About Me

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I write well researched but readable historical and contemporary novels and some non-fiction. I live in a Scottish country cottage with my artist husband. I love gardening and I also collect the fascinating antique textiles that often find their way into my fiction. This blog is about all these things and more!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Christmas?

Happy Christmas? 
Like Pollyanna (which was shown on TV a few days ago) I'm sitting here trying to find things to be glad about. I watched the movie while I was cooking. I get so fiendishly bored with cooking that I have to find ways of distracting myself. I sometimes find myself wishing that - like Deborah Meaden of Dragon's Den fame - I could say 'I don't cook' and mean it.

One day ...

Some time just before Christmas, my business debit card was hacked or cloned or whatever and some nasty piece of work tried to buy £350 worth of goods somewhere in the USA. Unfortunately for them, RBS's fraud detection systems are excellent and they put a stop to two suspect sales immediately and contacted me.

'Did you spend £350 at 6 o'clock this morning in the USA?' asked the pleasant young man who was dealing with the problem.  At which time I was, of course, fast asleep in bed on a cold and frosty morning. I'm now wondering how it happened. What website was hacked into? Where might the card have been cloned? This is a card that is used so infrequently that any anomalous payment is going to show up almost immediately. I use it exclusively for business but for most online transactions I use a credit card. Business postage, a local saleroom where I know everyone and they know me, a supermarket filling station where it's never out of my sight? I just don't know, but perhaps, at some point in the past year, my attention slipped and I keyed it into a foreign website.

Anyway - card has been stopped and a new one will arrive in the New Year.

Apart from that, my husband has a chest infection on top of a nasty cold and given that he already has a severely compromised immune system, he seems to have cracked a rib with coughing. Son is also in bed with same hideous cold, and is running a temperature. Other friends seem to have suffered from a string of annoyances ranging from huge to small. And a few other things - too complicated to go into here - have gone wrong as well.

Meanwhile the sainted EU has made sure that my eBook prices will have to increase from 1st January with the imposition of a hideously complicated (not to say ridiculous) new VAT system.

Like Pollyanna I suppose I can be glad that the sun is shining and the house is reasonably warm for a 200 year old cottage that can, let's face it, be a wee bit chilly at times. And by the way, wasn't Hayley Mills good in that movie? With the wrong young actor it could have been revolting!

Or I can be glad that the man-flu two are feeling a bit better. Or that RBS is so quick off the mark.

Or that eBook sales over Christmas were not too bad at all. Meanwhile, I've printed out the missive from Amazon about VAT and am looking at it in horror, knowing that I'll have to wrestle with figures some time soon. They'll do most of it for me, but I need to know what's what.

Just as I need to have a major business meeting with myself very soon, and make plans for 2015. Even though the best laid schemes and all that. Which reminds me of my first and most important writing project of the year...

Knitted crib and Christmas music



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