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Showing posts from 2016

When leave means remain

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I love to travel: I’m never happier than when planning the next escape to some far-flung country. Well this summer, we decided to stay in Norfolk for a ... wait for it... staycation, yeah that extremely annoying word coined to make you feel better about the fact you’re very very skint and need to stay right where you are baby. 
Then this Brexit shamble happened I got even more twitchy about staying on home soil. Thankfully that weekend I managed to escape to a field near Swaffham with likeminded friends and their families in tow. Pitched up a tent in a wildflower meadow, sat round a huge open fire putting the world to rights late into the night. The kids ran wild and the parents got to party en masse; I hadn’t felt this content in ages. Once I’d found the winning formula we didn’t need to leave the county for six weeks – find a squad, book a pitch and pray the weather behaves. You’re welcome.
One of the highlights of our summer exp…

Who do I need revealed: a proofreader or a copy-editor?

While putting together an Introduction to Proofreading workshop for a client, a few questions came up that I wanted to share.
What’s the difference between copy-editing and proofreading?
There’s a huge difference, so make sure you know before you commission any work! Think of proofreading as the absolute final stage of the publishing process, after the author, editor and designer have done their jobs – a fresh pair of eyes to spot any mistakes others might have missed.
A proofreader generally checks to ensure that: Text matches the originalPage numbers and headings are correctSpelling and other aspects, such as use of capital letters, are consistentChapter headings match the contents tablePhotos and illustrations are correctly captioned.
If you require copy, images or layout to be checked for house style, you need copy-editing. A copy-editor will ensure that all text is in line with the publisher or organisation’s house style and that any facts are checked and queried with the author, looki…

Follow my lead

I wrote a 5-min short exploring the theme of 'Belonging', inspired by my recent initiation into the dog-walking world (with a friend's wonderful dachshund), where I encountered so many fascinating characters on my morning walks. Now I'm tempted by a furry friend of my own!

Light barely filters through the tobacco-stained curtains of a litter-strewn bedsit. Slumped in a broken-in settee SNORING is RICH, 35, a socially awkward gamer, a PS2 controller rests on his protruding belly.

A persistent KNOCKING starts to stir Rich from his junk food induced coma. LUCY, a multi-tasking yummy mummy, SHOUTS through the letterbox; piles of junk mail thud to the floor as she releases the flap.

Staggering to the door in a daze, Rich opens it just enough to meet his sister’s concerned gaze.

RICH (rubbing drool from his mouth) Hey.
LUCY Hey back. Were you asleep?

Running amok

“I don’t feel like doing anything tomorrow,” sighed our templed-out eight year old, just four days into our 2-week holiday in Cambodia. Bundling her out of bed at 7am to take a dusty, bumpy road 16km out of Siem Reap for a day in a rural village, I started to think I’d pushed her too far. How wrong I’d be. 
It was part thanks to our brilliant guide Lee Chhun Han, 28, originally from Kompong Cham province, now living in Siem Reap. His novice Buddhist monk training has clearly given him ample patience and compassion to deal with our tired, overwrought daughter. Before long, the early start and lack of morning tv was behind her as Lee bamboozled Alethea with facts and figures about his home country. 
First stop was the local market, not a tourist in sight, just rows of women traders crouched on the floor selling their colourful wares; from rambutans and palm sugar, to homeware and secondhand clothes, all vying for a lucky pinch of the awkward blond child walking penguin-like among them.…

Waste of time?

We made it to the end of January! If you’d spied our happy family in Aldi today as we ended our store cupboard challenge, you could’ve mistaken us for food tourists in some far-flung supermarket, staring in awe at the endless aisles of consumables.
While our store cupboard is far from empty, we’ve made a fair dent in it. It’s apparent which staples we favour: flour, oats, rice, noodles, pasta, quinoa, baked beans and which are the one-off impulse buys: looking at you pureed pumpkin and black beluga lentils. When we ran out of sandwich fillings we collectively decided ‘time was up’ – there are only so many tinned fish sandwiches a schoolgirl can take.
So what have been the positives to take from this challenge? It’s been fun and educational, most of all for our daughter, who’s seen what a bit of culinary creativity can produce, how to cut down on food waste and save money. Meal planning is now all about ‘what needs eating up?’ – a refreshing change to ‘what shall I pick up on the way h…