Bang Goes the Diet

So there we were, Kath and I, perusing the aisles of Marks and Spencer’s Food, when she took it into her head to recommend a packet of salt and vinegar lentil curls (whatever they may be) and I behaved in suitably appalled fashion and told her I am on a diet.

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To which she said, they are low fat, you can have them.

And I said, no I can’t. I don’t care about fat, it’s a carb thing. At which she snorted with derision and said buy them anyway, you will love them (we are salt and vinegar anything aficionados). And I said no, I AM ON A DIET, really rather worried that she might make me because frankly I can be talked into anything, and she said buy them, you know you want to and I said No! And she said I do wish Marks and Spencer would stop dis-continuing things I like. I am in mourning for their orange pancakes. And I said oh I know what you mean, I will DIE if they do not bring back their Belgian chocolate hot cross buns this Easter, and she said dying won’t be necessary they are there and I nearly did a giddy dance, and she said YOU ARE ON A DIET, and I said it doesn’t count when it comes to chocolate hot cross buns, and she said well in that case you had better buy two packets.

And that m’dears is how the war against my over-sized bottom was lost.

A New Abode

I always think that staying in a hotel is like trying on a new life for size…

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On Friday I stayed the night in a hotel in Manchester: a loft style hotel with decoration a million miles away from the dark little warren that is my cosy house.

For the first time in as long as I can remember I was all by myself in a hotel room. A huge room with a bed three pillows wide and industrial pipes cutting across each room in this former Victorian cotton mill. A room I had all day to lounge in before going for dinner that night. A room in which there wasn’t a Cath Kidstonesque flower  in sight. Or a dog nibbling at everything I own.

As I always do in hotel rooms, I felt a little outside myself. As if I was busy playing the role of somebody else. I took a long bath in a bathroom with metal tiles on the floor. Sipped at raspberry lemonade, while chatting on the phone, and doing yoga on the bed. Then made myself a cup of tea because somehow I always feel obliged to remind myself how much I hate the kind of milk that comes in a tiny tube…

I played music and danced all by myself. Hobbling on a blister the size of a two pence coin after trotting around the shops all morning in search of shoes suitable to wear that evening. I sang at the top of my voice and imagined a gathering of people stood outside my door wondering whatever could be wrong with the crazy lady in room 208. I felt happy and free: free from the noise of my own belongings. The obligation to keep them tidy. Hushed by the kind of open space and decoration that does not demand attention. For yes… I do believe my house has too much to say for itself. And I sometimes wonder to what degree our surroundings shape our lives even when we are truly believe we are shaping our surroundings…

That night I ate (or rather nibbled at) plates full of sea bass, sweet potato’s and other gorgeous little bits of nothing, in sparkling company. A gorgeous evening of fun, laughter and gin. In a dress that is too big for me. And shoes I worried about falling over in. (Which obviously I did. Because a night out with me isn’t a night out unless I trip while I am trying to look elegant). And then it was over, and I was back in my room, curled up naked under crisp white linen, smiling at the ceiling and glad I had tried on a new life for the night even if it didn’t quite fit me, or couldn’t be mine for always…

So yep. I reckon this is going to be my new hobby. Hotel hopping around new cities. Deciding whether the loft apartment life is really for me or whether I will always prefer my own rose-sprinkled life here…

Preferably without the blister please.

#VatMoss – The BrocanteHome Solution

Good news Sweeties! You will be pleased to hear that I have finally established a solution to my EU Vat dilemma, and I am pleased to be able to share my plans for 2015 with you here and now…

goodnews

As you know, the rules on VAT for digital download sales changed on the first of January this year and in order to avoid having to register to pay VAT in all countries in the EU it is necessary for me to direct all my sales through a third party market place, and though the jury is still out on whether this is likely to alter in the future, I have assurances from the HMRC and the marketplaces I have chosen to work with, that filtering my e-books and membership program through such services will not incur any VAT responsibility for Brocantehome as it will be handled by the services themselves.

So here is what is going to happen: with immediate effect, my associations with both Shopify and the SendOwl service I have used to automatically supply my e-books will cease, and all existing e-books and Superstar membership will now be sold through either Paddle, Payhip or indeed Amazon.

