Anyone who lives or was visiting any part of the British Isles over the past two days, will know it is no understatement when I say the weather has been nothing short of Mediterranean. Even today as I sit in my squalid office, I look outside and once again the skies are blue and the temperature is rising to unfathomably high levels for Scotland. Can you believe it reached the 70s – in Scotland – in May?!
Unremarkably, the weather had an impact on my work output as I spent little time in my office. I never blogged other than a few Tweets here and there, I never wrote any fiction, no poetry, and I never polished up the short stories I wanted to finish and send out.
Most of what I did revolved around being in the garden, and you know what, it was heaven. I chilled big style, and when I say chill I really mean bake. Our back garden is a sun trap at the best of times but it was good just to sit out in it, have a drink, talk with Gail and the family, and just ENJOY it.
I did pop into town on Saturday morning but wasn’t there for long. I spent just enough time for a walk from Haymarket back to Leith, stopping in my coffee shop for the usual order and a read of the paper. Yesterday I had intended to get the bus into town early in order to pick up some pet supplies, but when I got to Leith Links I realised I’d forgotten the Edinburgh Marathon was on. I watched it for a bit then decided to take a walk through Leith instead.
Sunday morning Leith is much more pleasant than midweek afternoon Leith. It’s not too busy and there are no drunks or jakies hanging around stinking the place out. It actually looks very pleasant and welcoming. I took some photos and will post them tomorrow.
Elsewhere, I did some gardening, hacking away the massive overgrown hedge of ivy and stranglers on the high wall that runs along our garden. I cut my arms and legs to buggery doing it. Note to self: wear long sleeves next time.
I’m unsure how much my rabbits enjoyed the weather. I did put them out at one point but they looked far too hot so put them back into the shad of their hutch. Hot weather like this is really not good for them because they can’t cool themselves down as easily as other animals. They looked far more comfortable being in their house. They slept through most of both days, coming to life again in the evening when the sun went away.
Speaking of coming to life, Pippin (the white one) nearly lost hers on Saturday. I’d just gotten out of the shower and was walking through the kitchen when something white flashed passed the window. I suddenly realised I’d not seen any white cats around these parts, and when I moved slightly to see if my suspicions were correct, there she was. My rabbit, Pippin, running freely in the garden.
My stomach lurched. Play it wrong and Pippin would be gone, her life with only hours left after one of the many interested cats or local fox in the area would undoubtedly get their paws and teeth into her. Slowly – and unfortunately nakedly – I slowly opened the conservatory door and stepped out into the garden. The hutch was lying open, the litter tray on the ground, so I figured I must have left the door unlocked last night and Pippin had fallen out after sitting on the tray which had been shifted over the ledge by their movement. I had no idea how long she had been running free and that was scary.
She was sitting on the patio ledge, and as I moved closer she moved forward to meet me. At that point I thought it would be easy, but the sudden sight of me in my birthday suit startled Mopsy, who bolted inside the hutch causing Pippin to react. She also bolted and ran behind the garden hut, out of sight and now probably gone forever.
My heart sank. I heard a rustle so quickly I filled a tray of food – her favourite pellets – and placed them on the ground, knelt down, and waited. Out she came, slowly but surely edging forward. I crouched to meet her, and gently pulled the tray further towards me and further away from the hut. She started eating, and when I saw her body settle into “I’m here to eat and nothing else” mode, I grabbed her and put her back in the hutch. She was not happy, banging her feet for some time after.
For me, though, it was not a nice thing to happen and I’m still baffled about how it did. There’s now an extra lock on the hutch door and a letter of apology has been delivered to the neighbours if I happened to ruin their Saturday morning breakfast.
Back on the work front I did manage to complete some vital tasks this weekend. Late on Saturday and same again on Sunday, I completed preparing my June newsletter and posted it for submission this morning (you should already have it if you are a subscriber – if not go here). I also sent out quite a few requests for blog tour spots and book review requests for STELLA – this latter task took long that you might think. I have three unconfirmed dates now lined up. As I write this.
Today I have a full shift at work to do then I will no doubt go home and try and enjoy what’s left of the afternoon sun. This evening I have work to do. I will probably cook dinner and then get down to more writing on Baccara Burning.
On Wednesday romance author Michelle Miles will be visiting for a chat. Oh, and I have a book coming out this week – how I’ve waited to be able to say that sentence!
To finish up, my ever so slightly later than usual monthly GDR wrap up. Have a great day!
* Complete 2nd draft of Greener is the Grass – complete
* Start work on Stella sequel – IP; titled Baccara Burning
* Complete errata document for EP – complete
* Write four new flash/short stories – 3 of 4 complete
* Re-submit any rejected/recalled short stories. – never resubmitted anything this month
* Enter at least one writing/poetry competition – never entered any but several lined up
* Write at least one poem per week (1/5 – 28/52 overall) – only 1 poem written
* Read more contemporary poets, local if possible – done via PSH Free-for-All
* Stay on top of RR submissions – complete
* Complete RR issue 7 for June – complete
* Complete amalgamation of web design and freelance writing sites – not done; low priority this anyway
* Recommendations to property client – done, including small coding fix
* Complete transfer and updates for B&B client – client has lost vital details; trying to progress
* Update of photographer’s website pending – complete
Marketing and Promotion
* Publish May newsletter – complete
* Prepare June newsletter – complete
* Prepare May GDR Review – complete
* Prepare June GDR Plan – complete
* Keep website(s) up to date – complete; Stella promo added to etc.
* Keep involved in EP’s company promotion scheme – slow going; trying to build up for June 7th
* Work on Stella marketing plan – complete and IP; (Blog tour, reviews, PR, media kit, updated trailer, web banners, web ads, posters, fliers, magnets, newsletter competition)
* Bring Podcast ideas to life – not done
* Bring YouTube ideas to life – not done
* Record MIS sound bites – not done
Reading & Learning
* The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid – IP; not a lot of reading time
* Keep diet going (-4/14lbs as at 17/3/09) – this has been a flop ofer the past few weeks – need to pick this back up after all my good work last year.
Things That Turned Up
* Asked if I wanted to be the News of the World’s “Man in the East” for gig reviews.
* Release date for Stella in: 7th June.
* Guest listed press tickes forJean Michel Jarre gig – review of gig also published.
* Ordered a Netbook for writing more mobile
Saint Ann’s Review 1
Virtual Tales 1
Drunken Boat 1
Lyrical Ballads 1
Ruondtable Review 1
The Beat 1
One Story 1
The amount I’m running with: book release pending, marketing prep, NotW gig reviews – there’s so much happening but the balance is right – and that in itself has to be the biggest success; that I’ve addressed the balance problem, got it right, things are moving, and I’m now enjoying my writing more than ever.
Nothing I would class as a failure. Anything that went wrong this month I’ve learnt from.
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Yesterday in Derbyshire the thermostat hit 30 degrees in the shade! Crazy British weather! It was the perfect day for gardening, but my poor plants were neglected as I had a weekend away with the family.
A great post.
Great stuff, Colin. I’m glad Pippin is safe. I’m so excited about your book release!