Being without a main pc for the last few days, has found me doing things a little differently. I thought ot would be a miserable time, frustration and annoyance dominating everything.
Life with an unaccustomed laptop is certaily slower, giving me plenty of time to think as I am forced to wait for even the simplest jobs. So I have been doing a lot of really deep thinking.
I have come to realise that my life has been slowly changing into something I no longer recognise these last few months. Where once I was a writer/blogger who somehow managed t fit in everything else, I have changed into a carer, someone who tries to do other things. Sometimes I manage it, but more often, I don’t.
I have no problem with any of this, it is what it is, after all, but being a carer is a very responsible job and not easy in todays uncertain times. I pray that I will not need to call the doctor, of have to take Anita back to the hospital. She is determined to stay well enough to avoid this, but sometimes a little reassurance from a doctor would be good.
The second hand pc arrives later today, and I sincerely hope installing it is as painless as the last one. Everything transferred as if by magic, so I have my fingers crossed!
I started the week in good spirits despite having a roaring toothache.
There is so much I want to do, book and writing-wise. The bonsai are beginning to wake up, and the garden is still a jungle. Several jobs have been neglected around the house, but I am learning to move from room to room with my eyes averted!
Seriously though, I am beginning to wonder about my job description.
Head cook and bottle washer
Housekeeper and accounts clerk
Part-time carer and medication assistant
Full time writer/blogger/editor
Bonsai enthusiast and part-time gardener
DIY/decorator should be on this list, but I just can’t make myself do it. Not sure how I can manage to fit everything in, but I must try. Even though I am aware of that old maxim, Jack of all Trades, master of none…
The dentist assured me that there was no infection last week and that the aching hole in my gum would stop hurting very soon. I didn’t believe him then, and I wasn’t buying it now, for the pain is worse, accompanied by some severe throbbing. Made an appointment to see him on Thursday.
While I waited, I tried to find any trace of the creative spark in my head and failed, so I resigned to doing routine work on the computer. This wasn’t easy either, what with the pain in my mouth and the granddaddy of all headaches, but it was something.
After a speedy Xray, the dentist had to admit I had an infection. My swollen gum must have cinched it, and I toddled off home with some strong antibiotics.
A walk around the garden provided me with some lovely images to close with…
See you soon, hopefully with news of some progress!
The past seven days have been one hell of a week. So many good moments, but the elephant in the room hasn’t gone far away.
Our marketing/business plan is finally taking shape. We feel optimistic about the future for the first time in years.
I have been signed off as cancer-free from the hospital. The last five years have seemed like an awfully long time.
I had to have a tooth removed, something I dreaded, for the last one had to be chopped out in four pieces! The new dentist turned out to be a genius, it was all over in five minutes!
The re-edit of SPB is going well, with a lot of help from the paid version of Grammarly. Amazing job!
We found out that our local garden centre is open, so we had to go. On one of the coldest days too, so not a good move…
AND TWO STEPS BACK…
It might be a long time before we are ready to start any serious marketing. There seems to be so much to do first!
I don’t feel so confident now I am supposed to be cancer-free. Supposing it’s just waiting to make a comeback?
Turns out that the new dentist has feet of clay after all. He managed to badly mangle my bottom lip, something I knew nothing about until the anaesthetic wore off. It is very sore and is stopping me from enjoying anything!
Right in the middle of editing, an error message turned up, halting the proceedings. Microsoft Office was apparently broken. I had to google the problem and then perform a repair. You couldn’t make it up, could you?
This one is not really a step back, but I did pick up some lovely seeds, some I have been meaning to grow for some time…
I awoke one morning a few days ago, to find the world outside my window had turned white, but it wasn’t the snow we had been promised. A thick frost lay over everything and a mist crawled slowly along the ground like a predatory animal. A perfect picture postcard.
I was up early and had the house to myself. I was feeling so much better this week, so I sat down at my desk to write. That was when I discovered that this part of my brain was refusing to function, and was as cold and empty as the scene outside my window…
We did finally get some snow.
I say some rather scathingly because although the signs were promising and the initial snowfall encouraging, it fizzled out and stopped far too soon, leaving meagre patches here and there.
