Sunday, 10 February 2008

The True Story of how I reached the dizzy heights of a prize winner

It’s official. I’m a prize winner. Perhaps I should explain.

Our local bookshop, a tiny little place hardly bigger than a front room, is running a monthly competition. Starting this January it’s invited anyone with an interest in books to write a review (maximum100 words) of any book that may appeal to others.

All entries are displayed on the Special Review Board. (Just behind the door as you go in if you want to take a peek) As a keen supporter of this rare and dying breed, the independent bookseller, I was up there with my review of Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris, almost as soon as I saw the competition announced in our local free magazine.

I am pleased to say that my hard work has paid off. I’ve won this month’s prize. Dizzy heights indeed, considering the last literary prize I won was when I was still in school.

Sadly my triumph is a little sour. There was only one entry displayed on the board, mine.

Still, a £5 book token’s not to be sniffed at , is it?

Hang on a moment!

I’ve been Memed - I guess that’s a sort of prize too.

Pg123, 5th sentence from the book nearest to me, then the next 3 sentences:

Photography, A Concise History

Photography enabled the exchange of authentic - but also selective - information on the course of the war.

Interest in war reporting grew stronger as more nad more people were directly confronted with the war or were directly affected by war activity. On the one hand, was photographers provided visual information to people who were not directly involved, but whose family members might be at the front. On the other hand, war photography naturally served the propagands interests of the political powers.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

On reflection...A day in the life of Lampworkbeader, with no beading involved

On reflection I’ve been dreading this summons. A couple of years ago I’d have said, “Busy, busy, busy,” but then I wouldn’t have had time to write. Now my life is calmer, each day a bit different, but rather dull, so I’ll pick Monday.

7am The alarm. John Humphries nagging someone in the government, as usual. The Keen Mountain Biker has a kinder heart than me so he gets up to feed the cat and make me a cup of tea.

7.30 I’m up and stirring my own porridge.

By 8.10 I’m clean, dressed, lipsticked and sipping another cup of tea. Thankfully at the moment I only work two mornings a week. Monday is one of those mornings. Twenty five minutes of driving through country lanes and heavy traffic gets me to work. Radio 3 all the way. It calms me.

I do supply teaching with Special Needs kids. At the moment it’s two mornings at a PRU (Pupil Referral Unit) These young people are taught one to one in a unit well away from other teenagers. There’s always a reason.

My pupil arrives at 9.15am. I make her a cup of tea, she says it tastes like p*ss. I look surprised and say I’ve never tasted …… That raises a smile, a good sign, she doesn’t smile much.

The morning is satisfactory. It passes quickly for me. I sense she feels time moves at a slower pace.

The session finishes at 12 noon. I write my notes and I’m driving home by 12.30

It’s sunny and I’m in a good mood. Radio 4 this time.

KMB isn’t back yet. Since retiring he’s been involved in owl boxes (If you are interested I wrote about this back in August.)

He’s been checking the boxes and fixing them up ready for the nesting season. He’s back by 1.30, cheerful but muddy. We lunch together.

He’s been painting the hall. This involves a lot of huffing and swearing, as well as paint. I usually ignore this, I don’t want to get involved or I might end up doing it myself.

Since Purple Cooing started I’ve been writing short stories. To keep KMB company, and to act as a painting advisor if required (which it isn’t) I bring my battered old laptop downstairs and plug it in at the kitchen table.

The ‘good’ computer is upstairs in the spare and chilly bedroom, the kitchen is bright and sunny with a view of the garden.

Two hours fly past. My ‘short story’ grows alarmingly.

5.30 ish I start the evening meal, relying on what’s in the fridge. A huge pile of vegetables, a few of them home grown. These eventually turn into thick vegetable and lentil stew with sage dumplings. Fruit for desert. No wine tonight. I’ve been overdoing it recently and I’m rather weak willed.

Just time to log onto ‘Coo’ and see what’s going on. Hmm! Glad ‘In the mud’ is O.K.

8pm ish We’ve still time to watch my ‘new’ d.v.d. Thunder Road with Robert Mitchum. I’m a bit of a black and white film buff. KMB says he remembers it when it first come out. I deny that I do. He’s a bit older than me.

10p.m. I watch the news and weather.

We head for bed around 10.45 I read. I’ve nearly finished ‘Mad, Bad and Dangerous’, Ranulph Fiennes autobiography, interesting man if a bit of a twerp at times.

KMB snores. I lie awake thinking of endings for my short story. Might do some beading tomorrow or go down the allotment if it doesn’t rain…..