Week-end: service resumed

Toy pig made of beige corduroy, and plush wild boar, on top of a row of books

The good

My team’s Christmas lunch happened on Tuesday, having been postponed due to rail strikes in December (solidarity forever, obviously). The food was extremely tasty and we ended up in a pub admiring a nineteen year old cat named Jackie Onassis. What more could you want?

My writing brain is back and I did three pages on the train on Friday (half of them in red, because my black pen ran out). Hurrah! I survived the week better than I’d expected, actually, and even had the energy to peel potatoes when I got home last night.

One of my colleagues bought me ginger biscuits, which was very sweet of her.

The mixed

Sunday was the anniversary of Pa’s death. I went to church (Epiphany – so incense, which he would have disapproved of) and cried a little, discreetly, and in the evening we had a family Zoom and discussed various practical things we still haven’t sorted out.

The difficult and perplexing

Goodness, the Church of England is in a state at the moment. Ugh.

What’s working

I think a small cat nap on the train on Friday evening was beneficial.


Mostly I’ve been reading back through my blogroll. I’ve got to ’26 days ago’, so it’s all very Christmassy. I also returned to Sisters of the Forgiving Stars, though haven’t really got into it yet.


Lots! Hurrah! I began with a reflection for today’s online Cursillo meeting. Then I finished off the questions for Exeter (will link, if they end up being published in linkable form), then polished up Starcrossers and threw myself on the editor’s mercy regarding the fact that it was half as long again as the advertised maximum wordcount. We’ll see what happens. Then yesterday I wrote three pages about the fact that some times you just can’t write anything at all. This is going into the Don’t Quit The Day Job workbook I’ve been prodding at for a while. I haven’t done so much today, but I’m feeling quite encouraged.


Today, the Wengen downhill skiing. I have skipped a lot of the Alpine skiing in the last couple of weeks because the swathes of green were just depressing, but Wengen was displaying proper Alpine weather. And of course it’s always worth watching just to see if the Wengernalpbahn train will cross the track at any point when people are skiing down. Which reminds me, I must go back to Switzerland’s Amazing Railways.


I had a go with the Instant Pot we have on approval, and made something that claimed to be Greek Chicken. I am not convinced that it was as Greek as all that, but it was quite tasty and the pot cooked it adequately. It was useful just to get an idea of how long the thing takes to heat up, get up to pressure, depressurise, etc. I haven’t got to grips with it by any means yet, but it does feel plausible that I might. Recipe recommendations welcome.


Tuesday’s lunch, at Drake & Morgan and King’s Cross, consisted of: chestnut hummus with flatbread; goose with a plum wrapped in bacon and typical roast dinner accoutrements; chocolate opera cake. I’d never had goose before, and was surprised (though thinking about it I shouldn’t have been) what a rich, dark meat it was.


Working my way through the mocktail menu (first a Plum and Violette [sic] Spritz, then something called Garden Fizz, which was mostly blackberries and raspberries) followed by a lot of Erdinger Alkoholfrei.


Pleased to report that I did my standard fifty minute walk today and didn’t have to take a nap in the afternoon. And I climbed up to the top floor of my office a couple of times this week. Energy seems to be coming back. Today I thought about going swimming, but didn’t.


Hazel catkins shaking in the wind. (And it has been very windy, the last few days.) It’s also fun to look for nests in the bare trees, though I don’t know how many of them are still in use.

In the garden

Four simultaneous bluetits, who approve of the suet cake.


Having more energy than I’ve had since mid-September. Who knows, maybe I’ll have to spend all of tomorrow in bed, but this week’s gone better than I could have hoped.


A roll of double-sided sticky tape. And I have some more darning yarn on order.


I smelled some perfumes in Rituals at King’s Cross, but didn’t like any of them enough to seriously want them. They’re comparatively cheap, though.

Line of the week

Clothes in Books featured Women in Black by Madeleine St John.

There remained presents to be bought for sundry difficult relations, there remained clothes to be purchased for their gigantically-growing children, there remained even frocks to be found for themselves, and then shoes to match these frocks: there remained almost everything to play for, and they were resolved to win.

Saturday snippet

From Don’t Quit The Day Job:

“Average author earns £100,000 a year” factoid actually just statistical error. Average author earns £10,000 per year. Megabucks Bestseller Georg, who lives in French chateau and earns £5000 per word, is an outlier and should not have been counted.” Of course we don’t want to believe it. We like books – at least, I assume you do, or why are you here? – and it feels deeply unfair for something that brings so much pleasure to us to return so little reward to its creator.

This coming week

Just one day in the office this week. An appointment on Thursday. Otherwise, a pretty quiet one. Maybe I’ll write some more.

Anything you’d like to share from this week? Any hopes for next week? Share them here!

2 thoughts on “Week-end: service resumed”

  1. Happy to provide more IP recs if you want, but the thing I probably cook most often is risotto. It’s fabulous in the IP and it’s so easy, it’s a perfect go to when you’re tired and a bit down.

    As well as giving some good base recipes (I know it sounds odd but do try the potato trick!), this blogpost helpfully lays out what you need to do to adapt the basic proportions of liquid to different ingredients.

    Liked by 1 person

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