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Archive for June, 2010

Calendar events, whether it be Christmas, Easter, Hannukkah, Diwali, are celebrated across the world. They provide a point of reflection, a celebration of the present and offer hope for the future. We all have those wonderful memories of Christmases past and try to relive many of these through our children and our children’s children. In some households, planning of the day seems to preoccupy minds for a huge part of the year.As a child these calendar events are also associated with holidays and other than Christmas the big holiday is summer, 6/7 weeks without going to school. The thought of the summer break brings back memories of long summer days of hanging out with friends, long lies in bed and doing very much what you want to do. For the majority of grown ups these heady days are condensed to 2 weeks, in which we attempt to maximise every single day and/or lie beside the pool in the sunshine.

Dreaming of the pool - Our last holiday in the sun

Well, its one week to go to that great annual event – school summer holidays. The kids in Scotland break off a little earlier than the rest of the UK, I think in some parts of Scotland the holidays are already here

This is the part where I may lose you. I work in education – calendar events for us are our principal drivers throughout the year. As they say in sporting parlance, the business end of the season is coming to pass. All through the term there is someone on the teaching staff who can tell you how long it is until the next holiday, almost to the hour. After Easter, or spring break, all teaching efforts are geared towards helping students prepare for that final push but everyone knows the when the end point is. From then until now, life is a combination of assessments and examinations, and for the last few weeks, for teaching staff, it is about marking and resulting. That part is now almost finished. For those last few weeks, every single member of teaching staff in every college and school in the land has had their eye fixed on the last day of term and the summer break.

Do we deserve the long summer break, of course we do, I wasn’t going to say anything else, was I. Yes, we will do some work, some reading and for some us, me included, we will pop into the office but for these coming weeks we are in charge and we are on holiday. For those 6 wks we can forget the trials and tribulations of the past term.

We’re not going away this year so I have a number of things that I need to do – house maintenance, the garden, relax with the cats and of course there is the book launch. We’ve had a hard time with the cats this year, so need to spend time with them and enjoy them.

Chilling with the cats

Of course, my book, Bernie Bolts Bergen launches on the 8th August so I need to do ensure everything for that is in place. I’m lucky, I’m very lucky. I can still celebrate that great childhood event, the long summer hols. Yes, I can still hang out with friends, chill with the cats, lie in my bed and do what I want to do for the best part of 6 weeks and there’s only one week to go. I can’t wait.

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As you will have gathered by now, our cats play a major part in our lives. They are in some way, our children, but before you comment, we do have children, 5 of them in total, and 5 grandchildren, so we do know the difference. As an aside we aren’t that old either – we became grandparents in our mid 30s.

Anyway, back to the cats. We lost Coco, suddenly, a few weeks ago and the last few days we have been concerned about Nemie Sabie who is suffering with CRF, which his litter brother, Rhumtetum, died of late last year. While Nemie doesn’t live with us, he lives with our daughter, his condition has had an impact. So we are reeling a little and that has set me back a little – it seems to sap the creative juices – so writing has taken a bit of a back seat. We have also spent a lot of time with our other cats and I have spent a lot of time with our big tomcat, Mousa Catcha to regain his confidence after something, we know what not, spooked him. So he has been walked on his leash every day now for some weeks.

The book has also been delayed by some editing issues which are now, I think, resolved. There have been further delays on the cover in part brought about by a debate as to whether the cover should be one of the pretty cat, that Bernie most certainly is, or whether it should be a darker picture reflecting some chapters in the book. That debate now lies with the designer who has had a little difficulty reconciling my ideas but, hopefully, a final product will be with me soon.

The last delay has been the first chapter. I have wrestled and wrestled with the first chapter now for weeks. I think that I’m on version 5 or 6. Each version is significantly different from the other. I rewrote the chapter again this week and I think other than editing checks I now have the start that will engage the reader. All going well I’ll post the opening pages within the next two weeks.

The upshot is the launch has been delayed. The launch will be August 8th. This will enable me to coincide the launch with the Edinburgh Book Festival. How I will take advantage of this I’m not wholly sure but it would seem to much of a missed opportunity giving the festival is being held some 40 mins from home. So August 8th and lots of work to do in between. Promotion will start on July 9th. This final phase is the most daunting but I am now looking forward to it. Bernie Bolts Bergen will be on the shelves this summer.

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