Welcome to “Weekend Wafflings” my new regular Friday evening blog post full of, well, waffle about me trying to become a reasonably successful author. Think of it as a bit of a feet up read at the end of a busy week. Glass of wine optional.
Sometimes I’m so clumsy. Once, a few years back (alright, 12) I was walking to work when I suddenly tripped up on my own feet. Seriously. There I was, spread out on a Manchester pavement, rain lashing down on my back, the contents of my work bag strewn all over the concrete, my Filofax and lippy blending in with the discarded Tennents cans and crisp packets. Pulling myself up, I glanced round to check no-one saw me, and when I was sure the coast was clear, I let out a long breath of relief. Only when I resumed walking did I feel a slight additional, shall we say, breeze to my left leg. Halting, I glanced down at my trousers to see an almighty rip at the knee, the material flapping on either side like sails on a boat. When I walked into the office 10 minutes later, my work pals let out the loudest laughs at the state of me, and even louder ones when they badgered out of me how I’d done it. Needless to say, I was mortified.
These days, while I trip up a touch less often, I’m still just as clumsy. Take this blogging lark. The other day I go to post a comment on the film blog, Fandango Groovers , and instead of starting my comment with an intended, “Aaah”, in my reminiscence about the 80s film, The Breakfast Club (aw, d’you remember those outfits?), I write “Saab”. Before I know it, I am clicking ‘post’, and there I am, sounding like a numpty to the whole world. Like many a person, turns out it’s not just my feet that trip me up. It’s my fingers, too. You see, after a small run in a few months back with a corrupted memory stick from which crucial files could not be clawed back, I join the server cloud website Dropbox, on the advice of my husband. ‘You need to back up your files,’ he instructs. I nod, trying to remember what he’s saying. ‘A memory stick is not the most reliable place to store your manuscripts,’ he continues. ‘You’ve backed everything up, haven’t you?’ My silence speaks volumes. He shakes his head and leaves the room. Praying for a miracle, I switch on my laptop and begin to register with Dropbox. Over the next few weeks, all goes well. I write my novel, save it to the cloud. I write my newspaper columns, save them to the cloud. I even email some crucial second drafts to myself as third back up. Save it to the fluffy cloud. Mighty pleased with myself, that night I tell my husband that I’ve rearranged my Dropbox link on laptop number two because there was a shortcut link icon type thingy that didn’t need to be there. Top Gear is on, so I don’t think he hears me, and, thinking nothing more of it, I resume typing away novel number two, making a mental note to get up at 5 am.m to do some writing.
‘Oh my God,’ I whimper. It is now 6 a.m. and I am sat at my laptop in shock. ‘What is it?’ says a sleepy husband, entering the room. ‘Oh my God,’ I repeat. Used to my warblings, my husband ignores me and inspects the screen. ‘Is that your Dropbox link?’ I nod. ‘Aren’t your files supposed to be there?’ he says. Again, I nod. It is all I can manage. Because he is right. The files are supposed to be there – but they have disappeared. ‘I think I deleted them by accident,’ I finally say. Then: ‘I feel sick.’ My husband lets out a breath and pats my back. ‘I’ll go and put the kettle on,’ he says.
The next morning, by some miracle, I manage to retrieve all but a few of the files. My second novel is still all there, as is the original manuscript of the first, plus a whole host of other crucial items. Padding downstairs, I switch on the stove and make some porridge for me and the youngest – our favourite breakfast treat, figuring, after the morning’s events, I need it. My husband comes in, fixing his tie. ‘Did you manage to sort the computer files?’ he asks. I open the draw to get the porridge oats. ‘Yep,’ I say, ‘thank goodness. What a nightmare.’ Reaching for the porridge tub, I pick it up only for it to inexplicably slip from my hands, its entire contents tipping everywhere. I don’t move, instead choosing to just blink at the drawer and the floor, each now covered in oats. ‘Oh dear,’ says my husband. I say nothing and close the draw. ‘Weren’t you going to make some porridge?’ he asks. I look at him. ‘No,’ I say, deciding to reach for the bread bin. ‘I think I’ll make some toast.’ ‘Ah,’ he says, ‘you could if I hadn’t fused it the other night.’ I sigh and reach for a banana. I’ll be alright as long as I don’t slip on the skin.
Right. Done anything clumsy? Ooo, let’s hear it. Have a great weekend.
**New for next week: “Media Monday”. A new blog post that gives you a short, sharp start to the week blast of stuff going on on a Monday in the media.**