Friday, November 16, 2012

The evils of drink

Those of you who visit the Bike Shed regularly will have noticed a recent increase in pace. Though not overtly declared, I've been attempting to complete my third year of the National Blog Posting Month - writing a short piece every day in November. And I was doing quite well, I thought...

Until yesterday.

When ironically I met up with some writer friends at the New Networks for Nature conference in Stamford.

I'd planned to write a quick post as I arrived, but was waylaid by a well-known nature writer (no names can be revealed) in the bar. A quick pint won't harm, I thought; I'd have time to nip off after the opening talk and write it then. Except I was waylaid, this time in a different bar with many more writers. No matter, I could write when I got back to the hotel...

You'll be getting the pattern by now...

By 11pm I was thinking (just) there's still an hour to publish a few words...  at which point we opened the bottle of Island Malt. (Check picture closely to see how much is left!)  Two hours later and I manage after five attempts to fit the key into my bedroom door.

This morning, I awoke to the unused computer by my bed.

I've failed, I thought, as I shuffled down to breakfast.  Might as well give it up for this year.

I felt I'd let myself down. Why do I do this - it can't possibly be worth it.

But you know, now I've sobered up, I reckon it was.

It was worth it, because NABLOPOMO, or any contrived challenge for that matter, shouldn't get in the way of enjoying life.

It was worth it, because failing every now and then is okay, and being reminded of that (occasionally) is not a bad thing. And...

Most of all, it was worth it, because good whiskey and good company are a fine and all too rare combination.

That's my excuse anyway.

And if you missed yesterday's post, all I can say, is that it probably hurt me more than you.


  1. I agree. Enjoyable company and conversation trumps a contrived challenge any day of the week. Glad that you had a good time. Nice to see that you've jumped right back into the challenge.

  2. I did smile when I read the post title. I am just quaffing my second bottle of Thatchers vintage cider!

    Regarding whiskey and good company, my friends Husband loves whiskey but will not drink it alone. he loves it when we come for supper and my husband joins him in a wee drop, but only Irish whiskey for my shamrock wearing spouse.

  3. Right decision....interesting people (and good whisky) first.

  4. I'd noticed your recent increase in pace, but not your lack of a post yesterday! As I know I'd fail at a post-every-other-day let alone a post-a-day, I'm impressed with either! (Thanks for commenting on my blog the other day, and yes I reckon I'm a few miles down the road from you!)

  5. You are right of course....a contrived challenge is just that and I should know.
    Mind you, in my opinion the people who fail the most are those that attempt something in the first place.....far too easy to attempt nothing and fail at nothing!!


  6. Ah Mark, I assumed you were just drafting and editing and editing some more. Perhaps you made it in time if you use the US timeline. Anyway, nothing wrong with a fine dram, so long as you share the tasting notes - or is that tomorrow's topic?

  7. Absolutely - life's much more important :)

    And all that well lubricated writing talk has to be the equivalent of writing a boatload of blog posts ;)

    You're on the home stretch now...

  8. What's that quote about failing over and over and over again and that is why you succeed? And what better way to not make a self imposed deadline? Friends and folly are surely right up there on the important things in life. In my book anyway.

  9. You don't see your friends every day, Mark, whilst your computer is always there. :-) Enjoying time with them was more important that keeping to this particular set of rules. I'm just surprised there was anything left in the bottle....