Friday, July 22, 2005

Writing blog 

I've copied all my writing posts over to a new blog. I want to chart my progress on the novel without interruptions by posts about bombs or other stuff.

I've left most of the originals here as there are one or two comments.


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British bombs 

It looks like the bombers used a bad batch of explosives. All of their bombs were duds. Good thing too. Things could have been very bad again for a lot of people. As it was, all we had was a little inconvenience and a pedestrianised Tottenham Court Road.

And so many people can't find their way around on the streets! I made a point years ago to walk where possible in London. Often the distance wasn't as far as the tube made it appear and it was nice to see what lay on the surface. I dropped out if that and started using the tube again but the real bombs of two weeks ago started me walking from Charing Cross to work again. I'm glad for that. If other people do that as well they'll be a lot better off.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

More bombs 

Here we go again ...

Three blasts, apparently with just detonators, at tube stations around London.

One was at Warren Street just up the road from where I work. The Police have apparently evacuated Tottenham Court Road which is about 50 yards from here. The usual sirens and helicopters have started.

My sister rang to tell me to be careful going home. What can I do? I already avoid the tube and buses on my usual journey to work.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005


We just had two minutes silence in London. People were asked to gather outside their offices and buses and taxis were asked to pull over and wait for the two minutes.

It all worked.

By the sound of it I would say that all the traffic stopped. I could hear Big Ben chiming twelve which is normally impossible to hear from where we are.

This was as a gesture both of respect to the people who died and were injured last week and also of defiance to the wankers who think that they can bring London to its knees by terror.

They're so wrong.

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New blog 

I've set up a new blog to record some of the odd dreams I have now and again. I might also set up another one for the writing but that will take longer as I would have to move the posts from here to there.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I'm on Chapter Ten and up to 40,000 words! It took me a while to get back into it after the holiday but now, I'm getting really excited by each session.

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Why do some people have such silly affected voices? I don't mean, and intend no offence against, people who can't help the way they speak. I'm curious about the people who speak in an artificial way.

You know what I mean ...

... white boys who try to sound black and streetwise but fail miserably.

... girls who try to sound professional by emphasising their sibilants ("well, yess, we do like to go away at Chrisstmass") and not breathing before they speak so that it all comes out distant and aloof, they think. There was one on the train this morning.

... gay men whose voices are camp. Why? It's not attractive. Not to me anyway. It can be humerous. Sometimes. I can be camp and I hate myself for it. It's not as if I have cultured it deliberately nor have I hung around with lots of camp guys. I do have a habit of "collecting" accents. Where have I picked up camp from?

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Thursday, July 07, 2005


Today London was attacked. Terrorists placed bombs on Tube trains and buses and killed or injured many people. No-one knows yet, apart from the bastards who committed this atrocity, whether the bombs were placed there or whether they were the work of suicide bombers.

I have experienced a lot of emotions today. Fear and excitement were my initial reactions. Now that I am safely home away from the helicopters and the sirens, those feelings have been replaced by concern for those killed or injured by the bombs as well as their families and anger at the misguided idiots who think that killing innocent people will help their cause in the eyes of the world or that their God wants this to happen.

I have also been deeply touched by the torrent of messages from friends and relations wanting to know if I am all right. That in itself has been overwhelming.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Head hunting 

Three posts in one day!

My old company has approached me to try to take me back. I don't want to go. The only attraction, and it is a big one, is that they will be able to pay me a lot more money. I am currently on £40K but have a large mortgage and lots to pay for every month.

My old employer is offering me a contract for £400 per day. If, as the agent suggests, they carry on extending the contract, I could rake in over £90K per year even with 25 days holiday. However, I really don't like the subject area (financial instead of medical) nor the vague sense of uneasiness that being on contract would bring. It's not as if I could take my skills and experience somewhere else. They want me because I have experience of a computer language that no other company in the world uses. If they decide that they don't need me a few months down the line, I could be stuffed.

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Another writing update 

The holiday broke up my writing pattern and it took me a little while to get back into the habit. However, I have finally finished the first draft of chapter eight (this has been my least favourite chapter) which brings me to 36,000 words. That should be halfway through a 70,000 novel. We'll see.

Why was it my least favourite chapter? Perhaps because it has taken so long. Perhaps because I know that the information in it that the protagonist is getting is all misdirection and therefore a waste of her time and therefore of mine. I don't know.

I have another murder scene to write now. They're fun but I have to make sure that no-one looks over my shoulder when I am writing, especially if I do it from the murderers unhinged point of view. "I am going to kill that man" is probably a worrying thing to read in someone else's notebook.

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I've just filled in the registration form for the free trade magazine, Computing. Because I don't sanction the buying of large amounts of equipment (well, none at all, actually) and don't belong to a large company or have a salary that looks like a phone number, they'll probably say I don't qualify. They said that last time but then carried on sending it to me.

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Friday, July 01, 2005

There and Back Again 

Of course, that was the alternative title of the Hobbit. I haven't been exploring Middle Earth. No, just Ohio and Niagara Falls.

I had a much better time than I thought I would. I was staying with people I didn't know (my nephew's cousin) in a town called Urbana in Ohio before my nephew's wedding. My brother's loose plans of touring around Ohio went to pot a bit because Urbana was a lot further away from Columbus (where my brother and sister were staying) than we thought. Also I had no way to contact my brother. So I was forced to do nothing. And shop.

I could live in Wal*Mart.

I know that sounds shallow but it was so cheap! I mean it's cheap for the States but figuring in the exchange rate, I was able to buy things for about half what I would pay in the UK. Or less. All my ideas of not spending money were completely forgotten. I bought shoes, a fold-up raincoat (for $9 - that's less than £5!), a new beard trimmer, some noise-cancelling headphones and some extra shorts.

The reason we were there was to see my nephew Richard get married to Jenna in Columbus Zoo. I was an usher but the job wasn't too difficult. I sent anyone I recognised from the family to the front of the room or the Groom's side and anyone else to the left or to the back of the right side. There were so few of our family there. I also had to lead my sister, the mother of the Groom, up the aisle to light a candle.

Although it was a zoo there were no animals present at the service although there was a Dingo and some big cats present for the photographs.

I had a good time but it was marred slightly by a sudden raging cold which left me feeling rather antisocial

After the wedding, the family, apart from Richard and Jenna, stayed at Niagara Falls (Canadian side) for a few days. I saw the Falls, went on the Maid of the Mist, jet boated and had my first ride in a helicopter. Great fun and I had lots of photos.

We caught up with Richard and Jenna at Toronto airport for the journey home.

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