Big feet, the meaning of September, and publishing progress.

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. If I knew your address, I would send you a bouquet of sharpened pencils.” Tom Hanks to Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail.

The first thing I missed after graduation was the academic year. I worked and had annual leave, but nothing stopped while I was away. Gone was the structure of getting ready, working hard, and then relaxing before gearing up again.

I was delighted the meaning of September returned with children.

However, this meaning is becoming increasingly expensive. My parents took us to have our shoes properly fitted at Clarks. So I feel like a good mother doing the same with mine.

I’m not quite sure why. The shoes are never the right size for long . And the children frequently borrow each other’s footware if they can’t find their own. (My 12-year-old went to the shop in my 16-year-old’s trainers, something I only realised as she got out of the car. ‘You said we had to put shoes on. You didn’t specify our own!’)

Our tallest child is now in men’s shoes. Hello VAT. The only pair that fitted him cost £99 (135 USD). I walked away from gold standard parenting in favour of my husband’s health and ordered something online.

Moving on from feet, it does look as if I will finish the second draft of my novel before the beginning of term. Admittedly, I knew where the story was going and had a lot of material before I started, but it has only taken 10 months to get to this point. I am very chuffed, wondering how I managed, and if I can reproduce my efficiency.

Things have been quiet publishing-wise over the summer. But this week, we have two structural reports to discuss. And our first book, Sue Barrow’s SOLD, is almost ready to market. Exciting, but nerve-racking times.

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