I’m sat here in the Boussac Judo Club dojo (the old public showers) while Caiti hones her throwing-people-around skills. Rors is not here tonight. He’s been poorly today with a headache. I’ve just had a chat with another mum and she reckons it’s growing pains. Could well be as he’s definitely shot up lately. My days as second smallest in the family are numbered.

I have my computer on my knees and my MP3 plugged into my ears. I’m in a happy electronic place. In case it matters, I’m listening to Out Of Ashes by Dead By Sunrise, fronted by Chester Bennington of LinkinPark fame. I seem to have a bit of thing for lean, over-intense singers since I’m also a big fan of Pat Monahon from Train! I like all kinds of music and have generally gone more indie/punk over the years, but I still like heartbreaking ballads.

I should be writing my YA novel. I’ve hardly written a word this week. My usual writing slot is in the evenings, but I’ve been watching the news the last four nights as recent dreadful events in France have unfolded. The coverage has been thorough, well presented and not sensationalist. Two very  noteworthy things occurred. On Thursday night the head of the Muslim Mosque in Paris was sat next to the leader of the Jewish faith in France at the discussion table in the studio (at least I think that’s who he was, he was someone important in that religion) and they both pleaded for no repercussions or revenge attacks by anyone and talked of how they wished to exist peacefully side by side in this country. That sent a powerful message. But by far the most moving moment was when the father of Abel Chennouf, one of the murdered soldiers whose baby is due in two months’ time, sent his condolences to the mother of gunman Mohammed Mehar because she too had lost her son, his own son’s murderer. (Mehar was shot during the final moments of the siege when firing on the soldiers who’d come to arrest him.) Monsieur Chennouf is a noble man, and a far better person than I could ever be. I couldn’t have done that. If someone hurt any of my kids, I would never, ever forgive them or their families.

I’ve just read that Abel Chennouf’s fiancée Caroline is being allowed to marry him posthumously by special permission from the Président.

Onto lighter things to finish, and then I MUST be creative. Fridays are my guaranteed novel writing time usually. Benj entered a talent show which took place last night. It was ‘UniLim’s Got Talent’. (UniLim = Université du Limousin.) Benj did a stand up routine  – and came second! How cool is that. Now he did get some tips from a professional – from Simon Lipson, author, impressionist and comedian. We bumped into each other in cyberspace via his brilliant book Song in the Wrong Key which I reviewed, and we’ve stayed in touch. I asked Simon for a few hints and sent those along to Eldest Son, and he did brilliantly. He’s a bit miffed he didn’t win. For a laid back dude, he’s actually very ambitious. But maybe next time. Way to go, Benj. (That’s Benj looking pensive in the centre of the poster, in the dark blue teeshirt.)