Sunday, February 01, 2009

If I was a writer, I would say I have writer's block.

I'm not sure what the blogger's equivalent might be. Suggestions in the comments. I have all sorts of ideas and then I open up notepad and all I can manage is one or two horrifically-formed sentences which I would be embarrassed to put my name to. To which I would be embarrassed to put my name. You see? So I'm afraid for now we'll just have to settle for this rambling hotch-potch of miscellaneous Thoughts.

My cold got better, I managed with just one day off work when it was at its worst and there was a fever to go with it which I think is fair enough.

Steve and I have done lots of Interesting Stuff and I have gone "ooh, I will enjoy blogging about this" and then tried to write a post and not got anywhere. So for now you'll just have to have the bare bones and add your own detail:

National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham.

Steve and I went with one of Steve's friends. They took lots of photos, you can see Steve's photos here. It was both soothing and interesting watching the various inhabitants of the tanks swimming about. The HUGE turtle was especially serene, and much more graceful than you would expect of something weighing more than two adult men. Accessibility was great, it's a step-free environment and I only saw one staircase, for which there was a small lift equivalent within a few metres. However wheelies should be aware it's a lot of slopes - the building has a surprisingly small 'footprint' but is multi-storey - so pushing assistance is recommended.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

As a lifelong Roald Dahl fan, I have wanted to go to this since it first opened. Encouragingly, Steve and I spotted it in the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain so off we went. It was everything we hoped for. The Archive has all sorts of original material, from first drafts of books to letters from his publisher, from the telegrams sent to his parents to congratulate them on the birth of their son, to the regular letters home that he wrote throughout his life. The museum has some of these items on display in museum cases, with the items changed every three months to preserve them from light damage. That's quite exciting for a fan, to see the actual items themselves. But the heart of the museum is its child-friendliness and hands-on-ness. One particularly thrilling piece was the reconstruction of his writing-shed, complete with a filing cabinet of which one drawer was open - and in the drawer were letters from the publisher and annotated drafts and whatnot, looking for all the world like the real thing (they are printouts of the scans of the originals).

I can't be positive enough about the museum, and it's not just the fan in me talking. Look at the website. The accessibility isn't a joke, either - not only can a wheelchair get everywhere easily, but there are also plenty of seats, carers/PAs can get in free, and other adjustments (such as audio transcripts) are available. The only, only hitch is that due to the historic nature of Great Missenden High Street, there's no immediately nearby parking facilities - it's several minutes' walk, which could cause difficulty for wobbly walkers.

Add in a sprinkling of bowling, knitting, meals with friends, a visit to the park, and some shopping, and I haven't been bored. I just haven't been blogging, is all.

The job advert for my PA was in the paper last week, and there's just under three weeks for all the many millions of hopeful candidates to get their applications submitted. Finding the right person is going to be a delicate balancing act. For instance:

- I must get on well enough with them to be able to trust them with my safety and relax in their company. However at the same time, they're not being paid to be my friend, and the relationship must stay on a professional footing.

- They must be able to accept that I'm the one in charge who decides what we are doing and when and how we are doing it just like any other employer/employee dynamic. However they have to be confident enough to take control of a situation when I'm suddenly slumped up and barely conscious.

You see what I mean? And how does one find out this sort of thing in an interview? I think I may have done better to advertise for "henchman required, to enable disabled evil genius to take over the world. Experience with lasers an advantage," at least then I'd know I was getting the right sort of people applying for the job.

Suggestions for posts welcome, anything to get me writing properly again.


Pandora Caitiff said...

The Roald Dahl Museum sounds pretty cool. Something to take a look at if I'm ever in the area.

As for Blogger's Block (a bloggage maybe?), oddly enough it was a topic of discussion in the blogging circles I run in too.

Seems that quite a few of us start to draft, and then something stops us. For me it tends to be a mixture of "but will anybody care?", "I don't actually care enough about the subject to write about it" and "will this make me look like a spEak You’re bRanes nutter?"

Other bloggers have their own reasons of course.

Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

It's currently SNOWING!! you could post about that! Good Luck with finding your dream PA - I've got my fingers crossed for you

Serena said...

Good luck finding the right PA. One thing that's well worth doing is making sure that any contract includes a trial period (I would suggest three months) so that, if the nicely competent person you take on turns out to be a total control freak, it's easy to terminate the contract.