Saturday, 31 January 2015

Firefox update and plug-ins

My computer has been haranguing me today. It's hot, and it's getting old, and so it's also starting to get slow. I'm personally looking forward to the day when I'm so slow that all of my laptop functions seem incredibly quick. Old-age here I come.

But the problems I've been having lately aren't to do with its speed. It's to do with the latest update, which I can't install.

Not due to incompetence or incompatibility settings. No, I could have a reasonable crack at the second, and if I had the first I wouldn't have installed any of the previous updates, or indeed be able to turn my laptop on.

The problem is that there's one plug-in that I use that isn't going to work in the new version. And, oh sure, they say they'll let me know as soon as it's been updated. They say these things. But what do they really mean? Where's my forwards compatibility now Windows?

I have a range of plug-ins that I could live without. There's a nice plug-in that I use to protect my computer when it's visiting sites that it shouldn't visit. And a double plug-in layer of protection for when my computer is visiting sites that it REALLY shouldn't visit.

I could happily expose my computer to everything that the wild west deep web of the internet has to offer. But the plug-in that makes it a tiny bit easier to do a job ten times a day and which I could easily devise a workaround for if a put a little effort in?

I'm not into putting effort in.

So I laugh at your attempts to bully me into updating my system just by saying I'm old and irrelevant, Mozilla. You're staying right where you are.

The great potato famine of 2014-2015

It may not have hit the world headlines, but there's a potato shortage in New Zealand. It sprang into sharp focus over Christmas when retailers weren't able to keep their shelves stocked with potato chips. Dip sales fell in equal measure.

The whole country went into shock. We may not be Irish, but potato chips are one of our national foods. We have flavours that no other country would ever dream of having. And we still sell reduced cream solely so it can be mixed with dried onion soup to make a traditional kiwi dip.

I think there were a few happy nutritionists jumping around, but that was about it.

It's not over, by the way. Every time we walk into our supermarket for our weekly shop we have to walk past the sign stating that due to a national potato blah blah blah.

And it's not just the chips. The chips are just the bit that everyone worries about. There are very few new pototoes, and the ones there are aren't very big.

All of this pretty much passed me by. Sure, I knew about it - everybody knew about it - but even when I'm not on a diet I'm not so far away from one that I indulge in potato chips. And I only need potatoes when we're doing a roast, which is winter food.

But this morning it all hit home.

The reason for the potato shortage is that the weather has been inopportune for potato growth. Less potatoes, less crops, and the potatoes there are have a smaller yield.

Today I dug up my own home-grown potatoes. They've been sprouting and growing and flowering and growing and dying back and getting all ready for harvest. I was going to have a full-on potato haul in my cupboards tonight!

These are the results of my crop.

The teaspoon - yes that's only a teaspoon - is in there for scale as otherwise you might believe that we grow rather big glad containers in New Zealand and the crop was fine.

It wasn't fine.

Now I have to dry them off and store them for a really special occasion because after five months work I'm only getting one meal out of these suckers.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Sales Desk

When our office moved last weekend I was left with a free desk in my pod. As my book was released on Monday I shamelessly purloined it to use it as a sales desk for my hastily assembled 'Katherine Hayton Only Bookstore.'

Sadly I'm gaining a new staff member in my little team on Monday, so although I will be grateful for the assistance I'm losing my POS furniture.

For some reason my Skeletal teddy bears, and my posters, and my stack of unsold books, and my handmade sign stating that they're signed by the author, just don't have as much panache when they're on top of a tambour instead.

I'm just going to have to try to harangue people that little bit harder. I believe it could go something along the lines of if you want help from the office QA then you just have to provide proof of purchase.

Damn. Just remembered that my manager is also back on Monday. That may not fly.

Thinking cap on then. I'll see what I can come up with over the weekend. Or I'll just sit down and start the next one. Whichever.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Personal Achievements

Don't you find it annoying when you accomplish something which you've found really hard, something you've struggled to do, something which you weren't sure you'd ever work out how to achieve, and when you try to explain it to someone they crinkle up their nose and go 'What?'

I know that I shouldn't rely on the approval and regard of others for my self-worth, but when you do something that leaves you flabbergasted at your own cleverness it's hard to have a one-woman party about it. You want a couple of friends to join you so the barman doesn't point you out as the sad sack in the corner and whisper asides when newcomers arrive at the bar.

I could try and share it with you now, but I have a feeling that after typing in the words Sharepoint and Infopath your reading eyes would glaze over and the achievement would likewise be lost.

Or, worse, you'd perk up at the words and then be bemused at my inability to have mastered my achievement previously.


I certainly have a knack at plucking despair out of the jaws of victory.

Never mind. Tomorrow when I arrive at the office I'll open up my computer and bring up my wonderful new list, and then pretend to enter transactions into my joyful new form. And be impressed all over again that I managed to get it to do the things it will do, even if no one else can share them with me.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Readdicting to Coke

Yeah, okay, I didn't really give it up for much more than a few weeks. First of all my Team Leader brought me a carton as a lovely Christmas gift. And after that ran out I would hold out for a few days at a time, and then give in and rush the vending machine.

This has become worse this week because we've been allowed to use the stairwells to access downstairs again, rather than trekking through the other building. And that's with having one day off sick (unrelated to Coke.)

Today it seems likely that this is one addiction that I'm not ready to beat. I've found a new use for them.

Headache cures!

I don't know why sticking a can of Coke Zero to my forehead should gently ease the onesided eye-watering head thumper that I get on and off. I can only affirm that it does.

The cold. The wet (it's an old vending machine.) The thought that as soon as my forehead warms it up it'll be ready to be drunk.

Ohhhhhh. So. Good.

I'm also betting that whatever evils the goodness of Coke is meant to bring to my body (thus far unproven) cannot possibly be as bad as the copious tomes dedicated to the evils that Paracetomol will bring to my liver, and Aspirin or Nurofen will bring to my stomach ulcer (proven.)

Therefore I am choosing to readdict myself to the wonders of Coke.

And I'm proud to say this is due to wanting my body to remain a temple of health.

Open happiness.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Weight Loss

Well, the second day of dieting turned out to be a lot easier than the first. Usually that's not the case. Usually the second day is harder as I no longer have the full stomach of the binge-before-dieting day to live off of.

However, this second day of dieting I had a marvellous stroke of luck.

At 7.30am I was working away, busy as a slow and lazy beaver, and wondering how much longer I could hold out before I really needed to eat breakfast. At 8.00am I was thankful that I still hadn't managed it as my stomach chose that moment to decide to taste life on the outside.

