Monday 3rd

Perhaps it was the cancer diagnosis, perhaps that I’m now working but I felt enthused enough to actually do some sorting-out in the flat. Putting things away where they should be; sorting out things to go on eBay; and packaging up the Amazon returns. Two 10” LED light rings, two dressing gowns that don’t fit (one being a wrong size that they sent).

With next-day collection from Hermes they’ll be out of the flat tomorrow. And the eBay stuff will go on next time they offer me a discount on the fees.

Saturday 8th

Of course Hermes didn’t turn up – why would they? Their reputation precedes them, after all. I only thought to use them as they were (a) next day collection and (b) it would be raining heavily today, and I didn’t fancy the walk to one of the Post Offices in town.

After some search (and a bit of help from their Twitter) I managed to have a text conversation with an Amazon rep, who escalated things with Hermes. They’ll try again on Monday…

Saturday 15th

Of course Hermes didn’t turn up – why would they? So, back to Amazon who, to their credit, credited my account with the value of what I wanted to return and let me keep the four items. Four items that I don’t want, and which are taking up space. Why one can’t simply cancel the return with one courier and start again with a different one, I knoweth not.

Thursday 20th

It’s been over five years since I started writing my first novel, and in that time I have clearly written bog-all of my first novel. It taken me so long I actually have plans for a second and third novel.

Part of the problem is the keyboards on laptops. They’re so… flat. I learned to type on a typewriter but make so many mistakes and mistypes that the screen fills with red, which I have to go back and correct. That interrupts my flow.

But not any longer! I now have an external keyboard, a replica of the old IBM beige keyboards from my youth with a decent pitch angle and loud clicking sounds as my fingers fly across its keys. If I can do one chapter per month I’ll be done by the end of the year… bearing in mind that I’ve only outlined five of the 12, with a sixth having suddenly come to me.

Saturday 22nd

Something nice today. One of my successors as Chair of CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire came round with a huge care package from a store up in Whitby. There’s tea, biscuits, coffee, cake, more biscuits, cheese, even more biscuits… I’m going to save opening anything until after my first procedure, after which I might need cheering up.

It’s incredibly kind of them to do this, but obviously I’d rather they hadn’t because I get embarrassed easily.

Monday 31st

Another new toy!

I’d been promising myself a new TV for years. My current is works fine, although the built-in Freeview died a year or so ago, but is over 15 years old, 26 inches, only has one HDMI socket and isn’t even full HD. So I upgraded.

My new TV is a 43-inch set, has four HDMI sockets, built-in Freeview HD, built-in apps for connecting to streaming services and is generally swish.

It only just fits on the expensive glass TV stand I bought for the older, smaller set. To be fair, it fitted the space available in my old house between two doors, with a hi-fi speaker on either side. To be also fair, if I’d bought two years ago as I wanted the legs on that year’s model would have been closer the middle. And that model would still have had RCA sockets for connecting the Wii (yes, it’s still connected to my TV).

And there isn’t much of a manual. And I’ll need a second aerial cable, having given all of mine away during a big clear out several years ago (when I was cable-only). And there’s no BBC iPlayer app.

Progress, hey?