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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

The Brandon at Canonmills – yum yum yum.

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In the place where Cross and Corner used to live there’s now a wee bar/restaurant on that corner of Broughton Street and Eyre Place called Brandon’s of Canonmills.  A refreshing groovsters hangout with food that frankly my lips haven’t stopped smacking themselves about since we tried it.
When I say groovsters hang out clearly not just groovsters as we are about as far from the category as you can get and still be labelled human.

We are 3 middle aged woman and a sausage dog. Sounds like a film but no it’s just my life.

So just to clarify….dogs are very welcome indeed as is everyone it seems.

When you have hit the dizzy heights of 50 odd (with the emphasis on odd in this case) it’s disheartening and annoying the number of people who ignore you, don’t do eye contact or assume you are in for a cup of tea or a slash. Well our shower arounder was a charmer make no mistake and we loved him. So we booked a booth for supper  later in the day thinking it was just a formality –  after all a Tuesday night surely wouldn’t be busy. We were right, it wasn’t busy. It was packed.

2 main courses and a bottle of wine £30 – a good deal and too good to pass up.

Photo of Interior courtesy of Scotsman.com
Photo of Interior courtesy of Scotsman.com
Japes aplenty
Japes aplenty

One Sausage & 3 women ensconced. Happy days. As we arrived a very tired beach exhausted Charlie Chorizo was offered water which he slurped before falling asleep on my foot.

The sausage looking forward to his visit.
The sausage working up an appetite at the beach.

We  had a couple of margaritas to start – blood orange margaritas – hello! A great kick start to any evening. there was no pressure of time so we set the pace giving more than ample time for our well over due gossiping.
And…
Well the food was great. Delicious. Fresh. Imaginative. Slurp. Beetroot and goats cheese salad. A burger – just plain but perfect and panko rolled smoked jackfruit – wtf? I have no idea so I asked. It is an Indonesian fruit apparently which was a revelation.

Resist making that revolting joker please. Thank you.
Resist making that revolting joke please. Thank you.

Our smiley server described Jackfruit as having the same consistency as pulled pork – I was sceptical but he was bang on. The flavoursome pork impersonator oozed smoky paprika and the presentation was like 2 great big meaty delicious Scotch eggs (without the egg!)
Puds were great too. We had Mellis Cheese and oatcakes and – drum roll – adffogato – not with ice cream and espresso but with rhubarb ice cream and a shot of gin. Be still my beating heart.

Dear Santa I will be a good good girl if you promise to take me back here. Soon.

Its warm, welcoming, groovy, dog friendly, cocktail delightful, foodie hangout for all.

Its so good this lazy blogger has broken the habit of being a sloth and got back on the blogging horse. Woah.

The Brandon at Canonmills: Mmmmmnnnnnnn

 

If you fancy going down the Jackfruit route heres an article from The Guardian all about it.

Empty nester.

IMG_4462 (1)Our son left home last year to go to University.

The Empty nest syndrome is something I see all around. Sad eyed middle aged women getting up like clockwork to put out the endless boxes of cereal to feed the ones who have left. Our body clocks pinging at 4pm and the Pavlovs dogs reaction of shovelling a half hundred weight of biscuits onto plates and producing gallons of juice and milk for the hoards to drink when they descend on the house at 4.30pm on their ways home. Only there are no hoards now. All those muddy kneed rugby playing school boy/men are away. Away to begin their lives without so much as a by your leave for the entrenched routines that having given birth to and brought up a child has riven into the homes and lives which they inhabited. The silence. The tidiness. The thrum of music through the wall from his room replace by the ticking of the kitchen clock. The fridge which remains full and the milk which is still bought in gallons going off.

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Until this very moment you have had not a second to think about it as the toddling becomes totting into school turns to hormones turns to teenage battles turns to exams and then to – well this – the point. To bring up a responsible member of society who can clean his teeth, brush his hair, and be independent. This is a success. This was your job. OK its not full redundancy maybe a fairer term would be voluntary redundancy. It is a new beginning for them so why not you?

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So with that in mind I am slinging my bag over my shoulder, grabbing my sausage dog and am off.  Muffin top, hormonal rollercoaster, bouts of dieting, bouts of drinking, bouts of regret, bouts of hysteria, eruptions of spots, despair, creativity, dunderheidedness, insomnia, grumpiness all accompanied by increasing hairiness in strange places – why the inside of my nose is now tufting up is not something I am either proud of or delighted about – and that’s just the half of it, said the bearded slack jawed lady. Still look on the bright side….at least when Santa retires I might be a shoe-in for the big job.

With car, sausage dog and passport am off. Will report back.

 

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Skiing sausage dog.

