Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A Room Of One's Own



Every woman should have A Room of One’s Own, to quote Virginia Woolf and personally I couldn't agree more, especially as this morning, my wonderful husband keeps interrupting me while I’m trying to write.

I was really lucky when I was at work as for many months I had an office to myself. It was up at the top of the building right at the end of the corridor and only the very brave or desperate used to venture up there. And whilst I used to joke that I could die and no one would notice, I didn't really appreciate just what sanctuary that office provided.

Here at home, I've tried to carve out my own space - I have a desk in the corner of the dining room - which is more than some people have, I know, but it still feels like a busy train station some days. It’s in the middle of two doors and the boys will often walk past their Dad to ask me a question, even when I've told them I'm working. And when my husband is working locally, which he is today, he tends to pop in and out asking me if there are any emails for him, or finding me things which urgently need to be done.
 
If that's not bad enough, I can't believe the number of cold callers who pester during the day. I try to leave the phone on answer phone, but as that is in another room, I often find myself going to check it just in case it’s anything urgent.

And then there are lovely friends who think that because I’m working from home, I’ve plenty of time to chat! ARRRGH!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Great British ....

I was a bit of a late-comer to The Great British Bake Off (but there are only so many episodes of Come Dine With Me You Can Watch), so I started to watch the last series and soon became hooked.

My palate has always been more savoury than sweet, so cakes and puddings have never been my forte, and my attempts at bread in the past could be classed as dangerous weapons – put it this way, you wouldn’t have wanted to have dropped one of my loaves on your toes.

But by watching this show, I feel that I have learnt so much, and have recently been attempting to make cakes and biscuits, much to my boys’ delight. I’m even tempted to have another go at bread making, as the Daily Mail gave away a free bread making magazine at the weekend. The detailed recipes are so comprehensive that any fool could do it. Right? It’s not often I feel sorry for the bin men but soon they might be sorely tested.

The re-runs of the show are being shown on BBC2 in the afternoons at the moment, and I’ve series-linked the shows so that I can watch them at my leisure. They have become my guilty pleasure, the highlight of my day (how sad it that?).

I love the camaraderie of the contests, the highs and the lows, and I even love the detailed explanation of the origins of some of the dishes.

When The Great British Sewing Bee started a few weeks ago, I thought, no, not for me. I did have a brief experimentation with sewing when I was in my early twenties, but my attempts at making my own clothes were about as successful as my bread. But I made the mistake of watching the first episode and now I’m hooked on that too. There is no hope for me! I'm looking forward to tonight's episode.

For both these programmes, the elimination which takes place before the contestants are picked for the show is huge. The number of people who have such a passion for their hobby is phenomenal.

But hang on there a minute …… how many of us are there out there, fingers pounding our keyboard as we pour our own passion into our writing, hoping that someday, someone out there will recognise our talent? I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess.

I can’t really see The Great British Write Off (pardon the pun) being that much of a success though. Watching people scribble away in their notebooks or tap onto their keyboards is hardly visual. But then again, if any BBC producers want to give it a go, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of contestants.

What do you think? Would you go on TV to get your talent noticed?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Putting The Pieces Together


For Christmas, some elderly friends of ours bought the boys a 500 piece jigsaw each.  Initially I thought the boxes would be consigned to the cupboard, unopened.  How could a jigsaw possibly compete with today's technology?  But I was wrong, I'm pleased to say.  In the quiet days between Christmas and New Year, we opened up the box, picked out the edge pieces and started to put it together.

At first I thought we would never finish it, there were too many pieces in the box and a huge blank space in the middle of the board, but gradually we started to fill in all those spaces, moved some pieces around that had been put in the wrong place, and eventually we had the complete picture.

And while we were doing it, it struck me how like writing a novel, doing a jigsaw is.  The edge pieces are the plot, the middle the slog of the first draft, and trying the pieces in difference places is the editing.

The whole process is both addictive and frustrating but the final picture at the end is well worth the effort.

Just need to find the time to do the other one. Oh, and write that novel of course.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Happy April


I love the fact that the sun is shining and it actually feels like spring.  Not so warm out of the sunshine, although I did spend some time in the garden yesterday to try to tidy it up a bit. Things must be improving, it’s the first time I’ve ventured into the garden so far this year.

Well, Easter is over and the eggs (chocolate) are taunting me.  With my eldest having a brace it means that he can only eat sweet things at mealtimes, and as I made a chocolate cake on Good Friday, which is taking some getting through, he is rather spoilt for choice.

Also youngest son, who happily postponed the sickness bug until after he’d been on his school trip, succumbed in the early hours of Tuesday morning and has been off chocolate ever since.  Think he might just be getting his appetite back now though.

Today they are both a football so it means I get a few hours peace.  I should be either working or writing but it feels too much like the holidays and I can’t get my constructive head on. I must try to get something done though because it feels as though the days and months are merging into each other with little to show for them. My work ethic seems to have packed it’s bags and is sunning itself by the pool.  Wish I was!

Anyway, happy April everyone, hope you’re being more productive than I am – or at least are enjoying some free time!