Week-end: I think the cover was blue

White pear blossom and young green leaves against a red brick wall

The good

It’s been an excellent week. I have slept a lot; I got a load of cat-herding and yak-shaving done on Monday and Tuesday and am now much less stressed about all the things that were formerly stressing me; I had a long phone conversation with one friend and went out for tea with two others. I logged into my work email once to see what the news was, and I liked it. I had my hair cut and I liked the result.

The mixed

April showers! Only one of them seriously inconvenienced me, though, and I got a lift home.

A visit from a hedgehog! (I was very glad to see the hedgehog, and it’s certainly good news that it’s got through hibernation, but it shouldn’t have been in the garage.)

I’m still slightly despairing about the state of the study. And I would have liked to have got more writing done.

The difficult and perplexing

Honestly, it’s mostly been good. Woke up too early this morning. That’s about it.

What’s working

Setting deadlines (for other people). Just doing things. And, on occasion, not doing things.


I was very zonked on Wednesday morning, so collapsed first on the bed and then on the sofa with After the Funeral (Agatha Christie). (My copy has a cover consisting of stills from the – very loose, by the looks of it – adaptation Murder at the Gallop, starring Margaret Rutherford. It looks bizarre.) Yesterday I read through all of the Heartstopper webcomic (Alice Oseman) that currently exists. I shall now do my best to forget about it for six months, as I know from bitter experience that waiting eagerly to read three panels once a fortnight (or whatever) is the quickest way for me to fall out of love with a canon. (It happened most spectacularly with Check, Please!, though I think Heartstopper is more coherent in tone and certainly less eyebrow-raising in its attitude to coming out. All the same, I’m not going to take the risk.) Anyway, I read the Nick and Charlie novella today and that ties things up nicely.


I wrote 700 words of what’s probably going to turn out to be a blog post on wanting things. I moved some things around in and made some additions to Don’t Quit The Day Job. And I typed up a bit of Your Household’s Rancour that I’d apparently forgotten about. As I said above, I’d have liked to have got more done. Pa used to swear that he couldn’t write if he didn’t smoke, and I’m half-tempted to wonder if I’d concentrate better if I were back on the coffee. (But I have rather gone off coffee.)

Most definitely not writing: The Long Lent, which would be the Stancester gang versus early Covid. I am not sure that anybody wants to read about early Covid. And it would mostly be about Will, and I’m not sure that anybody wants to read about Will, either. It doesn’t have much of a plot. It occurred to me that it doesn’t have to be a full-length novel. All the same, I found myself rereading a lot of The Real World when I was awake too early this morning, and trying to work out what jobs people would have been doing by 2020, and then at lunchtime I was looking for the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, which I think would form a sort of structure. I couldn’t find it. I’m sure it has a blue cover.

But anyway, I have two novels on the go, another one to expand from a short story, and the workbook that is in theory my principal project. I’m not convinced that this isn’t a ploy by some twisty part of my brain to stop me finishing anything.


I finally got through the world figure skating championships. I was glad I left the ice dance until last; it just got better and better and better through the last couple of groups.


Indian masala carrots with coconut lentils.


Leftover bigos for lunch through the first half of the week. (It was OK, but it really needed belly pork; the meat was a bit dry.) Pizza, with various meat products, on Wednesday night. (Apparently my blood pressure is a bit low, which may explain my recent preoccupation with ham sandwiches.) Easter chocolate. Yesterday I got some rum and raisin fudge from the fudge shop: a rare treat.


Swimming. My new bathing suit arrived and seems perfectly satisfactory.


As mentioned above, a hedgehog in the garage. (I was not, in fact, the first person to notice it; it triggered the motion sensor and Tony saw it. But I was the person to see it in its prickly reality and, protected by a pair of gardening gloves, get it out.)

There have been a lot of goldfinches around lately. Robins and blackbirds, very vocal. And one of our resident woodpigeons has discovered that it can sit in a bush and eat from the seed feeder just above it, which looks most comical, like a student doing a yard of ale.

In the garden

The tulips are most definitely out and it’s all got a lot brighter. The pear blossom gets more luxuriant by the day. I chopped some dead bits off the palm tree (it’s not a real palm tree, but I can’t remember the name of it). I’m not convinced it liked the cold weather earlier this year. Can’t blame it.


Friends who have been in my life for getting on for twenty years. A week to do more or less exactly what I wanted.


Theatre tickets! We are going to see Opera della Luna’s Sweeney Todd. It is not often that you get to hear your great-great-great-grandfather’s music done live by pros (well, depends on who your great-great-great-grandfather was, I suppose, but mine has slipped into obscurity). I am very excited about this.


I still have my eye on the teapot dress, but there’s no point buying it yet. As it is, I’ve been trying on various dresses in my wardrobe and doing calculations along the lines of if I expand by one centimetre every week and the wedding is in a month was it worth paying a tenner for a dress that was a size too big in January and how much extra time do I have to allow to go shopping in Portsmouth and what on earth do I do about a bra?

Line of the week

From After the Funeral:

It was a nice painting of white satin and pearls. The human being round whom they were draped and clasped was not nearly so impressive.

Saturday snippet

From Don’t Quit the Day Job

The challenge is remaining in that [writer’s] mindset when I’m back in London and the phone’s ringing and I have five spreadsheets to convert into a report. Writing on the commute helps. So does reading in my lunch break. I also like to wear one or other of the pieces of jewellery that I associate with my writing identity. (A current favourite is a pair of earrings featuring glass beads in the shape of coffee beans.)

This coming week

Back at work. In fact, it’s a perfectly normal week before things start getting absolutely ridiculous next Saturday, and remain so for the subsequent month.

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