I chewed grimly at a couple of crackers to see if they were going to make peace and part the waves of nausea, but they just gave my insides something to feel good about throwing back out.

One panicked phonecall to my darling later (there was no way I was going to make it a full bus ride) I was on my way home.

Sometime during the car ride (and thanks Bishopdale roundabout for choosing today of all days to close yourself off and force an interminable detour on us) my stomach upset made the decision to head south. I got in through the front door and into the bathroom just in time to catch off the basement delivery.

I've managed to keep a few more crackers down since then, and tomorrow I may even try for a full meal once more, but tonight I don't think I'm going to push my luck.

Cups of milky tea to keep my hydrated should see me right.

I'm rather looking forward to the third day of dieting. I really think I've got the hang of this thing.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Hot Air

When I looked towards today I thought that it might suck because everything I packed up so labouriously on Friday had to be unpacked.

That was still true, and as expected it did indeed suck.

There was another added gem tossed into the ring, however. Air conditioning. Or lack thereof.

Annoyingly enough, if the entire floor's worth of air conditioning had gone down then men in overalls would've been dispatched into the ceiling nooks and crannies to tinker away until it restarted. Because only half of the floor's air conditioning went down we instead had to live with it.

We looked through the heat shimmers towards the middle of the building where an oasis of cool air breathed regularly down on the chosen ones while they went about their daily tasks without sweat stains spreading in ever-widening circles on their work uniforms.

I myself went and talked to people (talked! To people!) just to have a chance to sit in the cool and refreshing air. Air that wasn't laden with the sweat of the downtrodden. Air that wasn't hanging heavy and stagnant and refusing to impart oxygen in the lungs that heaved long and hard to breathe it in.

If the air-conditioning doesn't get its A back into G tomorrow then instead of going and having long talks with people our hot and sweaty group may take knives.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Food surprises!

Tomorrow is Monday, and we all know what that means. I'm going on a diet!

I'm trying to be all enthusiastic about it today, because by the time morning tea rolls around tomorrow it will be well gone.

The fun part about dieting seems to be heavily weighted towards before the diet starts, and there's precious little entertainment to be gotten from it until the petering out later on (in the day, the week, or the month if I'm lucky.)

INSERT: I just realised there was a pun in there. I love puns.

Today I got to weigh some food into little parcels; work out portions of fat, carb and protein restriction for the rest of the week; type in the exact - exact - nutritional information from the food labels; balance it all out into a diet I'm fairly unlikely to follow on my phone using the lovely free app from Fat Secret; and then I ate because I started to feel some food insecurity.

Today's the day I also got to eat up all of the food in the cupboard that won't be allowed on the diet. Most of it admittedly I'd bought from the supermarket yesterday, but it still had to go.

I gave up on the three-quarters of a loaf of bread and had to stick it into the freezer. I can hear it mocking me now. By tomorrow it'll be teasing me. It'll be saying how much it would love for me to pull it from its frozen confines and stick it into a machine and then light up the element wires on either side until it's flesh it a lovely golden brown, with the leading edge just tipping over slightly into dark brown.

And just because I haven't managed to resist in years months past doesn't mean I have to give into it this week.

Sure, it's a good indicator, but it's not set in stone. I might get ill. I might go off food. I might fly across the sky oinking all the way.

Oh, and the reason the blog was called food surprises is SURPRISE! There's no food.

To go off on a completely different tangent, tonight my book has launched at an rather stupid and ungodly hour on Amazon. If it really has. They've told me it has, but in my country at least it's still showing pre-order even though the pre-orders previously pre-ordered have now shown up as sales. I don't know, it's the first time for me too.

Just thought I also ought to mention:

Yeah, I know it's on the side there too, but this is a just-in-case. You should believe the hype and check it out yourself right now on Amazon. Go on, Mummy needs a new pair of (flat) shoes.

Friday, 23 January 2015

High, high heels

A few weeks ago, in a fit of female-ness, I bought some shoes online that I'm not entirely sure I'll ever be able to wear comfortably.

I understand that there are many women in the world who would find the idea of comfort in a shoe an irrelevant criteria, but I've got used to flat, wide shoes.

Shoes that happily allow my toes to retain some semblance of their usual shape and size. Shoes that are so comfortable to wear that I take my bra off first when I get home because my feet don't need the same release as my mammories.

The initial reason for the comfort was a combination of walking long distances, and arthritis.

When I was younger I had a small operation to cut the nail bed of my big toes so that they stopped growing so far into the side of my toe. Where the flesh was trying to be.

I don't know for certain that this is related to me developing arthritis in my big toe a few years later, but they reside in the same pigeonhole in my brain so it tends to think of them as conjoined. Anecdotal evidence is always stronger when it's your own.

Anyway, my heels declined in height equal and opposite to the pain increasing in my toe, and then knee.

But pain can only increase to a certain level (please god let that be true) and so I'm once again entering the lofty heights of the well-heeled.

My first adventure back onto this stage occurred with a pair of burgandy patent leather pumps with a one inch heel. They went swimmingly. After the obligatory wearing-in phase where my feet explained to the leather that they were the boss and the leather had better shape up or ship out. It shaped up perfectly.

So there I was happily browsing online and I discovered another pair of high-heels. They were also patent leather. Black patent leather.

If this had been the only attraction I would probably have moved on; I already have flat black patent leather shoes so I don't really require matching heels.

Except for the fact that the heels themselves were made from metal. Metal bolts, metal cogs and wheels, metal rivets. Mmmmmmm. Steampunk. I couldn't look away.

When they arrived I realised that my imagination of what the shoes would be like on was a vastly different thing to the reality of them being applied to my feet.

As a little girl I'd dreamed of being a ballerina, something that ballet classes killed dead before the age of six. Far too early to ever go en-pointe.

Which is a pity because that's exactly what my shoes now demand of me.

For some reason when I was looking at them online the height of the heels and the height of the wedge seemed to me to reduce the total heel height down to a mere two and a half inches. This is not only incorrect - it's more like three and a half - but two and a half inches would also be a major increase on what I've been used to.


I should've known better than to order shoes from Hades. The problem now is that they still look so nice I'm tempted to learn how to walk in them. Maybe just the length of the office. They could be my power shoes. When you just need that extra three inches of height.

Yeah. I'm sure I could learn.

My life in an orange crate

Today our office packed up every last scrap of officeness into teeny tiny orange crates so that we can move.

That is, the crates were coloured orange, not that they were originally purposed for the carrying of oranges.

