Life Update

Hi All,

I know it has been a while since I last did a post but I promise I have a very good reason.

In late July my husband was admitted to hospital with what they thought was an abscess in his upper thigh.  Following a short stay and surgery to drain it, at which biopsies were taken, he was discharged from hospital.  A week later, he was readmitted as it appeared that the abscess had filled again.

This time dermatology were brought on board and a different diagnosis was discussed.  Just when we thought we were getting somewhere, another department was brought on board, Haematology.  As I lost my mum to Leukaemia, the Haematology Department were people I was quite familiar with and alarm bells started to go off in my head.

My worst fears were confirmed whenever my husband was given a diagnosis of Cancer (Aniplastic Large Cell Lymphoma).  Whenever you hear the words Cancer the next thing you want to hear is Stage 1 and early.

I was devastated with the news and so frightened that I was going to loose him that my sister had to come stay with me (I really don’t know how I would have coped without her).  She had to continually drum into my head that he was going to be okay and even now I am still so worried.

A week after his diagnosis, he had his first Chemotherapy in the hospital and two days later I got him home.  It was a very emotional time for us both.  I can honestly say that I can count on one hand the times we have been apart in our 19 years of marriage, so simple things like being able to say goodnight face to face rather than by text were wonderful.

He has been exceptionally lucky with the Chemo, other than the inevitable hair loss, he has escaped the side effects rightly.  A grumbly tummy and a little fatigue are the height of his symptoms.  In fact because he has been tolerating the Chemo so well, he has been able to have the cycles every 2 weeks instead of the usual 3 weekly.

This coming Thursday is the final in his planned 6 cycles and depending on whether or not he has to have Radiotherapy, 6 weeks after that he will have a scan to determine whether or not the Chemo has been successful.

Today is our wedding anniversary and I hope to have many, many more with him.

I promise I’ll keep you posted once I have more news.

Yours,

Darcie

Hyperion Legacy Update!

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Hyperions Folly Cover 07-January-2016 Final

Just a quick update!  The Hyperion Legacy books have disappeared for a short spell, while they get a much needed re-vamp.  As well as receiving new covers, titles and blurbs, we will get the chance to fix all those annoying little errors that escaped our attention the first time.

In the meantime, I am busy working my way through the third book in the series which I hope will be released later this year.

I promise I will keep you informed of any updates whenever they are available.

Yours,
Darcie

Mount Stewart House

IMG_20160703_161918Over the weekend, we had friends to stay and among the many activities we did together, my favourite by far, was a visit to one of the local stately homes.

Mount Stewart is an 19th-century house and garden located in County Down, Northern Ireland.  It was once the summer retreat for the 7th Marquess of Londonderry and his wife Edith.  Although the National Trust now own the property, Lady Rose Lauritzen, the great granddaughter of the 7th Marquess still resides there 6 months of the year.

Having had £7.5million invested in it by the National Trust, it has been restored to it’s former glory.

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The entrance to the
Italian Garden
just one of the many amazing gardens
designed by Lady Londonderry herself

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The above lobby was my inspiration for Blackstock’s Demesne
in the Hyperion Legacy Book 2

 

IMG_20160703_152423IMG_20160703_151923Mount Stewart saw many famous visitors over the year, including guests like WB Yeats and Prime Ministers’ Neville Chamberlain and Ramsay McDonald.

Opposite is a sample dinner menu, written in French (because all the best menus then were).

 

 

How Chic?

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This is just one of the many magnificent pieces on display
Somehow, against this travel vanity case, my wash bag seems quite pathetic

 

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The Spanish Garden
Another of Lady Londonderry’s beautiful gardens

Our visit to Mount Stewart has given me great food for thought while I work on Book 3, especially the amazing gardens.  Before I go, I thought I would leave you with pictures of some beautiful roses that I came across in my tour.

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Yours,

Darcie

The Barbarian & the Princess

Barbarian & the PrincessIn case your wondering, no this isn’t the title of my latest book, it is instead a miniature wargaming figure that I thought I would share with you.

On one of the many hobby sites my husband follows, he stumbled across this little gem and shared it with me.

The sculpted figure which is approximately 7cm high, is entitled “The Barbarian & the Princess”.  It comes as un-painted figure but the individual who has beautifully painted this one as you can see, has added a little blush to the princess’s cheeks.

Now what do you think has happened to cause those reddened cheeks?  I know what I’m thinking.

Yours,
Darcie

Familiarity or ESP?

XavierMy husband and I have been married for over eighteen years and with that has come a certain amount of familiarity.

