Monday 20 December 2010

Now My Mum's At It...

It's not just my Dad who can be confusing. My Mum was sitting reading the paper - which is always a fraught time of the morning, since her conversation is interspersed with such gems as "Barbara Windsor is no better than she should be" and "I don't know why they don't just set fire to it" (don't ask). Today's discussion went like this:

Mum: I don't understand that Looky-Loo thingy.

Me: That what?

Mum: You know. That Justin LeStrange thing.

I, of course, am still none the wiser.

Mum: The com-poo-ter thing. [That is how computer is pronounced, by the way]

Me: WikiLeaks? Julian Assange?

Mum: Yes, that's what I said.

I mentioned in my previous post that my parents live in a wee retirement community. It's lovely, and very friendly. Every Christmas, there is a very detailed Christmas display with lights and snowmen and Santas and elves. Here's a picture of it.

But wait - let's get a close-up of Scary Santa and Evil Elf, shall we? Yep, that's right. It's a good job this place is full of pensioners, rather than children. I've only been here 2 nights and both of them have been filled with nightmares about that elf.

I think Evil Elf is saying to Scary blue eyeshadow-wearing Santa "Watch it, perv. You do that again and it won't just be your thumb I'll tie around your pipe."

My Mum goes for a walk up the corridor a few times a day. When the display was in the process of being built she was shocked to see what she thought was half a naked body lying in the corridor. It was Evil Elf when he was without his Elf costume. So, just Evil then.

I am staying upstairs while I'm here, in the building's guest room. In the room is a camp bed which was taken downstairs for my brother to sleep on. We had a little discussion about who was to carry it:

Mum: I'll send your Dad up for it.

Me: Dad's nearly 80. Darren (my brother) and I will bring it down.

Mum: Darren can help your Dad. But don't let Darren walk backwards down the stairs.

Me: Why?

Mum: I don't want him falling and breaking his neck.

Me: What about Dad? What about an 80 year-old man falling downstairs and breaking his neck?

My Mum shrugged, thought for a moment and said: Your Dad and Darren can carry the campbed. You walk downstairs in front of them, then you'll break their fall.

Cheers, Mater.

However, I finally saw her get her come-uppance today. She introduced me to one of her neighbours today. A dear, tiny 90 year-old lady who said to me "How do you put up with your mum, dear? She's a bit..." and then she made a face that I wish I could have bottled and dragged out to show my Mum from time to time.

Since I am currently writing a screenplay about a retirement community, this is all invaluable research...

Anyway, I promise I won't bore you with family tales any more. On to the Scottish Crime Fiction news.

Noirboiled Notes has a quickie with Allan Guthrie.

The Globe and Mail reviews Louise Welsh's NAMING THE BONES, the Irish Independent reviews Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, the Book Faerie reviews Ian Rankin's THE COMPLAINTS and Shelf Abuse reviews Denise Mina's A SICKNESS IN THE FAMILY, as does Blogging For A Good Book.

See Lin Anderson, Karen Campbell and Aline Templeton at Edinburgh's Waterstone's West End on February 3rd. And Tony Black is in Florida on January 20th. Lucky Tony.

The Guardian talks about authors twittering.

Scriblets looks at Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy.

Ian Rankin on Deutsche Welle.

Bertie's Christmas by Alexander McCall Smith in The Scotsman. And an article in the Telegraph on McCall Smith and online novels.

The Guardian talks about the difficulties of bringing crime fiction to TV, particularly in terms of casting (I love the line "It's like coming home for Christmas and finding your Nan has been replaced by Dougray Scott.")


  1. That clinches it. I am definitely coming to hug your parents goodbye when the Apocalypse is nigh :)

  2. Pleeeease do bore us! After all the murders we´ve read, a bit of nice, harmonius family life is exactly what we need.

  3. Donna - I love your family stories! And your parents are absolutely priceless. So please keep those stories coming. I look forward to them.

  4. Here's my vote to keep entertaining us with your family stories! I love it! :)

    I hope you have tons of fun with your parents over the holidays!!

  5. Erm, you DO know you'll turn into your mother, don't you? Probably soon. I'm already more my mother than myself by now.

  6. Bernadette - and me?????

    Dorte - my brother has now arrived - all peace, quiet and harmony has now gone.

    Margot - not pricelee - yours for a small fee :o)

    Book Nut - thank you very much, and you!

    Bookwitch - please, noooooooooooooooooooo!

  7. Frankly that Evil Elf looks less like a mannequin and more like the rather fresh corpse of a young and not entirely unattractive man, but lacquered. And posed.

    Now I'm going to have nightmares.

  8. That Evil Elf is giving me a nightmare tonight, and I'm just looking at its photo. Won't that scare the older folks?

    Your parents sound priceless is right. And how you figured out WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is beyond me...but it must be years of experience in translating.

    Keep up the stories; they're great.

  9. The Guardian doesn't mention the TV adaptation that haunts most crime writers: the Hale and Pace version of Reg Hill's Pascoe & Dalziel novels. Stephen Tomkinson probably seemed a good prospect as Banks after that.
    Please don't stop writing about your family - they sound great!

  10. Lynn - ah - just how I like my men - lacquered and posed :o)

    Kathy - it is indeed years of experience :o) And thank you.

    Janet - oh god - I'd forgotten the Hale and Pace Dalziel and Pascoe.

  11. Now, you be nice to your parents, you hear? And wish them a Happy Christmas from me. And a Happy Christmas to you, too, of course.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  12. Peter - I will be nice, I promise. And they say to say hello and Happy Christmas to you, too.