Thursday 29 February 2024: February wrap-up

When we got back from the dentists on Tuesday evening, we were a lot later than expected. The poet had a prawn linguine to make for tea, and I had a blueberry pie to make for pudding. He rolled the pastry for me, and I popped it into the oven with the garlic bread, while the prawns and the pasta cooked on the hob. By the time tea was done, it was very late for us and we didn’t feel as though we’d had an evening.

Yesterday started with me finishing yesterday’s blog post. For the previous week or so, since I changed the theme, the blog posts were showing an unusual number of views and likes. I wondered if it was because I was copying previous posts to create new ones and adding all of those previous likes and views up. I did yesterday’s blog post from scratch and, voila! There they were gone.

It’s not a problem, though it did save time. But that was back in the day when I was composing straight into the interface. These days I’m composing in Scrivener and pasting it over to the blog, and I can do any copying and pasting within Scrivener without affecting my statistics.

I started today’s blog post, and then cracked on with the day’s work.

This began with me trying to lose 300 words from this month’s 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS. In my first pass, I lost 165, leaving another 135 to go. I walked away for a few minutes, made a cup of tea, grabbed a handful of biscuits, and came back to it. I lost the remaining words and posted it on the website.

As the next prompt popped up then, I chose that moment to start work on March planning. I discovered I have another 4-day week in March, which makes 3 now. Next week is a 4-day week because we go away on a long weekend for my birthday on Friday. We come back on Monday, so that means another 4-day week. And then I saw that Good Friday is on 29 March, so there’s the 3rd one.

I even included some April dates too, starting with another 4-day week for Easter. Then, however, I have four 5-day weeks on the trot before the next one in May.

That took me up to dinner. My 2pm didn’t ring, and when I checked, it was a 2:10pm appointment and not a 2pm appointment. At least I was ready. I got halfway down a banana before having to toss it because it was badly bruised and was just getting back to my desk when the phone call came in. It lasted just under 50 minutes.

After dinner, I started catching up on blog posts…and yup, you guessed it, I ended up falling down another rabbit hole. I am such a copycat. Now I’ve restricted the ability for AI to scrape the blog (you know who you are 😉), I’ve deactivated pingback, and I’ve deactivated right-click too. I already keep a copyright notice up to date at the bottom of the website, which always moves along 1 year for every year I’m still alive.

I created the extra holiday days for March on TickTick, checked the Monkey Dust gig calendar, transferred the appointments, gigs, nights out, etc, to my diary, and updated the project dates on Plottr and TickTick. While I was checking dates for this year, I had a sneaky look at next year ahead of writing the book on writing ideas.

Then I got the dental appointments from the poet (I have 2, he has 3, at the moment), and I added those to my diary too. I was in the swing of date work when my phone pinged and I was off into the realms of Probate again. Oh, joy! I shall be so glad when it’s all done and dusted. It gave me chance to connect with my sister-in-law in Canada, though. Or they might be in Ireland. Who knows? It was on FB Messenger (desktop).

I finished and posted today’s blog before retiring to the lounge.

February wrap-up!

There are quite a few jobs for February that didn’t get done. The main reason was that nasty edit, which I finally got rid of and refused to look at again unless we negotiated an extra fee. The client doesn’t want it to drag on any longer either and she assured me I’d never have to see it again. Ever. It was nice to get that out of the way, but it did take up a LOT of time.

The second reason I didn’t get around to everything is because I spent 2 or 3 days trying to get the book shop to work on here and ended up having to research and install a new theme. It took a long time because I had a long want-list. In the end, of course, I made a compromise. But I think it’s working fine, and only one compromise isn’t too bad a result.

The final reason I didn’t have as much time as I thought I would was the dog. He was poorly again in February and that required 2 extra visits to the vet, over 2 consecutive days, as well as all the keeping an eye on him and administering medication. He seems fine again now, so all’s well there.

My mom’s and dad’s house sold as well, and that meant time spent liaising with the conveyancing team and my sister too. It all adds up and I didn’t budget for any of the above. Perhaps I should have reserved an hour a day for contingencies. If Probate doesn’t go through today, perhaps that’s what I should do in March.

