Katherine Hayton | BLOG
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In order to make my first day back at work less grim, I had the forethought to order a nice gift to welcome me back to the office. As an added benefit this morning I was so caught up with unhappiness that my holiday was over, that I forgot completely and therefore it was like a surprise gift.

A surprise gift that had been thoughtfully pre-opened by customs to make sure there weren’t any nasties hiding in it.

I unwrapped and slit open, and pulled out, and slit, pulled, opened, untwisted, pulled, and I had a HAPIfork in my hot little hand.

For those of you who don’t know, a HAPIfork is a wonderful invention that electrocutes you when you eat too fast. Think of me as one of Pavlov’s dogs, and electrocution as a bell, and I’m salivating already!

Here is a picture…

I picked green because… nature?

I’m so looking forward to lunch tomorrow. I couldn’t use it today until I took it home and loaded up stuff on my computer and charged up my fork, but tomorrow…

Bite. Ouch. Bite. OUCH. Bite. OUCH!!!

Oh the fun will be endless.

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My holiday comes to a screeching halt today. I’ve been living a blissful life for the past two weeks. Doing nothing except the stuff that I felt like doing, and only then when I wanted to.

But tonight I’m going to go to bed in holiday-land, and wake up tomorrow in the real world. I’m not looking forward to the transition.

This is all terrible news to me. I’ve been trying to adjust myself, but honestly I’m on holiday so I’m not trying anything very hard. But yesterday I got some bad news. Daylight savings.

You mean I lose a full hour – on the last day of my holiday?

It may make a difference to some people. Maybe someone out there gets some sort of joy out of having an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day, rather than at the beginning. But not me. I appreciate an hour of sunlight before I get to work as much as I like an hour after. Maybe more. My body may get up inconveniently in the middle of the night, but my brain is pretty much non-functional until I put a few rays of sun on it. A back-to-front vampire student.

Now I’m trying to pretend that I’m starting to feel sleepy at a time that last week would’ve been five-thirty. If we were normal people that would be a time we’d start to consider eating tea. As it is we do that closer to three o’clock because we’re old before our time, but still. You want me to go to sleep in half an hour? Good luck with that!

If I were to take the place of Pollyanna right now I could say that since I wouldn’t enjoy today much anyway it’s lucky that this is the day that only lasts 23 hours.

But I’m not and I won’t.

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Nothing has happened, and I’m going to bed.

Since you don’t get a blog today, you can admire my rejigged Kindle cover for Found, Near Water which I’ve reworked with thanks to the good people at Canva.com

Ohhhh, isn’t it pretty?

Sometime in the next 24-72+ hours it should also go live on Amazon, although it is already available in the download and look inside versions. If you don’t believe me you can buy a copy, download it, and see!

JUST CLICK HERE

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Since signing up with Facebook in 2010 I have not utilised this website much. I “friended” someone once to look at her wedding photos, and I “friended” someone else last year to follow their travels around the world because they’re terrible at emails (at remembering to send them not the content.)

That was the full extent of my escapades. I heard people talking about it, but whatever. I don’t have friends so I don’t need to keep in touch. Facebook was for other people.

And then I became a self-published author and discovered that apparently Facebook was meant for me.

I dipped my toe in. I created a “Page” (which is somehow separate from yet part of my overall account?) and I added a few bits and bobs to it. Then it all looked too hard so I deleted it again a half-hour later. It was so confusing that when Facebook asked me if I was sure I wanted to delete the page I didn’t know. I had to try it twice before I clicked Confirm.

So I went about my daily life thinking, everyone else has a Facebook page, I don’t want a Facebook page, I should have a Facebook page, I don’t understand a Facebook page.

It’s nice to have a personal chant going on back there. Soothing.

But when I went on holiday I thought, now’s the time. I should try again. I’m not the kind of girl to let technology beat me. I bought and sold my (first) Google Glass before most of New Zealand even figured out how to buy them.

Of course the real issue isn’t that Facebook is technology – that’s just part of its disguise. The real problem is the social in social media. That’s like people. And as mentioned above I don’t have any friends. Something genetic to do with lacking any empathy or interest in other humans. I have my darling at home and my work-wife in the office, and a bunch of people that I trade sarcasm with (at least I think I’m trading – I’ve never stuck round long enough after my comments to find out for sure) and that’s enough for me.

First I filled out a bunch of information. Tick, tick, tick. No I’m not putting my address details in! Are you crazy? I don’t know who all is on the Internet but judging from forums at least half of them are Hitler.

Then I had to design my page. I had to POST something. It was like a postcard but you had to design the picture and not get too specific ’cause it’s not going to someone you know.

And then… relax. Just sit back because now people are going to visit your page and Like you. Just to get them started Facebook prompted me to Like my own page.

I felt a bit like Carrie voting for herself at the Prom, but I followed orders because if I didn’t maybe something social would break.

It only took a week for a random to like me – thus doubling the popularity of my Author Page.

Looking at the results from this I determined that social media wasn’t going to do me any good at all at this rate. Surely the point was to inform people about myself and my work. Informing two people – one of them myself – about these things seemed like a slight waste of time. Delete page?

Nope – I went for Door Number Two. Advertise. On Facebook. Yeah baby, I’m in the big leagues now.

