>I seem to be back …

>In February, I will have been in this village for 6 years. In January, I will have lived in this particular house for 4 years. This morning, for the first time since I’ve been here, I saw a hedgehog. It’s possibly the first time I’ve ever seen a live hedgehog in my life. I opened the back door to call Holly in (she’d got me up at about 4am to let her out …), and nothing came out of my mouth as I saw this lovely creature creeping along the base of the wall at the back. Well, I say creeping, but it was actually scurrying. I watched it for about a minute until it disappeared, and then I called in the cat. It was a really nice start to the day.

Radio Times
This is the TV listings magazine I subscribe to now. I changed from my old one to this one because it includes all of the radio stations too (the clue’s in the title). It arrives every Tuesday on the dot. This week it came with a letter.

I would just like to say that I fully support the upcoming and ongoing industrial action by postal workers at Royal Mail. The unions have done everything legally, in the right order, and for the right reasons (in my humble opinion). Good luck to them. But I was surprised to read this letter from the Radio Times and it will only make me remain loyal to them in the future too.

If my listings magazine, which normally arrives on a Tuesday, hasn’t arrived by the Saturday when all the programmes start, I’m to go and buy one from a newsagent, and let Radio Times know via their website. For every week I have to buy a separate magazine, they will increase my subscription by a week too. How good is that?

They don’t need to do this, but I believe it’s called good customer care. I wonder what other organisations are doing to help get us through these times.

Writing schedule
Once upon a time I was quite a prolific writer. Yes, really. It was my bread and butter, I worked 7 days a week, from 7am in the morning until 11pm at night sometimes. If I was right on deadline but going on holiday, I’d post the submission at a letterbox on the way. I used to be good.

Then things started to go wrong in my private life, I was ridiculed for having lots of funny little eccentricities, I got jaded from doing too many columns, I got lazy from not having to go out and find work, and my confidence took a right bashing when a couple of those columns were withdrawn. Eventually I stopped writing and regularly thanked my lucky stars for the day job – the best day job in the world.

These days I’m busy again. And with no-one to mock me for the way I work, I’ve reinstated my writer’s schedule.

You will see from the side bar that I tend to have several projects on the go, but I like to alternate them so I don’t get bored and so that each item gets equal attention to the others.

Here on the left is an extract from the current schedule. I hope you can see it. Draft 1 is always the hardest and I always get a bit blocked if there’s a #1 next or soon after what I’m already working on. Not included on here are the fillers, the non fiction book, or the other ongoing projects. It’s not cast in stone, by the way. If I’m plain not ready to work on something, I’ll skip to something else and go back to it. But it keeps me on the straight and narrow.

I might be a bit linear for some creatives, but this is the way it works for me. If you don’t like it, tough – don’t try it. But let me get on with it.

Creative accounting
I’m feeling very proud of myself this month, finance-wise. Most of you know I’ve entered into a financial management plan, which means I have to live within my means and without any credit at all. It’s been very, very hard not having a piece of plastic to wave whenever I’ve wanted something, and it’s been even harder to simply go without. But I’ve done it and I’ve been managing, even without our contractual quarterly bonuses or any additional freelance work coming in (yet).

This time last month I had about £7 to last me until pay day. This month I have just over £50. That in itself is an achievement, but when you remember I had an unbudgeted vet bill at the beginning of the month too, it’s pretty amazing.

And so I think I deserve a treat.

The weekend
This evening there should be a complimentary ticket waiting for me at a Wishbone Ash gig in Holmfirth. Normally I’d go with enough money to pay for said ticket in case the comp has been forgotten. I really, really want to see Wishbone Ash. They were my first ever rock concert back in 1981. (My first ever concert was Buddy Rich and his orchestra, same year, same boyfriend.) But if the comp has been forgotten today, I have to turn around and come back as my money will be needed elsewhere this weekend.

Tomorrow I hope to go and see one of my mates in his mod band, True Brit, over in Castleford. I don’t have to pay to go and see that one, but I do need to be up early Sunday morning …

Because on Sunday it’s my dad’s 80th birthday and I need the petrol/money to get to Birmingham and back. He will try to give me petrol money, but I can tell him now – you don’t pay for my petrol on your birthday.

I’m looking forward to having a great weekend and still keeping within my budget – I still have to feed me and the cats on whatever’s left.

Have a goodun. Looks like my blog break is over.

8 thoughts on “>I seem to be back …

  1. Devon Ellington 16 October 2009 / 1:13 pm

    >I'm GLAD the blog break is over. I like catching up with you on a regular basis.Your writing schedule is YOURS. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks — as long as it works for you, use it, and when it doesn't, you adjust it.Good for you — on all fronts!Lovely about the hedgehog. They're so funny, aren't they?


  2. Teresa Ashby 17 October 2009 / 10:45 am

    >I'm glad the blog break is over too.I love hedgehogs. There's something very special about seeing one I think.


  3. Josie 17 October 2009 / 9:51 pm

    >glad to see you back, at least it means you're not deleting me from facebook 😉 well done with the budget, £50 left, we're lucky if we have 50p left.oh btw the £1 bag I've made is still reserved for you on folksyJosie x


  4. FatBigot 18 October 2009 / 12:27 pm

    >I agree, it is generally an astonishingly good place to work. Now if only they weren't so mean with the pay…


  5. Lori 19 October 2009 / 11:39 am

    >She's back. Amen. And just in time for a round of The Hedgehog Song… 🙂


  6. carolwarham 19 October 2009 / 11:56 am

    >Glad to hear your dad is fine. The weird stuff was just that, everything is starting to sound to positive, so hopefully it will carry on that way.Is it really 4 years since you moved into this house?


  7. Diane 19 October 2009 / 12:57 pm

    >Devon: I could have watched the hedgehog for hours.Teresa: One of these days I'll visit … St Tiggywinkles, is it?Josie: I didn't delete anyone from Facebook, just myself for a few days. I went underground because I needed some time out, so I deactivated temporarily. Must come and collect that bag.Steve: If we were there for the pay, hardly any of us would actually be there. :o)Lori: What a lovely welcome back, thank you. Now then, this hedgehog song …? Carol: Yup, at the end of January I'll have been here 4 years … isn't it shocking how time flies?


  8. Lori 20 October 2009 / 1:14 pm

    >The Incredible String Band, Diane. Give them a search on Amazon or iTunes. The Hedgehog Song should be there. 🙂


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