Saturday, March 31, 2007

Earth Hour

It's earth hour in forty minutes and we are having an ethical dilamma in the Nicholas household. You see it coincides with Top Gear.

I know.

Hubby is not coping well at all. You see if we record it then something electric is running, and we wanted to turn the whole house off at the box.

But I think it's going to be a case of stuff the planet, there's a show on cars on.

The irony is not lost on me.


Scandinavian Easter

As you know I love a tradition, so with Easter nearly upon us I'm going into overdrive.

I had vast ambitions for Chocolate Simnel cakes, hot-cross-bun loaves - my buns always end up like small pieces of lead, but if I combine it all into one loaf, it is totally edible! Making eggs with the kids and whatnot.

But then I came across an article on Easter in Scandinavia. With the following list of culinary delights...
  • a variety of herrings, including sild (raw herrings in a spicy sauce made from vinegar and onions);
  • boiled eggs;
  • fish dishes, such as smoked salmon with dill, and lutefisk (rehydrated dried salt cod);
  • roast ham;
  • Jansson's Temptation (sliced potatoes baked with anchovies and cream),
  • and a selection of cheeses - all accompanied by white, rye and crisp bread, as well as beer and schnapps.
Mmmm. Herrings!

But seriously though. I can do smoked salmon, baked ham, baked potato and cheese.

And I'm planning some egg-dying with the kids!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Stew on the Floor.

When I was in China I ate Over the Bridge soup. It was a local Kunming speciality, you get a bowl of boiling broth, then add all this stuff (including quails eggs, noodles, thinly sliced meat), and then eat it. It was really good, amazing hangover/comfort food. An excellent cure for an evening spent downing baijiao and singing karaoke.

This evening we had a slightly less glamourous version. I've called it stew-on-the-floor.

I spent yesterday cooking a stew. Just a beef stew, it was a cold day, so I whacked the oven on low, and stuck it in for a few hours. It was duly declared done, allowed to cool and placed in a plastic container. All that remained was to transport it too the fridge.

I left this task to hubby.

I was just walking through the laundry when I heard a splat and quite a bit of muttered swearing (the kids were in bed or it would've been louder). And there was my stew, all over the kitchen floor.

After rolling around laughing for a while (minding the stew), and in my quest for being positive and (oh god) cheerful, I chose laughing over sobbing. I scraped it up, back into the container and into the fridge.

We just ate it.

Few bits of grit in mine, but otherwise fine.

Well I wasn't going to bloody waste it!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Best Intention

I've been editing the end of Best Intention again. I know, it's supposed to be finished, but I just wanted to give it a quick check over. I think I was having an overly picturesque day when I wrote the following!

Zani jerked awake with a gasp and sat up, scrabbling backwards until a soft padded bed-head stopped her. Her head swam nauseatingly, as if she’d been drinking Babycham and brandy, and her mouth felt drier than the Tigris River, downstream from a Turkish dam. She looked around wildly, the room was unfamiliar, large and predominantly pink.
Terrified, she tried to make herself as small as possible, pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them.
Nothing happened.
Her nose itched and she scratched it.
Speaking of Best Intention, I've finally found photos of what the hero and heroine look like.

This is actually Ellen MacArthur, possibly one of the coolest chicks on the planet. Not only a world class sailor, BUT ALSO the second fastest racing time in the Top Gear 'Star In A Reasonably Priced Car' challenge. Pretty awesome for someone who spends six months of the year at sea!

Oh and she got a dameship.

And here is my hero. Yes I am aware that this is love-rat Oliver Martinez, who so foully treated our Kyles. Possibly the most disliked fellow since Tom Cruise dumped our Nic.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blogging for a Year!

I've been blogging for a year!

And what a year it has been. The sleep deprivation, the disasters, the victories, managing to get through Christmas, the writing, the moaning about dear Hubby. I've downloaded it all here. Mostly in the hope that my life, which generally amuses me, manages to amuse everyone else as well!

I'd like to thank all my faithful readers. You guys are the best! Especially those that email me with advice when I've done my back, or can't get the kidlets to sleep. Your thoughtfulness is so appreciated.

I hope you like the blog's new look. It's now the same as the rest of the Caitlyn Nicholas website. Though I've had a few teething problems, and in some browsers the margins are something of a moveable feast.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Very very tired

I've had a hell night, so you're going to have to forgive me if I rattle on. Poor Miss Bugalugs had a temperature that was hitting 40 degrees and breathing very rapidly with it, so it was a late night run to Emergency to have chest x-rays and whatnot. We were discharged at around 1am, only to have to deal with a huge cockroach invading the bedroom, Beanie-baby having a tantrum and then the vomiting started arount 3am...


But she's slept all day, and whilst the temp is still up its not drastic and she has started eating and drinking again. So we are on the mend.

Miss Beanie-baby has a new word, 'delicious'. She sipped some of my cold tea and said, "mmm delicious mummy!" Godlove'em.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Grand Prix Fever

I've got Grand Prix fever.

I spent yesterday afternoon watching the preliminary races and a documentary on Mercedes McLaren, and now, sadly, I'm watching the celebrity race. Alas, it's not very exciting, the commentator keeps shouting at them all to hurry up, and I have to say he has a point. No doubt they're all worried they'll end up like Red Simons last year, when he shot off in the lead, stacked the car on the first corner and ended up with whiplash.

