Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Goodbye 2009

It seemed fitting to end 2009 on the last post, however, it wouldn't do because I have to thank you all for coming to Tea Stains over the last year.

I've been feeling ten feet tall over the last couple of days... It's been wonderful to feel such support. Thank you so much for your comments and congratulations.

We opened our presents today because in half an hour we leave for the airport. (We're spending two days in Geneva and then transferring on Boxing Day to a ski resort for seven days.) My lovely husband has had 'my three little words' immortalised on a ring for me as my main present (see below) and I've spent the morning spontaneously bursting into tears... It's a mixture of finishing the book and remembering how those words got me through my wibbly wobbly times. I can't wait to get going on editing.

My rush to finish the first draft has saved you all from the prospect of 'the Christmas series' which is all the shiny decorations I can find in Bangkok. There were a lot. We should all be grateful they didn't get posted here.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas can now go ahead...


After some twenty years of wanting to do it, several first chapters, a major false start two years ago (25k of words) I have just finished the first draft of my first novel.

With a writing stint of 2,803 words today I have come in at a total of 107,257 words. What a lot of lovely words to work with...

Christmas can now go ahead.


Monday, December 14, 2009


I'm still writing the never ending book. I can't bring myself to blog until it's done.

I might be some time.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I think I've gone too far...

There’s something really wrong about googling ‘man bleeding to death YouTube.’

These are the lengths that writers will go to in order to get things accurate. How people die in my book seems to be strangely important to me; like playing God. Even those occurring off-stage are significant.

My brother, a doctor, has been consulted over all of the deaths in my book. You been a bad person? You’re gonna get a nasty death… I love it.

Is that wrong?

Anyway… my googling ‘man bleeding to death YouTube’ also included the words ‘Holby City’ because my internet research threw up (Ha! pun intended) a character on the BBC medical drama with oesophageal varices (Link WARNING) bleeding to death and I wanted to have a watch of it! I couldn't find it on YouTube....

Oh blimey, hark at me. It IS wrong…

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Three Little Words

I’m feeling good today. I’m sitting here with my green tea and feeling definitely Better About Things. Life hadn’t seemed quite right recently: our being here has always been year by contractual year and I thought I’d accepted that but this year feels different. And I didn’t like it.

So although I’ve woken up today with a definite sore throat (which I suspected was coming last night while I was out at a library dinner) I’m still feeling positive.

I have three words which I become mindful of in times of anxiety. I have employed these words so much in the last year when I have doubted. My personal little words are faith (in a non religious context) trust and courage. I took them out and polished them up and I just remembered them; In fact, yesterday I employed them in a wider context and maybe that’s helped too. They are magic little words that release my worries. See, how great are words?

Am I sounding a bit new agey crazy today? Oh good; I can live with that. There’s always been a bit of the hippy hidden away in me.

Many of the frenetic Christmas commitments are behind me; there are only a few upcoming obligations (all pleasurable) and so I am freer to concentrate again on the never ending book.

The never ending book still hasn’t ended but I’m getting on with it.

So what words do you need to be mindful of?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Yoga plug - is that a pose?

Today I’m plugging for a friend.

Lovely (and most gorgeous) David Moreno is a yoga supremo and I met him two years ago when I went on a Skyros holiday on Koh Chang. I took his yoga class *ahem* most mornings and opted for his course on Ayurveda, which is a fascinating subject I knew nothing about. (I can't see someone's leg bouncing up and down on the spot without thinking 'Hmm, Vata...')

David is coming to Thailand this week as he’s teaching at Skyros in Koh Chang again. But, on his way back through Bangkok, he’s teaching a couple of sessions HERE in Bangkok at Yoga Elements Studio.

He’s taught yoga all over the world and when he’s not travelling, he’s based in San Francisco, teaching teachers, celebrities, athletes and, well, everyone else – even couch potatoes like me. I haven’t always had a particularly positive experience with yoga but David’s classes exemplify his sense of fun and playfulness; I really loved them. I wish he was based in Bangkok.

So for anyone in Bangkok who does yoga this is a really special chance to take a class with a brilliant teacher. You can find out details of the classes David's taking here.

Monday, December 07, 2009


I wasn’t going to blog today.

But something remarkable has happened.

There’s a fifteen year old in my kitchen, cooking us supper. He’s decided what to cook, made lists, been shopping – where he bumped into Ms K, his head of year (how many brownie scout points?) and now he’s cooking beef fajitas and veggie fajitas.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Roll on those holidays

Has there been a lot of whining here at Tea Stains lately? Or is it just me? Perhaps I have managed to keep most of the bleating posts in my head.

I’m no longer thinking in terms of missing my November deadline – which isn’t doing me any good – rather, I’m thinking about an end of December deadline. I was prevented from working for nearly three weeks by being in the UK in October and I need to tack that time onto the end of my new deadline so that I can stop beating myself up. Yes, I’m nearly there. I’ll let you know when I finish.

The exams have been done (the results? Not at all shoddy … well done Son) the school production of the Scarlet Pimpernel (absolutely bloody marvellous) finished last night and I’ve done all the artwork owing. But, everyone’s looking a bit spotty and blah; we’ve got definite cases of endoftermitus here at the Towers. Yeah, I know, we’re all tired… but we did start term in the middle of August.

Anyway, here’s a gratuitous picture of the school production. It’s a bit fuzzy… but I did that on purpose to create the period atmosphere. Yeah, right.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Father Christmas in his grotto

Cute choir from a local school

Christmas pudding and brandy sauce

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Someone? Or a No-one?

I’m sitting in Starbucks (again, I'm considering shares... or maybe they'll sponsor me.) This time I’m up the road in the Grammy building. I hardly ever come here even though it’s the closest one to my apartment. In my first year in Bangkok I came here all the time with K (*Waves to K.*)

So far as I’m aware Grammy is The Place for pop music. It’s an entertainment company; a record label for big, big Thai pop stars. It’s always full of funky Thai youngsters and older, producery looking types. Or maybe I’m just letting my imagination run away with me.

Today though, it's not in my imagination; there’s a film crew here. There right here, feet away from me in Starbucks, not just in the Grammy building. I hope they don’t swing the camera around to catch me eating my muffin…

This is turning out to be the ultimate in procrastination. Watching; no idea what’s going on or who she is. I still can’t stop watching.

Yes, I have no shame.

I can blog this, I think. I'll get my camera...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Two reasons

Here are two reasons why it's the 1 December and I haven't finished that draft...