Our woodpecker

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We have a pair of woodpeckers in the garden now. Here’s Mister Woody. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Yesterday I had a snow day. I do love the snow, and I do have work to do. But one of the reasons me working from home works is because I take off days that other workers might take off. This is why I don’t work weekends or bank holidays – I may as well go back to work if I’m not going to take those. And yesterday, because lots of other people were having a snow day, I had one too. I also have fag (cigarette) breaks, by the way, even though I’ve never smoked. Hey, it works. ūüôā

I did start the day fairly early yesterday as we needed a few supplies and we thought the weather was going to get much worse. But already the roads were bad, so I didn’t venture very far, just to our local Co-op, which is actually within walking distance but I knew I had heavy bottles to buy too (milk, juice, pop). So at 9:15 I was washed, dressed, breakfasted, and I loaded the dog into the car (he loves to come for a ride). I was back home 20 minutes later and we were stocked up. I also bought mixed fruit and vanilla essence so we can bake¬†some cakes, cookies and puddings.

We baked cakes on Wednesday when the poet got home from work. He put some bread on while I started some apple and cinnamon muffins. He likes to do the mixing and stuff, though, so all I had to do was tell him how much of everything he needed and let him take over when he was ready. He does, however, draw a line at spooning out, so I did that. (Sigh!) It’s such a hard life …

But back to yesterday, I couldn’t get going at work, so instead did a load of housework-ish. This consisted of putting 2 large loads of clean washing away, putting 2 more loads through, and emptying and reloading the dishwasher twice. Well, the dishwasher is still a chore, it still needs to be unloaded and loaded and the crocks put away.

For the first time yesterday I spotted our female greater spotted woodpecker. I wondered what it was at first as it was missing the red nape you can see in the above picture. But I’ve checked and she’s definitely a female. This is so cool.

This morning the poet headed off to Manchester again, but they’ve called him and told him to turn around and go back (hands-free, of course, on his phone). Apparently they’ve had a big snow dump over on that side o’ t’hill and, from what I can gather from Facebook, it hit further south overnight too. The roads between there and here are closed so he’s on his way back to the office.

I had a very good writing day on Wednesday. I wrote an outline for 1 new short story, and the 1st drafts of another 2 new short stories. Today I’d like to skip draft 2 and go straight to the typed draft of one of these 1st draft stories as it’s written itself quite well. If I can get it polished by tomorrow night (I know I don’t work at the weekend, but if it’s just a quick skim-through of something short I don’t mind), it’s on its way to favourite short story market for my January submission. The other short story needs more work, but that one might go off for my February submission. (Who can guess which market this is? ūüôā )

I thought I had the gig list to update this week, but apparently it was done a few days ago. I just need to copy and paste the details over onto Facebook so that punters and musicians know where they’re going this weekend.¬†I’d also like to have a look through some other 1st and 2nd draft short stories to see if anything else is almost ready to go out. Oh yes, and I have an invoice to raise (hurrah!). So, all in all, a fairly busy day today.

Tomorrow I think we’re off to Birmingham, weather permitting, and coming back via Doncaster, to visit parents. Tomorrow evening, weather permitting, we’re off to Holmfirth to see some friends of mine in their band. Our names will be on the door, so we’ll also take the camera and hopefully write them a good review on Monday.

I don’t think we have anything planned for Sunday, but I need to bagsy that we put the new curtains up in Abbey Road. We’ve not had chance to do that yet as the curtain pole has fallen down and needs refixing or replacing. The sun’s starting to slant in through the window, though, and cause reflection on part of the computer screen. So I need that doing next if we can. We’ll also do some baking, I think.

What are you up to this weekend?

This one or that one?

An extra post today. Lucky you lot! ūüôā

There are currently 2 competitions or “opportunities” for writers of short stories who would like to write for radio. The BBC Opening Lines details can be found here; the BBC National Short Story Competition with Booktrust details can be found here. The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed will notice that both of these competitions are in association with the BBC.

Opening Lines is free entry and 3¬†successful writers will have their stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and be invited to London to see their winning stories recorded. There is no other payment for this “opportunity”.

The BBC National Short Story Competition is also free entry, but the 5 winning entries (that’s FIVE), will receive ¬£15,000 1st prize, ¬£3,000 runner up, and ¬£500 each for the 3 further shortlisted entries. Interviews with the shortlisted writers will be broadcast over 5 weekdays and each story will also be broadcast.

