It worked!

blog thumbnailYesterday was a do diddle day and, this time, it seems to have worked quite well.

For a start, I did diddley squat all day, or for much of the day, which is the whole point. I had a nice lie in, but not too late. I pootled around the house doing bits and bobs. I bobbed into town for an hour and walked the dog. Then I read (World Without End, Ken Follett) and watched a teensy bit of telly (Death in Paradise, BBC1).

By half ten I was in bed. I had a proper, good night’s sleep too, and only woke when the dark barked at 6:15am.

Then I got up at a reasonable time, did some yoga, had breakfast at breakfast time instead of 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and was at my desk by starting work time. I’ll have my first break at 11am, dinner at 1pm, afternoon break at 3pm, and dog walk at 5pm. Hopefully, in between, I’ll finish today’s scheduled work and have a column of lovely ticks down the side of my diary page.

Today I’m editing a novel. I’m also updating the gig list, and doing some writing work. I have my 1,000 words a day, plus drafts of a filler and a short story to write.

For the next 10 days I’m tracking my food intake and activity. When I set the CCTV up and recorded myself (to test it) I was astonished at how overweight I look. I don’t really do diets any more, as I think they’re an expensive waste of money and the only people to properly benefit are those who make money from the industry. Also, as soon as I start a diet, I start to feel starving hungry all the time.

Instead, I just cut my food intake down to 3 meals per day – breakfast, dinner, tea – with just an afternoon snack of maybe a banana and an evening snack of maybe an apple. I usually have cake, chocolate, biscuits or sweeties. But I’ve stopped eating chocolates and sweeties for Lent and I need to cut out those cakes and biccies.

For the tracking I’ve joined Spark People because it’s free. It also is supposed to have one of the largest databases for the purpose. But the gadget I particularly like is where you can plot a route that you walk, run or cycle on a map, save it, and share it if you wish. Anywhere in the world.

I’ve only lost 2lb in the 3 weeks since I registered, but I was poorly for some of that time and didn’t concentrate properly. However, jeans straight out of the wash on Saturday didn’t cut me in two and I’m sitting around the house in them before realising I haven’t had to change into something a bit more comfortable.

Later today, then, when I walk the dog, I’ll be doing one of my pre-saved routes. And this evening, if there’s nothing on the telly, I’ll choose a fitness DVD. I won’t be buying any more fitness DVDs, but I may as well use the ones I have.

So, to work …

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Giddy kipper

bluesA friend who shares my birthday asked me last week what I was doing for mine – he’s in a band and has gigs even further oop north than I currently am so that wasn’t an option.

I realised that our birthday was almost upon us and I didn’t have any clue. So I started to have a think and decided if Birmingham City were at home I’d see if another friend wanted to come along.

They were and that friend (yes, I have more than one) said it sounded like a good idea and to leave it to him.

Within hours he’d bought our tickets, actually quite good tickets, posted a pic to my Facebook, and I’ve been wandering around with a stupid grin on my face ever since.

As I’m going to be down there anyway now, I also asked a couple of other mates if they’d be able to make it out for a drink with us on the evening, and one has already come back to say yes. I know there’s another birthday that weekend back home, but I’m hoping a few more can make it as well.

Then the gig buddy sent me a message asking me if I’d like to go out the night before. It’s Mother’s Day in the UK on the Sunday, so me and Rufus might spend the night at Mom’s and Dad’s. So, after not having any plans at all, the weekend is now fully booked.

And I’m getting a bit good at weekends too.

The one just gone I took off. We didn’t make it to the Moonraker festival on Saturday, but we did go walking locally instead. It was nice to see Carol and for Rufus and Sam to meet each other. I think they got on all right, even if Rufus was a bit naughty at times.

Yesterday I went to visit Mom and Dad. We’ve not been down there for a month, thanks to snow and flu and stuff. They think Rufus is “growing up” a little now.

I’ve already been working today, but now I need to stop grinning and get on with it. My work is a lot more spread out this week after last week, and I intend to stick to the schedule if I can.

