Good with words

Fear... distractions.... the efforts of a self-employed writer to pay the mortgage.... all that jazz.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Curse of the Demon Tabby

The saga continues. Last night, just as we were going to bed, we heard Charlie at the cat flap, squawling and bashing mercilessly through the plastic. Steve went down and there was the Demon Tabby - staring casually through the flap like it owned the world.

There ensued Match 2: Steve vs the Demon. It went on for a while, and involved a lot of water, and refilling of water bottles, and yells of 'Yeah? Yeah? Have THAT!' as the Tabby refused to back down. Well, it was already raining, so to be fair he probably wasn't going to let a bit more water bother him.

Eventually the Tabby decided it was time to go home, and Steve came upstairs with a manic look in his eyes.

"I need some kind of system," he said. "A bucket with a string."

(Yes, bucket-and-string contraptions are one of Steve's specialities, as anyone who heard about his mouse-catching efforts will know.)

"I KNOW!" he said, looking homicidal. "I'll fill up the kitchen compost bucket - oh, it smells so bad. And balance it on the shelf by the door - and next time it comes - whoosh!"

Cut to today. Charlie is so antsy, she just went out on the roof and then raced back in as though she was being chased by a thousand knives. Either she accidentally spilled the compost bucket (imagine a dying cabbage, then times it by six) or she has lost the plot and is convinced the Demon Tabby is seeking revenge for being drowned last night.

She's now shadowing me. I had to go upstairs and check for moggies while she cowered at the bottom; then I had to check under the bed and do an extra good check in the study. She is finally getting her nerve back but staying by my side for a bit.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Ah, 16:55,

Another day wasted. Have done 0 hours of writing today, apart from this blog. Which obviously counts. Oh, and I wrote some ecommerce news for my website, which is as exciting as watching the neighbour's paid gardener rake leaves. (He seems to do this an awful lot. I wonder if his employer secretly goes out at night and scatters them again.)

I did, however, write to the people who hire out chocolate fountains round here. It's important to get in with this sort of people, you see. They responded kindly to my over-enthusiastic email and have invited me to write some copy for them. Which is nice. I get to think about chocolate tomorrow.

The rest of the day, I mainly searched for a recipe for Greek beans, which I discovered in Swansea and am addicted to.

The weekend was good - hot, and sunny, with plenty of wine. I mainly gardened, while Cyril the toad watched me from beneath the bamboo. He sticks the top of his head above the water and looks around with googly-eyes. I like him, as long as he never touches me.

I also wrote some sample copy for a children's toy website, which obviously resulted in a lot of delighted browsing. I SO want the puppet theatre they have. Can I put a link in? No? Okay then.

And now it's 5pm. Tomorrow I will write the chocolate copy, finish my Christmas copy, publish my web updates and get oodles of work. Oh yes.

bubble and squeak

But seriously, what's the deal? I could eat it forever. So much more than the sum of its parts.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Fringe benefits

When our vegetable box* came today, I sat on the stairs and read the weekly newsletter. Normally these concern the fields and tomato tunnels and how the pumpkins are coming, but today's didn't. Guy Watson (chief farmer) has a bee in his bonnet about big corporations stealing ideas from and/or gobbling up independent producers.

He said that there is a theory of evolution that says the most change usually happens on the fringes of society. And when big change happens (like the ice age?), the giants at the centre of society are too settled to change accordingly, so it's the flexible, forward-thinking, rebellious fringes which go forward. And survive.

This is his theory for independent producers, who continue to have ideas. Big corporations, if they are canny, attend conferences and invite small people to talk so they can steal ideas or buy into them. But he is determined to remain a small, idea-generating revolutionary. And survive.

Which is something to try and remember as I get old and don't want to learn how to drive a different car, or use text message slang, or understand MP4s.

*Now I have to list my vegetables. I love Fridays.
Onions, carrots, potatoes, scary hispi cabbage (pointy), spinach, double-scary pointy cauliflower thing, leeks, frizzy lettuce, celery, mushrooms. But as I still have 8 pumpkins and squashes left (over-excitedly ordered the squash box), we will have to eat squash crumble for dinner.

Non intellectual

Other people's blogs make me feel stupid. But being 90% emotional (and only 10% intellectual) has its advantages. I tend to go by feelings such as love, contentment, and trust, and not try to understand their comings and goings. Pythagoras, I get; condensation, yes; love, anger, God, no. But it doesn't matter. I'll get there...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

To wash or not to wash?

How many days of not-bathing does it take before one starts to smell? Would the boy at Londis say anything if one did smell? Maybe I should try an experiment in pushing the social boundaries. It would kill some time, at least.

Ooh, an email from Screwfix. And an excuse to digress.

"Get kitted out: Dear Anna, with lots of new brands and exciting ranges, you'll find a power tool for every job and every pocket at Screwfix."

Now then,
1. Why do they have me on their list? Have I unknowingly signed onto a power tool website and left an information trail?
2. I certainly don't have lots of new brands and exciting ranges. They ought to get a writer who understands the basic rules of grammar.

Surely this email should be appealing on a more basic level. "We've got the BIGGEST power tools for making the HUGEST HOLES and MORE MESS than anyone in the business. So if you want to feel the business, come to screwfix..." Even the name is unashamedly macho.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Charlie and the Demon Tabby

Charlie here demonstrates the 'peace-loving puss' yoga position, one of her favourites. But don't be fooled: she also gets plenty of 'eyes-screwed-back-into-head' practice too, something she is grateful of today... Yes, after honing her punch-up skills on the feeble Swindon kitties for two years, her training is about to be put to some serious use.

I'm displeased to report that this afternoon saw Round One of the Newcourt Road Catfight Championships. She came up against the Demon Tabby in her very first match - a tough competitor by all accounts, and currently reigning champion.

It was a hard-fought match, with the Demon Tabby utilising the element of surprise by catching Charlie mid-toilet on his territory. Both competitors were extremely vocal, attracting unwanted attention from neighbours all over the village.

Still, several minutes in, the only injuries seemed to have been superficial, and Charlie called time by jumping through her own kitchen window.

Not to be shaken off that easily, the Demon Tabby leapt after her.

But the reigning champion had not accounted for a very angry self-employed writer, with nothing more pressing to do than yell at the Demon Tabby, which shortly proved too much for him. Both cats retired, pride severely damaged on both counts: Charlie with some fur loss and shaken, the Demon Tabby haughty in the face of a draw.

We aren't looking forward to the next round.

Testing the ground

I wonder if this will work?