Tag Archives: word count

The Second Post

I made the mistake of pressing the button to look at the new editor and now I can’t get out of it. As with the last attempt at a new editor I don’t see it as an improvement and I don’t know what a “block” is. I’m not keen and would much rather either (a) have a proper explanation or (b) only “improve” things that need it.

Anyway, back to work. This post is about what we did yesterday. As usual my writing lags considerably behind my life.

The Mencap garden was pleasantly sunny, though not quite as colourful as it has been in past years. I’ve noticed this in the garden at home too, where the marigolds seem to have disappeared. It might be neglect or it might be a dry spring, I’m honestly not sure. It might just be a case of it being a dull time of year. Some times of year just aren’t colourful.

I just looked to see how I was doing on the word count, but that doesn’t seem to be a feature of the new editor.

That’s 186. I know that because I counted it three times. Once I lost count myself. Then I lost count again, this time assisted by Julia. It was a fraught five minutes.

In the garden I sat down and watched as Julia started work. A couple of brown birds dropped in followed by another dozen squeaky companions. The long tails and the squeaking were diagnostic of long-tailed tits though, as usual, I couldn’t get a decent photo.

There were blue tits at the end of the garden, where they have a brood of youngsters in one of the nestboxes.

Apart from that it was the normal suspects – blackbird, kestrel, magpie, herring gull, As we lunched, Julia dropped part of her Scotch egg, so she broke the bits up and threw them onto the grass for the local magpie, which had been looking very blue as it posed in the sunlight. Before the magpie could get to it a crow swooped in and started clearing up. It’s amazing how quickly things can appear.

The breeze was quite brisk and the few butterflies we saw (mainly whites with a few peacocks) didn’t linger. I was able to try photographing a few pollinators, including a few cooperative bumblebees, but again, there weren’t that many about.

I am finding the new editor a trial to work with and have just returned to add photos and a link after transferring back to the old editor.

 

Lazy Sunday

After dropping Julia off this morning I was in plenty of time to pick up Number One Son and we are home before 8.00. There’s no washing to do so I’m going back to bed after writing this. I will rise around 10.00, have elevenses and plan the menus before shopping.

I say “plan the menus”, but I really mean is “make a list of the food we will be eating”. Or even “select a day for vegetable curry” because that’s the day before we have Spicy Vegetable Soup.

There doesn’t seem to be a spell checker with the new editor, or a word counter. 

Cancel that last comment, I found the word count. It’s not gone, it’s just inconveniently hidden.

During my stay in the car park I noted that the birds all seemed to come to life just after 7.00 and that the 4×4 vehicles of Highways England keep their engines running while one of the crew members goes for coffee. I really don’t like it when people keep their engines running like that. 

I was planning a sophisticated essay on poetic forms or world peace (I was undecided) but it hasn’t happened, as you can see.

Maybe I will manage it after a little more sleep.

Mental Freewheeling

A thought struck me this morning.

Our kids, though “young” in our eyes, are actually older than Julia and I were when we first met.

I’m having trouble putting that in perspective.

It makes me feel old, but it also makes me wonder if I’m treating them like children when they are really adults. On the other hand, maybe I’ll start treating them like adults when they start acting like adults. Until then I will keep providing logistical support and offering advice which is ignored.

That represents most of the thinking I did this morning because, after dropping Julia off at work, I went back to sleep for much of the morning. I was able to set the bedroom fan just how I like it and go back to sleep for four hours.

The new router finally arrived from British Telecom. It only took three months, five phone calls and (from them) multiple examples of poor customer service for us to get this far. At this point I think it’s fair to point out that this is far, far better than my experience with Virgin.

I’m still both impressed and appalled by the way I made tea last night. Julia didn’t know what she wanted, just “something light”, so I threw together avocados, prawns, rocket, coleslaw, tomatoes and thousand island dressing (or ketchup, mayonnaise and plain yoghurt if you require accuracy).

It’s impressive because I merely toured a supermarket pulling things from shelves and produced a reasonable meal. Even after forty years of cooking for self and family I’m still always amazed when I manage to do that.

On the other hand there are ecological issues with avocados and prawns, plastic issues with bagged rocket, tomatoes and coleslaw and some air mile and additive concerns too.

I should have done better at growing my own (we’ve grown virtually nothing this year) and I’m capable of making better coleslaw than the one we had last night.

I just looked up eco-guilt as I think that’s what I’m suffering from. It is a word, though without the hyphen. I like the hyphen but I suppose I’ll have to lose it. Also known as “green guilt”. There’s a whole post waiting to be written on that.

Meanwhile I’m a bad parent and mediocre husband – do I really have enough guilt left to encompass the plight of avocado farmers and plastic-eating sea creatures?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

George Orwell – Southwold Pier

Unfortunately not. I would like to worry about them, but it’s not going to happen until I can find more space in my (metaphorical) self-flagellation schedule. I’ll try to cut down on plastic, and I’ll try to eat less processed food, but it’s hard to remember when you’re busy and shallow.

Currently I’m reading a book about three friends touring the piers of England and Wales. It’s research, as I’m considering doing the same thing. I’ve always wanted to write a book so I may stitch together the blog posts on piers and give it a go.

One fear is always about word count – can I write enough words. I reckon the blog now runs to around 400,000 words which suggests that stamina and vocabulary won’t be a problem, though it’s still only enough words to do 80% of War and Peace.

I once read Gone with the Wind (400,000 words) when I was about 16. It took a weekend. I then moved on to War and Peace (500,000 words), lost my way in the family names, stalled, tried again and lost the will to live. That is a lot of words, though I feel War and Peace was probably easier to write than it is to read.

Obviously writing is not like bricklaying so just being able to stack words on top of each other won’t be enough. I have some regular followers/commenters who seem to stick with me so I suppose I must be doing OK

I’ve just counted the words I’ve written on two piers and two lots of fish and chips – 2,739. If I extend to crabs, winkles and candyfloss that should give me 75,000 words, which should be enough for a book. Add in the words I’ve done on marshes, butterflies and such and we come up to around 100,000 words, probably a few more if we get held up in traffic. This is likely to be too many.

It looks like I’ve just publicly committed myself to visiting over 50 piers and writing a book about it.

Having done that, and I did think about it before I wrote it down, I now have no excuses.

As I wrote that line I felt all my confidence drain…

What have I done?