Tuesday 20 June 2023: A thunderstorm at last

Image by Thorsten Frenzel from Pixabay

We had thunderstorms forecast for the entire weekend and, naturally, I was keeping a close eye on them all via my app.


On Saturday I wanted to go to the Murder in the Rhubarb Triangle crime reading event in Wakefield. We even tentatively arranged for the MiL to look after the dog. But with the new bed arriving on Friday and us having the old bed to take to the tip, plus shopping of course, we decided that we wouldn’t have time to drive up to Wakey as well.

I spent the morning writing out a meal plan for this week and the shopping list while the poet strapped up the old mattress and filled the car with that and the rest of the chopped-up old bed. He kept the wheels, the drawer runners and the old headboard in case we need any of it for our new project. But everything else went into the car.

We’re keeping the new project under wraps at the moment because we don’t want to jinx it, but I will be telling subscribers to the newsletter all about it next week when the June newsletter goes out.

Before we headed out, we went for a walk to a classic car show that was taking place in the village. A friend of ours was involved with some of the organisation, so we went to have a look. There were bouncy castles there, food stalls and other exhibitors as well as quite a few old cars. And they had musical entertainment on too. We decided that if we had time, we’d go back later.

It started to spit with rain and we went back to the house, collected the car and took the old bed and most of the old bedding to the tip. The poet kept the double quilt covers for dust sheets and I kept the plainer pillowcases for the dog’s baskets. It carried on trying to rain while we were there, but it didn’t come to anything.

After the tip we went to the supermarket to get the week’s shopping. When we got back I had fresh French bread with reduced fat Brussels pate and he had ham and cheese with his, just like continentals. It made a change for us to enjoy the bread on the day we bought it. Usually it’s at least a day old before we get around to it, but as we were both craving French bread, we ate it on the day we bought it.

The poet then went out into the front garden with a chainsaw to cut down some more bushes while I actually sat down and wrote.

Yes, folks, you read that correctly. I sat down to do some writing work on a weekend!

The reason for this? I joined a 200 words a day challenge last week and I didn’t want to miss a day just because it was the weekend. I also didn’t want to boot up the computer so instead I chose to hand-write a scene from The Fool. I’m currently replanning The Fool because it needs a lot more substance, but there’s plenty I can be writing and now I seem to be writing in scenes instead of chapters, it also seems that the writing is much easier.

I ended up writing not 200 words, but 727 words. All by hand. And I felt very smug with myself.

A massive thunderstorm travelling up the country went right around us again and fizzled out. While the poet was outside he had a chat with some of the neighbours who told him the show at the edge of the village would be on until about 10pm.

He came in to make tea, a crustless quiche and salad. But when he suddenly started to scream and shout with obvious pain, bearing in mind he’d been using the chainsaw, I honestly thought he’d cut his arm off or something.

He’d actually managed to slice the tip of his finger off while chopping mushrooms. It took ages to stop the bleeding, but we managed to dress it and he refused to go to hospital for a stitch. I wouldn’t mind, but he’d warned me about using the knives because he’d sharpened them last week and they might be dangerous…

He finished making the tea, making sure not to leave any of his finger in the quiche, which was actually delicious. Then we put the dog in his ‘bike’ and went up to the show. The dog thought it was excellent and again almost pulled my arm out of my socket dragging me along.

All of the cars had gone and most of the stalls had packed down too. But there was a band playing and one of the poet’s mates, one of his oldest mates in fact, came to sit with us. But at 8:30pm, the band finished and that was it. So much for it finishing at around 10pm. Still, we’d had an hour and the dog had been for a run on his bike.

We didn’t see the cat on Saturday.


I’ve been sleeping much better on the new bed, and for longer. But I was really, really, REALLY  disappointed that I managed to sleep through a massive thunderstorm that thrashed our area at around 5am Sunday morning. The poet had seen it, apparently. He’d been up with a throbbing finger and was taking more painkillers and he saw the flashes. But I slept all the way through it.

When we got up, he removed the dressing to give it some air and, again, it bled for a bit. We were going out, though, so he re-dressed it. Before dinner I sat down and wrote again! But I didn’t have time to count the words when I finished.

It was Father’s Day on Sunday and we were going out for a meal with the kids and his mum. We went to collect his mum and nipped into Tesco on the way for further medical supplies. We did think we might be a bit late, but we were the first there. And we had a lovely meal. I was very good and had a house salad with Caesar dressing and a grilled chicken topping so that I could have a Cadbury’s Crunchie cheesecake for pudding.

When we got home the poet, his kids and his granddaughter swapped riddles on WhatsApp (I think) well into the evening. He watched the cricket while I settled down and counted my words. Bearing in mind I don’t usually work at the weekend, I added 566 hand-written words to The Fool. And I felt a bit smug again. Current tally = 6,584 words.

I’m really pleased about this on two counts. First of all, I wrote new words. But secondly, it means I now have three projects on the go:

  • planning/writing The Fool
  • typing Catch the Rainbow
  • revising Diary of a Pussycat

When Diary of a Pussycat moves into ‘cooling’, I’ll start to write Project Management for Writers: Gate 3. And I will start ‘revising’ Diary of a Cool CatThe Fool is still officially in ‘planning’, but once that moves along, I can carry on with The Beast Within. I want to plan The Beast Within alongside Project Management for Writers because I’m using it as a writealong for illustrative purposes.

