Monday, January 26, 2009

life in coffee spoons (aka Bad Kate)

Current work: Modern Heat
Listening to: Sibelius/Justin Currie
Reading: Bedded By the Greek Billionaire, Kate Walker – another of Kate’s trademark emotional rollercoasters, perfect for a frosty Saturday morning read – really liked the hero.

Very busy weekend. Friday afternoon, news from my wonderful ed that she loved the revisions, so my Penhally book is done and dusted and I can settle down to this one. I know this is unprofessional of me – I should be able to switch to the next book straight away, but it never flows properly until the previous one is completely put to bed.

Friday, needed to go to the post office and the bank, so went into town with DH and the kids after school/work. Huge queues into the city, so he let me out of the car at the bottom of Exchange Street… and en route to the bank I had to pass Sonkai. Well. I say ‘pass’. Of course I didn’t. And I was slightly naughty (murano glass, clear with a turquoise stripe, which DH says doesn't go with my bracelet. Hmm. Maybe I should have a selection of glass ones that I can swap round to change the colour scheme...).

Then was slightly naughtier, as Madam helped me choose a lapis lazuli pendant to go with my outfit for the awards do. (I’ve always, always wanted a lapis lazuli pendant. This is my early birthday pressie to me.) And then we went out to dinner. I could not BELIEVE how much son ate. However, I remember what DH was like when he was 20. Think son is going to be the same. Hollow legs.

DH then wanted to know where I’d like to go for dinner on my birthday. Hmm. I fancy Greek, but it has to be somewhere that does food that the kids like, too – Madam’s willing to try stuff, but son is very conservative. Seems that the second week of Feb is going to be a seriously bad week in terms of diet. Family birthday party on Sunday (is actually a joint party for Dad and me, but I’m catering it to his preferences rather than mine); dinner out with two of my oldest friends in London on Monday; the RNA awards lunch on Tuesday; birthday dinner out on Wednesday; possibly taking Dad out to lunch on Thursday; dinner out on Saturday; and it’s half term, the week after…

Prufrock may have measured out his life in coffee spoons. I think that in February mine might be measured out in, um, puddings. (Which I did not have on Friday, in case any of my diet buddies happen to be lurking here and saying in tones of horror, ‘Baaaad Kate!’ And yes, that did deserve a screamer.)

Saturday: a frosty start, and I’ve had Kate Walker’s latest on my TBR shelf for too long (this is the one that’s been shortlisted for Best Presents of 2008 by Romantic Times – congrats to Kate W). So I was a bit self-indulgent. Should’ve been working but decided to refill the well a bit first. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Then it was a matter of settling down to work. I’m back on deadline, so the idea is that DH and the kids leave me to work unless it’s really important (i.e. not squabbles – anything that’s inspiring or interesting is fine, but ‘she poked me’ and ‘because he said I was stupid’ is not fine).

Then DH marched in to my office, brandishing the local paper. ‘You’re in the bestseller charts again.’ Huh? But I only posted the book to my editor yesterday, and it’s not out until April. How? ‘No, it’s Norwich: Street by Street.’

Wow. I’m back in the local bestseller charts with a book that’s been out for THREE YEARS. Am pinching myself slightly. I’m really proud of that book. I did a lot of research.

Wrote a chunk of the book (oh good, heroine has decided she has extra conflict); had hair cut; answered call from M-I-L and said yes, I could do a talk for her local school, but have lots of deadlines coming up so it’ll have to be end of April; and did the Big Garden Birdwatch for the RSPB with the kids. In our hour slot, we saw 3 blackbirds, 3 bluetits, 4 chaffinches, 6 collared doves, 2 great tits, 4 long-tailed tits, a robin and a great spotted woodpecker. Unfortunately, we also had another visitor to the mesh tray on the bird table – not squirrel, this time, but Rattus norvegicus (again), who appears to have a burrow under Madam’s playhouse. Sigh. Will be ringing the council this morning to sort it out. To avoid recurrent problems, we may have to change from the mesh feeder tray to a seed feeder on a hook, which is a shame. As DH said, he’s a nice-looking little fellow, and he sat there washing himself so he’s also a clean little chap. BUT. He’s a rat. (Not a water vole, because he has obvious ears, a long pink tail and a pointed nose – as opposed to ears hidden by fur, a short furry tail and a blunt nose – and he’s bigger than a vole.) We have children and a dog. So… much as I feel guilty, he has to go.

Sunday, interview with lovely Maggie Secker at BBC Radio Norfolk. Lovely chat, as always. And on the way back, I was a bit naughty… I parked at Chapelfield, which meant going through House of Fraser to get to the car park. Bearing in mind I have this awards do in a fortnight and my make-up is out of date (in both senses of the phrase), I needed some foundation. I asked which colour would suit me, and this lovely, lovely make-up artist in the Bobbi Brown concession did me a makeover. DH and kids reacted very positively when I came home. However, I didn’t buy all the make-up – I know I’m far too lazy to do it properly (eyeliner, rouge etc), so I stuck with just lippy, new eyeshadow and foundation.

Plan for today (in between school runs) : ring council about Ratty, pay bills, work, post office run.


Jan Jones said...

Blimey, what a weekend! More like a life a minute!

Looking forward to seeing the effect of all your, er, distractions in a fortnight.

PS - we did the birdwatch too. Suspect our normal throng were off checking out other people's gardens.

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - yes, it was a bit busy :o)

I was surprised that our normal gang of pigeons didn't turn up (there were eight scoffing themselves silly in the back garden when I made my post-school-run coffee this morning). And we normally have about a dozen blackbirds. Knew the robin was singular, though, as they're so territorial.

Nicolette said...

Was so tempted to count the birds in OTHER PEOPLE'S GARDENS!! They seemed to be getting better ones than us, though we did get a coal tit along with our blue birds and solitary blackbird (male).

Shirley Wells said...

So glad you were, um, distracted. :o)

And am I envious of those hollow legs. Sigh.

Kate Hardy said...

Nicolette - I picked my time carefully :) We seem to get most of our visitors around lunchtime. (And I admit, I put chopped apple out. That tempted them. And, um, the rat.)

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - it was great fun. Am thinking of it as refilling the well, as I had some lightbulb moments.

I too envy the hollow legs. Especially as he's shooting up. He can spare some of that height for me..