the space between weeks

I am in the eye of the storm again – that respite in which I do ‘normal’ things between one hectic week and another one. In this case the definition of ‘normal’ is rather loose and includes trying to write another 7,000 words or so of my Camp NaNoWriMo novel so that I can get the word count validated before I go to London on Monday. Because there may not be any wi-fi in London, obviously. Or any time to write more, for that matter. I am cautiously pleased with this novel so far. It seems to have a better shape than most of my previous ones. But of course writing 50,000 words in a month can cause people to harbour all sorts of illusions.

In case anyone was wondering, I did go to the Borders for lunch last Saturday, and, although the sun almost came out while we were having lunch, the rain started again as we walked with the dog alongside a stream which seemed to be only a few more raindrops from bursting its banks, and became dangerously heavy as I drove back over Soutra. For once I was really grateful when a tractor pulled out in front of the traffic and forced us all to drive at 30 mph. Then there was the low cloud and mist hanging over the city by-pass – all in all it was one of the most unpleasant drives I’ve done for a while, and reinforced my feeling that I shouldn’t really take the Panda outside the city limits, ever.

Last Wednesday the sun came out for my younger son’s graduation and we had a very memorable day, which is as it should be. Anyone reading this who knows me in real life will be alarmed to hear that the event has inspired me to draft a scathing attack on the Scottish school system which I will be posting on my ‘Sheila Perry predicts Scotland’s future’ blog later. I say ‘school system’ deliberately, and anyone who ventures over there will find out why. But make sure you wear your hard hat.

Next week I will be speaking at a conference in London called ‘Open Culture’ and then going on holiday for a few days. It would be nice to think my travel arrangements wouldn’t be disrupted by rain or other freak weather conditions (too much sun?) but I don’t hold out much hope since we have to travel via Crewe, a place which, although it has a very nice hotel opposite the station with a very helpful night porter, has strange and not very pleasant memories for us thanks to Virgin Trains. Cancelled trains, replacement coaches, last trains of the night that leave at 7.30 p.m., taxis speeding along the motorway at 1 a.m. in a thunderstorm – that sort of memory.

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