BTW a fascinating fact is that orange, the colour, was named after the fruit. Not the fruit after the colour. Well, it was fascinating to me. If it doesn't rock your world you can skip ahead to the next part.

We've been getting ready for this for a while. The person who would usually be responsible for the transition of our entire department chose these two weeks to go away on leave. This left the task firmly in the hands of someone who was ill-equipped to add the transitioning to her never-ending task list of minion nonsense.

No! Not me. I just sat back and watched with glee.

I did have to organise and oversee the packing up of my own team. I fulfilled this task by going to Auckland yesterday and leaving them to it. Then, today, I walked around and ticked off things on a list. Not to ensure they'd done them, although that was the ostensible purpose, but to see what I'd forgotten to do for myself.

So now, every last little piece of my office life is in a crate somewhere. It makes me feel a combination of tired and carefree. Like I could pick up and run to a new country, and a new life, except I can't be bothered to get out of bed.

There was a lot of grumbling taking place in the office today. Some tasks which were obviously assigned to some people, ended up being done by others. Then further tasks were delegated. Then all. Then those funny little groups started to form in the parts of the office which weren't already full of orange-ness. Water cooler talks, sans water coolers. Lots of fun. Must get me some more of those.

So a high level of aggravation fueled the last few hours, while staff discovered that they'd packed away the things they should be working on next, and unpacked, only to have to pack again because that used up all of the time they had left in the day.

The funniest thing is knowing that I get a ringside seat at the reverse of this particular attraction on Monday. Unpacking orange crates. Then six weeks on a strange floor (did I not mention our office move was up one floor?) and then we'll get to repack and reunpack all over again.

By the end of that it will all be old hat. Some people may perish. I hope if it's me it's from laughter.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Track n Trace

I love tracking packages until they arrive. Not as much as receiving them, and then growing bored of them within a day, but pretty close.

At the moment I'm tracking a package of paperbacks as they wend their way across the world to reach me in my little office in Christchurch.

They certainly seem to be having more adventures than I've been having.

I went to Auckland today, they've been to Hawaii. I flew back to Christchurch, they stopped in Botany, Australia.

Here's what they've been getting up to so far:

I've never even been to South Carolina, and in my package's short life it's already stopped there twice.

Still, shortly we'll be in the same place together. And then we shall see who's more adventurous, shan't we?


Tomorrow I'm winging my way overseas. Well over a sea. Or, to be more precise, a strait. Yeah, I'm going to Auckland. Big deal.

This means getting up an hour earlier than way-too-friggin'-early so that my darling can drop me at the airport.

I then get to try to fly on Jetstar if they'll have me. I'd usually book Air New Zealand so that while the scum were waiting in the hard plastic seats downstairs, I could be enjoying a nice freshly barista made coffee and helping myself to far-too-many-hokey-pokey-biscuits for one person.

Tomorrow I'm the scum.

My manager keeps complaining every time she prises open the wallet and the moths fly out, and unfortunately Air New Zealand is very popular for early morning flights so Jetstar is way cheaper.

Air New Zealand is more popular in the early morning because people usually want to get where they're going and Jetstar... well they're cheaper.

So an hour and twenty minutes of flight (hopefully) and then a further hour-ish travelling through morning traffic in Auckland to arrive at my destination. Allowing a half hour for check-in on the return, and the hour-ish travelling back to the airport, and I'm left with a whole four hours in Auckland.

That seems like more than enough for any good Cantabrian to face on a week-day.

All going well I should at least be able to snaffle some biscuits at the Koru lounge on the way back (because I definitely don't want a delayed flight in that direction) and then I'll be touching down in glorious Christchurch and making it home nearly on time.

Ah, the life of a jet-setting superstar!

How I wish I had one.

Monday, 19 January 2015


With the hot weather we've been having lately, I've been having trouble sleeping. It wasn't helped over the weekend when my darling takes a break from his anti-snore device, but sad to say even when he lock-jaws it in I'm still not losing count of any sheep.

Last night I was lying awake over an hour after I'd gone to bed and started to think that it would be a good idea to take an antihistimine to help me fall asleep.

This isn't as crazy as it may sound; it's an old-fashioned type which causes full-on drowsiness, and it also dulls down the itchiness from my skin which is currently attempting to shed itself. One thousand flakes at a time.

Of course, given these effects you may wonder why I don't just take one regularly. Well, the answer is that they make me feel like crap the following day.

I may enjoy an evening gently drifting into sleep with my skin settled nicely into... into... well, my skin. But then I wake up in the morning, and I don't really wake up.

Full-on grogginess. Blugh is the official word for it I believe. Bluuugghhh.

My thoughts swim in a slow current that flows woozily around the extremities of my brain. Words coalesce in little groups, always just a fingertip out of reach. Mixed metaphors maraud through the middle of my mind.

I almost-woke up more than fourteen hours ago, and I'm still feeling the full effects. I walked home, over an hours journey, and didn't manage to make even one of my internal cobwebs more than tremour.

I've eaten three days worth of food in one, hoping that it would dispel the sickness and nausea, but no luck.

Well, at least I've learned my lesson. The hardest ones to learn are the ones that stick the longest. But still, I know there'll come a night, maybe next month, maybe next year, and I'll think - if only I could get to sleep I'll be fine - and I'll pop another pill and fall asleep. And wake to this. Again.


Sunday, 18 January 2015

One week to launch

Only one week until book launch, and you know what that means?

Time to start work on the next one!

I have proofed myself blind. I have organised as much advertising as my limited budget can allow. I have tried to rally interest (and probably lost some along the way) at every point of contact with people in my life.

I've even displayed two beautiful teddy-bears with Skeletal cover t-shirts on my desk for the last three months. They were what I was busy ordering when I should have been editing the first draft. I should probably post a picture on my website of them so you can see what I got instead of fixing the typo you've just found.

So now there's nothing left to do. There's nothing left to say. There's probably a Kindle update in the future to correct something that I've never noticed before and which I'm not a perfectionist enough to fix on the paperback copy, but I won't be touching anything for a while.

So now I start again. I have an idea. I have two characters. I have a sick imagination. I have a bit of research to do on intentional infliction of distress. And I am about to have some time on my hands now the marketing effort is dying down.

So, 80,000-100,000 words here I come.

Saturday, 17 January 2015


My darling and I spend a lot of time and a lot of money each year making sure that we spend out holidays in places that have weather in the high twenties to low thirties. We look forward to them for ages, and enjoy every second once they arrive.

Today, and for the past couple of days, it's reached these sorts of temperatures in our home city of Christchurch. This would be wonderful, except...

