Do You Know the Way to St. Tropez?

Well, I’ve had a brief recurrence of insomnia, waking up at 3AM this morning and being generally unable to get back to sleep – but otherwise, this week has (in general terms) been a pretty good one.

News Nugget 1: I have been assimilated by the iPhone hivemind. I had a small windfall of money, the kind of thing where the best use is getting something that you wouldn’t normally be able to get yourself. Plus, I’ve needed to upgrade my phone for a very long time, and there have been plenty of occasions in the last year when I really could have done with a decent portable internet device. And now, I’ve got one. It’s a shockingly useful little device and every time I think I’ve gotten to grips with the functions, I suddenly find out that I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m doing my best to get the most out of it, without actually allowing my life to suddenly revolve around it. It’s wonderful, but it’s just a souped-up phone, and as with all these things, it’s just a tool for doing more things, rather than something that’s going to instantly transform my life. (Although, talk to me in three months and I might be saying something very different…)

News Nugget 2: It’s no longer a world of ice and snow outside the front door. Admittedly, it’s been that way for most of the week, but I’ve only just got to the point where it doesn’t feel bizarre to see large expanses of green rather than white. For a few days, it almost felt like the section in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, where Narnia switches from snow to sunshine in record time – either that, or the Wizard of Oz, going from a world of monochrome to sudden, vibrant colour (especially since all the grass is, at the moment, exceptionally green thanks to the sudden influx of lots and lots of water). It’s still something of a novelty being able to go outside and not have to do the careful, shuffling ice-walk. Long may it continue. And, theoretically, there’s only a couple of months before we hit spring, and the leaves return to the trees – something I’m seriously looking forward to.

News Nugget 3: I’m 55,000 words into my latest novel. In a major departure, I’m writing this thing sequentially instead of leaping around to my favourite bits and then assembling it as a jumbled patchwork. And so far… I think it’s going well. One factor that’s helping is that my workload is pretty light at the moment – I’d like that to change (and things are beginning to pick up), but it’s taking shape, and I’m starting to get the idea that there are areas in which I know what I’m doing here. There’s lots to do – I’m barely a third of the way through the plot (and there’s probably lots of infodump material I can lose), but I’m enjoying it, and I’m looking forward to getting more of it down on paper.

News Nugget 4: Here’s a gallery of some of the pictures Tris and I took on our latest photographic adventure (as well as some from our previous one). It may have been awesomely cold on that night shoot, but it’s nice to see that the end results were worth it.

News Nugget 5: Another pop song has wormed its way into my brain and won’t get out. It’s by feted new band Marina and the Diamonds (essentially singer/songwriter Marina Diamandas and her backing band), it’s called Mowgli’s Road, and it”s absolutely barking mad in a way that’s both insane and strangely adorable. A homage to the Jungle Book that also, for reasons best known to someone other than me, features the line “We are the spoons’, it’s energetic, quirky and huge fun, and here’s the video:

I could say more, but frankly I’m way too tired. So instead, I’m going to power up the Xbox 360 (which I have finally been able to wire through my PC Monitor, meaning I can actually play it for the first time in a very long while), load Batman: Arkham Asylum and spend some of the evening creeping around in the shadows and trying to take out bad guys. There’s plenty to do, and lots of targets I need to try and hit in my current life. But not right now…

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