Shopping for dummies

Found: Fishergate, Preston


Sleep apnoea

Spent this morning researching sleep apnoea for a short story. According to the The British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association, the condition is defined as the ‘cessation of airflow during sleep preventing air from entering the lungs caused by an obstruction’.¬† Research turned up a story about Philip Skeates, sleep apnoea sufferer (Guardian, A Breath of Fresh Air); a feature in the Independent entitled: Brahms made an awfully big noise in bed and a post about The hidden curse of sleep apnoea at metronapsuk. The real gold, however, was in the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea forum; particularly the topic, Do I need to tell the DVLA? which has generated a lively discussion between (the brilliantly named) Tony the Bus Driver, ‘bus driver with sleep apnoea’, and fellow sufferers Dog Tired, Private Snorer and Silver Fox. Just off to read some more.


Not updated as regularly as news sites or Google, but a social document all the same, this village noticeboard is updated every Sunday morning. Recent items have included a talking Quaker parrot (for sale), a stud (available for hire) in the form of an obliging terrier (no appointment required?) plus an invitation to knit a teddy (free wool and needles) for Teddies for Tragedies – an appeal to knitters with soft hearts …

Watch where you’re walking

Found at bus stop.

Went to see a new exhibition, Revolver by artist David Newton, which includes a number of portraits, some recently exhibited at the Admiral Lord Rodney pub in Colne. The pub website states that Newton’s work is ‘concerned primarily with the associative nature of image and context’ and (it continues) the motto for his work and life is ‘watch where you’re walking’. An apposite sentiment, I thought, given the initiative (above) by the local council to remove chewing gum from the streets.

Stream of consciousness … (wpm?)

Thought I’d do some limbering up for nanowrimo (irritating acronym don’t you think?) … a literary workout. Used one of my shortlisted titles (previous post) as a prompt for a freewrite to see how much content it would generate. Managed to type 1223 words in 38 minutes. Worked out ‘stream of consciousness’ peak flow at 31.57894736842 words per minute! As I copy type at 47 wpm I was quite cheered – thinking – maybe I can cope with a target of 2000 words a day.

Meanwhile on eve of gig in Berlin, eldest son posts message in German on my facebook wall, and as I don’t speak German I have no idea what it says. Cat flicked pile of red rubber bands up in the air. Next door neighbour informs me that shrimp harvesting in Morecambe Bay is declining as the seawater has become less salty because of the heavy rain. Suffer my own credit crunch as I unintentionally wash (my only) pound coin in the washing machine. It comes out slightly¬† battered, but at least it’s clean …

Masochist lured by nanowrimo

Up early … again (masochists never have a lie-in). So early that the hens haven’t got round to laying. Bring one egg home – instead of six. Fingers recovered from Writathon (Saturday) but mentally knackered. Managed 13 stories over 10 hours, but only 2000 words, the equivalent of walking a marathon. Broken three resolutions to myself (so far) today. The first – never even think about trying to write a novel; the second – never commit myself to something I might not realistically be able to achieve and the third? Promised myself I would never write about writing on this blog.

Oh well.¬†Convinced myself I could write 2000 words a day for 30 days, then signed up to Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). Persuaded (already over-committed) friend to do the same. Impetus to continue creative writing course I’ve signed up for immediately wanes. Spend afternoon googling prospective titles then dumping them. Add favourite authors to my ‘author’ profile: choose Haruki Murakami, Cesare Pavese, Heinrich Boll and Raymond Carver. Of course there are others but there’s not enough space to put them all.

Decide to ask children for advice. Flatter them that they are wise beyond their years (eldest says, ‘I really don’t think I’m very wise’). Could they advise their impetuous mother if she is really doing the right thing. Send them a bunch of titles to look at. Youngest says tonight he is going to a party followed by a ‘mighty boosh’. I ask what that is, and is Noel Fielding going? Emphasise I am only joking, but remain in the dark as to what he’s actually up to. Obviously he won’t be around to judge my titles. Eldest says he is ‘bound for Berlin’. As I thought he wasn’t going until Wednesday, ask if he is packed and ready to go. ‘No’, he says, ‘I must go and sort that out …’ Decide that I really am old enough to take responsibility for my own decisions; so I add a few ‘writing buddies’ to my profile, and get down to plotting my first novel. Well, at least I start thinking about it.

VRH writathon

Agreed several weeks ago to participate in a writing marathon (writathon). I’m told it involves 50 prompts – literary fireworks – dispatched at intervals over a 12 hour period and it’s happening tomorrow. It’s in aid of Volunteer Reading Help (VRH), a national charity that ‘helps disadvantaged children develop a love of reading and learning’. The best work will be published in an anthology, available spring 2009 and all profits go to VRH. Co-incidentally I started volunteering at a local school the week before last. I spend one morning a week listening to year 4 children read. Most of them can, but I had forgotten how lovely eight year olds could be and I’ve enjoyed reading with them. I’ll report back on the writathon when my fingers have recovered (optimistically – Sunday?).