Sunday, 13 March 2016

Progress At Last

Firstly i would like to thank everybody who has sent Marion goodwill messages during her fight against the nasty illness that she's had for the last three weeks. The house is full of lovely flowers and cards and they have really cheered her up. Many many thanks to everyone who has been in touch. Without social media she would have had to suffer in silence but Facebook and this blog have ensured that most of her friends are aware of her suffering. I don't want to go on about if for ever but it's been a real experience. I've done some research on swine flu and there's an outbreak in Mexico at the moment. There have been 945 reported cases as I write and, of these, 28 have died. That's a 7% mortality rate which makes it a pretty scary illness. She's definitely on the mend now but I don't think she'll be her old self for at least another two weeks. Every hour that she goes without coughing is a bonus. 

Yesterday evening we went to Framlingham College for the FramSoc supper. Marion wanted to give it a try and she survived being out for over three hours. We had an excellent dinner with each course accompanied by decent wines. Although we went on our own we were put on a table with some good company and enjoyed the event. Marion was shattered when she got home but at least she got out.

I've sent my new novel to six people who kindly offered to give it a try and let me know what they think. My first feedback included "I laughed out loud" and "I couldn't put it down" which is brilliant but it was from a close relative so I have to be conservative and not get carried away. The other five readers include two friends and three people I don't know at all so their feedback is eagerly anticipated. I've got an idea for my next novel so I may get cracking on that this week.

I don't want to be a moaner but what is going on with students at the moment? Hardly a day goes by without me reading, hearing on the radio or seeing on the news an item about students at various universities wanting to ban visiting speakers or tear down a statue. I would assume that, to be accepted at university one needs a modicum of intelligence and common sense and that includes an ability to listen to what other people have to say even if you disagree with them. By all means disagree but please let them have the chance to speak. Banning everyone you don't see eye to eye with is the sort of thing that you might expect of a fascist or an ISIS supporter but it's not what I I want from the people who will one day be running the country. It's that sort of attitude that could result in a buffoon like Donald Trump becoming president of the USA.

While I am on my high horse I might as well stay on it for a minute. My car will be three years old in June and I've been thinking of changing it. I got a call from the Ipswich dealership telling me about some fabulous offers they've got on this month and inviting me to make an appointment. I booked for 12.30 on Saturday and arrived at the dealership dead on time. After asking me to wait in a waiting area for five minutes a young man came to see me and said that his appointments were running late but if I just gave him a few details he'd sort a car out for me and email me the details. Now I don't know about you but this, having made a forty minute drive (and with a forty minute drive back home in prospect) to effectively answer a few questions I could have answered over the phone, was not exactly great customer service. Buying a new car should be a pleasant experience - a look around what's on offer, the latest designs, new features, colours and a bit of a haggle on price before making a decision. I'm not buying a new kettle or steam iron, the car is a pretty significant expense and I would expect a little bit of effort to be made to sell it to me. Oh well, it's their loss. I phoned the Bury St Edmunds dealership before I left and I'm going to see them on Tuesday. As for the details Ipswich email to me, there's a file called "trash" in my email app.