All in Good Time

After Tom’s ‘what if?’ it’s his turn to attend conference. It’s in London so that means a whirlwind of catching up with as many friends and family as we can fit in while we’re there.

We travel down on Wednesday via the Gower, where some friends are on holiday marvelling at their good luck in enjoying such fabulous weather, and arrive at Ma’s in the evening.

Ma’s leg still hasn’t healed after her dive from our greenhouse nine weeks ago and since her nurse is on holiday, Thursday begins with me taking over to dress the wound. It’s Tom’s only free day so his parents arrive shortly after for coffee, then the four of us (we have to leave Ma behind because our car’s too small) drive to Richmond where we meet Stepson Two for lunch. In the afternoon it’s time to see Stepdaughter-in-law and Harry, our grandson. Harry takes one look at four faces beaming at him and sobs, but cheers up mightily at the sight of his daddy coming through the door.

On Friday, I spend the day with Ma whose propensity for tripping up has worried me, but she’s in good spirits, has lost weight and looks ten years younger than her true age, all of which helps to set my mind at rest. In the evening, it’s over to our friends, Jill and Martin. Jill and I have been best friends since the register sat us together at school and tonight we let our hair down with fizz, stories and some schoolgirl humour which also reassures me that we’re not nearly as grown-up as we pretend to be.

On Saturday I have a lovely time with Rose and her fiancé Si. Si goes out to tinker with the car whilst Rose and I discuss wedding plans and veils. Who knew there were so many veils?

My sister and her husband are celebrating their twenty-eighth wedding anniversary (well done, dear hearts) so Sunday begins with a brief visit to their house before we head home via Cardiff and a quick pit stop with Lily and Russ.

After five days of limited internet access Monday and most of Tuesday disappears wading through my inbox. As a new member on the Romantic Novelists’ Association committee, I’m not only getting up to speed with my job, but with committee work in general. I seemed to have joined at a time of intense debate within the organisation reflecting the momentous changes within the publishing industry. The work, plus all the travelling to meetings, has really shown me how many hours people have put in on my behalf over the years so I’m happy, if slightly daunted by the task, to put a bit back.

Today I switch on my computer and Spotify nags me about the artists I haven't listened to for a while. Sheesh! What next? I only hope it can’t see my garden as it would probably have a go about that, or the fact we still haven’t ‘done’ our utility room. Or that the outside of the house needs painting.

I sometimes gnash my teeth a bit when people tell me how lucky I am to have all day to do what I like, as if writing takes the form of some celestial dictation with very little effort on my part, but then I take a deep breath. Time pressures affect all of us and I am fortunate to be able to organise my work more or less as I please. I could still do with a few extra hours in my week though – or is that greedy?

The epainting is by Tom Tomos.


Jan Brigden said…
Wow, Chris, that is some schedule. All sounds great though. Glad your Mum is on the mend too :) xx
Chris Stovell said…
Thank goodness it's not always like that, Jan! And we didn't manage to fit everyone in then! Yes, Ma's getting there - fingers crossed! (If you're reading this, Ma, just stop chucking yourself around, will you?)
Claire McC said…
My word, you have been busy, Chris! I'm worn out just reading about it. Still, it is lovely to catch up with everyone :) x
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks, Claire - good to hear from you. I hope all's well with you.
Pondside said…
Well, that was quite a catch-up! You've been getting around!
I had to smile a couple of times in reading your post. Because I work on contract, people often assume that I can swan around as I like, forgetting that for every afternoon walking on the beach there is a corresponding late-night or all-day-Saturday working jag. I wouldn't change things though!
Chris Stovell said…
But you do just swan around, don't you, Pondside? Like me? ;) I recognise those late nights and all-day Saturdays too, but no, I wouldn't change things either!
Flowerpot said…
No I know what you mean Chris - I could do with a few more hours in teh day, too! My you have been busy.....!
Lins' lleisio said…
Work from home too and can always do with more hours in the day... I can organise them differently but as I've only just stopped working now I find I often still end up doing more hours than intended.

You've been so busy working, travelling, visiting and socialising.. I don't know how you do it.

Glad your Ma is doing better now too.
Laura E. James said…
Anyone in particular you're not listening too, Chris? I didn't know Spotify had a nag feature. I wonder if we can change it to say 'Finish your wip.' Hmm. Now I'm wondering if Gajitman could reprogram my satnav to say, 'At the next roundabout, take the third exit, pull over and solve that plot problem that's stopped you writing for three days.'
I'll get back to my work...
Laura xx
Frances said…
Chris, I loved hearing about this journey with its many stops.

I also very much like Tom's e-painting, and want both of you to know that I do mean to send you an email.

Soon. good time. xo
Chris Stovell said…
Yes, Sue, you pack a lot in too, I'll let you know if those extra hours arrive!

You had a long day, Lins. It would be interesting to see how many hours there are in the average homeworker's week. I'd bet they'd stack up!

Laura, it was an ancient track by the late Kevin Coyne, 'Marlene' which I tend to play when I want a short, sharp boost of feel-good music. I tend towards a good old misery-fest but there are some surprises on the playlist too. 'Babycakes' by Three of A Kind, anyone?!

Frances, it's good to hear from you. I hope all is well in your very busy life too. Cx
Cait O'Connor said…
Had to laugh at the Spotify part - they haven't nagged me (I am listening as I type) - what a good girl I am.:-)
I hope you have more time now to write your wonderful books.
Chris Stovell said…
I've obviously got to try harder, Cait! It's a bit much when you get a ticking off from your music programme! And thank you for your kind comment.

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