The last few hectic days before a holiday leave me needing a holiday … Luckily the deadlines for my book have been met and now all I need to do is pack. But a few ideas have been bubbling around my head for new stories (for 7 to 10 year olds) and I am trying to get them down in some sort of order so I can work on them when I get back. Before my daughter came along I’d happily write over the holiday, be it in Norway, Italy or Margate. Now I am determined to have a genuine family break. Where we are going – a pretty gruelling six hour drive north of Glasgow – there will be plenty of sand, rain, farm animals, more rain, and scones. Fruit scones … mmm. I am an expert on them and secretly judge each one on its merits – dryness, number of raisins, size and taste. Pre-packed scones from a supermarket café are always too small, dry and tasteless. The best have come from unexpected quarters: a café in our nearby cheapo discount store, and a garden centre near Kilmarnock. As I type I am wishing I was pre-packed. There is a growing heap of my two year old’s clothes, toys, nappies, snacks, Fireman Sam helmet, collapsible football goal etc on the bed and I haven’t even started on my stuff. Still, my old laptop will be left at home for the burglars to trip over so that’s one less thing to take. The only stories I’ll spout will be the ones we tell at night … which always have to start with ‘Once Upon a Time there was a little girl called Isla’ …and must include a little red motorbike plus assorted cameos from dolphins, whales and penguins (in need of snow). I am determined to do no writing. Well, perhaps a little. I mean, this blog won’t write itself. And it will probably, definitely, rain!