Monday, 25 August 2014

Summer and Endings

Patio furniture in the garden, 9am today...
Today is the only public holiday we get in Britain during the summer, the last Monday in August. We often joke that the weather knows about these too. 

Today is proof in point.

It’s 16ºC, or 61ºF, raining steadily and the police are warning of dangerous driving conditions on the major roads due to spray and standing water. Well, they're actually trying to get people to behave like sensible grown-ups and slow down...

Still, it’s an extra day off work, both my dogs are delighted I'm at home with them and my local commercial radio station is dedicating the day to music from the 1980’s, so things could be a lot worse!

For the first time in years, I’ve got a “summer cold”. No idea who I got it from. No sign of it last Thursday, but Friday it was set to max. Headache, tickly cough and congested sinuses. I’m lucky and generally suffer few illnesses, so feeling off-colour is unfamiliar. And no, it's not "man-flu". I'm not complaining and whining about it, just coughing and blowing my nose a lot!

One part of my brain is shouting “it’s only a respiratory virus”, and it’s only making me feel groggy and grumpy. But another part is muttering about how serious these can be. 

Take flu. 

We worry about it today, particularly the awful 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, but when influenza first arrived in Britain in the 16th century, about 20% of those who caught it didn’t get up again afterwards. I know, ‘cos I read about historic diseases for a talk I gave last year.

So, that’s summer. What about the “endings”? I’ve just finished the final chapter of my draft novel, provisionally titled "Walking Out". I’m pleased to have stuck at it to the end, averaging one chapter a week for 26 weeks. It’s been tough going at times, but I enjoyed it. Whenever I needed inspiration, my muse smiled upon me.

The next step is revision, but I’ll put it aside for a month, time for some other projects and to catch up with some reading. And I need to get a cover image organised somehow.

I’m working on a piece for an anthology of stories based loosely around the four traditional elements of fire, air, water and earth. And I’ve got a flash fiction piece almost ready for a shared blog event next weekend, stories named after cocktails.

Over the next month or so, I’ll be hosting “guests” in my blog who have books they’d like to publicise. As blogging is still a pretty new thing for me, I’m looking forward to these and I’ll be interested to see what response the authors involved get. After all, I’ll have a book of my own to publicise soon...


  1. Sorry you're feeling groggy. It's particularly unlucky for it to happen when you've got a holiday.

  2. Thanks Patsy! One of those things, it'll go soon enough