Thursday, July 31, 2008

And I'd like to thank...

...the wonderful and very kind Casdok, for the lovely award. I understand (thanks for the help, Maddie Moon!) that tradition deems I should now pass this on to someone else but at present I'm still tangling with actually copying it to my page. I'm such a dummy, but I will get there, I will, I will....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wet, wet, wet (or 'damp and blast')

If you're ever inclined to buy an old house which is built into the hillside on three sides, don't do it. Unless it's our house. In which case, do.

'Why is the wall wet?' That was Sweetie Pie on her way upstairs, unwittingly presenting to us the news that the stairs wall is - well, not just damp. Damper than that. If it were any damper it'd be a river. And in the middle of this vertical marshland is the light switch. Now turned off for the foreseeable future.

Yikes. I foresee a visit from the builder and a very big bill. Another one.

Houses? On hillsides? Nope. Avoid them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summertime and the living is easy

For fourteen year old Sweetie Pie at least. She's still snoozing and may well still be when I return from my now voluntary stint at the centre. Six weeks of late nights and late mornings. Her main problem at the moment seems to be that, as oldish parents, we can't stay up late enough for her and she's not yet that keen on staying up on her own when all is dark, so she stomps off grumpily to her bedroom with her laptop and her cup of tea.

Buster, meanwhile, has finished school. We went along to the very touching Leavers' Assembly last Friday. He'd been dreading the day as he feels (and he's probably right) that he'll lose touch with a lot of his friends. All the young people at his school are moderately to severely disabled and their parents don't always know each other so getting the young people together outside school is difficult. Invitations to birthday parties go unacknowledged. Tricky. We'll see what the future holds when he starts at the local college in September - a college I'm also hoping to get some hours at...

Hope you all have a brilliant summer.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A very little tale of a very small amount of woe

As Womagwriter has mentioned the My Weekly guidelines recently I thought I'd share my own tiny tale about submitting Christmas stories to them from last year.

Well, basically, the nutshell version is that having sent a Christmas story to them in May or some such ridiculously early month, I was finally told in November, after they'd been requesting timely tales and when it was too late to send elsewhere, that they'd been inundated and so they'd have to return it. Hmmm.

Now, I can take a rejection as well as the next person. Probably better than the next person - I get lots and lots of practice. But I just don't believe they'd been overrun with red-breasted robins and tinsel-garlanded reindeer since the early part of the year. So I suppose what I'm saying is I'm not entirely convinced that they read the stories last year in the order in which they arrived. And well, I like to think that's how it works: that we wait forever for a reply, but that never mind, because everyone else is waiting forever for a reply as well and we're all in the same boat.

It probably wasn't a topnotch story. I could've taken a straight 'no'. Honest I could. (Ideally in July or August.)

PS The rider to this is that I won't have a word said against the lovely Sarah Proctor who has never bought a single thing of mine, but is consistently friendly and approachable. And - news flash - not all eds are like that.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Me and Paul Simon

Paul Simon and I have something in common: a short little span of attention. Oh yes.

Y'know how hard it is to get going, and keep focussed, sometimes? Especially when you've shelves full of old photograph albums that you could just flick through for several hours - sure to spark some inspiration - and then all the newspapers are on the net, and..well, everybody suffers from those distractions, yeah? But me tho' - I watch the lads with ADHD in the centre and think: that's me! I'm like them!

In desperation I now set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes at a time and I see how much I can get written (or planned if it's a lesson-planning day) before it shrieks at me. Tick, tick, tick, on and on it goes while I write, geeing me up, getting on my nerves and (almost) wiping out any inclination I might have to check the BB live feed or water the herbs currently in a state of collapse on the worktop.

Ok, the other day I found a half-written article on short attention spans in my Someday I'll Do Something With This Lot file. Wonder if I can finish it in 3 x 20 minute bursts before Sweetie Pie gets home?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wimbledon v Big Brother

Some people book a fortnight's holiday for the duration of Wimbledon. Sadly, this isn't possible for the duration of Big Brother, seeing as it lasts half a lifetime. But, if I had a job at the moment to take holiday from, and if Big Brother lasted a strictly limited number of days or weeks, then I might be tempted.

I'm a Big Brother virgin (not many of those around) - I've never watched it before. Indeed, I've avoided it on purpose, declaring the house a Big Brother Free Zone and anyone idiotic to go on the programme an attention seeking div. So what happened? A mid-life thingy? Too much time on my hands? Or am I - as I'll tell anyone who reacts with enough horror to my BB confession - subconsciously immersing myself in the direst kind of popular culture in order to garner themes for literacy lessons?

In the meantime, just excuse me, it's at least ten minutes since I checked the Sun's (I ask you!) 24/7 rolling news update. Yup, I've got it bad.