Welcome to August

Aaah, August – the month of endless summer, or to be more accurate, the month of random torrential downpours that soak Edinburgh Festival and Fringe-goers to the skin while they’re queuing to get into the next show on their list. The month of hair-raising bus trips where you daren’t look out the window in case you happen to see a whole group of tourists taking their lives in their hands by dashing across in front of a bus, taxi or tram. The month of feeling guilty because you’ve failed to get hold of a Fringe programme in time to book any tickets or even to think about booking tickets, and although you have a Book Festival programme in the house somewhere, you have no intention of looking at it or going to any events.

Gardening Scotland

Poison garden at Gardening Scotland

This inertia isn’t all that unusual, although it has been made worse by my car problems, which also seemed endless, and the resulting illusion I’ve had of being trapped in the house for the past three weeks or so. This was of course compounded by the fact that I am currently writing a first draft, so I’ve been reluctant to go out anyway, only dragging myself to work (on the bus) because I’ve had to. On Friday I found that the end of the car fiasco could be in sight, as one of the three garages I’ve taken it to over the past two years to try and diagnose a recurring problem has finally committed itself not just to saying what’s wrong but to fixing it by next Friday at some humungous cost. In the mean-time I have taken the unprecedented step of hiring a car, which is sitting outside the house as I write. All I have to do now is to work up the nerve to drive it! And to find something large enough to drape over the whole spotless interior in case I need to use it as a dog transporter in the next few days.

Yes, we are having another visit from The Dog. The cats don’t know about this yet, but I am sure I agreed to host the visit from about eleven o’clock this morning, so he might ring the doorbell any minute now. Or maybe he isn’t due to arrive until this afternoon. Unless I have this kind of detail written down, it goes in one ear and out the other.

Meanwhile my first draft is going all right. I won’t know if the story works until I’ve finished it, of course, but I’ve been enjoying parts of it very much, which is usually a good sign. There are always parts I don’t enjoy, although they often turn out best in the finished novel, maybe because I spend more time trying to get them right.

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