Well, it's been an up-and-down few days. On the plus side, I've written another 5000 words and am now up to 20K or one-fifth of the planned first draft. I do hate cranking out the words, though - I much prefer editing and re-structuring and polishing. But I can't have one without the other, so it's got to be done.
On the minus side, our new Government has pulled the funding from one of the longer-term work projects I'm doing. This is its second year and the project was supposed to run until the end of next March, but they've now said it has to finish by the end of June. It's a project which was set up as a pilot by the previous Government, in a handful of deprived areas around the country, to gather information about why some of the most disadvantaged families don't use free public services such as doctors, schools, libraries etc. I'm only involved in one area, but they've been doing some terrific work and gathering some really useful information; I think it's a great shame it's closing. I know there's a big deficit and many cuts have to be made, but you can't fix a deficit quickly, the project was due to finish next March anyway, and I think it's shortsighted to cut it sooner which effectively wastes the money that's already been spent on it because it won't have time to realise its full potential. The effect on me personally isn't that bad - I'm only losing promised work, and I expect something else will come along to fill the gap - but it's absolutely dreadful for all the people who are going to be out of work in a month's time instead of in 10 months' time.
On the plus side, I've caught up with the backlog of work on my OU accounting course, and am now in the week I'm supposed to be in. Which is just as well, because I start the maths course this week, so will be running the two together for the next couple of months. I'm doing OK on the accounting course - have only been reduced to tears once so far - although some of the language perplexes and confuses me. For example, when you receive money from a debtor you debit the bank to increase it and credit the debtors to decrease, but when you refund money to a debtor you credit the bank to decrease and debit the debtors to increase. After a few rounds of 'credit the debtors and debit the creditors' I start to feel as if I'm in some kind of nightmare Gilbert and Sullivan world.
And a third plus is that I've been invited to a friend's daughter's 18th birthday party this evening, and I'm off up north first thing tomorrow to spend a few days with my family. I'm really looking forward to having a few days off, starting any minute now. I'll be taking my laptop away with me, but I won't be online much and I'm only going to write if I feel like writing. A proper break! Hurrah!