Progress at last

Just as this time last week I felt as if I were waiting around for things to happen, this week things actually have started to happen. This may be a false start or an illusion, but at least something has changed.

Well, for a start we’ve had some snow. Not a huge amount, and it’s mostly gone now, but for a while last night we had real, whirling snowflakes, cats huddling together to keep warm, and the feeling that at last we had caught up with the rest of the UK, where the snow arrived about 24 hours before it came here. I don’t mind this amount of snow but anything more and I will be wondering whether to take the car out and stressing about not having a sleeping-bag in the back seat as recommended by the man from the RAC who talked on television about essential preparations for driving. He probably didn’t have in mind something on the scale of my drive to work – about 3 miles, mostly on roads which have been cleared and gritted for buses. The most dangerous parts are usually driving under an archway and out of our own car park at the start of the journey, and negotiating the car park at work at the other end.

The second thing that has happened is that after waiting since last July we have finally managed to upgrade our database at work. This doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that should take months, and it isn’t. Anyway, this should open the door to other changes we’ve been planning to make and unblock the log-jam which has even prevented me from taking delivery of a shiny new computer. Although a bit of a technophobe when it comes to mobile phones and television remote controls and positively hostile to DVD players, which for some reason never work for me, there is nothing that cheers me up quite as much as a new computer to play with. By ‘play’ of course I mean ‘work’ in this case.

In the writing part of my life, I’ve added a few thousand extra words to ‘The Lion and Unicorn Quest’, bringing it almost to 60,000 words.  This isn’t a long novel by most people’s standards but it is more or less average for me with my concise style and hatred of detailed descriptions. I’m cautiously optimistic about this novel and I almost feel I could stand to write the 2 sequels I have been marinating at the back of my mind. I have a special compartment there where I do that kind of thing. Also in connection with my writing life I’ve managed to submit my tax return. I was very nervous about this as I haven’t had to submit a tax return since about 1973, and I heard a government spokesman on the news the other day describing self-assessment as an ordeal, but in fact it didn’t seem too arduous, apart from the trawl through old bank statements to find out how much interest my savings account had accrued during 2011-2012 – 6 pence if you really want to know!

Shrub with snow on it

Snow in the garden

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