A write-off

IMG_2309
Falls of Falloch, Loch Lomond (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Not anything in particular, like a car or something like that. But the week. This week has pretty much been a write-off.

Well, it started very well, with me getting through lots and lots of work on Monday. I did everything on my list. Monday was a Very Good day.

So was Tuesday. On Tuesday I had my first jolly-day in a long, long time. And it was good and interesting and inspiring and motivating, and all the things a jolly-day should be. However, I was exhausted Tuesday evening, following some slightly stressy driving on 2 new motorways I’m not used to at fairly busy times, but it was another good day.

On Wednesday, the entire morning was spent changing contact details with a lot of finance people – and there are still a few left (tax office, pension company) – the DVLA, and other bitty places, like loyalty card details in stores. I also changed the name from Parkin to Wordsworth with Microsoft as my tracked changes were still coming up by Diane Parkin. And I sorted out my Outlook to receive emails from the new email address. I’m getting far too much spam on the new address and I don’t know (a) how that happened so quickly, and (b) why the spam filters aren’t picking them up and spitting them out. That’s something I still need to look into.

Wednesday afternoon it all started to go downhill. I’d had nagging “shivers” since Sunday, I’d been shattered Tuesday evening, and now a nagging “bit of a throat” was starting to creep in. And with the poet already fending off tonsillitis, what’s the betting he’d shared his germs with me – as ever? (He’s so generous.) I packed up work early and went to the garden centre to get bedding plants, canes, a nozzle for the hose, compost, a new toy for the dog and some herbs. When the poet got home he planted everything up (he hates gardening …) while I made tea.

When I woke up on Thursday I was ordered to stay in bed – I must have looked awful. So I did. And that was Thursday, pretty much, apart from a FB conversation with a friend helping her to pop her Kindle cherry. After a day’s work, the poet came home and did all of my chores before doing some of his own. He emptied the dishwasher and filled it up again, fetched washing in from the line and put it all away, and he did the poo patrol. Then he cut the grass, watered the plants, and made tea. (Did I mention he hates gardening?) He also did the gig list. By the end of the evening he was exhausted too!

But there went pretty much the rest of this week’s best-laid plans. I have time this morning to catch up on a few computer-related things, and the diary (hurrah!), but this afternoon I’m at the dentist (boo!), at the hairdresser, and then we have this week’s shopping to do as we didn’t go last night.

I am feeling better, though, so maybe the rest did me some good. We’ve both still got niggles, but we’re better than we were.

Over the weekend we have Barnsley Live that we’re thinking of tomorrow, or we may get bundled up and I’ll sit in the car while he sits on a water bank fishing. But there’s rain forecast, so we haven’t decided yet. Sunday is Father’s Day, so we’re off to see both of our fathers.

Hopefully next week will be better. Have a great weekend.

Advertisements

So how am I doing? (*** list alert ***)

So on Tuesday I started a new time management routine, just to see if it worked or not. And so far, it seems to be. I’m getting more done and spending more time on things that matter and less time on things that don’t.

Let’s take today, for example. Here’s how today’s diary usually would have looked:

8:00 housework
9:00 BREAKFAST
10:00 daily competitions
11:00 blog
12:00 writing work
1:00 DINNER
2:00 study skills (edit book) (2 hours)
(2:30 dentist – boo!)
3:00 invoices, admin, pc mtce
5:00 housework
6:00 TEA

It’s still in hour-long segments and yesterday I found out I had a dentist appointment at 2:30 … yes, really. My own writing work only had one hour allocated to it, and the book that’s due to be finished today only had 2 hours allocated to it – which doesn’t allow for hiccups like power cuts or the internet falling over (as I have to submit via the job board), and I lost a day’s work on it Tuesday when lots of new furniture arrived. Also, I have no invoices to raise this week (boo!) and pc mtce can be done while I’m doing something else, as it’s backing up critical data and can be done in the background.

So I had a think, and prioritised a bit, and postponed the dentist to next Friday. And here’s how it looks now:

8:30 housework – washing (laundry)
9:00 BREAKFAST
9:30 daily competitions
10:00 blog
11:00 writing work (2 hours!)
1:00 DINNER
2:00 study skills (edit book) (3½ hours) PLUS pc mtce
5:30 TEA

Not only does my day start 30 minutes later, by the way. It also finishes 30 minutes earlier. Yet I’ve managed to schedule in 2 hours for my own writing work, which could be cut down to 1 hour if I feel the book needs more time – but at least I still have a writing session booked in – and the book job that’s due in today has 3½ hours allocated to it. If that job gets finished early, then I can do any outstanding admin (aka filing …) or housework. But it can also run over and the poet will sort tea if necessary.

Oh yes, and I didn’t get the rubber (eraser) out once this week, once I’d settled on the schedule.

