Just Jot It January: Day thirteen…

13 Jan


I must say I’m rather enjoying the routine of Just Jot It January, even if my (predictably obtuse) decision to ignore Linda G Hill’s daily prompt (and to post all the usual weekly threads separately) has left me with even more waffling to do than usual.

Fortunately, there’s always the fallback position of reminding you all yet again that my very first, lovingly crafted, #SoCS-inspired works of fiction are now available in the oddly-titled anthology, Stories In Green Ink, the Kindle edition of which now features a bonus third story of mine, (the one I originally asked to be included) along with many other new works by up and coming writers.


The link to that expanded electronic version is HERE, but if, like me, you prefer the satisfying feeling of an actual physical book in your hand when you’re reading, you can find the paperback edition HERE.

I know I’ve been banging on about this since before Christmas, but I keep getting e-mails from my publisher (oh alright, she’s not MY publisher exactly, but it gives me a buzz to say so) telling me that I should be plugging the book every chance I get.
I can’t help thinking that everyone must be heartily fed up with hearing about it by now, but at least it beats talking about the weather, right?

Anyway, now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about something else.

It’s not big and it’s not clever, but Rhonda and I both smoke, which we have to do outside as we’re quite rightly not allowed to do so in the flat, (not that I would anyway; we have Audrey to consider and, even as a smoker, when the smoking ban came into force a few years ago it didn’t take long to appreciate how much nicer it is to drink in a pub that didn’t have the atmosphere of a gas chamber on a Beijing industrial estate) so I bought a cheap, metal framed gazebo and erected it in the garden as soon as we moved in.

As it turned out, it was a bloody good idea, not only was it a useful shelter from the inevitable English summer rainy season, but I spent many a day writing under the shade of the canopy, when that mysterious golden orb in the sky put in an occasional, all too brief appearance last year.

However, given that it has all the rigid structural integrity of a macaroni step ladder in an earthquake, any type of extreme weather was always going to be a bit of a problem, especially since we have no lawn and hammering the guide rope pegs into the patio wasn’t an option.
So, being an inventive sort of bloke, I’d attached various wires and braces to the surrounding fence posts and wedged the feet under the edges of paving slabs to ensure it remained in place.

Which, up until yesterday, it had done.

That’s when Rhonda posted this photo on Facebook when I was still at work, with the caption; “A tad windy today.”


Oh bollocks.

So last night when I got home, (by which time Rhonda was at work) I had to spend half an hour or so in the dark, in a raging gale, attempting to wrestle with an upside down gazebo with all the aerodynamics of recalcitrant stilt-walker wearing a parachute, finally managing to re-secure it to the fence with electrical flex and plastic washing line and weigh down the wildly flailing legs with heavy, soil-filled planters.



All of which just goes to show, If you’re English, sooner or later, you’re going to end up talking about the weather.


Pingback to Linda G Hill.


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10 responses to “Just Jot It January: Day thirteen…

  1. Lorraine

    January 13, 2016 at 17:10

    You are Not an Internet Nobody!

  2. Lorraine

    January 13, 2016 at 17:11

    I think I commented on the wrong blog! What else is new?

  3. John W. Howell

    January 13, 2016 at 19:33

    Enjoyed this. We have a similar problem with our beach “pop-ups” We generally weigh the legs down with bags of sand much like you have done with the planters.

    • dalecooper57

      January 13, 2016 at 20:02

      Trouble is; the legs have little plates on the bottom with peg holes in so you can peg them down to the lawn (which we don’t have) so I’ve relied up to now on the wires attached to the fence and the one leg that isn’t braced against anything (front right in the second photo) was just slotted under the edge of a spare slab. The fact that it was under tension seemed to have worked up until now but when the anchor wires snapped on the other side the whole thing just took off. If it wasn’t for the fact that one top corner stayed wired on, it would have been two or three gardens down the street I think.

      • John W. Howell

        January 13, 2016 at 20:38

        Our pop-ups have the same little triangle and the pegs are not long enough to be effective in the sand. Weight on the feet is the only answer.

      • dalecooper57

        January 13, 2016 at 20:48

        They’re now pulled down pretty securely into the ground against the fence on two sides, using my cunningly constructed, multi-directional system of cables, attached to heavy screws in the fence posts. It hasn’t moved an inch since last night and it’s blowing a gale out there at the moment.
        We’ll need a new one in the summer anyway, there’s already a hole in it, a small branch snapped off the oak tree that overhangs the garden and speared through the roof when Rhonda was sitting out there one evening, it frightened the life out of her.

      • John W. Howell

        January 14, 2016 at 00:51

        Small hole is okay but from experience they don’t stay small long (like kids)


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