#Jaye’s Journal… Enjoying a happy moment!

 

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I have been escaping to the garden more and more lately. The weather has been slowly improving, so I should be able to start working on that very long list of jobs that need to be done.

The need to escape, even to the garden, has been gradually building as the news of this evil virus gets worse.

Everyone is getting edgy, wondering how bad it might get. I have always been an optimist, but I can feel it straining to assert itself.

The shops are empty, and the worry swings between getting sick or starving to death. Some choice, eh?

But… (changing the subject, as I’d rather not dwell on things I can’t do much about)

My bonsai are waking up and this never fails to cheer me up, although this year it seems to be just a little subdued.

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My Acer says hello…

I have been busy making sure I have everything I need for the repotting marathon, and the wood for the new shelving should be delivered soon.

The rain-sodden grass has been trying to dry out and although I didn’t feel like cutting it, I thought I had better get to it. Just as well I did, for it poured with rain the following day.

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The rest of the garden is waking up too and did my heart good to see my favourites have survived for another year.

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My favourite Camelia

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Not sure what this is called, but I love it!

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Forsythia, everyone’s favourite

Back indoors I try to come to terms with the virus situation. I can forget everything when I’m in the garden, but it waits for me the minute I come back in.

So many things are likely to change and to be honest, I’m terrified. The situation gets worse every day, yet no one seems to know how bad it will get.

Every time I wash my hands, I think about the people who have already died and pray there won’t be many more.

That a miracle will arrive and save us all…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

My Last Escape?

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Visiting the Garden Centre is always a bit risky, for they have some interesting plants (and bonsai too) so I have been known to lose control and I needed to order the wood for the new bonsai shelves.

The weather was dreadful, cold, wet and miserable. Not even the thought of spoiling myself to a new plant (or three) helped to cheer me up.

It had been so long since we had gone anywhere and the journey to the garden centre is a very pleasant one, by the time we were halfway there my mood had improved a lot. I love living in the country, there are so many fields, trees and greenery in Hampshire it’s quite impossible for me to stay miserable for long!

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

The morning turned into a right fiasco as the only suitable wood they had was a bit fancy and far too expensive. On top of that the man in the timber department didn’t seem to know what he was doing and wanted to charge us a fortune for the wood I wanted, and an extra £20 for delivery!

I tried to remember where I went last time but my brain either couldn’t (or wouldn’t) dredge that information up.

We decided to drive on to another garden centre which was full to the rafters with gorgeous Spring flowers. The wealth of colour was staggering but again I managed to control myself as our garden needs more help than new arrivals now. Their wood department had nothing suitable either so feeling decidedly unloved, travel sick and wet, we went home.

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Image by Anelka from Pixabay 

Once home and warm, I remembered where I went last time. Our local B&Q has a garden centre (and the very wood I needed) at very reasonable prices too.

If the government and Covid-19 have their way, this might well be my last trip to the outside world…

 

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#Jaye’s Journal ~ Growing old is no fun!

 

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I always thought I would sail through old age, much as I have coasted through my life so far. Don’t get me wrong, it has been eventful and not that pleasant on numerous occasions.

But I am a survivor if nothing else, and despite several attempts to stop me in my tracks, I have managed to overcome the obstacles that have been thrown my way.

Even the biggies, like two heart attacks and cancer.

So, why am I complaining?

All things considered, I thought growing older would be a doddle, but it isn’t.

I have become half a person.

50% of a person if you like, what with one good knee, one shoulder and hip, and of course, just half of a working brain.

Add galloping arthritis to the mix, something hell-bent on total domination and my days are getting better than ever!

I do try to improve the status quo with gentle yoga and stretching exercises, careful attention to my diet, mainly to stop eating known arthritis triggers, which is harder than you think for all my favourite foods are on that list!

Probably whistling at Dixie (whatever that means) for nothing seems to be working properly yet.

I am currently trying to simplify our workload (when did it all get so complicated?) in order to have more leisure (me time!) and to give the remaining brain cells a fighting chance, as I have an awful lot of writing I still want to do!

I would be interested in hearing how everyone else is coping (or not) with their advancing years…

 

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What Passes for Progress around Here…

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Image from Pixabay.com

 

I am supposed to be writing a blog post, but my attention is halfway down my garden to the assembled bird feeders I have hanging from a tree and the many feathered visitors busy feasting there.

All through the winter months, the local birds have been keeping me busy, filling the feeders with fat balls and a seed mixture on a regular basis.

I do this every year, but this year has been remarkedly different. So many visitors flocking to my garden, and I love to watch them. Probably too much, to the detriment of any writing. I have also tried to film them in action, but either my hands shake too much or the camera needs upgrading, so the images on here are only a representation of the joy in my garden.

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I am reminded of that saying, “build it and they will come…” And this in turn, reminds me of the constant struggle to create the best platform to help our writing careers.

