• Michael Parker

Fencing & Painting

Another drab week for Pat, but she’s pulling through now. Two more weeks to her penultimate chemo, then one more. I know we could all do without the pandemic, but it makes it increasingly difficult knowing that I can’t put Pat in her wheelchair and take her for a walk along the prom at Bognor, just to cheer her up. When we were clapping at 8 o’clock the other night, I joked that Pat was clapping for me because I was her carer, but we are under no illusions as to who the gesture was for. I don’t envy those NHS workers who have to go into work daily, at the ‘coalface’ so to speak, and hope they don’t catch the virus. Quite scary.

I finished the book I was reading because of the amount of time I waited in the car while Pat was having chemo (not allowed in with her now). This was ‘House in the Woods’ by Mark Dawson. It was a five-star read; I would recommend it. I had planned to start on Scott Mariani’s book, House of War, but managed to get distracted by David Jason as Inspector Frost on ITV hub. Maybe next week I’ll give Mr. Mariani a look.

I found myself thinking about a development in my pulp fiction thriller, which I get to when I can and don’t expect to finish until the end of the year. Anyway, I came up with some pretty good ideas, mulled them around a bit and decided I should get them into the book and help get me somewhere in the development of the story. Trouble is I was in the shower. Perhaps I should have a waterproof pen and notebook with when I take shower. I can remember some of the bright ideas I had, but it was eight hours ago and I’m beginning to flag. I might get round to jotting them down somewhere.

My book sales for last month were pretty good, but that was because of the Book Bub featured deal. I sold about 400 copies of The Boy from Berlin, and a few of my other titles. I’m back on the flat line again but will be looking into adjusting my advertising campaigns. Doing that is quite complicated, and I’m almost in awe of those writers who can crack the minutiae of Amazon ads and sell hundreds of books a month.

Another job I have to keep on top of is the garden. And that’s the reason for the photo this week: our garden seat which takes pride of place outside our front door. It needed painting, which I did yesterday, and finished off retightening all the screws so it doesn’t fall apart. It’s this part of the garden — we call it our cottage garden — which looks lovely when the hanging baskets and the wisteria are in full bloom. That has always been Pat’s domain, but she’s too frail to tackle it now, so it’s my job. And I mustn’t let her down. I spent part of the week repairing a fence that had succumbed to the high winds in February and March. I had to patch it together because I couldn’t afford the time to spend at B&Q looking for the right wood and getting it cut. I don’t even know if B&Q are open though. Anyway, the fence is back up and soon the wisteria will be trailing its way through it.

That’s it for the week. Still haven’t heard from Joffe Books. Wish me luck.

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