>Time well spent

>So Friday night, once I’d done the weekly shopping and my friends had caught up with themselves coming back, we finally made it to our local club to see one of my favourite bands. The gig ran over slightly, so it was a late finish after all, but it was a good night.

On Saturday Val McDermid was absolutely brilliant, one of the best hours I’ve spent regarding writing. I probably learned more in that one discussion than I could have learned in years of correspondence courses. She was great and very inspiring.

Before the talk began I was sitting in the cafe bar at Sheffield’s Showroom cinema writing an outline for a short story. Val McDermid wandered in, sat at a table while someone fetched the coffees, and was almost immediately mobbed for her autograph by one lady. I’d picked up her book the day before but wanted to sit through the talk first and see what the arrangements were for book signings before bothering her. She very graciously gave her autograph to the lady without complaint or malice.

I wrote a second short story outline while I finished a frothy hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. I got my book signed after the event, at the book signing part of the event, and she remembered that I’d asked her a question on Facebook on Thursday, what that question was, and what her reply had been. I didn’t even have to repeat or spell my name. Marvellous.

We weren’t going out Saturday evening, but we found out that more friends of mine were coming down from Sunderland to play at our next-but-local club (same village). So two of us joined them for the evening and we had another great night.

Sunday morning I still managed to get up in time to go to the farmers’ market. I spent around £6, but I bought some fresh bread, half a dozen free range eggs, some regular sausages, a box of strawberries, 2 packets of sweets (candy), a quarter of Wensleydale cheese … and 2 buffalo burgers …

I didn’t go walking because, after 2 gigs on the trot and a trip to Sheffield, I was a tad tired. So I caught up with Saturday’s X-Factor and spent Sunday evening ogling the telly (Time Team, Countryfile, Strictly Come Dancing – the Results, X-Factor – the Results, Downton Abbey, and Inglourious Basterds).

Today was quite a late start. I’m going to do a few of the chores I’d normally do at the weekend — I’ll make a yellow trifle first, but I also need to either do some washing or buy some new clothes — and then some writing work.