The temperature fell to bone-chilling depths, increasing my daily trips down the garden to make sure our feathered visitors had enough to eat.
It was after one of these trips, as I sat at my window and watched these lively little creatures happy to feast on the seeds and fat balls hanging from my favourite tree, that I began to think about their lives. They were so incredibly small and delicate; how do they keep warm all night in the bitter cold?
Where do they sleep?
I felt the cold, in the safety of my home. Even with extra layers and thick warm socks. My mind was full of images of all those small, huddled scraps of feathers, spending each night roosting in a hedge while the temperature fell to the floor.
Worrying about them all was beginning to keep me awake at night, fearing the worst. However, the next morning, the same jolly crew appeared, unaffected by having survived one of the coldest nights for years.
They are just like us, each with a tiny heart and blood. Flesh and bone covered with an inadequate supply of feathers. We wouldn’t survive out there, so what supernatural force keeps them safe in conditions that would kill you or me?
It is a vast improvement to where we lived before, and why we moved.
But… life here is getting harder. The stairs are a struggle for my arthritic knees. It gets too hot in the summer because the insulation in the loft is ancient. We freeze in the winter because we only have a few ancient storage heaters. Parking is another nightmare because we live on a busy and noisy main road!
Just lately, I am feeling an infinity with the place as it starts to show its age. Which leads me to wonder how much longer we can live here. I long to live near woods or water, preferably both…
Serious cracks are appearing on walls and ceilings, and ominous creaks follow me up and down the stairs, and not just from my knees! The chimney stack on the roof is supported by steel bands, but chunks of brickwork rain down into our yard on a regular basis. Doors swing closed all by themselves and the bathroom floor slopes like the Swiss alps.
This house was built in 1887, which makes it 134 years old. So, how old is too old for a domestic domicile?
I suppose there will come a time when the cost of repairs or renovation will become a bridge too far. A bit like me?
I take vitamins, fish oil, turmeric and as healthy a diet as I can manage, and attempt yoga every day, but am I doing any good? And when did I switch from being a silver surfer into a mouldy golden oldie?
How long before I get condemned, along with the house?
” …of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most…” Mark Twain
The New Year and the new month have been slipping past me at an alarming rate, and what with being under house arrest and suffering a miserable cold (at least I hope it’s a cold) I am becoming a bit depressed.
I haven’t been doing anything creative. I can’t think straight and just realised how close I am getting to despair.
I have small moments of pull yourself together girl and quite a few just have a look at the WIP… but nothing is working. It feels like an eternity since anything was normal, and not much hope of any of it turning up.
Every now and then, I have a moment when life seems better and my head clears, only to vanish again when the paracetamol wears off, leaving me a pathetic sniffing heap again. It isn’t just the aching joints, headache and streaming nose, the depression is worming its way into everything.
I have been trying to keep on top of the emails and other small jobs, but anything else just slips through my fingers. But I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future of Books & Bonsai. Not enough, obviously, to get me doing anything creative but at least the grey matter is trying to function. My WIP is haunting me. It’s a mess, with piles of notes depending on what I have already researched. Before I can move in any direction, I must make a workable plan.
And this morning, that was what I did. The germs have retreated enough to allow a little get up and go to creep back into my life, and I now have a new list.
ABOUT US: For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita cannot abide computers, so I (Jaye) do all the technical (oily rag) stuff! Our books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, and mystery thrillers. We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read. Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon.
If you enjoyed your visit, we would love you to leave a comment…
Just read Sue Vincent’s hilarious post about mince pies HERE where she describes the tradition that says you should eat mince pies for good fortune through December. You must read this!
Judging from the speed mince pies vanish in our house, I would say we were doing our very best!
Back to the post I intended for today, the absolute last post on all things 2020
2020 has been a year of monumentally large things for all of us.
Top of the list, of course, for most of us has been the corona virus and all its many faces.
Most of the year we have been up to our necks in politics, both here in the UK, and in America. I try to avoid anything political as I am convinced that all politicians are insane, but there has been no avoiding a little interaction.
Against my better judgement, I found myself rooting for Boris Johnson and hating Donald Trump with a passion. Even though I knew it didn’t really matter who seems to be in charge, as it’s the machine behind the scenes that calls the shots.
