Crazy few weeks

I’ve had a very crazy few weeks.

I really pushed the boat out and decided to take the last week of August off, but this, of course, meant that I had less time in which to complete my work. I did it, though, went flat out, and managed to shift all save one job – and that last job is a freebie anyway …

And no, I don’t make a habit of doing freebies. It was actually a favour to a favourite client and was rewarded with 3 new paying jobs, the first of which I started yesterday, Monday. This, aside from the pro-bono-esque work I do for my local rambling group (a charity), what I can squeeze in for friends, and my own gig list, is the only free work I do. But I’m contemplating doing something with the gig list to make it start to earn its keep … more on that when it’s been thrashed out a little.

It meant, of course, that I didn’t have time for much else. I didn’t have time to surf the job boards, I didn’t have time to do the daily competitions, and I didn’t have time to blog.

But, oh! We had a wonderful holiday. We only went away for a few days, to Dent in the western Yorkshire Dales on the border with the Lake District. I had no phone signal, I couldn’t access the internet, it was bliss. We managed a couple of walks this time. When I was there before we had snow, at Easter, and they were fetching fatal casualties down from the dales all over the holiday. I stayed indoors that time, but this time we got out and about.

We went on Wednesday and came back on Saturday, it was sunny and dry for much of it but we did have a few showers. We even had one walk in the rain, a local walk around the village that took in part of the Dales Way. We ventured up to Grasmere to visit the Wordsworth house there, and we went to see the osprey at Bassenthwaite – the female adult had already migrated, but the almost-grown chicks gave us a very good show with one of them even having a practice fish. We popped to Hawes for supplies and visited the Wensleydale Creamery there, and the jets flew over twice. I’ve yet to visit Hawes and not get a flypast. 🙂

When we came home we were chilled and relaxed, and even managed a night out.

I don’t have any photographs yet, as they’re still on someone else’s camera. But as soon as I do I’ll start posting. Meanwhile, the one at the bottom is another from our day out at Langsett Reservoir a few weeks ago.

This week, then, I have two new edits to start – one was started yesterday – and 2 articles to write. I also have 2 books to crack on with, a novel and a non-fiction. I have that freebie to complete, plus the gig list to update. And hopefully – hopefully – I’ll have time to surf the job boards and all the other computer stuff.

Oh yes, and my car has to go into the garage – again – on Thursday. 😦

An arty shot from the poet. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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.