I’m editing a novel today. And probably tomorrow too.

Am a proper giddy kipper now, though. 😀

Pah!

blog thumbnailSo I thought I’d have an early night … Oh, don’t make me laugh. Still, it’s not as late as yesterday … Yet. Pah!

The job took FOREVER. I can’t remember the last forever job I had. Anyway, it took loads longer than I thought it would, although it still made it within the projected 3 – 5 days and it still came in on budget. I suppose I can’t have it too easy.

It was also a very interesting, enlightening but harrowing tale (autobiography). The kind of story that makes you think, and that everyone should read. Everyone.

Anyway, I finished work Wednesday night at, ahem, 6:45am on Thursday morning … I had 4 hours sleep, did a few other things, and then carried on.

At 3:30am on Friday my Thursday work day is over and the job is delivered. (HOORAY!)

I did send over a partial yesterday, well – Wednesday – so the client could see what I was doing … and he’s asked me if I’d like the next job as well. I must be doing something right.

He’s getting a longer lead time next time …

So, I’m hoping I’ll sleep now. But I can’t rest too easy as a 5:30pm appointment has been brought forward to 1:45pm, so I’d best set the alarm. And I need to get money so I can pay the milkman at teatime. And pay the hairdresser. And I have to walk the dog. And I need to get some shopping.

I also have the next job to do and I can’t decide which one to do next. The one I’ve done manual edits on and need to electronically edit? The one they want out quickly due to topical events in the news? Or the quick one that won’t tax me too much and will mean an invoice would be on its way a little sooner? Which would you choose?

It’s a busy weekend ahead. I’m meeting up with the lovely Carol (I hope), we’re joining the ramblers for a 6 mile easy stroll, there may be a little moonraking, and then humans to visit on Sunday. Oh, and if I get back in time on Saturday, there’s a gig to go to.

Y’all have a good one, now.

A tad busy

blog thumbnailOoh, I’ve been a bit busy between last Friday and today, and even now – at 10:40pm – I’m only coming up for air between hard copy and electronic copy proof-reading.

I was working at the weekend, mostly on an auto-biography for a client, and I did get going on that. But when I warned him that it may be a day late, i.e. Sunday, because I’d been poorly, he told me not to give up my weekend and he extended the deadline. What a nice chap.

So I had an unexpected afternoon off on Saturday and did some shopping. I had to replenish the dog training treats, and bought him a new ball as well – ooh, and our pet superstore has finally joined the 21st century and is issuing loyalty cards. I nipped to the chemist to get the lipgloss I like, because I can’t get it from the supermarket at the moment, and while there picked up a new fitness magazine. I had a free lunch courtesy of another loyalty card. I picked up a pair of yoga pants in a sports shop sale, because I lounge around the house in them and two pairs are falling apart. And Rufus had a good walk.

Sunday I pootled about doing absolutely nothing. Well, he told me not to work on the weekend … but I wish that I had.

On Monday I started back to work with a vengeance, and then the house calls and the phone calls started. Nuisance neighbour is at it again, this time the local environmental health department came to see me. I told them this was complaint no 10, and they said they were also fed up of him and were passing him “upstairs”. I had long conversations with the police and with my solicitor, plus one call about repairing the fence/gate, and I finally set up the CCTV a friend had loaned me that I was just using as a deterrent for now.

He’s about to get a letter off my solicitor and the police decided that now might be a good time to get the camera plugged in. I’ve been advised not to carry out any temporary repairs on the gates until we know whether I have to leave vehicle access or if I can fence off the garden full stop. We’re still investigating the boundary dispute, but he’s going to get a sharp rap on the knuckles over his constant harassment.

Ten complaints since November 2011 (that we know of), and not a single one has been upheld. My solicitor and the police both believe that once he gets his letter, there will be a whole host of other complaints he’d like to make about me, but at least we’ll know what they are then, and by his own admission.

