Spring Cleaning!

Because apparently it's spring now!  With its icy rain and dismal grey clouds (yep, still spring), a weary traveller returns to her blog after eighteen months of silence...

I can only apologise for leaving everybody and just vanishing for what is now eighteen months.  A lot of things have happened, some of them were good, but I've been under a self-imposed silence for coming up to a year now, thanks to a particularly unexpected - but thankfully not literal - back-stabbing that left me feeling lost, confused, and with no clue whatsoever who I could trust.  Not that I thought any of my patient and lovely blog followers would be contributing to my new troubles, but I do share this blog on my Facebook and Twitter accounts where anyone can see them.  For that reason I just stopped talking on either account completely, thinking that nobody could use anything I said against me if I ever said anything.  On principle this is fairly sound, provided you don't have a volatile temper which sees you go from calm to raging venom-spewing lunatic within a heartbeat...

Well, ok it wasn't ever going to be my best plan, considering how upset I was at the time, and I did keep a social-networking silence.  I've barely spoken a word on my deviantart, and I doubt that anything could have been picked up there.  If it hadn't been for the support of friends, family, concerned work colleagues and my ever-patient and loving husband Martin I don't know where I would be right now.  But I'm over the worst (hopefully), and I'm trying to shake off this ridiculous mood that stops me from doing anything productive.  I can't let the person who brought me here have the satisfaction of knowing they have beaten me.  The fact I have been like this for such a stupidly long time is more than I'd care to admit.

Despite all of this happening at my place of work, I'm still there despite coming dangerously close to walking out last summer.  Bizarrely, although after six years I'm decidedly indifferent to the company, I find myself actually enjoying the work I do.  Of course, it doesn't help that the job market is abominable at the moment if you don't want to work in a call centre of some sort (if you do want that sort of work you can pick one like a ripe cherry from a punnet), and I can feel genuine sympathy for those people looking for work at the moment.

Fortunately things have improved considerably in the last few months, most notably because my relationship with my line manager has been restored.  Certainly I don't have to worry that she is trying to get me fired any more (just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean everyone isn't out to get me), and I hope that we have cleared the air over certain things that were said and done over the last year.

I have a lot of regrets as a result of this stupor (the most recent being I missed out on seeing Lordi in concert because I couldn't face all those like-minded people), but some pretty fantastic things have happened too.  I've been on tweeting terms with best-selling authors Douglas Jackson and Ben Kane (the former even following me back - let the smugness ensue!)  I went to my first ever book signing, which resulted in making the acquaintance of fantasy author A J Dalton.  Not only did he proceed to add me as a friend on Facebook, he also added Martin (who will openly admit that he doesn't read, but enjoyed the signing regardless) and actually turned out to write some pretty nifty fantasy!  In return, Mr Dalton has earned himself a deranged fangirl devoted fan who would recommend his works to anyone.  I won't do it in this post, but I have two authors who I'd like to introduce my followers to in an attempt to encourage my blogging later on, one of which is the author I've just failed to not gush about!  Sorry about that.

So what have I been doing, if not writing and besides pestering authors who have actually managed to get something published?  Well, as anybody who knows me would expect, I've been watching a lot of shark/other monster movies, and can actually say I have found a film that was too dreadful for even me to watch to the end.  It is possible to to bypass the "so bad it's good" logic that made me enjoy Blue Demon so much, as Piranaconda proves without a doubt.
I've also been reading a lot to help me get through the year.  One of my psychologists years ago praised reading as my choice of coping mechanism, which she later regretted upon realising just how much reading I actually do.  I've split my reading material between my Kindle and my ever-expanding supply of physical books.  I use my Kindle to support independent authors, which remains one of my favourite things about my beloved little device, but I find that I now buy more printed books then ever before!   The people in my local Waterstones run and hide when I walk in, resurfacing when I hurry along to my beloved fantasy section.  In spite of this I must be one of the few people left in the country who hasn't read Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels.  After I was told by various people what happens in the books I didn't see the point of reading them myself.  I doubt very much that people who have read them - my mother-in-law, for instance - would waste time and effort into thinking up suitable fibs about the plot.  I have always had a distinctive caution about books which everyone seems to be reading, such as fifty shades, Twilight, and the Harry Potter series.  I always find that I never find them as good as they are made out to be, and I can't help but notice that people who read them do not always want to read anything else.  Martin feels the same way about the Call of Duty game series, and from what I have seen I'm inclined to agree.  I can't understand how anyone can enjoy reading a book and not want to read more.  With the wealth of books to read out there, if you've enjoyed one then there must be some more out there which you will enjoy!  Again, that's a rant for another day.

In other news, my mother and father in law has a puppy called Zeus - who at six months old is already larger than an adult Labrador.    Not really that remarkable when you consider that he is a Newfoundland puppy, because compared to the adults of his breed he is still very little.  He is a boisterous and mischievous little fluff-ball, and has decided that my husband shall be one of his favourite playmates, although Martin's consent to this decision does appear to be a bonus considering Zeus has to drag him everywhere.  Despite my husband being much more a cat and kitten person, he and Zeus seem to be getting on rather well.  I took this photo of the two of them just a couple of weeks ago, just before Zeus proceeded to give Martin an big sloppy kiss.  He's a very friendly puppy, and would be friends with anyone who'd let him, but he's giddy and gets over-excited.  Combined with the tiny fact that he has no comprehension of the problems his size causes, you can imagine the trouble he can get himself into!  No doubt Zeus and his antics will be mentioned in this blog in the future, and if Martin keeps taking more lovely photographs of him (which are all on his Facebook and Instagram accounts) I'm sure there'll be more pictures too.

For now, I think I'll close so you can actually see this post!  On a final serious note - I really do intend to resurrect my blog.  Interacting with my small band of lovely followers has been something I have truly missed, and I have missed each one of you.  I hope that I can speak to you all soon and find out what you have been up to!



  1. Welcome back Helen you have been missed!
    I'm glad you have been able to overcome your recent bad experiences. People who may think of themselves as solid upright citizens because they generally do not commit crime, should re-examine their morals and ethics, and consider the harm they do to other people by what they say and do, which is often as harmful if not more than if they indulged in criminality.
    Anyway, on a good note, love Zeus, and can't wait to see more pictures as he grows up.

    1. Thanks John - I have missed the fun my blog had given me.
      I think what you say is right. I hope that people like that can be made to see what they're doing, but if they don't...I always say that no matter how nasty you are, you'll always have someone worse.

      Zeus is lovely but still very giddy. Martin always has another naughty story when he comes home from work :)


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