My duvet cover was looking a little worn (once again - on my side only, while husband's side continues pristine) because of all the time I spend lounging about on the bed, sipping coffee and browsing writer's websites - ahem, I mean writing!
That's when this delightfully garish Pip Studio cover took my eye. Although I couldn't afford its official price, I found one on Ebay for only thirty-eight pounds. It was a typical Ebay bargain (by which I mean I had to wash the smell of other people out of it and sew up a rip that wasn't mentioned in the auction, pah!)
My husband took the boys out on yet another day-trip (Bristol Planetarium and Science Museum, I think) so that I could have the whole, entire day to spend writing my final chapter. Only I didn't. Because the Pip Studio gift wrap that I'd ordered from Daisy Park arrived just after they'd left. So I spent the day decoupaging my husband's chest of drawers (my own chest of drawers being too much of a valuable antique, obviously) to match my new duvet cover instead. Impressive, non?
"Oh yes, very manly," he said, upon his return, with what I chose to take as unqualified approval.
Now that my bedroom is a riot of red and pink, I've noticed that all the pinks and reds in the garden have given way to blues, look...
Last thing at night - or whenever the boys are watching a DVD - I've been making notes about the First World War. My final unwritten chapter (chapter eighteen, I think) is supposed to be written in letter form by a soldier who is injured at the front. I made a casual note of it ages ago...and then left it. Now it's become clear why I left it til last. I don't know all that much about WW1 - and it feels sort of dishonourable to write anything about it from a point of such ignorance. So far I've made more than ten pages of notes, of which I will use next to none, but which will enable me to write the chapter without feeling like a complete fraud. I'm not even sure there is a place in the book for this chapter now that I'm so far over 100,000 - the whole thing needs to be cut rather than added to with letters from the front - says the voice of reason in my head. But I've decided to stick with my original plan and finish the book (then drink champagne). And THEN have a go at editing, as the next stage.
I've been reading about the Battle of the Somme, mostly because my grandad was in it. He was sent home with a shrapnel wound to his leg.
This is from Wikipedia...
"North of the Albert-Bapaume road, the advance was almost a complete failure. Communications were completely inadequate, as commanders were largely ignorant of the progress of the battle. A mistaken report by General Beauvoir De Lisle of the 29th Division proved to be fatal. By misinterpreting a German flare as success by the 87th Brigade at Beaumont Hamel, it led to the reserves being ordered forward. The eight hundred and one men from the 1st Newfoundland Regiment marched onto the battlefield from the reserves and only 68 made it out unharmed with over 500 of 801 dead. This one day of fighting had snuffed out a major portion of an entire generation of Newfoundlanders. British attacks astride the Albert-Bapaume road also failed, despite the explosion of two mines at La Boisselle. Here another tragic advance was made by the Tyneside Irish Brigade of the 34th Division, which started nearly one mile from the German front line, in full view of German machine-guns. The Irish Brigade was wiped out before it reached the front trench line."
I've been reading most of these facts with my mouth hanging open in horror.
(I've also discovered that both Harold Macmillan and Adolph Hitler received leg wounds at the Somme. What a shame one of those bullets didn't hit a far more vital spot - history would've been very different. JRR Tolkien, Robert Graves and CS Lewis all survived the Somme too.)