Two mugs in the garden

Yet another lovely day trapped in the house. This morning I managed to get the next edition of our journal ready: I marked up the PDF proofs and emailed the amended copy back to the publisher, who will make the changes in Quark before sending everything to the printers. There is an editorial meeting in Lisbon on Tuesday (the first in a whole year), which I will not be able to attend. I fail to see the point of these meetings, since I - along with the journal manager at the publisher - practically run the journal: from getting articles and reviews to copyediting, typesetting and proofreading. We have now officially altered the submission process, meaning that the editorial committee have even less to do than they did before - now everything comes to me, and I pass it on to the editor with a note telling him who I have asked to referee the submitted papers! I prefer it this way because, in all my time living amongst and working with the Portuguese, I have found it to be the only way to get things done on time (or even at all). Don't get me wrong: I like Portugal and the Portuguese - but they are not the most effective people at getting things done. They seem to be overly fond of committees and unneccessary bureaucratic procedures, with no-one willing to accept any responsibility. On the other hand, as a presbyterian protestant, I have a work ethic that is very different. My philosophy is this: it doesn't matter how we get it done, as long as it gets done. And if you believe that, you'll believe anything. Anyway, I did get the journal to bed, and will soon be starting on the next issue, as well as copyediting and translating the two books and website that I have to do. Somewhere amongst all this, I have to struggle along with my sciatica, worry about impending surgery and try to get out to use my new camera. I have already had to turn down a trip along the Fife coast with Gavin and a couple of his other photographer friends (no doubt they will be stopping off at such picturesque locations as St Andrews, Crail, Pittenweem and Anstruther). You don't need to feel sorry for me - I am capable of doing that myself. So anyway, I did manage to get out to the junk heap at the back of our garden where I took this picture of my 20 year-old coffee mug and a rusty nail. Enjoy.


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