The Downloads

I have thought long and hard about these changes: at one point considering, as so many of you suggested, moving everything on to the Kindle, but this simply does not work for my planners and 356 Housekeeping solutions, so as I want to still be able to offer these programs to new and existing readers, they will now be handled by Paltip and in the immediate future, in my Etsy store, and VAT will be added according to your country at the checkout.

One of the bonuses of working with Paltip is that I am now able to offer permanent PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN prices with a minimum set by myself, meaning that hopefully more of you will be able to build up a library of Brocantehome vintage housekeeping and well-being solutions…

Pay what you can prices, then are available on the e-books on this page: so where ever you see a price with an additional + sign,  you simply change the price you are willing to pay in the checkout box and you will be taken to Paypal to complete your order – or indeed you pay the suggested minimum price.

As so many of the downloads have been available for a number of years now, the new suggested prices reflect that, and furthermore take in to account the pricing structure necessitated by potential future sales on Amazon.

The Superstar Program

Next up, the Superstar Program will now be handled by Paddle. I will be issuing further details about this in a separate post, but in the meantime please rest assured that for existing superstars, nothing will change and I will re-commence the Shine program in the Salon next week.

The School of Life

For the moment, the School of Life will have to be dis-continued because there is no easy work around for payment without VAT liability. I am upset about this, because CourseCraft allowed me to offer financially accessible short courses, and to structure my writing in a way that I had not done before, however I am aware that many of you also asked for PDF downloads of the courses and so I am re-configuring the two existing short courses into PDF’s and they will be available in the store as soon as they are complete. In the future I may offer the courses I planned to create in the School of Life as a folio of affordable e-books or Kindle books, but this is yet to be decided.

The Housekeepers Digest.

I haven’t forgotten about it Darlings! This too will now be sold through Payhip, and those who paid last year will receive each issue, when it commences, utterly free of charge. The reason why it was stalled initially is because like The Creative Home Spa and The Puttery Home Companion, these products were layed out and written on Richard’s Mac and as I no longer have access to that computer, I am having to re-design and edit them all over again. Please rest assured that all existing obligations will be fulfilled in the coming months me Darlings…

The Amazon Books.

As you know I currently have three Kindle books for Amazon available and to my delight, sales remain consistent. I appreciate this platform as a means of more successfully distributing both my work and the Brocantehome message, and it is my intention to make more of my work available there in the future.

In the foreseeable future, this means that neither A Year of Puttery Treats or Muse will be available to download here as I am having them converted ready to sell on Amazon. As time goes by I hope to move more of my existing part-works on to Amazon, to make them more accessible to both new and existing readers alike. And in 2015, a brand new book, The BrocanteHome Book of Days will be available exclusively for Kindle readers.

In conclusion…

I really hope that all this makes sense to each and everyone of you. It has been an incredibly hairy time, and at the end of last year, like so many other small on-line businesses affected by the arrival of #VATMOSS, I really couldn’t see a future for Brocantehome but where there is a will, there is always a way, and though I deeply regret what has turned out to be the most necessary (and rather financially frightening!) upheaval, I also believe that it has offered me opportunity to look closely at my existing body of work and to map out a workable, inspirational plan for my writing in 2015.

So here’s to a New Year  Darlings. All shall be well. And all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well…

101 Things About Me – The 2015 Edition

Yep. A new collection of random facts about yours truly….

she always wears black

1. The pin above, sent to me by my lovely Ouissi, could not be more me. I do always wear black. But there are rainbows in my head.

2.  I am smiling too much lately. I swear the shock is giving me jaw-ache.

3. I genuinely like green smoothies. Even when I have chucked beetroot into them and turned them a frightening shade of grey.

4. Now that I live by myself again, I am truly bewildered to note that it was ME messing the house up all along. What a bummer. I did so enjoy having someone else to blame.

5. I eat coconut oil by the spoonful.

6. I once knew a man who hated himself so much he showered in the dark. It still makes me sad.

7. I will never, ever, NEVER forgive Alfie for chewing the toe off the only heels I have ever owned that were actually a pleasure to wear.

8. I am still considering Botox. Somebody talk me out of it.

9. I hold a lot of store by first kisses. The man who kissed me with his hand down the toilet was on to a loser from the beginning. I still think ferrets are a deal-breaker too.