Where the hell is the pool?

Every time we book our holiday accommodation we make sure first and foremost that it has a pool. We don't care what type, kidney shaped, round, plunge, rectangle. The main thing is that it is filled with clean water, and that we can use it naked. Use it naked without someone else seeing, I mean.

We are not equipped for holiday weather at home. I had to do the dishes an hour ago. I'm still sweating monstrously from it. The only benefit from this is that when I fan myself (with a manual old-fashioned fan I should add) it actually feels cool because of the liquid beading on my facial skin.

Today the temperature even went too far for my darling (who has a higher tolerance for heat than I do.) He let me turn on the heat pump. To pump out cool, cool air.

Cool, cool air that instantly heats up to around thirty degrees as soon as it hits the main airflow in our living room.

Last night I tried to sleep on the couch because my darling didn't have his snore-guard in, and it was too hot to put up with it.

So I came out to the couch and laid down naked. It was too hot. And then I thought, 'What if I fall asleep on the couch and don't wake up until morning and the neighbour can see straight in?'

In my half-asleep brain this demanded an immediate remedy. So I pulled a rug over myself that I usually only use in winter.

When I was still awake at four o'clock this morning I chucked my darling out of bed and finally got some sleep in a room with the curtains fully pulled shut. I could have done that in the living room of course, except my tired brain didn't think of it at the time.

So all of today I've been hot, and sleep-deprived grumpy. And tomorrow is Monday, so I'll be 'What the hell happened to the weekend?' grumpy.

It's gonna be a long, long, hot, hot week.

Friday, 16 January 2015


The neighbours over the road still have their Christmas decorations up in their window. This isn't too much of a shock, it isn't even the end of January. We've only taken down all of the Christmas decorations in the office because we're moving to a different floor in a week's time, and we've been packing up everything that isn't a carbon-based life form.

So it was a bit of a surprise at the supermarket this morning to see that they've moved on. Our next public holiday is Waitangi Day, but apparently that's too difficult to celebrate with foodstuffs. They've gone directly to Easter and they haven't passed GO.

Hershey's chocolate Easter buns were taking up pride of place in the bakery, and there was a shopping trolley full of Cadbury Creme Eggs right next to the 'Everything inside for $1.00' trolley full of tinsel. Sad, sad tinsel.

Last week I swore blind that I was going to walk home every night. I couldn't on Monday because I had a meeting that ran late, and I told myself it would worry my darling too much if I didn't turn up home on time, so I caught the bus.

I came home to find my proofs had arrived, so rather than walk home for the next couple of nights I also took the bus so that I had extra time with my correction pen.

The bus driver on Tuesday night was new. He was so new that I had to look twice to make sure that a pre-teen hadn't climbed into the driver's seat as a bit of a prank.

The seasons are rushing by fast. The workers I encounter on a day-to-day basis seem to be getting younger and younger.

I think I've reached that certain age.

Either that, or supermarkets are profit Nazis that think the religious holidays are just a money-spinning exercise, and the bus service has finally convinced it's pensioners to retire and make way for the younger generations.

Either, or.

Thursday, 15 January 2015


At the beginning of the week I was a busy beaver. I read through my physical proofs and discovered dozens of mistakes that some dick of a writer had not managed to pick up yet.

To be fair my editor, who professionally proofread it, also missed these errors. That may have had something to do with the hundreds of other errors that she did find. She discovered the forest, I found the trees. We're all happy.

I then uploaded the content into Createspace and had another fight with it. The last time took me nearly two days, this time it was only a couple of hours. I hate books, I hate books, I hate books.

Anyway, paperbacks ordered and online catalogued up, the sole task remaining to me on Wednesday night was to amend the Kindle version as well.

Unlike Createspace what you see on the Kindle version before you upload, is what you get. There's no mysterious adjustments mid upload, or pieces of data going missing in the cloud. There's also not a bunch of blank pages forcing their way into slots 10-12 just to annoy a much-put-upon writer who already has a day job to get her to the end of her tether. She doesn't need help from her hobby thank you very much.

So, maybe 10-15 minutes tops. I just needed to do that, and then I could sit back and relax and worry about the advertising, and marketing, and selling, and weather.

10-15 minutes that I was going to do as soon as I got home from work on Thursday. And then later that night. I was definitely going to fit it in before I started work. And in my lunch break. I could squeeze it into my afternoon tea break. But for sure I was going to get it up and loaded as soon as I got home tonight. Or before I had to sit down and work on my blog.

I'm now going to tackle it tomorrow morning. Being a Saturday the whole day is clear so I'll do it nice and early and get it out of the way. Pretty early. After the shopping maybe. And then the dishes. And then the vacuuming. And the washing. And the television watching. And another episode of the wolf among us.

And if not Saturday, then Sunday. Next week maybe.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


I have three peach trees in total in my garden. I also have a nectarine. I bought these and planted them and fed them and watered them and sprayed them because I love fresh fruit, and apart from berries, peaches and nectarines are my favourite fruits.

So it's a constant disappointment to me that these trees don't produce much in the way of fruit. Apart from the Blackboy peach side of the twin-grafted Blackboy and Golden Queen peach tree. Or trees. What is the correct manner to refer to a double-grafted tree? If anyone knows please feel free to drop me a comment. Or, if you don't know but you're highly opinionated, likewise.

I wonder if you'd be able to guess my least favourite type of peach?

I actually purchased the double graft because then I could genuinely explain to anybody else in the household who questioned me that I had bought a different variety. I did just want the Golden Queen because the tree I had didn't produce much fruit at all.

The Golden Queen side of the tree looked sick the first year and didn't even produce a blossom. The next year it developed some lovely leaves, which then contracted leaf curl (from my chronically infected Nectarine) and started the process of dieing back. This year it grimly produced three leaves which fell off before the leaf curl could even get a look in.

I'm not expecting big things next year, and the qualifying whether it should be referred to in a singular or plural form may not be of long-serving use.

Meanwhile my lovely large original Golden Queen continues to produce almost no fruit at all. When it does it tends to hide the peaches from view, and I only know they're there when they fall onto the ground; rotten.

Last year when I was loudly bemoaning the situation in the office a co-worked suggested that I give it a scare. Pare its branches back almost to the trunk and it may turn its mind towards reproduction and voila! Peaches.

My now much smaller tree started off well. Until the problem with the nectarine.

As mentioned before my nectarine has chronic leaf-curl. I can usually keep this in check and still have it produce a bounty of fresh nectarines (at least bountiful for its small stature, not for my hunger) if I spray it with copper at the beginning and end of the season.

