Tag Archives: writing

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.

New tricks

I’ve always wanted to write a food blog. This blog was supposed to be about food and farming, as well as the group, but it sort of wandered away and became a ramble through life with digressions into birds, butterflies, the evils of modern life and anything else that came to mind once my fingers hit the keys.

This is probably not the way to become rich and famous from blogging, though with the exception of Jack Monroe I can’t actually name anyone else who has become rich and famous from blogging. There will be some, I’m sure, but I just don’t know them.

A friend of mine, who is neither rich nor famous despite being a top notch food blogger, once told me he didn’t have a clue what my blog was about. I was glad to hear it, because until then I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what I was doing. Incidentally, I’ve never read the article in the link before, and was surprised, when reading it, to find I was mentioned at the end. So maybe I am a little famous. Catch his blog here.

Over the weekend I have been reading a book about how to write a food blog, and as always, when faced with advice on writing I become scared. I’m not the world’s greatest writer, but I get by. I have always tried to stick to George Orwell’s advice after reading it as an earnest 16-year-old. The six rules are at the bottom of the page to save you reading through the whole essay.

I’ve drifted over the years, but I like to think I’m still writing passable English. However, after reading the new book I’m starting to worry about tinkering with my writing style. Once you start to think about the nuts and bolts you aren’t far from breaking it.

Writing is a bit like a kitten – it’s cute, magical and alive. But if you attempt to take it apart to improve individual parts I’m worried I’ll end up with a mess and have to play with my own wool.

Moving quickly on from that image, I’m also having to learn not to eat food when I see it. That’s always been a problem. I buy food, I think “photo” and I find myself looking at a pile of crumbs.

That’s why I had a special session today practising food photography. I’m not sure I’ve got the hang of it yet, but it’s a start. One pie is from Pork Farms, and that’s going to be my “control pie”: the other is from Hampson’s Garden Centre in Wakefield. (I was in Leeds yesterday dropping Number One son off – he starts his new job today).  I thought I’d drop by and pick some pies up, buying a big meat and potato pie for tea and three pork pies. After eating one in the car park I kept the other two for photography and testing. As luck would have it the luscious, savoury, jelly-filled piece of pork pie perfection turned out to be the best of the bunch. The other two, reserved for the photographs, were just not as good.

There is more to this food blogging than meets the eye.

 

George Orwell’s Rules

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are
used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you
can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

 

 

A good day for numbers

The first number is 200 – this being my 200th post on this blog. It’s nothing compared to some people, and even I’m not that impressed, but it does give me a pause to count.

I’ve been writing this for 305 days according to my rough mental arithmetic. In that time I have posted twice a day on several occasions. And yet I’ve only managed to average two days in three. Now, I did treat my wife to four days away for our 25th Wedding Anniversary last autumn, but that doesn’t really make much of a dent in the hundred missed days. I’ll just have to hold my hands up to being lazy. But you probably know that by now.

I did think about challenging myself to write 100 posts in 100 consecutive days, but that’s not difficult. It’s easier, for instance, than thinking up 100 titles.  Then there’s the question of quality…

However, moving on to another number – I have now reached 1,000 followers on Twitter. I’ve been looking forward to it for some time, watching the numbers surge forward and drop back and eventually I made it. Now I’m wondering why. There’s some great stuff to read on Twitter, even though it’s hidden under heaps of absolute dross, but half of me wonders if I’m just taking part in a massive exercise in vanity.

It’s ironic that the day I reach a milestone I have hardly tweeted, due to forgetting my card reader. It doesn’t seem right tweeting without pictures (this one won’t be posted until I get home and put the pictures up).

A card reader, for those of you who are accustomed to the finer aspects of technology, is a device you used to plug into a USB port that allows your computer (which still uses Windows XP) to read the card out of your camera. This, by the way, is my level of technology both at home and at work, though I do at least have a working printer at home and I don’t have to lock my stapler away.

I went to look at a new computer a few weeks ago but left because I didn’t like the way the salesman spoke to me. He appeared to think I was prehistoric, and an idiot.. I thought I’d keep my money. As things stand, I have a slow but functioning computer and he has no commission from the missed sale.

One – nil to me, I think.