Had a very bracing golf game with Marian today - though we were fairly rubbish. Apart from one glorious moment when I parred the last, hurrah! And I say bracing, as I managed to keep the chill out by means of wearing two pairs of trousers, a tee-shirt, a polo shirt, a jumper and a fleece. Oh, and my golf coat. Honestly, it was amazing I could swing the club at all. After this, I gave all the appropriate Christmas wishes to Marian & her family, as I won't see her for another golf game until the beginning of February now (sigh ...), as (lucky her) she's wintering abroad. As they say. Oh, how Surrey we are becoming!
Popped into Sainsbury's on my way home, but was lucky to find a car parking space. I see the Christmas horrors have begun already ... And talking of Christmas horrors, I also popped into the church we occasionally go to now in order to get their December programme - but the moment I stepped in, the woman who was there asked me how long I was staying for as she needed me to leave soon as she wanted to lock up. Ye gods, no room at the inn still, I see. I was tempted to say I was planning an hour's meditation and prayer, but as all I really wanted was the list of services, I made a suitably sarcastic response and left. Well, actually, being me, I took the programme, left, and then made a suitably sarcastic response. In a whisper. Outside. Still hope the old cow heard though.
Oh, and as I'm on the subject of the Christmas Spirit, I have to say that I've had a good year for making enemies. So far, two cards have turned up at home, which I have torn up and recycled, whilst muttering ancient Essex curses. Or the nearest alternative. Well, I don't like - or trust - the people who sent them any more, so why should I have them on display? (Not that we actually display Christmas cards - no, here in Scrooge City, we have no decorations, no tree, and we simply pile cards up on the coffee table for recycling later. Have done for years, m'dear. Though to be fair we do read them!...). Mind you, I think the two sets of people concerned have no idea I feel that way about them - they're both too thick and too much up their own arses to notice, the buggers. Ah well.
Back home, I've been working on The Bones of Summer and have managed 1000 words today. I'm getting into some quite deep stuff so I'm not entirely sure how it's going to be and how Craig will interpret it all, but at least we're moving now. And we even seem to have some kind of a plan. Possibly.
I've also had the suggestions and estimate back from Pedalo for updating and modernising my website. What they suggest looks very interesting, though of course I do have some questions which need to be answered, but my instincts say it's the way to go. It's certainly not cheap, but my feeling is it will be worth it and, of course, you get what you pay for. I can see it is a particular design challenge for them, as I don't stick to any genre, as such, though my themes are frighteningly similar. Anyone for sex, death and split families, even in the comedies?!? And, not being funny, but the whole writing side of life is becoming slightly more serious now for me than it has been in the past, and I think I need a website to match that change. Maybe it's because next year I'll have two commercial books out, or maybe it's because I'm getting used to the rhythm of novel writing? Or maybe it's because I'm getting older and a little more willing to trust myself? I don't know. But that's just how it is right now.
Tonight, Lord H is out at the office do, so I shall do some cleaning, watch some TV and prepare for a day with Mother tomorrow (arrggh!). That'll bring me down from my pie-in-the-sky writing pretensions, eh!...
Finally, I've just finished James Graham's poetry collection, Clairvoyance. Some very measured pieces in there, and his subject matters are very widespread and sometimes quirky. Themes ranged from politics to personal encounter, from nature to man and back again. Strangely, I felt quite neutral about the poems at first - I suspect his experience is very different from mine - but found myself being drawn inexorably into his world and in the end I found I couldn't get enough of it. A slow burn but well worth the wait until whatever it is that makes a book a good one clicks in. Particular favourites were "The First Day", "Elegy" and "Excursion", and the final six poems were utterly stunning. Very much recommended.
Today's nice things:
2. Writing more of Bones
3. Thinking about the website.