Monday, 23 February 2015

Work and Play

Pen & ink drawing by Richard Cosgrove-Bray
I have just arrived home from an enjoyable walk with my dogs through the meadows between Hoylake and West Kirby, which stretch around Gilroy Nature Park.  The spring sunshine was bouncing off pools of water lying half-submerged beneath drooping tussocks of winter-bleached grass.  A small flock of goldfinches was flitting around the bare trees.  The birds are back early after wintering abroad.  On the duck pond were the usual mob of Canada geese, mallards, coots and moorhens, plus a large flock of redshank who prefer the pond in the flooded field on the other side of the public footpath.

Richard and I are still waiting for the conveyancing on the house sale and purchase to complete.  I went into our estate agents' office on Thursday to enquire into the delay, and asked if the process usually takes this long - 10 weeks and counting, now.  The delay has been caused by our buyer's buyer, who had to wait for a divorce settlement to be paid before her solicitor could begin acting on her behalf.  Her solicitor had only  received copies of the various FENSA certificates and assorted repair/alteration guarantees which UK home owners are obliged to exchange to prove that work has been carried out by a qualified professional.  Once these have been checked, so long as no issues are revealed, then the buyer's buyer should be ready to sign her contract.  Once that's happened, the various other people in the chain can also sign their own contracts.  At least things are slowly moving forwards, hmm?

Turtle by Richard Cosgrove-Bray
Richard has been creating some new items for Spooky Cute Designs.  You can see two of them illustrating this post; if you visit the website you can see more. 

I've completed an NCC Skills course which relates to my day-job, and now just have to wait for the certificate to arrive.  I felt the course would have been useful to a young person entering the workforce for the first time, but for an adult the academic content was too basic to have much meaningful value.  Still, it earns me a few more Credits.

I've now begun the NVQ Level 3 course and have finished three units for that already.  It's as pedantic as I anticipated but my tutor is a lively and pleasant woman and that makes doing the course more enjoyable.  I've always hated doing courses but despite this I've completed rather a lot.  I scored 97% in the English skills assessment, though I struggled with the Maths assessment and scored only 48% for that.  Maths always was my stumbling point, right from very early school days.  The pass mark is 50%, if I remember correctly.  As part of NVQs, all students have to take English and Maths too.  Even my own tutor had to take these, and she has two Degrees and is a qualified teacher.  Did I mention the "I hate courses" mindset? I will focus on completing the course and not on hating doing the course, especially the Maths.  I will.  Honest.

Doing courses has slowed down work on Fabian, but even so I have written more of this.  I've only got around 8,000 words to write, which really isn't much, and writing the final scenes is always fun.

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