How much??

Jan. 14th, 2011 06:35 pm
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
So, at my day job, I pick/pack/dispatch various things for promotions and online shops. Today I spent a good part of the morning stuffing letters-with-a-voucher into envelopes. There were a variety of different letters, but one in particular caught my eye with its heading:
Win £250,000 towards your house/mortgage!
"Blimey!*" I thought, "That'd pay off our mortgage and our other debts (credit cards etc.) and we'd be able to buy a quad bike**!"
Come lunchtime, I texted Husband about this, and he pointed out we'd still have quite a bit of change, so I said he could decide what we'd spend the rest on - he came up with: solar water heating, PV panels (solar electric), and extending the upper floor of our house.

All hypothetical, of course, because I can't even remember which product it was running this attractive offer...

It did get me thinking though, about how much some people have to pay for their houses. Round here, £250,000 could buy you a small holding. What's it like round your way? Or, more excitingly: if you won £250,000, what would you spend it on?

*yes, I really do think in words like that. Probably all those Enid Blyton books I read a a young girl
**This is the latest "thing I want"
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (Default)
Not real-life pirates, thank goodness! Fictional ones are bad enough... though their story's got up to about 3,900 words now. I have a vague idea of aiming for about 500 words a day. Seems quite paltry compared to most writers' goals, but I keep reminding myself that *some* is better than *none*... and 500 seems to be a comfortable amount for me, especially since I'm mostly writing longhand then typing it up later.

In the rest of life, I'm busy with my usual work-baking-living routine, with extra gardening whenever we can fit it in. Autumn is the time for making decisions about how we want the garden to be for the next year, and using last year as a guide we've got a month to get stuff done before the frosts get too frequent and the days too short ...and this year we mustn't make the mistake of leaving the parsnips in the ground too long! Last year we said "oh, we'll get them up next weekend" sometime around the start of December and it wasn't until mid-February that the ground was soft enough again to accomplish the task.

Rambling about gardening in my writing journal? Tut tut ;-)
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
but I did last Friday! Granted, it wasn't anyone you're likely to have heard of (he's our county councillor) and the "manhandling" involved turning him round three times (while he had his eyes shut! no peeking!) before he had his go at "Pin the hat on the cowboy" at the village Autumn Fair...

Made a half-decent subject line, though didn't it? And it even segues nicely into what I was about to talk about, which is
arrgghh! Life! Wherefore art thou so bloody busy?

I know, I know. It's because I try to fill every single second with Stuff To Do, and then go "Oh, hang on, sleep needed" and "Wasn't there something else I was supposed to do tonight? Oh yes, EAT!" and (most relevant in this particular case) "When was the last time I checked up on online stuff?" and then suddenly my List of Stuff is not going down quite so quickly as it ought to be...

And of course it doesn't help that, thanks to a post and subsequent discussion in the lj of a certain author who shall remain nameless (mostly because she's probably fed up of seeing her name near the word "blame" right now), I now appear to be no further forward on the WIPs I'm supposed to be concentrating on, but have instead so far recorded around 1500 words of The Meditteranean Pirate's Bemused Count!

Butterfly brain? More like a Mad March Hare I'd say!
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (starfruit)
I had to double-check who was posting what when skimming my 'reading list' today - this article about HIV infection levels for men who have sex with men was not, as I first thought, from any of my m/m related feeds, but from Scientific American. Have a read, though it's a little scary. There is good news though apparently - from Peru! I don't know why I feel surprised that Peru is being held up as an example of good practice: probably because I mostly associate the country with Paddington Bear (whose Aunt Lucy lived in Peru. I believe in Lima, though tbh I was far more of a Thomas the Tank Engine and Postman Pat girl).
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
So the BBC's got a "Normans" season on at the moment. They were trailing it on Radio 4 the other day, ad I was most baffled until something right at the end of the trailer/spot made me twig:
"Ooh! 'Normans' as in Battle of Hastings. Not 'Normans' as in 'people called Norman'."
*husband nearly falls off chair laughing*
"Well I did think it was a bit of an odd theme to base a season of programmes on..."
sandra_lindsey: me sitting in the garden with daffodils (musketeer 1)
Spent yesterday afternoon over at the sculpture park by the dam - the RSPB were having a family fun day to celebrate International Bog Day, and our village line dancing group had been asked to do a display (of dancing! Get your minds out of the gutter!) and a 'have a go' teaching session. We weren't the only entertainment though - there was a singing group, a chap doing chainsaw sculptures, and a sheep shearing demonstration.

I've never seen shearing up close before - only on the telly (we were too far away to really see anything when we visited the Royal Welsh the other week) and it was really quite fascinating. I never realised they have to wear specialised clothes! Double-layer trousers (so they don't accidentally cut themselves) which sit higher on the waist (to keep their lower back warm because they have to be bending over all the time) and moccasins (to give them better grip on potentially slippery boards) which have to be bought new for each season because of how mucky they get. I also learned that these days they don't recommend a man takes up shearing properly, or tries to do fast-shearing, until he's at least 21 because of the strain it puts on your back. And also that professional shearers get paid around £1/sheep and will probably do around 280-300 per day during the season (of course, the kind of guys who get to the finals of the golden shears will do more than that!) (They also mentioned about only being able to sell the fleeces for 50p, but I knew that already. And yes, that *is* a 50% loss. If you want to know more about it, I'm sure you can find it out from a far more knowledgeable source)

So yes, not only interesting for knowing more about how life works, but all good for sparking off random plot-bunnies :-)

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