10.  I think Perez Hilton needs stringing up.

11. The one and only time I have ever been ludicrously paralytic, I popped my face in to a snowy bush and beamed at my surrounding family with ice dripping off my nose.

12. Whenever he wants to cheer me up, Finley plays the video below and then freezes it at the moment when Roman Reigns licks his lips. I screech with delight and Finley falls apart laughing…

13. I am scared stiff of having a teenager in the house. I truly think its time someone worked out how to keep our children little sweethearts forever.

14. “Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” – This, from Katherine Mansfield is my 2015 mantra…

15. Peanut butter is my latest culinary obsession.

16. I have become the most outrageously fickle reader. I have taken up judging books by their first paragraph and moving on quickly if they do not please me immediately. From now on I am also going to apply this policy to men.

17. I have the most shockingly loud laugh. Really. People turn around and stare.

18. Sometimes I accidentally accompany my loud laugh with a quick wallop for the person who has made me chuckle, in an ooooh you are awful way. No-one appreciates it, but I never learn.

19. You only have to touch me and I bruise. At any moment you could strip me off and wonder how very accident prone one woman could be.

20. I am OBSESSED with my eyebrows. I wanna go HD.

21. I say hello to people I pass in my lane and feel affronted when they do not say hello back.

22. There are now THREE hairs growing out of my chin in a willy-nilly fashion.

23.  I am worried sick about whether I have made the right choice for Finn’s secondary school place. The proof will be in the all grown-up pudding I suppose…

24. I think I hero-worship Kim Kardashian quite as much as I do because she is the only woman on the planet with a bum bigger than mine.

25. I shouldn’t shop in T.K.Maxx. My house is beginning to resemble one of it’s clearance aisles.

26. I am not adverse to eating my meals standing at the fridge Nigella Lawson style.

27. Though I am not sure I approve of Nigella Lawson any more.

28. There is a little girl in Finley’s class I want him to marry. He has told me that sadly it won’t be possible because she has a neck like a turkey and he will not be having a girlfriend  anyway because he is going to get himself a reclining chair instead. Somewhere along the way I feel I have failed in my duty to instil the right values in to my silly son.

29. I cannot remember the last time I went swimming.

30. Occasionally I get in bed at six-thirty and appal my Mother.

31.  I like hotel rooms better than any other place in the world. My number one ambition is to become an eccentric geriatric occupying an expensive suite and eating only room service.

32. I have got a floor -length flowery pull-it-on-over-my-head fleecy robe that makes other people snort with derision. But is so cosy that frankly I do not care.

33. I think I do not care should probably be tattooed on to my (wrinkly) forehead.

34. I have got a squodge of fat on my inner left thigh I do not have on my right one. Why oh why oh why?

35.  Damn You AutoCorrect is my absolute favourite waste of time. Second only to Jeremy Kyle.

36. Kath bought me a cup at Christmas that totally sums me up. It says…

May, Ali / A bit jumbled; home and cosy; preposterously always right, damn it.

37. Because I am preposterously, always right, about everything. The rest of the world just hasn’t realised it yet.

38. If I ever go out without my usual smutty eye make-up I can guarantee somebody, somewhere will ask me if I am ill.

39. Keeping all the chargers required to keep my various devices organised, is going to be the death of me.

40. If trying to get Finn to keep his bedroom tidy doesn’t finish me off first.

41.  This was the year that I gave up control-freakery and allowed Finley to decorate the Christmas Tree. #letsnotgothere

42. As a result, I will not be giving up control-freakery in any other area, ever again. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

43.  It struck me the other day that maybe this teeny house is too little in which to live a bigger life. Maybe I have got goldfish syndrome?

44. I went the tip every day last week. I am crazy busy chucking my whole life away.

45. Emotional sluttery, aka Carrie Bradshaw, has long been my downfall. I cannot hold anything in. Ask me and I will tell you. Don’t ask me and I will probably tell you.

46. The pin above, sent to me by my lovely Ouissi, could not be more me. I do always wear black. But there are rainbows in my head.

47. I haven’t baked for such a long time. I have quite forgotten how.

48.  Tramping through mud in my wellies is the next best thing to meditation for me.

49. My belly button is still a no-go zone. And my caesarean scar remains utterly numb.

50. Sometimes I get carried away with my make-up and turn up on the school playground looking like RuPaul.

51. In a shop the other day, I had a twenty minute, wildly enthusiastic conversation with a woman who seemed to know me terribly well. As we walked away, Finley smirked and said “You have absolutely no idea who that was do you?”. The child can read me like a book. Sorry lady. It will probably come to me in the middle of the night soon.

