Saturday, December 31, 2011


My ebook "The Dodo Dragon and other stories" is almost ready.  I'm at the stage of buying a block of ISBNs and looking at the contracts on various web bookshops.

And I've got stage fright.

I suppose in one way, I should have seen this coming.  But I've published over 40 short stories, and I thought I was past this.  But it's like doing a one-woman show instead of being a member of the chorus line.

So I'm worrying about the financial investment, which is about ten times what I initially anticipated, and I'm getting every other problem out of proportion, and most of all, I'm worrying about the reviews.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to both my readers.

I'm passing the ballistic missiles like they're standing still.  I've been guiding at the Roque on top of the usual preparations for a Spanish family party tonight and an English one with friends tomorrow, and I finished this jumper as a present just in time.

SO however you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful time.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yay for Tiddles!

I'm writing this in the Parador on El Hierro.  Yes, I sneaked off for a weekend visit to my friend, quick, before she moves to a much smaller house with no room for guests.

It was a squash fitting it in.  Last week I was translating for the tourist board, doing the paperwork to get paid for the translation, buying Christmas presents, tour guiding at the observatory and writing blogs.  Organising this trip got pushed back to Friday, and I flew out first thing on Saturday.  Not ideal.  Even worse, I couldn't find Tiddles, my laptop.  I turned the house upside down, of course, and found several interesting things in the process, but no laptop.

One of the things I love about visiting El Hierro is that I get so much writing done.  I think it's mostly the psychological effect of getting away from my responsibilities.  But no Tiddles would make that difficult, and of course it would mean no email.

It wasn't until I was driving home at half past eight on Friday night that I made some comment to my son about the most recent astrotourism meeting, and the little light bulb lit up.  I'd taken Tiddles to that meeting.  She'd probably still be in the same shopping bag.  And since that bag wasn't in the living room, I'd probably put it into the guest room.  Somewhere under the big heap on the guest bed, probably.

It was quite a relief to find her.  And yes, I'm being productive again.  I wrote 400 words of my ebook about the observatory during my half-hour stopover in Tenerife, more last night, 400 words before breakfast this morning, and more since.  In short, I've done far more in the last 36 hours than in the previous three weeks.  If I finish the current section, I think I'll award myself a bit of fiction writing this evening.

In between the usual chatting to my friend and enjoying the glorious scenery one last time, of course.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Problem

So my husband came home and pointed out that we already knew that the car's spark plugs were about due for replacement.  Probably the warning light meant that we were using petrol like a Hummer - clearly not good, but I could get to work OK.  He poked around under the bonnet, tweaked the spark plugs, and disconnected the battery and reconnected it.  The warning light went off, and stayed off throughout a short test drive.

I went to the observatory as planned, and the car was fine.  It didn't even use any more petrol than usual - not so as you'd notice.

All that worry for nothing.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I was on my way to yoga when a warning light started flashing on the car's dashboard - an orange engine.  Well, I was nearly there, so I got there, parked, turned the engine off, and turned it back on again.  It didn't flash any more, but it was still lit.


There was nothing I could do about it for the moment, so I went to yoga anyway.  The light was still lit on the way home.

Now my husband's good with cars (lucky me) but he was out on a course and not expected home until about 9 pm.  So I it the internet.  The light means that something wrong with the engine, or an engine sensor, but probably not serious.

Probably.  And I'm due to go up to the observatory in the morning.  A mere 6,000ft climb with about 200 hairpin bends and no mobile phone coverage for most of the route.  Oh, and the Spanish believe that Tuesday 13th is unlucky, the way that Brits and Americans do about Friday 13th.

Watch this space.

At last - it's registered.

I've been trying since early in the year to get my English university degree (in Mech Eng) registered in Spain.  And today I got a registered letter to say that it's finally done!  So at long last I can now apply for jobs where you need a degree.

Getting it registered took about a third as long as getting the actual degree.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Warp speed 1

International cards posted.  Decorations up (my husband fixed the tree, if not the humans).  Rush proof-reading job half done.

The house is still a mess, but I might well do a bit more writing first anyway, because my priorities are somewhat eccentric.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Warp Speed 9

Maybe I should just start blogging about the days when I don't feel overloaded.

I usually send out about 25 Christmas cards, with around robin letter.  I like to get this in the post on December 1st, and I haven't finished the first draft yet. (No, it doesn't go through about 6 drafts like a short story, usually just 2.)

I've just finished a rush translation job for the tourist board.  Rushed or not, extra money in time for Christmas was irresistible.

And I like to get the decorations up on Dec 6th, which is a public holiday here.  But we just found out that our tree has a screw missing, just like the rest of the family.

Normal blogging will resume some time in 2016.

Monday, December 05, 2011


I'm knitting a jumper for a friend's son, using up oddments of blue and green in hexagons.  It's probably not to the taste of many adults, but this boy's six.  I've finished the front and I'm halfway up the back.  It'll be a bit of a rush to finish it by Christmas, but I should do it.