>Normal service resumes

>Well, nearly normal service at any rate. I’m on holiday this week, which isn’t very normal. I do have jobs scheduled in, but I’m not going to beat myself up over them. If I do them, all well and good. If I don’t, I won’t lose any sleep – I’m on holiday.

Here is my Christmas break so far.

Christmas Day
The phone call came in at about 9:30am to say Merry Christmas, the roads seemed to be fine, Mom and Dad were going to my sister’s for Christmas dinner, and did I have any crackers? I’d avoided going in the loft myself, but I was sure I had some crackers within touching distance from the loft hatch. So I did have a quick peer up there and found that ALL of Christmas was within touching distance from the loft hatch. I could have put Christmas up after all.

I headed off to Leicester at about 10:45am, clutching my crackers and threatening to arrive at about 12:30pm. I got there at 12:30pm on the dot. The roads were great, I had the motorway to myself pretty much, it was a nice drive down.

We had a lovely dinner, as you do, opened lots of presents, and caught up on the gossip. I thought the crackers might have lost their snap as they’d been in the loft for 2 years, but they worked perfectly and the prizes were so good they disappeared into people’s pockets. I headed back at about 3:45pm, getting home by 5:30pm.

I had a cheese and pickled onion sandwich for my supper, watched a new Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.

Boxing Day
I did nothing. I chilled and relaxed and rested and read and had a no-car-day all day. It was great. At teatime I watched Celebrity Come Dine With Me, then later watched Ant and Dec’s Christmas Show. If I’d known the cricket was on the radio, I would have found that.

Actually, I did do something. I dusted off the Wii, changed all the batteries, weighed and measured myself, and worked out for, ooh, all of 16 minutes. The trouble with Wii Fit is that the trainer takes up a lot of the time waffling. A 20 minute session actually takes 30 minutes, and a 30 minute session takes closer to 50 minutes.

Sunday
Cooking day. I finally found the cricket on Radio Five Live and had that playing for much of the day. I put a loaf of bread in the bread machine, made a jelly, baked an apricot cut-and-come-again cake. I had a 20 minute session on the Wii.

For tea I defrosted one I made earlier, chicken in a lemon sauce. But it smelled disgusting so I had to clean the sauce off it with kitchen towel before I could even face it. I cooked the last of the potatoes and a pile of carrots, and made some mashed potato with the leftover spuds, and added some to the carrots to make a carrot mash. I haven’t decided yet whether to freeze those or keep them in the fridge and use them this week.

Sunday evening I went to see a band I’d not seen before at my favourite club. It was nice to catch up with so many friends in one place. Might be there again on New Year’s Day.

Today
And so to today, bank holiday Monday. I have the cricket on again at the moment and so far I’ve prepared 2 blog posts to publish on 31 December and 1 January – my wrap-up of 2009 and the plan for 2010.

Much of today, and the rest of this week, will be spent updating the gig list for January. In between, writing jobs – and I’m listing them for the week rather than on a daily basis as I’m trying to be a bit relaxed about this – are as follows. The symbol “#” stands for the word “draft”:

  • #1 Lycra Louts (short story)
  • #2 The Beast Within ch 1 (chapter of a novel)
  • #3 Barcelona (speculative article)
  • EDIT Romulus (short story)
  • OUTLINE The Beast Within ch 2 (chapter of a novel)
  • #1 Walking in the Wye Valley (speculative article)
  • Devon’s 5 in 10 (short story writing program/course)
  • Writers’ Bureau assignment 9
  • #2 Lycra Louts
  • #3 The Beast Within ch 1
  • 1 x walk review

Other stuff for this week includes:

  • put bins out/bring bins in
  • possible New Year’s Eve party
  • possible Friday night gig
  • household chores
  • laundry
  • baking/batch cooking
  • 3 mile Sunday walk
  • blog/gig list

How many ticks to you think I’ll get this week?

There’s not a lot on the telly I really fancy this evening, but The Jane Austen Book Club is on again. I half-watched this once before and decided I’d like to see it again properly. Transformers and Australia are also on, but they all clash.