Dec 02

There’s a cricket term for you. Not often I get to use one of those on this side of the Pond.

I turned 50 last week. I had a good time, a party a few days before my birthday, and another celebration on the day. This year it fell the day before Thanksgiving which is unusual, but it meant many people who would have been at work were off that day, or at least got out early.

The drawback was that many people go out of town for the holidays, so I was missing some friends from my party. We would have had a few more if they had not been visiting family, or taking the opportunity of being off work for a few days to nip away, but no big deal. We enjoyed ourselves anyway.

So far it doesn’t feel much different to being 49, but as I’ve only been in my sixth decade for five days, I suppose it’s early days. Ask me again in, let’s see, three months? Six months?

Sure age is just a number, right? Ozzy Osbourne turns 71 tomorrow and he is still going strong. If I’m still as active in another 21 years as he is today, I’ll be delighted.

My big birthday over, now Christmas is right around the corner. No rest for the wicked, right? Or the elderly…

Nov 02

I’ve probably used that title before. But in a different way.

We bought a house in September and we are settling in. It means the last three posts I’ve written have all been in different spots: my old place, New York, now the new home. In fact some of the recent blogs have been bashed out across the Atlantic, so it seems like I’m an international playboy jet-setter, when in fact I’m as far from that as you can imagine.

Still though, it does bring something home to me, about how I can work from just about anywhere. That’s got to be worth something I suppose. At a time when there are always bills to pay, when you are struggling to scrape up the money for something, it’s a comfort I guess.

Flexibility, and not needing to be at a certain place at a certain time, obviously has its advantages. Getting a regular, weekly guaranteed paycheck does as well of course. Different strokes for different strokes, as someone once said.

Anyway, I’m off to the pub to watch Chelsea. That’s the other place where I do a lot of my work these days… Til next time.

Oct 01

I’m writing this in Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River. It’s a hard life I know.

We are in New York City for five nights. We based the trip around seeing a friend who played Carnegie Hall last night, but then we rolled some other stuff into the stay. It’s what we at home call, “a mini-break” or “a city break.” Once upon a time I used to sell them for a living.

It’s been a while since I’ve been here. I’ve just done a bit of research on the web, and I think it was May 2013, so more than six years ago. It’s funny how fast time goes when you are old like me.

But this may be the first time I have not traipsed around any of the tourist sites. Usually I like to walk around Manhattan, soak up the atmosphere and such. But we have been flat-out visiting friends, watching football and meeting babies, so no time for any of that typical vacation nonsense. Maybe I’ll squeeze a wee bit in tomorrow.

So a blog from New York City. How cosmopolitan and travelled I am. And if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to yell at a cab driver and eat at a deli…

Sep 04

September and October are my two busiest months of the year.

In September my writing classes start up again for the Autumn. I usually do two, one on a Tuesday and another on a Thursday, but on occasion that has been stretched to a third, when I’ve had enough writers to run a Wednesday evening session as well.

The courses are about to kickoff, and I always panic about a week out, that I’m not going to have enough students join. At the minute my Thursday course is near enough full so that’s fine, and now all my energy will be going into trying to fill Tuesday’s class.

In general, people do take their time, and it’s normal for there to be a raft of last-minute sign-ups, but it doesn’t do my blood pressure or sleep pattern any good. My writing courses are where I make most of my annual salary, so if they are slack, well… no operation for my dying grandmother this year I’m afraid.

I guess I should go and hound my mailing list to join me, my friends and family to spread the word, and use my social media skills to get the word out. I’ll let you know how it goes next month…

Aug 01

I was going to write, “N’Awlins,” but I think people from here get annoyed by that. It’s kind of like what tourists, who don’t want to be thought of as tourists, call the place. Nobody who lives here calls it that to be fair.

The funny thing is, when I was here on my stag trip / bachelor party in 2000, we had an artist paint a caricature. He wrote that version of the name on it. He obviously lived here though, so I guess he must have done it for the tourists. Which I was 19 years ago, although I’m, not any more.

Anyway, I’m back home (or from home), and sweltering through the near-90 degree heat. It’s brutal to be back, and I’m always sad to leave my friends and family in the Old Country.

What has made the last three weeks better is that my daughter is here with me. Yesterday was her twelfth birthday, and her and three of her friends went to the little amusement place in City Park. I have not got to see her a lot over the past two years, so I’m enjoying my time with her now.

Speaking of which, I’m off to do that right now. Enjoy your summer everyone.

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