For some time now we’ve become very aware, that on a regularly basis, one of us will say what the other is thinking.  Some things are very obvious and it is easy to see how we both came to that line of thinking but others are so completely random that neither of us can come up with a logical reason as to why or how this has happened.

In the past I can remember having a few drinks one evening and my husband didn’t but the next day he woke up with a horrible hangover.  I have had a similar experience with period cramps too.  I had it pain free and he was doubled over in pain.  With the possibility of pain transference I think my husband is probably relieved that we didn’t have any children.

So my question is, are we just so familiar with each other that it seems that we have ESP, or is there something more interesting at work?

Yours,
Darcie

P.S. I promise that I am still writing and I will share with you soon, my latest work in progress.   So please do drop by again.

My Hero

Captain AmericaHero’s come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.  The movies are filled with them.  Let’s face, who doesn’t love Captain America [Sigh]?

In these epic adventures they arrive in the nick of time to save the damsel in distress from some calamity, that is often man made or in a lot of cases self made.

Now everyone who knows me will know that I don’t like creepy crawlies and at the top of that list comes spiders.  I can remember being prepared to sleep out in the hall as a teenager because there was a spider in my room.  Thankfully on this occasion my sister very kindly allowed me to sleep in her room with her.

 

In our house we have two glasses which permanently reside on our window sill (in case we get more than one spider at a time, if we get three, we are royally screwed).  Any normal person walking into their house and seeing a glass upside down in the middle of the floor would probably be asking “What the heck?”.  In our house, my husband doesn’t even bat an eyelid.  He’ll just find me, wherever I am and say one word.

“Spider?”  Once he has confirmation he will put the beastie out.

SpiderNow, last night I was awakened with a sore back.  After tossing and turning for a while, I decided to get up and get some pain killers.  I went into our kitchen acquired the tablets and took them.  Walking back through the living room on my way back to bed, much to my shock, there was this enormous spider (my husband will tell you it wasn’t that big but in my world, it was huge) blocking my path.  To make matters worse, it was between me and the special spider catching glasses.

I tried calling him but having had a pretty stressful day, which is another story, I didn’t get any reply.  What could I do, I was desperate and if I continued to shout for him, I probably would have awakened the next door neighbour too?  In my moment of blind panic, I forgot that our phones had an internal dialling function.  Grabbing the phone which thankfully was on my side of the room and not the monster spider’s side, I called him.  Having had an emergency phone call at 6:30am the previous morning, I’m sure that the sound of another call at 2:30am was not a nice thing to be woken by.

Anyway, he answered the phone and in a panicked voice, I quickly told him my predicament.  He came down the stairs to find me perched on the end of the settee with my feet tucked up below me (I was terrified that he would walk through the door and startle it and it would then run in my direction).  Well apparently not even a man over 6ft tall could startle this spider as it didn’t move.  Calmly as ever, he lifted one of the glasses and popped it over the spider and using a handy piece of card, slipped it under the glass and transported “Syliva” (he’s started naming them all) to the next door neighbour’s garden.  Crisis averted it was now safe to go to bed.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, what my husband did would not be seen as particularly heroic but in my little world, he is my hero.

Love you honey,

Darcie

 

A Hyperion Who’s Who – Update

Hyperions Folly Cover 07-January-2016 FinalI’ve been doing more thinking about the Hyperion Who’s Who and have come up with a few more names.  It’s taken a lot of pondering and in-depth discussion with my sister but I think we’ve finally come to an agreement.

The part of Andrew Caulfield was a very difficult one to find but while watching Jackie Chan’s – The Tuxedo, it came to me.  Jason Isaacs would be perfect! He has the essential blue eyes and the presence and charisma to carry off the part of an English aristocrat and Head of the Hyperion League.

Sam Elliott was of course the perfect choice to play Jasper’s dad, he is so ruggedly handsome and has that very sexy drawl.  Lindsay Duncan is the perfect Juliet (Jasper’s mum), I loved her in Poirot’s The Mystery of the Blue Train.  I’ve also included Dr. Matthews and his lovely wife Sarah.

The pictures are once again, courtesy of Pinterest and if you are curious, I’ve linked the name of each actor to their page on IMDB.com.

Hope you enjoy!

