Day one – the fun begins at Blackwell’s

I’m amazed at how tiring a residency can be. Being up with the lark on a school morning is a normal activity, but getting into Oxford, perky, shiny and fresh is something I’m no longer used to. One of the often-documented benefits of working at home is that you can slouch around in your JimJams all morning, shower and leave your hair to dry au naturel then have lunch in the garden or at the kitchen table before heading back out of the door to collect the children from the bus stop. Work fits in somewhere between dog walking, the gym (not too often, mind) and various household duties, for which I last showed enthusiasm around five years ago.

Being bright and shiny in Blackwell’s also involves being chirpy with customers, wrestling with ageing computers in the bookshop office – to say nothing of being unable to blog for their own website because there’s a blanket ban on visiting Twitter, blogs and who knows what else (I didn’t try). Tomorrow I’m taking in my little Notebook (not my precious MacBook I’d be distraught if it were stolen) so I can Tweet on Twitter and blog without frontiers.

Besides blogging on the Blackwell site I’ve also written a chapter for a novella that Roma, Ali and I are doing together, and written a little report about an event I visited last week on behalf of a magazine.

I’m back in Oxford tomorrow, this time in the afternoon. Being part of this residency and watching all the preparation in the run-up is helping my creativity to flow. This evening I can barely keep my eyes open, though it was an exceptionally busy weekend with six children and their weekend activities and social life on top, not to mention dealing with a recalcitrant 12-year-old who is articulate to the point of being maddening. That’s what you get for bringing up a dedicated reader. He has a lot of words at his disposal when you’re arguing about homework in a subject he sees as pointless and time consuming.

Off to bed and ready for a new day tomorrow. I knew bringing up children was tiring, but who knew blogging was so exhausting?

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