Katherine Hayton | 2014 November
0
archive,date,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,smooth_scroll,

November 2014

30 Nov / Statistics

As well as legally requiring you to fill out a census form every four years (when not interrupted rudely by earthquakes in Christchurch) Statistics New Zealand also embark on little side-projects such as keeping an eye on the levels of unemployment, the average salary and wages, and some other thing no doubt that I’m not familiar with but which I have to mention because my sentence structure follows the rule of three.

Last year we were picked on selected to participate in the earnings information portion, and we will have to provide answers to intrusive questionnaires about out income from all forms of employment and investment for two years – reporting quarterly. We’ve done two so far. That means we have another six to go. We’re not even close to halfway through.

The first interview was in-depth and conducted in the dubious hospitality of our dining room. Not by choice.

The second (as will be all subsequent ones) was conducted by phone. There were a lot fewer questions, and a lot less teeth-gritting. It’s still all a bit invasive. And no I don’t want to see the examples of articles based on your research, I just want to be left alone. Bah-humbug.

First one early June 2014. Second one early September 2014. The visits and phonecalls have been on the weekends so far, since we’re hard to catch hold of during the working week.

We get a lot of cold calls at our house. Lots of people asking am I Mrs so-and-so and me genuinely replying no I’m not due to the benefit of my darling and I living out of wedlock. Speaking of whom, when my darling answers the phone to a cold caller he lets them get a sentence out and then says ‘I’m not interested, thanks for calling though,’ and hangs up the phone.

The only variation to this is when he can hear the call connecting through the automated dialing machine in the call centre. The pause is usually long enough that he says ‘Hello,’ waits a moment, and then puts his finger down on the disconnect button before they even begin to speak.

So he went through the palaver of option A this afternoon, and then went back to cooking his tea. A moment later he came back out of the kitchen with a puzzled look on his face.

‘What’s the matter?’ I asked.

‘The phone-call,’ he replied. ‘The woman said she was from Statistics New Zealand.’

Neither of us has had the courage to answer the phone again. They might send up to jail.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

29 Nov / Irish Blood

No, not spilled over the driveway. I have some. In me. Still. Of course with genealogy if you go far enough back you can find relatives anywhere. Apparently my haplogroup is H3 which makes me predominantly Basque. Yip – some of those separatists running around terrorising France and Spain are my rellies.

That got off-topic quick, didn’t it?

I mention the Irish blood in me only because of my deep love for potatoes. I’ve given up on much of the gardening I took up with wholehearted enthusiasm about 6-7 years ago – most of my garden survives only because it thrives on neglect – but I still love planting out potatoes each year.

For the past three years I’ve been particularly obsessed with Pink Fir Apple potatoes. Don’t know where the Fir and the Apple came into it, but I can verify that they are definitely pink. They’re also the best waxy potato in the world IMHO. Sometimes I can even be tempted into eating them as a potato salad, and I’m a salad averse woman.

On the whole though, I tend to scrub them down, boil them up, and slather them with butter. Does adding butter to things make it a recipe? If so, I have a lot of recipes. Maybe enough to write a cookbook. Katherine’s guide to cooking with chocolate and butter. Guaranteed bestseller.

Today was my second mounding of the little darlings. One more and then I can leave them alone to flourish. Truth be told they’re not the type of potato that does flourish. Not like the urinika potatoes that I planted once six years ago and have decided they’ll live here until I die. They’ll probably live on after that, but at least I don’t have to see them.

I still love the bright purple colour of those potatoes, but my palate is never going to get down with a fluffy potato when there are waxy potatoes lying around, or being forced encouraged to grow.

And now onto the blog tour.

HA-HA. That was a trick. It’s the weekend so there ain’t one. Feel free to peruse the blog links out to the side to catch up on old stops, or see the ones I’ll be appearing in shortly.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

There are some weeks that speed by, some weeks that drag, some that pull you into a dark pit of despair. And then there was this week.

This is about work only – my home life is sweetly predictable. Apart from the wireless on my laptop suddenly deciding to disconnect itself for a couple of hours there was nothing out of character. And that was really quite well timed because I needed to swear a lot and it’s nice to have an excuse.

The only blessing out of the sorry mess is that I actually like the break of the roadshow despite all my earlier protestations. It got a little slow in places, but turned out to be quite interesting. I learned a lot about some people; the best ones were the things that I don’t think they would want me to learn.

I now feel like a bus has run me over, then picked me up, sat me at the bus-stop again, and made me wait another two hours for the next bus.

Or I think that’s how I feel. I’m not willing to try out the experiment to test it all scientific like – but if you’re game let me know how you feel after and I’ll compare it legitimately. Where legitimately means to continue to hyperbolate the hell out of it.

Well that’s my moan over. It’s now the end of the day on Friday – yes I know it’s not yet eight-thirty but some of us haven’t slept this week because our little brains have been turning little conundrums over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and hello it’s five-thirty – and I’m winding down to go to bed for a change instead of winding myself up.

