Merry Christmas to all of you, or happy holidays for those who don't celebrate the festival. Thought I'd let you know that at this stage my latest book looks set to go on sale before Christmas. And following its release I may admit myself to the Home for the Terminally Bewildered!
Have to admit that this book has been a challenge. The Dotard – yes I'm keeping the name, North Korea will just have to find another word – despite being quite short at a hundred k or so has attracted the full fury of my editor. (And I thought it flowed quite well!) So the rewrites have been quite extensive.
But while she gets the final edit finished, that's given me a little time to spend in the garden with the line trimmer. Boy has that been a mistake!
It seems that somewhere in my misspent youth (would you believe last year?!), I fell for the old mantra that bigger is always better. And from my humble red-neck man's point of view, this is almost always true. I want to be taller, to have more money in my bank account, for my car to be bigger and more powerful. I think everybody does. But it turns out that line trimmers are where this rule of thumb breaks down – and if you're unlucky your thumb breaks down with it!
The new rule of thumb for line trimmers is this: When you're standing in a jet-stream of blended vegetation shooting into your face and ten feet over your head, when your right arm is cramping from the effort of holding down the trigger, and when every time you move the end of the trimmer wants to take flight and spin you around like a top – it's too big!
For me the magic number is eight hundred watts. Seven hundred and ninety nine would have been fine, but eight hundred was just too much! I know, it doesn't sound like a lot. It's only two or three times the power of a normal trimmer. But with the heavier line on it, it really is like trying to hang on to a jet engine. On the other hand when you're trimming the stuff that grows between the cobbles on the drive, it does a fantastic job of polishing the concrete too!
Anyway that's my consumer advice for Christmas. In the new year I may start reviewing bandages and painkillers!
Hope you all have a great holiday season, and don't over do it in the yard! My new years resolution will be to try and put out more books next year than I did this year.
Merry Christmas, Greg.