Tag Archives: Domesticity

Good, and not so good news


Phoned my mother across the time zones at lunchtime PST, which is eight hours away in England. Nice to hear her voice every so often.

She tells me that as a grand dame of 96 she is finally getting online via broadband in the small Warwickshire village where she lives. I hope the information overload doesn’t get to her. No more letters, as we will probably be talking via Skype in the near future. I’ll give her a ring, walk her through the installation and sign up procedure, and bingo! Video calls. We talk to Angie’s side of the clan regularly via Skype, which has been an absolute godsend as far as communication goes. Especially as my brother and sister in law have just emigrated to Australia. The only issue is time difference.

There was the sad revelation that an Aunt I barely knew died two weeks ago. Should I go into mourning? I don’t think so because I hardly know anyone from that side of my Mothers clan. Out of my three maternal aunts, she was the last. So now I am Aunt-less. Loads of cousins, second and third cousins, but no aunts.

I feel no sense of loss because I hardly knew her, and getting upset over the death of a virtual stranger, even though I am closely blood related, does not touch me. To say it did might indicate a strain of hypocrisy, a sense of false mourning that is not yours by right. While the news is sobering, I cannot get worked up about it. We had no real connection and haven’t really heard from them much since I was small. Especially as relations between my mother and that specific part of our extended family have been less than cordial for several decades. All you really feel is “Oh. Right.” Nothing you can do about it, and the world keeps turning anyway. Is that too cynical? I don’t know.

No news as yet from Harper Vector, although I’m not really expecting anything. It was a shot in the dark as all these things are, and if they don’t like the Paul Calvin stories I’ll just take the first draft, polish it up a bit and punt it out onto Amazon myself. Nothing ventured as they say. Then I’ll finish ‘Darkness’ for Fan Expo in April 2013 and get that out there. See what happens. Keep on flinging enough stuff at the wall, and something is bound to stick.

Canine Quantum Mechanics


Experimental proof of the work that just got David Wineland and France’s Serge Haroche the 2012 Nobel prize for Physics.

Proof is as follows. Dog is lying at my feet as I am working.

Wife enters room to fuss over printer / scanner, and asks me to move my old crash helmet into next room.  Dog is still in position and does not move a muscle as I step over him.  Wife accidentally kicks a lamp over and curses it.  I leave room to move crash helmet to back bedroom.

Upon entering back bedroom two seconds later, Dogs bum is observed, quivering slightly and sticking out from behind bed. The physical act of movement between the two positions (Under my feet in my office and behind bed in back bedroom some twenty linear feet away) was not observed.  Ergo, there must have been a moment when he was simultaneously lying at my feet and quivering behind the bed in the back bedroom.  Good gravy!  Canine Quantum Mechanics has just been experimentally demonstrated.  Move over Schrodinger’s cat.

‘Superposition’ is a real phenomenon. My Dog proves it. Now where’s my Nobel prize?

Four thousand words a day challenge: day thirteen


I’m slowing a little at present, and yesterdays output on Cerberus was down to just over 3400 words. However; the ending is all mapped out and the next three days will see me galloping for the finish line at full tilt. I may even pass the six thousand per day mark. That means being at my keyboard solidly from six am to midnight for two days at least. This is not a problem for me, as my next day job shift is on Sunday.

Today I’m backtracking over the rest of the current 64,000 words and reviewing some of the less well constructed paragraphs. Tasks include adding in detail and correcting the most glaring errors. Smoothing the flow where it feels clumsy and contrived, and generally clarifying POV’s. At this stage of the game I’m confident of completing on time.

My only current distractions are my Wife’s few mildly challenged clients and the bleeping of the answerphone. My answer to that is to crank up the music and stick on some headphones. The words must flow.

Drama, doubled


Like most people who write, I have a day job. Not highly paid or high flying, but a job nonetheless. Mostly all the drama contained therein can be dealt with without too much ado. Keep your head, stick to the procedure, and ensure you have done your bit properly. Today, just as I’d logged on at my workstation, my cell phone rang; Angie was immobilised and concerned that her artificial hip joint had broken or dislocated. From the tone of her voice, she was obviously in a lot of pain. I rang her Orthopaedic surgeons office and they recommended she go straight to emergency.

Today must have been the shortest shift I have ever worked. About two minutes and sixty seconds to be precise. Knowing my two work buddies had been earwigging on my cell call I said; “Sorry about this guys, but I have to bug out. Angie’s hurt and I have to get her to emergency.”
To which the answer was a simple “Go Martyn, just go.” Bless their cotton socks. Even if it does cost me a shift’s pay. Family is more important.