52.  If I cannot sleep I count backwards form 23 and do not ever remember getting past thirteen. This then is my last resort sleeping tactic.

53. If I do not answer the phone to my Dad, he calls me later and tells me that he was hanging from the gutter of the roof he has been fixing and he now realises he cannot rely on me.

54. Relying on me is probably a very bad idea anyway. Best to just be grateful for what you get or else you will send yourself around the bend.

55. Daffodils delight me.

56. As does Bathtub Gin. With elderflower tonic please.

57. Once upon a time a friend informed me that she had chucked a photo of me out because it wasn’t “flattering”. Whatever was on that photo has haunted me ever since. So bad she had to put it in the bin??

58.  Lately I have been listening Madonna’s entire back catalogue on the way to school and terrifying the kids by singing at the top of my voice. My Like a VIr-ir-ir-ir-gins have to be heard to be believed.

59. Owning two pets is more than I can cope with. They fight like cat and dog.

60. Korma is the hottest curry I can swallow. Chillies should be banned.

61. I am impossibly impatient. I hate waiting for anything. Having to endure nine months of pregnancy was my idea of torture. Waiting for a phone call nearly kills me.

62. I get the most terrible restless legs and spend many a night kicking my blankets around and plotting the deaths of all those who sleep well.

63. I may have turned in to the most awful commitment-phobe.

64. I dither and waffle and giggle when I find myself talking to Finley’s twenty something teachers. As if these youthful flippertyjibbits were not young enough to be my children too. Is it any wonder Finn runs rings around me?

65. A gathering of the women in my family is the very best kind of gathering that there is.

66. I will be 43 in two months time. But I am forever 23 in my head. 23 was wonderful. So 43 had better be good or else I am going to have the Mother of all hissy fits.

67. That sounded scarier than it would be. My hissy fits are disappointingly tame. I was born without a temper.

68. I am ALWAYS cold. Except first thing in the morning when I am absolutely roasting. Oh hell. Is it a middle-aged thing?

69. Wrestling is the only sport I have ever watched without wanting to punch the television.

70. My Dad has got an imaginary boat to which he banishes people he doesn’t like. Presumably in the hope it will spring a leak and sink forever more with Piers Morgan on board. One of these days I am going to have to hop on and rescue Robbie Williams.

71. I wasn’t cut out to train a dog.

72. I once got my sandal caught under the clutch of my car and sped at breakneck speed towards a woman who dropped her shopping and started to run. I am sending good karma to her in apology.

73.  I haven’t taken Finn abroad yet because I worry about fathoming his gluten free safety in foreign restaurants. It is a complicated business here, yet alone where we do not speak the same language.

74. I giggle a lot. I am a giggly woman. And I blush. And get flustered. And talk too much. Especially in the midst of groups of women. Women en masse frighten me.

75. I once keeled over flat on my face in a bar. I don’t know how. But my friends nearly died laughing.

76. And I once nearly squashed Mark Owen of Take That fame to death, when I tripped over him on the stairs in a shop in Manchester.

77. As you can probably tell I am accident prone. I don’t seem capable of identifying where my body starts and ends.

78. I have gone off most food. It’s the most dreadful bore.

79. If I had to choose though, I would always go for savoury over sweet.

80. I would like to hire a person to tickle my feet while I watch Coronation Street.

81. My Mum calls me “Trouble On A Butty”. I am not.

82. I am NEVER late.

83. And I NEVER watch daytime television. That way sloth lies.

84. But I am addicted to TV of the Real Housewives ilk. I absolutely adore Yolanda from Beverly Hills.

85. I pop vast amounts of vitamins and supplements. Holland and Barrett is one of my favourite shops.

86. I like talking into the early hours better than almost anything in the world. The truth comes out after midnight doesn’t it?

87. My Mum says the best years of her life were between 50 and 52. My best might be yet to come…

88. There are things in this life I never want to do. Skiing is top of my list.

89. I hope Finley wears onesies forever and ever. He is the epitome of cute in them.

90. I still wear Obsession perfume. It feels like home.

91. Once upon a time I said “Hello doggy” to a passing Chihuahua and my friends seem to consider this absolute proof that I am halfway to crazy.

