Current work: admin and finalising outline for Venice book
Listening to: Sheryl Crow
Reading: Lindsey Davis, Alexandria (still enjoying)
Although I don’t tend to talk about news stuff here, I can’t let yesterday’s events in Cumbria pass. Utterly shocking – incomprehensible, really - and my heart really goes out to the people who’ve lost loved ones, especially as they’ll never know why it happened. Much sympathy from here.
I have a hospital appointment today so I’m a little bit antsy. (That’s why I’m awake at stupid o’clock. It’s a painless scan to rule out a couple of things, but I’m not so good at waiting for results. Having an active imagination and a fair bit of medical knowledge is not necessarily a good thing!) So I need a bit of distraction.
And I get paid this week.
(You know what's coming. I've been bad. VERY bad.)
I’ve been eyeing up a netbook for a long, long time. I’d made my decision, actually. But the kids and I went into town yesterday to get some extra bits for DH’s birthday (happy birthday, honey) and they made me go into the Apple shop to play with an iPad. I had a very long chat with Jen (the lovely assistant, who remembered us from when DH talked me into buying him an iPod touch, sound dock and other stuff last payday) and she reassured me that I could switch things between Mac and Microsoft. Connectivity isn’t perfect, but then for simple wordprocessing it’s fine.
Kids’ verdict: ‘Mum, you can’t buy a netbook… not after this!’ No? We went to look at the netbook I had my eye on, so we could compare them properly. Then we had lunch. We talked about it. They pointed out that it’s the size of my beloved Olivetti notebook from the early 1990s (yes, I did say early 1990s – I also had a 386 processor when it was state-of-the-art and internet access at home at a VERY early stage, and I could transfer files between the Olivetti and the PC). And that I wouldn’t need to buy an eReader. And that if I bought a netbook I’d also need a hard drive, virus protection, and I’d be moaning about the keyboard.
And then there’s the fact that you switch it on and don’t have to wait five minutes for Windows to start working, which makes it the perfect replacement for my PDA. I can work in the car, play games (cough - well, of course I have word games on there - Boggle, to be precise), and read books (more than 20,000 free classics? Well, as if I could resist).
I am now the proud owner of an iPad with keyboard dock (and a very dinky case). Actually, in landscape mode, the onscreen keyboard isn’t too bad for typing notes. I just need to learn my way round the word-processing software. (Dear Apple – um, isn’t it intuitive that you name the file when you save it, not wait until it’s saved itself automatically as ‘Blank 1’ or what have you and then reduce the file and tap the name to rename it? And your file management system for documents seems a bit pants right now. I like to work in separate chapters – only in revisions do I use one big file. And I work on more than one book at a time. I like to use folders for each book, with one folder per draft and another for notes. Or maybe I’m just too used to the way Microsoft does things.)
If anyone out there has suggestions of a calendar app that’s as good as Lotus Organizer, I’d be delighted to hear about it. If you’re not familiar with Organizer – it’s BRILLIANT. It has a “year planner” thing (vital for deadlines and scheduling in conferences, London trips and what have you), “anniversaries” (i.e. birthdays and it repeats every year) and a to-do list (where you can put in dates and priorities and it also shows up if you’re overdue). All of these feed into the daily schedule. There’s also a notepad and a contacts list. It’s nice having them all in one place (though I see notes and contacts are already on the iPad as apps).
My family is delighted, too, because I have finally agreed to go wireless. (Though there will be parental controls so son can’t spend all day on the X-box, and I also need to update my laptop with virus protection if we’re going to use that.) DH has visions of sitting in the conservatory on a summer evening with a cold beer and YouTube… and I have visions of working in the garden, this summer. Parasol up so I have a shady corner of the patio, iced water with a slice of lime, dog sunning himself next to me, and birdsong.
Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? I am very motivated today...