Murder In The Bougainvillea*

I have an awareness of the panther padding around in the background waiting to pounce. It’s almost time for him and I can see him in the shadows and at the edges of things.

The house we’re staying in isn’t very nice and it’s affecting my mood, as is the break from my routine and from all the things that keep me well: Spin, my trainer, porridge – which I’m not allowed since it’s Passover – my dog clients, my gym.

Today we go to my brother’s house and wait there for Hannah’s brother and his husband who are visiting from Tel Aviv. Immediately my mood lifts: just on the walk there as we pass all the beautiful flowers:

Mum says this is a relation of laurel:

A poinsettia tree:

Top: white bougainvillea and below that orange bougainvillea, more orange bougainvillea below.

Above: Australian bottle brush tree. Below: hibiscus.

Above: pink bougainvillea.

We see someone vibrating and flapping wings very fast feeding from one of the flowers. It’s a hummingbird hawk moth which is exciting:

Am cheered up to see our chums. Here I am with one of them in the treehouse in the wadi. Wadi is Arabic and is the dried up course of a river down the mountain – a river valley:

Mum walks me home and I have a sleep. Must keep self busy and not leave any spaces for the panther to slink in. My mental health is fragile but there are things I can do to help self:

  1. Get up in the morning.
  2. Exercise.
  3. See other humans.
  4. Keep busy.
  5. Keep writing.
  6. It will help when I see my brother’s personal trainer.
  7. And go swimming in the sea.
  8. And when we do the historical tour one of my brother’s chums is taking us on.

I wish I had brought some knitting with me. It didn’t seem important to bring it but now the panther is slinking about in the shadows I could really do with the distraction of knitting.

I guess we’ll go out somewhere for dinner tonight. Just need to clean lenses which wore last night.

The attached photo is with my chum in the treehouse.

Happy Saturday everyone!

*2015. By Gillian Adams. A Natasha Green Mystery book 1.

The Passover Murder*

It’s 5.08pm. We are going to my brother’s friends for the Passover Seder at six o’clock.

Have been sleeping since about half past two and Mum has just woken me up.

We go to lunch to a nearby restaurant and order shakshuka but can’t eat much of it.

Feel extremely tired. Suspect it’s all the travelling.

Have only brought clothes for extreme hot weather and so far it’s not extremely hot…

Must go and get dressed and put on some make-up and try to make self presentable.

The attached photo is Ray, who is of course on holiday with me as he packs flat.

Here is a photo that the cattery sent of the fluffy monster enjoying his holiday:

Happy Friday everyone!

*1996. By Lee Harris. Book 7 in the Christine Bennett murder mystery series.

Death In The Clouds*

Today has been a long day of travelling but now at 8.29pm we are waiting at the baggage carousel for our suitcases.

Make it to the gym in the hotel after breakfast and then parentals insist on getting the 10.38am bus to the airport even though flight not till 1.50pm.

Finish Bosie on the plane.

Try to sleep but can’t and have nothing to read. Can’t wait to see brother soon.

The attached photo is today’s gym outfit.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*1935. By Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot detective novel.


Wake up at eight o’clock and have my breakfast and put my vaping device and its charger and liquids in the case.

New pouch has arrived:

Wear it for my travels.

After much parental faffing about, the taxi arrives and we’re off. It’s torrential rain. It feels good to be leaving England.

Luton airport not that busy and we have a not-unpleasant airport experience and flight.

Read Douglas Murray’s Bosie on the plane. It’s gripping stuff, and published whilst he was still an undergraduate.

When we arrive in Amsterdam it’s Still Raining and we have to stand in the rain waiting for a bus to the hotel.

On the plus side – there’s a gym at the hotel. Have a rest and then go to gym. Manage to do most of my weights.

Just scribbling this and then we will have dinner.

The attached photo is today’s gym outfit.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

*1998. Novel by Ian McEwan.

Dumb Witness*

Have a bit of a drizzly walk with Dolly but it’s good to spend time with her, as always. I always feel happiest on a Tuesday when am walking my Dolly. Here we are:

Dad picks me up at midday and we purchase some more Florisene from a chemist on our way home.

On my arrival at the parental home, am sad to discover that Mum has already taken my fluffy monster to the cattery so don’t get to say goodbye to him. Won’t see my fluffy for two whole weeks now. Let’s just hope that he enjoys his holiday.

Stuff the last bits into case at parentals:

  1. Bikinis and their cover-ups.
  2. White tunic dress with embroidery and pink tassels from shop at the farm.
  3. Crochet rainbow-striped flares.
  4. Contact lenses.

Now just need to charge vaping device and pack that; have bath and wash hair and paint nails Funtime Fuchsia – have finally removed my winter black nail varnish after four months.

Maybe we will watch the Big Cats programme tonight.

Am with my Dolly in the attached photo.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

*1937. By Agatha Christie. The sixteenth Hercule Poirot detective novel. Stars a fox terrier called Bob.

Claws For Alarm*

Achievements Of The Day:

  1. Haul suitcase out from under bed.
  2. Pack.
  3. Work hard at training: see attached photo of me working the Pulley.
  4. Walk home from gym in the sunshine.
  5. Take some stuff out of case.
  6. Repack.
  7. Now just have the fiddly things like contact lenses and chargers and adaptors to put in.
  8. Make halloumi and avocado sandwich and grill broccoli in sandwich toaster and have it on a bed of spinach.
  9. Clean kitchen surfaces.
  10. Meditate.
  11. Sleep.
  12. Work on new book. It now stands at 11,440 words.
  13. See a beautiful tuxedo cat in the garden and meow to get him to come closer. He doesn’t.