Ran headlong down the back stairs and remotely popped the car door just as I shouldered the basement exit door open. After leaping into the driving seat and gunning our little Subaru’s engine, I cussed and fumed at every daydreaming driver in front of me on the way home. Glorious, blazingly sunny day, but I was on a mission, with no time for sunshine, lollygaggers, or the directionally challenged.

When I got home, Angie was sitting on her work chair looking slightly pained, with Joanna sitting on the bed, trying to keep her Mother’s spirits up. My dog, Amos, thought it was a great game and Jo, bless her, held him by the collar while Angie wrapped her arms around my shoulders and I half piggybacked, half guided her down stairs, while she tried not to panic about falling. My dearly beloved is no lightweight, and I haven’t done any weight training for years, so I hung on to bannisters and uprights firmly with one hand while pulling down on her left arm to ensure she didn’t let go of my shoulders, just to take her weight off the afflicted hip. Managed to stagger the twelve paces or so to the car in this fashion and gently swung her into the passenger seat. Thence followed a brisk but fairly uneventful twenty kilometre drive to the hospital.

A note about Emergency rooms, everywhere. Unless you arrive in an ambulance, you immediately become a ‘not so serious’ case, taking second place in the queue. Fortunately it was a quiet morning, apart from one poor chap who was groaning like one of Torquemada’s tormented in a nearby treatment side room. Whatever they were doing to him, he wasn’t enjoying it one little bit. We borrowed one of the shopping trolley like wheelchairs, and squeaked and rattled Angie into Emergency. Second in the queue, we were admitted in jig time. Then settled in to wait our turn.

It is written that “They also serve, who only stand and wait.” and this goes triple for Hospital Emergency departments all over the world. After three hours quietly talking and holding my wife’s hand in the bland walled alcove marked Triage #2, the Emergency Physician got time to see her, and half an hour later Angie was wheeled into X-Ray by a blonde haired trainee technician who looked no more than sixteen, but acted with the friendly professionalism of someone ten years older. While Angie was having her however many micro-sieverts worth, I busied myself with a few story notes, tried not to chew my fingernails, buying a cup of coffee which I never drank.

Half an hour later Angie was wheeled out of X-ray to be dispatched back to Emergency by a solid looking lady who had to take her instructions via a heavily padded looking mobile phone device. I looked at the device and wondered idly how many times it had been thrown across a room. Which was probably the reason it was so tough looking. She pushed Angie’s wheeled treatment bed back to Triage #2 where the physician returned, and after a modicum of judicious prodding and joint manipulation, pronounced Angie’s artificial joint still sound, leaving us with the diagnosis that she had probably only suffered a groin strain. Which was a relief. Ten minutes later, I’m supporting Angie on a short controlled stumble back to the car, and thence home after a couple of minor shopping errands.

As kind of a finale to the days alarums and diversions, we pulled into the front yard to see our landlord, Mark, lying on a blanket and cushion in the shade of the house, ankle bound up in a splint after taking a tumble at work. Did the decent thing and offered to make him up an ice pack, but he said he’d got plenty of ice and could do it himself. The man is a trooper.

Amos, my pet trip hazard, dashed out as soon as the door was opened and fussed everyone, but calmed down after his scheduled feed. He’s a gorgeous dog, lovely temperament, but no brain whatsoever. Just a big old excitable puppy. A Black, brown and white bundle of fruit and nutcase. Wouldn’t have him any other way.

Angie dug into her painkiller supply and, Ibuprofen comforted, settled into a few Learning Consultant tasks. Jo is on her final work shift before going back to the UK on Sunday, and I cooked chicken legs and prepared a salad. Sunset is painting the cliffs opposite a pleasing shade of stony pink. Angie is phoning an old friend to tell her about today’s misadventures. I have settled down with a large whiskey and want no more surprises. At least until tomorrow.

What can I say? It’s been a day.

Back from the printers


A day of errands today. A short hike down to the printers for some test posters this morning. They’ve come out better than expected. The artwork for giveaway bookmarks needs a little tweak, but definition and content are looking much better than I’d hoped. Just have to play with the wording on the reverse and they’ll be good to go.

Arranging a visit to the vets for my dog, Amos, who is looking a bit peaky, poor chap. Have tried changes to his diet and exercise, but nothing seems to make any difference. So off to Parksville we go. The Bellevue clinic has always been pretty good, so despite a 50km drive, I’m happy to take my poorly pup up there. I’m thinking bladder stones as he is over 12 years old, but the Vet will have a better idea. Hope it’s nothing too drastic. That pup has come a long way with us, across the Atlantic and trans Canada, and it puts a nasty prescient knot in my gut worrying that he might be seriously ill.