Lockdown Blues

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t shake off the blues. But… here’s what I’ve been getting up to lately – kittens, reading, writing, gaming, & gardening…

Figaro & Ember

I mentioned that we were getting two kittens at the beginning of June. We have them, now, and they are adorable little creatures. I’m looking forward to describing their adventures to you in the coming years.

They came from a very lovely lady whose cat had had a sneaky dalliance just a few days before she was due to be spayed. She helped their mummy bring them into this world and looked after them during lockdown. And now they have come to live with us.

We’ve chosen to call them Figaro Felice and Ember Eclipse. We think Figaro (in the purple collar) is a boy and Ember (in the green collar) is a girl. They both have their own very definite personalities already and we love them more and more each day.

They are also helping us to keep sane in an otherwise mentally/emotionally challenging time.

Prince Jasper

Jasper isn’t too thrilled, yet, with his new companions. That may be because another cat outside our home has possibly injured him during lockdown. He came in with a tuft of fur pulled on his hindquarters at some point the previous week. As we had similar injuries on both Salem and Barley, I’d been keeping an eye on him.

Unfortunately, he seemed to be becoming sore and there was a lump forming. Those of you who have been reading for a while will know that Jasper had an operation on one of his hips last year to remove the ball joint. It seemed like it was that hip where the lump was forming.

In the end, we had a video consultation with our vets and she agreed it did look like the beginning of an abscess from a cat bite. Jasper has been happier since being on painkillers and antibiotics, though, which means he’s less upset by the new arrivals. We’re hoping that they’ll all become friends. Especially as Jasper has been longing for a more active kitty to play with for a while.

My only worry is that his antibiotics finished today and I don’t know if he should have another course.

Garden Therapy

Gardening, as ever, is helping to temper my mental health. I’ve been concentrating on bulking up the flowers in the area closest to the back door where I have a sort of courtyard and a small seating area that I hope to use more often.

First bloom of my David Austin ‘Falstaff’ rose.

We have been having problems with my three rose standards, this year. The terrible winds had caught them and toppled them a few times, which was incredibly annoying. Part of the problem was that the pots they were in tapered towards the base, making them much easier to overturn.

The reopening of garden centres has helped us to sort this problem out with three new pots. These pots don’t taper towards the base and they’re pretty large so, when filled with soil, they’re pretty hard to turn over. They’re black and plastic, but made to look like barrels. Since repotting, I’ve also topped each of them with white dolomite cobbles (basically some big sparkly white stones), which should help with weight, moisture and weed control.

My house geraniums.

I’m not very good at growing seeds. However, during lockdown, I’ve been trying to grow seeds left over from plants I already have in my garden. The ones that I’ve tried are:

  • Snapdragons (antirrhinums)
  • Penstemon
  • Sweet Rocket (from a packet)
  • Delphinium Larkspur (from a packet)
  • Ecchinacea

The snapdragons have grown really well. Consequently, I could probably open a nursery dedicated entirely to snapdragons. The ecchinacea and delphiniums have also grown pretty well, but I only have two penstemon and two sweet rocket seedlings from a whole slew. I’m a little bit disappointed by that.

Still, at least I have plenty of snapdragons to fill up gaps in my garden beds!

Writing

If you check the front page of the website on your computer often, you’ll see that I have a few projects on the go at once. The two I’m concentrating on at the moment are Alpha Submission and Through The Veil.

Alpha Submission is the sequel to my latest book Alpha Domination, which I released just last year. I’ve had a couple of people asking me what happens next and, well, this is it…

After the ending of Alpha Domination, all I can tell you is that Georgina is back and she’s left the snow far behind. We find out more about AJD. More about the world Georgina has become a part of. And more about her family.

The question is… what happened to Nathaniel?

I wish I could tell you, but I promise you’ll find out in Alpha Submission.

Through The Veil is the next instalment of the Indigo Skies series, coming right on the tails of Taste Of Blood.

Whilst we’ve left the snow behind in Alpha Submission, we’ve found it in Through The Veil. The book will follow Violet as she struggles further with her powers and the loss of Ruari. She’s starting to go off the rails when Maloney intervenes, suggesting she takes a holiday.

Only, Violet’s holiday has her drowning in death and deceit…

Through The Veil – Book 6 of the Indigo Skies series.

Reading & Gaming

In between gardening and my own writing, I’ve been relaxing by reading and gaming. I have quite a few books on my TBR pile. Mr Bear always buys me some new tomes every Christmas and sometimes it takes me unfortunately longer than others to get around to reading them.

I’ve already started and finished the first in the Soul Charmer series by Chelsea Mueller after her first book, Borrowed Souls, featured on my Top Ten Fantasy Book Covers list. I would recommend it to anyone who likes moral quandaries in dystopias with a dash of magic and romance. In fact, Mr Bear has already ordered me the second in the series.

Of course, I still have other titles on my TBR pile. These are the books on my shelf that I’ve been bought:

  • Die For Me – Amy Plum
  • Kissing Sin – Keri Arthur
  • Otherworld Nights – Kelley Armstrong
  • Otherworld Secrets – Kelley Armstrong
  • The Mammoth Book Of Paranormal Romance – Various Authors
  • Hereafter – Tara Hudson

But I haven’t just been reading. I’ve been gaming as well.

I’ve been playing a version of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on the WiiU. It’s been more a play through for nostalgia’s sake than anything else.

Mr Bear, on the other hand, has been playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution (the director’s cut). It’s been interesting to watch and I’m quite tempted to have a play myself. However, I won’t be putting it on maximum difficulty like him. I like gaming, but I know I’m not great at it.

In Conclusion

Stay inside. Stay safe. And happy reading!

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