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9 November 2011

My neighbour has done me the favour of grazing about twenty of his cows/calves/bulls in my (largest and) overgrown paddock, with them arriving last night. I don’t have quite enough livestock to keep down the massive spring growth, don’t want to buy more for just that, and having all those tons of beef wandering by his cat park is certainly amusing Thunder who’s out there pop-eyed with interest. Me too. I went out this morning to check the water level in their trough, discovered it needed filling, and started the hose, only to find an inquisitive bovine leaning over my shoulder. I gave him a pat and a shove. “Go lean elsewhere, you hefalump.” He did, and as he wandered away, I realized I’d just been very casual with a large bull. As they say, God looks after fools, drunks, and little children – and writers it appears.

I’ve been rushing to print and send out my Christmas cards and latest letters to overseas friends this past couple of weeks. Got all of the letters to UK/USA written, started printing, last two letters to go – and the printer stopped. Won’t repeat what I said! I called in the technician, who considered the printer and said that in his opinion it was kaput. I should buy a new one. But, I wailed, this printer was purchased new, had used only the half-size toner cartridge that it came with, and was on the first full one, was supposed to last through that and a second, and… tough. When they quit they quit, and he didn’t – ah – recommend ‘Brother’ printers. So if I manage to find time while I’m in the city tomorrow, I’ll buy his recommendation, a new Canon laser printer. But I’m not at all pleased that my printer died after so little use. And no, because I don’t use it in bulk, just in a steady trickle, it’s out of warranty. But I still feel hard done by.

I was delighted to receive a cheque recently, not a really large amount, but reasonable. It’s the last six months worth of royalties on sales of The Key Of The Keplian. And I’m delighted because that book first appeared from Warner Aspect in 1995. So after 16 years it’s still selling. Not just available, but readers actually continue to buy copies and that’s great.

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