2 minutes reading time (440 words)

Where do you find the time?

Well, I do find it usually. Somehow. However, this week I've hit one of those less positive phases. I am not going to manage to do all the things I need to do before Christmas. Not quite sure which of them is going to go, but something will.


I picked up the red Sphinx -- issue 11 -- from Levenmouth Printers. Looks lovely despite the fact that a misspelled 'arive' somehow stared me right in the face as soon as I opened the first page. Typical. I must remember to use the spellcheck as well as checking and proof-reading and going generally demented.

Last week was very pressurised with over two days of SQA work (neither college, nor HappenStance) and so despite best efforts, I have only posted out ten Sphinxes, though I do have the stamps, the envelopes, the labels etc ready downstairs. The other 140 will follow during the week and between other things. Sometimes one has to sleep.

I set off to Glasgow very early yesterday morning to a meeting, did one set of college marking on the train, read half of Lung Soup by Andrew Elliott for the third time (it's the hardest book, without exception, that I have ever had the privilege of reviewing) on the way back, then popped in to see my old friend Stewart in hospital.

Stewart, who is in the process of shuffling off his mortal coil (I have never really known what that meant -- I wonder why a 'coil'?), has been a stalwart supporter of HappenStance from the start. Until his health started to weaken substantially, he came to every author launch in Scotland and brought other people with him and bought books. He was a grand friend to me, a grand friend.

I have just looked up 'mortal coil'. Apparently in Shakespeare's day 'coyle' meant fuss or bustle. So that's what I'm going back to right now: the fuss and bustle of my trauchled day. I thought I'd look up 'trauchle' too, which is a Scots word. If you're trauchled you're dragged down or burdened by the daily grind, or that's certainly how I use the word. Googling it led me to Wordie.

Now this is the internet for you. It takes over your life. One marvellous link after another can leave you untrauchled, but also no further forward whatsoever.

p.s. Stewart left us at about half past ten this morning, while I was writing about him on this page. It was a pleasure and a privilege knowing him. He had a marvellous turn of phrase, and that was only one of the things I loved  . . .

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Monday, 29 November 2021

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