Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Too Much To Do

Last Friday was a glorious day. A day befitting the 80th birthday celebrations of our Monarch, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The sun shone relentlessly and the blue skies unbroken for practically the entire day. It was so good, when I came home I sat out in the back garden with Laura, poured a beer and tuned on the stereo in the conservatory. We listened to some Jamaican Ska while eating our burgers under the summer evening sun.

Elsewhere there were no Friday trips to Clark's. Too much work to do, believe it or not. I went for a quick pint after work in The Guildford Arms for a bloke who has recently left our department (escaped when the chance arose), and bumped into the ex-Lord Provost of Edinburgh standing at the bar, Eric Milligan. Man about town, he seemed to have no problem reading his paper and downing his ale while the rest of the bar mumbled they knew his face from somewhere.

One thing that I noticed immediately upon entering the bar, was the disgusting stench of the place. Bleach and stale beer from spillages on the carpets swirled up my nostrils making me feel quite nauseous. The reason for this is not that the staff at The Guildford prefer to use strong bleach or leave the carpets uncleaned, but that there is no cigarette smoke to block out the foul stenches. The recent smoking ban means that when you are in a bar, as well as their being no atmosphere, unbroken conversations or relaxed moods of creativity, there is the smell of bleach to fill your eyes, dullness and of course, people's farts are noticeable like they never were before.

When the Chancellor sees the tax dropping from unsold cigarettes in this country, I'm quite sure that even though the bill for the NHS will be smaller, but all those meddling do-gooders who said they detested smoking in pubs will wish they had kept their gobs shut when the level of income tax goes up to pay for the lost revenue. The money has to come from somewhere.

In short, Jack McConnell is nothing but a jumped up councillor, a poor politician, and a mini-Hitler. He has done more to ruin this country than anyone else and should be strung up by his boots, hung from the Scott Monument and pelted with rotten eggs.

The rest of the weekend was spent around the house. On Saturday I had Laura all day. I spent the morning up town as usual but didn't buy anything except some frozen fish food for my aquarium. I browsed lots of books in Waterstone's West End but nothing took my fancy.

Gail asked me if I was dong anything next Friday because she was hoping to go and see her Aunt Sheila who asked her over so she wouldn't be alone while her husband was out a party. With nothing planned it was of course, not a problem and she needn't really have asked.

I later found out that she is accompanying Aunt Sheila to this "party" to keep her company and that the "party" is in fact a retiral bash for Sheila's husband. Dave, you see, is a fireman, and three branches of the Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade will all be there - and Sheila and Gail.

The slots fitted into the jigsaw perfectly. She's only going because it is fireman's bash and no other reason. I'll need to try and get myself invited to one of my mate Bob Mackie's works nights out. He's a nurse.

Laura is trying to do some pictures for the upcoming e-book, but it is proving to be extremely difficult for both of us. Time is ticking on this one so we will have to work hard this week if we are to make the deadline. I've only really got Monday and Thursday to finish it because Tuesday I'm out at a gig (for my Scruffy Dog Review column) and Wednesday is my regular snooker slot.

On Sunday I upgraded my PC to Windows XP SP2, of which there have been some teething problems. Nothing I can't fix (hopefully). With XP on I was also able to install broadband and now my internet access is free-flowing and undisturbed. No more can any annoying MIL's repeat to me, "I take it you were on the internet all night again while I was trying to call you?" You'd think our phone line is only ever used for that. Not any more though, and the quality is a breath of fresh air.

I'm feeling the tightness of the end of the month approaching. I have had a funny month - crap but with good highlights, though in small numbers. Ideally I want to spend more time executing my plans but I just cannot find the time. Everything else needs to be done first. I have to get the book done and complete my work on Stella, Hunting Jack and then there is all the Fringe Fantastic promotion for the summer. God - there is just so much to do!!!

For more information about Fringe Fantastic, please go to the website:

Colin 12:05 pm


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