92. I sometime wonder what kind of Mummy I would have been if I’d had a little girl.

93. If I was a man I would grow one of those fabulous beards so I had something to play with when I was bored.

94. My passion for housekeeping hasn’t faded but my ability to keep house seems somewhat compromised at the moment.

95. Though I do not believe in horoscopes, I fit the description of an Aries woman to a t.

96. Mark keeps telling me that one day Finn won’t need me and the very idea utterly freaks me out.

97. I look like I have been banged on the head with a hammer in a hat. #truestory

98. Looking at other people’s Facebook profiles always makes me feel like I am spying on them.

99. I cannot hear at a certain pitch, so talking to me in a noisy room is a pointless exercise. I will make up what I think you are trying to tell me and laugh in inappropriate places.

100. I absolutely adore the kind of really rubbish little sandwiches you get at kids parties.

101. And I  will never, ever tire of the wonderful world of blogging…

Crackers In Bed

Now there’s a title likely to worry my Mum. But then it is her fault that what I am about to type is fluttering around my brain. You see we were talking about the dog, who currently sleeps in a cage at the end of my bed because he simply cannot live without me and I was moaning about said situation because now I have my bedroom back to myself, I had fancied myself free of the sound of snoring and middle of the night snuffling but hells bells no: as usual the universe has other ideas and Alfie is much noisier than the man who went before him.

crackersinbed

Yeah, there is just no rest for the wicked and yep I am the kind of woman who likes a good moan. So Mum listened and then said “Well why don’t you do what we do when he stays with us and put his cage on the landing where he can see you, but you can’t hear him?” and I pulled the kind of face I reserve for particularly stupid ideas and told her that that would never work because I would never sleep again if I had to try and slumber in full view of whoever might be prowling around my house in the small hours. And that heck, how in the name of all that barks, is a person supposed to fall asleep without firmly closing the door upon potential criminal or ghostly activity?

So she said, oh noooooooo. I couldn’t possibly sleep with the door shut. I need to know what is going on. Which struck me as utterly preposterous because when she is asleep she cannot possibly know what is going on now can she, and then what? No warning as the door creaks open? No time to see intruder crossing the room or ghost wafting about before it strokes the hair away from her face? Oh I couldn’t. I just couldn’t!

Now I do believe we all have our idiosyncrasies. But that those we entertain when it comes to our safety in the bedroom are particularly prevalent. I mean clearly if an intruder is planning on robbing my imaginary safe or a ghost is going to flutter about woo-hooing or doing whatever it is that ghosts do, neither entities are likely to be put off by a closed door, no matter how firmly I bang it every night. And the fact that I will always insist on sleeping as far away from the door as possible will afford me only seconds in the event of an attack because I live in a teeny tiny cottage not Buckingham Palace and hopping across the bed could occur in the flash of a balaclava.

And then there is the knicker situation. Beware. I am about to reveal more information than you could possibly ever need to know, but there isn’t a hope in hell that I could ever drift off to sleep without knickers on. It wouldn’t matter if I was wearing three onesies and a dressing gown. I would still need knickers in the night. I could go the supermarket without them  (I don’t, but I’m just saying, I could) but getting into bed without knickers is downright unthinkable to me because it makes me feel… vulnerable. Yep. To me, the average pair of lacy knickers ensure my safety to exactly the same degree as keeping a small shotgun in my bedside drawer would!

It is clear then that we are all, to one degree or another, crackers in bed. (Some of us, clearly more than most!). I know a woman who locks her bedroom door. Another who sleeps with the light on. And one who cannot sleep without knowing that the teeny little dressing gown she wore as a baby (and christened Jimmy), is safely tucked under her pillow or heaven knows what could happen in the middle of the night. We are all a bit weird. We are ALL at our most vulnerable when we are close our eyes to sleep, so I guess it’s a matter of whatever gets you through the night for all us.

In my case a pair of knickers, a glass of water I won’t drink, my car keys -apparently so, if necessary, I can jump out of the window and straight in to the safety of my little blue brum!- and a snoring puppy. Bless my irrational heart.

