Downhill from here …

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At Fleet’s Dam (picture: Diane Wordsworth)

I’m always very, very busy and productive on a Monday morning. I get loads and loads done … and then it’s all downhill from there. I’ll bet this week is no different, although it is a short week due to the bank holiday weekend coming up.

Wednesday and Thursday last week were fairly normal. I finished another editing job and got that sent back to the client and I got some gig list admin done too.

*** potential Downton Abbey SPOILER ALERT ***
Friday was a day off. Carol came to see our house for the first time – I think she liked it 😉 – and then we went to Cannon Hall in Barnsley, which is literally minutes from here, to see the Downton Abbey exhibition. Carol’s a big fan, having watched the entire series, whereas I lost interest when they killed Matthew Crawley … sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone. I did recognise some of the costumes, though, from the first few series.

We had lunch in the café there and were, quite frankly, disappointed. The place was very, very busy yet staff could clearly be seen both having their break (which is their right, but maybe not in public when the place is so busy) and taking up valuable dining space. It also took 3 of them at once to watch the card reader when it didn’t work … The food was lovely, but we’ve already decided to go to the garden centre café in future.

On Saturday we went shopping for camping supplies for this weekend – blankets, egg boxes, extra single-burner stove, picnic table, frying pan, cutlery, salt n pepper pot, windbreak – and Saturday evening the poet had a gig over in Doncaster, again. He drove up early to help setup, but I caught the train at 8pm as 6:15pm was far too early to be leaving the dog.

I was at the station in the rain with 17 stags (who were all very well-behaved) only to find that our train was delayed. By 12 minutes. By the time we got to my change station, we were 20 minutes late and I missed my connection. I now wasn’t due in until 9:18pm and the gig was supposed to start at 9:15pm and I don’t know how to get there. So he sent their lovely roadie/lights man to fetch me and we got back halfway through their first song.

Following a late finish, we were up Sunday morning and off to Birmingham to see my parents and to fetch them some shopping on the way. We left glorious sunshine in Yorkshire and arrived to torrential rain in the West Midlands. Our plan was to visit Calke Abbey on the way back, but because it was so wet (and we didn’t put walking boots in), we made do with eating our picnic in the car park looking at the view and vowing to go back another day as it’s less than 90 minutes away.

We didn’t get any new pictures, so I’ve shared one of the poet fishing at Fleet’s Dam a couple of weeks ago.

And so to today, and already I’ve had a very busy morning. I’ve got the poet up and off to work, fed the birds and the pets, filled and started the dishwasher, put a washload through and hung it out, I was at my desk for 9:30am, I’ve done more gig list admin and been a secretary for the band, and I’ve re-started the daily competitions. The daily competitions had made way for walking the dog, but the poet felt quite left out not coming for a daily walk with us, so we started to take him (me and Rufus took the poet) of an evening with us.

As I say, it’s probably all downhill from here …

For the rest of today I’ll probably have to fetch the washing back in, as the sky looks fairly ominous (although it has to come in before the end of the day anyway). I have 2 hours of writing time booked in, then I start a new edit for a regular client. I also need to raise 2 invoices for the same client (hurrah!).

Tomorrow I add an hour of job board admin and an hour of study work, but still have the 2 hours of writing time and 2 hours of client time. And it’s more of the same for the remaining 2 working days this week.

Steady week

It’s been a good and steady week with me clearing the decks of lots of outstanding works.

On Monday I shifted a non-fiction back to the author, and to the publisher for typesetting. On Tuesday I cracked on with author revisions on a novel and returned that back to the publisher on Wednesday, and also on Wednesday I pitched for 12 editing or proofreading jobs.

Thursday was a busy day. I finally caught up with the diary, scheduling work in for this week and for next, and putting all the regular stuff in there between now and the end of June, when the diary runs out and my new one starts.

I entertained builders, who were climbing around the inside of the eaves to the house looking for a persistent leak that’s probably coming through the flashing around the dormer window. And I started looking into tenancy agreements and legal landlord requirements so that I’m not doing anything shifty with the house rental.

Last night, while the poet went to band practice, I went to see my tenant to make sure everything was okay and to give her an official copy of the tenancy agreement that we both signed.

Today I hope to finish another non-fiction, get it back to the author, and to the publisher for typesetting, and invoiced. I also have a hair appointment and will probably grab something from the supermarket on the way home to have with tea.

We have nothing planned for this evening. We have nothing planned for tomorrow, although we may go fishing.

On Sunday the poet has an afternoon gig, so that will tie us up for the rest of the day … (The last time he had a Sunday afternoon gig we went to see some friends in another band Sunday evening and he ended up getting up for the second set when their singer fell ill …)

On Monday it’s another bank holiday here in England and I think we’re off to Birmingham again to see my parents. I hope we’ll also be able to go and see the poet’s parents too, in Doncaster. (Or, depending on the weather, we may do Brum and fishing the other way around.)

On the way back from Brum, if it’s nice, we may drop into Kingsbury Water Park again, or we may try Calke Abbey, which is also on the way home.

I’d also suggested Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, which we also pass, because it always used to allow dogs. However, on checking their website just now, it seems this is no longer the case. So well done, Drayton Manor. Here are two visitors who may never come again. (I’d understand if they never allowed dogs, but when I used to take my own …)

Next week it’s the Doncaster Literary Festival. I hope we can get along to some of the events.

What are you up to this weekend?

Things can only get better

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Deer at Calke Abbey park, August 2008. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

After the week I had last week, things really could only get better. And, so far, they do seem to have done just that.

I did think it would be quite simple once I’d restored factory settings to the pc and then uploaded my critical data again. But I’ve also had to install all of my programs again plus printer drivers (and other so-called plug-in-and-play hardware), and, as it happened, both internet browsers. And then my webmail wouldn’t let me in on the pc, though it would let me in on the mobile phone, so I had to sort that as well.

BUT … it’s all done now and everything seems to be running properly and quickly again – touch wood.

I’m still incredibly busy. I’ve had to catch up on all the online and electronic work I couldn’t do, and some of it I had to do again as the latest versions had simply got lost. But I have good support now, i.e. someone to cook tea and see to the animals if I’m working, so I’m getting there.

This week, then, so far, I’ve delivered 2 books, either in their entirety or bits I still had to do. The fiction is with the author, to answer questions and check copy; the non-fiction has been picked up by the client for the last few little bits, but I will see the final pdf for signing off.

I have another non-fiction I need to submit once I’ve done the author amendments and two more that I’ve already started.

I’ve also updated the gig list this week, but I’ve not been on the job boards and I’ve only managed a couple of days on NaNoWriMo. This will change today, though, as I really, really am itching to do some writing, and I’m definitely off to the NaNo write-in in Leeds on Saturday. We also have a gig on Friday night and possible visiting and walking to do over the weekend if we can fit it in.

I don’t think I’ll be on here again before the weekend, so have a good one, and hopefully all will be back on track by next Monday.

Today’s picture was taken a few years ago when I visited Calke Abbey. I think we need to go again and take the dog this time. 🙂