Archive for October, 2011

I’ve watched fondly as my lead characters have blossomed and grown into beautifully rounded people. I’ve laughed at their jokes, admired their bravery but all the time something has been gnawing away at me. Deep down I know that sooner or later they are going to want to do it.

That’s right. Sometime soon they are going to want to have sex with each other.

Personally I find this terrifying. Not the sex of course but the fact that it’s me who’s going to have to arrange it. This problem has been keeping me awake at nights, not just the thought of writing the scene but also the fact that people I know are going to read it. People like my mother-in-law and my next door neighbour.

I know that for some writers this comes as easily to them as falling off a bike. Erotic Fiction authors seem to be able to do it without so much as a blink. However I have noticed one thing; most Erotic Fiction writers are women whereas six out of eight of last year’s nominees for the Bad Sex Awards awards, a competition held by the Literary Review in the UK, were men. Is this more than a coincidence I wonder?

Maybe I’ll just let them have a little privacy and come back to see how they are getting along on in the morning.


It wouldn’t install. No matter what I did Office 2010 was not going to cooperate with Windows 7 and no amount of swearing or fiddling with directory file permissions was going to help.  This was a rush job, as things often are in our house. My wife needed it so she could update her learning resources for a course she was teaching in two days time. By midnight however; I’d had enough of bashing my head against a brick wall and I went to bed.

The next day my wife phoned me in tears while I was at work. Office 2010 still wasn’t installed and Office 2007 which had once been there was gone as well.  I reluctantly agreed that she should take it to a fix-it man down the road. The following day the PC arrived back in the house. It had only cost 75 quid to fix which seemed a bargain.

That was until I discovered what had happened to my PC. Basically all this idiot had done was format the C drive and reinstall windows from scratch. No checking to see what was on the drive or anything, just: Format C: and then Install.

That drive had our whole life on it:  all our photos, our music collection, the company accounts, my book, my next blog post and this moron didn’t even bother to check or call or anything.  A few years ago this would have been the end of the world as we know it but because I use an on-line backup service now all my data still exists up there somewhere in the clouds. What it is though is a real pain in the arse.  There are 120 Gigabytes of data which I now have to download and restore to its rightful place on my PC and  my monthly download limit is only 50. It’s going to take a month or two to get it all back.

That is the one and only time that anyone other than me is going to work on my PC.

There is a lot less hedge in the world today.

Oh yes, that’s right and it’s mostly because I spent the day cutting mine down. I guess right now you might be asking yourself: What the hell has that got to do with alligators?

Well my new Black and Decker electric Alligator Lopper turned up and, of course, I just had to go out and play with it. It’s a wonderful thing, it’s bright and orange with chunky steel jaws and a set of gnarly whirling teeth; it can chew the branch off a tree in the blink of an eye.

A chainsaw for pussies I hear you say. Well if it is, then yes I’m a pussy. There was a time, when I was much younger, that I would think nothing of messing about with chainsaws. But now? Not on your nelly! It’s the idea of me, or worse, one of my kids cleaving off a limb; it’s the fear of hearing the sound of steel pulverising bone or seeing blood and flesh being sprayed across the garden… You get the point. Besides I can’t be arsed to go out and buy Kevlar jeans and steel toe-capped boots just to trim the hedge.

Well, the alligator thing is great. It purrs through branches in a couple of seconds, ones which would have taken five minutes or so with a bow saw. I’m dead impressed. My wife however; is not. I do have to concede that in some places I might have got a bit carried away with things. There are some parts that don’t really resemble a hedge any more and would be better described as a palisade of stumps, but to be honest I’m not that worried.  It’s Laurel and it will grow back.

Laurel is a brute of a plant, you turn your back and it will grow two feet, and my back has been turned for at least five years. It has grown so huge in fact that that it was beginning to create its own weather. It wasn’t as large as the Great Hedge of India which at its peak in 1878 was over eight hundred miles long and almost cut the country in two. That Hedge was built by the British and was used as an impenetrable Customs barrier so they could tax shipments of salt and sugar within the territory.  My one, although somewhat smaller than that, formed an impenetrable barrier to sunlight and now it has been curtailed the amount of light flooding into the garden is amazing. Even the leeks in the vegetable patch are squinting.