Am going to Abroad to see my brother This Week – on Wednesday. Am excited. Can’t find my Summer Body. Maybe will find it in Abroad when I arrive. Hope so.

Happy Monday everyone!

*2015. By T.C. Lo Tempio. Stars Nora Charles and Nick the cat.

The Clocks*

Wake up at 7.15am but I see when I turn on my phone that it’s actually 8.15am. The clocks have gone forward and have lost a precious hour of sleep.

Eventually make it to the gym where I do four sets of all my weights. Feel really tired though.

Go back to bed with toasted halloumi and avocado sandwich and a whole bunch of grilled asparagus on a bed of spinach. Read The Sunday Times Style whilst eating my lunch.

Meditate and rest for an hour but can’t sleep.

At 3.20pm, get out of bed, make a coffee and another lemon squash, eat a banana and return to bed to write. As I sit in bed writing, these people cheer me on:

They are Piers the pangolin and Edward the sloth. Aren’t they lovely?

Hit the ten thousand word milestone. New book now stands at 10,410 words. Well done me.

Have cut up an orange. Tonight is The Durrells. Have begun to think about Packing. Mustn’t take too many clothes.

The attached photo is today’s gym outfit.

Happy Sunday everyone!

*1963. By Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot detective novel.

The Cry Of The Owl*

Can’t sleep for ages last night: am still awake at midnight. Lying in my bed I hear the twit-twoo of the female tawny owl calling and the male answering her. So somewhere near my parental home there’s a pair of tawny owls. How exciting.

Mum wakes me up at 8.30am for Spin at 9.45am. Feel very tired. It’s The Master’s class and I just can’t get out of the green zone. Graph hasn’t uploaded so can’t show you. You can see me with The Boss in the attached photo.

Make a list for Mum of some essentials I need for holiday: saline solution, cleaning fluid and wetting and soaking solution for contact lenses. Mum has already bought deodorant and bath foam. Hope we have a bath. If we don’t, brother will let me have a go in his bath so that’s OK.

Dad drops me back at the flat and have lunch and a sleep. Wake up at 3.15pm. Boat Race coverage starts at 3.50pm.

Cambridge beat us Really Badly in the women’s and men’s races.

Finally settle down to my writing at six o’clock. New book now stands at 9,129 words. Will be over ten thousand words before I go to Abroad which is great. Am pleased with self.

Here is the fluffy monster sleeping last night:

Look at those furry apricot paws. He must be one of the most fluffy people in the world. And the loveliest and sweetest person that exists and the best at cuddles. I love my fluffy monster to distraction.

Now am going to make some supper and find something to watch on my television whilst knitting.

Happy Saturday everyone!

*1962. By Patricia Highsmith. Brilliant psychological thriller novel. Read it.

The Lady Vanishes*

The Boss has bought me some new Spin shoes. Look:

I put them on and start the class wearing them but have to take them off as they’re too big, which is tragic as I love them.

Work as hard as I can but am impeded by the new shoes. Here is graph. Oh no it isn’t. Graph hasn’t uploaded. Never mind.

Have a lovely walk with Gandalf in the sunshine. Here we are:

I love Gandalf so much. I cuddle him and kiss him on the soft top of his head. I’m not going to see him for three weeks and will miss him.

At last it feels like Spring. It’s warmer – eleven degrees – and the Spring flowers are out: daffodils, crocuses and tulips.

Back feels a bit better and I manage the walk home from Gandalf.

Have lunch and settle down for my sleep early as I’m getting my Minx toes and lash tint at 5.30pm. Find myself crying in bed: I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m getting anxious about going Abroad. Also I’m writing about a difficult time in my life – an, even for me, particularly bad relationship with a twenty four year old when I was thirty one and writing about it brings it all back.

Get up after not sleeping at 2.30pm. Start writing and once I’m writing I feel better. New book is now 7,732 words.

My phone charger has stopped working so am borrowing one from Dad.

Right, had better post this as need a bath before I go out.

Happy Friday everyone!

*1938. Brilliant film directed by Alfred Hitchcock – his favourite of his films. Stars Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Paul Lukas and May Whitty. Written by Sidney Gilliatt and Frank Launder, based on the story by Ethel Lina White.

Juliet, Naked*

Wake up at 6.45am when the alarm goes off: I’m seeing my trainer at eight o’clock. Make a cup of coffee and switch phone on. See a message from trainer cancelling our session. Oh no.

Attempt to return to sleep but can’t. Watch last night’s episode of The Assassination Of Gianni Versace. It’s really so good: do watch it on iPlayer if you’re not already watching.

Make it to gym where do all my weights and physiotherapy exercises. When I arrive at the parentals, the fluffy monster is sleeping inside. Put him outside and he sits on the white plastic table, staring in through my window:

He really is the world’s laziest cat. He comes in another couple of times on this relatively warm, sunny day. I put him outside again and again.

Mum takes him to be weighed and he’s put on weight. Again. He’s on reduced rations but he hardly moves. I wish I could take him out for a walk.

See physiotherapist who is pleased with me. The pain has moved further up my back, into my thorax. We do some back exercises in the gym and he comments on how flexible I am. Tells me to keep doing all my exercise and to build up my walking on my non-dog-walking days. I’m not going to see him for three weeks now, due to holiday. He is hopeful that back will have improved by the next time I see him, on 12th April.

Come home and sleep.

Wake up and write. I’m writing about a relationship I had with a twenty four year old when I was thirty two, and as I write, it all comes flooding back – down to the book I read at his parental home: Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked. It’s amazing: when the writing is flowing it’s a kind of magic. I’ve done 6,140 words now.

Had better post this and have a bath and dress as my uncle’s coming for dinner.

The attached photo is today’s gym outfit.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*2009. Novel by Nick Hornby.