Now then, as an advocate of writers being paid, which one do you think I’d recommend you go for? Of course, it’s entirely up to you, but if you have any doubt, please check out these usual rates of pay from the BBC first, via the Society of Authors.

I continue to argue that if a slot is already paid for, then it should be paid for. Organisations and companies should not exploit beginning writers by encouraging them to submit something and then not pay them what they’d normally pay. “For the glory” doesn’t really pay the rent, does it? Or perhaps we should try something similar when the gas board come calling: “Sorry, although I do usually pay my utility bills, why don’t¬†you accept having the glory of being my energy supplier this time?” Or how about when our TV licence becomes due for payment …?

In my opinion, the BBC can afford to pay its contributors. End of.

Let me know if you enter either competition or “opportunity”, and how you get along. (I love how they’re calling it an opportunity … not.)

Weekend workout

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Here’s our nuthatch, who regularly feeds on our nuts and fat. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

What an active weekend we had. But the work took us a little longer than we thought it would.

We headed over to the other house¬†but had to go out again to get longer ladders. We had steps with us, but we’d forgotten how much higher the ceilings are in that old Edwardian building than in this Stuart building or the last more modern house. (I thought this current house we’re in was Jacobean but it seems it’s actually from the Caroline era … I’ve never even heard of that one.) We also picked up dustbin liners and some provisions.

Back at the old house we spent the best part of the day emptying the loft, transferring everything to the main bedroom, and identifying what was going with us and what was going straight to the tip. The stuff that was going with us still needed sorting, but there are financial and business records in there dating back to 1985 that need burning.

With no more time or energy to do anything other than that, we came back home with a view to having baths and showers Рwe were very dirty after crawling around the loft and lugging boxes and rubbish around Рa nice tea, and then going out to see friends of ours in their ska covers band. By 8pm, though, we were still dirty, hungry and tired, so we decided to stay in and watch telly.

Sunday morning we were back. First of all we sorted out the garage here, which is still filled with boxes we haven’t gone through yet. We ended up with a full carload for the tip just from here. So we went back to the other house via the tip. When we got to the house we managed to get all the stuff we were keeping into the car first, and we managed to get all of the stuff going to the tip into the car too.

Then we took meter readings, checked everywhere was empty, grabbed a shelf unit we’d forgotten, for the garage, turned off the gas and electricity, left keys and paperwork, and headed home via the tip¬†again. We have one set of keys left, which we’ll be getting to the estate agent Friday midday, in time for a 2pm completion. We have snow forecast later this week. I’m hoping this doesn’t hold anything up.

On the way home we also treated ourselves to a nice lunch, went to the pet shop to get the dog a new basket and some toothpaste, and nipped next door to the home bargains shop to get an incinerator. Then, when we got home, we emptied what was left in the car and put it all in the garage. A lot of stuff went to the tip this weekend, and we can now access pretty much everything still in the garage. We both went out to see if we could find something last night, and we both put our hands on what we wanted straight away. That feels so good.

The poet’s arms and shoulders are killing him as he did most of the lifting down from the loft and then down the narrow, steep stairs. We’re both quite achey and we’re both quite physically weary. But¬†it’s another massive job ticked off the list, and a cracking weekend workout.

This week he’s working between Barnsley and Manchester – Manchester today. He’s going to get some new front tyres on his car because the journey over the Pennines in this current weather can be quite scary and we know the tyres are close to illegal. We don’t want to spend a lot, though, as the car’s due to be chopped in next month or the month after. But he still needs to be safe. And legal. Next week, weather permitting, my car goes in for its first service since I left Corus/Tata. The poor thing will feel like it’s having a birthday and will probably faint with shock.

I didn’t get any work done at the weekend, and I didn’t finish what I wanted to on Friday. So today I’m doing those electronic edits. I was going to take some time out to make some crusty bread rolls, but the poet put the bread machine on this morning before he went to work so I’ll probably make some later on in the week. That means I should also get some writing or editing of my own done too.

The week hasn’t been planned yet – shock, horror – but I know I have 2 more books in to start editing, I have a book of my own to continue editing, I have a new book to continue writing, and I have short writing work to get cracking with.

The poet didn’t get much chance to practise with his camera at the weekend, so the nuthatch above is the one I promised you last week. As you can see, this is already better than Friday’s blue tits.