I forgot to spray it at the beginning of the season, and when I remembered it was too late as the leaves were already out.

So this year the poor nectarine looks like a scabby cousin of its former self. It was already the runt of the peach-family, at only half the size of the tree purchased at the same time, and now the top half appears to have lost all ability to live. My only consolation is that when I cut off the deadwood it may look like one of those intricately manicured trees with thick trunks and wide low branches. I don't know if it helps you to visualise, but they always remind me of a man trying desperately to do a comb-over.

The leaf curl spread quickly to the main Golden Queen tree, and all of the burgeoning little peaches swelling from the blossom promptly fell off.

Even in its reduced state the nectarine usually manages at least a dozen nectarines, but this year it's holding on so grimly to the little life it has left that it's also abandoned its budding fruits to the cold earth.

I'm starting to feel that I should save the money I've been spending on fruit trees, and perhaps invest it at the supermarket instead.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Where do ideas come from?

I'm desperately trying to finish editing my proofs tonight (so my paperbacks can be shipped and stocked in time for my book launch - oh the random excuses a writer can come up with!) so here is a blog I prepared earlier.

The first idea for my book Found, Near Water came from reading about the Wests in the UK. When the police dug up their back yard trying to find the body of Rose West’s oldest daughter – which in family rumours was buried in the backyard – they started to unearth bones. There was a point, when they uncovered three thigh bones, that the realisation dawned not only was the daughter’s body in the backyard, but other women as well.

I also wanted to have a moment like that – to have someone searching for something specific, not even sure that they’d find it – and then to discover not only what they were searching for but to have that ‘three thigh-bones’ moment when the fact hits them that they’ve discovered more than they went searching for.

The second idea was to do with the woman who later became Christine. It was from the Boxing Day tsunami footage where so many people had died all at the same time. I watched a colleague from work – on an anniversary, not at the time – and they were talking about the clean-ups in the villages, the bodies and how they were handled.

It sparked an idea about how I could take something that usually caused so much grief – the loss of a child – but embed it in a tragedy that was so large that the individual grief wasn’t recognised. When there’s a quarter of a million people dying the fact that your daughter was one of them doesn’t earn you the same recognition as when they’re the only one dying that day.

That sounds really awful when I type it out, but that was the genesis of Christine. Someone coping with an overwhelming individual grief lost and meaningless in the scope of an over-arching tragedy.

My next idea was around the protagonist of the story – Rena – and the abduction of her daughter. I was watching a few minutes out of a soap on television before the news came on – I’d guess that it was Home and Away just because of the timing but I wouldn’t put much money on it - and the scene ended with a woman sitting upright in bed asking ‘Where’s my daughter?’

I don’t know what the storyline for her was, but I instantly filled in the starting characteristics of Rena’s story. There was the attraction of something bad happening – something that would usually be widely advertised and appealed – and instead, nothing.

The crime scene that would usually be scoured for clues hadn’t even been cordoned off, the witness identification and records that would help the initial parts of the investigation hadn’t been sought out let alone recorded. And then I wondered how far I could push it out. What would happen if she told people, and they didn’t even believe her? How would you start an investigation when every starting point was already wiped clean?

So that’s where I got the main three ideas that formed the base of the storyline and characters from Found, Near Water. A devastating tragedy that occurred a decade ago; a half-watched glimpse from a soap opera on television maybe eight years ago; and a paragraph description from a book on true crime that I read six years ago. All stuck in the back of my head turning over and over until they started to coalesce into one storyline.

Makes you wonder what’s brewing back there now!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Murder in the garden

There's been a murder.

A shocking statement to hit you with just out of the blue. But true nonetheless.

It happened on the front lawn. I'm guessing some time in the last four hours. Give or take four hours.

There's no body, at least that I've managed to find thus far, but there is a ton of circumstantial evidence. Or a gram. Depends on whether you're expecting me to speak literally or figuratively. Or literally in its new use as a stand-in for figuratively since so many people have misused it for so long. Whatever, I could care less.

I feel quite shocked at the moment. When I came inside from the crime scene I had to have a bit of a sit down. I'll have to lie down shortly, but that's because I'm going to bed so I possibly shouldn't be telling you that. Now you're all going to picture me in bed, aren't you? I feel violated. Like a celebrity who had her phone hacked and naked pictures spread across the Internet but without all the money and glamour and hot guys and stuff. Except for my darling - he's my hot guy.

You can tell I'm stressed. That went completely off-track, and that's so unlike me.

When I walked outside, I didn't know that anything was wrong. I went out through the back door. Across the back lawn. The only concern I had was that the prickles on the lawn didn't embed themselves in my feet.

Such innocent times. I can hardly stand to think of myself as I was then. It's like looking back at myself in a warped mirror.

I cornered the house - that means I turned the corner, not that I intimidated it until it retreated into a corner - and walked up the driveway.

The sky has been cloudy today. There's been a cool, calm breeze lightly offsetting the heat that's been present for the last week or so. Summer is acting like summer for a change, instead of a combination of spring and winter. As I progressed along the drive the sky overhead was started to reflect the lowering sun off the bottom of the clouds. A bright line of silver, then refracted into a kaleidoscope of wondrous colour.

I turned the corner. Oh god, I turned the corner.

At first I saw only the grass lawn spread out in front of me. The heat has forced the green of the grass to recede and shade into light brown. It looks like a spark could flame and swallow the entire expanse in the time it takes to draw a breath.

Then I noticed that part of the lawn looked... fluffy. Soft grey and fluffy. It wasn't right.

I ventured further forward; since the dog not-quite-attack I'm more cautious, but this didn't look like it would hurt me. I moved closer still.

It wasn't until I was almost on top of the scene that I recognised what had happened to the lawn. The soft grey colour matched the soft grey feel.

It was feathers. Piles and piles of feathers. A tiny, fluffy multitude of feathers.

So many feathers that I realised quickly that there was no bird that could survive being that naked.

A crime had been committed.

A murder.

Sunday, 11 January 2015


I have been pondering nonsense for the past few minutes. Nonsense such as:

When you gaze into the television, does the television also gaze into you?

Why does the supermarket charge me 5c for a plastic bag due to "climate change", but then give me a 10c fuel discount?

When I think of the food I'll have later I feel hungry now, but does that necessarily mean that if I have the food now I'll be hungry later?

Yeah, I'm pondering.


Large Household Pests

Remember a few weeks ago when I talked jokingly about the big sook of a dog that lived next door. He's not so much of a laughing matter anymore.

