Day out: The Charlatans at Scarborough

I wasn’t sure what to call this one. It wasn’t really a “day out”, but nor was it a “holiday” or a “walk”. It could be classed as an “event”, but as I’m not really reviewing the event, I thought that would a bit of a misnomer too. So I called it a “day out”, even though it was really almost two days out.

Last Friday we went to see the Charlatans in the open air theatre, next to Peasholm Park in Scarborough.

We did have a house/pet sitter booked, but at the last minute we decided to take the dog with us and ask the farmer next door to see to the chickens. The cats are fine for just one night. They have and use the cat-flap and we were able to feed them (and the chickens) before we left.

Fortunately for us we were staying at the Grand Hotel, which is very pet-friendly. It only cost us an extra tenner to take the dog, and we were even allowed to leave him in the room while we had our breakfast the following morning.

That grand old lady, the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Our room at the Grand was up on the fifth floor in what they call “the circle”. I’d seen some pretty dire reviews of this wonderful old building, but we didn’t have any complaints whatsoever, other than it was a bit warm in the room. But on the hottest weekend of the year so far, that wasn’t a huge problem, and anyway, the Grand has windows that even open and everything.

We also have a picture of the view from our room, but I think it’s still on the poet’s phone … if he sends it to me, I can add that here …

For tea we dropped down into Scarborough, parked on the quay, and found cheese burgers and chips.

The three of us on the quay – note the dog’s tongue! (Picture: Ian Wordsworth – selfie)

While we were at the show, we hired a pet-sitter, Pet Assist, a lovely couple who were happy to take Rufus at short notice. We dropped him off at teatime, and they said they’d be back at the hotel when we got back from the concert.

It took a while for them to find our tickets at the box office, but it was okay, they found them eventually. The show was supposed to start at 7pm but we got in at 7:10pm and there was hardly anyone there.

The open air theatre next to Peasholm Park in Scarborough. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth – selfie)

The support band was the Slow Readers Club. They were okay, but we were a bit concerned that we couldn’t see a keyboard player yet keyboards featured on almost every song …

We went for an ice-cream, but before we knew it, the main event was on. So we dashed over to see the Charlatans, and we had quite a good view.

The big screen was great. (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

We thought the large screen was great, though. And I thought that Tim Burgess had a lovely smile when he was singing.

Of course, we couldn’t go all that way to a Charlatans gig without bumping into an old friend of the poet’s. These two have known each other for a long time, since they worked together.

Bosom beer buddies. (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

The friend and his wife have been married for only a little while longer than us and it’s always nice to see them. They live a bit further south to us, but they try to come to Monkey Dust gigs when they can too.

There followed much drinking, singing, dancing and general merriment, and we even grabbed an unsuspecting bystander to take a team photo – she did a good job!

We had a lovely time, and the dog was pleased to see us when we got back to the hotel – not too late for the dog-sitter, we hoped! The following morning, we had a hearty breakfast, packed the car (which was in the multi-storey car park), and had a walk along the front. It was very hot, though, so I stayed in the shade while the poet did our shopping, and then we headed home.

We were back by lunchtime, but what a lovely time we had.

With our friends. (Picture – some random stranger …)

Walk: Fairholmes

The poet checking my map-reading! (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

We didn’t go out anywhere last weekend. We were both under the weather and the poet was on antibiotics. So we stayed indoors.

The weekend before, however, we did go for a short walk. We went on the Saturday, though, as we had a Monkey Dust gig to go to at teatime on the Sunday.

The walk from Fairholmes to Derwent Reservoir is one that I’ve done before. But this was the first time we did it as a “family”. (Me, the poet, the dog!)

It’s a short walk, only 1¼ miles, but it’s a good one for starting out on a new fitness/stamina regime.

One of two benches strategically placed to make the most of the view. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The walk starts at the exit from the car park at Fairholmes. We crossed the road and went through a gate that took us up an “easy climb”. (I swear some of these guides can be “done” for misrepresentation!)