What’s in your WIP this week?

Facelift

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Blue tit. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Every year the blog gets a bit of a facelift, and the eagle-eyed may notice that it’s happened again. I hope you like it, but do welcome feedback. Please let me know what you think about the new layout, what you like about it and what you dislike about it. Ta muchly. ūüôā

My normal week has been very, well, normal. And I’ve actually managed to get a good bit done. My editing output has slowed down a little, but my own writing has increased. This is going in the right direction, yes?

On Monday we did have a carpenter come to plane and rehang 6 doors, but he arrived early and was gone before dinnertime. The poet also had to drive over to Manchester and was quite surprised at the difference in weather on the “other side of hill”. On Tuesday I did have to go back and have one of my blood tests done again as they’d apparently lost it at the lab. But these are regular blood tests and they’ve not called me back yet … On Wednesday we had a terrific dump of snow, which was great for me, but the poet had to abandon another trip across the Pennines and go into the local office. There had also been an accident so he was very, very late. Yesterday he was back there again, and he’s gone again today. But apart from all of that, it’s been a relatively normal week.

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Blue tit. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I’ve had a very productive week workwise.

On Monday I worked on Baggins Bottom Best Bits Book 2 and I collated several lots of writers’ guidelines for potential pitching/submitting. On Tuesday I started to write a new book and managed almost 2,000 words and pretty much the book’s structure. On Wednesday I wrote another 1,400+ words for the new book and I electronically edited 30 pages of the current client job. On Thursday the blog had its facelift, and I also managed another 500 words (nearly) on the new book and another 15 pages on the client job. I’ve surfed the job boards as well this week, but nothing took my fancy.

Today, then, I want to finish the electronic edits and get that book sent back to the author for query responses. I’d also like to write a bit more of the book and see how close I can get to 5,000 words. At 4:15pm I have a hair appointment, so that means I finish work today at 3:30pm.

On Wednesday I received the news that we’re completing on the other house sale next Friday. That means this weekend we have to clear the garage of stuff we know is destined for either the tip or the charity shops and empty the loft over there and fetch anything back that we’re keeping. Apart from that I don’t think we have any other plans for this weekend, so we’ll, once again, suck it and see how we feel.

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Cheeky chops. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The poet may want to have a play with his new toy. Do you like it? It’s a dSLR camera and these wonderful blue tit shots were the first he ever took when his new zoom lens arrived.

He’s a little disappointed that they’re a bit blurred, but he’s already learned how to combat that and more examples will follow. They’re so lovely, though, I thought some of you may like to see them.

Have a great weekend.

A normal week?

For the first time in what feels like forever, this week may be the first “normal” week in a long while – although I still use the term loosely.

The weekend was good. We managed a whole day off.

Friday I was collecting the poet from the station. His train was about 10 minutes late, so that wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately the last leg of his trip had been a bit … uncomfortable, as there was a big concert in Sheffield (Slipknot) and there were a lot of people travelling from Leeds. He’d only caught the first train in Kirkcaldy by the skin of his teeth, but the rest of the journey was, apparently, quite smooth going. He needed some chill time after the Leeds – Barnsley leg though.

So Friday evening we did nothing.

Saturday was busy. We had to go to Chavsville to collect his routine prescriptions, then we went to a lovely little farm shop we know to buy a picnic and gifts. We had to put petrol in before dropping in on his mother to wish her a happy birthday. And then it was off to Birmingham – we arrived in Birmingham at about 3pm. We were supposed to be viewing some furniture while we were down there, but that had already been sold, so that gave us a bit more time with my parents. The dog was very, very disobedient and had to go back in the car for about 10 minutes before we left.

On the way back we were doing well for time, but about 30 minutes from home it started to snow. It wasn’t sticking, until we reached the last village before ours, and there it looked quite thick. Hoping to get home before the blizzard, we were surprised to see, as soon as we emerged from a tree-lined part of the main road, that the snow had actually turned to rain. And then nothing. We had a hard frost Saturday night, but lovely sunshine all day Sunday.

So Saturday evening we did nothing.

On Sunday we had a bit of a do diddle day again with the poet learning how to use his new camera. I put quite a lot of washing through and we went for a walk, with the dog, through the fields, down to the local Co-op to get a few provisions in. Then, for the first time since we got here, I made a trifle. It’s been a long time since I made a trifle or, indeed, apart from the Christmas cake (which was actually made at the last house and brought with us), since I made anything.

