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Greetings from my shed...
Apparently this post is too long for email. Check the webpage to get maximum value. I’ve been at the keyboard nearly all week. What’s it like out there?
I have been asked to share what a day writing looks like. My workflow is still evolving as I attempt to retrain myself to rise early instead of work late. My wife is also at home at the moment creating an art/design studio so will feature in most of the following activities. Apart from my exercise (she is walking the dog during a million steep challenge) and when I’m in the shed. That’s my space.
So far, a typical day might look like this:
07:00 Get up, wee, wash hands, splash face and put on yesterday’s clothes. Have breakfast with the family. Cereal, natural yoghurt with banana and a cup of tea. Then assist in getting the kids off to school.
07:30 Check email/messages and respond.
08:00 Head out for a walk while listening to podcasts or audio book. Tie in other job if needed. Like postoffice drop or nip to the local shop.
09:00 Head to the shed with a cup of tea and research for this dispatch or write up my journals for the book. Aprox 500 words if the latter. I’m writing into a text file, sometimes with voice dictation, then dropping that into Scrivener.
10:00 Head inside, make a coffee, take a thinking break and chat to ‘hams’ on the local amateur radio ‘morning net’. Probably have a poo afterwards. Thanks to the coffee.
10:30 Settle in the shed for another 500 words for the book.
11:30 Do at least 30 mins vigorous exercise on either treadmill or pushbike.
12:00 Shower and change into fresh clothes.
12:30 Prepare and have lunch. Normally a fish salad, raman, Spanish omelette or a sandwich. Enjoyed with a cup of tea. Sometimes followed with something sweet like a slice of Jamaican ginger cake, malt loaf, pistachio cookie, or ice cream in a cone.
13:00 Check/write email and head to the shed with de-caff tea and water.
13:30 Write another 500-1000 words on the book. These numbers will be less when I’m doing more than just deciphering and digitising my paper journals.
15:15 Head in to greet kids as they return from school and catch up.
16:00 Back to the shed to write, check email, tidy and see to other business.
17:00 Head in to help with dinner. We all eat round the table, chat, argue about who had the last of the tartar sauce and laugh.
18:00 Load dishwasher and clean kitchen while listening to radio, music, podcasts or audio book.
19:00 Grab another hour in the shed while the kids get ready for bed (they read for hours).
20:00 Head into the house to watch a series (Just finished Severance and waiting for LOTR)
22:00 Write daily journal then read in bed.
23:00 - 23:30 Attempt sleep.
The quirky faux kids show ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’ (that’s not for young kids) was trending on Twitter today as series two broke. If you need bringing up to speed you can watch the First series on YouTube. This video speculates as to what inspired the creators. How they might be trying to highlight the loss of control that artists suffer when they move to bigger screens and audiences.
Fascinating breakdown of the new iPhone 14 showing you just how much control iPhone has over repair options. As in you still don’t have a right to repair. Even if you use official parts.
The memoir, as that’s what I’m calling it, is still just a pile of words. Over 32,000 from one journal so far. Plus 20,000 in jottings from a series of autobiographical mini stories I dug from my diary. I still don’t know what form it all might take. But there is a theme, or even a couple of themes starting to show themselves.
I’m really enjoying the process though. My only fear it that the savings will run out before I get something tangible. Every new supporting subscriber immediately gives me a dose of hope that can last a long while. Of all 1718 subscribers, there are currently 132 amazing supporting subscribers. They pay a little each month, or once a year to support not just this email, but my other writing. With 600 I could pay the mortgage and all the bills. Is this TMI? Should I be telling you this?
Trombone champ appears to be taking the world by storm.
I’ve had this app for a while. Merlin Bird ID will help you identify birds from photos, written description or sound. You will need a little space on your phone as the Europe Britain and Island pack is 628MB. There are different packs for different regions of the world.
I promised to read out an extract from one of my journal posts if someone subscribed and I did. I also read out what might be the earliest surviving copy of an email newsletter I did in the 90’s. Was that before it was cool?
I will record another extract in honour of the next supporting subscriber.
Experimenting with non-alcoholic drinks. Earlier in the week I tried this.
Fizzero is a non-alcoholic sparkling rosé made from fermented grape juice blended with premium green tea. It’s ok. If you need the theatre of opening a bottle of something this will do the trick. But I’d be as happy with a lime and soda or other fizzy soft drink.
Fascinating story of a lady with a hereditary condition of a heightened sense of smell who is able to smell parkinson’s disease in others.
I’m still getting my exercise in every day but cycling has taken a hit with my new writing regime. We have emptied the garage off all the junk and treasures we dumped there. Now have an art studio and in the corner a small gym. We can now use the running machine we got off a neighbour. Ready for the bad weather.
Been freaking my kids out by randomly stacking things.
You may remember that Quad Lock sent me some of their tech recently. Turns out they actually read my stuff and saw that I had to install their car mount in my shed. It wouldn’t fit in the weird car. That’s cool though as combined with the wireless charging head it now lives on my desk. I don’t know how I ever managed without one. It’s not their only recent development though. Last month they also released a vent mount. And seeing I still couldn’t use my quad lock in the car, they sent me one of those to try out.
It was sent free of charge at no cost to me and if I’m honest I’m probably not driving enough to be worthy of such a fancy gift. As we say over here it’s built like a brick $h*t house and will no doubt out live the car. It would really come into it’s own with a MAG wireless charging head attached. But do I really want to lose the one in the shed? At £30 for the mount and £50 for the MAG wireless charger, these really are at the luxury end of the spectrum. I’m imagining a certain friend of mine spitting his tea over his keyboard at the price. He will tell me there are other makes with similar functions for less money. I did look at them when I bought mounts for two bikes and motorbike. But I really didn’t want to risk my £1000 phone flying off at speed. Do you need to spend £100 on a wireless charging car mount and compatible case? If you don’t mind not having a case on your phone and sticking a magnet to it, you can buy something for under half the price. But if you have the cash and want the best engineered and customer service/guarantee, then this is probably for you. If you have lived with their tech for a while and have invested in the system, you probably already have it.
Many thanks go to @Lyledal for being a wonderful human being and becoming the latest greatest subscriber of this dispatch.
Floppy Disk Fever: The Curious Afterlives of a Flexible Medium
Look at all these amazing people! If you are subscribed to this email you are one of them. If you don’t know how to put yourself on the map let me know your approximate location and I can add you if you like.
That inheritance tax thing.
How to build a home that lasts a thousand years.
It’s good to be reminded of what’s possible when travelling to the US with your phone. Via Ellie
The WHO say the end of the pandemic is in sight.
Sometimes I use Amazon affiliate links in this email. That stops as soon as 25% of free subscribers upgrade. ;-) This email is my main income and we all know I’m not going to make any money out of writing a book. But let us at least have fun while we can.
Don’t forget, you can comment and we can chat to ‘like’ to let me know you are there. I hope you are having fun.
“In the right frame of mind, to walk from one room in a house to another can be exploration of the highest order. To a child a back garden can be an unknown country.”
~ Robert Macfarlane
See you out there.