The path crosses a water conduit via a stone bridge. Then at the first junction, we turned slightly right and went up some stone steps to skirt the woods, keeping the reservoir to our right and the main woods to our left.

These steps lead to another “gentle rise”, but then it’s all level or downhill from there.

The memorial to Tip the sheepdog, who stayed beside her master’s dead body for 15 weeks during the winter of 1953/54. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

At the highest point of the path there are two benches engraved with inspirational verses designed to encourage the visitor to sit and rest a while and enjoy the view.

Then the path drops downhill to join a road that runs alongside the reservoir. Here, the poet left us to get closer to the water and to take the picture below of the reservoir.

When he re-joined us, we strolled along the path and saw the memorial to Tip – a sheepdog who stayed with her master’s body for fifteen weeks during the winter of 1953/54.

Rufus had his picture taken here, but he wouldn’t keep still, so it’s a bit blurry, which is why I’ve not shared it here.

Next up is the dam wall, which sometimes has the gate open so you can visit the small museum commemorating 617 Squadron of “dambusters” fame. The gate was closed (it was closed last time I did the walk too), but the poet was still able to take a picture of the memorial just inside the gatehouse.

Memorial to 617 Squadron, “The Dambusters”. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

In the past few years we’ve been up to see the Lancaster bomber fly-past. I think it’s stopped flying now, so it was quite emotional the last time we went.

The whole area can get very busy, though, particularly on anniversaries.

Both the reservoir and the car park at Fairholmes were quiet, but there were still a lot of cars parked. Lots of people use it as a base for longer walks and there are a lot of cyclists who visit too.

We continued along the road until we reached the far end of a roadside car park, then we turned left and dropped down a path that leads to a closer inspection of the dam wall.

We visited the dam wall itself only recently, and have lots of photographs from then. This time, the water wasn’t running, so we only had a small detour here.

Derwent Reservoir. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

When we got back to the car, we continued on along the other side of the car park, adding another ¼ mile to our walk.

Down some more steps on the other side of the car park wall was once a farm, which was flooded when the dams were built.

Once we’d completed our walk, we visited the kiosk and bought a Bakewell slice and a bottle of pop each, which we sat and consumed in the car.

We only walked 1.45 miles, or 6,104 steps, and it took us an hour and twelve minutes with all the pausing for pictures. And we burned 217 calories.


Glass of bubbly, anyone?

NaNo-2015-Winner-Badge-Large-SquareWell, I did it.

I tried my first official NaNoWriMo in 2012, and failed. I tried again in 2014, and failed. And I tried again in 2015 – and won!

This isn’t just a NaNo victory either. This is the first full-length story I’ve actually finished since … 1996!

So what was different this year?

Well, for a start, I have a very supportive husband who wanted nothing more than for me to start writing again. Properly. And he was happy for me to concentrate on this one project for one month just so I could get it done. Granted, he wouldn’t have minded if I’d managed some other work too, and I did do some paid work. But, basically, not having to worry about where our next meal was coming from was a huge help. And, of course, his belief in me.

The second thing that happened was Scrivener, which helped me immensely in the planning stages of this particular story. I really am a planner and I love gadgetry too, but I was always loathe to spend money on writing software when I have a perfectly adequate word processing program. However, when I saw it on a very special offer, I went for it. And the organisation and the ability to move things around so easily really did help, along with the inbuilt facility to track the words as you write per session as well as per manuscript. This meant I didn’t have to keep stopping to count how many words I’d done.

And finally, I did have a story planned out from start to finish. Yes, the story did deviate from the plan. Yes, I did miss things out. And yes, I did add extra things in. I also changed my mind as I went along. But having an idea for at least 1,667 words per day for 30 days and using the index card system in Scrivener kept me going, even when I could have quite happily taken a day (or three) off.