I've been reading about and researching Formula One, since late last year for High Speed. I reserved the TV for watching sport two weeks ago, much to the consternation of my family, I've never voluntarily watched sport in my life. And now here I am, laptop fully charged and ready for taking notes, kids in bed having naps. (GO TO BLOODY SLEEP). Ahem, yes, napping, like angels. Hubby is suffering from role-reversal: has tidied the kitchen, is threatening a roast for dinner, and is looking forward to the Biggest Loser later tonight.

I've never taken much notice of Grand Prix before this, yes it seems to come and go, and of course we've all heard of Michael Schmacher. But really, meh! However with a bit of background reading into the politics behind it, the whole thing changes. What really hits you between the eyes is the sexism. They don't even bother to hide it, they're not even subtle. How Megan Gale and Layne Beachly manage to stand there and smile whilst even the interviewer makes annoying cliche comments about women drivers I don't know. I suppose they're used to it.

The other thing is the way the teams work the media to portray their drivers as absolute super-heros, and all the drivers ever talk about is the wonderfulness of their sponsors. McLaren is a classic example. Alonso thingamajig is being interviewed and he has said the word Vodaphone eight times in the last three minutes.

And I have to laugh at Bridgestone Tyres catchphrase... The must-have tyre for Formula One. Yes well, Michelin stopped making F1 tyres in 2005, so if they don't have Bridgestones, they don't have tyres!


Friday, March 16, 2007


I am supposed to be proofing the print copy of Running Scared. But it's BORING, I don't WANT to. So far, in avoiding this task I've managed to add about 2,000 words to High Speed, and decided to give Best Intention a read over - which entailed a great deal of printing off and putting in folders, but no actual reading. I've sorted out my recipe collection, found the bottle of special screen cleaning stuff and cleaned screens, mine tends to suffer from sticky fingers, and got an awesome amount of dust off the TV. Checked the weather radar, the weather in the UK, read the blogs of Miss Snark and Ally Blake, checked my web stats (still can't believe how many people bother to read my whitterings - I love you all!). SIGH. I'm going to have to start doing something soon.

I hate deadlines.

I know, cooking. I'll go and cook something!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Writing Drivel

Writers really do shape lives, and inspire imaginations. Writers help us imagine alternatives we might otherwise never have thought possible. They capture the stories of generations past to retell so our history isn't forgotten, and we can dream a better future-- in that way, writers really do change the world.
Clearly this editor from Absolute Write has not read the drivel I have just spewed onto the page as part of Chapter 4 of High Speed! Destined for the 'bits I cannot bear to delete' file, it nevertheless makes my word count look very sexy.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
13,081 / 80,000

A Cruel World.

Semester One has begun in ernest, campus is seething with students, and we've spotted the first wool scarf of the year. Given it was around thirty degrees at the time, we were impressed.

A fellow just wandered past my window, carrying two packets of 16 rolls of toilet paper and heading towards the bar. Hmmm. Either he has a scorching case of IBS, or somewhere is going to get toilet-papered in the near future. My money is on the poor DJ doing the Top 40 countdown this afternoon. Being a University, everything is drippingly alternative. 'Commercial' music, radio stations and so on are all viewed with the contempt that they undoubtedly deserve.I expect that student and his mates are going to protest the narrow-minded homogensiation of our music industry and importation of American culture, by tossing bog-roll at an easy target.

It's a cruel world.

High Speed...
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11,023 / 80,000

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A boy who will go far...

Yesterday I met a lad who is going to go a long long way. The sort of person who, as you scan the list of Australia's richest, you see his name and mutter, "I knew him when he was young, and I'm not surprised."

There was a knock on our door, and after rushing about, checking t-shirt for stains and locating tracksuit pants, I opened it to find the little blonde cherub from next door. He is five.

"Would you like some of my toys?" he asked. Blinking innocently, and offering up a small wooden box, full of tatty odds and ends, various doll limbs and bits of string.
"Oh, well, are you sure you don't want to keep them?" I say.
"No, I want to give them to someone," he replies and my heart melts.
"Okay, well we would love to have them."
I fully intend to return them to his mother next time I see her.
"Great!" He says, losing the sad puppy expression. "That'll be $50."
I squat to his level. "I'm very sorry, but we can't afford $50 at the moment..."
He looks a little crestfallen at this, but rallies strongly. "That's okay, you can have them for $10."
"Er, um, er, we can't afford $10," I say, completely pathetically. Desperatly wondering how the hell I'm going to get out of this one. He isn't fooled. All grown-ups can afford $10 says his contemptuous expression. I feel small, very very small.
"Right, you can have this for fifty cents." He waves a headless doll at me.
Oh God.

At this point I am saved. His Dad pokes his head over the fence (I swear he'd been listening on the other side all along), and then comes and removes his protesting offspring.
"Twenty cents, just twenty cents..." he cries as he is hauled away by his father.

My children will never be like that!!

High Speed...
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9,515 / 80,000

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Print Release Date - 17 July 2007

Samhain Publishing have just let me know that the print version of Running Scared will be released 17 July 2007. I also got the final print galley for the book, and am nervously going through it, praying I find any typos!

High Speed...
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7,711 / 80,000

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My Antagonist

I just love it when it all starts to come together well. Heroine's shaping up nicely, hero is completely over-confident and heading for a fall and I've come up with my antagonist. He's Scottish, and goes by the name of Hamish McClod. Originally I'd imagined him as Sudanese and living in France, but then suddenly Hamish appeared. I think the Scottish have such capacity for evil!

Now I just have to decide what he is going to do to the heroine. Mwahahahaha!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,676 / 80,000