With this new system, which I’m still testing, I’ve managed to give myself 2 hours of writing time every day next week*. Plus client work gets 2 hours every day Monday to Thursday*. AND I’ve managed to fit in an hour of study (aka personal development) on Wednesday and on Thursday. So there are 2 hours I wouldn’t normally be spending on my own work. Friday afternoon will consist of errands next week (dentist + hair appointment), otherwise I’d still have 2 hours of client time then too.

I have yet to see where yoga and dog walking will fit in, although walking the dog isn’t such a necessity these days as we have such a big garden. But I think we do need to fit it in somewhere, and not just at weekends and on holidays. And we do walk the dog to the lake after the poet has finished work whenever we feel like it.

The old first 30 minutes of the day (8:00 – 8:30) are the poet getting ready for work, so I’ve knocked that off my diary. I’m still having 60 minutes for dinner at the moment, because he comes home for his dinner now and he has 45 minutes. Maybe that’s where the dog walk will come in.

BUT I’m very pleased with it and, more importantly, I’ve been able to work on CATCH THE RAINBOW every day, which is a habit I really want to get into. And you can see what I have planned for today without me having to repeat it. 😉 (Although, I may swap the writing time and client time around to ensure I meet the deadline, but I’ll still have and take my writing time, even if it is only an hour.)

So, that aside, I still need to apply it to weekends as we have another very busy one coming up.

This evening, if we feel like it (the poet has tonsillitis threatening), we might go to see a band. Tomorrow, son #1 is bringing his girlfriend to meet us and we’re going to Holmfirth too, for something to eat and to take in a comedy show. Sunday morning there’s a farmers’ market in Wentworth, but that depends on what time we have to take son #1 + g/f back to the station.

I still have a very busy day, and so I’m going to clear orf now. Y’all have a good weekend. 😀

* Apart from Tuesday. I think I have a day off on Tuesday.

Sunday 13 July 2014 – Sedbergh to Bowness

First thing this morning I caught up on 3 days’ worth of Camp NaNo. I started the blog travel journal for our holiday and decided to add everything else written this month. I’ve been doing a lot of editing and proofreading work, which hasn’t left a lot of time or energy for anything else, so as there haven’t been that many other things (mostly due to the editing work), I’m adding them to Camp NaNo. I caught up with 2 days by doing that, and more than 2,000 words.

We had a disturbed night. it was very warm. We were worried about the cats and the poet managed to come down with tonsillitis. We’d bought the cats a new hooded litter tray but as they’d not used it at home yet we didn’t think they’d find it in a strange place. So, for now, I’ve taken the hood off and am delighted to say that both cats did actually find it during the night. I was up at 5am, though, to check.

The dog was a bit barky, but stayed in his basket most of the night. He only jumped on the bed twice, and jumped down again straight away. The cottage owners don’t like animals on the beds, so we like to keep him to his basket. We also brought pet blankets with us to protect the furniture.

It was warm despite the rain because the wood burner stove feeds the central heating as well as the hot water.

And what we thought was initially a sore throat woke the poet several times during the night with a raging fever. When I had a look, one of his tonsils had a septic blob on it and the other was quite swollen. Still, he said if he was going to be poorly anywhere he’d rather be poorly here.

He’s not too bad, however. We both managed a 3-course breakfast (cereal, toast and fruit) before going for a drive. They’d forecast showers too, so we decided to stock up on provisions.

The first place we went to was Sedbergh, just over the border in Cumbria. My blog buddy Diane had mentioned that Sedbergh might be a book town. Well, it isn’t quite Hay on Wye, but there were a few book shops. We bought a new 2015 road atlas for £4.99, reduced from £10.99, and an ice cream each. My old atlas was dated 2004 and I’ve been nagging for a new one for ages, and here it is.

Then we went to the Spar to get a few groceries and some throat lozenges, and then we drove through Kendal to Windermere. We parked up at Windermere but halfway down the hill to the lake we decided to go back for the car, not because we’re idle, but because the parking was only for one hour and we were going to be longer than an hour.

So we went back to the car and drove into Bowness where we dropped on lucky with the car park, and we walked down to the lake via a hat shop up hill first. We both have sun hats, but with the panic over Holly, we forgot to put them in. So we bought a new hat each in Bowness and ate prawn sandwiches and carrot cake on the lawn overlooking the lake. Rufus had a great time rolling in the grass before eventually joining us reclining on the lawn.

When the grass felt too damp we headed back to the car and then back to the cottage for tea – and rest for the poet who was starting to wilt. He rallied, though, built the fire and made us some savoury mince, which we had with basamati rice. Then we settled down in front of the World Cup final before tuning in to another film.

We took quite a few pictures today, in Sedbergh, in Windermere and in Bowness. And, of course, of our new hats.

Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 01 005
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Sedbergh. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 01 012
Rufus and Ian locked up. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 005
A bustling Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 003
Modelling my new hat, in Bowness. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Day 02 008
Road train, Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 004
Modelling his new hat, in Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Day 02 010
Our view from our picnic, in Bowness. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

Enjoy!