For the last few days we've been finding rather large unpleasant surprises plonked down about the property. One steaming pile of foulness gave my darling a nasty start when he went out to take the washing down off the line, and another gave me a shock when I wandered around to the cherry trees to see whether I'd completely hauled their bounty.

That was bad, but at the time of discovery we didn't know what dog was responsible. The dog next door is large, and so were the piles, but that's not proof of guilt now, is it?

We used a shovel (our old shovel) and dug it deep into the garden. If you come around for a visit and I offer you a blackboy peach beware; who knows what it's sucked those nutrients out of!

Then last night, we caught him in the act. Sneaking around to the back garden. If a dog 30 inches high and weighing 90 pounds can sneak.

My darling gave a shout which made him run back up the drive, and I barreled out the front door to see him off the property altogether.

All of this was pretty instinctive. When something violates your boundaries, even unthinkingly, you want to make sure they're fully expelled.

It was when he stopped running away, and turned to face me, that I realised how big he was.

Big, and growling.

The only advice I've ever taken on board about dogs is don't show fear and stick your finger up their bottom if they bite you and won't let go.

I've not seen the dog's bottom, but I've seen what comes out of it, and that is not an appealing idea.

So I tried to stare him down. I raised my hand and flicked my finger in the direction of his house, and told him in my lowest angry voice, "Go home."

I think the dog misunderstood. That's the best way to describe it. He listened to me, he saw my stance, he knew I meant business, and he tried to go into my home. Through me.

The minute he charged I turned and also tried to go home. We have a flyscreen over the front door so we can leave it open during long summer days and nights. It's an old flyscreen, and the latch on it sometimes locks into position even when you haven't snicked the catch to actually lock it.

When it was clear that the door wasn't going to budge I tried my best to stay dignified and calm, and let out a scream of wordless fear. At any moment I expected the dog to sink his teeth into my tender, fatty, succulent flesh.

My darling has failed to account at all for the three hours (in my estimation) it took him to come to my aid.

The dog didn't bite me in the end. Somewhere between the running and the panic and the curdled scream, he'd given me up as a joke and wandered off to find another lawn to target.

So tonight my darling and I are left with an enduring fear which has us closing both doors fully whenever we hear a strange noise that may or may not be dog related.

It's like an ankle bracelet, but without the fun of committing a crime beforehand.

And I don't want to spoil anything, but in my third novel you can expect to find a mastiff coming to a very, very sticky end.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

First review for Skeletal

After long months of thinking, writing, re-thinking, re-writing, editing, proofing and formatting, my book is finally ready (apart from the final paperback proofs - would be nice if you could drop those off soon DHL) and has been submitted out to a few sites for editorial reviews.

I'm pleased to announce that the winner for the promptest reviews goes to (drum roll please)...

K.C.Finn for Readers' Favorite (oh it hurts my little NZ heart to spell that all American-like. What does your nation have against the letter U?)

And now, in lieu of me doing any real work, I'm instead going to reproduce the first official review of my not-long awaited second novel Skeletal (due out on 25th January 2015)

Review Rating: 5 stars!

Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Skeletal is a paranormal crime drama by Katherine Hayton, narrated by the long-dead Daina Harrow, whose death is being investigated after her body was discovered in the foundations of a building some ten years later. The narrative shifts between the coroner’s hearing in the modern day and the months leading up to Daina’s death back in 2004 when she was a high school student. A host of unpleasant ordeals twist and turn as they lead readers towards the end of her life. Daina guides readers through the varied cast of characters who made her final months of life a living hell, through bullying, sexual predators and a childhood secret that Daina is just unlucky enough to rediscover.

I’m not usually a fan of contemporary crime drama, but the thing that inspired me to genuinely enjoy Skeletal was Katherine Hayton’s witty narrator in the form of the dead Daina. Where I would usually have found topics such as bullying and assault difficult to read, the dry humour with which Daina looks back on her past seems to alleviate a lot of that hardship, making Skeletal a blackly comedic read. There are many dark moments in the plot too, but Daina’s post-mortem urge to see justice done really rubs off on the reader, and her unrelenting descriptions of her former nearest and dearest are vivid and truly real. Skeletal is an intriguing read that doesn’t play out in the way readers would expect, with an engaging style of storytelling and a conclusion that leaves you reeling in wonder. Bravo.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Censorship "Je Suis Charlie"

On a more serious note than usual, tonight I'm writing about censorship while it's far too early to make any jokes about it. When France raised its collective arms in horror I stopped calling them cheese-eating surrender monkeys and raised my arms in solidarity with them.

I think most people around the world will have been protected or enraged by censorship at some time during their life. Whether it's the watershed hour on television protecting the innocence of many nation's youth, or the slapdash coverups that restrict our pleasure while touting they're for our collective benefit.

Personally I believe that once you're an adult nothing needs to be censored. We know where the off switch is. We know how to not buy something. We can turn to a different page all by ourselves.

If people are offended by images or words or noises it is usually well within their capability to avoid the offense and regain equalibrium.

Even if someone gets in your face you can turn the other cheek and walk away. Just because you want to smash someone's nose in, and I'm sure many of us feel the urge at times, doesn't mean you have to. This is what imaginations are for.

This is how most of the seven billion people in existence get along together while living on the surface of a tiny planet in a corner of an unimpressive galaxy collectively hurtling through space.

(I actually looked up into the sky after writing that to check that there wasn't another planet on a collision course with us - damn you Lars von Trier.)

I myself have greatly suffered at the hands of censorship. There isn't a lot of room left in this blog before everybody loses interest because the commercial break's over and heads away, so I'll list the top three:

1) My parent's - bless their hearts - used to send me to bed early so I wasn't shocked out of my skull by mid- to late-night television. I vividly remember one night when my siblings were baby-sitting me (the joys of being the youngest) and they either didn't notice or didn't care that I got back out of bed at some point and watched the Sunday Horror with them. It was the Incredible Melting Man. It was hard to watch. He kept melting all over the place. I can still see the ear he left behind in one scene.

Perhaps I remember it so well because it turned up in my nightmares for the next seven years.

Gigantic censorship fail. Children do not understand consequences, and do not understand that they should go to bed when they're told. Even me, and I'm practically a genius. Practically.

2) Southland - series two. When TNT bought the rights to the second partially completed season of Southland, I rejoiced. I loved the first half-season that NBC had broadcast, and although I understand it didn't exactly fit its family friendly model it would've been a shame to waste it.

