Clearing the Decks (again) - Cecilia Peartree

 The other night I couldn't get to sleep for hours. This was partly because my sister-in-law was round earlier in the day with her dog, who was in an unusually restless frame of mind, having detected something in the bushes at the end of our garden and been frustrated in her efforts to catch up with it, and we talked for hours, which is an unfamiliar activity for me these days as I spend a lot of time on my own. Not that I'm complaining about that, because I always have plenty to do, which brings me back to the 'clearing the decks' topic. The main reason I couldn't get to sleep was the multiplicity of tasks I had intended to finish with before NaNoWriMo.

Of course I had known about most of the tasks for some time. There were last year's AGM minutes, for a start. I had been sort of hoping I'd typed them up before my accident in April and would find them somewhere among my computer files, but it turned out that not only were they not in electronic form anywhere but that it took a bit of searching to locate the notes I'd taken at the time. This was because the house had been turned upside-down, more or less literally, while I was in hospital, and almost nothing was where it had been before the accident, including a pink project book with all my recent notes for writing projects, which still hasn't re-surfaced, and my favourite shrub pruner, ditto.

Because this year's AGM is now scheduled for early December, I knew I had to have the 2022 minutes ready before November, otherwise it would have been a complete lost cause and I might even have been drummed off the committee, although that could have been a blessing, I suppose. There is no getting away from the fact that there will still be some printing, copying and posting to do during November. Other people are involved in the paperwork that has to be sent out for the AGM, and in my experience some of my committee colleagues are even more inclined to leave things to the last minute than I am, though that is hard to believe.

The mention of printing reminds me of another task I had resolved to carry out before NaNoWriMo, which was to replace at least one of the ink cartridges in my desktop printer. In theory this task shouldn't loom too large - if you get it right, I find it usually only takes a couple of minutes. However, there is a certain amount of organisation required around the replacement of the cartridge. You have to find the new one, for a start. When I bought a new printer last year, it seemed like a good idea to sign up for a sort of contract for replacement ink cartridges, and they had sent me some quite a while ago which were still in their box. All I had to do was to find the box.

The printer looming over me (as it does over this blog post)

Once I found the cartridge box, I couldn't find any instructions on how to carry out the replacement. There's a very small display screen on the printer itself, and an app on my computer that purports to be for this kind of thing, but neither of these had any instructions for cartridge replacement. Eventually I discovered something online that helped a bit, but at the time of writing I am still waiting for the printer to stop stressing about some kind of alignment test I didn't ask it to run. I've even had an email about that too, so evidently the printer company is monitoring my activity even on a Sunday morning.

I also got myself into a slight panic over a knitting project. If anything, this just proves how trivial some people's lives can get after they've been stuck in the house for too long! But because I've been knitting for charity, the thing has taken on some urgency. Last year I managed somehow to knit enough squares for two whole blankets for a local homelessness project, and this year I don't even have enough for one yet. However, I've worked out that I could have enough for one blanket if I keep to quite a tight schedule and can finish another six or so squares by the 22nd of November, when I am supposed to hand them in. I suppose it might make for some thinking time which can feed into my writing!

Knitting in progress (in the background, a blanket I made out of spare squares)

In addition to all the above, I had decided to take part in a Christmas Fair in early December,  so I'm in the middle of trying to sort out as much as possible for that, including the creation of a leaflet about some of my novels, and the publication of a new collection of short stories. But there may be more on that part of things in a later post. For the moment, I am just grateful for the extra hour we have today, which I hope has allowed me to catch up enough to prevent any more sleepless nights.


Peter Leyland said…
That's an interesting read Cecilia, going through all those neglected tasks. A particular one that struck a chord was about printing inks! While I have mastered how to change them successfully without getting too much ink over my fingers, I have many unused ones because my supplier keeps sending me ones that I don't need. If you know anyone in your circle requiring spare Epson cartridges, just send them my way...
Reb MacRath said…
Well done. Best of luck on NNWM!
Thanks for your comments - another twist to the printer sto ry is that I inadvertently put in a colour cartridge I'd bought from Amazon, and this was detected by the printer company who then sent me a stern email about why I mustn't do it again!

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