I was doing really well on Friday morning. I got up at 7:30am, all by myself (the poet was away), got dressed, etc, fed the animals, made myself a hot drink, did a quick dog poo patrol (so the workmen didn’t have to negotiate any fresh deposits), and trotted outside to move the car so that it was off the drive well before the workmen arrived…
…only to see the workmen sitting in their van across the end of the drive… Oh, well. I made the effort. They didn’t need the drive for ages yet anyway, and they were quite happy sitting in the van doing things with their phones. I think a neighbour asked them to move, because the van shifted from the end of the drive (where we have a solid white line on the road) to the front of the house (where I would have moved my car to). Then they started actual work at about 8:15am.
I made them a hot drink and then over breakfast I played a few games on my mobile phone via the pay-to-play app (they pay me, I don’t pay them). I started doing this on Tuesday and so far I’ve earned almost a tenner. For playing games.
I made it to my desk by just after 10am and the first thing I caught up on was the daily competitions. I did a quick job search and added another two to the list to look at in more detail. And I revived my surveys account, doing a few surveys until I finally qualified for one all the way through. I earned another few points by doing odd little things here and there, but as soon as I did qualify for that paid survey, I did it and then closed down the site. I could sit on it for hours and keep answering questions until I qualified all the way through to the end of surveys, but I thought I’d quit while I was ahead and maybe just do that each day if I found I had 10 or 20 minutes to spare.
It looks as though I didn’t get one of the editing jobs I pitched for last week, but on Friday I did sift through those I’d saved. In the end I tossed out three of them and pitched for one. One of them I only looked at because of the large budget, but when I read the details, I decided I didn’t fancy it and I was only going after the hefty price tag. Another one wanted actual samples but the only actual samples I have are covered by NDAs, so I passed on that one as well. By the time I’ve got permission from the client, this latest job will be long gone.
The workmen were making a bit too much noise for me to get on with much proofreading, and I couldn’t put headphones on in case I missed a ‘yoo-hoo!’. So I made them another drink and then did my weekly tech scan and critical data backup. Once the scan and backup were done, I collected and downloaded five ebooks that were stretch rewards for a Kickstarter I backed. Then I moved onto this week’s diary.
I was starting to get a bit of a dull headache, and I thought it was probably three days of listening to their radio with its muffled thump-thump-thump right outside the office window. I’m not a killjoy and I wouldn’t have thought to ask them to turn it off. I even used to work with the radio on in the background. But I guess I’ve just got used to working in peace and quiet. Then I remembered that they were on with the sealing in the conservatory now, with silicone, and I bet the smell from that was contributing to the headache.
The dog wanted out and ended up being a bit of a nuisance, and he wouldn’t come back in for ages. And who could blame him with two visitors who were happy to keep throwing his ‘fetch’ for him? I thought he’d got into the front garden at one point as the side gate was open. The main gates were still closed so when I couldn’t find him I guessed he must still be in the back garden. He was. When he eventually came back in, he kept hearing things to shout at.
Not long after the workmen had finished, the poet came home, but he sat outside in his car on a Teams call while the men cleared up.
For the first time when asked what I do for a living, I responded “I own a writing and editing business”. For the first time when asked what I do for a living, I was not asked “Oh? And have you written anything?” (I don’t, however, own a MacBook, and nor do I use lightroom, but today’s illustration was the best picture I could find that appealed to what I was trying to portray.)
Once I’d done a meal plan for the week (still mostly based on what we have in the freezers) and a shopping list, we went out and did the shopping. But instead of buying a takeaway on the way home, we bought takeaway-style burgers from the supermarket and had those with fries. We had half of a gorgeous, in-store bakery-made fruit-topped cheesecake for pudding, and we watched telly with a view to having an early night as we had a busy weekend ahead of us, but we started to watch what I thought was the first episode in a series only to find that it was the first film in a series. So we didn’t get that early night after all.
We didn’t get up too late on Saturday morning and soon we were off out looking for paint. The workmen had done a nice job of the conservatory, but the walls needed a bit of a walloping to tidy them up again. We ended up going to three stores in three different towns before we found anywhere that even sold emulsion paint let alone a colour that we wanted. In the end the poet found some in B&Q, where we should have gone first.
When we got back, he started painting the walls only to discover that they would need at least two and probably three coats. So while he exchanged his paintbrush for a roller, I sat down and had an intensive hour on the proofreading to see how many pages I could realistically proofread in one hour so that I could work out roughly how many hours it was going to take me. I read 28 pages out of 283, so by my reckoning, I still have around ten hours of proofreading to do before I even start the consolidation.
Three coats of paint later we decided not to move the furniture back into the conservatory yet. We wanted another early night, which we did at least manage this time, as we were off out Sunday morning.
On Sunday we first went to the shops to buy Mother’s Day presents for our respective mothers. We already had their cards but as one of them was having flowers, we wanted to make sure they were as fresh as possible. We went to see the poet’s mother first, and then we headed south to see my mom. By the time we got there it was time for our picnic dinner and then we had a good hour with my mom.
When we got back home, we moved the furniture back into the conservatory and tidied up the three rooms where we’d had to store it all (kitchen, hallway and dining room). We rearranged it too and when we were done we had a couple of hours sitting out there quietly reading and enjoying being almost in the garden. The old conservatory was freezing cold and it leaked every time it rained. With the more modern glass and with fewer cracks and gaps, it was much more comfortable.
We’re making the conservatory a digital-free-zone where we sit quietly, sit and talk, sit and read hard copy books and magazines, or I sit and knit or sew. Mobile phones and devices are not allowed, and the settee and armchairs have been arranged in a ‘conversational’ group. It’s a bigger seating arrangement than in our sitting room so it will be better for days when the family descends on us. An extra lamp went out there so we both had good reading lights. And we stayed there until tea was ready.
I’ll be doing that proofreading in 50-minute pomodoros today and tomorrow, just as soon as I get the usual daily admin out of the way.
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