And on Sunday evening we did nothing.

I say this week should be normal because it’s the first week in a long time that we don’t have to go anywhere – apart from the poet who has to go to work.

This morning he had to drive to Hyde in Manchester. We didn’t even have a frost here, but only 5 minutes up the road, before he hit our closest town, he was in 2 – 3 inches of snow. This suggests that, as with Brigadoon (where I lived before), we have our own micro-climate here – and that’s within the micro-climate Barnsley already has. Even now it’s not even cold, but it is a little overcast.

There’s a carpenter here at the moment. He was due this afternoon, but as he was also due last Wednesday afternoon and again on Friday morning¬†and only just appeared, I’ll simply thank my lucky stars.

But, apart from that … it’s a normal week. We’re not even due to go anywhere at the weekend

Today, then, I have electronic edits to do. I also have the next book to print off, and some writing to write – I just haven’t decided what yet.

I’m a tad distracted, though, as this morning already we’ve had a nuthatch on the bird table and there are currently 6 jackdaws strutting around right beneath my window. One has his head feathers all fluffed up so is either being territorial … or he’s flirting with the ladies. And, of course, there’s a carpenter here.

The poet took a lovely picture of the nuthatch at the weekend. When he’s done what he wants with it I’ll share it here too. Meanwhile, you’ll just have to make do with notebooks. Again.

What’s in your WIP this week?

notebooks

Cosy home

This week, on the home front, we’ve had a garage door repair team out, a pair of carpet fitters in the house for a whole day, another carpet fitter delivering a room-size rug and making sure it fits, I’ve been to get routine blood tests and results (all normal), the poet has been to Stockport for one day and to Scotland for 2 days – the latter of which means taxi duties for me – the boiler packed up again so the gas man had to come and fix that – again – and we had to get 6 doors planed and rehung.

In between all of this I’ve edited 3 books and pitched for 10 new jobs.¬†Oh yes, and we finally exchanged contracts on the other house.

Phew!¬†It’s all go.

The weather here hasn’t been as bad as in other parts of the country, but it has been bitterly cold and incredibly windy – not good when the boiler packed up. We still had a fire and a hob, and there was hot water stored in the tank. But this is quite a draughty¬†house (it’s its nature, being an old farm building dating back to 1628 – it’s a listed building too), so the cold nipped a bit. I had to put the fire on in the living room and work in there and, when the boiler was fixed, I left the heating on quite high overnight to warm everywhere up again.

This is a picture of His Lordship enjoying the fire.

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You can also see the rug we had made for this massive living room. We were torn between leaving¬†the lovely stone¬†flags exposed and in character, or covering them with a fitted¬†carpet and making the place feel homely. So when they told us we couldn’t have our carpet of choice because the room was too big and they wouldn’t be able to join it, we asked them to make the rug instead. It’s almost 3m x 4m and still there’s lots of floor around the outside.

The picture above is also quite nice in that it represents both the poet and me. His is the guitar to the left, mine is the notebook, pencil and Kindle to the right. You can also see His Lordship’s basket. The hampers were Christmas presents that were left there during the holiday, and looked so nice we decided to keep them there.

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The picture to the left shows our 3rd landing and how we carried the carpet up the open plan stairs so that the 2 parts of the house are linked.

There’s a window to the left of Abbey Road, and we have curtains to match those in the living room too, which are the ones from the other house that the gig buddy made for me and has adapted to fit the new house for us. The spare bedroom and the bathroom are off this landing. Our bedroom and an airing cupboard are off the 2nd landing, the 1st landing is a turning point on the stairs.

The Abbey Road sign was a present to the poet from son #2 and was on the door of the office/studio at the last house.

Because we have 3 landings on the stairs, and because 10 of the stairs are open plan, this job took the carpet fitters considerably longer than a regular staircase would take. They were here all day, but they did the bedroom too (in a different carpet). It’s a busy carpet, but a cottagey one that we think fits in nicely.

So that’s part of what we’ve been up to and the week isn’t even over yet. We have runs to do at the weekend to both Doncaster and Birmingham. And I have electronic edits to complete before then.

What are you up to this weekend?

