Tuesday, 1 December 2009

That was the year...

It's been a hectic sort of a year. We almost got to rent a castle, but didn't. While we were disappointed it galvanised us into sorting out some of the decorating and landscaping work at home. There's plenty more to throw ourselves at, crunch time for decisions on moving will be in two years when #1 daughter finishes uni.

I emerged from the Advanced Creative Writing course with a Distinction, along with the other active member of our group. I learned lots, thanks to an excellent tutor, but the online group was a source of frustration, mainly due to lack of participation. As a result I'm ambivalent about postgraduate study. Napier's new genre fiction MA looks good - it works through mentoring rather than peer workshopping - but competition for places will be strong. Back in the real world, the books have arrived for my final OU course which starts in the New Year.

The craziness that is NaNoWriMo has been and gone, lots of finishers with the OU this year, clocking up over a million words between us. Meanwhile I have an archaeology essay to write, more decorating to do and Chr*stmas shopping to commit. Perfect time to update a neglected blog...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Who'd've thought it?

Less than two mm wide and ten mm long. Dinky enough to creep through the tiny gaps remaining after I spent several hours sealing beneath skirtings and behind gripper rods with the trusty mastic gun.
Can't help but admire Nature's diversity. But it would be nice if a bit less of it found its way into the dining room.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Taking stock

Not sure where this year went, but gone it has. I can report progress on a few of the resolutions I made at the start of the year - less coffee consumed, various parts of the house decorated, making inroads into the current OU course with two cheering TMA results under my belt, even spent less time faffing around online. Not so much progress re exercise and reading more fiction, so no prizes for guessing what this year's resolutions will be...

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The slugs have left the building

I never used to appreciate coming downstairs in the morning to a slug-trail-free carpet. I do now. Heck, yes.
Two more landmarks this week - we have finished wallpapering the study. It is now a pleasing patchwork of old magnolia-painted paper and new not yet magnolia-painted paper. But I didn't have to repaper round the window reveal. This is, in my opinion, a very good thing indeed. And it looks a whole lot better than the mish mash of 270 year old limewashed plaster and modern repairs. Just the rest of the house to go now.
I've also perpetrated another 50,000 words of execrable fiction in the name of NaNoWriMo, which means I'm edging closer to completing the million words of dross required as part of my writerly apprenticeship. And it's been hard work dredging up so much rubbish this year. I made a silly mistake in starting out trying to base it on my post-apocalyptic idea for the End of Course Assessment (ECA in OU-speak) and discovered it's doomed...

Friday, 31 October 2008

Not quite November

No prizes for guessing what I'll be doing next month. Not entirely sure what I've been doing this month, it seems to have passed in a blur of school runs and study. The first assignment's been handed in for my current OU course, and I've managed to work ahead to clear a bit of brain space for NaNoWriMo. All I need now is an idea. I've also been tiling the kitchen: having sworn to finish it before November that leaves, well, today. So I shouldn't really be hanging around in the virtual world right now.
Oh, nearly forgot the slug update: two more caught crossing the salt wastes in the corner of the dining room about a week ago. Ongoing eery silence...

Monday, 6 October 2008

October already?

Wow, time flies...
DIY tip for the month - drilling a hole in your central heating pipe is an excellent cure for boredom. That was, of course, the latest episode in the saga of the study flooring, which had expanded so much it was crimping the pipe and making the radiator leak. The ensuing application of the drill to the offending floorboard was by and large counter productive.
Looking on the bright side, while the plumber was here he pointed out the noisy new boiler wasn't meant to be that noisy, so it's had a new fuel pump fitted. Now it's so quiet you can hear the cat snore.
No 1 daughter is settling in at uni, my new OU course started this weekend and great progress has been made in decorating the house. And one of the preceding statements is untrue.
We've been waging a war of attrition against the slugs which seem to spend most nights trailing around the conservatory and dining room. On average we've been catching one or two a week. Then a couple of nights ago - when it was really, really rainy - four of them launched themselves at the salt barricade across the point where they emerge from beneath the skirting board. I think the plan must have been a sort of team Slug Walter Raleigh effort. Or they may just have been really hungry after being cooped up behind the skirting for a fortnight. Either way, they didn't make it.
I'm just worried now how many grieving sluggy relatives are behind the skirting boards, pumping iron and making ready for the next mission...

Friday, 5 September 2008

There it is again

Finished, in italics. I suppose there are worse hangups to have.