It's a confusing time right now. I'm reviewing Thailand and Kakadu to decide whether I've written enough stories about them, so that I can go back to June and catch up on some UK material - the Forest of Bowland, for example, or maybe Lindisfarne. Meanwhile, another bit of my brain is thinking about what I need to pack for South Africa next week, and how I can avoid overlapping with stuff I need to take to the US on the day after I return from Johannesburg, because I don't want to be lying awake for those precious few hours in my own bed listening to the washing machine whirring away. It's all a bit much, especially on top of also trying to organise tradesmen - and the Council - to sort things in the house and garden so that we can sell it as soon as we get home. Too much mental activity altogether. It would be a relief to go outside and just dig clay for a few hours (don't ask). Except that now it's raining.
Occasional messages are arriving from the Firstborn, currently cruising in the Galapagos Islands, consistently raving; "Holy moley! This place is AMAAAAZING!!!" along with pics of iguanas and tortoises. Of course she's having a wonderful time. It is an amazing place, and she's got the luxury of 10 days there to explore it all, twice as long as I had, sigh. The Baby, meanwhile, is disporting herself (well, actually, working) on a billionaire's yacht in Italy, where I've hardly been at all, though I've been trying to get back there. It's very frustrating, having got an actual commission for a story, and not to be able to persuade an airline to take me there. What's that? Buy a ticket, you say? Have you NO understanding of how this travel writing thing works?! There has to be some compensation for being paid peanuts.
And finally there's Scotland in the news, about to decide whether to vote Aye or Nay, so I'm remembering being there in June (getting sunburnt!) and seeing the posters and the badges everywhere. Meantime the All Blacks are being talked about because they're playing South Africa here tomorrow and, though I'm so not a follower of them, I've been preceding them a bit this year, to Newcastle's stadium where they're playing in the RWC next year, and to Chicago where they've got a game at Wrigley Field against the US in November. Somebody in Chicago actually offered yesterday to set me up with an AB interview. Puh-leese! (But I'm not above using them to try to sell a story...)