Not that I am comparing our followers to the flock of sparrows, blackbirds and bluetits that I see every day, just the amount of activity just supplying their favourite food has triggered.

All this activity is running alongside my personal battle with blogging/writing and everything this entails. For some reason, I am having trouble with just about everything I try to do these days and my brain is exhausted with coping with the constant buffering, missing chunks of text and images and the general refusal of technology to comply with even the simplest of commands. It feels like a conspiracy.

Several times I have almost reached the point where I want to take a hammer to my PC, just to escape what feels like the Plagues of Egypt.

So, what does all of this say about my ambition to make our mark?

Nothing good, I’m afraid.

By the time I have fought my way through the chaos, I am drained of nearly all of my determination and inspiration.

But every day, I switch the beast on, quietly confident that this will be the day when the elephant in the room smiles at me…

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Image from Pixabay.com

Meanwhile… The birds are busy enjoying themselves…

 

©JayeMarie 2020

 

Not a Good Week?

 

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Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay 

 

Already I am not enjoying 2020 much.

I don’t feel right and my brain is refusing to do anything constructive. Inspiration seems to be on holiday, and if I get any slower, I’ll be at a standstill.

 

The results of the mammogram I had just before Christmas hasn’t arrived yet, and until they do, I always fear the worse and this is probably affecting everything else.

Various appliances around the house are playing up and the kitchen light died last week. It’s one of those circular fluorescent tube lights and finding any replacement tubes is getting difficult. I really should replace it but can’t face doing it now.

So, the only light we have in the kitchen comes from the cooker hood, which is not ideal. You risk being poisoned in our house this week as I cannot see what I’m doing!

And can you guess how many times I have switched on the light and waited for it to come on?

The internet is being its usual annoying self, and I am getting so tired of nothing working the way it’s supposed to.

And finally, I have made an appointment at the opticians, as my eyes are tired, and the headaches are getting worse. I worry that they did something wrong when the cataract was removed last year, so best to get it checked out.

 

But…

 

The light tube turned up and I can now see what I’m doing in the kitchen.

The results of the mammogram turned up and ‘show nothing suspicious’ so I am delighted to be another year free from cancer. Four years now, so looking good!

Had my eyes tested again and will have to have new glasses as my eyes have changed again since the cataracts were removed last year. Two new pairs cost me a bloody fortune too, but I was assured that my eyes should settle down now.

No improvement in the brain /inspiration department, but at least I am trying to find a way around it. I mean, everything else seems to be on the up…

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

Is There an Elephant in Your Room?

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Image by Dmitry Abramov from Pixabay 

 

The New Year has begun and already I’m running late!

Week two and I haven’t written my first journal entry yet.

Actually, I haven’t done much of anything this year and I hope this isn’t an indication of the rest of the new year, but I have the feeling it might be. The elephant in my office is rather small, but his presence is disturbing.

Probably time to remove the constriction of the week numbers, so I can just write when the muse dictates, no regular Journal.

A lot of writers/bloggers have been waxing lyrical about all their plans for2020, but the more I read, the more I realise I cannot be like that anymore.

Something has been changing inside my head and it is time to sort out the rather sweet animal that lurks in the corner of my office!

Towards the end of 2019, I was getting more and more depressed about my stress levels and the lack of activity in my brain. Wondering if I really was getting too old for all this blogging/writing malarkey. So much so, I was beginning to wonder if it was even possible to be a blogger and a writer, or does one always suffer from the competition of the other?

Maybe it should be more about quality, not quantity, shouldn’t it?

This sounds hopeful but exactly what does it mean and how can I apply it to my already complicated life?

The little grey elephant is shaking his head, so no help there…

A lot of people have been looking at their stats, so I staggered over to WP and looked at ours, looking for inspiration or confirmation I suppose.

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Our progress since we began blogging has been slow and steady. Pretty impressive for an ageing technophobe, I thought. But maybe not exactly reassuring now that my brain is seriously out to lunch these days.

There is a lot we want to do this year, that’s if I can find out where my get up and go is hiding!  I refuse to believe that this could be the year that the elephant wins, even if he is only a little one…

 

Jobs Outstanding:

 

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Finish editing Anita’s brilliant new book, Running Moon…

 

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Finish creating the book of Anita’s poetry

 

 

 

 

 

And possibly start to write the new story that my character DI Snow has been nagging me about!

And finally, introduce more automation to our website, to give the elephant a few days off…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

I’d love to hear from you, so leave me some comments?

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 52 ~ End of an Era!

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All Change…

 

In the last few months, after what seemed like a lifetime of inertia, the world has begun to change and not just because of Christmas and the approaching new year and century. Our world seems to be changing both politically and socially.

