Katherine Hayton | BLOG

is finally over, and I’m pleased to announce that I have my hour back.

Because we’re currently on Easter break, I’ve also lost an hour of daylight because I’m not awake when it’s gained in the morning, but I’m well awake when it disappeared early this evening.

To celebrate this occurrence there was also a blood moon last night, which I was glad to see was not visible in Christchurch and therefore didn’t require me to try and fail to stay awake to see. A glorious thing by all accounts by people who were located on the West Coast, and had access to a telescope.

Apparently the next month is the most dangerous time for folks medically speaking. The hour the clocks were put forward back in September may have averted a few dozen heart attacks, but that bill is about to come due.

I do wonder if all the deaths we’ll see over the next month or so due to circadian disruption – not that it’ll be the reason going on their death certificate – would be saved if one year we just went on daylight savings, and then never went off it.

Sure, the very nature of time itself would become a joke a few years down the track, but in the age of the internet I’m sure it doesn’t matter too much that offices open during daylight hours and close during the dark. Teenagers would hate it, but since that’s their raison d’ĂȘtre it may even please them in some backhanded way.

Alternatively, it’s possible that I’ve been the victim of two-sided propaganda and no one is affected too much one way or the other. As the least exciting explanation it’s probably best I left that to the end.

And now, I’m an hour late going to bed so if you’ll excuse me…

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04 Apr / Old

I don’t feel very different than I did a decade ago.

Sure, my bones ache a bit more. Some of my joints have the broken glass addition of arthritis to them. My ankles have started to swell in warm weather.

I’ve also developed a special type of grunt for sitting down, and a much longer one for standing up again.

But I still didn’t think I was that much different to the younger generation of people that I’m surrounded with at work.

Until a discussion about a visiting rock star began.

To be more exact, began with the word ‘Who?’

Now, I accept that every generation has its own music, but there are still some names that should echo across the divide.

When someone mentions the Beatles and the Stones I don’t shake my head in confusion.

And likewise I expect everybody to know who Billy Idol is.

How dare this young generation of people grow up without listening to White Wedding or Rebel Yell? How did they survive their teen years without Dancing with Myself? What other version of Mony Mony could they possibly prefer?

I could almost accept that someone may haved missed out on the musical genius that created Hot in the City, but then I discovered somebody in our office who didn’t know who Baldrick was.

I’ve obviously fallen through some strange time-warp and ended up in the wrong dimension. Or, grown old.

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03 Apr / Easter silence

Today was Good Friday, and it was mainly good because we get Friday off from work.

Unfortunately, viruses haven’t availed themselves of the timetable for public holidays in New Zealand, and my companions have decided to continue working full speed ahead.

For the past couple of days I’ve had a lovely croak to my voice. It made me sound like a blues singer who’d been hanging out in smoky bars. But without the benefit of being able to sing, and ignoring the fact that no bar is allowed to be smoky anymore.

Today, however, my voice went way past sexy without passing go and without collecting two hundred dollars.

Laryngitis you are not my friend.

Each time I come up with a witty comment, or a passing opinion, I need to repeat it so many times before it’s heard that all the cleverness is sapped away by exasperation.

Last year when I had laryngitis at work I made up a handy sign that said ‘I have laryngitis, please don’t make fun of me.’ In case anyone still tried I’d written on the back ‘Or I’ll kick you arse.’

If I’m still having the same amount of trouble expressing myself tomorrow I may need to recreate this, or come up with a new interpretation. Something that will hammer home to my darling how much he’s not funny when he’s sitting there with a smirk on his beautiful face pretending not to understand.

You just wait, sweetie. You’ll get yours. Tonight I’m going to wait until you’re asleep, and I’m gonna cough all over you.

Because sometimes you don’t need spoken words to express how you feel.

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Today we held a meeting for our leadership team. After my tirade on meetings not so long before, I’m sure you already know my opinion about the usefulness of these things, but this one was slightly different.

First of all, it was offsite so we couldn’t leave and go back to our day job. Second, it was held at a restaurant which gave it a certain appeal.

This is how corporations suck you into attending off-site meetings. They make them sound more attractive than they actually are.

