On the 6th December 2015 our Grandson was born. He is easily the most beautiful member of our family. Now he is approaching his first birthday – where has the year gone?
The day before yesterday I took my Mum to Plymouth. She’s been pretty poorly, but her latest meds have perked her up no end. She has been talking about mobility bikes for a while, so we thought we would have a look at a selection, just to see if it was feasible for her to use one so that she can take her dog for walks without additional long walks to and from woodlands etc. Well, before I knew it Mum was trying out a pavement scooter, demonstrating that once you are a driver, you are always a driver, but then, at an equally alarming speed, I was loading a brand new, go faster red, scooter into my car. Mum doesn’t have pavements on her lane, but her scooter is classed like a pedestrian, which means that where there are no pavements, she is legally allowed to travel on the lane. She is kitted out with a high vis vest, (so is the dog!), and she keeps her lights on. We have been out for two walks and she is already adjusting her speed dial to cope with inclines. I am so impressed that with her recent poor health, visual impairment, arthritis and aged 86, she is so up for a new challenge! My Mum rocks!
Finally, I have added two new pieces to my Stories page. They are not new (as you will probably guess from the theme of one), but I have added stimulus tags under their titles so that you can see how we use prompts to generate ideas. The Flash Fiction story was written at the group meeting. We try to do one of these exercises at every session and we generally have about ten or fifteen minutes to write. The longer stories are the ones that we do for ‘homework’.
I should say that we are hoping (Liskeard Writers’ Group that is) to be at Looe Literary Festival in November where we will be reading some of our work – quite exciting! … or do I mean terrifying?
Also, a quick thank you to those of you that visit my blog and read my humble offerings. I don’t claim to be any good, but it is rewarding to know that someone else has read my efforts – for good or ill.
I am so bad at keeping my blog fresh, especially when the garden draws me out all the time. I have at least six pieces of writing to add to my Stories page, but because I write in longhand I have to type my work up before posting. I will catch up soon. Equally I have lots of thoughts and observations which I am desperately trying to store somewhere in my brain to regurgitate at a later date, as if anyone wants to read them! Anyway, some concentrated writing will follow.
I have just added two more short stories written for the Liskeard Writing Group. I should explain that we are given a stimulus (they may be words, a picture, a phrase), and each member has to come up with their own interpretation which they share at our fortnightly meetings. It really hones my writing skills and is great fun. I do not, you understand, claim the resultant work as Shakespearean, but the varied genres stop me becoming too fixed on a particular style. Anyway, I hope they make you smile.
Bob is really good about all my eco foibles. He is sort of on board, but has a strong hold on the practical. He has been talking for a little while about changing our method of heating the house. We had a multifuel Aga Minsterly burner in our lounge and predominantly used anthracite (very eco non p.c.), but it was quite work intensive – bringing in coal and wood, emptying ashes, etc. etc., and it created an enormous amount of dust, which was not popular with this housework averse, would-be writer. Of course from my point of view, it was the fossil fuel angle that bothered me most, so when we got a call from a ‘green’ heating company, we decided to look at biomass boilers. Once we found out about the RHI payment, it was a no brainer, because the cost of installation would mostly be covered.
I can’t pretend it has been plain sailing. The boiler had a faulty motherboard which meant the system didn’t work for the first week, and we are still trying to decide the best location for the room stat, but it is so easy to use and far less work on a daily basis. Add to that the fact that the by-product can go straight on the compost and it is definitely an improvement. The down side is that we receive one hundred 10kg bags on a pallet and have to store them in our boiler house. It’s not shovelling coal, but it’s not quite labour free either!
So, the cost of being eco-friendly? Well you could argue that the footprint created by the boiler manufacturer will take a long time to cover (a bit like double glazing or photovoltaic panels), but the wood pellets are UK produced, and the exhaust fumes are virtually clean. We will have to wait and see if it is cheaper to run, but so far, so good.
I am confused and animated all at once. My increased writing activity, as part of the Writers’ Group at Liskeard, has been stimulating and has encouraged me to return to my blog more frequently. I don’t think many people read it, but I do get enormous pleasure from the writing process itself. It also makes me very conscious that my book (Through Cracks in the Mist) is very nearly finished, and this is where the confusion comes in. Do I send it to an agent (already had five rejections) or to a publisher; do I send out one copy at a time (which is the advice given in the Writers’ and Artists’ Handbook) or do I send out multiple copies? I really don’t know which route to take. Perhaps I will take advice from our visiting author at the group on Tuesday 3rd February. We have Ann Foweraker coming to talk to us. She is an e-publication author and I am keen to find out her experiences using this medium. Perhaps that should be my chosen route. I can’t help feeling though, the vanity that requires a paper object, something with my name on it, although she is bringing copies of her book with her. How does that work? I will ask …