Charlie is once more contented: no daughter.... or Grandsprog.....and no J either; he's invariably at his happiest when it's just the three of us chaps - Jack, Charlie and yours truly! He's hanging around the house most of the time, scrabbling around for mice etc., as normal, but looking for (noisily expecting/demanding) dairy supplements of cream etc. He returns indoors at dusk, eats a bit, demands attention/affection then trundles off upstairs to his bedspot.
The black blanketty thingy is his: but there are times when a King-sized bed just isn't nearly enough for the little booger..... :
I'm pleased when he does this; I enjoy having him around, despite his unusual temperament. His loud purring as he pads madly on his blanketty thing is a fairly effective soporific/sleeping aid/draft! Or maybe that's the wine.....must carry out some empirical research on the point sometime.
Since I escaped from the dreadful world of law and soliciting, so to speak, it has been a relief not to have to keep abreast of the inane and insane constant updates and changes to legal practice requirements. However, for some time, prior to taking up law as a full-time occupation, I worked as a (mostly) free-lance writer and journalist. This was in the days of that destroyer of all things socially and economically worth retaining - the odious Baroness Tadger!
At the time, I wrote with moderate success for a huge variety of publications from The Daily Telegraph and The Times to Fish Trader, Gardening News, Classic Cars and Printers World! Anything, in short, that was prepared to buy my stuff and - most importantly - pay me for it!
One of my personal finest moments was in selling a feature to something called, I think, Carpet Review, or some such. Another - which I still irritate the more knowledgeable of my keen gardening friends and relations by smugly referring to - was a professional gardening magazine where my byline rubbed pages with those of Alan Titchmarsh, Geoffrey Smith and a veritable shedload of Gardeners Question Time types; with my total lack of knowledge/ability/interest concerning all matters to do with gardens and gardening generally, I considered it a colossal achievement at the time. I still do.
For a profitable bit, I also wrote regular 'Alternative Investment' features - why not stick your lucre into salmon fishing beats in Highland Scotland; shared racehorse ownership; antique jewellery; fine wines; vintage cars; you know the kind of thing - for a couple of expat mags, one of which seemed to be staffed almost exclusively by Evening Standard and Observer hacks. All very 1980s, I suppose.
I also had stuff/fiction broadcast on the Beeb - mostly Radio 4, with odd - and I do mean odd - forays into comedy sketches for Naked Radio, Naked Video and The Craig Ferguson Experience - whatever that might have been! (That came later, around the Millenium, as I now recall from its pilot, working title of 2000 Not Out!). All in all, it was a genuinely enjoyable way to earn an admittedly (too) meagre crust.
Recently I've been wondering if I could return to the saturated field again. Of course, the technology has changed enormously - although I once edited a business magazine where we used what was then top-end, hi-techy gear - laser post-script printers etc., emailing stuff (before email really) downloading to printers in a far removed part of the UK (Doncaster) with an enormous unwieldy modem, and having all our colour separation work carried out overseas in Hong Kong where it was significantly cheaper than Tadger's Britain. Ah....that old Tory mantra.....choice, choice, choice!
It comes as a surprise therefore to discover (through Amazon mostly) that there is now a mini-industry dedicated to advising wannabes about how to get into print/broadcast. Most of these guides/books (with a few notable exceptions) seem to be written by people I've never heard of or whose bylines have managed to escape my notice! An entire mini-industry predicated on writing books about .......well, how to write for publication/broadcast. Strange indeed! Tadger would be beaming with pleasure, if she retained the capacity for such thoughts....or any thought!