A chance to finish me next novel before the Ice Hotel melts again!

A chance to finish my next novel before the Ice Hotel melts again!

I am returning to the “rat race” although I feel it is more like a leisurely jog with hamsters. Suddenly, daytime (office) hours will be filled with – well, data wrangling, discussions on what to do next and how long it will take, tea and chocolate – those sorts of things.

Given that writing can be about a good deal of procrastination, this is the perfect scenario!

So, I have decided that I will set aside at least one evening a week to concentrate on writing. When I have been away in Reading in the past, I have normally gone to the cinema one night a week (Wednesday) because, obviously, it is artistic research and not because I enjoy films, be they thought-provoking pieces or the kind of film that requires you to check your brain at the door. No, no, pure research. And the fact there is a Ben and Jerry’s concession stand.

Thursday is usually the night reserved for drinking copious amounts of fermented vegetable-based liquids, and Monday nights are most often reserved for cooking a pot of something to eat for dinner over the week (although it looks like that may be a lot of courgette soup that the Snail has made to begin with, thus requiring warming up, a culinary operation I am quite adept at).

So, how about Tuesday? OK, I’ll try Tuesday.

Only time will tell whether I actually stick to this or whether the data wrangling during the day turns my creative side to mush. Actually, I find an office environment can be quite creatively stimulating in an odd way.

So, a new approach for me to writing – I can’t wait for Tuesday!



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The Deerly Departed

The Deerly Departed

As some of you know, I have, in the past, worked as an IT consultant of sorts attempting to bring all kinds of chaotic data to peace and understanding. Much of this activity took place in a galaxy far, *ahem*, a county far, far away from West Wales and when the project finished in 2010, I decided to become a best-selling author instead.

I became a selling author – the ‘best’ is yet to come!

Two weeks ago, I was asked by the same Reading-based company I left in 2010 to go back and fix all the mistakes, *cough*, help them with a new project involving the migration of data of the most unruly nature. Naturally, I cancelled all my book signings (in total, zero) and all my guest appearances on “The Graham Norton Show” (in total, go on guess) and jumped at the opportunity.

After proving to the company that I was who I said I was (or rather, I was who they thought I was when they ‘phoned me in the first place), I embarked on finding a flat to live in. Last time, I had found a place to live for the final two and a half years with no real bother – I looked round a place I liked, I signed a form, paid a massive fee for apparently being allowed the privilege of signing the form, and that was that.

Naively, I thought that the process wouldn’t have changed much.

Having ended up having to go down to Reading because I can’t just stump up a couple of month’s rent via a BACS transfer and move in without the letting agency actually seeing me, I decided to use a local hotel rather than a big chain one for my visit. The big chain hotels in the middle of the town are uber-convenient, sure, but boy don’t they charge you for every little thing – parking, wi-fi, water, air etc. I found one on the edge of town (it took me about 10 minutes to walk into the centre), which had its own car park and free wi-fi and was cheaper (well, I booked very last minute and had the last room they had left). Not only that, but when I asked on the day I left whether cheekily I could leave my car in their car park for a few hours until I was ready to leave, they replied that there was no cheek required and to take as long as I needed.

The hotel had already impressed me though because of their policy, attached to the fridge door:

Local supporting Local

Local supporting Local


How great is that?

It is heartening to think that amidst the global corporation take-over of our lives, sustainable communities are still thriving, albeit in unlikely places!

Of course, the march of the all-encompassing consumerist monsters continues everywhere. As I walked to one of my favourite places in the country – the cemetery that gives the junction its name – I passed the old shop I used to use for emergency biscuits, milk, chocolate and other essentials such as chocolate. It was about 50 yards up the road from where I lived back in 2008/9/10.

Tesco 1Crown Colonnade 0

Tesco 1       Crown Colonnade 0

Sadly, for whatever reason, Tesco have now taken it over and it will no doubt destroy any of the local businesses in the vicinity that try to compete.

Happily, the Muntjac deer are still sustainably grazing the cemetery and still avoiding my lens. Some things never change!

I can see you, you know!

I can see you, you know!


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