Lovely flowers

20150112_110815The weekend wasn’t totally diddly squat, but it was nice and re-energising all the same.

On Friday we did nothing. I’d popped out and bought some goodies for tea and for snacking and we caught up on the first series of Broadchurch¬†(the poet hadn’t seen it) and watched the first episode of the new series. Then while I finished off a hard-copy editing job I’d been unable to do as I’d been running around, the poet caught up on last week’s Silent Witness (he’d been in Germany).

On Saturday we had a lazy lie-in but while¬†we were making a late breakfast, a phone call came in from son #2 asking if he and his girlfriend could come and see us. Of course they could, and they got here mid-afternoon after we had a mad tidying frenzy. We hadn’t been able to see them on Christmas Day so they brought us our Christmas pressies, and some lovely flowers with a house-warming card.

They loved the place and can’t wait to come and visit again, and it was nice to see them.¬†When they went we continued with our chilling and had another lazy evening in front of the television.

Much of Sunday was spent reading. I was reading on my Kindle, the poet was reading how to use his new camera. He’s learning it all in manual first so he knows and appreciates what auto does for him. He’s practising taking pictures too and can hardly wait for his telephoto lens to arrive. Before he gets any photography software for manipulation, he’s also going to learn how to take great pictures before learning how to tweak things that aren’t quite right.

We did pop out to do some shopping – pet shop (dog food and garden bird food) and supermarket – and he made us a gorgeous pork dinner. Then he put up another shelf, and we spent another evening in front of the telly. We’re so bone idle.

But it was a lovely weekend of nothingness (apart from our visitors) and I think it did us good. He’s off to Scotland again at the end of this week, but it shouldn’t be so tiring as flying to Germany and coming home via security-heightened railway stations in England.

Today, then, I have the electronic edits to do on the book I finished Friday evening, and¬†the next job is that one from the Spanish client. I’d like to shift a lot of work today as we have carpet fitters coming tomorrow and I have another appointment on Wednesday. I’ll also be taxi-driver for the poet on Thursday and Friday, and it all eats into the working week.

What are you up to this week?

That Friday feeling

We’ve only been back at work for a week, but already that Friday feeling was quick to swoop in this morning. It’s been a fair week, though.

I’ve done quite a lot of new writing, which includes an outline for a new non-fiction book as well as 5 new articles started and one finished and submitted.

I’ve also been plodding through an editing job, and a new one came in yesterday too from who will now be known as the Spanish client. They gave me a lot of repeat work last year and I’m delighted they came back to me again this year.

And I caught up with the job board I use and pitched for 7 jobs, one of them invited.

Almost immediately the poet had to go off to Germany, via Switzerland, for a couple of days, so that ate into the week a bit. And I’ve been having routine appointments – I have another today. He was gone from Tuesday to Thursday, so taxi duties from Yours Truly were involved as well.

So he’s come up with a list of things to do at the weekend, and they mostly consist of … nothing. We had a bit of a busy Christmas, then we were back at work, and then he was off travelling. We don’t seem to have stood still, nor do we feel as though we had any holiday, even though we were both off for 2 weeks.

It’ll be a bit of a Do Diddle Weekend – does anyone remember Do Diddle Days? Not had one of those for a while. So we’ll play it by ear, see what we feel like when we get up, if we want to¬†get up. We might do some pottering, we might hang curtains, we might do baking, we might go walking, we might go to the pictures. Or we might not.

Have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing with yours.

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Happy New Year!

First of all a very Happy New Year from all of us here at the recently relocated Baggins Bottom. We’ve had a lovely long but busy holiday and I’m now raring to go again.

Holiday
The first week of the holiday was very, very busy with shopping trips – for gifts and supplies – and the Santa run to Birmingham, Leicester and Doncaster. We finally stood still on Christmas Eve and enjoyed a quiet Christmas Day in our new home.

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Picture: Diane Parkin

Between Christmas and the New Year the poet had 2 gigs, one in Doncaster and the other in Wakefield.

We finally managed a walk in our locality, to see what was on our doorstep. It was a bit wet and muddy, and the dog pulled the poet over at one point as they scrambled down a woody hill, but we found a lovely little dell and an unusual earth bridge. No doubt pictures will follow at some point in the future.

