|Image: Anders B.|
My weekend went nothing like I planned it. It all went wrong on Friday night and the crisis lasted until late last night, and yet – and YET – I still managed to have a highly productive, creative, and enjoyable two days off. Let me explain:
On Friday night I left work late and decided to stop off in Costa Coffee on Hanover Street for a cappuccino. Both my wife and daughter were out and to be honest I couldn’t be bothere with an empty house. I thought about nipping in to Clark’s but I was too tired for a pint, all I wanted was to chill out and read through my notebook with a cappuccino while waiting for the evening rush of commuters to dissipate.
It turned out to be a good decision because although the coffee shop was quite busy, I found a good seat at the window and turned out a few poems into my notebook. I ended up sitting there till after 7pm totally lost in time and my writing – a great feeling.
When I got home I felt charged again and switched on my machine on to complete some work and tee me up for my weekend plans – cappow! Something didn’t feel or sound right. The display on my monitor was wrong – things were missing, software was acting strange, errors showing up on the screen – I knew immediately it was the hard drive.
Now, a few years ago my PC totally caved in overnight and I lost a shit load of software and files, an event that I learned heavy lessons from. These days I back up weekly (at least) to an external hard drive, and am scrupulous with what software I use and allow into my system. This, though, felt like an actual hardware problem. Deflated, I gave up in favour of an early night and clear head.
Up early the next morning feeling charged and revitalised, I headed into town and the Spoon Café. Despite the sunny weather I went straight there; no stopping off at shops or going for a walk, just a quick nip into the newsagent for a Guardian and then into Spoon.
And it was there that I knew I was hitting a juicy creative seem at the same time as a poisonous technological one. Over the last few days I’ve been trying to work out a new ending to GREENER IS THE GRASS, something stronger that stood up in the eyes of the reader.
And it came to me. I kind of wrote my way there and saw the answer unfurl before me on the page – it was that elusive epiphanal moment. In fact, not only is it a great ending, but it requires the addition of a new scene earlier in the book, which will add a new angle and help to heighten the suspense that is unfolding.
Desert Island Discs
To celebrate, I ordered another cappuccino and began to short list music tracks that I might select if I was ever on Desert Island Discs. I tried working through it chronologically and then biographically – the list just grew and grew. I managed to get it down to 30+ so I’ve still some way to go to defining my ultimate 8 tracks.
HDD and CATH
Step one of my PC fixing, which took half of Saturday afternoon, involved retrieving all the data I could get off the hard disc drive (HDD) before it died completely. This was a laborious and long task, because although I would only lose a couple of days of emails at worst if I didn’t, I wanted to be absolutely sure I could recreate everything to as it was when the time came. In between, I took care of some chores around the house (CATH), which meant I was effectively spinning two plates at once.
My wife, who had photographed her first wedding of the year arrived home after spending most of the day at her studio editing. Check the link for some preliminary shots – she’s getting very, very good. Anyway, we decided on Thai for dinner and ordered some Green Thai Curry and Sweet & Sour Chicken and Veg for a late meal. Now that we are both following creative paths it’s good to spend some time alone not doing anythign creative.
If we Scots thought Saturday was warm, yesterday was an absolute scorcher. I got caught out by it because it had been cool when I left early to head out to the west of the city, so I elected to wear jeans and my thin jacket. Bad move. By the time I was coming home it was suntan lotion time.
I should have known it was gong to heat up quickly because by the time I’d walked into Leith to catch a bus (the Edinburgh half marathon was going past my house and the road was closed) I was already starting to warm up and perspire slightly.
The purpose of my trip was to purchase a new HDD from PC World. I found a good one at a reasonable price and then took time out for a coffee in Tesco’s very own in-house Costa. It’s not the nicest of coffee shops – you feel like you are in the attic of a large warehouse – but the old geezer who makes the coffee knows his stuff.
Gardening for Summer
Before I started on fixing my PC there was the small matter of the glorious sunshine. I changed into my shorts and flip flops and headed into the garden to start getting it ready for the summer. There was much to do that will take me over two weekends to complete, but I made a great start yesterday.
All general rubbish was gathered and binned; the lawn was mown back to size; edges done; rabbit hutch deep cleaned (Pippin was given a great run out); and the patio hosed down.
The lawn was the worst. I never gave it a final cut before the winter and it was in a right mess – 6 inches high and needed hacked down before cut with the mower twice. My hands are blistered to buggery today. Next week will be about finishing the place off: weeding mostly.
A New PC
As darkness finally began to fall, I set about fixing the PC. It didn’t take long – out with the old and in with the new – what takes the time is rebuilding the operating system from base installation back up to current with all the patches and fixes. I left it running overnight and will install all my software back on and reinstate all my data and files tonight.
The good thing about the HDD I chose is that it is a far superior piece of kit to my original choice. I bought all the components for my current machine and built her myself, saving a whack of dosh and giving me the exact specification I wanted at the time. This upgrade isn’t the first since I built it (there’s also and extra 1GB of RAM), but the new HDD means everything now runs a lot faster than before and I’ve also doubled my internal disc space.
Back to Plan
So as you can see, the weekend went totally wayward but I got through a lot and am in a better position for it: new garden, new PC build, some new poems and ideas, and a break through in the final draft of my new crime novella.
All things considered, it was a damn good weekend! Hope yours was too 🙂
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