While I was setting up the CCTV he came home and made a big pantomime of watching the bedroom window and making a phone call. I totally ignored him and set the CCTV to RECORD.

So that took up most of Monday and because I started work late, I finished work late. About 11pm.

I was up with the larks on Tuesday – well, up by 9am – and was tightening both washing lines by 10am. He’d already gone out, quite early (and he came back quite late – spooked much?), so I had the yard to myself. We’ve had such glorious weather since Saturday that I decided to take advantage of it.

So after hanging out 2 washloads, I was back working. I had an hour off at 9pm to watch a television series, but other than fetching the washing back in (and snapping one of the lines, I’d pulled it so tight), I worked. Until 1am.

Today I’ve been working some more, but still it isn’t shifting. I told him it would take 3 – 5 days and so far it’s taken 3. I’ve done all of the hard copy stuff and some of the electronic. Now I have to finish the electronic amendments and get it back to him. I’ve already sent feedback but by the time I finish, It will probably have taken 3½ days. I just wish I could have been left to just get on with it.

I’ve had a quick tea this evening (beans on toast followed by chopped bananas with fruits of the forest yoghurt), taken the dog for a walk and posted a letter to my solicitor. I have coffee. I work.

Burning the midnight oil

blog thumbnailAt the start of this week I was roughly 5 days behind in my work due to the flu. After a few days spent burning the midnight oil, I’ve caught up on 2 of those and by the end of the weekend I should be back on track.

The flu has definitely gone and there is just a cold lingering now. The deafness is only in one ear. I do feel a lot better, but, after a slip on the stairs with the dog yesterday, I am feeling a bit achey today.

My main worry was the dog, and I really need to train him to walk down the stairs by himself as I won’t be able to carry him forever. He’ll do it, reluctantly, on the lead, but panics if he’s on the landing, let alone any steps. I did manage to keep hold of him until my rump hit the deck, but I think he had a bit of a bump too and he was quite bewildered by it all – to the extent that he ran straight to his basket when we got downstairs (after first making sure I was all right, bless him), and he only ever goes in there if he’s been naughty.

My second worry was the mirror on the wall directly opposite the bottom of the stairs, but once I knew I was coming in under that rather than into it, I relaxed and enjoyed the ride – so to speak.

I escaped with a grazed elbow, in 2 places, 3 sprained fingers and a sore bum. And a few muscular aches. But apart from that, we’re fine. Domino scarpered down the stairs before us; Holly stayed safely at the top watching us. So the cats were fine too.

Isn’t it amazing, though, how much work your middle finger on your non-dominant hand does? I had trouble unscrewing bottle tops, holding flat objects, typing, picking anything up that requires the whole hand, opening door handles, walking the dog on his lead … So I tried not to do any work with it, but kept moving so I didn’t seize up. Witch hazel is also brilliant.

Anyway, as I say, I’ve worked late for the past few nights – until 1:30am last night – and I’ve done quite a lot of catching up of work. I even bagged another interview for the National Service book. This morning I sent author queries off for a book I just finished editing (hard copy) and I’m ready to start proof-reading the next job, an autobiography.

It means I may have to work at the weekend so that by Monday I’m back where I want to be, and that means I’ll miss this week’s write-in in Leeds. With a cold still lingering a bit, I shan’t take that to my parents’. Instead I’ll go next week when I would have gone anyway.

So, that’s me sorted for the weekend. What are you doing?

Have a goodun.

Silence is golden

I woke up this morning and was as deaf as a post. This is because the cold, while definitely just a cold now, is starting to manifest itself and be seen. I’m feeling tons better, though, which is very good, particularly as I have too much work to do to be poorly.

I’m trying to keep distractions down to a minimum, so am staying off the Internet for a few days, other than to check a few sites that I moderate. I’m logging right out of Facebook so it’s more of a hassle than a “quick look” to nip back in, and I’ve switched FB notifications off. I’ll go in and check when it’s convenient rather than be alerted all the time.

