Tag Archives: writing

On the Up

We had 20 parcels to post today, which took some doing as many of them had multiple items in them. However, I’m  a professional parcel packer so it’s what I expect. I’m sure there’s a tongue-twister in there somewhere…

Then I returned home to be industrious. I normally waste my half-day by eating fast food and seeing friends, but today I have writing and cooking in mind. I’m going to cook tonight’s tea in advance, and probably Tuesday’s too. But first I’m going to blog.

Do you remember me saying I was back in the game a few days ago? Well, at that time I had two submissions out, both using my email system as an editor due to the lack of Word on the netbook. I’ve just had an acceptance on one of them, so I really am back in the game. This is a record, even for me. From the depths of despair to unbearably smug in just 12 days.

Julia says that one of my most annoying characteristics is my ability to be irritatingly happy. It is, she says, a characteristic I share with my father. At 30 I used to be dismayed at the thought of being anything like my father. In my 60s I take it as a compliment.

The result is that every time she accuses me of being irritatingly happy I smile broadly, knowing I’m carrying on a family tradition. And that, of course, makes me even more irritating…

Every marriage, they say, needs a little mystery to add spice to it. The biggest mystery in our marriage is why she puts up with me.

And that, in a neatly circular manner, brings me back to the beginning. I’ve come home to do some cooking as I really should make more effort. But not so much effort I can’t write a quick post first.

Sorry about repeating more photos, I will sort some new ones out for tomorrow.

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Greylag Goose Arnot Hill Park Arnold

Just Seconds Away…

I can now press buttons when I’m posting and expect that the desired result will be just seconds away instead of the 8-10 minutes it too with the netbook I just opened WordPress, clicked a few buttons and found myself, twelve seconds later, ready to write a new post.

Or, more accurately, staring at a blank screen.

It’s debatable whether this represents a world of possibilities or fear of the unknown.

I’m similarly poised in haibun terms. After a spell which featured a rejection and an acceptance that required so much work I might as well have walked away and written something new, I began to struggle. I was also finding it difficult to write with the netbook.

Fortunately I was able to keep writing using pen and paper, even if I couldn’t prepare it for submission. Finally, editing in my email programme, I managed to get two submissions prepared and send them off. I’m waiting now, but the result doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that I’m back in the game.

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Gull on Llandudno Pier

We had a Painted Lady in the garden again when I returned home, though it’s painful to watch them as I can see the way the red valerian is dying back as summer progresses. Three sightings is a pitiful result compared to the counts we used to get on the farm, but then we are working with a small paved area with red valerian a small buddleia and a few other odds and ends.

It looked like the valerian was colonising a few inhospitable cracks in the garden next door, but their normal zero-tolerance policy for wildlfe cut in after a few exciting weeks and they have returned to formal wasteland status. And there I was, thinking that I might be helping to establish a wildlife habitat.

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Arnot Hill

A New Start

Time, I think, for a new start.

I’ve allowed myself to lose focus in the last month or so and I actually missed a deadline this week. Normally I have a list of deadlines to work tom but I’d let it slip. Suddenly I realised that the 30th June was only days away.

I hate submitting at the end of a submission window because you’re never sure if a rejection is due to quality or due to the fact they already have enough good stuff.

Add an extra variable, that I hadn’t been completing  enough material, and I had to make the tough decision to let the deadline pass.

I didn’t like doing it, but it’s better to leave it than submit rubbish. It was due to go to an editor I hadn’t sent anything to before and I didn’t see any point in making myself look unprofessional.

I have now set myself a number of targets, which I’m not going to share until I see which ones are working. This is, I admit, a bit of a cop out but I feel happier that way. It’s also erring on the side of modesty as I’ve set myself some stiff targets. If I hit them all and tell you about them it might look like I’m boasting.

However, one I will reveal is that I’m back to daily posting. This Day One. It’s the easy one. Day Two might be trickier.

I will also reveal that I’m setting myself a target of at least 185 words per post. That avoids the temptation to take shortcuts because it’s about practising writing, not just ticking off the days.

Fine words. Let’s see how it works out.

