Day 2/92: OMG, this is exciting!

5 Comments

The past few days have provided us with enough excitement to last us a lifetime. But it’s not because we’re out here living and working in Vilanova (although it’s definitely better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick). Guess what! To our surprise Jeanette has left the land of Hamlet and winged her way back to Vilanova Park to pluck her one and only Fred out of the depression he had been slowly slipping into since her departure. And in a trice Mr. Grumpy has become Mr. Happy! Personally I don’t put the big grin on his otherwise gnarled face down to the proximity of an affectionate partner but rather to her outstanding cooking skills, proven once again on Friday past when we all rolled into Fred’s awning for a culinary treat with some alcoholic accompaniment.

It had been quite a hard week for Mary given the number of extra one-to-one classes she had had to do. They were more bother than they were worth as she had a one hour lesson at ten in the morning then nothing until 17.15 when she had the kids until 18.30, then nothing until 20.00 when she had another one hour conversation class! That was the story Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, meaning when Friday night came she was ready for a bit of fun. So after the fun we went to dinner…… no, only joking folks! (Unfortunately!)

There was a further factor that came into play however. It all started with me chancing upon the scales as I raked around in the tent looking for my winter hats and gloves. So I thought, let’s go out onto the road and have a check of how heavy the temple is after 3 months en España. I say the road because the electronic scales only work on a hard surface and Mary’s heart wasn’t available. Well, was I in for a shock! Despite checking the LCD in kilos then stones and pounds, and pounds alone, there was no denying the digital bad news. I was officially pies! No need for accurate data but I was heavier than I’d ever been in my whole life (and it sounded horrendous in kilos!) I could hear Joe sing “He IS heavy, he’s my brother!”

So, how did I react to this revelation of increasing gravitational pull? I announced to a somewhat taken-aback Mary that I was going on the Atkins Diet! Honestly, I decided for the first time ever to try a regime instead of just getting thinner by willing it, something that didn’t always work. Mary, being still besotted of me and desperate to please me in every imaginable way, said she would join me on the diet, having used it once very successfully in the past and therefore able to provide me with the necessary advice.

So poor Jeanette took all of this on board and prepared a feast which could be enjoyed by Atkins dieters and normal people alike. Boy, didn’t we eat well! One bowl of Beef Thai curry, one of Chicken Thai curry and a bowl of Beef Stroganoff for non-nippy food man, Mike. We naturally sampled all three dishes and found them quite delicious. The domestic goddess then served up an Atkins pudding, something we had no idea existed, using various cheeses and nuts for a wonderful culinary creation. No bread, no rice, no pasta, none of the amazing cheesecake she  placed right in front of me. How disciplined we were! However I cracked the second time the Ferrero Rochers came round, grabbing one of the little golden clusters and proclaiming Atkins could go forth and multiply!

The happy banqueters

The happy banqueters

Atkins dessert

Atkins dessert

Coffee time was an unexpected pleasure when Jeanette provided us with café à l’alcool, mine being proportionately a huge brandy (Atkins remember) with some coffee in it. The others were equally delighted with their “additional ingredients”.. Meal over, we launched into Fred’s musical lyrics game which descended into near chaos as the laughter got louder and louder. I genuinely cannot remember an evening in company where we laughed so much. Even Fred grinned occasionally! Meanwhile, the newcomers, Kevin and Bob the Scotsman, were joining in with the mirth, adding their dry wit to our crasser efforts.

Out of the blue, Het, Mike’s better half and the world’s greatest knitter, produced a present for me, a knitted Socrates the Snail. We gasped in admiration at this wonderful creation and I immediately tried to buy the copyright from her but unfortunately she was not stupid enough to accept my offer of 5 Euros.

Woolly Socrates!

Woolly Socrates!

 

This brings me rather neatly to the latest update on my children’s book “Socrates the Sprinting Snail of Sorrento”. And what news it is! Thanks to my friend Dick who just happens to own a printing firm in Great Yarmouth, I can announce that there now exists a genuine paperback version of the story, complete with illustrations by Lainey. There is only one at the moment, a draft version soon to undergo very minor amendments, but with its own ISBN number and everything we finally have the book in print. I hope to give the go-ahead for the first print run tomorrow or Tuesday and with a bit of luck 250 copies should reach my flat in Dundee by Friday next.

Meanwhile I have produced a poster advertising the imminent arrival of the books for sale and Scott and Lainey are trying to persuade the local shops to take some to sell over Xmas. Not the big stores like Waterstones or W H Smith which require a much more formal approach and business plan, but hopefully they will eventually be interested. I have contacted several places in Dundee but so far only heard from Radio Tay which wants to see a copy. This is where you come in dear readers. If you know of anyone who might be able to help me get the book “out there” then please have a word with them and try to persuade them to help me sell the book on a sale-or-return basis.

The title of today’s post reveals that I am now beside myself with excitement at the thought of seeing my work in print very soon, as the one existing copy is not here in Spain and I’ve only seen it on Skype. When that happens, another item on my Bucket List will be ticked. I leave you with a sneak preview of the front cover in the hope that it will soon be on sale wherever you are! Thank you.

Remember, you saw it here first!

Remember, you saw it here first!

 

Advertisements

Latest on Socrates

2 Comments

I thought I’d update you all on the first couple of days with the book on sale on Kindle and Kindle App. It has sold 10 copies, nine here in the UK and one in the USA. There is however a free promotion starting tomorrow and lasting 2 days so a perfect opportunity to download it then and review it once read. The positive reviews are really important to the success of the book so I’d appreciate all you can do to help spread the word. If you use Facebook then I have attached a link which you can share with your friends.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=socrates+snail&rh=n%3A341689031%2Ck%3Asocrates+snail

We are fine back in the flat and enjoying some really good summer weather at the moment. Today we spoke with Scott who told us he is coming home from Australia on 18 July. Can’t wait to see him again! He said he saw Andy Murray win at Wimbledon in a crowd all going a bit crazy after the Lions’ victory in Sydney as well. He is proud to be a Scot abroad.

I’ve taken up the guitar again – once I’d changed to lighter gauge strings – and I’m enjoying a wee strum when I get the chance. We had a week looking after our grandson Ben which was great fun although surprisingly exhausting and we must say he is a wee gem but we would say that, wouldn’t we?!