Tomorrow at the supermarket I might buy a few little bits and pieces of things that I probably would live longer not eating but would live unhappier not eating and mix them up into a pre-Christmas treat. That’s the sort that you mix up at the beginning of December to test out and make sure it’ll be okay for Christmas day but then you end up testing it so many times that you get sick of it and end up bringing something else.

And what wondrous recipe am I going to whip up tomorrow? Vanilla Ice-Cream, Lemon Curd and baby Meringues. Lazy woman’s summer lemon meringue pie. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

On that note it’s time to catch up with Ye Good Olde Blog Tour.

First up we pay a visit to Nickies Views and Interviews which is ironically not doing a review or an interview, before heading onto the foreign shores of Italy with Libri Amori Miei who is.

Visit them and I’ll catch you up again in the beautiful release of the weekend. Saturday, here I come.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

27 Nov / EOM Accounts

Since starting my online business (as I refer to my book being available on Amazon) I have been keeping to a strict regimen of end of month accounting to keep track of my income losses.

It was going great guns at first – I put in a cash injection to get the whole show rolling so was immediately in profit. I just needed to sell a few copies here and there, and I could legitimately claim success. Then I decided that I wasn’t generating as many sales as I thought were warranted (damn you competitive streak!) so instead of investing in more physical stock to flog around the office, I would start to advertise.

The downfall was sudden. That s**t costs money you know. And you’d be amazed at how high a figure you have to reach before you’re due a royalty payment. And then you’d be amazed how long the retailer can hold onto a royalty payment before remembering that it belongs to you and sending it along.

It’s hard to say that you’ve earned out your investment when it’s still three months away. But when I get it…

So every month I sit down to the grim news that there is much bill and little no income. If I was running this as a legitimate business instead of a wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if-I-could-make-a-success-of-this-hobby business I’d be sorely disappointed.

Luckily you expect to tip a never-ending supply of funding into your hobby because it’s what you enjoy. And on that score I’m definitely a success.

Another drawback to this soul-destroying hobby of mine is that I spend a portion of every day looking at work accounts. That means when I do accounts at home, even though theoretically it’s part of my play-time, it feels distressingly like work.

Still, when it’s your time of the month, it’s your time of the month.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

26 Nov / Roadshows

I have the pleasure of attending a roadshow tomorrow. I don’t remember getting or accepting an invitation but I’ve been told that I’m going so I’ve chosen to believe for the time being that this is true.

Looking back I’ve been counting up the hours that I’ve spent at roadshows throughout my life. Time that I’ve spent being too warm, too cold, absolutely so cold that my nipples were in danger of cutting through the front of my blouse, and hungry.

I’ve deliberately left bored off of that little list. Is this because I don’t start vapidly staring into space and pondering the mysteries of the universe after ten minutes and then trying to chew my fingernails off after twelve? No. It’s because I just anticipate that when everyone read the word Roadshow they took boredom as a given. And boy do they deliver.

Even worse than the gnawing discontent of boredom is the group activities. Someone always tells the exec that these will liven up their deadpan audience and really get them involved in the message. Someone should stop telling them that. Someone is lying, or such a bad judge of human emotion and interaction that they shouldn’t have a job. Certainly not a job where they can talk to people of influence. Not when they’re been dropped on their heads as kids.

A couple of years ago we had to get together and generate ideas for new apps. Awesome. Kids are making a fortune for the same, and we’re getting rewarded with half a club sandwich (the soggy half) and a bottle of water. I didn’t contribute a lot to that one.

Another time we had to move rice between bowls with chopsticks. That was a tad more amusing. In our team there were two pairs of chopsticks available. We handed them to the Japanese woman and the Malaysian man. People from Christchurch are so not racist.

A Long Time Ago, in a Company Far Far Away there was a man who was legend. He created a roadshow that people enjoyed so much that they willingly signed up for the roadshow the following year. Sadly, it wasn’t as good as the first. And then he was fired left the company to attend to family commitments.

Because of him there exists a little spark of hope in every employee in our company’s bosom. A little spark that tends to be extinguished halfway through the first sentence of a roadshow, but reignites the following year nonetheless. I can feel its glow sparking up now.

But onto other things you could be doing right now – after you finish reading this…

One stop shop tonight at Hope. Dreams. Life. Love… Toddle along there to get a load of my book full of hopelessness, broken dreams, the end of life, and the loss of love. A good fit, right?

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

Right at the moment it’s lovely outside. It rained earlier, but then it cleared up completely and the sun came out and the air warmed up.

When we go to bed at night there’s still plenty of light outside. When we wake up in the morning it’s already light outside. If there weren’t occasions where I wake in the night to see it’s dark I’d almost believe we were living at a pole in permanent light.

On nights like this in the past, my darling and I used to sit in the dimming light and talk for hours.