I arrived slightly ahead of time, which gave me a nice fifteen minutes alone in the room to the side of the main restaurant. I could’ve used this time to brush up on the facts and figures provided to me the day before by my manager, but I thought the time would be better spend rescuing pets. I stand by this decision.

When everyone arrived we got the meeting underway. The first thing we tried to do was close the door between the side meeting room that we’d booked for the day, and the main restaurant. It’s a popular restaurant so it’s fairly loud. It seemed a reasonable request.

We couldn’t close the door. Apparently some workman had been in the day before to fix it, and misunderstood what “fixed” meant.

All our state secrets were being spilled in that room. We resorted to using post-it notes and whispering very quietly.

We couldn’t hear each other, or read each others’ writing, so if the future of our department ends up heading in a slightly wonky direction I’m afraid you’ll have to blame it on the restaurant. Not the leadership team.

And in a completely different direction, check out the great daily deals on Buck Books.

Tomorrow my debut novel Found, Near Water will be featured for only 99c.

If you enter your email address on the site you can have all their new deals sent directly to your inbox each day, and never pay more than a buck for a book again.

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31 Mar / Back to work

After having the day off sick yesterday, today I made the valiant sacrifice of going into work.

First of all I had to get out of bed. This required a few stops for coughing fits, but done.

Next, I had to get showered. Luckily the cleaning happened while I was leaning against the side of the shower wall coughing. There was soap involved somewhere.

Then I dried myself off, something that being doubled over coughing actually contributed helpfully to, and then I had to get dressed.

I performed that while sitting on the bed and lifting one limb and then one cheek at a time.

By the time I got to the couch I felt certain that I’d earned a medal, but it turns out all I earned was a ride to work.

Coffee helped. Morning tea helped more. I made it through the day.

And then on the ride home it started. The tickle that you get which means you have to cough loudly and inappropriately. The sort of cough that you really don’t want to get on public transport.

Especially not when the double seat you scored on the bus was immediately filled by a little old lady. A little old lady who looked first alarmed and then horrified when I exploded into fits of suppressed coughing.

The problem is that no matter what you do, you can’t stop a cough forever. You may twist into paroxysms of suppression until your face is bright red and your eyes are streaming tears, but that sucker is still there. Waiting.

And the longer you try not to cough, the more you have to, and the more you have to, the less relief you get when you finally succumb, and the less relief you get the quicker you need to again.

Until finally you get off the bus and all urges to cough go away. But they’re waiting. They know I’ve got an Orbiter to catch tomorrow, and they’re lining up right now.

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30 Mar / Insult to injury

In order to take my mind off the horrendous pain swamp that my throat and chest have become, I spent a nice quarter hour today googling my books.

This is an excellent pastime, and I highly recommend everyone immediately undertakes it. Found, near water and Skeletal BTW.

While happily strolling around the lanes of the internet I came across a curious note that I hadn’t seen before. It went something like this:

Want to download Found near water. Does anyone know where I could find it?

Well. I’m quite excited. First of all, someone has heard of my book. Second of all, they’re wanting to read it enough to put in a little bit of effort. Not the effort of spending money and all, but some effort.

I don’t really mind. I grew up taking books out of the library for exactly nada, so if someone wants to spend the same discovering my work they’re welcome. After all, I grew up to be a person who quite happily buys books by her favourite authors as soon as they release them. I can only presume the freeloader of today will be the fan of tomorrow.

My not really minding came to a halt at the next comment however.

Too long and a bit boring.

WTF??? My book??? The short and interesting one???

How rude! I take back everything about not minding the poverty stricken freeloaders, and replace it immediately with hate and lawsuits.

Copyright infringement is one thing, tasteless reviews are quite another.

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29 Mar / Breakfast

We went out for a cooked breakfast this morning. Some family reason, I don’t really know because I wasn’t concentrating. I was too busy trying not to cough up phlegm in the middle of a restaurant.

To show it was a really bad idea to go out to breakfast the rain absolutely poured down. This is something Christchurch rain seldom gets itself worked up enough to do. When it does go to the trouble, you should respect it and stay indoors. Instead, we drove to the Casino.

