I won! Harlem Globetrotters tickets

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The Harlem Globetrotters (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

One of my daily chores, every weekday, is “daily competitions”. I do them as part of a daily warm-up, instead of playing games or scrolling through Facebook. I’ve won a few things – money, DVDs, tickets, goodie bags, etc – and back in April (yes, I’m still catching up), I won 2 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters in Sheffield.

I’ve seen the Harlem Globetrotters before, over 20 years ago, but I can’t remember who I went with (the Globetrotters were clearly more memorable than my companion). The poet’s never seen them before, so he was definitely up for it. And I just love them – I used to watch the cartoon when I was a kid.

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The Harlem Globetrotters (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We started off at a KFC, which I didn’t really enjoy because the meat was a bit tough (I did mention it to the staff, politely). And then we carried on to the arena, where we were stung for parking – about £7, but as the tickets were free, we didn’t complain too loudly.

It was very much a family show with lots of kids there, excited to see their favourite players.

Some of the fun and games have changed – for example, they don’t sing “We know where you’re going!” when someone’s on their way to the toilet, and they no longer empty the contents of a woman’s handbag onto the floor (or they didn’t in Sheffield in April).

Instead they make a fuss about their sole female player and they have a few mascots who come on and dance and clown around. They also hand out a few gifts and let members of the audience join in with some of the game.

We enjoyed the evening, it was in 4 easy-to-digest bursts, with lots of entertainment, funniness and, of course, a game of basketball (the Globetrotters won, surprisingly …), and with an early finish. We were back home by about 9:30pm.

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Obligatory selfie.

Clockwork tomato

Catch the Rainbow

Today I’ve been finding the clockwork tomato very useful, due to being overwhelmed by the amount of washing we have lying around at the moment.

Honestly, it came to the point that we had to stand on the washing to get it all to fit in the laundry basket, but the washing machine was full, the clothes horse was full, the tumble dryer was full, and the washing baskets were full. I really had nowhere to put anything. Other than, of course, away …

Enough’s enough, though, and this morning, out came the clockwork tomato for as many 10-minute bursts as I can fit in.

First chore this morning was the dishwasher – emptying it from the wash program it was on overnight, and starting to fill it with today’s crocks and glasses. Then it was breakfast, and then I did some gig list admin. I finished that work early, though, so set the timer and blitzed the clean washing for 10 minutes. Then I had 10 minutes faffing on Facebook. Then it was back to the list of chores.

The next thing on the list was daily competitions. But I’d worked on Saturday, either side of a football game in Doncaster (and finishing at 9pm Saturday night!), and part of my warm-up was daily competitions. I don’t usually do them at the weekend as I’m not usually at the desktop. But doing them on Saturday meant less time catching up this morning. So when I finished that early, off I went to do another 10 minutes on the washing.

For the first time ever, the next job on the list was “writing work”, with the subheadings “NaNo Prep”, “Catch the Rainbow”, and a gap I filled in with “5 ideas in 7 days (7)”. This is the last of my 5 ideas in 7 days and it means I now have 35 ideas all written down – and I selected one of them for my NaNo prep. I also chose the genre for my NaNo, and I wrote over 1,600 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW. This morning! Before any other work! I’m very, very happy with that. Especially as it’s taken the word meter over the 20,000-word mark. 😀 (Diane pats herself on the back.)

I had 20 minutes left at the end of my writing time, and I toyed with setting the timer and having another bash at the washing. But I decided to bring the blog posting forward from 2pm this afternoon instead. If I finish this before the poet gets home for his dinner, I’ll have another 10 minutes on the washing and be able to start something else when he goes back to work.

But, whatever, it means I’m more than a whole hour ahead of schedule.

I do have a big editing job I want to finish, or at least make a massive dent in. So that will take up much of the afternoon. I finished one of the heavy edits on Saturday and got it sent off to the client, which was why I was working until 9pm.

I had to break off work to go to the football game. We’d been given complimentary tickets to see Doncaster Rovers play Barnsley, and so we made a nice afternoon of it, even eating in the corporate box. And on Sunday we went to Birmingham to visit my parents. While there, I sat with Mom while the poet took Dad to get his winter pansies. The pots should look nice next time we’re there.

We didn’t have time to make any apple pies or apple & elderberry crumbles, but we did go sloe-picking Friday evening before the light went. Even Domino the cat came with us, she hates to miss out on anything. He’s taken some of those sloes to work as the lady in the canteen asked him to fetch her some if we picked enough. The cooking apples, however, are still in their bag on the worktop … Maybe this evening.

The cuckoo clock downstairs has just sounded 1 o’clock, so I won’t have time to put any more washing away before lunch. I will, however, have plenty of breaks in this afternoon’s heavy edit and see how much more I can get done.

