Two Big Pushes and Some Crabs
Well, it’s not every woman who can say she got crabs from the man across the road for her anniversary. And straight out the sea at that! Mr Across-the-Road turned up at the weekend with a basket of freshly-caught crabs as a thank you for a couple of small favours we’d been happy to do. There was a worrying moment when Tom and I looked at the crabs in our sink and they looked up at us and waved little crabby claws and I thought we might have to keep them as pets before we overcame our unease and dispatched them with great respect. And, I have to say they were absolutely sublime with Tom’s homemade aïoli and some chilled white wine. On our anniversary, St David’s Day, Tom brought me a cup of tea in bed and a bunch of daffs for every year of our marriage – how lovely was that?
Only four days to go now before the Llanelli half-marathon so I’m getting nervous. My training’s gone well but not without event. Honestly, you’d think that here on the west Wales coast I’d be able to run in peace but, no. Over the last week alone I have: (a) been a soft target for every boy racer that passes to jeer at; (b) been stopped by a van driver who actually pulled over in a lay by to ask me how I was getting on and what was I training for; (c) made new best friends with an old boy who I see on my runs – and I know I’m his best friend because he says, ‘Sut ti?’, ‘How’s you?’ – informal, and I am most certainly not a child or his sweetheart!
But the award for the worst close encounter this week though, goes to a farm dog. I’m not scared of dogs but I do treat the farm dogs with caution so when this one bolted out an open gate I stopped, let it sniff me, talked to it nicely and tried to carry on, but, no, it wasn’t having it. By the time I eventually got passed I was covered in mud where it had jumped all over me and slightly chewed from a couple of playful nips it had tried out on me. Hopefully Sunday’s run will be slightly less eventful!
The effect of FTT’s two near misses was to leave me with a lingering feeling that, for all the glowing comments, maybe I had, in fact, written a pile of junk. I was also feeling a bit confused about the apparently conflicting advice I’d been given and was almost ready to abandon the whole thing. There’s a moment after the white heat of finishing a novel when you can’t read it with any degree of objectivity, which is why the advice is always to put the typescript away for a few weeks, but, hey, when you know someone’s going to sit on it for months you just want to get it out there. Then the doubts start to creep in...
One of the many benefits of the OU course I’m studying is that it’s taught me to be a better reader, a more critical reader, so I sat down to read FTT and decide what to do next. Well, I’m actually really pleased with what I’ve written! FTT Dark is more interesting than FTT Lite, although, at 110,000 it is, as the publisher pointed out, a tad too long and, curses, the bit you send out, the first three chapters, are the book’s weakest chapters (probably because I rewrote them so many times). Anyway, the upshot is that I’ve nearly finished rewriting, FTT Dark ‘n Sleek, with all of the plot and none of the flabby bits, so now I can take it forwards with confidence.
My race number has just arrived for the Llanelli half; I am a scarily low number, 46, but don’t worry if you can’t remember that because, looking at the hardcore field, I’ll be easy to spot because I’ll be the one at the back. Now, I’m even more nervous! Eek!
Today’s image is 'Welsh Landscape’ by Tom Tomos. Tom’s been trying out a new technique of drawing in 'back to front' colours on small cards, scanning the image and then making a negative version. They will either be for limited edition digital prints [at very reasonable prices] or for projection in a gallery display.
Tom and Chris scanning the horizon to see if their ship is coming in.