Even the deafness is helping. I feel as though I’m working inside a warm, cosy bubble.

And it was all going so well too … until it started to snow. And now I keep glancing up from my work to gaze through the window at the snowflakes falling and the snow starting to settle. It will all be washed away again tomorrow, but it’s nice and warm here in front of the fire, watching.

So this is a flying visit, via the mobile phone, as I have work to do. Today I work – and tomorrow, and the next day …

Flu packs bags

blog thumbnail Following a second drug-free night, although granted another unscheduled lie-in, I’m finally starting to feel better. I can breathe. I’m not drowning. And the fog has left the cavity between my ears. Here’s hoping the flu is packing its bags and will soon be gone.

Yesterday turned into quite the admin day, a steady plod getting me back into the swing of work. I didn’t clear any jobs, but I re-set the body clock (nearly) and made several inroads.

Today I want to edit a manuscript and get it sent back to the author so he can see my suggested changes.

I’ve already done this week’s walks report and filed it, with 6 newspapers. I’m not seeing these papers but other members of the group are and we’re apparently getting some good coverage with quite a few walkers turning up after reading about us. Listing the walks for the next 2 weeks has reminded me that it’s Moonraker Festival time at Slaithwaite and we have a walk on the 23rd. It’s a 6-mile walk but an easy one, and the dog can come with me. I’m fancying joining that one …

I also have an appointment in town today at 2:30pm, which will cut the day in half but at least I’ll have some fresh air.

On the way home I want to get some lemon juice so I can have a go at pancakes this evening. I forgot to get the lemon juice when I surfaced at the weekend and went to do shopping. I’m not very good at pancakes, I have to concentrate really hard, do everything by the book, then close my eyes and cross my fingers. I love pancakes with sugar and lemon and would eat them all year round if I had the knack.

The dog will also need a walk at some point and I’d like to make a dent in the next job.

Happy Pancake Day. 🙂

Tight month

I don’t really have much to report, mostly because I’ve spent vast quantities of the past 7 days in bed. I’ve done hardly any work because I just haven’t had the energy. I didn’t go to the Leeds write-in on Saturday, I’ve not been to any gigs, and I didn’t go to visit my parents – mostly because we don’t want them catching whatever I’ve had.

And I’m hoping it’s the past tense now.

The over-the-counter drugs have been working hard for about 5 days, including night time tablets to help me sleep (not sleeping tablets). But yesterday, when I surfaced the first time, I was so woozy I spent several seconds staring down at the doorstep wondering why the milkman hadn’t been … (he might be good, but he doesn’t deliver on a Sunday, unless snow has been forecast the following day, and then it’s Sunday evening rather than Sunday morning).

So last night I went without the night time drugs … and when I woke up at 10am this morning, I felt as though I’d slept the sleep of the dead. The animals were all shut in the bedroom with me and I have no idea if I’d ignored any of them wanting out, but as they were all fast asleep and snoring … perhaps they have me on when they do manage to wake me and don’t want out at all.

It means, of course, that now February – an already short month – is tighter than ever. I have a good month’s-worth of work in. I just need to plod through it steadily:

  • edit historical novel #1
  • edit historical novel #2
  • proof-read historical non-fiction #1
  • proof-read auto-biography
  • pitch paranormal feature #1
  • weekly walks report
  • finish and submit short story for fave story market
  • finish and submit filler/reader’s letter
  • write and submit RTE (reader’s true experience)
  • arrange interviews for non-fiction #1
  • write press release for Feb book publication
  • write 1,000 words a day …

We didn’t get much snow this time, by the way, despite it being forecast last week and this week. It did snow, but not enough to stick. It’s nice walking the dog when it’s snowing because nobody else does. (Bunch of big girls’ blouses!)

In other news, I am reading quite a lot, World Without End by Ken Follett (and watching it on telly), and I finally finished the polo-necked aran jumper I’ve been knitting for about three years. So that’s something.

However, I’d best get on …