The Novel – is born – the synopsis done(ish)

So after my public declaration of determination to write this long awaited novel I can report the  book is coming on. No really it is. No bullshit. I had the whole story in my head and bit by bit I have eked and squeezed it out into a synopsis. A beginning, middle and an end. Of course each time I read it I change it a little –  but all in all the idea has emerged from the head to the laptop. A major step.

I have made a decision to stop rereading OR  I will never move on with the next step…

There are other things going on this week which inevitably encourage distraction and prevarication.

Like…..We are moving house on Friday.

Like…..David is opening a new bistro/cafe on Friday.


Just small things like that…of course the old me would have used these as excuses to do nothing on the book front,  but the new me, the swotty Fiona Bruce type me, is pushing on.

This is the point where I have fallen foul of my plan in the past. I am honestly confused with how the hell to get the idea out of my head and onto paper in any coherent form so the new me (FB see photo above) decided as a first step to download an audio book on Audible called Write Your Novel by Maggie James which I listened to driving to and from Aberdeen to visit my Mum. Oh yes add that to the weeks goings on….

Anyway it was a good listen and the 2 hours from Aberdeen to Edinburgh and back were perfect to take it in.

It turns out listening to an audio book really makes a journey go quickly -not withstanding the number of times you have to pull over to write down things  you really want to remember. By the time I arrived in Aberdeen I had a confetti of Post Its, most nigh on impossible to decipher once peeled off the dashboard.

Still there is some great advice.

First thing is first- find the best place to write.

Every place I have ever lived I have had a designated space to “write” which has never been used. The combination of a sausage dog, a student, a hyper active husband and a visiting Schnauzer (Doris) in addition to our moving home, opening a restaurant and visiting a parent in Aberdeen has made me retreat into my bed – so it seems that is my place.  My bed.

The downside – and downslide is the encroaching IT blobby hanging double chin thing changing me into the  hunch chin of Notre Maison but would that bother Fiona Bruce? Would it? No so I stare at my laptop which is on…well my lap and all this whilst trying to avoid snorkelling a large glass of white  – after all its only 11am.

mmmnnnnn t- this is not my chin – sadly.

So – this weeks update is….

I have completed my synopsis which is very satisfying. It’s about 5 pages long though and according to my new guru Maggie James ” it’s supposed to be 1 or 2 so I am squeezing it and trying to leave out superfluous details  – which is hard when you witter on as much as I do and   love a superfluous detail.

Having reread it until my eyes bled, I have sent it off to my literary genius friend who will give me feedback. Which I will in turn feedback to you. Good, bad, or bin it I promise, warts and all,  it’s coming your way after all we are in this together.

So……fingers crossed she likes it or the fantasy 11am wine will be brought forward to  9am followed by a gin martini chaser.

OK off to pack a box as the removal men are coming….……and  as for your good self –  keep writing!!!!

Charlie Sausage and Doris Schnauzer – in love.



Sack of tatties

A mature party - unlike one we've ever had. Sadly.
A mature party – unlike one we’ve ever had. Sadly. Courtesy of

Why is it I wait until the morning of a party to get something to wear? It’s not just any party either its our party. A party to relaunch our restaurant in Aberdeen.

As ever I have been concentrating on the night itself, the folk, the food, the drink and the music and then come the revolution I think. ‘Och I will just wear that-it’s’ fine’. Then I realise when I try it on and the poundage of Christmas still clings to my not insubstantial fleshy bits  it is not in fact fine at all unless I want to look like a mutton dressed as lamb, VPL, bulgy bodied, baggy kneed harridan. Which I don’t.

The thing is it’s a perfectly good dress, from Sandwich which my pal donated to me but it won’t cut the mustard unless I cut the calories and it’s a little late for that.   To wear a too tight bulger is just not going to do for the relaunch of the restaurant  plus let’s be honest I am seeing people I haven’t seen for 20 years and I don’t want to look well em.. 20 years older. Also I don’t want to look as though I have tried too hard so the frock that was for the offsprings 21st is not getting an airing. “She’s done up like a dogs dinner look at the state of that!” Its a rock and a hard place situation so I get up at 7am and google all the shops in Edinburgh, the majority of which don’t open till 10am ! Why? Anyway we are leaving at 10am so the only real option is John Lewis.  Concession central so I am standing at their locked grill gates at 8.59am  to find something. Anything.

Cramming 20 dresses into a changing room finally I try this one on. Thankfully this photo is not of me in it – obviously – but well I felt black was a little dull. So.images…I tried on another 25 and by now hot, sweaty and grumpy I plumped (sic) for this one from Damsel In A Dress. Bright. Cheery. Machine washable. Yes I have complete aversion to dry cleaning anything. Ever. Grippy and lazy my two watch words.I_5055344785255_01_20151216So relieved off I run to check out, pay, run home, pack car, put sausage dog in car, drive to Aberdeen. Arrive, shower, open bag, realise new dress is still in Edinburgh 120 miles away so I have no option but to wear the original sausage skin.  I blame this stress on what happened next which I can’t quite bear to write down yet. Mortified. Tomorrow when my blood pressure returns to normal I will.