A snow dump just after Christmas stopped us going out to see friends Boxing Day evening, and it lingered until New Year’s Eve, when we made an emergency dash to Liverpool to get the poet a new passport – his work has arranged for him to visit Germany shortly and his passport had run out last May, so he had to make an appointment to get one done quickly.

We arrived in Liverpool at 8am on New Year’s Eve for an 8:30am appointment. But they saw him straight away and told him to come back at 12:15pm. In the meantime, we filled the car with petrol and accidentally stumbled on Crosby to take the dog for a run on the beach.

We were delighted to find 100 statues facing out to see. I’d read about Antony Gormley’s Another Place before, but had no idea we were so close. So that was a nice treat.

When we got back, at noon, the passport was already ready. What great service, Passport Office!

New Year’s Eve was spent much the same as Christmas Day with just us enjoying being in our new home. On New Year’s Day we went to buy the poet a dSLR camera. We’ve been looking for one for him for many months so when a friend announced he was selling his, we jumped at it. Plus, it was another ride out for us.

On Saturday, the poet should have had another gig, but the private party was cancelled. That gave us an unexpected evening off, so we went to our new local cinema, Penistone Paramount, to see Exodus: Gods and Kings. What a nice evening that turned out to be. The film was epic, but the cinema was a lovely old thing, lovingly cared for, with a proper intermission, stalls, a circle, a lady selling ice creams in the break, and an usherette with a torch showing people to their seats. All we needed was the organ coming out of the stage.

New Year’s resolutions
I’ve not made any. Well, not really. But I do have a newly found verve for work.notebooks

My biggest intention is to do more of my own writing in 2015, instead of editing and proofreading other people’s. I’ll still do all of that work, it is, after all, my bread and butter. But I really do need to crack on with more of my own stuff.

The poet bought me these 2 beautiful touchy-feely notebooks for Christmas (the pencil is for perspective) from my favourite shop, Paperchase. Already this is helping as I’ve started to use the pink one on top.

This morning, over breakfast, I had one of those lightbulb moments when the idea for a book I’ve been mulling for a while suddenly appeared, almost fully formed, in my mind.¬†I’ve allocated myself writing time every day in the diary. Sometimes it’s only an hour, sometimes it’s several hours. Today it’s an hour. And while I have plenty of projects to fill the time, because this one is now tugging at my sleeve, I think that’s going to get today’s allocated time slot.

My new working day also starts at 9:30am instead of 10am, with half an hour for dinner instead of a full hour. This gives me less time for housework, but more time for my job. I also have one set period every week for admin-related work.

Other goals include making it to the Leeds write-in at least once a fortnight and finishing Catch the Rainbow.

Health
We’ve both piled on a few pounds during the busy period we’ve¬†had recently, but now things have settled, we hope that so too will our eating habits. We do try to have 3 proper meals a day, but the poet likes supper too, and recently I’ve been joining him when eating late at night has never agreed with me.

yogaToday, then, I had my breakfast once he left for work. I measured my cereal, had a glass of fruit juice with that and a cup of tea with him before he went, and I have a pint glass filled with water on my desk and a banana to keep me going between breakfast and dinner. Fruit will be my snack for between meals and we have lots this time – grapes, pears, apples, bananas and clementines.

With a Christmas gift card we also bought Yoga for Absolute Beginners DVD. I’m not a beginner, but the poet is, and (whispers) he’s going to do it with me. We even got him a yoga mat from Tesco over the holiday.

We watched the DVD yesterday, and I think it’s quite a good one. He found the poses quite hard work, but he’s not very supple at all. He felt a million times better after trying some of them, though. We’re going to aim at this 3 times a week.

Work in Progress (WIP)
My blog time on a Monday finishes at 11:30am, and it’s currently almost that. So I’m going to finish now, having written more than 1,100 words just here.

Today I have that hour on my own work before dinner, and then I crack on with the next editing job, the first of 3 already in. I’ve done my daily competitions and tomorrow I start a weekly check of the job boards.

On Wednesday, Diary of a Scaredy Cat will be back, where I’ll share more about the new non-fiction book project of my own – which is now 1 of 3. Once that ideas muscle is cranked up there’s no stopping it …

Oh, and before I forget … before Christmas I finally published the ebook version of Tales From Baggins Bottom Best Bits Book One … and it’s already been downloaded several times. (Hurrah!) Bob along and take a look and remember, once the best bits have been collated (book two is already awaiting editing), they disappear from public viewing.