Writing and Swimming

Thursday 9th August

Okay, getting things in order. Over here on the Tor blog (that’s Tor Macmillan not Tor US) there’s a survey about my books, about what you like best, and some prizes to be won including my entire back catalogue and some signed artwork.

Penny Royal II now stands at 22,152 words and it’s been 22 days since I started on it. Obviously this averages out at 1,000 words a day but then three weekends have to be subtracted, two days spent on the short story The Other Gun, a day picking up relatives from Iraklion and a day spent on interviews and other ephemera, so 12 days, which gives me an average of 1846, so just a spit away from the word count I aim for. Working on that basis this means I should have the book done by about Christmas then, all being well, a third one done well before it’s time for me to deliver the first of the three. Well, that’s the plan anyhow.

Friday 10th August
Damn, what happened this morning? I woke up at around about 5.00 and couldn’t get back to sleep so got up at 6.00. I took a shower and then went outside to bucket the shower water onto my plants and, seeing Dean and Samantha up and about, went into a state of shock. These two generally aren’t stirring from their pit until gone 9.00 or 10.00. Now even Caroline is up and about. Perhaps it’s the wind, or rather the lack of it. It had a few more rebellious blasts yesterday morning and then died and this morning it’s gone. So we’re no longer hearing that but instead the steadily growing din of the cicadas.

Moving on to the ‘where are they now’ section … familiar faces are missing from the beach this year…

Hi David and Lesley!

Monday 13th August
So, with it getting to hot to dance to the Wii a couple of months ago, with one record resulting in me dripping like I’d just got out of the shower and skating on sweat, I had to give that up. However, the increase in temperature meant the sea becoming warm enough for me to get into without my balls trying to retreat into my torso, so I changed my exercise routine. I took my first ‘harbour swim’ in June (I think someone measured it on Google Maps at about a quarter to half a mile) and was pleased to manage it without the rests I took when starting swimming the year before, but was still thoroughly knackered. In the picture it’s from where I’m standing to that line of rocks to the right of the harbour mouth.

By July it was getting easier and now it is getting almost too easy, so I’m not swimming straight back from the harbour but doing partial or full circuits of the buoys that mark the point beyond which I might get run over by a jet ski.

And still it’s not damned well enough to stop my stomach from sticking out.

And on a final note, bar work can be dangerous, especially when you catch a broken glass on the way to the floor, Kostis:


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