>What a busy weekend I just had, and next weekend is going to be 3 times as bad.

On Friday I did my shopping on the way home from work again, then on Saturday it was off to Leeds for the first of the NaNo kick-off parties. I met a fellow WriMo on the train – she’s been doing it since 2003 so was able to give me all the background information I might need. She was wearing last year’s t-shirt because this year’s consignments haven’t arrived in the UK yet. If I get a t-shirt this year, I want it to have WINNER on it.

We all had a great time, having a chat, talking about ourselves, our writing, our plans for this year’s NaNo, and I hope a few new friends have been made. Susie even took the time to come on here and say hello on Saturday evening.

I woke to glorious sunshine on Sunday and was sorely tempted to go for that walk, but I had so much to do and next weekend I just won’t have time to do it all. So I did chores, browsed recipe books and magazines, popped out to get some last minute ingredients but failed anyway. I was going to make parkin and it needs black treacle (molasses), so off I went to get treacle. Then, when I started to get everything ready, I also needed oatmeal and I don’t have oatmeal. I checked loads of other recipes too, and they either want oatmeal or rolled/porridge oats. So the parkin got shelved until next time.

Instead I batch-cooked a 5-portion chicken casserole with parsley dumplings and didn’t think to check if there was room in the freezer for them all first … but I squeezed them in (ate one, froze 4). And I made an apple and blackberry crumble as I had cooking apples left over from before and the blackberries were on offer in the supermarket (they’re in season, see).

One evening this week I want to make buns and cookies for Halloween, I want to try a bean and sweetcorn casserole, and I have a recipe for an Ipswich lemon pie. I also found recipes for pumpkin soup or gingered pumpkin pie, or both if I have enough edible pumpkin meat – I have to work out how to open the pumpkin first, though, and then how to carve it. I’m going to be so busy, clearing the writing decks, though, that I may have to get up early Saturday morning for some of it. (Boo, hiss.)

Monday was a writing day and I didn’t get onto the computer, let alone the internet, until 2pm. But I did finalise 2 fillers, outline another filler and an article, and I made a start on the diary for November. With so much NaNo in there, plus other projects I need to keep working on, it’s already looking a bit scary. I’m not going to list it all for you guys. If even I think it’s scary I’ll lose you all.

Today I’m in the office for a 4-day week. The deadline for the next magazine is 5 November and I have to decide whether or not we run a newsletter as well.