Tag Archives: plan

Ten Minute Burst

I’m going to try a Ten Minute Burst (TMB). I just read a few blogs on freshening up my writing, and this is what I came up with. I’ve noticed that I can do a post in a short time if I get my head down, so this is really nothing new, but the idea of actually using it as a writing tool is new. I could do two of them in an hour and I reckon that would produce more than many of the hours I spent looking at a blank screen and filling it word by hard-won word.

I think I may already have failed, as I forgot to note my start time. Plus I don’t actually have much of a plan. “Write” is not, it seems, good enough.

A big problem with this plan is, of course, that I have to prevent myself wandering off on the net. True to form, I have spent most of the last hour doing bits of research and rambling off. It’s been fun, but it’s not been much use from the point of view of working on my Ten Minute Burst technique. Clearly tomorrow will be a sterner test as I have a number of things to rewrite before I submit them. If all goes well I have three or four submissions to make in the next week.

It’s a funny thing – I meant to read up on more writing techniques, but then I started writing so much that I forgot to do it. Just one of life’s many ironies.


I started the day with a clear plan. So far I have had a bacon sandwich and three cups of tea, replied to comments, written a haibun prose section (which came to me as I was outing my socks on) and caught with paosoren, a wide-ranging blog relating to Australia. I now know a lot more about poisonous caterpillars and slouch hats than I used to. The plan had also encompassed reading more blogs, but I’ve had to shelve that. It’s mid-day already and it doesn’t seem to be much to show for a morning’s work. Of course, as the “morning” started at 9.45, I can’t expect too much. It could have started at 6.45, but after looking at the clock and thinking for a few minutes I decided that 6.45 was too early to start on Sunday.  Even if I had got up at that time I would probably have fallen asleep later in the day, so I wouldn’t have gained much.

I didn’t exactly cover myself in glory regarding the wakefulness front last night. After posting, I went and watched the last half of a programme about Victoria Wood. As Julia decided to go to bed when it finished, I used the “plus one” channel to watch it from the beginning again. Unfortunately I only manged to get part way through before falling asleep. As a consequence, the middle years of her career are still a mystery to me.

It was interesting to find that she was a hard-working perfectionist who said that lots of people could do what she did. This reinforces my belief in hard work and determination being the way forward. It’s a shame I wasted most of my life thinking you needed talent to be successful. That, it appears, is just the icing on the cake. The ability to be successful without having talent certainly explains a lot of things I have seen on TV over the years.

Daffodils in Nottingham

Nearly 1.00 now and time to make lunch. I’m not entirely sure what it’s going to be, but I have a few minutes to think. After my disastrous failure to order the groceries online, we are a little short of provisions this week.  However, we have beans. We have bread. If I was in the habit of representing my menu choices diagrammatically the intersection would be beans on toast.

The picture of a Herring Gull perching on the head of the Cook statue at Whitby can be taken as a metaphor for our history of colonialism. Or it might just be that I was looking for a bird photograph that didn’t have a robin in it.

That was taken in April 2017. The daffodils are from April 2018 and the Magpie from April 2019. \by April 2020 the photos are all downloaded from the Library, or feature food and eBay purchases. I haven’t been getting out much.


Ten Steps to a Better Life

I’ve decided to make some changes to my life. That way, slowly but surely, it will improve.

One, do some housework every day. I belong to the Quentin Crisp school of housework (“There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”) but if we are going to retire to a bungalow I need to sort things out. I just did some shredding. I’m now up to 2008. No need to overdo it.

Two, exercise every day. Even a little bit. Including my hands. Make it into a habit. I’m going to find my weights and residence bands and start leaving them around too. As long as I remember to rearrange them every day Julia will never know I’m not actually using them.

Three, make a good nutritional decision every day. Today’s decision is not to eat biscuits. My willpower on this matter is boosted by the fact that we finished the biscuits on Monday. Tomorrow’s decision to avoid fizzy drinks should be quite easy too.

Four – stop pressing those internet buttons which promise to show you something amazing some American found buried in his back garden. It takes a long time and the only amazing thing is that I fall for it every time.

Five. Go out and walk every day. To the car and back should be about right.

Six – write a retirement plan – that way it won’t creep up and surprise me.

Seven –  start using shopping lists. It will make online ordering less of an adventure but will be better for us nutritionally.

Eight – plan my writing for the year. I have  a few things I want to do but unless I write them down with dates and everything, they won’t get done. This, Julia reminds me is a SMART Plan –  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I’ve done it before and it’s worked, I really should do it again. That should also help me stop pressing those alluring internet buttons – it’s nose to the grindstone for 2021.

Nine – employ psychology in my struggle with weight loss. Repeating the mantra “Stop eating or you’re going to die, you fat bastard” will be a start. I don’t see any point paying Noom to do that when I can do it myself.

Ten – stop promising Ten Point Lists when you can’t actually think of ten things.


Should I Read or Should I Write? (2)

Well, I tried to do both, whilst humming a song by The Clash.

After an hour and a half of reading, which leaves me not quite caught up, I decided to write a quick post and go washing, in order to keep to the plan.

When I came to publish, WordPress was playing up and I couldn’t enter a category or tag. I pressed “Publish” anyway and can’t see the post on the blog, even though it appears on the list to link to.

Ah! I just linked it in and had a look. seems to be a page. I’ll have to sort it out later. It looks like I must have pressed page instead of post when I started it.

So WordPress isn’t playing up. I am.

What an idiot.

More haste, less speed…

Here is the original. As you can see, it’s more or less the same. This loss of a post, and subsequent loss, may qualify as an epic senior moment.

Should I Read or Should I write?

I decided to read, and I’m nowhere near catching up after over an hour of reading and commenting.

I was going to post a link to Should I Stay or Should I Go by the Clash to mirror the title but I can’t switch the audio on the computer and don’t like posting links to clips I can’t hear myself.

It looks like bits are dropping off the computer all over the place. It’s a feeling I know only too well.

WordPress seems to be playing up too, but I’m going to publish and see what happens.

Time to get the washing done now if I’m going to stick to my plan.

See you all later.


Progress of Sorts…

Make chicken stew. It’s in the oven. Several hours late.

Soup? Er…just about to do it. Veg are ready but I need to wash a pan as I’ve been storing compost scraps in it for the last few days. Yes, I need to empty a bokashi bucket.

Curry. It won’t take long.

Living room – I’ve moved stuff round, which is related to tidying, though not closely related. More a cousin than a sibling.

Hoover. Perhaps tomorrow.

Meanwhile I have washed up and done the recycling, which I’d forgotten about. I often forget the washing up, though not as much as Number Two son, who is a world class amnesiac. Also watched darts and discussed the finer parts of sports marketing and sponsorship with Number Two son. Had bacon cobs with mushrooms for lunch.

Cut up plastic bottles to make poppies. (and give me an excuse to re-use old photos of poppies).


Poppies made from plastic bottles


Poppies and corn wreath