘Mummy! Mummy! I need change for the car park!’
Me : ‘I’m on the loo’
Daughter : ‘I need it now, I need to go to college!’
What I wanted to say : ‘You are twenty years old, you are a trainee accountant, please try and be a bit more organised!’
What I said : ‘Ok I’m coming, it’s alright, I went to the loo yesterday!’
When I got downstairs, I found daughter (same person who needs to leave RIGHT NOW) playing with puppy Martha, who had been playing outside rolling in mud. Sort puppy out, go back upstairs (I’m bursting now). In the bathroom, daughter is turning her eyebrows into twins – not sisters.
Daughter : ‘get out! I’m in here’
When she goes downstairs, I hear her shouting ‘Why did you buy sparkling water?’
What I said : ‘because I like it!’
What I said under my breath : ‘When are you moving out?’ (I don’t really want her to)
She sets off, I go downstairs to find all my tidying up/procrastination from the previous day ruined.
What really happened : Daughter was looking for non sparkling water bottles, and accidently dropped one bottle, plus packets of crisps were mysteriously strewn across the floor.
What I imagined happened (in a Victoria Wood style spoof documentary) : Daughter : ‘What I like to do when my mum has been on one of her OCD tidying days, is ruin it, just for fun… crisp packets on the floor… no still water I like, so I’ll wipe my mum’s off the shelf… It’ll give her something to do! …
Later on, I thought I had a tummy bug (just a few sentences of essay had been written by this point)… husband comes home early… he has a tummy bug too! This has never happened before… In all the years I’ve known him… and we’ve never been ill at the same time… on checking Daughter, she is fine, although a bit dehydrated (only joking, she’s capable of buying herself a drink). Could it be the romantic meal he took me out for on Valentines day? Are we allergic to oysters? Does it take two days to come out in your system? No, we’ve decided to blame Martha puppy and her jumpy lick your face habit. Eww.
The flowers are from husband to me, he had dropped them off earlier in the day at the place we were eating, so that I would get a nice surprise when I arrived. Aww, I asked him why, he said ‘you like cheesy things like that’ … Awww…
I got a fab review on Amazon for my only book currently on there, this has encouraged me loads.. plus I got my results from my last essay 78% check me out with my writing flukery! (must stop making words up)
I promise to get round to writing… next week! Off to do a bit of reading now, plus one of the cats is meowing angrily at the back door…
Martha the Border Terrier puppy is a fast worker. I only turned my back to dispose of something, when I returned she had rearranged the hallway with the doormat, a puppy pad and a toilet roll. She is a constant source of amusement (By the way, the orange foot is a plastic doorstopper – her favourite toy)
If only I could write as quickly as she can destroy… later this week, one of my Open University text books got it in the corner. Very chewy.
New year’s good intentions have barely got off the ground. MS related appointments have already started (one morning taken) weekday visitors (one day) One visit to the vets for vaccinations (one morning taken) And of course, I had forgotten it was a bank holiday on Monday. I managed to finish an essay on Tuesday – hurrah! I have not written any of my book or my short stories this week – boo! MS means that I don’t have as much time because everything takes me longer. I was hoping for two days study and two days of writing.
Time is precious and management of it seemed surprisingly easier when I was nursing. It was all priority driven. Everything is a priority now, including my cats. I have been asked how they are coping with the dog. They are absolutely fine, here is a picture of Petal posing for the camera. TC will play with Martha, and Petal will let her sit beside her (unheard of in the world of Petal) Both are doing what they normally do, no signs of jealousy or distress.
Start again Monday… Possibly a pet inspired story?