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Monday 29th June 2020


Started brightly with the book and as I approached lunchtime I thought I might even finish the first draft today. I felt buoyant with happiness. Writing is such a mind fuck and pulls this shit with your moods all the time.
I was being optimistic though as I still had some tough work to do on the last two chapters and I ran out of steam mid-afternoon. If I can finish it tomorrow then I am only a month late on my deadline, but there’s a few things going on with interviews and me stupidly doing a remote stand up gig (after not really having gigged for two years) so it might not quite happen.
I am still amazed that I have got this far with the book in lockdown. I think maybe elves have written most of it when I was asleep as I don’t feel like I’ve done 24,000 words. 
There will still be work to do once the first draft is finished, probably quite a lot, but I won’t be able to do any of it until I hear back from my editor, so it will mean I can have a break and do something else. 
I spent my lunch hour and a bit trying to help Phoebe with one of her school assignments where we had to find insects and check them off a list. This was something that Ernie could join in with enthusiastically, though I think he sometimes pretended to have seen things. He said that he’d seen a bee and it had gone in his ear and was making honey (I think he is still haunted by the bee that stung him on the head). I said this was great as it would mean we didn’t have to buy honey any more and could just get it out of his ear. Phoebe seemed disgusted by this idea. Ernie looked shifty like he feared he might be caught in a lie.
We managed to locate a few of the insects, but aside from the ear bee there were no bees, no earwigs or beetles, no daddy long-legs or slugs. Not even a spider, though Phoebe had some good and correct ideas about where there would be webs.
We found a million woodlice though and some good worms and a wasp. Ants and flies were in abundance. I also found two cat poos but they weren’t on the list.
I’d forgotten how fascinating insects are to kids. They enjoyed this as much as playing on an iPad. And to be fair, so did I. 
These little excursions have been one of my favourite things about lockdown. In some ways being forced to look after your own kids all the time is a good thing.
I had another night time job of working on someone else’s online show, this time I was a guest on Mark Olver’s fun game “Who Said That?” alongside Laura Lexx, Sindhu Vee and Paul Sinha. We had to answer questions and then the question setter had to guess which person had given which answer. It’s a simple idea, but a good one. It should be on TV, but even if it isn’t, it’s online for you to enjoy and it works perfectly for lockdown (as it involves texting answers to Mark). Unusually I think I was the least competitive person on this show, which should give you an idea of how keenly it was played. I will let you know when it’s up.

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