Various Novelties

This week several things happened that have never happened to me before.

One is that I was turned down in a new way. I submitted to a magazine a couple of months ago, but it was during the time of my email problems and although I was initially accepted I was, I( discovered later, then rejected because I hadn’t written back to say I accepted the suggested edits. This was by a guest editor, who suggested it was still a good piece and could be submitted again later.

The permanent editor, who was the one dealing with my email explaining about my email problems , also suggested that I should resubmit it, so as I haven’t been writing much I resubmitted it in the next submission window. It was, as you may have guessed from the preamble, rejected by the new guest editor.

It just goes to show that some editors have better taste than others . . .

Meanwhile I saw two cyclists collide on a dual use footpath. I’ve never really trusted them. There is one outside the shop. It isn’t properly signposted and it seems to be merely an excuse for cyclists to get too close to me, or to sound their bell at me.

The accident I saw involved a young woman cyclist, who had stopped near a bend and was looking at her phone. Measured by car driving standards, stopping in the middle of the road to use your phone would be considered unacceptable, but cyclists have their own standards.

The second cyclist was travelling fast towards the bend (too fast to control his bicycle properly – you notice this sort of thing when you are a pedestrian using a stick on these dual use paths). He came to the bend, took it wide and ran into the the other cyclist.

She was quite well built (as in sportswoman, not fat) and he was quite weedy (pale and thin and looking like a heroin addict) so as they made contact (which was fortunately shoulder to shoulder) she stood firm and more or less plucked him off his machine. He stumbled a few steps and stopped, standing upright as his bicycle carried on several yards and fell over.

They were lucky it wasn’t worse.

Later that journey I saw a sparrowhawk hassling a crow, though I have seen that before.

Finally, I watched the Madame Blanc Mysteries. I haven’t been able to catch the previous two, so this was, I thought, going to be  areal treat.

It wasn’t. Despite the fact that  like Sally Lindsay as a writer and actress, I have to say this was dire. Plot – insubstantial. Characters – flat. Wit (as mentioned in the previews) non-existent. Grittiness (also as mentioned in the previews) also non-existent. It also had characters with French accents that reminded me of ‘Allo ‘allo.

It really was very sad to see such a promising programme turn into a wreck.



18 thoughts on “Various Novelties

  1. Helen

    I’m glad the cyclists were okay. It is good to cycle but some do need to read the highway code a little more closely.

    Sorry your obviously excellent poem was rejected. It will succeed if it would have succeeded first time round.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Excellent might be overstating it, but yes, it must be OK. Editors differ, what more can I say?

      The cycle accident was just a list of things leading to the inevitable – one stopped, concentrating on her phone, a bend, narrow cycle lane. a fast youth with no concerns . . .

      1. jodierichelle

        How has it come to be that we cannot take a bike ride without corresponding to someone in some way? When my kids were little, I would go to the grocery store for a full hour and a half while they were in school without being in contact with anyone. (Pre cell phones). If one of them had needed me for an illness or an injury, I was simply unavailable. I’m glad that today’s moms don’t have to deal with that. However . . . I DO believe a bit too much time is being spent on the phones.

        I fear I am starting to sound like you, Grumpy Simon.

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        It’s a question of balance. My Dad had a mobile and used to drive my sister mad by not having it switched on. His reason? He said he had it for emergencies and would switch it on when he needed it. I’m inclining more towards this view as I get older.

        I have had a few useful calls as a result of having my phone on all the time, but most of them could have waited. I have had one true emergency call – when Julia collapsed at work, but that turned out to be a false alarm. I won’t look for the relevant post but it was the one where she walked up to me as I queued in A&E and asked me what I was doing there.

  2. tootlepedal

    Shared use paths are not satisfactory at all, especially if there are dog owners anywhere in the vicinity. Sometimes I feel guilty for being a cyclist when I read stories of how appalling cyclists are as human beings. It is fortunate that motorists don’t seem to take on the guilt of other bad drivers or there would be no one left driving on our roads.

      1. tootlepedal

        Yes, I notice that we had volunteers in our local Langholm militia around 1900 who are described as cyclists. I expect that they instilled the fear of God into our enemies.

        I agree about dogs (now that I am no longer a a part owner of a dog)

      2. tootlepedal

        From our local paper of 1902: Report of return to Langolm of two more local heroes from South Africa. They were welcomed at the station by the brass band and local volunteers and local dignitaries Cyclist Martin and Cyclist Campbell, Captain Bell, Lieutenant Graham, Provost Thompson Rev J Buchanan, Mr Bell, Hillside

  3. Clare Pooley

    The reviews of ‘Madame Blanc Mysteries’ I’ve read said the same as you which meant I’ve not wasted my time in watching it.
    I do apologise for not commenting for weeks. Things have been a little stressful and I’ve been too tired to write comments that make any sense. However, I am sorry you haven’t been well recently and am pleased you are now improving in health.
    What a shame you have had another rejection! The timing was wrong, obviously, and the poem is fine I have no doubt.
    I do not like sharing a pathway with cyclists either, especially when they sneak up behind me at speed and then ring their bell loudly.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes, cyclists and pedestrians are not a happy mix. Councils claim to have cycleways when they usually mean they have painted a white line on a footpath.

      Rejections are part of the job – I have learned to take them in my stride. 🙂

      Hope you are OK and non-stressful times are returning. Life can be a bit of a mixed bag at times.


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