Thursday, July 28, 2011


I still seem to be tired all the time, and I'm getting very little done.

Even my blog posts are getting shorter.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Concert in San Jose

I've been frustrated by a like of progress with my writing projects, but then I was tour guiding three mornings last week, plus it's the village fiesta (which makes it too noisy to sleep some nights) plus we had my husband's belated birthday party on Saturday. One way and another, perhaps it's not so very odd that I'm tired.

Certainly I was tired after the birthday party, but after a nap I decided to go and take a look at the concert, since I'd seen almost nothing of the fiesta so far.

I was glad I made the effort. The first group were punk rockers called the Ramones (no, not the originals), and I don't think I'd have enjoyed a recording, but the live performance was fun. The second group called Overbooking had a much wider range: Pink Floyd, Queen, Brian Adams, U2 and many more. And my goodness, the girl could sing!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good things come in threes

Life on a gall-bladder-friendly diet is rather boring, but I have several things to smile about. Something Wicked are buying Breathing Space, to be published "around December/Jan". And Wily Writers will be reprinting Loathsome Alyce in BEST OF WILY WRITERS, VOLUME 2. Thirdly, I've lost a bit of weight (which figures since I'm not allowed to even look at cheese, chocolate, fried food, egg yolks, alcohol, bananas etc. etc.) Hey, I'd rather be thin and bored than fat and bored.

Friday, July 08, 2011


The surgeon agrees that I'll need an op, and says that it'll probably be September. Meanwhile, I need to stick to the boring diet. On the plus side, he can see no reason why he shouldn't be able to do the keyhole surgery, which means a much faster recovery.

Bring it on. I really miss cheese.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A Face Worse than Death

My story, "A Face Worse than Death" is out in the anthology Probing Uranus from the Library of Science Fiction and Fantasy
As you might guess from the cover, it's humourous SF.

And another of my stories, "Muddy Holes" will be in "People's Friend Fiction Special No. 49 " on sale July 14, 2011. As you might guess, that's a gentle, mainstream story about archaeology in the Orkney Islands.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

It's official.

Today I formally graduated as a Starlight Guide.

They held the ceremony at Palacio Salazar in Santa Cruz de la Palma. We had short speeches from the president of the Cabildo (the island government), the head of the Instituto de Astrofisica
(the Institute of Astrophysics) and the head of the course, and then they called us up one by one and gave us our diplomas and ID cards.

After the formal photos for the press, we all went off for lunch together.

I'd have enjoyed the whole thing a lot more if my insides had behaved a bit better, but I still had fun.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


I got sucked into the internet and went to bed after midnight on Thursday. At 2 am Friday morning, I woke up with indigestion. Not typical down-in-the-guts indigestion, though. The pain was up under my ribs.

So I got up and made a herb tea, hoping that would soothe it. Nope. In fact I was sick.

Well, obviously I wasn't going to be able to sleep, and there was no point in waking Carlos, so I stayed downstairs to suffer. I was sick a few more times, and the pain got slightly worse. And worse. And worse.

By about 7 am I'd had enough, and I was beginning to worry that it might possibly be something more serious than plain old gastroenteritis. So I got dressed and Carlos took me to A&E. By that time I was whimpering.

I saw a doctor pretty quickly. Most of the examination was of the:
"Does this hurt?"
variety. Then he said it was probably either pancreatitis or something I didn't understand, but thought might be gall stones. I'd need tests, and they'd give me something for the pain meanwhile.

"Something for the pain" sounded wonderful.

So they put the usual plumbing into my arm, took a couple of blood samples, put me to bed and hooked me up to a drip of painkiller.

It didn't get rid of the pain completely, but it was bloody marvellous. I think effective pain relief has to be one of the crowning glories of our civilization. I only wish that everyone on the planet who needs it could get it.

I dozed for a bit. After a while they took me for an X-ray (on the trolley, since sitting and walking were both uncomfortable), and then back to A&E where I dozed a bit more. The doctor popped in to see how I was doing, and said that I'd need an ultrasound.

It was quite a long wait, so they gave me another lot of painkiller (yay!) and I dozed quite a lot more.

Finally I got my ultrasound. Now, the thing with ultrasound is that they have to press the doohicky into you quite firmly in order to get a good picture. Even in a healthy pregnancy, it can be rather uncomfortable. And this ultrasound mostly consisted in having the doohicky pushed firmly into precisely those places that were very sore indeed. Repeatedly. From lots of different angles.

It wasn't pleasant, but it did make things clear.

I have enough gall stones to pebbledash the house.

Oh all right, I actually have about 15. My gall bladder will have to come out, but it wasn't bad enough for them to whip it out right away. (Holy painkiller, what does "bad enough for an urgent op" feel like?) So they kept me under observation for a few more hours and sent me home with a prescription for anti-inflamatories and a medicine to reduce stomach acid. Oh, and a special diet. Liquid only for 24 hours, and no fried food, pulses or dairy until they take the gall bladder out. Which is a routine op, and they can probably do it with keyhole surgery and a minimal hospital stay.

I'm still sore and sleepy, and a bit scared of eating, but I feel lightyears better than yesterday.