Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The geese are flying south

...not a line from John Le Carre, but a literal observation as beaky Vs of unlikely avians quack their way to warmer climes. One of the quintessential sounds of Autumn, alongside the hum of the recently repaired hot-tub, the choral sneezing amid the cubes and upon the public transport network, the scuttle of squirrels reassessing their winter domain between my floorboards.

A couple of milestones have been attained. Professionally, the Lattice Semiconductor Corp has a brand, spanking new website. No longer will I have to hold my head in shame when I tell people what I do for a living, which is a plus. More importantly I have completed the first complete draft of "The Marmalade Shore", an 83 000 word epic that cuts a swathe of adventure from the bucolic tranquility of the South Downs through France, Italy, North Africa and beyond. I'm going to read all the way through myself and make minor amends, then preview copies may be made available to a select few diehard fans. Then you can decide whether you'd like to be my literary agent.

Poor Rachel, whose precise medical condition seems to have in a state of constant deferral for about nine years, is now anticipating another battery of tests following an odd incident she had recently where she lost her sight in one eye for approximately five minutes. They ruled out anything of immediate concern with a cat scan of her brain, but spotted something else which may - or may not - be an early symptom of MS, or possibly something else, or possibly nothing at all. The upshot is of course near constant medical analysis and nebulous speculation, buttressed by much obsessive scouring of the internet to the conclusion - much like the protagonist in "Three Men and a Boat" that she indeed suffers from every malady known to medical science with the exception of Housemaid's knee. Anyway, she's feeling a bit down as you might imagine.

Here's some exciting news: we're off to Hawaii for a week soonish! It's a five hour direct flight from Portland to Maui and it'll be the furthest West and the furthest South I've ever travelled. Having hardly left Oregon for over a year I can hardly wait!