This has opened up a whole new world to me. Now, instead of writing or reading or thinking of random places to take photographs of my book or drawing (book covers okay, not just for enjoyment because I’m not into that any longer) I can instead sit in front of my computer clicking refresh. Occasionally I redesign the ad by changing a word or two, or uploading a new picture, or selecting a different age range and country of people to display my ad to.

Yip. It’s a sweet life. If you’d like to contribute to the cause please feel free to click the Like button below. After all, I like you.

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While I was on holiday this year (oh, were you on holiday kathay? Why yes, thanks for asking, I was) I attempted a new take on dieting. Previously my motto has been to restrict myself for a few days until my willpower goes, and then binge. Instead, I thought this time I’d stick mainly to a liquid diet in order to keep myself nice and trim.

The liquid I chose (not the demon drink – I’m in recovery you know) was ice-cream.

I’m aware that this seems to be solid in appearance but since it melts as soon as it hits the warmth of your mouth-cave I thought it definitely qualified. Besides, it may be made of fat and sugar, but how heavy is the average ice-cream? You’ll actually have to insert the weight here because I’ve never held one in my hand without being eaten for long enough to weigh. But you get my point, right? They’re not heavy.

Unlike me.

I thought that my consumption during the long hot holiday was looking something like this…

Turns out it looks more like this…

And with the amount of insect bites I have on my lower legs I’m left wondering this…

And you know what I’m going to be like on Monday?

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23 Sep / Goodbye b**ches

The time is nearly upon me. Sorrow fills my heart and unnecessarily wakes me up at five to one in the morning. My last full day at Mission Beach is nearly at an end, and tomorrow I must drive for two hours and fly for seven and a half hours with a two hour stopover in order to return to Christchurch.

Oh well. All good things must come to an end. Perhaps there’ll be a beautiful frost on Thursday morning to bring a smile to my face, and chillblains to my feet.

Meanwhile…

Goodbye beautiful beaches xoxoxo

Goodbye beautiful rain forest xoxoxo

Goodbye beach seen through rain forest xoxoxo

Goodbye pool – you’ve served me well xoxoxo

Goodbye… whatever you are xoxoxo

Goodbye, my love, goodbye.

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22 Sep / Self-harm

Oh, the pain. The pain.

I stubbed my toe this morning on the side of the lounger. For long moments my entire body tensed; I gripped the side of the chair tight and concentrated very hard on not yelling loud swear-words in consideration of the family next door with three little children.

The pain was all-consuming. When I looked down to check that my toe was still in some form of relationship with the remainder of my foot, the visual appearance of injury was under-whelming. It was a touch red.

When I was finally able to speak (other than suppressed swears) I looked up to see my darling waiting to find out what was wrong with his eyebrows raised.

This isn’t from callousness, more’s the pity. No – it’s from routine. I have managed to injure myself at least once, and often several times per day since arriving in Australia. It’s not the venomous snakes or indecently large spiders – no. It’s some sort of inbuilt clumsiness that has decided to kick into high gear to help celebrate my time off.

I have stubbed my toe, twisted my ankle, managed to get a stick embedded in my heel, and this morning I gouged a new slit in the tip of my nose with my thumbnail while putting on a top.

Don’t ask.

My darling has given up yelling in panic, ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’ Now he just waits calmly for me to inform him, or makes a casual guess. ‘Toe?’ I nod. He nods back in sympathy. ‘Looks like it hurts.’

Son of a b**** that’s an understatement. I hope when I return to New Zealand my co-ordination returns. My guess is that the excessively high temperatures and long hours of sunshine have somehow thrown off my brain chemistry and resulted in this spate of injury.

If it’s not, then farewell my friends. I’ll be lucky to last out the year.

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Today I looked out over the view out of our balcony…

… and I started to get that sad feeling. That feeling that says ‘You remember how when you went out to the airport you thought your holiday would last forever, well I’ve got news for you!’

I’ve pushed it away before today; laughed in its face and counted down exactly how many days I had left here. Many, many, many, many, many days stretched out in front of me. Now I have Monday and Tuesday… and sort-of Wednesday if you count the drive out to Cairns which I do (no I don’t) and then it’s all over.

‘You’re going to have to go back to your day job,’ my mind teases me. ‘You’re going to have to fit into your uniform.’

It’s a statement to my fit and relaxed mental health that the second phrase has me closer to tears than the first. Oh well, maybe I can get away with wearing my own clothes for a week or two while I downsize (or order new uniform.)

Still, tomorrow’s Monday and I’ll still be here. I’ll deal with Wednesday later. And next Monday – I might be dead by then!

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Today instead of actual writing I thought about writing. Thought hard. There was a big gap between the middle of my story and the end of my story. I knew there were things she should be doing, and things that had to happen, and things that had to be revealed, but no real idea of how those things were going to transfer from vague ideas in my head onto the page.

But now I’ve cracked it.

Coincidentally I’ve also decided that it’s just as important to take long walks on the beach as it is to do actual writing. They obviously help. And since I’m soon coming back to Christchurch where walking on the beach is inconvenient and cold, I should make the most of the beach that I currently have.

I may have sorted out my storyline, but I’m obviously not going to get much time to actually write for the rest of my holiday. Not now I have a task-list.

Until I fly back on Wednesday feel free to interpret #amwriting as #ambeachwalking – in my mind they’re now the same thing.

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