We had a bit of a struggle getting to the show on Monday night. We’d timed it really well and knew that if we left the house at 5:30pm, we’d have time to drive to Meadowhall, have something to eat, catch the train, and walk to the theatre, all in good time.
So, we made it to Pizza Express and were served straight away, but as we arrived at the railway station we discovered that the train that would get us to Sheffield in good time had been cancelled. And then we saw that the trains are not as frequent once 7pm has come and gone as they are for the entire remainder of the day.
The 19:10 was cancelled. The next one was 19:24. Still only 14 minutes, and it was due in at Sheffield at 19:33, which would give us precisely 12 minutes to get out of the station, up the big hill, and into the Lyceum just as the curtain was going up.
Nope, not happening. We’d get a taxi instead, which would shave something like 6 minutes off the last leg of the journey. But when we got to the taxi, they only accepted cash. Cash! I mean, this is 2023 when cash is a dying breed and only a few months after a pandemic that rendered cash almost obsolete.
Anyway, we didn’t have a choice and, fortunately there was a cashpoint at the station… but the poet forgot his PIN. So he had to transfer the cash to the account of mine I had a cash card for with me and I had to draw out the cash. Then we had to dash back to the taxi, and the taxi driver didn’t want us touching his door handles!
We made it by the skin of our teeth, but we were in the middle of a packed row and everyone had to stand up to let us pass. And we’d all just settled again when the show started.
Jersey Boys is a nice, fun, musical show with lots of familiar songs. The Lyceum, however, is a teeny, tiny theatre with teeny, tiny fold-down seats, so we were all sat there with our knees together and our elbows in. During the interval, there were plenty of staff so that the queues weren’t huge, and even the toilet queue went down really quickly. The poet had a drink and bought a programme (from the bar) and I had an ice cream (from the ice cream cart), and we didn’t think it was raving expensive. We were back in our seats before all the others this time.
The walk back to the station was all downhill and we arrived at the platform about 10 minutes before our train was leaving. Because most of the Meadowhall car parks close at 10pm, we had to walk around the outside to the only 24-hour car park, but we were making good time…
…until we hit a massive tailback on the motorway due to a small section being closed beneath a junction. By the time we got home it was about 11:30pm. But it was a nice night with good food and, more importantly, the poet thoroughly enjoyed his birthday treat.
I was up in good time on Tuesday but most of the day was spent on the dates stuff for July, for writing ahead and for the writing prompts. Then I had a quick look at March to see if there’s anything I want to bash out and put up on Medium and Vocal.
Finally, I downloaded the Novelist app to have a play with that. I’d seen this app a while ago but it didn’t seem to be very reliable and it still fell short of a lot of things I needed it to do, particularly being able to access it over several devices. However, it looks like it’s had a massive update since the last time I looked at it, and there was a recent update in December too. So I thought I’d give it a test-drive.
I’ll let you know tomorrow how I got on. Here are this week’s throwaway writing ideas following Tuesday’s brainstorming session.
Every month I do a think/write/submit writing exercise. I usually ‘think’ around 6 months ahead, but I’m STILL catching up. So while in March (well, hello March!) I’d normally be ‘thinking’ September, ‘writing’ August and ‘submitting’ July, I’m still only on ‘thinking’ July.
Once I’ve done the exercise, I put the file away for a few days and come back to it fresh. Then I choose around 5 ideas to pursue for myself, and I discard the others. I hate for those ideas to go to waste, though, so I ‘throw’ them out there for others to take up if they wish.
Here, then, are my ‘throwaway’ writing suggestions for July. I don’t think I’ll have time to do much with any of these, and those I think I might be able to rustle up have already been put to one side. (Remember to double-check the dates yourself as the source I used may have made a mistake.)
