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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Last-minute jobs... and a Coen Brothers movie while I do the ironing

Nearly there. We head north - and further north - in less than 60 hours, and one by one I'm ticking off the list of Things We Have To Do. First, the day-job.  Today I was at my desk at seven, thinking about the old days, on the railway etc., when we were paid double time for Sundays. Ha!  I remained more or less rooted there until about seven this evening, at which time I was able to send to Mike Pannett the re-written 8000-word draft of the second sample chapter of what we now know will be called Without Fear or Favour. Tomorrow, possibly even tonight, the pair of them (total words approx 17,000) will wing their way back for a final trim, as it were; tomorrow they will go to our agent, who will start looking for likely bidders.

On the travel front, we have elicited a little more info about our part of Norway, gathered together a mound of tickets (two trains, three ferries, and a plane - with bicycles on each), a stash of Norwegian kronor, and precious few items of clothing. I will be sporting my first ever cycle shorts. (I suspect I did the trans-Nebraska run in 1994 in jeans and sandals...). As to the bikes, we have now had a practice run at taking them apart for stowage on the aeroplane. We managed all but one task: my left pedal, whose fixing nut refuses to budge. I'll whizz down to Infinity Cycles tomorrow and ask them kindly to loosen it.

There remains the business of the house and garden.  Last week we put in one long, long day at the allotment (the first in seven weeks of lousy weather) and planted: French beans, courgettes (zucchini to the Americans), spinach beet, purple sprouting broccoli, parsnips, leeks, calabrese, wallflowers, asters, night-scented stocks, peas, parsley. Tonight I shall nibble around the edges of a cubic yard or so of... ironing, while watching a Coen Bros movie, Burn After Reading. Not sure what to expect: some of theirs I love (Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski), some I cannot stand (Fargo, There Will Be Blood).  But they're always worth trying.

Possibly one more entry on here, then we switch to auto-pilot and the extracts from Toad's Road-Kill Cafe.