Aren’t friends brill!

As many of you already know I’m really very quite busy, and I’m frantically trying to keep on top of work and on top of getting money in.

Yesterday morning I made a decision that if no money hit my account that day, I’d look for a proper job. This is because I’m starting to tire of chasing people for money. WHY do people hire your services and then fanny around not paying? I think it’s disgraceful, especially when it’s a large organisation that can afford to pay more than others. But even then, if they can’t afford to pay, they shouldn’t hire you. End of. It’s like going to a café, eating their food, and then saying: “Soz, can’t afford it after all – can you hang on a week or so until I get paid?” It’s bang out of order.

However, when I checked my bank account, a reasonable sum had indeed hit it and so I didn’t need to honour the pledge to myself. Phew! Thank goodness for that.

And so I cracked on with work and was doing quite well. I chucked one job back at a client, because it needed a helluva lot more work than what she’d initially suggested and I wasn’t prepared to haggle or do extra hours for the same pay. She agreed that it needed to go to a different contractor and I billed for time already spent.

Then I was in the midst of another job that’s already a bit later than I’d like, and BANG – I got the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. Eek! My only work yesterday, after throwing one job back, was on screen. And it was already later than I’d like.

So, after it let me in again, I threw a request up on Facebook asking friends to let me know what to do. I started by backing up all of my critical data, which was already going to take a long time, and then, luckily for me, friends did indeed answer my plea. Two tried to help me online, even though both were at work and one was very busy, and then another busy friend, the good old virtual office buddy, squeezed me in for a remote access jobby.

That then also took some time, and so did the scheduled ChkDsk function when the pc was rebooted. In fact, the ChkDsk took hours. He thinks what he did should fix it, but if not then he reckons it’s a memory issue. Fingers crossed it’s fixed.

But aren’t friends ace? I have some brilliant mates. 🙂

And so I lost a lot of time and am catching up today. I’m still doing the electronic edit – I need to shift that one ASAP – I’ve pitched for 18 jobs this week, I have an article I need to write that’s also later than I’d like (awaiting photographs from the subject), there’s the gig list to update today, and that job I threw back? It bounced straight back just as I was going to bed last night …

And I’ve given it some thought and decided that if she’s happy for me to bill for time worked on a weekly basis, then I’m happy to continue with the project. I usually work on fixed price jobs but, actually, I wouldn’t mind an hourly one.

Enjoy the picture below. It’s another one of mine from Saturday’s walk.

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Langsett Reservoir

A cup of tea made for me! Twice!

In my defence … I’ve been very busy. Again. I’m still very busy, but I’ve shifted a lot of work and now the battle for wages begins again. It’s a vicious circle – feast and famine … but this is my first post for August and it’s already the glorious 12th. I have been working solidly and I do have solid weeks of work in front of me. This is good.

I’ve edited a few books already this month and I’ve written a few articles. I’ve also booked a week off at the end of the month and a few days in Dent. This is all also very good.

Last week and the week before were both solid work. Last Monday I spent the day at my parents’ in Birmingham, and that, in turn, shortened the working week. I’ve done a lot of personal writing work, a lot of reading, and I started a brand new short story in a genre I usually avoid like the plague. I’d like to get back to that one as soon as I can so I can see how it pans out.

Over the weekend I had company. On Friday night we chilled and relaxed, and on Saturday morning I had a cup of tea made for me! 😮 I can’t remember the last time I had a cup of tea made for me. It was so novel, I let him make me another! And then we went out walking around Langsett Reservoir, thinking it would be a gentle 3 miles or so.

I’d forgotten there were a couple of hilly bits, but the weather was kind, we both did well, and Rufus was almost quite well-behaved – if we discount him chucking his water all over me, pinching one of the poet’s cheese and onion sandwiches, and then upsetting his water bowl again …

We saw tree creepers, coal tits, Canada geese, mallards, red grouse – did I mention  the glorious 12th? In only a couple more days (ie by today) part of the moors will be closed for the grouse-shooting. And “we” took lots of pictures – the one below is one of mine. I’ll share a few more over the next few posts.

By the time we got home we were quite shattered, all that fresh air and exercise no doubt. So we had another chilled evening and on Sunday we headed out for a shorter more gentle walk around a place called Newmillerdam, which is on the way to Wakefield. There are fewer pictures from there and I don’t have them on my laptop yet, but here we saw a heron fishing, a bedraggled robin, probably a youngster, more Canada geese, more ducks and a ruddy duck (with a blue beak – pic is in the West Midlands bird club picture gallery).

When we got back from that walk we had a rest and then we did some baking. “I” made some pastry, and then “we” made a quiche lorraine and some cheese muffins. It was fun having someone to cook with.

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A walk around Langsett Reservoir

After tea, it was time to get my house back. I’ve always been very territorial about this particular house, probably because it was my escape house. But I have enjoyed having the company and can’t wait to have another cup of tea made for me for him to stay again.

Two days of walking and an hour of standing and baking have left my hips, buttocks and glutes in bits, but it’s been a fun and relaxing weekend, and it made a change not having to dash anywhere.

Today I have to crack on. I’m editing a book and a standalone chapter and I have 2 articles to write.