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We bumped into a couple of ex-pat Brits here the other day, and they recommended a restaurant for us, tucked away in a small village complete with stream and beautiful church, so we made a journey there yesterday evening to sample the local wares, emerging a couple of hours later having eaten one of the largest meals we have ever encountered.  I think that anybody involved in the health side of things would have had a fit at the portion sizes, but as a one-off treat it was quite something.

The waiter recommended the pork chop to me, which didn’t sound much like the hautest of haute cuisine, but I went along with the suggestion, and was aghast to find that said chop barely fitted on the plate.  The waiter introduced it with a cavalier “…and a small chop for you”, but at nearly a foot long I find it hard to believe that it came from the runt of the litter.  I told him that it was the biggest chop I had ever seen and that, where I was from, chops were much, much smaller.  “Yes,” he said sadly, bitterly, “I have seen your chops.”

The heating seems to have been fixed, although there are always the air conditioners to push out some warm air, which is at least making some parts of the house warm enough for sitting and working.  Outside, though, it remains damp and grey, and the combination of that, the fact that it is Sunday, and the need to continue to digest yesterday’s culinary extravaganza, means that today is work for the first half and then play for the second, hopefully running through some of the card games I have packed into my luggage.  There was not space for anything too involving and drawn out, but there are some decent choices in there.

Thus far it has been onwards and upwards with 1215.  Orchestrating this piece does make me think of approaching the mountain one step at a time, for after several hours of work it is often sobering to see how much still needs to be done.  Every now and again, though, I hit a patch that has already been filled out in the Runnymede version, and those moments provide my brain with a little respite, also allowing me to skip ahead and knock a few more minutes off the total left to do.

Still, I am working fairly easily, and there is every possibility that I will have the piece done and orchestrated by the end of this week, which would place the completed work over a month ahead of its original delivery date, giving me time to proof and change anything, also to finish O God Of Earth And Altar well before the parts need to go out.  I was saying to somebody recently that I think I am writing well at the moment, and they pointed out that I have been doing it on pretty much on a daily basis for the past year, keeping the brain in trim and keeping the thought processes going, and once these two projects are done I shall get straight on with the next, as I do not even feel that I need a break.

My next commissions have deadlines which all sit a little while off, so the pressure of the past year will, I think, ease just a little, and that will enable me to go back to a few of my older projects and maybe even enter a competition or two over March and April, just to keep those writing muscles in trim.

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