baking againI still don’t have any new pictures to share, so here’s a sample of Wormy’s kitchen from Saturday. A bit blurred, but you get the idea.

I’ve not been on since last Wednesday because, quite simply, I never got around to it. And by the time I remembered on Friday, I’d already switched everything off.

My NaNo is doing okay, but I had a bit of a day off last Thursday and only managed 189 words. I was going to try and catch up the next day, but time ran away with me again and I just decided to call the 189 that day’s work and hope I make it up over the rest of the month.

Yesterday was the halfway point. I should be at 25,000 words, but I’m just under 900 away from that, or, if you see the little man, 2% down. So I’m going to keep plugging away and hope I get there.

For the record, this is the furthest I’ve ever got on any NaNo challenge, so I’m happy with that.

Thursday evening was busy as we were finally able to go and get the poet’s 8-month-old car, which was being held hostage while Ford decided whether or not to do the clutch (which caught fire) under warranty. In the end they paid half of the invoice, but reiterated that they never, ever, ever pay for clutch repairs under warranty.

When we collected the car, the chap in the office went through all of the paperwork, advising us to keep it as it also forms our warranty on the parts … totally forgetting, obviously, that the parts were for a new clutch and that Ford never, ever, ever pay for clutch repairs under warranty …

We also had to fight to get someone at Ford in our corner on this, to save the poet making all of the phone calls and doing all of the chasing. He was also going for 5-day periods with just “sorry, we have no news and I can’t look at it until a week next Wednesday because I’m not in/on holiday/can’t be bothered”.

So I took to Twitter and Facebook, and within minutes we had a competent customer relations representative on our case who did then make all of the necessary phone calls for us and keep us informed on a daily basis. I made a point of thanking him for his help too, as we’re all very quick to complain about something, but less quick to thank someone.

However, this whole experience has made us rethink our next new car, which is for me. Our major spend last year was moving house. Our major spend this year was getting married, having a nice honeymoon, and renewing the poet’s car. Our major spend next year is for another nice holiday and another new car. And we were going to go to Ford to get a fiesta.

Now we’re also looking at VW polo or golf (rabbit), Vauxhall corsa or astra, and even the Kias. Ford might well have shot themselves in the foot over this, because we also use word of mouth and social media very loudly. And we know a lot of people between us.

To add insult to injury, the car was also booked in to have 2 things repaired under warranty (that we know are covered) and for its first service. None of this work was done, yet they had the car for nearly 4 weeks and the instructions were very clearly written in red ink on the service sheet. So now it has to go back again, and I’ve a mind to take in an invoice for my own lost time spent on this. At this rate my own mechanic (who’s Ford-recognised) will get the poet’s car to service as well as mine and the dealership can go whistle.

We did the shopping on Thursday evening to free-up some of the weekend, and we went out Friday night to see a new band to us, which we really enjoyed. It was also nice to see friends we’ve not seen for ages. There are pictures from Friday night, but I need to get them off the camera.

Saturday morning was a lazy time, but while I did my day’s NaNo, the poet got busy in the kitchen. He pickled some cucumber and 2 kinds of onion, he boiled a ham joint, he made a brown loaf, and he made pastry so did a quiche lorraine and some jam turnovers.

On Saturday evening we headed off to a gig but when we got there the staff didn’t know anything about it. They checked with the booker (who’d booked it with the poet), and he admitted he’d forgotten to tell them but yes, the band was booked. Well, with no publicity and no staff to man the bar, between the venue and the band they decided to cancel. And in the few minutes they were there, someone tried to break into the band wagon, so they were glad to head off home again.

On Sunday morning the poet started a pork casserole in the slow cooker and off we went to Birmingham to see my parents, where we did a few things there for my dad, and the poet took him shopping. We were going to stop off for a walk on the way home, but with the atrocious weather at the weekend, it was already too dark. So we came straight home.

Today’s day is a bit upside down as I wanted to do a blog today. So I still have today’s NaNo to do and a new hard-copy edit to start for a client.

And that’s pretty much how the whole week needs to be too. What’s on your schedule 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?