The pictures are poppies in the front garden. Each morning three or four open up. By the evening they have blown away. We have several clumps of them and, apart from some minor deadheading, we don’t do anything to them. They even planted themselves. You have to admire that in a flower.

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Poppies growing from cracks in concrete. The rumpled effect smooths out as the day draws on.

 

One More Quick Post

I had a day off today and spent much of it trying to write. It didn’t go too well, though it could have been worse. That, could well be the motto for my life – good, but could have been better.

I also checked on the internet to see what sold in the shop, and found that one of the coins I’d listed yesterday had sold. It often seems to be the way. In fact most of today’s orders were for the cheap and cheerful end of our stock. That’s the end at which I operate.

Now, having watched the day slip away, I find it is time to take Number Two Son to work. I will return with only 40 minutes to post, so am getting it done now.  And that, I’m afraid, is why it was hardly worth your while clicking the button to visit. Sorry about that.

The final picture is my breakfast from Tuesday – overnight oats. You put oats, milk, yoghurt and fruit into a tupperware and leave it in the fridge overnight. It’s just a posh name for cold porridge. However, it does save time in the morning as I take it to work, and as I always arrive at work early I use some of that time for eating breakfast instead of starting work. On Fridays I will eat cold porridge in the garden with Julia.

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Overnight Oats

Note how I’ve included the keyboard in the picture to indicate that I’m a high-powered, high-fibre thrusting executive.

Photography can be so deceptive…

An eBay Sort of Day

We ended up sending 14 parcels this morning, which took a bit of application. We posted one to Canada, one to France, one to Italy and one to Portugal. Who would have thought I’d end up as a packer of International Parcels?

The tests I did at school indicated outdoor jobs like farming and being a gamekeeper. Now I work in the windowless backroom of a shop.

The twists and turns of my life have been mighty strange.

I’m thinking about becoming a writer next, with a book about a man who is haunted by the ghosts of his youthful dreams. At the moment I’m trying to work out a way of introducing an Egyptian mummy into the plot. You can’t sell human remains on eBay so that’s a non-starter. I’ll have to check the rules on Amazon…

In the afternoon I took Julia to Beeston – the one on the edge of Nottingham rather than the one in Cheshire – to buy a copy of Medal News. The shop has been mentioned, with picture. I bought the last copy in W H Smiths, took it home triumphantly and found I’ve bought the old issue. It seems that although the subscribers have had their copies, and have been getting in touch with us (mainly to tell me I’ve put weight on) the newsagents are still flogging the April issue. Ah well.

Today’s picture is a rather battered Staffordshire County Ambulance Service Badge. That sort of non-numismatic item gets passed on to me. It made £20 on eBay, which was a surprise – I knew it was a good badge but I thought the damage would hold it back, and we posted it off this morning. That’s the magic of eBay – you don’t need to know much to make money.

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.

 

Zen and the Art of Procrastination

It’s time to start sorting out my life. How many times have you heard that? I know I’ve said it several times.

As things stand, I’m not reading books, I’m not reading blogs and I’m not getting enough decluttering done. That’s not to say that I’m idling my time away, I’m still writing, I’m still cooking (in a determondly average sort of way) and I’m spending time on ebay.

I’m happy with the writing time but the time on ebay needs decreasing. Originally I was looking at it with a view to learning current prices and looking at starting to sell on ebay again. It hasn’t quite worked like that and I’m back, once again, to collecting.

The intention was actually to clear the house and live a life of zen simplicity interspersed with the holidays we’ve not had over the years.

It has struck me recently, as I’ve sat cogitating my hospital experience and the nature of mortality, that I’m on the downward leg of the journey to three score years and ten. I’m 60 next birthday (as I was recently reminded), and this isn’t a two way street.

I’m also mindful that health problems prevented my parents carrying out their retirement plans. They still had a long and happy retirement, but it wasn’t the one they had planned. In fact Dad is still with us and still enjoying himself. However, he would probably be enjoying himself more if things had gone to plan.

So there you are, a slice of philosophical misery. Not very cheerful but something I wanted to talk about for some time as it’s important, and I’m interested if anyone has any views.

I’ve been meaning to write it for some time but I never get round to it.