Archive for September, 2018

Hats all right

Good progress has been made with the Salisbury text-reviewing, and I’m now up to page 60 of 91.  I still have a feeling it’s too long, but I have one or two people who I can ask to read it.  I’ve got an appointment to visit the racecourse in a month’s time to discuss pictures – a subject I haven’t contemplated for a long time.  That’s easily remedied, as once I start looking through my collection of images and contact a few press agencies it will all come together.  In the past it’s been very helpful to borrow photos from private individuals, but with Salisbury there hasn’t been much in that line.  Still, we do have some old pictures in the racecourse’s files, and I always think the older ones are the most interesting.

I see there’s a Salisbury Literary Festival soon.  Maybe I’ll be there next year (irony).  Though I wonder why it’s a Literary, not Literature festival.

Sales of my other books have perked up for no obvious reason in the last month and some Croydons and Brightons have gone to eager readers.

A recent book-buyer with whom I had some correspondence was keen to identify a mystery man in a photo.  This was a stable lad leading up Sea Pigeon in the parade before the Derby.  You could see little of this chap apart from his hat!

Sea Pigeon was a good, but somewhat wayward horse on the flat before his long and highly successful hurdling career.  Fortunately I know someone who used to ride him out and he was able to name the chap in the photo simply by recognising his titfer.

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Lofty issues

More health problems have interfered with Salisbury book work these last two weeks.  I have, however, isolated all those “must check” items so that they can be researched methodically – eg with Racing Calendar queries I can deal with them by ferreting around the loft, where all the old issues are kept in big plastic storage boxes.  Invariably the loft is too hot or too cold, but I can be certain the light will be too dim, I’ll take the wrong glasses and it will be uncomfortable.  The criss-cross layers of diagonal wooden beams means that getting about up there is like playing Twister.  One cannot stand up straight. Two surveyors have looked at it and frowned.  They agreed it would be difficult (ie expensive) to do a loft conversion, especially as the roofline cannot be raised and it would be suitable only for people under six feet tall, which I am not.

I have started re-reading the text from page 1 to look for ambiguities and my recurring fear of the same word or phrase being repeated too often or too close to each other.  While Edit Find is great for seeing how often a selected word or phrase comes up, and a Word Frequency Counter website does what it says, I wish I could find something that can identify the most-repeated words and shows you where they are.

I felt that I did several hours on the re-read yesterday, yet progress is very slow.  I seemed to do no more than ten pages of the 95 in the Word document, getting me up to page 17.  I don’t know why, but I am optimistic that this will speed up.  I would like to finish this by the date of the last Salisbury meeting so that I have a fairly good version to hand then. We’ll have to discuss pictures for the book soon after.

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