Perhaps I should insert here that if you go out for a meal that involves my darling’s mother it will be at the Casino. This is the only place in Christchurch that she knows how to get to, and get to she does, quite often.

The breakfast is a buffet, and while others at the table started off with a quite reasonable spread of yoghurt and fruit, I headed straight for the eggs and bacon.

Eggs Benedict, sausages, bacon, pancakes. My meal was almost complete. And then I lifted the stainless steel lid on the hash browns to reveal… nothing.

Two trays of bacon there were. Two trays of eggs. One tray of sausages, but that’s about right. One double tray of pancakes. And what size was the tray set aside for the hash browns? One tray. ONE TRAY.

I mean, I ask you. If you had the choice of making sure there were hash browns available, or holding aside extra trays for mushrooms, and tomatoes, and baked beans, what would you do?

Exactly. But no. The buffet adjudicators have decided in their wisdom that the diners of Christchurch would rather have variety than an ample supply of the necessities.

This created a slight controversy when the next load of hash browns were served up, and I cut the line to select a plateful, leaving almost none behind for the people still waiting in line.

Not my fault, queuing breakfast people. Get over it.

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28 Mar / Invaded

This morning when I woke up, the first thing I did – even before complaining about how 7.30am isn’t really a sleep in – was to cough.

This was because there was an extra helping of mucus coating my throat and filming over the passage into my lungs.

Not for long though. I coughed and coughed and did that thing where you seal off your nostrils then suck air through them anyway because it dislodges that lump of stuff between the back of your nose and the back of your throat. And then coughed that up.

On the bright side, this left me with such a sense of nausea that it was easy to go supermarket shopping and not give in to any cravings. On the non-bright side, ugh. A cold.

I’ve tried to temporarily up my vitamin C levels by adding actual lemon juice to my lemonade, and I’ve rested myself as much as humanly possible, but so far there’s just no improvement whatsoever.

I don’t really know what I’m surprised, colds typically do last a lot longer than one day, but each time I keep hoping that this time… this time…

Thinking of the tiny little invaders causing such reactive misery is the only thing that makes me feel any better. When I cough I think gleefully of little viral babies being thrown across the room with the force. When I sneeze and blow my nose I smirk at the thought of little viral babies being trapped in my snot.

But it’s not looking good for me. If I don’t make it, then I hope my darling finds my terminal-illness-wish-list and ticks off all the names on it.

What’s a terminal-illness-wish-list you ask? It’s like a bucket list, but when I’m diagnosed with a terminal illness you really don’t want your name to have made it on their. Prosecutions take way too long to organise when the culprit has an expiry date.

And for anyone asking, I am not a cricket fan and there is no way on god’s green earth I am planning on staying up late to watch the final of the cricket on Sunday night.

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27 Mar / Missed calls

My phone can go for a week at a time without receiving a single call.

This is good. I find it difficult enough to communicate with people face to face and know how to react, let alone over a thin wire covering vast distances.

Add to this the fact that whenever my phone rings it inevitably brings me more work. Piles of the stuff. To add to the piles I’m already surrounded with.

My darling used to call me every day at work. That was a phonecall I didn’t mind taking. And if he skipped a day it was just because I’d called him instead.

That hasn’t happened for a long time. Oh sure, we still call each other at work – we’re not estranged or anything – but not every day. Sometimes not even every week.

So today when I returned from a morning in the training room – built for twenty, occupied by two – and found a series of missed calls from my beloved I immediately jumped to the most logical conclusion.

Someone had died.

In retrospect I can’t think of anyone’s death that would have simultaneously necessitated the repeated phonecalls while also requiring my darling to continue to stay at work, but panic doesn’t have time for logic.

I phoned his office number. I phoned home in case he’d left. I tried his cellphone, the one he never turns on unless he needs to make an emergency call out. I tried his work number again.

Electronic recordings mocked me at every turn.

Then I had another meeting so went off to that instead. When I returned to my desk I’d missed another phonecall, and I finally reached him at home.

He’d forgotten what he was calling about, but assured me that it wasn’t anything important.

I hate the phone.

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