on the writing & reading trail

Edit diary

24 November

Editing: The work on Past imperfect is trundling on – more than half-way there. Am approaching the end of Part Two and the bombshells for both Freya and Alexander. Neither has an inkling of what is ahead. They will be left unbelieving, their lives changed forever.

Not finding so much to change beyond the occasional passive sentences; I suppose because this is the umpteenth sweep through.

Working through a dialogue between two Gorbals women in war-torn Glasgow in 1941 reminded me how difficult and confusing it was to understand what people were saying when I first visited that city not too many years after that war ended. Hopefully the dialect included in one of my scenes is not too testing for non-Scots readers.

I also did a quick pass over the reference to Freya’s first experience of Hogmanay with her father’s parents in Eyemouth, a village on the east coast of Scotland, south of Edinburgh. A little nostalgic I’m including a chorus from the famous Auld lang sine, which is usually sung at New Year; a time when friends join hands to remember old times and have a drink to celebrate. And how enthusiastically so many Scots do celebrate! I remember a few night shifts as a nurse at that time of year when some had revelled far too well, with dire consequences.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

Robert Burns collected the words from an old man and sent the material to the Scots Musical Museum. It is always emotional for me and I love to join the singing when watching the Edinburgh Tattoo on TV, the part where the audience say their farewells. The real thing was quite an experience. The song also has its place at most Burns Supper celebrations and sometimes at funerals.

A visit to http://www.eyemouthmuseum.org/the-museum/the-eyemouth-tapestry/will introduce the history of the tapestry to commemorate the loss of 189 fishermen. Freya and her sister Ness later visit the memorial. That part of the Berwickhire cost is a walkers mecca.

Berwickshire coast

Computing: I’m finding my new machine just a bit awkward, but know when I get used to the slightly smaller keyboard and Word 2013 differences from Word 2010 and Word 2003-2007 that I’m very familiar with, it will be easier. Sometimes I spend ages working out what used to seem so easy. Can’t use ‘help’ at the Library as there is no universal internet connection. If only I could find the glitches at home. Never mind I guess the grey matter can do with the odd challenge. What do the medicos say? Use it or lose it. This is on my mind as last night brought news of a distant friend diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. So sad – my age too.

Reading: Still with Dorothy Koomson’s book. A modern tale that explores a serious aspect of surrogate pregnancy. I’m not predicting how it ends as there are many threads, just waiting for it to unfold.

 

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