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Monday, 28 June 2010

Aaargh! Clock not ready yet, and not 'elected' to be editors' rep on the talking echo.

Before the AGM started, the soon-to-be-made chairperson told me that an older, long established editor 'is taking over the role'. I expressed surprise and said I'd been asked and agreed to stand. When the item came up on the agenda, there was no "any other nominations? Anyone else interested?" - instead a brief "For this post, X has agreed to take it on. Could we have a proposer and seconder please?". Before I could open my mouth the agenda moved on. Evidently every single 'post up for election' was decided among the committee before the AGM started. Democracy? I don't think so. Just had to get that off my chest!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Ah, flaming June. Shorts, mosquito bites and a listless cat, but the first crop of sugar snap peas and courgettes now in from the garden - they made a lovely stir fry.

Some nice lunches out; the Coriander Lounge (High Street, Southampton) is the local newest-but-one Indian restaurant. They do a great buffet lunch, with starters especially lovely. The newest is actually Indian Melody, more or less across the road from Coriander, and all vegetarian. Their lunch buffet can be served as a thali, and very nice too. Also lunch at the art gallery cafe, and good paninis at NV (same street) - in an old bank building, ceilings two storeys high, really elegant decor, nice staff. Talking of food, I have posted a number of my original recipes on

Now 24 articles published on suite101, over a thousand page views so far, but still not quite $2. I need to broaden my topics.

The latest Southampton Writing Buddies meeting was a very lively affair and a lot of fun. People are still asking "What's the anthology?" ... I'm working on my entries currently and aim for mid-July latest to submit. I'm treasurer for the anthology, and money has just started to come in.

Tomorrow I'm at the AGM of Southampton Area Talking Echo. I've been asked to stand for election as the editors' rep on the management committee, which I rashly agreed to do. They said I was innovative and enthusiastic - though I'm guessing the older-established editors may have been asked and refused. So far I have had two stories passed to me by Writing Buddies for the magazine editors of SATE and some others promised. The first of the two is already scheduled for reading onto tape in a couple of weeks, and the other I shall pass on to the boss editor tomorrow together with two of my own stories just to help start things off - terrified they may say 'rubbish' to mine. Does my lack of self confidence shine through, or what - occupational hazard of every writer maybe.

John has an nice old timepiece which we think his late father made, quite deco and a good light wood case. We have cleaned it up but it wouldn't go for long. Tomorrow hope to collect it, repaired and ticking, from our local 'horologist'. Apparently a 'clock' strikes or chimes, otherwise it's a 'timepiece'.

Point for the day: I hate young people on checkouts or at counters greeting me with 'hiya'. I always reply with good morning/afternoon. Also, 'you all right there?' - this was the greeting when I turned up at the hairdressers (reply: yes I'm fine, but I'd like a haircut please), and at the garage counter (reply: yes I'm fine, but I'd like to buy this newspaper please). Support please!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Ah, the culture of an organ recital at Winchester Cathedral. Luckily for me, the programme was reasonably 'popular' as organ music goes, and I enjoyed most of it, though John prefers more serious stuff - he was a church organist in his late teens and still plays Bach on our electronic organ as well as on the piano. He used to play for a jazz band, and was known as John 'Fingers' Pye. He syncopates like a pro.

There's been a further meeting of Southampton Writing Buddies. Everyone has been very busy, and it was as always an interesting and motivating session. Southampton Beer Festival was a different kettle of fish; being vegetarian means that draught bitter is rarely suitable, and they don't label those that are, so I was reduced to smuggling in a bottle of Black Sheep ale which is OK and very pleasant. Two more half-pint souvenir tankards to clutter up our drinks shelf.

A trip to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on the bus is always like an adventure. The routine is, start with M&S outlet store, then sidle into Cadbury World (caramel creme egg, finger of fudge, or whole nut chocolate, anyone?). I love Whittards and Past Times, too. We had lunch in the Old Custom House - a lovely Fuller's pub just by the water, with great food.

I've completed and handed in my latest script for Eastleigh Talking News. At the recent editors' meeting it was agreed that very short fiction could be included with the magazine tapes, and I sent a round robin e-mail (via Penny) to the Writing Buddies to ask if anyone had anything to offer. Rapid responses resulted (good alliteration), so I am gratefully collecting work to pass on to the mag editors.

Our younger granddaughter has just had a birthday, with a splash party and sleepovers. We heard brief details (lots of splashing, lots of sleepovers!) and await further news.

I have pitched for a feature for Prima magazine, and am now up to 14 articles on and reached the dizzy heights of just under a dollar so far in revenue. But it continues to rise, and the writing is getting my brain nicely in gear after a long inactive period.

Thought for the day: why don't sheep shrink when it rains?