FullSizeRender (1)

My last post, in which I admit to loving my computer, may have left a good many of my readers with the feeling that my ‘real’ projects, those that I value highly, have suffered over recent months. Here I want to put paid to those ideas by talking a bit about some of the things I have achieved and to say a few words about work in progress.

Mentors generally advise that rather than appearing boastful it is good to let others know about ones ambitions. In fact they believe that once somebody actually expresses an idea or an intent they are more likely to strive to finish it than if they keep it to themselves. One of my own mentors, Cary Cooper, said that this is how he approaches the publication of one of his books, ‘ I tell people I am thinking about it; then that I have started.  When I am half way through I publically discuss my research findings in brief, and later I let the public know that the book is in its final draft. Then, once it is finished I announce a publication date.’ Voila! A blueprint for success.

I guess he is building interest in prospective readers so that the new book will add to his list of best-sellers ………but I also feel by using this method he is increasing his own anticipation of a time when it’s a job well done . I find a similar approach works for myself. Unless I set deadlines and let people know what I am working on I have a tendency to drift – to find diversions which at the time appear enticing but are unproductive. Deadlines force me to be more realistic about how long it will take me to finish things. And, in addition, as I grow older and less energetic, deciding on a date when I intend to complete makes for a more realistic time-scale.

So, as well as participating in all the computer based activities mentioned in my last post I have met deadlines in various tasks. Some of these have been associated with that part of my life which can sometimes seem like hard work. Writing. At the beginning of the year I mentioned a book I was working on. This is well on track now in that I am a good half way through and have edited five of the early chapters.  The recipe collection is likewise taking shape and I have also managed to do some sketches to accompany these.

Unfortunately during recent months I have needed to attend a great many hospital and clinic appointments. No doubt there will be many more of these as time goes on and these will bite into my working hours and my deadlines will need to be  adjusted. Far from seeing these appointments as a dull waste of time though (from a writing point of view) these do give me lots of ideas for stories so maybe there is a hidden bonus somewhere in there.

On the painting front – more relaxing – I still attend my Monday afternoon watercolour group and believe I am making progress there. No deadlines in mind  though I have noted down some ideas for my Xmas cards. I did exhibit two oil  paintings at the TERPS Exhibition at the Spa in Bridlington and another picture as part of the Remember Me Art Walk in Beverley which was staged as part of the Alzheimer Charity Week.  Currently I am working on an oil painting to submit to the 19th Open Art Exhibition at the Beverley Art Gallery which is to be held from 11th December through to 13th February. My deadline there is mid-November so no time to waste!

However, I must admit creating the deadlines is easy. Meeting them is harder; I could not do that without the support and help of my family and friends. Especially I am grateful to Angela who drives me back and forth and cares generally for me. Love to you all.



The days, the weeks, the months are passing ever more speedily and it is evident that many of the projects I am trying to complete in order to meet self-imposed deadlines are turning into chores rather than the pleasures they once were. It was whilst I sipped my breakfast coffee this morning that I resolved that something must give. Decision time. Analysis time. I must re-evaluate how I spend my days and discover where I am going wrong.

It soon became obvious, as the analysis proceeded, that I had been taken over; something had ousted me as Managing Director of Mollie Kay Smith’s Life. It, for it certainly wasn’t a person, had sneakily eaten away the minutes and seconds of my days in such a way that weeks and even months had passed before I began to suss out what was going o

The computer. Within seconds of switching on and during the short time I waited for Explorer to open, I began to think maybe I had caught the culprit red handed.

Forty or so unasked for messages in my inbox seemed to confirm my suspicions. All to be ticked off and deleted. Another ten at least, welcome, but still all requiring me to read their contents and absorb the information they contained and send replies.

On most days there is a message from telling me they have found six or seven hints relating to people in my family tree. I have been cultivating this for many years and hints which may help me escape the blockages I have come across are important. Once climbing this tree I am lost – I forget objectives and divert away from the main stem to explore new tempting branches and sometimes even twigs.

Then of course I must check Facebook, Twitter, and a couple of other social websites I belong to, and also those business networks which I enjoy keeping up with.

A GOOD TWO HOURS TICKED AWAY BEFORE GETTING DOWN TO WHAT I SWITCHED ON FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE! To get on with writing a story or a chapter or an outline or anything else.

When, many years ago now, I worked long hours and was a whizz at Time Management I achieved so much in a day. Now retired, as I have been for nearly a quarter of a century, I seem to have lost the knack. But I have learned how to use my mobility scooter and how to take things easy. I even take a siesta every afternoon.

But what the hell, blow imaginary deadlines I’m really enjoying this unpressured way of life. And I’ll tell you a secret. I really do love my computer and enjoy the pleasures it gives me. I sit in my wheelchair and my computer takes me to far off places I could never visit. It allows me to go shopping; talk to friends living at a distance from me and – using Skype- we can actually see each other. I can sit and listen to music when I am wanting to relax and with the aid of DVDs can further develop my understanding of painting and see how other people achieve their results or read my Kindle books.

So I really never resent the fact that the computer, my computer, has achieved a take over of my life. Anyhow I really do still hold the greater power. I can switch it off whenever I feel like it!

At the moment it can’t do that to me. But what of future computer models? Mmmm.I wonder.

But for the time being just enjoy life as it comes.