Thursday, September 27, 2007

And Another!

The editor of A Cup of Comfort has bought my non-fiction essay "The Whole Kitten Caboodle" for A Cup of Comfort® for Cat Lovers which will come out in July 2008. I knew I was on the short list, but I'm delighted to know I'm definitely in.

I don't suppose this sales streak will last, but it's marvellous while it does.

And now I really must go and do some cleaning. If I leave the stairs much longer I'll be able to plant potatoes in the dust.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another Sale!

Yippee! Escape Velocity have bought the reprint rights to "Scream Quietly, which appeared in Fathing in June 2005.

It's not a lot of money, but it feels Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Traveller

My friend Norma has just found herself on YouTube, in a short film called "The Traveller" by David Hill for BBC2 10x10 series from 1993. Norma plays the protagonist.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Doctor's

This morning my friend Helen went to the doctor's. Seeing as it was the first time since her move from London, I went to, to translate her medical history. They measured her height and weight. Now Helen is a very tall girl, and standing on the scales made her even taller. The nurse is tiny. She was actually jumping up and down trying to get the bar horizontal across the top of Helen's head.

Eventually she climbed up on the examining couch, and then it was easy. Helen is 1,78 metres (5ft 10").

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Robert's Wall

Yesterday I had another group to show around the William Herschel Telescope. I had to drop my son off at school at 8:30, and be at the residencia for 10, which didn't quite leave enough time to make it worth going home. So instead I went straight up the mountain, and had fifteen minutes to take photos at Los Andennes, where you get a specatcular view into the Caldera.

From here you can see a dyke called La Pared de Roberto (Robert's Wall). It's about four metres high (13ft).

[Volcanic dykes are formed when moulten lava fills a crack in the rock and solidifies slowly into very hard rock called basalt. Later on the softer, surrounding rock is eroded away, leaving the harder basalt sticking out like a wall.]

The story is that Roberto was madly in love with a girl who lived the other side of the wall, and he couldn't get through. Eventually the devil appeared to him and promised to carry Roberto's body through in exchange for Roberto's soul.

Roberto was daft enough to agree.

With a great flash of light, the devil blasted a hole through the dyke and left Roberto's dead body on the far side. He'd already taken the soul.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I've been editing a story in which my protagonists have to dash for a plane. There's a lot more to the story than that, but maybe that's why I spent most of the night dreaming I was dashing round a large airport, missing planes after plane. In any case, I woke up tired.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Today we went to see our friends in Franceses. It's the first time my husband's been there, and he was impressed at what they've taken on and how much they've done so far.

They've now almost finished their entertainment room, and it looks great. I'll have to sort out some "before" photos to post. It's going to be a lovely house when they've finished, but of course they have a long way to go.

We had a great time watching "Mythbusters" in the newly-done-up room.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Papers, papers, papers

This morning I went with Helen and Theresa to try to sort out paperwork, seeing as Theresa has just started her first job in Spain. I thought we'd manage the tax office, and maybe Social Security. To everyone's surprise and delight, we got Theresa registered for tax and social security, Helen registerd for Social Security too (no translation of wedding certificate needed) and we even managed to set up a savings account for them at the bank.

We still need to get them registered with their local Health Centre (which probably means a trip to GarafĂ­a) and at some stage we still need to sort out their driving licenses, but the end of their immigration paperwork is in sight, thank goodness.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pizza at last!

We finally got to the pizza restaurant last night, and it was great. We'll definitely be going back.

A Great Day

Today was my son's first day back at school. He wasn't at all keen to go, because last year he had a personality clash with his teacher, and in Spainish primary schools, you keep the same teacher for two years at a time. But this year he's been moved, oficially to even up class numbers. But I suspect that I'm not the only one who felt a change would benefit him (and probably help last year's teacher's blood pressure as well).

I got an email from the Cosmos website offering to buy a story. I wrote "Infant Colic" in 2001, and it was almost immediately accepted for an anthology which was delayed and delayed and delayed... Eventually I pulled it, rewrote it using everything I'd learned since, and put it back on the market. It's so nice to finally sell it for real.

My husband has been searching for a cable that he'd spent four days making, only to have it disappear in the workshop clearout. He phoned at lunch time to say he'd found it.

So tonight we were all happy. We decided to celebrate by trying out hte new pizzaria in the village. Off we all went, hungry and excited, only to find that they shut on Mondays.

Ah well. We'll eat pizza another day.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Up in the clouds again

I thought the guiding work had dried up, but I was asked to show the Herschel to a group of German amateur astronomers on Saturday.

To begin with, it was embarassing. They already had a guide with them who a) spoke German and b) had guided people around telescopes in Hawaii and Chile and c) had done a heck of a lot of homework on the Internet. So I welcomed people to the telescope with my smidgen of German, apologised for not speaking more, and stood around like a spare part while he reeled off chapter and verse with great enthusiasm. After a while I realised that some members of the party were more interested in my anecdotes than in numbers. So we split into two groups.

On the way down I had a great time photographing first butterflies, then the trees and clouds. It's a subject I never get tired of, as the combination gives you a chance to capture the scale of subject.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Happy Birthday (part 2)

Wednesday was my son's birthday. He'd already had the official party at the swimming pool, but for the day itself I took him and a bunch of his older cousins up to the Roque to see telescopes.

I had hoped to show them the Herschel and maybe GranTeCan, but neither was possible. But I did manage to get them into the MAGIC telescope and then the Galileo.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy birthday!

Yesterday we held my son's birthday party.

It's a bad time of year to get hold of school friends, and he's not all that popular (and neither was I, or most of my friends come to that) so in the past we've had very small parties but had fun anyway. This year we went to the local swimming pool with 6 kids. I took charge of the girls in the changing room, while my husband looked after the boys. But to my surprise, once we got to the pool, one of the lifeguards took charge of the kids while we just chilled out. The kids had a blast trying to walk on a floating mat on the water, or sliding down a ramp.

Of course swimming gave everyone an appitite for the party tea, which we had in the cafeteria upstairs. By the time we got up there, his godmother and her little daughter were waiting, along with our friends from Franceses, who'd brought the cake. Luckily they also got some pictures of the kids in the pool.