What I did in my holidays by Mark Murphy aged 41 and a half
So my three weeks holiday from work is over and what have I done with it? Well, I never went on holiday, that’s for sure.
I knew that once I got back to work then I just wouldn’t have enough time to put into writing my second book so the plan was always to try and get it finished before then, but I also had a million other things to do before I went back.
Firstly I’d promised my wonderful mother that I would do some decorating for her and that’s what I did. Now, I wasn’t expecting on having to paint the wrought iron railings and let me tell you that painting metal railings is an absolute nightmare! A nightmare that requires an awful lot of patience. A fact that was confirmed to me a number of times during the three days it took me to do it by several of my mother’s neighbours saying, ‘God, you must have the patience of a saint to do that job,’ and, ‘That’s a nightmare that job, Mark, don’t envy you that one, mate,’ and probably the most apt comment, ‘Rather you than me, lad!’
Only after rubbing down the old rusting metal paint, sanding it off smooth and brushing it all clean could I start applying the paint. Black Hammerite for the main railings and silver paint for the lollipops on the top. Now the professionals amongst you could well point out that maybe I did something wrong in my preparation and I dare say Tommy Walsh and co. would’ve done a better job but, nevertheless, it looked pretty good to me in the end and what’s more the boss was very happy. I was also kept topped up with sandwiches and cups of tea from my Mum while I was there and I couldn’t help thinking that the min of The Will would’ve definitely approved! Maybe I should invent a character for my next novel based on Tommy Walsh, I wonder how a T.V. builder would go down in Central Head? I’d probably have to invent Min T.V. first though, hmm…
I also painted the front of the house with masonry paint, the front door with gloss paint and even fitted a new post-box to the front of the house, which thankfully came pre-painted. So after a lot of painting the first week of jobs was done! And the good thing about painting is that you can think about writing whilst you are doing it, and I did think a lot about where I wanted to go with my next book so it was all good.
Secondly I went to see England play cricket against India in Manchester. It rained. The less said about that the better.
Next it was some decorating at my own house. We got a new fireplace fitted and whilst the men were in doing that, I took to the laptop and really made some good progress.
The story was coming along well and heading into the final third. Still didn’t have a clue how it was going to end though, that would come later, hopefully…
The next sporting occasion was Liverpool’s first home game of the season. We won 2-1. Happy days, celebratory drinks all round in the pub afterwards.
Once the fireplace was done my beautiful fiancé Hannah and I took to re-decorating the dining room, yippee! Something I was quite pleased about actually as I do quite a lot of writing in my dining room, it’s almost the perfect place for me to work, only second to the famous man cave of course. We listened to the entire discography of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes several times, plenty of out of tune singing along to Kenny Rodgers covers then!
Into week three and back to the lap top. Some good progress was made here but as most writers will tell you, I will cling to any excuse NOT to write! I love doing it don’t get me wrong, and once I start then I’m ok, but getting started is the hard part. I watched a lot of telly in week three.
Then on to the weekend and I realised that unless I did some work then I would never get it done so I went up to the man cave and thrashed it out. In two days I managed around 20,000 words or so and finally got the first draft completed! I also managed to listen to the new No Marks album to boot! Soon to be released on Brassneck Records, check it out! (He says unashamedly self-promoting!)
So as of today I am the writer of two novels! I sent the first draft of book two to my publishers today to see what they think. I will let you all know how I get on in due course. Fingers crossed!
So there you go. After three weeks of rubbing, sanding, painting, decorating, cricket, football, Murdoch Mysteries, fireplaces, lap tops, dog walking, V for Vendetta, going to a punk gig, Stay clean Jolene, Bear Trade, Only Fools and Horses repeats, Chicago, Lager, Lap tops, writing, re-writing, Prokofiev, drinking whisky with Mum and Hannah, Sondheim, Midsomer Murders, Saving Mr Banks, Dark Crystal, Willow, more re-writing, Mrs Doubtfire, Dire Straits, Harry Potter, cats and not much sleep, I’m back at work.
That’s what I did on my holidays, by Mark Murphy aged 41 and a half.