Tuesday, 28 February 2012


My publisher called and asked me what day I would like my book to be published on. 'Saturday!' I said for no reason other than she'd caught me unawares.
'Oh no, no, no,' she said. 'Saturday's not a good day. I was thinking about a Wednesday or Thursday; do you have a preference?'
'Um, Wednesday?'
'I was thinking Thursday.'
'Okay, Thursday's fine.' I don't know why she bothered asking me if she'd already decided. Then I had an idea.
'I'll ask Jane tomorrow at dance class.'
My publisher asked, 'Why? Who's Jane?'
Honestly, you'd think my publisher would have read my book. I said, 'I mention her in my book. She's very ...' I paused, looking for the right word, 'you know, into signs and omens and stuff.'
'Oh,' my publisher didn't sound impressed.
'Well, it's dance class tomorrow so it won't hurt to ask her, will it?'

After I'd put the phone I began to doubt the wisdom of my decision. The only person from dance class who knows I've written a book is Nic. He 'lurrrves' it but then he would. But everyone else is bound to find out one day - when I'm on the Richard & Judy show promoting my runaway best-seller. (Do Richard & Judy still have a show? I should send a copy of my book to Judy; she's the sort of woman who would appreciate it, I'm sure, being of that age herself.) So I might as well get it over with and tell them. I don't think I've said anything nasty about Jane. She must be used to people being sceptical.

(Oh dear, I had to look sceptical up in the dictionary because when I said it aloud to myself it didn't sound like a real word. How can I be a published writer when I don't even know if words exist or not?)

Monday, 27 February 2012

David's bleeding nose

I now have my own Facebook page!

Adam helped me set it up last night but he's gone back to uni now leaving me with no friends. I'm sure Bev's on Facebook but I don't think Pippa is - she wouldn't have time with everything she's involved with - so I'll have to ring Bev later and ask her how to find friends. 

But I don't want Internet Barry to find me. I wonder if I should have used an alias. Created a pseudonym for myself. I could have been a whole different person ... one who's slim and young and sexy. That might have helped sell the book too. They say an attractive author is more likely to be taken on by an agent. Oh dear, I wonder if that's why none of the agents I approached wanted me. No, I didn't send a photo so it can't have been that.

Not to worry, my ebook is going to be such a huge success that I'll have agents knocking on my door begging me to consider them. And I'll say, 'No! Go away! I don't need you!'

David was a little concerned when he came in to hear me proclaiming loudly, 'I don't need you!' I told him he shouldn't have come creeping in like he did. He insisted he didn't creep in but was walking normally and that I was the one who was shouting and waving my arms viciously in the air. Still his nose didn't bleed for long and he forgave me when I explained.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

This Time Next Year

Forgive me, I was distracted last night by David and chocolate.

What I was going to tell you was that the reason Adam suggested I start blogging was to publicise my novel. My novel! I still can't believe that I've actually written a whole book. It's all about one year in my life, a fairly momentous year that began with my 50th birthday and the arrival in the post of my decree absolute.

What I thought was going to be a year from hell actually turned into ... well, you'll have to read the book to find out! Although the fact that I'm here today and writing about it might suggest that it wasn't as bad as I anticipated.

In spite of the dreadful incident with Great-aunt Millie and the custard slice, Internet Barry and the pork scratchings, and my mistaken belief (only when slightly tipsy I should add in my defence) that I can tango - and my need to demonstrate it. 

Not to mention Charlie, the sock-eating dog.  

Go on, get a bar of chocolate and share some with me as I tell you all.

Hormones and chocolate

Ooh, look at this! I have a blog! How exciting!

Let me introduce myself. My name is Alison Turner. I'm 51 years old, divorced with 2 children. I suppose you'd call them grown-up children now although I still find it hard to think of them that way. In fact it was Adam, my son, who's home from university this weekend, who suggested I should start a blog.

And he's also partly the reason I'm sitting here typing this on a Saturday evening when I should be, well, relaxing or, you know, doing something more exciting with David. But Adam and David are still at the pub.

Adam suggested David should go with him and his friends because 'You'll be better off if Mum's in a mood.'

David, by the way, is - I still haven't decided what to call him. Boyfriend sounds ridiculous for a woman my age and gentleman friend makes me sound like a kept woman. Partner sounds so sexless and our relationship definitely couldn't be called that. (Oh, am I allowed to mention sex on my blog? I'd better ask Adam. No, on second thoughts, children are always a bit prissy about their parents having sex; I know that from my own experience last year in the caravan in Tenby with Mum and Dad.) 

Anyway it was our first big row. First since we've been a couple that is; we had plenty of rows before we leapt that divide. And it all started because I happened to ask David if he'd mind very much not clicking his teeth together when he ate. 

We were eating lunch, David and Adam and me, and his teeth were beginning to put me on edge. David and Adam looked at each other and Adam said, 'Uh oh.'
'I agree,' David said. 'Looks like your mother's having a menopausal moment.'
'Excuse me,' I said, 'menopausal?'
'It's all right, dear, we understand your hormones are playing up.' He laughed.
'Menopausal? Dear?'
This time they both laughed.
'Calm down, Mum,' Adam said. 'David's only joking.'
'I am perfectly calm but I'm nobody's dear least of all someone who doesn't know the difference between menopause and menstrual.'
David looked at me, slightly puzzled. I continued, 'I'm not menopausal! I'm quite prepared to admit that it could be my hormones - my pre-menstrual hormones.'
'Oh, I'm sorry,' David said. 'It's just that I thought ...'
'You thought what?'
'Well, I didn't think you'd had a period for a long time so I just assumed ...'
'You assumed wrong. It isn't that long since I had a period; I had one only ...' I struggled to recall the last one ... 'Anyway,' I trailed off, 'I'm far too young to be menopausal.'
'At 51?' David didn't sound convinced.

So when Adam set off for the pub to watch the rugby with his mates he suggested David went too. And he went!

Thinking about it, which I have been doing most of the afternoon, I suppose I could be menopausal; I just never expected it to happen to me. So just as I think my life is going to be hunky dory with my new man, I have hot flushes, night sweats and unwelcome hair growth to look forward to. Big sigh.

David came home with the biggest bar of chocolate you've ever seen. He sent it in first, holding his arm around the door, to pave the way. But better still he apologised for his insensitivity. And I said I was sorry and that I'd been so happy with him that I hadn't even thought about missing periods and then I burst into tears. and he kissed me and we finally got round to eating the chocolate much later ... in bed.