Tuesday 5 December 2023: Best laid plans of mice and men…

Image by Robert Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

The rest of Friday was great. I can’t remember precisely how the rest of Friday went, but that has to be good, right?

Ah yes, I remember… I did some editing and cleared about 20 pages. So yes, the rest of Friday was indeed great!

On Saturday, we began the day by trying to come up with a 4-week eating plan, starting by listing all the meals and puddings we know we like plus two alternative takeaway days (Thursday or Friday, depending on whether or not the poet is practising with the band), plus four extras. I wrote it up into a 4-week plan, making sure not to repeat anything in the same week, other than something with leftovers, and then I wrote the shopping list.

We shopped, then, we visited on the way home, and he baked when we got in. He had his first ever go at home made pizza with the intention of starting with ready made bases from the supermarket. I showed him the recipe, though, and he changed his mind, deciding to made the pizza dough too. He made two large, oblong pizzas and a dozen dough balls, and we had a lot of fun building our own toppings. And they were delicious.

For a Saturday pudding we had meringue nests with Greek yoghurt, mixed berries and honey. I also started a trifle.

On Sunday, he baked again – a loaf of bread – and he put the lamb in the slow cooker, then he watched the snooker while he did some work for the coming week while I baked a fruit cake and finished the trifle. Then I had a look at the new GP triage website we have to book our GP appointments through in future. I’d seen loads of complaints on the Facebook group and I knew I wanted to see a doctor, so I started the process off.

The system isn’t available until 3pm on a Sunday and that was what one of the online complaints was about. But the system is closed from Friday evening until then every week. Why? Because of the Friday/Saturday night shenanigans that already put a lot of pressure on the emergency services. So I thought that was quite clever.

Another complaint was that lots of patients still might want to speak to someone, they might not have internet access, they might not understand an online system, etc, etc. Well, I had a look at that too, but it seems that if anyone struggles with the system, all they have to do is call their chosen practice (we have three) and the reception staff will make the appointment for them via the website.

Another complaint was that all the appointments were booked up for a fortnight ahead, which was why I wanted to get ahead. But when my review pinged back on Monday morning, I was offered lots and lots of appointments between yesterday and 1 January.

I did, however, have one problem: Our local practice wasn’t among the appointments, and when I typed the practice name in, it came up unknown. So I called the surgery to see if there was a problem and she said “Can you get here for 10:45?” Today? said I. “Today!” she replied.

So I got up (yes, I was calling from bed…), had breakfast, got washed and dressed and arrived bang on 10:45am. The doctor was great, said my eczema actually looks more like psoriasis but started a treatment in motion that will start with us uploading as many photographs as we can to this link she sent me by text.

By the time she’d given me a thorough examination and I’d waited for the prescription to be fulfilled, it was almost dinner time when I got home. I had such great plans for Monday, too. But I wasn’t prepared to let them go as easily as that, despite the proverb.

I turned the day’s plans a bit inside out and started with admin I could do from the phone. This included gig list and Monkey Dust admin as well as social media and email catchup. I took my dinner to my desk and did the daily competitions while I ate. When I finished dinner, I started today’s blog post. I shared the next chapter of Diary of a Scaredy Cat to Substack. And I brainstormed a short story for The Map of Lost Places.

It was dark by now, and I had to empty the bins and take one of the wheelie bins out, which I did in between feeding the dog and putting my own tea in the oven. (Yes, the poet was off on another business trip – but he comes back today.) Back at my desk, I loosely outlined a short story for The Midnight Labyrinth. I’m torn between making this a Toni & Bart time-travel story or making it something completely new, with brand-new characters.

I must say, I’m loving some of these anthology titles. I just wish they were more in my comfort zone.

The great defriending as begun on some of the social media channels, and yesterday was no exception. It’s all part of the big declutter. I’d particularly like one to be completely cleared before recently alleged possible bankruptcy potentially closes it down. (Too careful?) But then I had a community standards warning from FB on this SEVEN-YEAR-OLD post, saying they don’t allow sexually explicit posts or nudity…

Eh? 🤔 The only thing I thought might have caused the warning was the name of the pub… I ‘disagreed’, and they put it back up again! With an apology.

Finally, because I wanted to at least touch one of the last two jobs on my to-do list, I did briefly visit The Secret of Whitehorse Farm. I read through what I did ‘yesterday’ (Friday) and moved just over 200 words from the end of sequence 1 to the beginning of sequence 2. I jotted down the notes for the rest of sequence 2 for guidance, and I did manage to add a further 77 words…

Only the editing fell by the wayside, the time allocation of which was probably less than the time it took me to arrange and attend the doctor’s appointment.

Here’s how yesterday looks now:

  • brainstorm The Map of Lost Places
  • outline The Midnight Labyrinth
  • continue writing The Secret of Whitehorse Farm
  • upload chapter to Substack ✅
  • write Tuesday’s blog post ✅
  • daily competitions ✅
  • Monkey Dust admin ✅
  • Diane’s Gig List admin ✅
  • editing ❎


  • doctor’s appointment ✅

Some of this work I forced myself to do just because I’d carefully planned it and spaced it all sufficiently to account for the unexpected. I think I did a lot, though, and that, of course bodes well for today’s jobs:

  • brainstorm Fallen Angel
  • outline The Map of Lost Places
  • write draft 1 The Midnight Labyrinth
  • People’s Friend writing hour
  • continue writing The Secret of Whitehorse Farm
  • write Wednesday’s blog post
  • daily competitions
  • editing

2 thoughts on “Tuesday 5 December 2023: Best laid plans of mice and men…

  1. Quite the list. I hate dealing with anything medical, because they just try to find excuses not to give any care here, unless you’re rich.

    Good for you getting so much done!

    1. There are some… nay, many over here who would like good health care for only the rich. We’re holding them at bay so far, but we may very well be soon in the same boat.

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