Life Gets Shittier by the Minute? But…



The lady in the poster might be showing us how strong and tough women can be during adverse conditions. Me, I just want to show my forearm and say, “Up yours,” to everything. As you might guess you’ve caught me at a bad moment, and if Bear Grylls offered me six weeks on a deserted island – just me alone – with only a knife, and a jerry-can to boil water, I would take it. Sod the scorpions, the sand flies and the odd grunt of a wild boar – delete the wild boar bit, it would be too much like being at home listening to Hubby snoring. As you can probably guess, I am finding it difficult right now to conjure up that very British attitude of ‘chin-up chaps, let’s soldier on.’ All I can say is bollocks to that, I don’t feel like sticking my chin up, or soldiering on: or believing Helen Reddy when she sings, ‘We are invincible: we are woman.’ I don’t feel invincible at the minute, I feel pissed-off. (If some of you are wondering who Helen Reddy is, she is a singer; from Canada, I believe). So, why am I so grumpy?

A couple of days ago we discovered the bedroom carpet was wet. The bedroom; which was only decorated six months ago and with us splashing-out on some new fitted carpet; abuts the bathroom.  We discovered that only the carpet nearest the adjoining wall was wet: actually that is an understatement: it was sodden. The first thing we thought, perhaps it was a leak from the shower cubicle on the other side of the wall.  As the water wasn’t gushing, as it would be from a burst pipe, we assumed the sealant around the shower cubicle needed looking at. But with my untrained eye, all appeared intact: ship-shape and Bristol-fashion. So, the first thing we did was call a plumber then the insurance company who sent out of surveyor to assess the damage. The surveyor came the following day just before the plumber arrived and said it was seepage from the shower unit.

The plumber we’ve had before for various jobs. He’s a good workman who lives locally and his work is excellent: he also cleans up after himself. To cut a long story short, he blasted the surveyor’s opinion straight out of the water. Top line was, we did have a leaking water pipe. It wasn’t gushing, but it was ‘pinned’ – a plumbers term for tiny holes in a pipe due to corrosion. Bottom line though, he had to rip out half the bathroom to get at the offending pipe. The bathroom, which houses, not only a toilet, a wash-basin, a large shower cubicle which Hubby and I tested out in the showroom before we bought it as we needed it to accommodate the two of us, but just as importantly the bathroom also houses the washing machine.

We now have a new section of water pipe, but our foreseeable future is living without a shower or a washing-machine indefinitely, or until the plaster and skirting-board have dried out sufficiently. Now, I have to find out where the nearest launderette is, if they still exist as I’ve not used one since the 70’s, then we shall have to go down to the gym every day, not always for a swim or a workout, but just for a shower. Down-side of all of this is carting everything to a launderette, and taking showers with other women down at the gym, but I suppose life could be tons shittier. Plus-side: I’ve decided to splash-out on a new washing machine.

VE Day Celebrations – Lowry style.


70 years ago today, the war in Europe ended. Everyone celebrated VE day; everyone except Doctor Thomas Schmidt who was in a POW camp near Windsor, in Berkshire.

A LIFE ONCE HAD is my third novel, the main protagonist is a German Doctor who, at the beginning of WWII loses his wife and daughter. As he is stuck in Berlin he feels he has no other option but to enlist in the Wehrmacht Medical Corps. His life is spent performing conveyor-belt-like surgery on soldiers badly injured on the Eastern front, until he meets an English prisoner in a French hospital, and his life suddenly changes.


BOOK ONE of the saga of Doctor Thomas Schmidt – only 99p from tomorrow.

A NEW BEGINNING portrays a year in the life of Doctor Schmidt – 1946. After being given permission to remain in England, it depicts life in an England that is changing, but still has rationing, and it tells of a Germany that is trying to find it’s place again in Europe. It shows how difficult life is for the people of both countries after the war, and a Germany who has to raise its industrial head again. Doctor Schmidt is, at last, beginning to make his mark on the medical world, and finds he can now share this with his parents whom he had not seen for five years. It is also a time he can marry his lover and lay a few ghosts to rest.


BOOK TWO of the Doctor Schmidt Saga – now only 99p from tomorrow.

Both books can stand-alone, and do not have to be read in chronological order.