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Musings, Holidays and Deadlines

Working as a Saturday 'boy' in a book shop would not be everyone's cup of tea but I quite enjoy it. Working with just one colleague you have someone to talk to when you feel lonely, but you are not hassled by all the complications which seem to arise when all the other staff members are present.

Left: River Wye looking towards Tintern Abbey.

And it gives you the chance to talk to all those booklovers who now have time to wander round the shop over the weekend, not being constrained by lunch hours etc. (although, like me, they still appear to have some problems with waiting partners). You can sympathise with those that have arrived without their glasses or their lists (sometimes both) because that sometimes happens to me (very often my wife says as, yet again, she has to bring my glasses in for me).

Right: My thoughts wander towards the Tuscan Hills... No, I must concentrate!

However, do not think that the job is a doddle - quite the opposite. There are orders to be processed, books to be covered, shelves to be sorted, lists to be sent out, photos taken (of the books, of course), the list of tasks appears endless. But there is one job that sends shivers down my back, and it crops up twice a year:-

The article for the web site!!!

Only twice a year, but the agony that one goes through, sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper with your brain refusing to concentrate on the matter in hand, but constantly telling you that there are other more important things to do - clean out the budgie's cage, wash the car, cut the grass, unblock the drains and gutters - all those jobs that I never think of until that blank sheet is there. And the time is getting shorter, there are mutterings about deadlines, and I can't think of a darned thing. And it's raining, so I have no excuses. I must do it.

Left: I bet the weather's nicer in Italy, where we had that wonderful holiday...

What's it to be about? An author I have never read? A subject I know nothing about? An Illustrator...? Help... and its still raining!

It's one of those ironies of life, this UK weather of ours. Two years ago we had a lovely family holiday in Italy and France during May and June. We stretched it out to approximately five weeks and the only disappointing thing was the temperature! Surprisingly it was quite chilly all the time we were away - when we got back, it was to find that the UK had been enjoying a heat wave!

As the garden is at its best in May and June, we decided to stay at home last year, and just look at the result. One of the most disappointing and wet summers on record! We even had landslides in Tintern, and we have just had another. Roads closed, gales, floods... what is there to look forward to? It looks as though I'll have to reorganise our Travel section again, or maybe Exploration..., or ... just write that elusive article...

Must stop thinking about holidays and deadlines, and just start writing....

Contributed by David Starling

(Published 27th Oct 2014)

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