Great weekend

So after the hassle of the past week or so I finally got some time off and was able to enjoy the weekend.

On Saturday morning at around 10am-ish, we headed off to Harrogate for the 2013 Crime Writing Festival. We were meeting Carol there, who was clutching our tickets in her little hand. We made it in good time, with just 10 minutes to go before our event, the New Blood panel discussion chaired by Val McDermid.

The beautiful Old Swan Hotel (where Agatha Christie is believed to have stayed when she disappeared for a few days) was packed again, but the weather was glorious although cooler than of late, so it was pleasant to sit on the lawn after our event with a picnic and a Pimms – my first ever Pimms. (I’m being spoiled rotten at the moment.) Carol and I were also treated to a new book each and it was my fourth time seeing Val McDermid. She told me I’d start to get bored of hearing all the same old jokes if I carried on at that rate, but she always makes me laugh and she always, always has good advice well worth heeding.

After our picnic we parted ways with Carol and nipped into the Mercer Gallery to view the current free exhibition of art. It was all very civilised and we had another lovely day.

A quick pit stop at home, then it was off to see one of my favourite bands with three of my friends. We all had a great time there too. I’m having a fantastic private life at the moment.

On Sunday I had a chat with my dad and with my mom, which is always nice, and then I worked … or I started to work. I’d really like someone to remind me to do my expenses on a monthly basis this year, please. I keep pushing them to one side and then it’s a mammoth task that takes the best part of a day when it would probably take just half-an-hour a time if I just kept on top of it.

I think I’m going to schedule in a new diary item: once a month – expenses.

I also pitched for 3 jobs and was invited to pitch for another. I had one job confirmed, and then another single job made into 2 jobs will hopefully be confirmed imminently. I still need to pitch those 2 writing jobs; this is why I need to keep on top of routine jobs like expenses so I have time to do everything I need to do when I need to do it.

Today, then, that double job will hopefully land on the desk, but I have a book to edit if it gets delayed and the walks report to write. Then it’s going to be busy, busy, busy as I’m a day down this week due to a Do Diddle Day, when I also hope to drive down to Birmingham to see another fave band play, with some of my Brummie friends.

UK call centres (mini rant alert)

So, after spending the best part of a week arguing the toss with a government department and finally getting a result on Wednesday, Thursday saw me hurtling into a similar ding dong with my telephone and internet provider. I really am at the end of my patience, though – what little of it there is – and once I realised I was speaking to another ignoramus  I hung up.

Today I received my customer satisfaction questionnaire … oh, did I enjoy filling that one in this week. Every reply was 1 (totally dissatisfied) and my reason was the script-reading buffoon at the other end.

And so I have made a momentous decision. When my telecom contract comes to an end (end of January), I’m moving to a company that employs British staff on British soil for British customers.

Really, I’m all for helping employment in other countries, but not when they’re total rubbish and less when we have such huge unemployment in our own country. We should get our own house in order before aiding other countries, and, despite being quite the socialist, this is the way I’ll be leaning in future.

I’m sick to death of dealing with incompetents.

My patience is also worn thin because I’ve been struggling with the formatting of a novel I’ve been editing. I’ve already done it once, but it wasn’t translating well to the FTP server thingy, so I’ve had to look at it again and I can’t see what the author has done. I should have saved a version in .rtf, but then I would have had to do a lot more basic formatting too, and they don’t pay me enough for that as well.

Today will mostly be that editing/formatting job. I’ve pitched for another 10 jobs since Wednesday and I’ve done my diary for next week. I still need to get 2 writing pitches out, so I’ll be working for some of this weekend.

I’m off to Harrogate tomorrow with a couple of friends for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival. We had a corking day last year, and the weather looks set to be hot, hot, hot again.

Tomorrow evening I take friends to a gig so they can talk to the band about something.

It might be too warm to drive the dog down to Birmingham (no air-conditioning in the car), so Sunday will probably be a writing day instead. I need to shift some work.

I have lots of writing work to do. I have the novel to be cracking on with, I have those 2 new pitches I need to get out, and I need to get the freelance writing WiP moving again. I have a daily allocation for freelance writing in my diary now and I really should use it. I also have interviews to transcribe for the non-fiction book.

I have a new editing job to start too with, hopefully, another on the way – we thrashed out the details yesterday evening and now I’m just awaiting confirmation.

And I have my tax return to schedule in and an additional application form to complete.

Looks like we’re set for another nice weekend. The rain-dance isn’t working. I’ll have to switch to just talking to the Universe. But y’all enjoy it. 🙂