How to play chess

Attack formation of the Chess team
Attack formation of the Chess team

Prawn moves forward

Horsey jumps Prawn

Horsey changes direction mid-jump

Castle chases Horsey but get stuck behind Prawns coz he can only move in straight lines

Bishop sneaks around the board sideways because “No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

Queenie can move however she wants because she’s the Queenie

King is a bit slow and can only move one square at a time

Prawns are actually only a sacrifice and get eaten up by all the other pieces

King gets a mate who then kills him

….. and that’s how you play chess.

My dog is trying to kill me!

No seriously – is this the face of an assassin? I think it is!

You may think he's using this stick to build a snowman - but he's really sharpening it into a spear to stab me through the heart!!
You may think he’s using this stick to build a snowman – but he’s really sharpening it into a spear to stab me through the heart!!

How do I come to the conclusion that my dog is trying to murder me?

It might be the rugby tackle to the legs he does ALL THE TIME! One paw wrapped round your leg as you’re casually walking along and wham, you hit the ground!

It might be the fact he always has to run down the stairs right in front of you and then JUST STOP so you have to re-balance yourself so you don’t fall down the rest of the stairs.

It might be the way he pushes his big heavy head into the back of your knees trying to get you to fall over, then once you’re on the ground he can sit on you till you’re all out of air!

But I think his sneakiest plot is the one to gas us all with the foul smells he emits every evening!

If I’m ever found dead in the house then you’ll all know whodunit – it was the dog!!

A love affair with books

Time for a quick calculation.

By my rough estimate I must have read around 4,000 books in my lifetime so far. If I’m mumblemumble40something and I’ve been reading on average 2 books a week for the past 40 years (and that’s a low estimate) then to keep the maths simple 40x2x50 weeks a year is 4000. That’s a heck of a lot of books, but this quote by one of my (newly discovered) favourite authors sums it up perfectly for me…

“Few things leave a deeper mark on the reader, than the first book that finds its way to his heart.” Carlos Ruiz Zafón

So what was the first book that found its way into my heart? Well I really can’t say actually. Not that I won’t say, but I can’t say. I have read so many books that when finished leave me happy, sad, frustrated, upbeat, emotionally exhausted. There’s just something about getting to the end of a book you’re in love with and not wanting for it to ever end. You want to read the ending obviously but it’s like losing a best friend.

Also the act of losing myself in a book is just wonderful. There can be chaos going on around me – the dawg is ripping up his blankets, the kids are starting World War III, the dinner is burning but do I care – no, because I’m escaping from reality into my fantasy worlds.

Is this just me or do all readers feel this way?

As a p.s. my husband often asks me why I can’t write a book myself – I’ve read enough of them and surely can manage to write one, as he heads off to the golf course…. I guess I just don’t have the imagination to come up with a completly original idea or story. I’ll leave that to others who do it so well.

Although ‘Murder on the Golf Course’ has a certain ring about it…. hmmmm.

My extra gravity

My husband always says I have extra gravity round about me….

That’s why I always drop things (especially things like eggs when I’m cooking), trip over non-existant objects and fall down a lot.

In my last job my friend I shared an office with reckoned she could always tell it was me who came in the room. The door was behind her and there were 2 small steps up into the office and she used to feel the whoosh of air and then the tripping sound and reckon, yep that’s her back from lunch.

Let’s not even begin to talk about the time I stabbed myself in the chin with a scalpel (doing a paste-up) or when I lifted down a tub from a high shelf and discovered it was full of water – I have to say she was very good then and didn’t even laugh at my impromptu shower (out loud!).

So this weekend I was off on yet another university visit with my High School Senior and it was a pretty important visit for him because it was an invited thingy for a full-ride scholarship. What did his klutz of a mother do…? She just went and fell on a patch of ice under the melting snow and landed in a puddle! I had to sit all the way through a fancy lunch with a soaking wet bum!!! Nobody could tell… that is until I stood up and had to dry off the seat. How to make a good impression 😉 You’ll be pleased to know that I’m OK though – I have plenty of padding…

Posing guide 101 for photography newbies

I thought I’d share my knowledge of posing models on a photography shoot in a new Posing guide 101 blog.

Step 1 – act natural

Act natural
Act natural

Step 2 – smile nicely for the camera (like a wide-mouthed frog is good!)

Say cheese (or frog - whatever works for you)
Say cheese (or frog – whatever works for you)

Step 3 – share the camera equally with your co-model

Don't hog the camera
Don’t hog the camera

Step 4 – act out your favourite scene from a movie

I could have been in movies ye ken!
I could have been in movies ye ken!


I won the Internet!!!

Thank you Dookes for nominating me – everyone should immediately go read your blog and follow you and buy a Harley Davidson and visit England and eat chips!!

Now to answer your questions in a sensible fashion…

1. How do you feel about getting nominated for the Liebster Award?

Like I’ve won the Oscars… I’d like to thank my puppy, my manager, my fellow ninjas and cups of tea for helping me achieve this fame and fortune (there IS fortune with this award – right???)

2. What made you start blogging?

Being totally 100% honest here…. boredom!

3. Where is your favourite place in the world?

I probably haven’t been to it yet – there’s so many places I still want to visit. But the Scottish Highlands is up there on my favourite places I’ve been. They also have a wee tearoom that sells magic Millionaires Shortbread! 

4. Bungee jump or surfing?

Surfing anyday. What if the bungee cord broke? What if the cord was too long and you bounced right off the ground? What if you bungeed right back up and fell back down where you started from? Splattered like a blob of jam!!!

5. If you could go back in time and do something different in your life, what would that be?

Follow my original career plan, which was to be a dolphin trainer in the Bahamas.

6. Where will your next holiday/vacation destination be?

Scotland – back home to visit friends and relatives in the summer.

7. Dogs or Cats?

Cats. No… dogs. No… cats. No… squirrels. No… anything furry actually. I have a dog at the moment though, no cat. Nor squirrels – they don’t like the dog. See previous post to meet my puppy dawg.

8. Tell us about your favourite food!

Bread. Cakes. Chinese chicken curry. Fish and chips. British chocolate. Good fish (Unfortuantely I’m 1,000,000 miles away from the sea here in the MidWest USA)

9. What is your perfect day?

Beach. Hammock. Book. Camera. Cocky-tail.

10. Who would be your dream dinner companion?

Anyone who can make me laugh and talk about music, books, ninjas, elves, wizards, cakes and aliens.

11. Do these questions all seem very random to you too?

Not at all… most sensible Dookes!

Now to nominate 11 others and ask them equally sensible questions! I’ll get back to that part…..