The tightness of time

I am writing a time travel novel with a chum. In fact, we have written TWO time travel novels and are just starting on the third.
They are really good, but what with working on Shriven Book IV (140,000 words and counting) as well as everything else work and family life throws at me, time is tight and we are finding it difficult to get them polished up and onto Amazon.
When I was at university, it was a constant struggle getting my essays in on time, and I had to negotiate an extension to one end-of-term missive. Why? What the hell else was I doing? What the hell else was there to do?

clocks on chains

You can have too much time

I lived in a tiny house with a friend (five rooms. Literally). So hardly any housework.
No meals to prepare (bakery across the road, Chinese two streets away).
No children or parents, no distracting PlayStation or Candy Crush. And what do I have to show for that three years? (Apart from a degree, obviously) Sod all.
I didn’t write any books, I wasn’t active in any societies or working nights with a swamp rock band. I didn’t even have a part-time job (this was the 80s).
Apart from the pile of Cosmopolitans I must have read, I did nothing apart from sit in smoky pubs and feel a bit sorry for myself.
I was single once for six whole months (serial monogamist, me), while living in my current house.
Just me to pick up after, to cook for (I lived on tortilla chips and Rolling Rock beer. Every now and then I would ‘cook’ – make pancakes), to wash and iron for (I lived in Lycra. Ironing took ten minutes once a fortnight).
Was my garden a lush haven of beautiful flowers and finely tended topiary? Nope, it was a chickweed-strangled netherworld.
Did I boast a finely honed yoga body thanks to the daily practise I had time to indulge in? Nope, my back was seizing up due to the marathon sofa sessions spent playing Tomb Raider and Resident Evil.
And the books I wrote…? You know the answer.
Resident Evil 2

Oh the happy, happy hours


Anyone who has ever spent a week in a tent knows you expand to fit the available space. The same goes for time. When it is all just stretching out around you, you automatically slow your pace.
If I had realised at the time how precious all those empty hours were, what could I have achieved? Sod all, actually. It’s only when you can feel the diminishing hours snapping away at your ankles that you find yourself moving fast enough to outrun them.

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Did you squander virtue in a cubicle?

junk email

I went online to get double glazing quotes (yes, yes, NOW I know how bloody stupid this was) and the bastards sold my mobile number and email address on.
It turns out my spam filter is pretty good so this didn’t bother me much – until I was rooting around my inbox to try and find a real quote someone claimed to have sent me and opened my junk folder.
Oh wow, what a box of delights.
How do they come up with these things – by throwing a thesaurus at Google translate and seeing what comes out?
It was jammed full of spam email, and the subject lines were a joy.
Here’s a selection of the easiest to understand:

  • In event of you fail muscle on a bedchamber, this isn’t scary.
  • Require to bring about a fine offering to the mate?
  • If you hope gratify a monogamist in the bedchamber wasn’t an obstacle.
  • Would you be hankering to carry a mate in a cot?
  • Say NO! to droop, researchers got a plain decision.
  • I need to advise you, a choicest entity to clarify competition in bed.
Anne Boleyn's bedroom, Hever Castle

This is a bedchamber (at Hever Castle). No sign of failed muscles or ungratified monogamists

OK, so we’re offering something to treat erectile dysfunction here, yes? Although carrying a mate in a cot sounds like some Sheffield expression for not buying your round (“Nay lad, don’t ask him t’pub. He’s hankering to carry a mate in a cot, he is”).

‘Gratifying a monogamist’ may describe the act or married love, but it’s hardly romantic, is it?

Oh, and no-one has said ‘bedchamber’ since 1767.

Then we get these:

  • In case you squander virtue in a cubicle, this isn’t a botheration.
  • Demand to construct a neat boon to the yokefellow.

These are lost on me. Squander virtue in a cubicle – a cubicle?
I assumed yokefellow was some Medieval word for penis (as in ‘He claimed his yokefellow was of such a valiant design it could service three comely wenches in one night, so it could’). Then I looked it up and found it means close companion or colleague.
You won’t catch me giving any of my colleagues a neat boon anytime soon.

office cubicles

Cubicles. Well known for squandered virtue

  • Do you lack a corrective? Look here, we produce you a solve!
  • Awkward to animate your beloved? We can facilitate you!
  • Do you lack a medication? Click here, therein is a hit.
  • During you cut my injunction, you will not dissatisfy.
  • Meanwhile you take their tip-off and slap, you will not repentance.
  • Undergo mess in restroom? Workers own a best answer?

This last one was from someone called Emilio Mccluskey. If you know Emilio, I would advise you never follow him into the Gents.

These next ones follow a sporting theme:

  • The best girl is downcast? Acquire hers delight with our serve.
  • The wife is morbid? Grab hers entertainment with my contribute.
  • The girlfriend is pessimistic? Take hers fun with my serve?
  • The dear heart is distracted? Buy her satisfaction with my assist.

Then there are efforts to tackle the obesity crisis:

  • Did you inactive? Our concern is reappeared, groom your kindred with a little rate.
  • Did you flabby? We are refunded! Nurse healthiness with moderate prices!

And finally, I have no idea what this one is selling, but I’d love to know what an inveteracy lozenge tastes like.

  • Reputable frequenter! Inveteracy lozenge stand get new address!