Exiles In Leith

Leith badgeI had a good day on several fronts. I think I handled the last few days in the trough of a wave quite well; in the last it’s taken me much longer to get out of. But by following the process and understanding what I’m going through, I managed to tackle it without offending it, and so today I felt back to normal with an invigorated dose of energy thrown in.

I spent a lot of time completing the layout of RR issue 3. Next month I am publishing a feature on a local writer/artist so I’ve been working on this as well as altering how I lay out the rest of the prose. I’m having the usual problems picking a suitable front cover again – always the same – always the toughest part!

I caught up on 99% of my email – which I’ve been doing in stages – and update my invoice template for TLB based on new guidelines they sent me. I’m still waiting on work to come through this month, which is getting worrying because since the new editor came in I’ve had plenty of correspondence and information on the new guidelines, but no actual work. She seems very welcoming and friendly, so I might just drop a wee email to her tomorrow to see what the state of play is. I’m not overly worried because I’ve been here before with them. I hear nothing for 6 or 8 weeks then bam – a dozen assignments come in.

I’ve gone and lost the source document for my 2008 GDR. I still have the PDF, obviously, but no Word doc with which to update and export into PDF. I scanned my PC and retrieved an older version, but it requires a plug-in I don’t have so I can’t read it. I may have to create it from scratch, which is a total pain in the butt.

I checked all the job listings but there wasn’t anything in my range, and I sent off the last remaining contracts to the contributors for next month’s issue of the Ranfurly Review.

I had intended on completing my office work as well, but I heard through one of Laura’s pals that her dad was having problems with his PC. So I offered to help, and found myself in his home fixing his computer. To me this wasn’t a big deal, but to others it may be viewed as quite something extraordinary, mostly because of the label that has been assigned me since I arrived in the street.

For some reason, I seem to have become known as “the big scary guy”, which has always baffled me because I happen to think I’m a bit of a friendly chap when you get to know me. I just put it down to the east-west coast thing, because whenever I did talk to people they didn’t understand me, and when they did, they didn’t get my attempts at humour to lighten the conversation. It also turned out it was because of the way I walk and the fact I’m a skinhead (not a thug – big difference). Book – cover – judgement?

And so as time went on (I’ve lived here for 3 years now) I hardly spoke to anyone in the street, because most of the time, they ignored me. One can only try so much before getting fed up making the effort, but tonight I saw as a chance to actually talk to one of the neighbours and show them that actually, I’m a pretty decent bloke just trying to get on like the rest.

So I got his PC working and offered him some software and hardware he was lacking that can improve his system. He was most happy and I’m pretty sure I’ll be more welcomed once word spreads I’m not a monster.

I called a friend up who I’ve been meaning to call for ages. We both tend to not chat for a long time and then catch up, but tonight I was especially glad I finally got off my arse and picked up the phone. He’s not been in a good way for personal reasons, and when I was made aware of what had happened to him all I wanted to do was give him a giant hug.

He reminded me just how fragile life and everything that hangs it together is, and although he already knows this, if he’s reading this now I want him to know that I’m always here for him because he’s a valuable and much-loved mate. We’re going to get together for beers very soon.

About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
This entry was posted in Edinburgh, Freelance, I.T., Publishing and Marketing, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Exiles In Leith

  1. Lara says:

    I think it’s quite funny that people have that impression of you. It’s not like you walk down the street growling…or do you? 😉 Kidding.

    Oh, and I think you’d be interested in today’s post here…I got a good chuckle out of it!

    http://tudorhistory.org/blog/

  2. I’m glad things are getting easier in the neighborhood. I can’t imagine anyone thinking of you as a monster.

    Maybe it’s my experience with hockey players who are enforcers, but I find the ones labelled “big, scary dudes” to usually be the kindest and most reasonable. They know they have the strength, and they try to find other ways than physical to end altercations (off the ice, anyway).

    Hope the contract stuff gets sorted out.

  3. Bob says:

    Hi mate. Just read your blog entry and it meant a lot to me. Thankyou. 🙂

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