Badly behaved old bat (dehydrated)

PS Googling Damsel in a Dresses website and happily found this great Blog Damsel In A Dress from California which has nothing to do with that stripy thing above and everything to do with a great blog. Its on my blogroll from when I remember how to add it.

Drunken doughball ages woman – me – 75 years in one night.

OK Clarins Beauty Flash - let's see what you're made of.

The joy of escaping the testosterone infested house for a night was in my heart as I drove up to Aberdeen, in Scotland’s North East yesterday. A wild night at the annual Oil & Gas Quiz which raises thousands for Spinal Injuries Scotland. It is a sell out year to year and having MC’d for a few years I know the score  and the people involved so it went off like  rocket.

Loads of money was raised, we gave away a car – no that is not a misprint a Fiat Panda no less – and loads of other great stuff. The final total we’re not sure of yet but it’s tons. in fact it was such a reat night wo tables have already been booked for this the event next year.

So about 1am I headed back to my room – no I did not go to the bar for a change – the idea of a snore free sleep, without having a hairy top lipped teen wolf wandering around demanding a refill for his nosebag every 30 minutes meant the idea of collapsing into my bed, with a book and whisky – God I sound 145 ! – was too much to resist. Well that and my pal Gordon is having a monumental party this weekend and my house will be full of boozers from Friday – Sunday – HELP! ensured I avoided late night shenanigans.

So head down light out &  out like a light.

Cut to 3.30 am  when I am woken by a snuffling clicking noise. God I thought someone is trying to get into my room.

As I lay there now wide awake I realised it was a plastered nit wit of the first order who had gone to the bar and had lost the ability to operate a door handle guddling around trying to get into their bedroom nextdoor. Now not in their defence it wasn’t even a key it was a credit card key where you just brush it over the handle area and door springs open. As I lay there getting angrier, and more awake I nearly jumped up and out and said ‘For Gods sake let me do it!’ but luckily I realised I was naked and that the poor unfortunate recipient of my naked ranting would probably sue me for trauma. So I lay there, til they got in, which was about 15 minutes!!! and then lay awake  for hours and hours.

Back in Edinbugh  now eyes like pee holes in the snow, I want to go to sleep, not dance til dawn, drink marguaritas and sing loud songs but well – needs must. I am off for a bath now, a lie down – ( Oh God I really I am 149) and then I will just over apply too much make-up and go for it. Gordon has whipped up about 50 old pals for his birthday so……….another big weekend ahead! If I survive I will report.

Tuesday What the hell have I been doing?

Carousing, drinking, catching up with friends and having a bloody marvellous time.

Went to Aberdeen to catch up with my old pal Kim who is back from Houston, Texas where she lives with her husband and 2 kids. Mature? Yes we are in age but as I got out of the car  she threw me to the ground outside the caravan site she is staying at and started tickling me til I damn near wet myself. The goth who was staying in the next door van poked his snout out from behind his black curtain having never previously heard the noise commonly known as laughter and scowled at us, two middle aged woman rolling about in the grass – not in a saphic way you understand. So we sat outside with her sister Tracy and old pal Gordon who cycled out from Aberdeen to see her. He arrived pink. shaky and sweaty having not cycled more than 100 yards in 20 years. Rather than worry he was about to collapse we had a good laugh at his cycling face as he sat sipping tea and we downed one bottle, then another before fighting over a family bag of maltesers.

Not so bloody funny when I woke up a 4am with a noise outside only to poke my nose out from behind our curtain to find the goth feeding a crow. All a bit Omen if you ask me. Smiled at him wanly before drinking 6 pints of water and collapsing.

Off to The Bieldside Inn for lunch – great recovery food – tempura prawn salad. Much better and heading home.

Alisons Diary Week Ending March 20th -ye old format.

New headshot. Me not Mary Whitehouse


Sat in the middle of the city on my laptop trying to connect to Btfon. This is a new fangled – yes I sound 100 – well I’m not far off it – way of connecting to the internet no matter where you are. This worries me of course. Does that mean no matter where we are, where we live, where we walk, shop, or lie down and rest when exhausted, that the buzzy antennae of all things mobile are drilling into our heads? I know I am beginning to sound like Mary Whitehouse but I do worry about these things. It can’t be good for us can it? If you can connect a phone or a computer through the air in which we sit on a day to day basis does that mean we will all eventually just glow in the dark? Possible. Of course there’s money involved so they will never come clean at least not until we’re all deranged and unable to remember who we are, who they are or what we were objecting to in the first place.


Potarch Hotels Dinnie Stones. Worldwide Strongman challenge. Dare you.

‘Hi Dugan how are you?’

‘Fine. I’ve got to go though– we’ll talk later.!’