- 27 June – 2 July it’s the Henley Royal Regatta
- 1 July every year is apparently Tartan Day (evergreen)
- 1 July every year is Canada Day or the National Day of Canada (evergreen)
- 2 July this year is the Midsummer Bonfire in Whalton, Northumberland (also known as the Whalton Bale)
- 3 – 16 July this year it’s Wimbledon
- 4 July every year is American Independence Day (evergreen)
- 4 – 9 July this year it’s the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
- 5 July every year is Old Midsummer’s Day (evergreen)
- on 5 July 1948, 50 years ago, the National Health Service came into force in Britain
- 7 – 9 July this year it’s the Formula 1 (F1) Aramco British Grand Prix at Silverstone
- 7 July every year is apparently World Chocolate Day (evergreen)
- 8 July this year is the Durham Miners’ Gala
- 11 – 14 July this year it’s the Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate
- 14 – 16 July this year it’s the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival
- 12 July every year is Orangemen’s Day in Northern Ireland (evergreen)
- 14 July every year is Bastille Day or the National Day of France (evergreen)
- 14 July every year is apparently Shark Awareness Day (evergreen)
- 15 July every year is St Swithun’s Day (evergreen)
- 16 July every year is apparently World Snake Day (evergreen)
- on 21 July 1873, 150 years ago, the James-Younger gang carried out the first ever train robbery in the Amercian West, near Adair, Iowa
- on 23 July 1973, 50 years ago, Eddie Rickenbacker, the WW1 US air ace, died aged 82
- on 24 July 1898, 125 years ago, US aviator Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas
- 29 July every year is apparently International Tiger Day or Global Tiger Day
- on 30 July 1948, 75 years ago, the world’s first radar station was opened in Liverpool
- on 31 July every year, Osyter Season begins (evergreen)
- on 31 July every year, it’s Harry Potter’s birthday (evergreen)
There you go, 26 ideas to get you writing.
Take one idea
Still stuck for something to write? Even with all of those ideas? Okay then, let’s take just one of those ideas…
- From 4 – 9 July this year it’s the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
What can you write about the Hampton Court Garden Festival? Well, include where it is, and you can write quite a lot. Here are some suggestions.
- a potted history of Hampton Court Palace
- the gardens at Hampton Court Palace
- an overview of the Royal Horticultural Society, including interviews with members and organisers
- a potted history of the RHS
- a history of flowers
- a history of gardens
- ghosts of Hampton Court Palace
- Henry VIII and Hampton Court Palace
- the Tudors and Hampton Court Palace
- the Stuarts and Hampton Court Palace
- the last monarch to reside at Hampton Court Palace
- parks of Richmond upon Thames
- a potted history of Richmond Upon Thames
- where to go in Richmond Upon Thames
- things to see in Richmond Upon Thames
- bird life of the River Thames
- walking around Richmond Upon Thames
- where to eat in Richmond Upon Thames
- where to drink in Richmond Upon Thames
- where to stay in Richmond Upon Thames
- birdwatching in and around Hampton Court Palace
- what to do with the kids in Richmond Upon Thames
- the best places to live in Richmond Upon Thames
- the most expensive places to live in Richmond Upon Thames
- improvements and additions to Hampton Court Palace over the years
- historic royal palaces in the UK
- a history of the Historic Royal Palaces organisation
- an overview of the Historic Royal Palaces organisation, including interviews with organisers and/or volunteers
- architecture of Hampton Court Palace
- five hundred years of history at Hampton Court Palace
- statues of Hampton Court Palace
- On Location at Hampton Court Palace (films and television shows that have been filmed at Hampton Court Palace)
- museums in Richmond Upon Thames
- galleries in Richmond Upon Thames
And right there are 35 more ideas from just one.
The ideas are endless. I could have gone on and on, but I had other work to do. Have a go at brainstorming further and see if there’s something you can do for the garden show at Hampton this year. But if you sell anything, remember to hold onto your copyright so that you can sell reprints next year as well.
Over to you
If you use any of these ideas, then do let me know and tell me how they fared. And if you’d like to say thanks, you can support me on Ko-fi.
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