So several things have helped this year, but I’m making a big deal of it because of the 20-year writing drought as well (apart from short material and anthologies).

Of course, there’s much more hard work to come, but I love the editing and polishing part and find it much easier than the actual original composition. I’ll leave it to cool for a while first, though, shall I? 🙂


We did manage to get out over the weekend. I was on over-the-counter drugs for the trapped nerve in my neck, and while I avoided driving Friday night, we did go on a very short walk not far from where we live. Pictures will hopefully follow later in the week, but it was a very wet, very squally day, and we don’t know how they look until we blow them up on the big screen.

We went to a place called Quakers’ Bottom (do you see a theme here?) and did a walk that was only ¾ of a mile. But it took us 55 minutes because it was so wet, slippery and treacherous underfoot. At one point we had to let the dog off his lead just so he didn’t pull me over.

We found a lovely little hamlet and learned a little of its history and we could have continued on with the 1-mile walk or the 1½-mile walk, but we decided on the shorter version with the weather conditions as they were. We can always go back again and give it another go when conditions have improved.


On Saturday night, Monkey Dust had a gig in Doncaster. They’d already found out via the grapevine that another band was playing before them, but that they’d still be on at 9:30pm. By the time I got there, on the train, at 9:15pm, the other band had only just gone on. And at 10:05pm, they were still up there!

Monkey Dust didn’t get on until about 10:20pm, so they only did one set and played through until 11:45pm. That’s quite a long set, but at least it’s just the one. The bar was quite busy, but there were several televisions placed around the room that showed what was happening on stage. For some strange reason, the poet’s black trousers look white in the picture below …


We got home quite late so had a very late start the next day to see my parents in Birmingham. We didn’t get there until 2pm and it was a horrible drive down. The squally weather was relentless and the high winds, standing water and spray from lorries slowed us right down. I didn’t do any driving, but the poet did and he was very stressed by the time we got there.

Because of the weather, we didn’t want to stay too late, so it was quite a short visit in the end. The weather was a little better coming back but it was gone 6pm and very dark when we did.

monkey dust black and whiteHe’d left a piece of pork slow-cooking while we were out and he made the rest of our Sunday dinner for 7:30pm. But we could have done with an extra day this weekend.


We now have 2 short weeks on the trot, then we break up in 3 weeks for Christmas. I have a lot to do before then.

A quiet weekend?

Walter Trout, Picturedrome, Holmfirth (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

So there was me thinking we had a quiet weekend coming up … How silly of me.

Friday night we had our first assignment for the gig list, and it was the poet’s first photography assignment too. Walter Trout was playing at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth, along with a support band and his own son as special guest, and we enjoyed all of the performances.

Sadly, though, we thought the light show was very poor compared to many other times in the past that we’ve both been there. Most of the performers had their faces in darkness for much of the time, and we struggled to get some decent pictures without dazzling or distracting everyone with flash.

We also thought the venue might benefit from some TLC. It’s looking a tad tired at the moment, with paint peeling all over and evidence of roof leaks in the otherwise still ornate ceiling. We also don’t know why we have to go around the back to get in now. What’s wrong with the front door? The back entrance is up a sloped and cobbled hill, which gets quite slippery when wet. And on Friday it was cold and wet too.

It’s still a good gig, though, and we’ll be back in December to see Roy Wood.


On Saturday we were back in Wormy’s kitchen with him boiling ham and making 6 jars of tomato ketchup and me making 2 of our 4 Christmas cakes. I did my NaNoWriMo, and on Saturday evening Monkey Dust had another gig over in Doncaster.

On Sunday, he put half a pork shoulder in the slow cooker and the other half went in the freezer. We were going to have a proper Sunday dinner, but we got up late (after the gig the night before) and we visited his parents, and we nipped to the shops. But we were eating cheese and biscuits at 4pm so were too full for a proper tea later. I think we’re having that one today instead. I did my NaNo again, and that was the weekend over with, again.