We have had (and still have) a major big thing in our family too. Anita, the healthiest member of our family who has never even had as much as a head cold, suddenly developed serious heart trouble, resulting in such irreparable damage she may never fully recover from.
For our family, this has been devastatingly bigger than the virus and all the world problems put together.
We also lost our beloved Merlin this year, when old age and a brain tumour decided it was time he crossed the rainbow bridge. For fifteen years he had been such an important and much-loved member of our family. His loss is still far too painful to talk about.
Trying to come to terms with the enormity of everything that has happened, I started thinking about the little things.
Those small moments that usually pass unnoticed, mainly due to the blanketing effect of all those big things, but they do have an importance all their own.
I found myself looking for comfort in these small things.
The small touch on your arm to let you know you are not alone.
The sound of rain.
The unexpected arrival of a cup of coffee.
Waking up to breathtakingly lovely sunrise.
A visiting robin, busy picking up the fallen crumbs from the bird feeder.
A smile, a compliment, or a hug.
Neighbours who remember to trundle our rubbish bins out for the dustmen.
Those little jobs around the house that mysteriously get done, and not by me.
The garden is a source of joy, despite the overgrowth of weeds. I have learned not to feel guilty about leaving Nature to her own devices. She takes care of business just fine, something we should all think about.
And there has been just enough rain to keep my bonsai trees happy.
Someone once said…
“To enjoy the little things for one day, you may look back and realise they were in fact the big things…”
This is the post I wrote when I finished writing Silent PayBack, my fourth novel.
I still remember wondering what the world would make of it, but so pleased it did reasonably well. Well, I thought so anyway.
So I have not been pleased with my progress of late, thanks no doubt to the on-going abomination and various other problems.
Are there days when you cannot cope with your chosen occupation?
I have had many jobs in my time and hated quite a few of them, but never thought I would ever feel less than love for writing.
Lately, I have been having days when things seem to be slipping, a digital carrying-on that can plague anyone who switches on a computer.
This week, I had more than one day like this. A fatal mixture of an old and feeble person trying to use an equally old and feeble computer.
The overall tone of the week surprised me, seeing as I had just typed those magic words at the end of Silent PayBack, my WIP, I should be happy or at least relieved, or optimistic reaching the end of what has turned out to be a fascinating if complicated story.
Secretly though, I knew why I wasn’t jumping around like an idiot. I am an idiot (most of the time), but that wasn’t the reason.
I was secretly terrified that, having written this unusual and complicated story, that I wasn’t competent enough to present it in the best possible light.
This is a story that I didn’t know much about initially, or how to write it. It has been one hell of a learning curve. The research alone took almost as long as writing it.
so here I am again, trying to create the impossible. (at least that’s what it feels like!)
I now have the actual storyboard on the wall in front of me, but the plot, characters and possible outcome are all still inside my head. Will any of it ever transfer to the pc screen?
When the world fails you, we just grit our teeth and get on with it.
But when your body starts to fail you, and your teeth are long past being able to chew, let alone grit anything, you know you have just stepped on to that slippery slope.
Very slowly…over the years, various bits of us have stopped performing as we would want them to, but we manage to find ways to get around each problem.
Those handy little rubber mats for opening stubborn bottles and jars. Kneeling pads and handrails, stronger reading glasses and tablets for the arthritis. Little tricks that fool us into thinking we are as good as we ever were.
Secretly though, we know our shortcomings only too well. We just wish the list would stop getting any longer.
This has been brought home to me quite strongly, as I help Anita to regain some of her usual abilities after being fitted with an ICD. Implantable cardio verter – defibrillator. A small battery-operated device to monitor the heart.
All the reports about this procedure said that after the initial six weeks, Anita would be blessed with a new lease of life, stronger and more able to cope with life in general.
So far, we have yet to see much improvement.
Her damaged heart seems to be behaving, thanks to a strict and intensive drug regime, although this is tough going for someone who is rarely ill and never takes as much as an aspirin!
Breathlessness is still a big problem, leaving her weak (and bad tempered) and the site of the implant is still painfully uncomfortable, but as yet, only mild sensations from the device have been experienced.
Between the two of us and help from our family, our life rolls on much as it always has, but for the ever-present shadow of the elephant in the room…