We don't have a lot of cable television down here, our only option is Sky TV, so I wasn't completely certain how cable channels operate in the States, but I was fairly certain that they only have to impose their own censorship. After all, you subscribe to their service - you don't have to if you don't want to watch - right?

An episode proved my assumptions were wrong. Coming into a crime scene that nice blond man, who used to be on the OC and is now on Gotham, stared in horror at the bed. The bed which was covered with the fuzzy squares of censorship.

Through having to pay attention to the dialogue I gather that there was a raped mother and two daughters, and they were not meant to be as boxy as they appeared. Really? You're screening a television show about policemen and you can't show a crime scene.

Censorship fail. I just imagined it instead. Pretty sure the version that was shot for TV wasn't as depraved as the one my head provided.

3) Although New Zealand's censorship office didn't require South Park: The Stick of Truth computer game to be censored, our stores imported the European version because it was nearer or cheaper or the only version they could get hold of or something. I was treated to censorship sticker cartoons over the controversial (to Europe) cut-scenes while a narrator cheerfully told me exactly what it was the sticker was hiding.

Censorship fail. That was hilarious. There is no way that even the genius of Matt Stone and Trey Parker could have come up with something that funny on their own. I thank the censors of Europe for their idiocy, and hope that a range of spoofs are in creation already.

So there's only one last act that I need to mention.

4) Two days ago three gunman opened fire at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, killing twelve. The following day the remaining staff decided to continue with publication, but increasing the print run to one million copies, up from the usual sixty thousand.

Censorship fail.

Je Suis Charlie

Thursday, 8 January 2015


I listened to the final episode of Serial today.

This has made me fairly happy and fairly sad. Happy because I've been waiting to find out what happens, and sad because they're just saying it will be back in 2015 and that could be anytime in the next twelve months.

My family motto is "We solve problems by patience." I don't solve a lot of problems. I may be adopted.

I really don't understand why people haven't already made all of the tv programs and all of the books and all of the movies and all of the radio podcasts that I'd ever want to listen to and enjoy reading and love watching so that I had it readily available to do it all now. Or later, if I feel like it.

And why do I only ever want new things? There's probably a ton of old movies and old programs and old computer games that would perfectly satisfy my craving to never be the slightest bit bored. But I don't watch it.

And why does this only ever strike me when something good ends? I'm not left bereft and frustrated at the end of Project Runway or Hell's Kitchen or The Amazing Race or Survivor. Even when the wrong people win.


Another thing to add to my list of stuff that isn't coming soon enough for my liking. Along with the second seasons of True Detective and Happy Valley, and the first season of Utopia (the Dennis Kelly one, not the Aussie comedy. Or the US Reality Show. Do you people not check IMDB before you name stuff?)

Not to mention the sixth season of Breaking Bad and The Wire. I bet those'll be a doozy.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Brain Fade

I do believe that although my body has returned from holiday my brain may have overslept its alarm and is still safely on leave.

I do often stare out of the window; when I'm thinking, when I'm trying to remember something, when I would rather risk being fired for staring out of windows than face the computer screen with the spreadsheet on it one moment longer.

But at least on those occasions there's some thought going on somewhere. For the last couple of days I've been staring out the window because my entire mind is wiped clean and my body is blankly responding to the light.

I tried to do something today. I told myself in my sternest internal voice to stop dithering and look up the information I needed before my concentration went on a merry-go-round and forgot to get off when it stopped. Did it listen?

Sadly it did but with little result. I stared in furious concentration at the computer screen looking at a folder listing without the slightest idea of which folder would be the correct one to double click on to do the thing connected with the other thing that I...

When I came back to myself I was staring out of the window.

I'm not helped in this situation by having no companions at work at the moment which has meant I'm doing the tasks for 1.7 people plus .5 of a person in my new role for a grand total of 2.2 people's work. (Luckily I can still add!)

But I'm currently performing at only .337 of a person.

You can do the subtraction to work out the net failing of the demand yourself while I go back to staring out of the window.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hunting Widows and Orphans

I have been hunting down widows and orphans for at least 20 hours over the last couple of days.

In case you're worried that I'm armed and out on the streets (I wish!) the widows I'm talking about are the one-word sentences at the bottom of pages that you should never see, and the orphans are parentless children the one-word sentences at the top of a new page.

It's possible you've never seen these, because it's the job of the typesetter to ruthlessly hunt these down and eliminate them. In the absence of a professional typesetter I've found instead that I can rely on... me?

Ohhhhh. Make it stop. I'm going blind.

Possibly because I have my eyes screwed up in frustration at the moment, shutting the world out. Possibly not.

The saddest thing about the whole experience was that for the first two hours (Saturday, I remember you well) I thought this was going so much smoother than the first time I'd had to do it. I felt all experienced and knowledgeable. Right up until the moment that blank pages started to appear in the uploaded file where there were no blank pages in the original.

Who knew that going to page 127 and entering an extra line after a triple *** was going to render the upload conversion service unable to tell the difference between a line and a line break on pages 10-11. Or 10-15 as the upload would have me believe.

Just to prove I wasn't going crazy I copied the entire book into a blank word document and uploaded it. The empty pages all disappeared. Yah! All of the headers turned into even page headers, rather than alternating even and odd. Boo!

Considering how much I hate the sight of books at the moment I find it rather hard to justify a career as a writer. Usually it's the lack of ability to generate a profit that does that to me, but apparently this can too.

My darling just says to pay the nice company their $199 and let them worry about the formatting. He doesn't understand that even if I pay them and they do it I would still have to check every single character because you can't trust no one these days. No one. No siree.

And then I'd also have to suffer the indignity of knowing that I needed to sell another ████████-ish books in order to earn that money back. Before I moved on to selling the books to earn back the editing fee, and then the proofreading fee. And then the... we'll just bring all that moaning to a halt shall we?

I would like to say that it's all finally done, but I need to wait for 24 hours for the good machines at CreateSpace to verify all my cover art and then give me a big tick (you hear that machines? A tick, no declinatures allowed.)

I do have to admit defeat, however. The system finally wore me down. There's an error on the last page. I couldn't get it out. I'm hoping that nobody notices.

Of course, reading this you'll have a heads up if you did want to grab a copy of the book and search for it. Or, better still, BUY a copy of the book and search for it.

It sounds like fun to me, but what would I know? I'm a writer who can't stand to look at a book.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


I have been subsumed by work today, so coming home I wanted to think about my garden and the lovely weather we've been having, rather than the little cubicles in which I spend a lot of my waking life.

