Played golf with Marian this morning, and did okay, though my score was up and down to say the least. Some rebellion on the part of my balls as well (as it were) - I usually play with my special lady balls (no, don't go there ...) on the pond hole (Lordy, that's even worse but hey let's carry on as if we're all part of the Empire anyway. Bulldog spirit and all that.) in order to give myself the best chance of getting across, but I usually end up in the sink. Today, I decide to play clever, and use the grotty, difficult ball I picked up somewhere in the hope that I'll lose it. No chance, missus. The damn thing sails over and lands on the green. Sigh ... whilst rejoicing of course. I shall never be able to get rid of it now. Ah well.
After golf, I popped to the shops and had another of those socially awkward encounters with a person - this time a woman - desperate to give me her unused car parking ticket before she drove off. I do appreciate the offer - honest - and I do sometimes take them up, though this time I didn't - but I must say that it makes me feel hugely guilty and I expect to feel the strong arm of the law gripping my shoulder, should I walk away with the parking prize. But the main thing is that I do not under any circumstances wish to have conversations in car parks, unless I'm trying to help people with the ticket machines (which are very confusing here in Godalming - you have to be born here, or have lived here for 15 years as we have, to be able to understand them). I don't know - it's just that I don't feel very socially-minded when I'm parking and I want to be left alone. Yes, I know that's probably just me and I am seriously weird, but if there are any other car parking sociopaths out there, do let me know and we ... um ... won't form any sort of a group. Probably. Sigh. Lordy, even I think I'm odd.
Anyway there's unadulterated joy when my proof copy of A Stranger's Table arrived this morning - and it looks stunningly good!! Gordon Bennett and well done to Lulu. I'm incredibly pleased with it! It's far better looking and better bound than the first edition, I have to say. And the cover's lovely and bright and shiny too. Hurrah! So, I have now placed it in the Lulu distribution programme and hope to see it in the online sellers' listings sometime over the next six to eight weeks. I've also brought down the hard copy price to £4.50 as that seems eminently more reasonable though, of course, (as I'm at heart a generous soul) the download remains free. I also particularly like the few lines from the title poem that I chose to go on the back:
... he sits, face in shadow,
the day over but night
not yet begun, mulling
what has happened
and what might ...
Ooh, I do love a mystery, even in verse!
Meanwhile, I've been struggling away with Hallsfoot's Battle. Only 500 words done today, but hey I have been out this morning, so there is an excuse. Of sorts. Today's section was the final few paragraphs of Ralph's first meeting with the mind-executioner after the battles, and then the beginning of the arrival of the snow-raven to Gathandria. That's going to shock Annyeke - secretly she hates birds, poor love.
Tonight, I have the cleaning to face and then I'm catching up on last night's John Barrowman programme. Though we mustn't miss "Would I lie to you?". So good to see Angus Deayton back in the programmer's good books at last.
And, talking of books, I've just finished a totally glorious humdinger of a novel which everyone must read. It's Kate Atkinson's Case Histories, and it's fabulous, dahlings, fabulous. At some points, I actually cried and it's wonderful and clever and deep and humane. All that in the crime genre too - which just goes to show that it can happen. Crime is not the poor relation - not any more anyway. In fact bring crime fiction out of the shadows and put it into the literary light where it belongs is what I say! It's about time for sure.
Today's nice things:
2. The proof copy of A Stranger's Table
4. Kate Atkinson's book