We’ve been on holiday. Well, when I say “been”, I don’t mean we actually went anywhere - but Claudia took a couple of weeks off work and I cleared my desk of things to do and Claudia’s parents flew in from Germany to stay with us for two weeks of sun and fun and lounging in the garden and eating and drinking way too much.

So far, so good. By the way, the reason we didn’t go away was that we don’t like to leave Siouxsie alone. Now this may sound crazy to some of you, but Siouxsie our 18 year old cat is used to having people around most of the time, and we think she would get really distressed to be left on her own while we went away on holiday - so we stay home.

Well, long story short, Claudia’s Mom got ill - in fact she got so ill, that we had to call an ambulance at 4 in the morning and have her taken to hospital. A major fly in the ointment is that Claudia’s parents don’t speak very much English (Claudia’s German, in case you don’t remember or didn’t know) so Claudia had to translate between her Mom and the doctors in the hospital.

Anyway, Claudia’s Mom recovered quite quickly and within two days she was well enough to be discharged from the hospital - but while Claudia was driving her Mom back here, the cat got ill! The poor thing was howling and running around and hiding in corners and it was very distressing. Claudia couldn’t believe it when she got home at 9 in the evening with her Mom and I told her about Siouxsie.

I went online and found an all night emergency vet not too far away, and we bundled Siouxsie into her basket and drove off. Siouxsie, by the way, really hates travelling, and howls all the way - plus she was in pain so there were double howlings! The vet gave her some pain killers and anti-biotics and we went home. Siouxsie fell asleep on the bed and Claudia fell asleep on the couch - until 4 in the morning, when Siouxsie started howling again. We got back in the car and went back to the emergency vet for more pain killers.

That gave us until 8.45 am when we were able to visit our normal vet. Siouxsie was given a good examination - and she was very quiet and good - apparently the pain killer included morphine, she she was pretty much spaced-out after two shots and her eyes were like dinner-plates. The vet said she most likely had a form of cystitis and that we should carry on with the antibiotics.

Good news is that Siouxsie is much better now, in fact she’s just settling down for an early morning sleep on the old office armchair next to me right now as I type. The other good news - and proof that Fate can work in strange ways to do good things - is that the doctors in the hospital here in London have finally diagnosed what has been wrong with Claudia’sMom for some time, and which the German doctors missed! So we’re all hopeful that she will make a full recovery.

And finally, Claudia phoned her partner in the company where she’s Office Manager and told him the sorry tale of her “holiday” and he agreed to cover for her for a few days more - so she’s not going back to work till Thursday night!

So, that was our summer vacation. I do have a lot of stuff to tell you, but it’s 7 in the morning now and Claudia has just woken up and asked me what I’m doing up working so early, so I guess I’ll sign off for now and get back to you soon with news of a Radio Broadcast I’m booked to do later in the year, as well as the fact that the first advance copies of Sundered Lands book one have arrived at my place and someone has asked me whether I’d like to write a short story for a fantasy/romance anthology. Oh, and probably a couple of other things, too.

Meanwhile, I’m off to make some coffee for Claudia and to mash up the last of Siouxsie’s antibiotic pills into some chocolate milkshake - that cat loves chocolate milkshake!

I hope your Summer Vacations turn out to be more relaxing than mine! But for the next week or so I’m going to laze around watching the Tennis at Wimbledon on TV.