To that end here is a lovely picture of a tree:

It's a Eucalyptus tree, which you'll be able to tell from this photo which points up where the leaves are:

And just in case you need a point of reference for its size:

They grow 'em big down South.

BTW this is not one of those pictures that always seem to surface in the police search of the bedroom of the aggreived partner where the head of the dearly departed is scratched out. No! This is just a measure to protect the innocent.

This tree is not native to New Zealand, but does seem to pop up all over the place. If you want to see it flourishing in its Native Land I've helpfully attached a photo below:

Ha-ha. I laugh at your puny Eucalyptus and your giant, cuddly rodents.

Now that my trans-Tasman rivalry has been sated I can show you a picture of a gigantic rose:

A pleasant memory from wandering around the Queenstown Botanic Gardens on Boxing Day, back when I was on holiday. Sigh.

And yes you're quite right to point out it's not actually a giant rose, it's a standard size old-fashioned full-olfactory rose in close up. That's as zoomy as my phone gets.

Well, wasn't that a nice walk through the garden? I almost feel relaxed enough to think about going back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Ugh Monday

Back to work. End of holiday. Grumpy. Go away.

And now I've got that off my chest, I've had a rather pleasant day today.

First off, I woke up reasonably early. Early enough that I wouldn't have needed an alarm, although the actual getting out of bed added another twenty minutes onto that.

Throughout my holiday I have managed to sleep between ten and eleven hours every night, despite the fact that the previous night I will also have slept ten or eleven hours so couldn't possibly need it again.

For the first few nights it seemed fine, but after two weeks it seems rather odd.

The likeliest explanation is that I put on a whole lot of weight, and now I'm sleeping all the time, because my body has decided to go into hibernation. In Summer. Yes, the likeliest explanation.

Next, we went food shopping and I bought fruit and vegetables. I know, right? They're like plants but which you eat rather than kill slowly in pots. I even restricted my meat purchases to full-price venison on account of its low-fat content.

Then, and you'll never believe this, I went for a walk. A full walk. Up and down hills. Down and up hills. The full trek that me and my darling used to go on, and which I haven't quite managed to do for quite a while now.


I must have been calling on the good luck genies because then I got home and checked my Kindle Sales reports to see that I was having my best-ever book sales day.

All of this must somehow be related to the fact that I must don my uniform and make my way into the office tomorrow.

What is the coded message? What could it be?


Next door has a large English Mastiff that gets very lonely very quickly. As soon as its owners go out of the house he'll start to howl. He's a big dog with abandonment issues.

The only thing that snaps him out of his open misery is when something or someone strays too close to his territory, whereupon he turns into a ferocious bark-monster.

When it seems like he could figuratively die of loneliness my darling or I helpfully go outside and walk near the fence to snap him from one inappropriate mood into another.

Because of his strange habits, and added ability to throw himself at the dog fence with gay abandon, I've gotten into the habit of looking next door every time I'm out in the garden scrutinising my vegetables. And no, that isn't a euphemism.

And now I'm forever grateful, because this evening I saw a dog driving a car.

Okay, that may be overstating the matter somewhat. The vehicle was parked at the time. But the border collie was sitting in the driver's seat, and his paws did appear to be at ten and two, so he could've been about to start the vehicle and put it in reverse.

I've heard people say that border collie's are smart before, but this is the final proof.

The only drawback is that I'm slightly embarrassed that a dog next door has learned how to drive a car before I have.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year's Telly

Come on, right! Some of us don't have social lives - whether by choice or accident - and we're kind of reliant on a certain instrument that's become the focal point of many a lounge room.

I am, of course, referring to the laptop computer.

When I was a child I was restricted to one channel on our television, later expanding to two. It took many a long year before some company decided to invest, and lose money, on a third channel. Then a fourth. Then some more. Then you could get Sky TV and watch many, many channels (though oddly no more television programs.)

Now there are so many different channels available for viewing on your computer, or your computer hooked up to your television, or your television's own on-board computer, that it seems like we'll never run out of entertainment.

I was a tad worried at Christmas, remembering long hours of boredom as a child where there would be absolutely nothing worth viewing on TV and we would have to play bored board games instead. But it appears that the British remember this as well and produce a wonderment of television viewing to get you through a long day with your relatives.

I'd started to relax somewhat. There was a new series I was interested in released all at once (which is the best idea in entertainment for a long time) and we had a couple of old reality TV shows stored on the hard-drive (so we can reproduce the same sensation by ourselves.)

And then the New Year hit. We've gotten so desperate that today we watched an entire free movie from Vimeo and actually watched it through to the bitter end even though it was sick and disturbing and that was just the people attempting to act.

Sometimes a shoestring budget is a hindrance, sometimes it's an impetus to brilliance, and sometimes it's more than they deserve.

There's still another long week of weirdness before all the networks around the world decide that everyone's over the holidays and ready to sit down and pay some proper attention again.

Let's hope I can hold out that long.


Traditional, isn't it?

Make a resolution on New Year's Day, break it by February.

I have been trying to find some resolve somewhere, but it lacking somewhat.

I did think about dieting, but since I was already on a diet that fell somewhat flat. As a contribution towards lower-carb living however, I have now cleaned the house out of carbohydrates by eating all of my (yes, my darling and I do have separate supplies) remaining sugar-filled chocolate, and all of the cruskits.

Of course, up until then I had successfully managed to not eat any of these things just through self-control or something so in making that plan I appear to have stuffed up my diet plans instead.

Oh well, onto another one.

I already know that I'll be publishing a book at the end of this month, so that option is out of scope (unless I want a given.) I could make resolutions to publish more, but I've already started the next so it feels like it's all ticking over nicely.

I received a promotion in my day job at the end of December so there's another big tick already gone. I'm also trying not to think about work and about how I have to go back to it shortly so I definitely don't want to make any work plans on my last few days of holiday.

There's something wriggling around in the back of my head about how I should probably do more exercise, but as it would be almost impossible to do less than I currently do that doesn't really count for anything. And no, I'm never going to compete in a marathon so get away from me with your big-goal suggestions.

I do need to plant the feijoa tree in the front garden tomorrow so that it has a chance at a happy life. Will that work? I feel that's on par with resolving to cook tea tomorrow though. Just another chore that needs to get done otherwise a living thing will die.


This, of course, is miles better than the good ole years when every year I could announce I was giving up drinking and smoking and never really mean it.

Maybe not having a plethora of resolutions at hand is actually a sign of progress and I should embrace it.

I resolve to do nothing because I'm pretty much perfect as it stands.

Yeah. 2015. Bring. It. On.