Archive for August, 2007

The Adventures of Nancy – relaxation

Nancy relaxing by the fire.

Nancy relaxing by the fire.

Here is a photo of me sitting by the fire relaxing for the evening. After a busy day supervising Grandpa Trevor in the garden I need a little rest and relaxation. Sometimes I sit on his lap. That is very comfortable. The best spot is right in front of the fire. Very cosy. Sometimes I get so tired out playing games of chasey with Grandpa that I am quite tired out by bed time. Still – he needs the exercise – having a bit of a game is not such a burden. I have to do my part in keeping him fit and healthy.

Notice the beautiful rug I am resting on? My Mum Rose bought that for me in England when she went to the Cruft’s Dog Show. She sent it all the way home for me to use while she was teaching in England for a year. That was very nice of her. Still, I was a little disappointed she didn’t take me to the best dog show in the world. I am sure we would have won the champion of the show ribbon.

Maybe next year.

Talk to you soon.


The Adventures of Nancy with cats

Hi there again.

I am Nancy – the dog with Attitude.


I hate cats. I have yet to meet a cat I didn’t hate. Why – only this afternoon the neighbour’s cat went slinking past the lounge room window as if he owned the place. Oh, it makes me so mad – if only I could get at him I’d show him who is boss of this place.

Cat up a tree

Last year I was staying at Grandpa Trevor’s place. I like wandering around the garden. Well, one afternoon I was minding my own business sitting in the sun. When I say “minding my own business” I mean I was busy supervising Grandma Corinne in her native plant nursery. Sometimes she needs a little help.

Nancy supervising Corinne's plant nursery

Nancy supervising Corinne's plant nursery

Without warning and with never an “excuse me” or a “may I please come over” that Ginger from over the next door’s fence comes parading through the nursery. I mean, the cheek of him. Who does he think he is?

I showed him who is boss around here. It only took a few well chosen barks and a little snapping at the tail and he was up a tree in seconds. Didn’t think the old fellow still had it in him! There was a nice patch of sunlight at the base of the tree, so I sat down there to continue my nap work in the sun. Poor Ginger must have thought he was going to spend the night up that tree.

Just to show that I don’t hold a grudge I went inside for the evening. I am sure Ginger has learned his lesson: don’t mess with THIS dog.

Talk to you again soon.


Further reading:

Writing Hint #29: Unplug from the Internet

I can be easily distracted from my core work, writing.


Distractions surround the writer. While they are unique to most writers there are some common distractions too. I find that the beautiful view out of my writing studio is quite distracting. (Doesn’t “writing studio” sound much more romantic than plain old “office?” There – I’m distracted again.)

Some common distractions:

  • The internet.
  • Incoming emails.
  • Phone calls.
  • Visitors.
  • Books, magazines, newspapers.
  • Television.
  • Radio.
  • Music.
  • Housework, cleaning, washing the dishes.
  • Gardening.
  • The dog, cat, goldfish or pet parrot.

Deal with them!

If you don’t deal with the distractions and firmly master them, they will master you. You will get to the end of the day and wonder why you haven’t achieved anything. So how about trying some simple things.

Mastering distractions:

  1. Switch off incoming email: I get 60-100 emails a day. I love the little pop-up screen telling me of incoming email, so I go and read it. WRONG. This will stop the flow of words and derail your train of thoughts.
  2. Unplug from the internet: The internet is such a wonderful, time-wasting distracting place to be it can take up 25 hours of your attention every day. Master it. Switch it off and totally focus on your writing.
  3. Unhook the phone: If family and friends know you are available at all hours of the day, they will ring you at all hours of the day. Bang – there goes an hour here and an hour there and by the end of the week you’ve lost a day of writing time. No wonder that novel never gets finished. Take to phone off the hook – or let calls default to the answering machine. Then when you’ve finished writing for the day, phone those who bothered to leave a message and interrupt their time.
  4. Ignore the housework, garden, pets and other distractions: Now do not get me wrong – these things are important, but they need to be put in their proper place. If you are in a paid job, your boss wouldn’t be too impressed if you were late to work “because I had to do the dishes” or “I had to walk the dog.” Set aside non-writing time for these important things in life. It’s all about setting priorities.

Take time out to refresh

Make sure that your writing or blogging does not totally consume your life. It is important to take time out for refreshment. It is important to keep the family and friends in your life. It is important to read, to smell the roses and watch the birds, to do the dishes, to clean the house, to take the dog, cat or goldfish for a walk.

It’s all a matter of balance in the end.

Good writing.

Further reading:

A tribute to writers and bloggers

I went back to full time work today.

No need to panic – it is only temporary. I do relief driving for a friend who runs a courier business in the rural city where I live. He wanted to take a week’s holiday this week, so I’m working full time this week.

I’d like to pay a tribute to all you writers and bloggers out there who also work full time at a job and then stagger home to write. It is hard. You feel tired, worn out and drained. The creative juices have usually dried up.

I am enjoying the freedom to write all day now that I have retired from teaching. How I managed to write so much over the years AND teach full time PLUS be on various committees AND do volunteer work beats me.

So here is my little tribute to all you struggling writers and bloggers out there.

I salute you.

Good writing.

Poem #35: Early Morning





Early Morning

In the soft

Morning light

I catch the

Sun’s early rays

Lighting the rose petals

In apricot-coloured


Copyright 2007 Trevor W. Hampel

All rights reserved.

Read more of my poetry here.

See more of my photos of flowers, birds and scenery on my Photo Gallery.