Thursday 16 February 2012

The mysterious disappearing prop shaft

Yesterday morning ‘im outdoors got into his truck, started it up and went to pull away.  But the truck didn’t go anywhere and he feared the gear box was having issues again.  He hopped out and had a quick look underneath to make sure everything looked ok and there he found a small pile of bolts and a space where his prop shaft should be.
Luckily he wasn’t on his way to work and so he had time to ring the police and then some garages to find a new one.  Seems prop shafts for his truck are hard to come by and it is going to cost £800+ for it to be replaced.  We can only assume that someone else didn’t have the £800+ to fix theirs and so has nicked one instead.  But what makes them think we can afford that cost our selves?  ‘im outdoors has not had any work for the last 6 weeks – part of being a landscaper that we are aware of and do plan for, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  And now he has some work he can’t get to it.
At least they did not steal all his tools, as happened to friends of ours a couple of years ago, but we are both still fuming.
I hate living in a society where nicking stuff happens and where more often than not they get away with it.  My boss’ bike was stolen from outside work just before Christmas.  Even with his details stamped on it, it is still very unlikely he will see it again.  (I’m not blaming the police, I’m sure they try their very best, and I know I wouldn’t know where to start if I had to find a stolen bike.)
It makes me want to shout – What is wrong with these people?

Tuesday 14 February 2012


For my birthday last month I was lucky enough to receive a StoryWorld set.
The idea is to help inspire story telling, so I thought it might be fun to take to the writers group today.
The set consist of a set of cards which cover four different worlds (The World of Everyday, the Land of Faery, The World of Magic and The Realm of the Court) and a book to help you on your way.  There are many different ways you can use the set and many more cards to collect too.
Each card has so much happening on it that you could just use the image to inspire you.  Then again each card has an introduction and questions on the back which you might find inspiring.  Or you could pull out a group of cards (maybe at random, maybe your favourites) and see what sort of story grows from them.  The possibilities are endless.

What I love is that all the cards are discreetly linked.  I manage to find the links between about half the cards, but the rest eluded me.

I’ve pulled out some of my favourites in the image above.  They include The Well of Memory, The Star Blanket, The Knight, and The Dog, what fun I could have with just the titles never mind the wonderful images.  I might be a bit busy with fact to right fiction right now, but the rest of the group I'm sure will be busy.

Friday 3 February 2012

Starting out - Total War and Social Change

Tomorrow I start my 5th (if you don’t count the small 12 week ‘start writing fiction’ course which started it all off) Open University module – AA312 Total War and Social Change.  9 months work for 60 credits towards my degree.
As always I am nervous and excited but this module is a little more daunting than normal.  
Partly because it is my first History module, and as it is a Level 3 module this puts me straight in at the deep end.  But I have now had a look at the study calendar and this is the really scary bit.  
The OU are great in giving you a plan of what you should be reading/listen to/watching each week making it easier for you to plan your time.  Normally you would ‘study’ for 4 or 5 weeks and then having a ‘reading week’ where you can catch up if you need to and work on your assignment.  The AA312 calendar has no reading weeks.  Studying and assignment writing have to be done at the same time.  
You could speculate that this is just part of it being a level 3 course, but I have done other level 3 course (two in fact – what is wrong with me?) which had reading weeks.  I think it is just that there is so much to cover in the time we have that there is no time for breaks.
With this in mind I rather fear the blog will get forgotten, so if you find that not much is happening here over the next 9 months, spare a thought for me as I cram as much information into my head as possible and work towards my first exam in 7 years.

I should point out that I am doing this off my own back and am really exciting about the subject material.  It’s just the timetable and exam which are really scary.  I can always drop out if it all gets too much; but I like to finish what I start.