This morning I’ve been busy sifting through the photographs from Friday night (we try not to do work stuff at the weekend, having enough to do with the research/review trips and any gigs the band has), selecting about 26 (from around 100) for the Facebook page, cropping quite a few, and choosing just one for the review. Then I wrote and posted the review. It’s only short but it’s a start, and you can see it here if you’re interested.

I had some pro-bono work to do too, as the second of the charities we’re supporting has now been in touch.

I also did a little admin for the gig list, and more admin for the band. And before I knew it, the poet was home for an early dinner at just gone noon, which gives me a slightly longer than usual afternoon now he’s gone back to work.


This afternoon I still have today’s NaNo to do and a book to hard-copy edit. I also have the diary to do for this week, which I didn’t get around to last week. And I haven’t done the daily competitions today yet either.

I’d best get a shake on.


The Kill, Barnsley Trades (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Even when I worked for a living, you know – had a “proper job” – Thursdays were always really, really bad. I was tired. I didn’t feel like getting up, let alone going to work. And when I was able to choose my part-time hours, Thursdays, along with Mondays, were the first to go.

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed that not a lot has changed. I still don’t feel very … bright-eyed or bushy-tailed on Thursdays. Last Thursday my NaNo word-count for the day was 189, and yesterday the words were a real wrench.

So then I wondered, perhaps I should just write-off Thursdays as not-very-productive, and do something else on those days, something easy. I could make Thursday my errand day, or I could make it my admin day. So long as I do something, I don’t mind if it’s not as productive as the rest of the week because I do generally make it up anyway.

Next week, then, I’m going to give it a go. I’m going to move admin and any errands from Friday to Thursday and see if I manage not to beat myself up if I do it that way around. Or I could make Thursdays the pro-bono day of the week. Whatever, for the rest of November, at least, I still have to write. For NaNo.

Do you have days where the words come more easily? I know different people have different times of the day that they like to work. But does it apply to days of the week too? Mondays I’m very, very productive, writing-wise. Then it all seems to go downhill from there …


An online buddy of mine has two blogs that she regularly “earns” from. Sometimes this is real, actual cash. Sometimes it’s products to review. One of her blogs is a fitness blog, the other is a cooking blog, so the products she receives to review are all pertinent to those two topics. And she gets giveaways too.

Aside from monetising my blog (which I can’t do on this one anyway, as it’s a free one and you’re not allowed), I wasn’t sure how I too could do this.

But yesterday evening I had one of those light-bulb/brain-murmur things.

We can do it with the gig list – and I think we can monetise it too, and add widgets that point to goods from which I could earn a commission.

Over the past month we’ve received invitations to concerts and even a new album to review, pre-release. We turned down several of those invitations, mostly because we’re already so busy. But the album was sent as a download attachment and we could also manage the concert that went with it.

So our names are down and tonight the poet gets his first ever official photography assignment – which also means he gets to go behind the barriers in front of the mosh pit. I’ve never been comfortable doing that, but he is quite happy on a stage anyway, so it will probably suit him a lot better. And on Monday, a review and at least one picture will be up on the gig list, and all of the pictures will be on the Facebook page.

I’m currently having a few problems with the gig list, though. Yesterday evening I bought the old domain name back that I lost when someone in China or Japan jumped on it because it was getting so many hits. I could have bought it back then, but they wanted almost £100 for it, so I told them to forget it. They didn’t even use it for anything, cheeky sods. And I’d put money on their name not being Diane either, let alone them having a gig list.

But I bought the domain via Wix, and Wix has to be the most complicated of products I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Easy enough to set up a website in the first place using their templates, but as soon as you want to do anything with them … you need to allocate several days. AND they use frames, which are horrible on mobile phones – and I don’t care what Wix say, they’re awful and there’s no getting around it.

