Thursday, 7 October 2010

The October Plan (amongst other things)

For some reason today I have re-strung the words from annoying song ‘Bad Babysitter’:

I’m a real bad blogger
Get my ideas in the shower
(Whoop Whoop)
Forget them the next hour

I often think of blog posts when I am nowhere near a computer and am scampering from Place of Work A to Home B via C, awful commuter experience. Today’s ACE (the aforementioned awful commuter experience) involved a game of sardines. Twenty-three people and a buggy were crushed into the little space on a train by the doors. Not even in the aisle of the train (fifteen people were squished standing up along there), but between the doors. I know the exact number as when you are propped upright in a stranger’s armpit the only thing you can do is count heads as a distraction.

I often feel that wannabe authors should use their commute time to scribble down ideas. However, this depends if you can move more than your eye-lids on a day-to-day basis. National Express trains and the Victoria line are ruining my opportunity! The highpoint was when one disgruntled commuter who couldn’t fit on the train told us all ‘don’t you know I have places to go?’ which was greeted with a burst of sardonic laughter (appropriate for human sardines) throughout our squashed little corner. Like the rest of us were just there for the morning thrill!

The last thing I managed to scribble in my battered shorthand notepad was my October Plan. I often come up with a monthly plan, which could have anything on it from the nicely vague ‘write more’ to the greedy ‘buy flapjacks’. My October Plan is as follows:


  • Write up article idea (Oh yes, I Haz One)
  • Research magazines and papers for article idea (as article will need an article home)
  • Research magazines that accept unsolicited short story submissions (as I Haz One of those as well)
  • Open new bank account (most marvellously practical)
  • Don’t let desk look like a chemist’s shop (Ah. Oops.)

My desk, at work, is turning into a mini outpost of Holland & Barrett. H&B, for those who don’t know, sell HEALTH in all its glowing forms – juices and potions and vitamins and oats. I am addicted to H&B. Somewhere in those aisles is surely a magic elixir that will make me:

A) Energetic and bouncy (like Tigger. Full of the joys of Spring. In Autumn.)
B) Keen to Get On (The Mantra being Every Day is a Day of Joy)
C) Not eat chocolate (It must sell something that looks/tastes/smells like chocolate but has zero calories)
D) Thin-calved (Oh come on – something must surely work?!)
E) Focused (as opposed to Very Easily Distracted).

The problem with VED (being Very Easily Distracted) is that... sorry... train was going past the window. What was that? Oh yes. Veg.

Veg?

This is how the day begins with a plan to get things done and ends coming home with a cauliflower.

24 comments:

Carolyn V. said...

I have a good friend who is from Malaysia. She posted a video of people getting stuffed into the train, literally. I couldn't figure out how they were all going to get out. There wasn't any room for a pencil for writing, let alone a laptop. =)

Joanna St. James said...

I once analyzed someone's mascara on the tube, we were so squished I could not even pretend to look elsewhere.
Good luck with ur Plan and hope I have not distracted u now :D

Holly Ruggiero said...

I love the train story. People can really make me laugh. I totally get your day. Great plans that lead to cauliflower! LOL

Colene Murphy said...

HA! I love it.
Good luck with your plan and not getting distracted. If you can find a solution for VED please pass along. Will pay in big $$ or at least many thanks. (probably many thanks..but you can hope for $ right?)

Kathleen Jones said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Jayne - I love yours! It makes me smile every time. And there's so much I relate to - especially the October plan. My desk is littered with lists .........

Boonie S said...

I enjoyed this a lot. A very witty piece of writing. Thanks.

All the best, Boonie

Pat Tillett said...

I hear you! I've had the pleasure of riding the subways and trains in Tokyo at rush hour. Talk about sardines! But I got to hand it to them, at least they are polite about it. also very quiet...

Plain Jane said...

Have I told you lately that I love your blog? Always so fun and original. Hmmmm, nothing clever to say, must sign off. But I always read it, just so you know.

mise said...

A cauliflower AND a blog post, no mean accomplishment. Many would settle for a frozen chip, which is why the world is as it is, full of people, frozen chip eaters, who Get In The Way.

Talli Roland said...

You're now scaring me... :)

Sounds like a great plan! And I feel your train pain. That's just hideous.

PS - Lovely to meet you the other night! :)

Happy Frog and I said...

Oh, you have taken me right back to the horrible commutes I used to do to get to work. I do not envy you at all.

I carry round a tiny notebook and diary pen I acquired from WH Smith. Very handy when an idea pops up at an inconvenient moment - which is most of the time if I'm honest.

I wish you the very best of luck with your plan. :-)

Rachna Chhabria said...

I really hate being squished squeezed/squashed in trains, it bugs me and every moment of the other person is a torture. I once counted the number of freckles a lady sitting beside me had.
Hope you writes lots in october. :)

KarenG said...

My kids say I should ride the train to save gas and money but I can't I can't I can't. It takes longer than driving by the time you drive to the station, and wait for your train, and there's always someone who smells bad. It's just not a pleasant experience.

Christine said...

Sympathy for your horrendous commute but I did laugh at the bit about the sardonic laughter of the sardines. You manage to squeeze a bit of fun from all sorts of situations.

Good luck with the October Plan!

Old Kitty said...

Veg is good for you! Cauliflower is so in season!! It's packed with antioxiwotsits to help brain cells work and fight the viruses!!! :-)

Oh the joy (one joy) of National Express trains. I've given up on the victoria line. Have you ridden on the new ones they have now!??! LOL!

Awwww your October plan sounds like a fab plan!!! GOOD LUCK!! And nothing wrong with having a mini chemist facility to hand. Just add flapjacks (it's got OATS!! They're healthy!!).

Take care
x

Madeleine said...

LOL! And I thought it was coffee shops we were all supposed to write in! I was intrigued by your comment:article will need an article home. Can you elucidate me? (feeling stoopid now):O)

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Haha. I'm with you on the thin-calfed desire! And the chocolate addiction. And pretty much everything else. Only I don't have commuter problems because I walk to school, which is nice. But I do often think of blog ideas when I'm nowhere near a computer. I think this what the wise ones call Murphy's Law...

Julie Musil said...

I can't imagine riding on a stuffed train! One good thing is it would be a bounty for character details.

Lori said...

What a breezy, witty post! Ending on a cauliflower note was delightful. =)

Dominique said...

I just wanted to let you know, there's an award for you on my blog. :)
http://mavieenviolet.blogspot.com/2010/10/some-general-randomness.html

Carole Anne Carr said...

Loved it! Must get on with a plan...

kobico said...

The one thing I do not miss about working is the commute. I really miss the paychecks, though.

Best of luck finding the magic elixer. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that when I lived in Bristol, my weaknesses were the little ankle socks and trouser socks at Tesco. I know, I'm weird.

Rose said...

this all sounds most excellent- I have lots of ideas for articles but no idea how one goes about approaching people and stuff- I've tried googling and what not but am not doing very well. Must try harder I suppose.

Commuting is strange, I get lots of good ideas commuting and I feel a sense of shared boredom but it is also a weird vacuum.

I went to the supermarket yesterday (well the central type one that is tiny). All I needed was washing up liquid. I came out with many things but no washing up liquid- so at least you got something you needed.

Pam Torres said...

I can't stop laughing! Love your blog. October plan is formidable. The cauliflower, inspired!