Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Conferences, bullfinches and champagne

We filled up all the available buckets and pans with water last night as Southern Water had promised us a drought between 1-6am today while they did something peculiar with our system. As last time they switched us off, it took nearly 3 days to return (though to be fair we were warned about it), I wasn’t convinced. But more fool me – the water was back to normal at 6.30am, so I take all my grumbles back. However, we now have buckets of water we don’t know what to do with (we don’t have a garden), and it seems a shame to waste it. Ah well.

My delegate information for the Winchester Writers Conference (http://www.writersconference.co.uk) arrived yesterday – I’m on the courses I wanted (mainly poetry ones) and I also seem to have got the three one-to-ones with publishers I was looking for too. Ye gods, how brave – and foolish! – I am. Though, no doubt, by the time I get there, they’ll have read my offerings and downgraded me to the rank of unmarketable no-hoper to be seen by one of their own authors. At least, that’s what usually happens. I am after all the definitive Z-list author – I couldn’t possibly catch a sniff of any upgrade, surely … Still, in a remarkable display of hope over much painful experience (for which I should at the very least be given a knighthood – perhaps Sir Rushdie’s will do?), I’ll be taking along Thorn in the Flesh, as it’s probably my most accessible unpublished work. Ho ho. Well, it’s got a (fairly) straight female lead. Which is rare for me in the serious stuff, I have to say.

Anyway, this morning, I was much cheered by the sight of a male bullfinch flying into next door’s tree, followed I think by Mrs Bullfinch, though I couldn’t quite make her out. Such is the place of women indeed. So I’m going to have to rush home tonight, and listen to the “bullfinch” track on the birdsong CD. However, Lord H says bullfinches are rather quiet, from memory, so much like husbands then. Ooh! Here’s a haiku. Early too, how nice! It will save so much time and frantic breakfast scrabbling for words at the weekend …

In one respect only
are bullfinches like husbands:
they don’t say much.

No idea if it’s true in the bird-world as we haven’t checked the CD yet, but heck I like it anyway.

Today, I typed up more minutes at work – this time it was the Mentoring Board stuff – it was heavy going yesterday, so I hope I can raise the energy levels for it today. Plus I popped into town at lunchtime to get Mother’s anniversary present, which is coming up fast. Hope she’ll be well enough for it – it would be such a shame if she wasn’t, particularly as she’s had to rely on Marriage Number Two to get her to the grand old 25 years’ spliced category. Dad pegged out too soon, dammit … She’s never really forgiven him for that, you know. Sometimes, we Essex Women (though Mother is only an Honorary EW, being really from The North …) just want an excuse to get our silverware for free.

Oh, and I’m wearing my nice dusky pink soft jacket from Per Una today – and Andrea has already said how nice it is. And yesterday, I wore my soft stripy blue one, and she liked that too. I’m obviously having a Good Clothes Week. Hurrah! Believe me, that rarely happens.

Ruth popped in this afternoon, between exams, and looking frazzled, poor thing. Only one more to go though and she’ll be free, hurrah! Exams – don’t think I could ever do those again. It would be too much like revisiting my past (yukk!), though I have to say that up until very recently, the onset of summer did make me go twitchy (well, twitchier than normal) at the related thought of revision. Horrors.

And good news on the Pink Champagne and Apple Juice front! Sue & Frank (thank you both!) have updated the site at http://www.pinkchampagneandapplejuice.com to include lots more film actors for the different roles. I particularly loved the idea of Alexei Sayle as Mr Sanguini – a stroke of genius indeed! Do pop by and have a look – you won’t regret it!

Tonight, Lord H is doing the shopping, and I’m hoping to get some more done to The Bones of Summer. Up to 4000 words now. If I get to 5000 words, it’ll almost seem like starting a new novel, rather than fiddling around with scenes and shiny new characters and generally pretending to be a writer. And then if I get to 10,000 words, I’ll know I’ve begun in earnest. On the other hand, I also really need to catch up on last week’s video of “My Name is Earl” sometime. Such a great series!

And we’re having chicken & chips for dinner – bliss! Chips, hmm …

Today’s nice things:

1. The bullfinch sighting
2. The Pink Champagne site update
3. Getting compliments for clothes!!

Anne Brooke


Peter said...

Oh a bullfinch... very nice... the only bull fiches I've seen were in one bushy area to the south of Andover... So to get one in the garden must be fabbo..

Anne Brooke said...

Yes, I thought so too! There was a pair last year as well - perhaps the same?



Nik Perring said...

Bullfinches are quite beautiful, Anne you lucky thing. A few weeks back I saw one and a Dotterel in the space of five minutes. Not that it's a competition. :)

Anne Brooke said...

Wonderful, Nik! Not sure what a dotterel is though!!




Nik Perring said...

It's one of these:


Very pretty - not as striking as a bullfinch though.

Anne Brooke said...

Ooh, it's cute! Love it, Nik!