Last night, for a brief moment, the new domain pointed at the gig list and all was hunky dory. But as soon as we tried to look at it on our mobile phones we got “this website is currently unavailable”. And I’ve been struggling ever since to get it to work. It looks as though today is going to be a gig list admin day …

I also want to change the template of the gig list. I do like the current one, but I also like to brighten things up every so often and if we’re going to get it earning its keep, it needs to look the part too. But so far I haven’t found anything that I like.

Finally, the gig list itself needs a complete overhaul. The links in the sidebar have been there for yonks and many of the links might not even work any more. So I have to set time aside to check each of the links and delete any that are broken.

And then I might also monetise it.

Meanwhile, is there a Wix Doctor in the house who can help?


NaNoWriMo is still going well for me. Yesterday the words were tough, but I still managed 1,699 words. I still have just over 600 to catch up from last Thursday, but even that figure is coming down. Yesterday I cleared the 30,000-mark, which also brought my to-do down to just under 19,000.

On a regular month my word-count target is around the 20,000-mark and this month, not only have I already done 31,000, but what’s left is under my usual target.

I’m learning a lot from NaNo this year. For a start, it’s the furthest I’ve ever come in all the years I’ve done it. And secondly, I’m really, really enjoying using Scrivener. I’ve always flirted with writing software but never actually taken the plunge. But I doubt I’ll ever work without it again, it’s been so much fun.

The big lesson learned, however, is to stop being pernickerty when writing the first draft. So long as I have a basic cast of characters and the basic plot laid down, I’ve discovered that I can really go for it, even if the end product is tosh. After all, what’s editing for?

If you’ve ever done NaNo, what lessons, if any, did you learn?


Today’s picture is from last Friday’s gig, which we really enjoyed. This weekend we may find some time to go and get some more pictures. There will be photographs from tonight, obviously, but those will be mostly kept for the gig list. Monkey Dust have a gig tomorrow night. But apart from that, we have nothing else planned for the weekend.

Perhaps this week we’ll manage that walk and be able to get some new pictures to illustrate the blog.

Have a great weekend.

Great Halloween weekend

Monkey Dust at the Winning Post in Doncaster for Halloween. (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

We had a fantastic Halloween weekend, even if it was another busy weekend.

We started by collecting my dad for a couple of days, and he was able to look after the animals for us while we went over to Doncaster for a Monkey Dust gig.

We’d had cottage pie for tea but got in at 2am and were a bit peckish, so we both had snacks. Dad had fallen asleep on the settee so we woke him up and sent him to bed.

The gig was lots of fun with plenty of people joining in with the spirit of things, and there were first and second prizes for the fancy dress.

Sunday was a right lazy day for the poet and Dad. But at 11am, as planned, I settled down at the kitchen table with my notebook/switch and managed to clatter out 1,700 words for NaNoWriMo.

The poet cooked us a lovely chicken dinner, with Yorkshire puddings. And I finally used up the last of those cooking apples in a crumble with some blackberries. The poet even made our own homemade custard. It was all really, really yummy.

Today my dad goes home again, but I’ve still managed 1,756 words for NaNoWriMo, so I’m happy with 3,506 words so far – and I’m even a little bit ahead. The target at the end of day 2 is 3,334 so I already have a few in the bank.

How’s your NaNo going?

NaNo ready … (*** list alert ***)

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareSo, much of the past few weeks has been NaNo prep work.

Yesterday, I added a few extra guidelines to my plot and now I think I have enough to be going on with. I’ve left later chapters/scenes/days’ work a little vague but I’m hoping that, as the story progresses, some of those parts may write themselves. I also tweaked the sidebar a little – did you notice?

The diary has been completed for the first week, and “NaNoWriMo” features at 11am every day for 2 hours. Every day.

I’m not setting an additional word-count target for other work as I really, really want to do this this time. Anything extra will, therefore, be a bonus. Had I included the usual 1,000 words per day, then my target for November would have been 71,000 words, which once I’d calculated had the complete opposite effect to motivation.