These things do happen, and one of the benefits of working freelance from home is that you have the flexibility to build in such emergencies. Had it been just one issue, though, I probably would have worked during the evening or at the weekend to make up the lost time.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to spend more time with THE SECRET OF WHITEHORSE FARM and that WORDS WORTH READING ISSUE 1 didn’t get finished. The bookazine will now have to slot in at a later date, and that means I have to change the archive story from a new year story to a seasonal story that fits when it’s finally published.

I’ve taken my foot off the gas on WHITEHORSE FARM now while I work on fleshing out the story and characters. I’m hoping that by being kind to myself and removing an otherwise unnecessary pressure to get it done, it will be finished soon. I’ll also give myself time to let it cool so I can go in and do a more thorough proofread than was originally planned.

Here, then, is how February went:

  • new month wordcount & progress spreadsheets for February ✔
  • (week) daily blog post ✔
  • weekly tech scan ✔
  • weekly backup ✔
  • weekly diary work ✔
  • 2nd proof pdf pass for nasty book ✔
  • proofreader’s amendments to naval book ❌ (moved to March)
  • author’s amendments to naval book ❌ (moved to March)
  • return naval book to client ❌ (moved to March)
  • start editing new Afghanistan book ❌ (moved to March)
  • Monkey Dust admin just once ❌ (no band admin in February)
  • Diane’s gig list admin every Thursday ✔
  • write a short story for anthology closing 29 Feb ❌ (ran out of time, but will keep the idea for a future story)
  • write a short story for 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS ✔
  • finalise and publish WORDS WORTH READING ISSUE 1 ❌
  • finances for March (today!)
  • take dog to vet ✔
  • monthly schedule planning for March ✔


  • return nasty edit to client and SIGN OFF (YAY!) ✔
  • resolve issues with book shop page ✔
  • research new theme for website ✔
  • install new theme for website ✔
  • 2 extra visits to the vet ✔
  • sold Mom’s and Dad’s house (YAY!) ✔
  • endless and repetitive Probate work ✔

How was your February?

7 thoughts on “Thursday 29 February 2024: February wrap-up

  1. February was juggling bills as everything has gone up, so it might be time to read the Martin Lewis book you mentioned but it doesn’t help when I’m trying to sort bills out and hubby now racking up four credit cards when I thought he was paying them off…I’ve allocated £400 a month for him yet each month he says what the payments are so next question where is the money going? Certainly not into the holiday fund, I think it might be time to buy a pair of scissors lol

    At least you got probate sorted, my late mum left a will and I’m an only child so it was sorted within six months, we tried to sell the house but a new build block being constructed at the time we were trying to sell up made it difficult so we took it off the market and moved in. I’ve just had a dental appointment and the usual ongoing maintenance on the car which is allocated for. Also discovered I’m 8 years short on national insurance contributions as well, luckily that is accounted for as my late mum left me a bit of money so that saved away from hubby and son! I might copy this comment for a blog post for March.

    1. I know exactly what you mean!

      Yes, I’d certainly start with THE MONEY DIET, but I don’t know if it’s been updated recently. Then I think I’d sit down and have a word with hubby.

      Sadly, we’re still awaiting probate, and the case manager has constantly dragged his feet and ignored my questions throughout.

      1. Oh , I hope you get probate sorted, it’s just annoying stuff dragging on, tried talking to hubby and he just throws a strop! He keeps dropping hints about taking equity out of the house which seems drastic and stupid when there is enough money coming in to just cover everything…it just needs to get sorted 😔

  2. February ended up being mostly about practicalities, didn’t it?

    That’s right, our birthdays are fairly close together, aren’t they? I hope you have a lovely one.

    The Subscribe button popping up the minute I hopped onto the post nearly gave me a heart attack, but then, I’m a little high strung right now! 😉

    1. Yes, I think we’re 2 days apart.

      Apologies. I noticed that button when I looked on my phone. It’s not something I’ve instigated, so I will have to look into that. It wasn’t me!

      EDIT: It was JetPack, taking things upon itself again…I think I’ve deactivated it now.

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