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Well, they do say, what goes round comes round in life. So it has fallen to me to pass the baton back to Incy Black. Not the same baton.  No I got me a whole new one courtesy of the equally lovely and generous, Charley Descoteaux, who has an interview coming up here shortly for her forthcoming release, Comfort and Joy…watch this space.

This baton comes under the tag…Look. The idea is you find the word in your current WIP. Mine is actually taking the kitchen to bits since I said to the other half, ‘Is that not a patch of damp on the kitchen wall? Look at the mess I have made trying to wipe it off.’ So there is a lot of looking in my current WIP. Looking at paint. Looking at polyfiller. Looking at sealant. Looking at turning the air blue to match the ladder.

Oh, for a nice weekend at Glencoe, to avoid all this looking. But the last time we went at this time of the year. The last time we came back rather was the day the big storm hit central Scotland. The three hour journey took seven and a half hours. In fact you might say the hour and a half journey took six, as it wasn’t till we turned left at  Lochearnhead we realized on the whole, we would rather have gone onto Stirling instead. Maybe seen the castle. The monument……  Look.

Yes. I just love that moment in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where it’s last chance saloon, Sundance confesses he can’t swim and Butch says, ‘Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.’ We had one of these after slithering into a sloping layby, miles from anywhere.  As fast as we dug – yes we had come prepared –  the space filled up. The front wheel was jammed against something and the only way out, I could see was to take the car further down the slope to free the wheel. Risky? We were stuck anyway.  Of course, had we known how much more stuck we were going to be and how we would be happily knocking on car windows, saying ‘Look. Do you have a shovel? ‘ organising digging teams once we got back on the road, because look, central Scotland was at a standstill, we would have stayed where we were.

It’s why the other half now says..Look. No way are we going there again at this time of year….Right?

Anyway…I hope you are liking all these nice pictures, Paul and Robert looking quite athletic here, going in for a swim. Here demonstrating their gold medalist shooting capabilites. 

Here, Paul on a bike.  

I hope you aren’t thinking I would do anything rather than paste this extract. If I was I would also show you the pic of my older girl doing this scene in a play about a movie buff. But you will admit, what with Butch and the Kid’s boxing, riding, roller-skating, sprinting, hurdling  and long-jumping antics,  it is probably quite wrong to classify this pic as a western, just because Butch and Sun didn’t run round the beach at St.Andrews. There are far more field events covered here than in Chariots of Fire. Seen here, by the way. 

A pity they went to Bolivia. They could have played golf in St. Andrews.  But given the weather, I don’t blame them. You will also admit you would rather look at these pictures. I would anyway and I am sure my friend Lora would too.

To return to the word look – Sorry Charley, I am just being bad, procrastinating – imagine if only that was a basic reading book of the John and Janet variety, except they probably aren’t called John and Janet these days, in which case I would be writing……Look Chardonnay see Damon.

Even worse…imagine your WIP didn’t have that word – look. Incy Black tried to. Alas, she got a shock.

 All right…all right…I will stop this now.  I will give you an extract.

 ‘Although he still looked’

 There. I hope you liked that. If not you can have this one.

 ‘She didn’t look like a widow.’

 No? Well what about?

 ‘…..she’d looked unreal. A forest fairy. A tree sprite.’  

 Look, it’s Christmas Eve okay, here in this memory…what more do you want?

 All right. I just don’t like pasting unedited excerpts, but hey, if you are still here then okay. Okay.

 ‘“Yes.  Hic. She lives s’lere with some s’lerving girls, Pearl and Ruby, she brought from London. Very, very refined girls. So I’m afraid, we get no gossip. Hic. Not even a snifter.  Anyway, why are you so – hic – s’interested in Lady Armstrong?” Tilly demanded. “Do you know her? Hic.”

Know her?

Ten years ago on Christmas Eve, the most stunning, most ethereally beautiful girl he had ever seen, accepted a lift in his coach. She kissed him. Then disappeared into thin air.

 He had never forgotten it. The ice-fire of her lips. Or her. Or the gift she’d somehow slipped into his pocket, while he sprawled there, dazedly thinking if this was heaven, he’d forfeit the rest of his life now.     

 The Wentworth  emeralds.        

 His father needn’t have looked that far after all.

Now, unless he was completely mistaken, that damned bitch was sitting by the library fire in respectable widow’s weeds, the coral lips parted in pretended conversation with his mother’s cankerous ward, Belle.’   


Now I am tagging the following very lucky people. And going to lie down in a darkened room

Incy Black


Jessica Baker


Catherine Cavendish


Elin Gregory