This week I discovered that instead of typing I could dictate to my iMac. And due to an unfortunate series of events I am now dictating this blog.
Yesterday, during a trip to Dunelm to buy a blanket, I managed to break my finger. Which sounds ridiculous. But it's true. I broke my finger on a blanket.
My finger has turned black and is strapped up. It has to stay this way for three weeks.
It's day two and I've had enough. It's surprising how disabling the injury is. It's just one finger.
Anyway, enough of feeling sorry for myself. The reason I decided to try dictation in the first place was my Dad's book. Many years ago, before he became ill, he was made redundant and had time on his hands. He decided to use this time to write his memoirs. When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer this became more urgent. He suddenly had a time limit.
He spent his last 18 months catching up with friends and relatives reminiscing about the old days and turning those memories into three books, entitled–Who put their finger in the jelly?, From the lions den to gainful employment and Dashing about like a fart in a colander.
Unfortunately he used a Mac. One that would now be classed as a relic. And as such his most recent version is unreachable. The Mac won't turn on and his backup is floppy disks. In Quark. Whatever that is. What I do have is a foolscap folder containing an outdated draft.
My task, should I be brave enough, is to take the paper copy of the three books, retype on my iMac and find some way of publishing them. I've had this task on my to-do list for over 15 years. And this week, with the help of dictation on the iMac, I have finally made a start. And, because of dictation on the iMac, I can't use my broken finger as an excuse!
I've made a start looking at options for publishing–but because I can't get a price until I know the number of pages I won't be making any decisions just yet.
If the floppy disks do turn up I may well need some help accessing the files. So if you know anyone who is still living in the late 1990s and is a Quark expert please let me know.
In order to keep well clear of the ongoing decorating of the cat's (aka spare) bedroom I spent the morning in my office.
After several failed attempts at level 2304 of Candy Crush...I decided to do something more useful.
So I did a simple (very low-res) infographic - about me (with a little shout-out to strategy - not that I am dwelling on feedback, not at all). It took me half an hour on a free online infographic tool. And therein lies the low-res issue. You have to pay for an end result that is visible without a magnifying glass. Don't try zooming in - it just gets worse.
Tomorrow Stu will be painting the ceiling and walls. I will be found in my office (again) working towards a higher-res version of this...
The rabbit survived the weekend with Joe (Jess stayed over on Saturday night).
We had a great time in Hawkshead. We walked. A lot. And ate cheesecake. That kind of sums up the weekend.
As it was Stu's birthday he had presents. Be careful what you wish for Stuey! (Or at least be careful what you mention in passing). He got a lovely leather tool belt and a small plaster trowel. As well as a Leatherman multi-tool (which will NOT live its life out in a kitchen drawer) plus a silly t-shirt and three creme eggs. He seemed content.
I had an interview in London on the Tuesday. Around £76 of train ticket - plus tube fare. And apparently I don't have enough strategy experience. No clue how they came to that conclusion. As it is all over my CV and we discussed strategy in the interview. Anyway - it was a no thanks. Which is fine by me. Seriously. If it's a no - the role wasn't for me. So I move on. I don't take it too personally - but I will be revisiting my CV!
Whilst I was in London - in the London Bridge vicinity - there was a bomb scare. I missed the whole thing. Somehow. I think it had something to do with iTunes and headphones. Two people we also stabbed at Victoria station.
Anyway - Joe will be pleased I didn't get the job as I received several texts throughout the bomb scare telling me YOU ARE NOT TAKING THAT JOB. He does care.
The comms contract market is crap at the moment. The rates have dropped, a lot, on any roles I have seen advertised. And those are few and far between. And if you're in the interim game you will know all about the IR35 fiasco in the public sector. Which I believe will most likely include the private sector in a year or two. So that could signify the end of contracting for me. I guess I need to get my head around what it means for me - and the way I manage my ltd company affairs. For someone who thrives in a change environment at work I absolutely HATE change enforced by the government - relating to VAT, dividends, NI etc. It is unsettling, stressful and not in plain English!
So - in addition to contemplating a change of house and location - I am starting to think about how I might change direction in terms of earning pennies. Sooner than I had thought - potentially.
On that note - here's a cake I baked. It's full of a ridiculous amount of calories and fresh cream,
At the time of booking a holiday or short break it seems the greatest idea. I love holidays.
When the day arrives (or in this case - the day before) I start with the panic.
We're only away from Friday to Monday. And, we're only going to the Lake District. But Joe is in charge of the cat AND the rabbit this time.
So not only do I have to worry about whether he will have friends round after 10pm and disturb the neighbours but I also have to worry that the rabbit might die of starvation, boredom or fly-strike.
Ted (the rabbit) has a reasonable life for a pet. I know he should be roaming the fields with his buddies. But he's not. Instead he has several hours of 'freedom' from dusk to roam our small garden. His favourite spot is on one of the planters - he's demolished all the plants it held. He sits on the remains of one plant and poos in the other half (there's a brolly there now - as we've had some shocking weather lately and he's not smart enough to stay covered). He also spends a good deal of his freedom following the cat. And eating bird seed.
So - will Joe remember to feed him and change his litter tray daily? Will he remember to let him out for a play? Will he remember to give him his bedtime treats (curly Kale and dried herbs)? I really hope so.
He'll have no choice but to look after the cat. Merlin is very demanding. If he isn't fed Joe will be haunted all night by Merlin's very special growly wingeing.
The other anxiety with holidays is packing. But I am proud to announce that I have already laid out both mine and Stu's clothes on the bed. That is some achievement. But as Stu is working his socks off at the moment I don't feel it's right to play the 'pathetic female who can't pack' card this time. After all - when he gets in tonight he will need to make our dinner. And tomorrow morning he's working for a few hours before he stops off at Tesco for the food supplies. Finally coming home to load the car. He's good.
So Joe - here's a photo of the rabbit....the one in the hutch outside the back door. At our house (do you need a map?).