It’s taken a few weeks to get this machine cranked up, but I think it’s starting to show signs of both moving and working.

The poet went for a lie down. We think the shock of his finger finally caught up with him. And I went into the garden to dead-head the roses. While I was out there, big fat raindrops started to land and we finally got that thunderstorm I’ve been waiting for. And it was a corker. It raged for at least an hour. And this time it was the poet who slept right through it.

When he got up again, we had a light tea and we binge-watched the first four episodes of the first series of Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris and written by Val McDermid. I’ve seen it before but he hadn’t.

We didn’t see the cat on Sunday.


There was movement on the power board this week, but only a little. The short story Autumn Fayre went from ‘proofreading’ to ‘publishing’ because I finalised it and sent it off to market on Friday. And the 12 Stories in 12 Months became Harvey’s Festival and it went from ‘percolating’ through ‘brainstorming’, ‘planning’, straight to ‘typing’, and it now sits in ‘revising’. The Fool should be straddling ‘planning’ and ‘writing’, but I’ll leave it in ‘planning’ for now.

This week’s story is Killer Queen, a Marcie Craig short story. I planned it for my Stories From Around the Campfire for one of last year’s Camp NaNos but, of course, it all went pear-shaped. Then I thought I’d give it a go for a ‘locked room’ mystery short story assignment. I wrote a draft of it for 12 Stories in 12 Months, but at 2,500 words it was too short for the locked room assignment. The plan is to flesh that out, to at least 3,000 words, and then send it off for my assignment.

The plan is to have at least one short story moving along the conveyor belt per week. Yes, some will have gaps between brainstorming/planning and writing. But the intention is to finish a short story a week and send it off on a Friday. So far this month I’ve:

  • revised and submitted Paper Roses
  • revised and submitted The Kite Festival
  • revised and submitted Autumn Fayre

This week it’s Killer Queen. Next week it’s that Death in the Night I missed the submission call for. I’m revisiting it as a slightly more twee tale so it can go off to the women’s weekly markets.

The poet was off on a three-day business trip but before he went he had to have his IT department remotely install some software. That took a lot longer than he thought it would, so he was late leaving. His finger looked much better when he re-dressed it. He said it had stopped throbbing and stinging but was still sore, especially if he touched it. So I told him to stop touching it…

There was no yoga class yesterday because the yoga instructor was on holiday and I didn’t know what a stretch class would consist of. Son #2 is a qualified yoga instructor. We voiced my opinion to him at the weekend, and he suggested I find a proper yoga studio, as they would certainly know what they were doing there. He said he didn’t think a stretch class was what I wanted.

I caught up on social media and emails but I couldn’t really settle down to any work until the poet had gone because I like to focus and get into it. Him leaving in the middle of something would have distracted me. I called a vet a few miles away, who’d had a cat brought to them who looked just like Holly, but she’s about ten years younger and not chipped. I could tell straight away when I saw the picture on Facebook that it wasn’t Holly, but with everyone saying how alike they were, and zooming in her face did look like Holly’s, I started to doubt my own mind.

So I gave them a ring just to double-check that it wasn’t Holly. They asked me to send them some pictures so they could compare the markings, and when I did so, they replied almost straight away. Although they both do look remarkably alike, they said their cat had more white between her eyes and more black on her legs. It was the expected reply, but I had to ask them.

Off the poet went to work and I started today’s blog post.

I put some more washing on the line that hadn’t been washed yet, to try and attract Holly. It was much fresher after the storms and a bit breezy, and I hoped she might pick up the scent. I also put out some salmon cat gravy, which is quite smelly. Some probate work came in that I had to act on, but I turned it around and sent it straight back.

Over dinner I went to 12 Stories in 12 Months to read the feedback on Harvey’s Festival, and I read and commented on four other stories. (We have to comment on at least four and I didn’t have time yesterday to read any more.) Then I listened to the 4th podcast in my new series. (It was actually the 5th one because there was an introduction labelled 00.)

I did a lot more work to try and find Holly, including contacting another vets and sending them pictures. And I added my post to three other pages on FB. But there were no positive sightings. One person thought it was perfectly reasonable to judge why we were letting such a vulnerable cat out in the first place. (Er, we didn’t. She got out.)

I asked how comments like that were going to help find her. It was an obviously fake profile, though. I reported it to Facebook, who responded immediately that it didn’t go against their community standards. (Er, it was an obviously fake profile…) So I reported it to them again and then reported it to the page admins, who removed the comment.

I revised three chapters for Diary of a Pussycat, wrote the exercises, but added only 260 words. Current tally = 43,317 words. Then I typed another scene for Catch the Rainbow. I added only 387 words to that one. Current tally = 16,411.

By now it was quite late and I’d had a late tea too. So I decided to call it a wrap.

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4 thoughts on “Tuesday 20 June 2023: A thunderstorm at last

  1. I do hope Holly comes home soon! I keep checking in hoping you’ll say she’s back safe.

  2. Busy weekend! Ouch on the hurt finger.

    Willa is a little Houdini. We have to keep a sharp eye on her, especially with the aggressive dogs around. I hope Holly returns soon.

    Well done on the writing!

    1. Thank you. On all counts. I went leafleting this afternoon, in case someone has taken Holly in. Some people seem to think we ‘let her’ out on purpose rather than she ‘got’ out. There is a difference.

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