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We are taking the sausage skiing.?Oh yes.
Well he will be mainly sledging and stomping and I will be skiing.
I can’t wait.
What to wear???
No not me! Him.
I have a ski suit which I will squash my Christmas body into but him. The sleek red haired ginger man of love. What will I drape his sausage form in?
Suggestions welcome.
Wee cold toes. A near bare belly dragging along a snowy street, a aead revealed to the elements if he is tobogganing how do we protect the cranium?
Ah these are big questions and I am counting on you to help me answer them.
Off to google sausage slippers.
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Dog friendly Edinburgh

Snozzling

As a sausage dog obsessed woman it is always great when you find a gaff your hairy pal is made as welcome as your two legged one. Miss Dynamite and I as ever were stomping the streets this week with Doris Schnauzer and her admirer Charlie ChoriZo Sausage dog when we fell into Water of Leith Cafe relocated from its very successful Coburg Street address to the main drag of Inverleith down to Canonmills at 1 Howard Street it has been reborn and reopened which is a delight to its many many fans.

I knew a warm welcome, a sticky cake, a light lunch and a smile were on the cards but I didn’t realise they are dog lovers to boot.

An area is designated for the 4 leggers an immediate bowl of water produced and as you can see a little love nest blanket.  Everyone was very happy and we stayed for hours.

I can recommend it for you and your Hairy pals – 2 and 4 legged like. 
The Water of Leith Cafe

1 Howard Place

Edinburgh.

 
  

    
 

Travels with a sausage

I have been dreaming of going travelling with a dog for as long as I have been upright and on this earth. It may seem a strange thing to those who are not canine lovers like myself but having been born and brought up with dogs and never been consciously without one in my life it is the only thing – other than a great Rogan Josh – that I truly truly miss when I away from home for any length of time.

So this is the year. With a new puppy on board – a miniature wiry daschundImage I am off travelling with my sausage.

I will update from France, Spain, England, Scotland and any other places we trek from the dogs eye view as well as my own. Its a diary for my own amusement and if you enjoy it, so be it.

 

 

 

Charlie Chorizo – sausage of love.

FtkyaAgRNTW_3bOnoSS5Z_0UQCIwifEn5T_Cl3ZPcgECharlie Chorizo has arrived. A sausage dog. The sausage dog. The ruler of our days. And nights.

Some may think it a little early after the demise of our dear old souls who were wafted off to doggy heaven just few weeks ago. But me without a dog is like Judith Chalmers without a passport, like Russell Brand without a lascivious look in his eye. Even as a child, a student, a scurrilous traveller I have never been without the companionship of a quadroped. In addition I have never had a pedigree chum. Ever. They have aye been scrappy wee unloved individuals from cat & dog homes, the side of the road, a drain, Battersea, Aberdeen, Edinburgh so at this stage in life as I intend to travel by car a lot all round the world I have employed the services of a wirehaired mini dachshund to be my faithful sidecar rider. I need a compact bijou pal and so I thought I will wait until next year before I take the plunge.

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Fate took over as that very day I met a hairy wee scruff called Snook in Aberdeen a stoating wee dog. The next question was where did he come from? The answer was the name of a breeder who I phoned several times and had no answer. Then last Sunday she picked up.

We talked.
“I have one 9 week old “ she said.

“I want a bitch” I replied. Birds of a feather and all that.

“Daxy boys aren’t like normal dogs “she said “they are very loyal and affectionate – more so than the girls.”
Sceptical I asked her to send me a photo.

She did.

On impact of course the heart began to beat a little faster.

A little chocolate drop. Tiny.

“Let’s will drive over and see him and have a chat.” I said to the long suffering husband.

“Of course if we go we will end up with him” he said rolling his eyeballs.

“Not necessarily” I said sounding as convincing as I could.

So we arrived into the home of 14 daxys. They were barking and jumping and squirming. “Quiet” the breeder shouted and they all stood silent watching us with their raisin like direct stares. “Lets hope they don’t turn on us” I whispered under my breath to the LSH who unlike me has not been in the company of the dog breeder madness that we were witnessing. The fact is if I wasn’t married I would like have at least 14 dogs and a few pigs but I chose not to impart that information at this particular moment.
“That’s the Dad” Elizabeth the breeder said pointing at this titian haired beezer. “He’s French”.

Now I am no dog show judge but he was a noble hairy faced wee man.

“That’s the Mum” she said showing me a hairy wee thing amongst the other yappers.

And there’s the pups she said pointing to the corner of the room where a small pen held two leaping pups.
One dog. One bitch. One heart lost. Mine.

CC Snuggle

I picked him up. He’s so tiny. And he’s not got any wire hair.

“His fixings are coming in” she said pointing out the small moustache that was growing under each eye. He was a wee bit shy unlike the girl who was running up the leg of my trousers and pushing him out of the way.

We talked about it and as Dave and I looked at each other we knew.

We would like to take him home.

And so…the new adventure begins with Charlie Chorizo Sausage Dog. He is so small if we cut the end of a sock he could wear it as a coat. That’s what I am going to do as he not over endowed with hair yet and clearly the Scottish winter is a hell of a time to arrive in the world. I will write about him again and display my new sock invention coat….but for now……he is sitting on my foot, demanding he is picked up for a cuddle. Hell someone’s got to it. Swoon.