Yours,
Darcie

Richard Armitage

Jasper Carville-Marx
Richard Armitage

Gemma Arterton

Poppy Hamilton
Gemma Arterton

Sam Elliott during 2003 Sundance Film Festival - "Off The Map" - Portraits at YAHOO Movies Portrait Studio in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

Christopher Marx
Sam Elliott
(You’ll have to imagine him with blue eyes)

 

Lindsay Duncan

Juliet Carville-Marx
Lindsay Duncan

Stephen Hagan

Craig Wellesley
Stephen Hagan

Anna Popplewell

Katharine Carville-Marx
Anna Popplewell 

Joe Manganiello

Connor Deacon
Joe Manganiello

Thandie Newton

Rowena Deacon
Thandie Newton

Dan Stevens

Matthew Kingsley
Dan Stevens  

Bradley James

Jamie Kingsley
Bradley James  

Andrew Caulfield
Jason Isaacs

PImage ROME - JUNE 12: Actress Eva Green poses for a portrait shoot on June 12, 2003 in Rome. (Photo by Uli Weber/Exclusive by Getty Images)

Lady Amelia Blackstock
Eva Green
(imagine with light blonde hair)

Tom Hiddleson

Lachlan Blackstock
Tom Hiddleston 

Jessica Findlay Brown

Lady Megan Caulfield
Jessica Brown Findlay

Clive Owen The 63rd International Venice Film Festival - "Children of Men" Premiere - Red Carpet and Inside Palazzo del Cinema Venice Lido, Italy September 3, 2006 Photo by Jeff Vespa Archive/WireImage.com To license this image (10177430), contact WireImage: U.S. +1-212-686-8900 / U.K. +44-207-868-8940 / Australia +61-2-8262-9222 / Germany +49-40-320-05521 / Japan: +81-3-5464-7020 +1 212-686-8901 (fax) info@wireimage.com (e-mail) www.wireimage.com (web site)

Dr. Richard Matthews
Clive Owen

Rosamund Pike

Sarah Matthews
Rosamund Pike

Spring Has Sprung

Spring

Spring is definitely my favourite time of the year.  After the long winter, we start to see signs of new life springing up everywhere.  From the wonderful crocuses and daffodils that break through the dormant earth to bring us the first magical colours of Spring, to the new lambs jumping in the fields.

Single Magpie

Instead of seeing only one of these at a time

 

Multiple Magpies
We start to see them in pairs or more

 

mcdonalds-Cadbury-Creme-Egg-McFlurryAnother one of the reasons I love this time of the year, is for a few short weeks, these become available.

For about the last fifteen years at Easter, McDonald’s have brought us the Crème Egg McFlurry (except for that one time about ten years ago, when some IDIOT thought it would be good to bring out the Mini Egg McFlurry).

They are the most delicious dessert ever invented and if you don’t have them in your part of the world, you have my sincerest sympathy.   Soft milky ice cream topped with a deliciously sweet sauce, which is mixed with Cadbury chocolate pieces.

Yum! I mean Yours
Darcie

Facebook

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Well, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and joined the rest of the world in the social media hype that is Facebook.

Being a complete novice of everything that is Facebook, I am relying heavily on my husband and my social media expert (sister No. 2) for guidance.  Please be patient with me while I try to get to grips of this new fangled (for me anyway) approach of communicating with the rest of the world.

I’ve already had a twenty minute conversation with her on:-

“Who are all these people that Facebook thinks I should be friends with?”

Anyway, fingers crossed I won’t somehow manage to post something embarrassing to the whole of Facebook.

Yours,
Darcie

Happy St Patrick’s Day

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One of the legends of St Patrick is that when he entered Ireland, he chased all the snakes from it’s shores, for this one thing alone I am grateful to him.  Being able to lie down in the grass and not worry about snakes in the grass is a truly wonderful thing.

Today for most of the country, it is a public holiday and to us (well to my husband) this means a lie in, in bed.  I unfortunately I am an early riser but knowing that I don’t have to get up, is a wonderful prospect.

IMG_20160317_083807For this morning, he had one request and that was soda bread for breakfast.  So while he was still in bed, I made the mixture up.  Now soda bread can be done in one of two ways, in farls which can be seen opposite on the griddle pan and a bannock, which is cooked in the oven.  I personally prefer the farls.

I decided to make the bread while he was in bed, as it needs to cool once it comes off the griddle and where soda bread is concerned, he is not a patient man.

With great humour, I recall the first time I ever made soda bread.  It was so tough, that we had to use the electric carving knife to cut it.  I was so confused as to what I had done wrong, after all, I followed the recipe exactly.

Many months later while watching a show hosted by an Irish chef, she revealed what I and many other people do wrong.  Soda bread is one of those few breads on the planet that doesn’t require the dough to be worked.  You literally only need to work it enough to combine the ingredients together and form it into it’s round shape.  Now with this new found knowledge, I can make almost perfect soda bread.

Now before I go, I thought I would leave you with an Irish Blessing.

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 Yours,
Darcie

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