I think we have been doing some changing too, and not entirely for the best. We seem far more tired than I can ever remember being, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with our ages.

At this time of year, we are usually talking about the new year and what we might expect or plan to do with it, but honestly, for once we cannot be asked.

Since we began blogging in 2012, our followers and stats have grown rather well considering how much there was to learn. However, I have the feeling we won’t progress any further until we find new areas and ideas to develop. We also need to figure out what else we need to know, for although we have done well in some areas, we haven’t sold a huge amount of books, and worse than that, the writing has ground to a halt.

Maybe our goal for 2020 should be to stop worrying, slow down a bit and smell the roses?

I usually feel sad on New Year’s Eve, but I have a feeling I won’t this year, for it has been a right old mixed bag of pain, frustration and depression, with hardly any good bits!

I normally open all the doors when Big Ben chimes at midnight, to allow the old year to limp away. Tonight I will be sorely tempted to help it on its way with my foot!

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Come on in 2020 and show us all a little more peace and joy, pretty please?

 

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 51

 

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How has 2019 been for you?

 

I have been doing more thinking than doing this week, about how long I have been on this planet.

I have seen the end of 74 years and looked forward to 75 New Years in my time. I think this means that I have lived through 7 centuries!

Bloody hell, no wonder I feel so old!

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I love the thought of starting a brand-new century but can’t help feeling it will feel very odd at first. I always have trouble getting the date right, so not expecting any change there.

I normally give a lot of thought to all those New Year plans and promises but for some reason, I have been dragging my heels. I have spoken on here about some of the things I want to do but my heart hasn’t really been in it.

 

I have been feeling far more tired than usual, so yesterday, when my batteries failed quite dramatically, and I literally had to sit down step down. I am back on my feet today but think I need some of those strong batteries. You know the ones I mean, with that crazy bunny dashing around, like an idiot!

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All joking aside, I don’t like feeling I’m too old to keep up and the thing is, I can’t tell if things are getting harder, or if I am becoming less able to cope.

Some serious thinking will need to be done eventually to figure out if there is a way forward, maybe in some lesser degree.

Everything seems to be getting more complicated and there’s not much I can do about that, and this is where being stubborn really pays dividends…

 

Are you looking forward to the new century, or do you have misgivings too?

 

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 50

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I suppose it was inevitable that an element of Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol should have descended on our house. Anita is very fond of this story and always watches at least one version of it at this time of year, but I have a feeling it has something to do with it being a new century and not just a New Year that is due to start in approx. 19 days’ time.

I am always a little apprehensive at this time of year, wondering what Fate has in store for us all, and at the same time trying to imagine new ways to make it better than this one.

A new century is rather special and needs to be planned with a bit more care than usual, I think. We have been blogging now for nearly 7 years and we have made some amazing progress and friends in that time, but so far, the sale of our books hasn’t exactly improved our lifestyle.

We would love to increase the number of our subscribers /friends, write more books and actually sell some of them.

Although I am very proud of all I have learned, I know there is so much more I need to know out there. Already, the to-do list is growing, headed by getting rid of that dreadful subscription pop up and replacing it with a better sign up form, coupled with finding new ways to connect with more readers.

Our newsletters need improving, and our presence on some media sites could be better too.

And I also need to find the time to start enjoying my long-abandoned hobby of craftwork again, and if I can, I think this would make 2020 a special time for me…

 

What do you want to do differently in 2020?

 

We would love to hear from you…

 

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 49

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This week I have set myself the task of re-editing an old manuscript, one with the old-fashioned straight speech marks. I did try to find a way to remove/replace them with curly ones, with no luck. At least, not on the version of Word I am using.

There must be a way to do this, but the advice I get from googling the problem seems impossible to implement. So, unless someone knows an easy way to do this, I am destined to be doing it by hand for the next six months!

Changing the subject to something a little closer to my heart, I have to report that Autumn is happening rather slowly outside my back door where most of my bonsai trees are taking their sweet time to drop their leaves.

Which turned out for the better really, for me that is, as it gives me more time to clear up after the ones that have obliged. Because it has become so cold out there, I am having to cut my trips outside short as my hands get so painful even with gloves on, which means I am having trouble keeping up with everything.

Normally, my trees drop their leaves quite quickly and I can get them all tidied up and bedded down in one afternoon. But this extremely cold weather is playing havoc with all things garden related.

The grass is getting longer by the minute but cannot be cut as it’s much too wet. There is going to be such a backlog to catch up on come Spring as most of my trees will need repotting by then too.

On one of my lightning trips outside, I happened to notice the state of some of the bonsai shelving. The wood is rotting, the brackets are rusting and the wall these shelves live on desperately needs a coat of paint too, so the list of outstanding jobs is getting longer.

This year, through no fault of my own, I have not been a very good gardener, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it, so next year I have a lot of work to do once the good weather returns…

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