What Does the Future Hold For Brocante?

The truthful answer is that I don’t know. It is exactly two weeks in to the New Year and the only realisations I have come to are that A) I feel all at odds with myself when I am not blogging. B) Finley will ALWAYS manage to get sick during the second week in January and C) I will always be ridiculous.

Brocante Fortune

Heckity pie yes. The kind of ridiculous that falls over in hospital car parks, faints, vomits and fails quite dramatically to worry eleven year old son, who nearly falls over himself laughing after watching me hurtle towards an unsuspecting Volvo, (while falling off both pavement and high heel), and then decides after seeing it on a hospital poster that I must have carbon monoxide poisoning and promptly phones my Mum to inform her of this sorry turn of events.

Oh yes my dears, I am back. I am back without the sensible head I was hoping to stitch on before I came back. Back without a firm plan for going in to battle with #Vatmoss and back after talking to everybody I know and coming to the conclusion that what I really want to do, above all else, is write.

And so rather than trying to re-invent the wheel behind the scenes, I am back with a head full of ideas and a new raison d’etre: to help you create a life abundant with good old-fashioned well-being. I am back with a bare-bones site and the resolve to get back to the real business of blogging: not drowning myself in admin and troublesome kerfuffles, but inspiring you daily with all the little things it takes to live life the BrocanteHome way.

Why have I changed the tag line from Vintage Housekeeping to Vintage Well-being after all these years? For oh so many reasons. Because I spoke to a lovely, wise former marketing man who said that “housekeeping” did not encompass the way of life I wanted my lovely readers to embrace. Because I want to be able to talk about things that fall outside the remit of “housekeeping” while still staying true to my belief that our homes shape who we are. Because I want to be able to talk about whatever takes my fancy with you in that moment: to stop censoring my writing and to just let it flow. I have grown up. And I want Brocantehome to grow with me.

I know you have a lot of questions. Indeed I have dithered about coming black to blogging before I have worked out a firm plan for the continued monetisation of the site in light of the new EU directives on VAT, but I know this from all the lovely emails you have sent me in the meantime- that you would rather I carried the conversation on here, allowed you to help me shape the future of Brocantehome by seeking, as always, your opinion, and carried on my occasionally witty, usually nutty, oft inspirational ramblings in the meantime.

This then is for my sanity and yours. So in the words of Miranda’s charming little friend: bear with won’t you? As soon as I have made firm decisions about the future of my downloads, books and Superstar program I promise you will be the first to know, and all existing obligations will be met…

In the meantime, roll on 2015: I do believe I am ready for you and whatever delicious madness, you may, this way bring!

Leonie’s Workbooks Are Here!

Oh me Darlings. I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am for all the comments and emails you sent me yesterday. It is astonishing to feel so loved and to find in your words so much comfort, reassurance and yes… help. Thank-you. As always, thank-you. Today I feel lifted. Almost held up. And I am so very, very grateful.

It is time to look to to the future. Though I have always paid lip-service to making plans for my tomorrows, in the past few years, those plans have been spectacularly bull-dozed time and time again, mostly I think because I have always been so willing to take my eye off the ball and attend to somebody else’s needs. This year, 2015, I so very much want it to be different: I want to commit every last inch of me to making our world a better place for Finn and I, and I desperately want to achieve all that I have had to leave by the wayside in recent times.

Which is why I am so grateful for the serendipitous arrival of Leonie Dawson’s 2015 workbooks in my in-box. Sometimes a person needs to stop and take stock. To make links between what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to make things right. She needs to sit down, quite alone and make plans, or else she will continue to flounder: to tread cold, exhausted water while failing to imagine exactly how she can get back on track with creating a life that matters.

Leonie is so very inspirational. She is the kind of woman who tells it like it is. Even when that is hard to hear. But heckity pie, she is real. This is a woman with real oozing out of her pores and I know for a fact that if I were to sit down in front of her and tell her how I came to be quite so very down and almost, but not quite, out, she would look at me aghast and tell me to throw every fibre of my being in to creating the kind of life where no such thing could ever, ever be allowed to happen to me again.

This year I am going to heed her. I am going to use her prompts to pull me out of the mire and concentrate on me. What a revelation that might be my lovely readers. Won’t you let Leonie pull yourself out of stuck too?