Here, then, is how next week looks:


  • NaNoWriMo kick-off party Leeds (apologies and good wishes sent)
  • collect Dad from Brum
  • Monkey Dust fancy dress Halloween gig


  • NaNoWriMo 2015 begins
  • 11am – 1pm: NaNoWriMo


  • 8:30am: housework
  • 9am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30am: gig list admin
  • 10am: daily competitions
  • 11am: NaNoWriMo
  • 1pm: DINNER
  • 2pm: blog
  • 3pm: client editing
  • 5pm: housework
  • 5:30pm TEA
  • 6pm: take Dad home


  • 8:30am: housework
  • 9am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30am: daily competitions
  • 10am: pro-bono work
  • 11am: NaNoWriMo
  • 1pm: DINNER
  • 2pm: study work (aka EXTRA writing time)
  • 3pm: client editing
  • 5pm: housework (inc take bins out)
  • 5:30pm TEA


  • 8:30am: housework
  • 9am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30am: daily competitions
  • 10am: blog (diary of a freelance writer)
    • + renew car insurance
  • 11am: NaNoWriMo
  • 1pm: DINNER
  • 2pm: study work (aka EXTRA writing time)
  • 3pm: client editing
  • 5pm: housework (inc bring bins in)
  • 5:30pm TEA


  • 8:30am: housework
  • 9am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30am: daily competitions
  • 10am: diary work
  • 10:30am: gig list admin
  • 11am: NaNoWriMo
  • 1pm: DINNER
  • 2pm: pro-bono work
  • 3pm: client editing
  • 5pm: housework
  • 5:30pm TEA


  • 8am: Tom the Gas coming to drain down/overhaul hot water/central heating systems
  • 8:30am: housework
  • 9am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30am: daily competitions
  • 10am: blog
  • 11am: NaNoWriMo
  • 1pm: DINNER
  • 2pm: client editing
  • 4pm: invoices, admin, pc mtce
  • 5pm: housework
  • 5:30pm TEA

I know this looks a bit too structured for some, but for me it works, and it keeps me on the straight and narrow with less procrastination and lots of ticks. Often a specific job doesn’t take up the entire allocated time slot, so then I either chill by playing a game or surfing the internet, if it’s been a heavy job, or I start the next one early.

Sometimes a job takes longer than planned or something unexpected happens. For example, we’re on standby to go and collect the poet’s car any day, which will mean shifting things around. So the diary is always written in pencil as it looks much nicer with things rubbed out and replaced rather than lots of ink crossings-out and hatchings.

How does your working week look? Today I have one editing job to finish and another one to start. I’m also awaiting a delivery.

As you can see, we have another busy weekend planned, and we’re still only down to one car. It’s the gig buddy’s birthday this week (yesterday) and we’re hoping they’re coming to tomorrow’s gig. We’ll be picking them up on the way if there’s just the 2 of them and Dad will be pet-sitting so we don’t have to worry about dashing back.

It’s a busy month ahead for me. Good luck to everyone else reading this who’s also doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Nice weekend off

banana loafWell, after a stressful week we wanted the weekend off and we pretty much had it, getting the shopping out of the way first and just buying some bird and dog food from the pet shop. We’ve both been fighting colds so we didn’t feel much like doing anything else.

On Saturday the poet made his own Caesar dressing and we had that, with salmon and salad, for tea.

Monkey Dust had a gig in Sheffield Saturday night, at a new venue, and it took us a while to get there. When we did, the gaffer panicked about the speakers, but by the end of the night he was converted and asking them to play again next year.

On Sunday we did more baking. The poet put another lamb shank in the slow cooker, with mint and garlic this time. Then we made a granary loaf and 4 granary rolls in the oven (the rolls and a third of the loaf have already gone), a banana tea bread (from the low fat cookbook), and another granary loaf in the bread machine.