Larf! He sounds like a 25 year old business man! Anyway with scuffed knees and a cheesy grin he sped off into the gloamin’ as Prue sat down with Tracy and I chewed the cud – the cud being 4 hobnobs each before heading off to The Potarch Hotel for a bar supper. The hotel has a huge history and is world famous for the dinnie stones. I don’t understand why they don’t really bump their gums about the fact Strongmen the world over try and fail to lift the stones that sit at the entrance of the hotel But hey ho it’s up to them. What you will find is open fires, cosy toes and a table full of Scandinavian fishermen. I know a few of my pals would have been over there in a shot asking if they had caught a whopper or not with all the innuendo that goes with it but nae Tracy and me. Naw we’re more interested in the food and the gossip. Tried to lift the a dinnie stone each on the way out. Not a chance. Went home and rolled around on the couch with her dog Plum. Have a look if your hormones can it


Turkish delight, Nargile, Aberdeen

Off to see my Auntie M today’s, she 80 and looking fantastic. We head to Nargile, a Turkish restaurant that used to be called the Rendezvous Cafe in Aberdeens Forest Avenue.  The Rendezvous was where I spent most of my school days. Avoiding school at all costs. At least til the proprietor Mr Guillanotti chucked us out. Who could blame him, we used to order 1 buttery and 4 glasses of water and sit there for days. We did the same today Margaret and I. Sat for hours not ordering 1 buttery between us. No today it was delicious Turkish food, mezze then flat bread with lamb and strong, fabulous coffee.

Thursday. Yesterday as we left Nargile I glanced at the Antique Shop Across the road, spotted the owner, turned my head and started jogging in the opposite direction. When Auntie M caught me up, about half an hour later, I confessed that when I was a vile teen wolfess my school bag got hurled through the huge plate glass window of the shop by someone else and smashed it. God the same guy still  owns it and seeing him again, it felt like yesterday I was chased down the road inadvertently displaying my only genuine promise of becoming an olympic athlete .

Me trying to retrieve school bag to no avail.

To recreate a furious antique dealer nipping at my heels everytime I was to race was deemed improbable so I took the other path from Olympic Athleticism  – Sloth.


Got myself a very grown up voice over agent, Louise Donald at Hamilton Hodell in London. You can see her stable of voices are seriously good – then there’s me! No, but seriously folks she has taken me on which is great news and a very positive direction to be going in at this stage in the game. I expect now I shall gargle with TCP and be quiet a lot whilst my voice rests – Dave’s ears prick up at the idea of me being quiet on a regular basis. Of course there is no earthly way this will happen. If I’m not talking I’m eating, drinking or sleeping but I am usually talking.


Very attractive rugby player - not a cauliflour ear in sight

End of the rugby season. My teen wolf arrives back with scratches up his arms, bruises and cuts on his legs but he is conscious and unborken.  The collective sigh of other mothers that the season to be bashed, slashed, crunched and brought down is over for another year is audible all over the country.  Teenwolf’s face is tripping him. What’s wrong? You Won! ‘Yeh but it’s the end of the season’ he mumbles, bereft. Halleluiah I think , but am not stupid enough to say it out loud though I couldn’t stop the grin spreading over my face. Och well next year will come soon enough, I say hoping against all odds that by then he might take up knitting (Oh God the needles) or swimming. ‘Next Year!’ he spits incredulous ‘It’s not a year Mum it’s only about 4 months before we start training again ‘ he says cheering himself up and bursting my bubble. I consider lying in the foetal position on the floor. This mother hood does it ever get any easier?

Luscious Lola comes home to roost.

Visiting my pal Tracy whole lives in the wilds of Deeside in Aberdeenshire is aye a joy. We walk, talk, eat, drink and rumble around with the dogs. We both love them. Tracy has a half water spaniel/half Spinone called Lola who is a large amazingly chilled dog and looks virtually dislocated when she lies spreadeagled on the floor of the house of an evening. However when out lolloping in the hills the mere whiff of a deer and she is off like a shot, loping up hills and out of sight completely ignoring the commanding tones (which can shatter saftey glass if the truth be told ) of Tracy. From a distance Tracy is often mistaken for Julie Andrews,

Tracy looking thoughtful - where is that dog?

without the dodgy sacking dress or the attentions of Christopher Plummer, rushing over mountains just screeching LOLA! After realising the lovely Lola was ignoring her completely and squawking was a fruitless mission we took root and sang La la la la Lola – the Kinks , leaning against a tree waiting for the wanderer to return. But no more. She now just hears her name whispered and she gallops back down the hill instantly to find Tracy and here you can see why……

They are expensive but then the emotional trauma of losing your beloved dog if it eats a sheep, snarls at someone or is just plain grumpy to your mother-in-law is priceless really isn’t it ?

Aberdeen awa’ – fit a laugh.

Heading North for a couple of days work. Thing is the minute I get over the Forth road bridge I start spikkin’ Aberdeen again.

A  canna help masel’ I wiz brought up on Scotland The What?

There’s nae pictures but ye dinnae need them really. If  Mastermind wiz like that I could have got a point – once.  Good clean family fun ken? Och away here’s another  photo of the boys anyway.

Aye they scrub up well.