Sunday, 1 March 2015

I have The Poorlies and am taunted by my pets.

Sorry, am poorly. <cough cough>  One of those poorlies where you can't get out of bed, and if you can it takes ten minutes to get downstairs, where you have to stop and have a coughing fit of such magnitude that the small dog goes and hides in the garden.  Honestly.

This is me, at the moment.  I'd send you a recording of me coughing as well, but it wouldn't help, it would only make the dog hide even further down the garden.  I have no idea why she does it, I can only assume that I'm barking some kind of confrontation.  <cough cough>.

I tried lying on the sofa downstairs and all the animals thought this was a great idea, because it made them a lovely snuggly bed on which to stretch out, notwithstanding the fact that the lovely snuggly bed they were stretching out on was actually me..


And then they start playing...

Yes, despite the rolling eyes and the teeth thing, this is the terriers playing.  And then they jump on my head.

So, if it's all the same to everyone, I'm just going to stay here with the duvet over my ears for a  bit longer. <cough cough>.  Although, if this goes on for very much longer I'm going to go down the garden and hide with the small dog...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

So, Mr Public, you really want to be an author, do you?

Ah, Mr Public, good morning.  Welcome to the job centre.  Now, I hear that the job you want most in life is to be an author, am I right?  So, what qualifications do you have for the job? 
The Authors' Job Centre is somewhat behind the times...
Oh.  You've had a really exciting and interesting life and you're pretty sure that everyone would be really interested in it.... and you really want to write a book one day.  That's fine, if you'd just like to fill out this JB734 form, which enables us to take away your television in order to give you the time to write, and also this NQ76 form, to sign up for a pathetic low-earning job which will barely pay any of your bills, but will give you plenty of time to write, since it's a zero hours contract...

I'm sorry, Mr Public?  You don't really want to give up watching television and you quite like the job you have at present?  Ah, in that case you want form 900213C.  Yes, if you just sign here... this form ensures that you will give up all hobbies, social life and interests outside the home...oh, I see.  You'd like to still be able to go out for the evening occasionally, and you have several demanding hobbies... hmmm...

How are you fixed family-wise, Mr Public?  Is your significant other aware of your desire to become an author?  They are?  Oh, that's good.  Then, if you could make sure that they sign this NJW27 form, because they will need special training on how never to interfere with you, or even speak to you for at least nine months of the year, how to run the house single handed because you won't be able to give much input whilst you are writing, oh, and if they could fill in this bank form 8RF67 - never you mind why, but writing is an expensive business what with the workshops and conferences you may wish to attend, and the various meetings you may want to have with other authors, to say nothing of upgrading your computer and then, of course, you will want to invest in all the latest software won't you?  Ah.  You think you already know enough about writing without attending any workshops?  Fine, fine...

And what about your health, Mr Public?  Writing involves quite a lot of sitting down and I can't help but note that you are a little...ahem, forgive me Mr Public..a little...how should we put it, a little on the well-fed side?  Never mind, eventually living on a writing income should sort that out, but in the meantime perhaps you'd like to invest in some slightly bigger trousers?  And, perhaps, prepare your taste buds for a life of Pot-Noodles and Quavers, these are readily available at the Pound Shop and you can stock up with a year's supply for next to nothing, which is just as well, as per my remarks above about living on a writing income.

I beg your pardon, Mr Public?  Let me get this clear - you don't want to give up watching television or any of your hobbies or your social life.  You don't want to give up your high paying job in order to have more time to write, you seem a little upset at having to spend quite so much time away from your Significant Other, you don't wish to spend out money that you may never get back on workshops, or mixing with other authors, you like proper food, and the thought of being quite sedentary for long periods of time appears to distress you.

What's that, Mr Public?  You thought that being an author meant scribbling down some words which would then be taken on by a publishing house, requiring no further input from yourself?  And that those words would make you millions of pounds, a household name, and probably be turned into a film, possibly starring Jennifer Lawrence or Daniel Radcliffe?  And that you would only have to do this once?

Mr Public, it appears to me that you don't really want to be an author at all.  What you want to be is J K Rowling or Stephen King and I am afraid that those vacancies are already taken.

Have you considered being a lumberjack, at all...?
Where a healthy, outdoor life with barely a single Pot Noodle awaits...

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Why is my postman in the Seychelles with a bottle of Prosecco with my name on it? And why Romance is more of a backing singer, than Jared Leto

Yesterday was Valentine's Day.  And, once I'd reached the conclusion that I reach every year - that obviously my postman is some kind of crook who is stealing all my gifts and flowers and burying the enormous quantity of cards that are en route to my address in some rubbish tip somewhere, where they will baffle future archaeologists into thinking that Jane Lovering was some kind of deity to whom supplications and offerings had to be made, which, come to think of it, is pretty much my opinion too - and stopped sobbing, I began to ponder Romance...


I like to imagine this is what he sees, first thing on Valentine's morning, all bearing my address and a simple, yet effective, heart shaped sticker...
I mean, I write Romance.  I should be able to define it, without recourse to 'it'll all end in tears', or 'the thing men use to get women to have sex with them'.  But what actually is it?  Is it hearts and flowers and chocolates, or is it a cup of tea brought at exactly the time at which you were starting to think of getting up and making yourself a cup of tea?  You see, the whole Valentine's Day thing makes me worry a bit, that all over the country partners are thinking that all they need to do is hand over a token of their esteem once a year and everything will be hunky dory, without noticing that there are another three hundred and sixty four days in which they could be doing something to make life just that little bit better for their chosen one, but not bothering. 

So I concluded that Romance isn't grand gestures, because all the weekends in Venice in the world won't make up for not noticing that your other half has lost a stone, or has been slaving over something and hasn't had time to make themselves so much as a sandwich all day.  Romance is quietly checking the oil in the car and sorting out that strange 'ticking' noise that has been coming from the understairs cupboard and which you both suspect is a mouse building a bomb.  Romance is that lovely, background hum that keeps life going, not the huge, explosive, showy thing that wants to be noticed and congratulated all the time.  As it says above, Romance is a backing singer, not Jared Leto.
Although, quite frankly, if he shows up with tickets for a weekend in Venice, I am prepared to compromise all the principles I have...