Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Back to civilisation

Some people think we - the OM and I - live out in the wilds; I thought that when I first came here and we built a house in a field - all set out in my autobiographical book, The Fruit of the Tree. Now I see it's really quite civilised - only ten minutes or so to the nearest town, Guildford, and the same distance to Surrey University, where I obtained my degree three or four years ago (as a very mature student.)

We've just returned from my daughter's new house in Hereford and that was an eye opener. A couple of houses and a converted train station house, all set in miles of undulating fields. No-one around but sheep. She and her husband are very happy to have found this isolated spot and if they're happy, that's fine. I like people too much to want to be so cut off. At least there's a school for little Eve only a mile away, with about fifty children attending. And she seems to like it, and enjoyed taking me for a walk to see the train, which drives backwards and forwards along a small section of track about twice a week.

We also drove on to visit my old work friend Susan, and husband, Bruce, in mid-Wales. Another long journey, but it's so long since we visited, and this was a good opportunity.

Now I've come back to all the usual paperwork, and the VAT return has to be done this month. Also there was a rejection of my novel from an agent. I was unsurprised at that. I'll send it off to someone else soon.

My son and family will be visiting next weekend and we and our neighbours are having a bonfire and fireworks on Saturday night, which I hope the children will enjoy. But I need to make a cake or dessert as my contribution. I was considering chocolate brownies.

Just checked this entry and find that the time I'm supposed to have posted it is in the early hours of the morning. Quite ridiculous. It's two forty in the afternoon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A day of variety

I was very industrious this morning, but all domesticity. Before the rain came, I collected up about 20 pounds (I can't think in kilos and things like that) of huge apples from our Bramley tree, and stored them in a shed. This is a disgusting hole, and I had to negoiate my way through spiders' webs, even putting my head through the doorway. This year's spiders are skinny and spindly but they are very efficient web builders. I'm finding them everywhere, even in the cupboards and doorways of my house.

I coooked some apple too and filed it for future use. We bought our apple tree about 35 years ago, when it looked as if the EEC might phase out Bramleys or call them something like Grade II cooking apple. We have had wonderful crops some years, and my apple crumble is always well received.

This evening Goldenford Publishers, the small publishing house, of which I am a director and which has brought out my novella A Bottle of Plonk, held a presentation at Barclays' Bank in Guildford, as part of the Guildford Book Festival. What nice people they were at the bank - really helpful and welcoming. My fellow writers, Irene Black, Anne Brooke and Jennifer Margrave each read passages from their books, as did I. I was the lucky one tonight, as I sold some books - thanks to Anne's friends that came along, having already bought copies of hers.

When I came home the OM was in a panic about a telephone call that had come in from a restaurant in Covent Garden. I had to put on my other hat as secretary and try to find the invoice that gave details of an extract fan installed two or three years ago. I spent an hour trying to find the info. What an anti-climax to the evening. He is rushing off tomorrow to try to solve their problem.

Should a diary be corrected? An interesting philosophical question. I have just corrected Bloody in the previous entry. At some time I really must look up accrued and see if that's right. Spellchecks have made me lazy.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

A non-event of a day, since the OH, or the OM, whichever you prefer went off to an unfinished job, before I was even out of bed this morning.

Chaos reigned when I got up, the dishwasher had to be emptied and last night's additional bits of washing up, washed up.

I did managed to have an uninterrupted listen to the Archers and ponder on the unlikely love affair between Ruth and Sam. I also finished off re-edits of my latest story entry for Writers' News and put it ready for posting tomorrow. No more luxury of unfolded sheets that now qualify as a 'large letter'. Extravagances such as that will only be reserved for the first three chapters of my novel when it's ready for another excursion into the wilds.

It was pouring with rain all day, which was a shame, because yesterday was such a beautiful autumn day and I didn't go out. I was tempted to collect some apples in, because they are now rosy and beautiful. I am accruing packs of stewed apple in the freezer. Very useful later on in the year, when I need a speedy dessert. The view from the window is not quite as good as some years, when the berberis has been a brilliant shade of red. Too much rain recently, and so the two or three shrubs are dark in colour. But the copper beech is magnificent.

As part of my resolution to try out several things, I reviewed some chapters on the Youwriteon website, and will at some time upload my own chapters. Not being on broadband yet, this is a costly exercise. I am waiting for my neighbour's teething problems to be resolved, before I subject myself to this. We think our overhead cables may be a problem. That's the problem with living in a wood.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Clean sheets

In the days when I kept a diary, I used to like to the look and feel of a clean sheet of paper. I suppose this feels the same, except that it's a bit more difficult and complicated.

Will I keep this up, or will I resort, as I did when I was twelve or so, to writing 'had games today. French in the afternoon' after a crafy look at my school timetable.

At the moment, I'm too easily drawn away from my writing, which is the purpose of this log, sorry, blog. What an ugly word. I wish they could have thought of something more pleasing to the ear.

I have had a bad day today, having been tired. Therefore I have played a million computer games, as I'm addicted to them, and I ate half a box of liquer chocolates, which my brother in law brought last night. I would have eaten the other half, but the Other Half ate them.