We popped out to visit the poet’s parents on Sunday too, and on the way we stopped off to replace the bread flours – strong white, strong brown, wholemeal – and get a new tin of dried yeast.

We also bought oatmeal for parkin. We couldn’t get oatmeal from Tesco, but apparently all of the other supermarkets sell it and they don’t, so we did the baking shopping at Morrisons. And we bought cream so the poet can have a go at making his own custard – we’d already picked up a vanilla pod from Tesco.

He came back from his parents’ with a pile of art supplies and I came back with a glass pie dish, a glass quiche dish and a jar of sugared blackberries. We’ll be putting all of those to good use very soon.

And that was the weekend. The picture is of the banana tea bread and the worktop saver is the one we bought a few weeks ago. It says: “Home is where the heart is.”

The hire car went back today – it should have gone back on Friday but they only came for it today – and they should be fixing the poet’s car today.

Holly’s back at the vet on Wednesday, but we finally let her out yesterday. We didn’t let her “escape”, we just left the back door open until she noticed it. She went out about 3 times for only a few minutes before coming back in, but then went out for an hour or so. When she got back we checked her scar, and all seems intact. So we’re not keeping her in any more.

It’s my last week of NaNo prep, I have a brand new edit in today, although I’ll be doing the ones already in first, and I’ve scheduled in a couple of sessions this week on the “pro bono” work, so it isn’t dominating my time but I still get to do something with it.

What are you up to this week?

Fraught week

P1020866aIt’s been a long and fraught week for us this week, considering we had a long weekend too.

First the poet snapped a section of his very expensive brand new fishing pole.

Then the clutch caught fire on the car – and they’re trying to say it’s user abuse rather than covered under warranty (the car’s 8 months old …).

Then the cat came home on Tuesday night with a massive hole in her side, had it cleaned and stitched on Wednesday, and now has a 2-inch long scar.

It’s all money money money. And if we add to that a broken plectrum and a Sky remote control no longer working (and no, it’s not the batteries), I’d say we’ve pretty much had our fair share now, thank you very much.

Holly, by the way, is actually fine. But she can’t go out yet and she’s climbing the walls – she’s very much an outdoor hunter but has lost weight since Wednesday morning, so she’s not happy. I just love this picture of her so thought it might make a nice illustration on today’s post. We have no idea what she’s done or how she did it, other than it isn’t from fighting or hunting. It looks like she’s fell against something that’s spiked her in the side. But at least it’s clean.

There hasn’t been a Diary of a Freelance Writer this week. That’s because of the long weekend and because I’ve been running backwards and forwards to the vets and to the garage, so I’ve not had a lot of writing time. The Diary will return next Wednesday, though, all being well, although Holly is back at the vet again Wednesday morning.

I’ve not done much NaNo prep work either, and that’s frustrating me. I hope to remedy that today.

It also looks as though I’m chasing another late payment too. As if I don’t already have enough to do, I really hate having to chase late payments as well.

I have been doing work on what I call the “pro bono” project. I usually give my time to some good cause or another, if it’s something close to my heart or something that interests me. I just have to limit them to one at a time.

This is memorial fundraising work in memory of a friend of Monkey Dust, the poet’s band, and I’m doing the publicity. So I’ve set up a new blog and a new Facebook page and have been sourcing, saving, uploading and crediting pictures that have been pouring in as well as the initial new setups.

I’ve done next week’s diary and allocated time to “pro bono work”, and now I need to step away from the notifications that seem to be happening all the time at the moment and crack on with some of my own work. Otherwise, I could be pecking away at it the whole time. And next week, I need to be finding time for that NaNo prep work too.

Apart from one gig in Sheffield on Saturday evening, we have the whole weekend off this week. We need to do some shopping (if we have any money left), but apart from that, perhaps we’ll do some more home DIY.

What are you up to this weekend?