Madness, just madness

On Friday the European Medical Agency staff lowered all 28 EU flags and symbolically said goodbye to their London office. The UK is bowing out of the EMA having been the host for the agency since 1995. The EMA does lots and lots of drug development.

So, Leavers, how are you going to replace that? Are our doctors and scientists so good that they can do this on their own, without the collaboration of our European partners? Or do you have another plan? Please let us know.

Madness, just madness.

Ho-hum …

img_20190127_132344812_hdr

it takes some reminding that we lived in Doris and her smaller cousin for 4 years

It’s been a week of two halves. Working with Jen until Friday and then three days of domestic chores, mostly focused on sorting out Doris. As you’d imagine, most of the habitation issues with a motorhome come about because of damp and being knocked about by travelling. I’m not talking about rain getting in, I’m just talking about damp air circulating and getting in the electrics. So, as well as a clean inside, I had to sort out a kitchen ring that wasn’t staying alight, a loo that won’t flush and a driving light that’s much dimmer than it should be. She goes in for her MOT on Wednesday so the light needed sorting.

All three just needed contacts brushing, cleaning and oiling. and, hey presto, all three are working again. If any of you have a MH and are faced with 12 volt problems, I’d really have a go rather than send the van off to the doctors. The problem with any vehicle electrics, especially if they’re intermittent, is that the man-who-does probably has as much chance of finding the fault as you do … and in the end, nine times out of ten the part will not be broken, it will just be a loose contact or similar. A word of warning, however. Whilst a 12 volt shock won’t kill you, an exposed wire will spark and heat … and could cause a fire. So be a little bit careful.

Anyhow, she’s ready for her MOT and for me to use her as an outside workspace next week as I ‘sew from home’ to save me travelling to Jen’s in Gloucester every day.

img_20190125_224502396

we’ve got Cassie with us for a while …

Talking of which, we’re off to Jen’s tonight to attend a pub quiz. C’s knocked up sausage casserole for the lot of us, which will be grand. Tonight’s quiz theme is Star Wars. That’ll be no points from me then.

Finally, C is about half way through book 5 (still no title) and is loving it – she would say. That gives me great hope as the book picks up in the second half and I think the ending is one of the best sub-plots I’ve ever penned. We’ll see.

That’s all from the Bradley Stoke jury. Have a great week.

Time for contemplation

The thing about being away is that you get time to reflect. Real, uninterrupted time. And that’s what we’ve been doing (as well as some touristing and book stuff). We’ve been thinking about the next couple of years and what it looks like for us. We’ve been at this full timing malarkey for over three years now, and we are still taken by it. It’s the simplicity, it’s neatness, the freedom. But, it’s also fair to say that C wants some room to expand a bit. Shake out all the old stuff and see what we’ve got. And, whilst originally we saw ourselves having Christmas in sunnier climes, after year one (winter in Sicily and Greece) we have been home for Christmas. It’s about family and friends. And certainly this year we’re home again. And do you know what? It can be blooming miserable in the cold and rain in a small white box.

our usual spot

So what are the ingredients? As luck would have it Jen and James are moving out of the house that we own – they’ve bought their own place in Gloucester. This gives us a two-up, two-down to play with. With, luckily, just enough room to park Doris in the drive. We want the freedom to go away for long lengths of time. We have some plans for next year. We don’t know which country we want to live in, let alone which part of which country. I’m loving the writing and feel more confident about the books now than I ever have done. I do see myself earning a wage of sorts in four or five years time (at, say, book 7 or 8) and we could hang onto then. However, I have no problem with going back to work. Part time or full time. I have to say that going back into the classroom excites me. But maybe not full time.
We have two daughters and husband(s) who want to see us. Bex and Steven are likely to stay abroad for the time being, so we need a slab of time to go and see them. Oh, and we must ski each year. And we have friends and relatives who want to see us, and, without wanting to sound arrogant, need us. And that’s the problem with working full time, of course. Finding the capacity to see people if I were working, would become more complicated. And, finally, C doesn’t want to work. And will follow my lead – so she tells me.
What’s that look like then? Well, we’re not sure. I think we will move into the house in Bristol and make it ours. My rule has always been, if we move into a house I will have to get some work. Well, with the books making a little bit of money, that’s may not be necessary – but we would then need to rein in our plans a bit. So maybe I’ll look for some v part time work? Still ski in January, and hope to go to Spain in May for a couple of months. And we mustn’t forget that Jen and James get married at the end of March.
    I must find a title for book 4
It may be that, once we’ve sorted ourselves out the plan reverts to renting out the house and generating some more income. But, we’ll see.
Exciting hey?
Oh, and I’ve started touting Unsuspecting Hero screenplay around some agents and ITV. And Frank tells me he’s meeting with a producer next week. We can only do what can do

Up and down

preview (2)

Allow me talk about self-confidence.

The army teaches you to have bags of it. Because, without it it’s v difficult to get groups of people to do things they’d really rather not do. I went to Sandhurst at 18. Twenty-five years later I left with the confidence of 10 men.

Teaching next. Confidence is key here as well. If you haven’t stood up in front of 25 barely pubescent 15 year-olds (with more hormones than a back-street Chinese hormone shop), and, again, tried to get them to do things they really don’t want to do – then you’re lucky. I salute teachers everywhere. Before I became one, I thought being a teacher was the easiest job in the world. Eh, no. I found leading – which is what teachers do, day-in, day-out – classes of kids much more tricky than taking a battalion of soldiers on operations..

Did that for 8 years. Tick.

Now I work for myself. I am, principally, an author. I write books for – well, I can’t really call it a living. 5,000 books in three years is hardly a living. But it’s what I do (as well as marketing books – which is taking up more and more of my time). #SamGreen is #1. Twitter (I like Twitter); Facebook; Instagram; this blog. It all helps. Hurrah!

But do I do it with confidence? Am I ‘up’ all the time? Is morale ‘green’; optimism ‘high’?

Well, not really. I have very good days when what I have written seems like the best thing out there. When I sell 15 books (as I have today – already). When I get a grown-up review from someone I’ve never heard of – and it’s genuinely fab. But just as quickly – and precipitously, I feel rubbish. That I’m writing for an audience of 17 people – most of them my friends who would read my rubbish anyway and politely say they like it. When I get a poor review; or I’ve sold no books by lunchtime. That, thankfully, isn’t just now. But it might be this time tomorrow.

Instagram 1 (2)

indeed she is!

Up and down. Down and up. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

What does this mean? Well, I applaud anyone in the arts trying to make a living. I applaud our friend Deborah Blyth who makes her own (very smart) jewellery and has a growing business that needs a big break. Our daughter Jen who has just banked with Mum and Dad for quite a lot of money, in order to buy an embroidery machine and sewing machine so she can sell her fabulous dog bandannas and collars – link here: Cubbly’s . I applaud my niece, Grace, trying to make it as an actor at the tender age of 18. And all the painters, sculptors, actors, writers, weavers, crafts people – indeed, anyone who is trying to make something with their hands, their bodies and/or their keyboards – and then living off the proceeds.

And my advice – not that I’m in a position to give advice to so many talented people: keep at it. Do what you love. Work harder. Persevere. Have faith. Work a bit harder. Still keep at it. Something good will happen.

BTW – all’s well in The Bahamas! And book 4 going splendidly. 54/120k words done and I now have the obligatory mindmap to get me to a conclusion. Sam Green is alive and well (and, having spent 2 days here, is now in Miami.

IMG_20170926_153753583