We haven’t tried this in a while. Now when we go to speak we not only know what we’re each going to say but what we’re going to respond to it with and what we’re then going to say to that along with the joke that we say together which amplifies the funny.

Yeah. That stage.

It makes it easy to communicate information when you need to, but it sure makes for dull conversations.

But at least we get to read in bed longer.

It’s still a month till Summer and the solstice is far away in the future. It’s 21 degrees outside (for lovers of fahrenheit that’s warm but not hot) and the birds are singing their way to bed and the sun still has a half hour before it’s fully set.

Peace out.

Today we’re going the minimalist route with one blog tour stop. The lovely Owltastic Promotions is hosting me tonight, and it’s already up if you want to go and check it out RIGHT NOW!

Find out my favourite joke (that still makes sense when you read it rather than relying on being said aloud) and whether I am turned on by the things I write. Or really, really not because that’s inappropriate given my subject matter. Get on over there now.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

Isn’t that enough to have you running scared?

I’ve only just gotten used to writing out the year as 2013 2014, and it’s about to change. I remember when a year took years to get through. Time moved so slowly that I had to measure out my life in quarters, and halves. How old are you little girl? I’m four and three-quarter years old, ma’am.

Now I’m lucky to remember the decade, while the precise year is a pot-luck based on what feels most familiar in my mouth. Occasionally there’s a complete hiccup in my brain where my mouth tries to say twenty-eight, while my head says ‘that’s not it’ but fails to supply anything else.

Still, on the bright side at least these days I can easily afford Christmas presents, and have enough forethought to know that I need to get it organised sooner rather than later. Therefore I have done my Christmas shopping, and booked my flights and accommodation and now can sit back and watch the last weeks of the year fly by.

In other news…

Blog tour is recommencing after the weekend break with a whirlwind two stop date. First drop by Fiction Zeal and have a bit of a nose around, and then if you’re still up for more have a late night drink at Tina Donahue Presents before falling into bed completely satiated.

Yeah, that’s the stuff.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

23 Nov / Celebrations

The other day my hundredth blog post came and went without much fanfare. Truth be told I didn’t even realise that it was my hundredth until after I’d published, and then noticed the number.

So – hooray for my hundredth blog post. Rah, rah, rah and all that jazz.

Now that it’s had time to sink in I’ve decided to release something to celebrate the occasion in style because it’s not going to happen again, is it? These little milestones have to be noted otherwise my life will be gone before I notice and nothing will have been done about any of it.

So guess what it is that I’ve released? Guess what it is that I’ve done in order to mark the occasion of my hundredth post?

Give up?

I’ve released a book of collected blog posts called “One Hundred Days of Noise.” Yes that’s right. No longer will you have to click out to the side of a main blog post in order to see the others. No longer will you have to curl up in bed with your laptop or PC while you catch up with what’s been happening in the world of Katherine. Now you can handily download the collected nonsense onto your favourite e-reader. And if you don’t have an e-reader you can download it onto your laptop and curl up in bed with… hang on.

If you want to download it onto a Kindle you can do it through Amazon and pay only $4.99. That’s right. Only $4.99. For something that you can read right here on blogger for free.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy you can download it from NoiseTrade for the same price as blogger charges. That’s right. Nothing. It’s available in Mobi, E-Pub and PDF format so should fit onto any reader you happen to own.

No, thank you.

And here’s a link to a blog tour post that went up a little sooner than expected. I love and appreciate promptness in any shape or form, and you can find an excellent example of it right here on Writer Wonderland.

Get on there to read my take on critique groups and other assorted jewels of wisdom. And when you’re done download the free e-book and read through any blog posts you’ve missed. Or read them again and see if they stand up to repeated scrutiny.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

For the last few days we’ve had a slightly wild pet keeping us company. A fledgling blackbird fell out of its nest (or flew out of its nest) and now is in no position to fly back to it.

Either its parents, or other unrelated birds who are taking pity on it simply due to species affinity, are turning up every once in a while to shove a couple of beakfuls of food down its gullet. Otherwise, it’s on its own.

Except for me and my darling. That little bird is now our favourite part of the garden. No matter in which part of the garden it happens to be.

It still has a few fluffy feathers. And it doesn’t emit any sounds, so when it opens its mouth for food it has to plead soulfully with it’s cute little eyes. When they connect with you, you feel it. You feel this little bird’s pain.

Just in case you thought I was kidding about the full extent of little birdie’s beauty here are the clips of proof:

Am I right, or am I right?

Okay, maybe he just looks like a little bird to you, but me and my darling both work long hours and can’t reasonably expect a pet to amuse itself all day long while we’re out of the house so we are sadly lacking in animal companionship. Therefore a pet that comes with it’s own caretakers is the epitome of all that is adorable.

In homage to South Park we’ve even gone so far as to name him McNugget. Yes we have. Yes we did. Cutey wutey little birdie McNugget.

Just dropped in to type this up before I get back to cat duty. They’re not laying claim to him on my watch.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More