Have you tried the 10-minute sprints and bursts yet? I can highly recommend them.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Day Three

We had a lovely relaxing weekend, for a change … well, apart from the poet pulling his back while packing to come home Friday morning. That wasn’t very relaxing, but he just wanted to get home.

The traffic was very bad in Doncaster when I went to pick him up, so because of that he chose to drive home as he knows the streets quite well and could make snap decisions depending on the traffic ahead. Sitting in the car seat gave him his first relief with the back pain, so that was useful.

We had a quick tea, got ready and went out to see a band we haven’t seen before at our soon-to-be ex-most-local working man’s club. The band was quite good, but sitting on the hard chairs wasn’t, so we came home not long after the second set had started.

On Saturday we had a lazy start but did manage the shopping. We also had some terrific news. Those competitions I insist on doing every day? I won Take a Break’s Big Relax cash competition. The money will pay for much of the wedding, and as soon as it comes in we’re getting the wedding rings.

On Saturday evening we headed over to our soon-to-be new neighbourhood to join the local Round Table’s fundraising bonfire and fireworks display. It was too busy for us to get anything to eat, but we got there just in time to see them light the bonfire and we enjoyed all of the fireworks display.

The pictures aren’t great (apart from the first one), but they give a feel of the evening.

Ian n Diane
I love this picture of Ian.
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We got there just in time to watch them light the bonfire.
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Ian watching the fire.
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Fireworks.
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Fireworks.
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Fireworks.

I love Bonfire Night and we should have gone to an organised event last year, but we couldn’t afford it. We were determined to go to at least one event this year and, if he gets back on time on Wednesday, we may manage another.

On Sunday we didn’t do a thing. Well, we did, actually, but we were so chilled and relaxed about it that the batteries really were recharged. While the poet pushed a vacuum cleaner around (I don’t do vacuum cleaners …) I went through the food cupboard and chucked out all the out of date stuff. I’m determined not to take any old or opened foodstuffs to the new house with us as we’re not sure how much kitchen storage we have there.

After he pushed Henry around, the poet also made bread. Then we had an hour in Abbey Road – him in the recording studio and me doing NaNo.

This morning I dropped him off at the station again and when I got back I did my daily competitions (!) and then I turned some author revisions around so another book can go off to print.

Over the weekend I won 3 new jobs as well as the big one that I heard about last week. All of those jobs are now in and I’m going to do the smallest of those this afternoon. I’ve already done today’s NaNoWriMo and am feeling quite chuffed with myself.

I now have a very busy week ahead with all of this new work on top of the existing work. I’d best crack on.

Hey you! Yes, you at the back! Say hello!

I have no idea why, but Wednesday’s post seems to have been more popular than some of the previous ones as it was possibly shared and re-tweeted much more than any of my posts have ever been shared before. So, all you people at the back, before you read any further, nip on down to the bottom and say hi. No need to be shy, we’re very friendly here.

Have you done it? Go on, I’ll wait …

# tum ti tum ti tum ti tum …

Done it? There now, that didn’t hurt, did it?

So, what have I been up to this week?

Well, so far, without counting today, I’ve pitched for 24 new proofreading or editing jobs, including several regular gigs. I’ve also caught up a bit on the non-fiction editing – I’ve done author and proofreader revisions on a non-fiction book, I’ve edited an essay and I’ve been reviewing another non-fiction book that needed additional work doing to it.

I’ve written the walks report and submitted it to 6 local newspapers, and liaised with a couple of said newspapers, and I’ve caught up on the daily competitions. I’ve also been doing my own writer’s boot camp. I’m working on 5 short stories and have a couple of 1st drafts I want to have a look at.

And a big job I did yesterday was my first critical data backup in 9 months … I’ve done a lot of work in that 9 months, it would be awful if the computer crashed and I lost it all. That took a little longer than intended as it involved tidying up the hard drive anyway to make sure I wasn’t copying any duplicates or anything that really isn’t needed any more.

As part of that backup I found a load of old ebooks that I’ve not been able to read anywhere due to the archaic format. But I think I’ve managed to transfer the majority of those to my new Kindle Paperwhite. They’re all saved on there as “personal”, and if I delete them from the home page they also go from the collection(s) I put them in. But I think I can at least read them.

There are a couple of old magazines on there I’d like to read, Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen. I might try those first.

I still have today’s chores to do – daily competitions, surf for more work and pitch if necessary, invoices to raise (hurrah!), the notes section of a non-fiction to read through, today’s boot camp. And I think I have a hair appointment at 5pm-ish.

We’re having a bit of personal upheaval over the coming 4 weeks, so this weekend the poet and I are having some quality time together. I think we’re going fishing tomorrow, and we may go to the pictures on Sunday. We also have to head over to the other house to inspect it for new tenants and change the locks, but we may do that this evening.

So, y’all have a great weekend – tell us what you’re up to – and I’ll see you on Monday. 🙂