Editors seem to be busy at the moment. I have now had replies to all four of my January submissions. One, as you know, resulted in an acceptance, and one in a rejection with helpful editorial comments. The third is in limbo until the end of january, when the submission period ends, and the fourth has just come back with “helpful editorial comments”. I’ve put that in quotes as I am thinking of adopting it as an alternative to saying I’ve had a rejection.
I may, in future grade levels of response as “rejection”, “helpful editorial comment” and “acceptance”. This means that instead of being split equally between positive and negative results I can now claim that 66.6% of the results are positive, so call me an optimist and change my name to Pollyanna.
For any superstitious numerologists who may be reading, I admit that 66.6 might not be a good number to use. However, 66.6 isn’t actually the Number of the Beast, but 10% of it. Bearing in mind my retail background I can’t help thinking of it as the Discount of the Beast.
(Yes, before somebody corrects me, I do realise that other commentators believe the number is actually 616, but I’m traditional in matters of theology and superstition.)
In line with my new positive outlook I won’t even tell you what the situation is with the car. Let’s just say it’s hard to find anything upbeat or cheerful to say.
Some good news is that Julia has been given a projected vaccination date – early February. By March she should be reasonably well protected against COVID. This will be good. Meanwhile, I will stay at home, unvaccinated, and enjoy my holiday, which is also good.
I had a lazy day today, to rest after my hard day packing parcels yesterday. Did I really work six days a week at one time? Or even five? I feel like a friend of mine who,,years ago, detailed his activities shortly after retiring and said plaintively “It’s a good thing I’m retired, or I’d never be able to fit it all in.”
He had, of course, made two cardinal errors – said “yes” when asked to go on a committee and allowed his wife to get involved with planning his day. Wives are wonderful things, but they are, unfortunately, not to be trusted with a man’s time. That’s why I intend having a shed or workshop when I retire. Ideally a shed with a moat and drawbridge. That way I will be able to call my time my own and find things even years after putting them down.
I’m actually thinking of making that my First Rule of Lethargy – an object which is at rest will stay at rest unless it is acted on by a wife, or the kettle is out of reach.
This is the first proper saturday I’ve had off for a while,a nd I was able to devote the middle portion of my day to watching Sharpe and the bits at either end to eating. Murder She Wrote served to fil lthat awkward afternoon gap. We are now about to eat vegetable stew and watch some quiz programmes.
I see on the news that Donald Trump is threatening to start a new social media platform and that the Queen and prince Philip have both had their Covid vaccinations. That’s nice to know, as we really need a new social media platform, and it brings my vaccination date nearer.
To be honest, neither really affects me as much as the fact that we are nearing the end of the Christmas biscuits and are likely to be reduced to eating Digestives by then end of the week. It’s just that I am sometimess eixzed by the need to write for posterity.
I dropped Julia off at work this morning and, as the day was briefly sunny, came back the long way round. This proved to be a good decision as it enabled me too avoid a terrible tailback and look smug. The two things were not unconnected.
The weather is forecast to be significantly less good for the rest of the day. Hopefully my luck will continue to be good.
I knocked out 350 words about volunteering on my return home, as it’s something I’ve been thinking about and there had been an item on the radio this morning. Unfortunately, despite writing and rewriting (the likely word count was probably at least double the 350 that resulted) I still wasn’t happy with them.
It took so long I was nearly late for my blood test.
Fortunately they were running late so I had time to make an appointment for the flu vaccination clinic. Between 8.00 and 9.00 on a Saturday morning is not the optimal time because it’s our relaxed breakfast morning, with Julia buying fruit from the market and starting work at 11.30. However, I want the jab so I accepted the time.
The luck was clearly starting to leak out of the day.
It took three shots to find a vein today, but it doesn’t really hurt and we had a good laugh about it. Well what else are you going to do, complain to a woman armed with a needle?
I was definitely feeling less lucky, and slightly more leaky by that time when she said:
“Would you like a flu vaccination while you’re here?”
Save a trip to the surgery and have time for a leisurely breakfast – yes I would.
I had to have a different nurse for that. It seems that when you are on Warfarin you need a specially qualified nurse to give you an injection.
You can, it seems, prod me with needles as much as you like, open veins at will and extract blood by the bucketful – that’s OK. But load up with flu vaccine and stick it in a muscle and you need special training.
I had special training in hospital to inject myself with anticoagulants. That took five minutes.
The NHS is a wondrous place.
At that point I had to admit that my luck was improving, as I was vaccinated and had saved time.
After that I called at the parcel office. An irritating family got there just before me and clogged the system up a bit, with two noisy daughters guarding the door while the scrawny father and amply proportioned matriarch blocked the enquiry window. They seemed more than normally concerned by a note they had been sent, telling them pick a parcel up from the office. As they were already in possession of an armful of packages I don’t know why one more was significant.
It was, she thought, a scam facilitated by the theft of her phone on holiday. I don’t know if it was stolen or not, if she always speaks so much drivel it had probably thrown itself off a cliff.
I’m not sure what sort of scam involves sending the victim a parcel. Possibly one where you post a parcel full of burglars, but I don’t think that’s worked since the Fall of Troy.
Back home I noted a Small White fluttering round the front garden, then a Red Admiral, then a second Red Admiral. By the time I had the camera in action I noticed a massive spider sitting in a web, waiting…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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In the end I took pictures of the spider, as it was the most unusual thing. The White flew off, and as I focused on the first Red Admiral they both became skittish and refused to settle.
In the end I think it’s just a female Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus), and not at all rare. It is, in spider terms, quite big, and I will sleep easier tonight knowing I have something that size guarding my garden.
As I sat down to write this they came back so I went out again.
They flew off as I stalked the first one.
If I spot them again I’m taking a rolled up newspaper and a bottle of glue. That should sort out the skittishness.
And finally – they came back!
Red Admiral – at last!
No Red Admirals were harmed in the taking of these pictures. Honestly – no glue needed!