This week I had an early doctor’s appointment. Early is easy, I can do early, especially now I have rediscovered my lost-for-months pocket alarm clock that has been sneakily hiding in a rarely used bag. Appointment was 7.40am. Doctors is a 20 minute drive away. I wake up before 6am as usual and turn off the alarm (set for 6.15am – who needs it). I start my day (aka check emails and social media). There’s a handy little clock in the corner of my computer screen. I really should learn to look at it more often. Suddenly it is 7.06am. I am still in bed – arrrrrggh. Undaunted, I am out of the house by 7.15am. Then I realise that although I know where I live (fortunately) and where the doctors is, I go so rarely that there is a piece missing in the map in my head that should tell me how to get from one to the other. Luckily automatic pilot works and I arrive in time.
‘Early appointments’, I’ve been warned, mean that the doors are locked and I have to be ‘buzzed in’. I fail to grasp the logic of this. Are mad receptionist threatening maniacs only abroad before the hour of 8am (after which time the doors are unlocked)? And if I were said mad receptionist threatening manic would I announce myself as such on the intercom? And another of life’s mysteries, how can the doctor be running twenty five minutes late when I can be no more than appointment three?
Returning from the doctors, I decided that today was the day for making the Christmas cakes; running a bit late with this this year. As regular readers (amazingly there are some) will know, cooking is not high on my list of enjoyable activities, or indeed my abilities. I do however ‘do’ Christmas cake, usually several Christmas cakes. This year I have managed to convince myself that I really don’t need four but two will be sufficient. Cakes happily in the oven I get on with my day. After the required time, I check the cakes and decide that one could do with a little longer to cook thoroughly. I leave it in the Rayburn which is on tick-over (for non Rayburn/Aga users this means it isn’t actually turned on but is still warm). I return to the fascinations of my real life. The next morning I come downstairs to get breakfast and spot a Christmas cake on the kitchen table where I had left it to cool. That’s funny, I think (turns out it is hilarious), where is the other Christmas cake? Realisation dawns. It is still in the Rayburn. The well cooked cake is quite dark and I think ‘solid’ would be a good description. Even my usual remedy (disguising the burned bits by turning it upside down) will be inadequate. Helpful Facebook friends make suggestions as to what to do with this creation, most of which involve copious amounts of alcohol – not sure if that is for me or the cake. I will be making another cake but I have found a volunteer to consume the middle if I cut the edges off.
It has been another week of dealing with incompetents. Just one of several examples:
Me to prospective venue on the telephone: ‘We would like to book your venue for 21 November 2017’
Venue: ‘We will email you’
Venue (by email): ‘Here are the dates we have available in February.’
The months have been changed to protect the guilty.
Last weekend was a rare occurrence. I went to a concert. The performers were Chris Conway and Dan Britton and I had been invited on two counts. Dan’s family were involved in the 1838 Clovelly fishing disaster, that I had researched in 2013 and some of the songs were related to the incident. I was also attending with fellow author Liz Shakespeare, in order to sell books. What a great evening.
Writing tasks this week have included finishing off lessons for my forthcoming online course about twentieth century family and local history research – don’t neglect more recent decades folks, you could even do a course ……… I have also written a guest blog, ready for my appearance on Jenny Kane’s website on 9 December, so look out for that one. Two of my blog posts (here and here) have now appeared on the In-Depth Genealogist’s website and I am writing the next in my series of articles about women’s work for their magazine. I’ve met with our lovely authors’ group again. That’s work right? Surely drinking coffee and eating cake is work.
Next week I am being interviewed for Tiverton Radio. So, amidst the pre-Christmas busyness and posting out books for discerning Christmas shoppers, it is all go. On the subject of books, a well known online book retailer has my books at ridiculously high prices at the moment. Don’t let this deter you. Buy from the publisher, even better buy from me but please don’t pay above the cover prices that are listed here.