31 July 2008


I came across this earlier - a lovely article from the Guardian, all about a literary doubles, which made me giggle for ages at the absurdity of it all (check out the section about the Duncan Campbells and you'll see what I mean...).

I don't think there's another one of me, so I'm quite lucky. It must be very difficult if you're writing in one genre, and suddenly appear to have written a Mills and Boon or something even more random happens like becoming the UK windsurfing champion or owning prize-winning chihuahuas.

I've checked, anyway. If you look up "Rach Colling" on Google, all the search results relate to me. There's a few more under "Rachael Colling", only one of which (the BBC article) I can claim, although they're mainly confined to facebook.

What's strange, is if you look under my old name, Rachael Bradley. I've apparently written books about dragons (as well as my own thrilling tomes about writing for the web or international boundary issues), appeared in a little-known comedy called Brothers, and I'm also a chef and olive oil expert.

Even odder, I was a character in Cold Feet. Which made it very strange to watch.

30 July 2008

This isn't all I do with my time, honest

There seems to have been rather a lot of sandcastle building this summer...

Here's a stegosaurus eating 'an enormous dough ball'. I'm not sure that Pizza Express existed in the Late Jurassic period, but if it had, I'm sure it would have been a firm favourite...

29 July 2008

Food, glorious food

Mud cakes vs food waste.

Wrong on all counts. Start following those 20 tips now...

24 July 2008

I will definitely be planting nasturtiums again next year

They're about the only thing the slugs and snails haven't managed to get their teeth into. I think baskets might be the way forward...

23 July 2008

And another thing

While I'm on the subject of my knitting frenzy (not), here's something else I'd like to make, probably in around the year 2015 when I have a spare minute.


I had a whole blog post in my head yesterday, but now for the life of me can't remember what it was about. It could have been a fascinating link to something really exciting that I'd seen or read, a controversial riff on a topical subject, or most likely just me pontificating about cake. Who knows?

Anyway, in the meantime, while I try and recover what few brain cells I have left after working on a rather large report all day, here's the messenger bag I'm currently knitting.

I've only managed about halfway up the first side so far, so it may or may not be ready for Christmas.

The suspense is killing you already, isn't it?

17 July 2008

The antidote to conference food

I should point out that I wasn't in charge of decoration.

The wanderer returns

Right, I'm back. It took a while, and was a delightful train journey (Virgin Trains, if you're listening, how about some more seats on your services?) but normal service is now resumed (ie, a blog post once in a while, if you're lucky).

You can read all the live blogs from the conference here, including those from a fantastic group of other bloggers. Nice to meet you all!

I'll try and organise some thoughts on liveblogging over the next couple of days (aside from dreaming up ways to make people talk slower).

16 July 2008

Blogging. Live!

Hello! So here I am, blogging live from the conference where I'm liveblogging. This is getting rather confusing...

So far, the liveblogging is going well. I've typed more in the last 2 days than I have in the last two months (thank god for touch typing), and discovered that it's quite hard to listen, type and synthesise the argument all at the same time.

Some thoughts so far:
  • get a clear brief from the client as to whether they're looking for verbatim (or almost verbatim) coverage, or more of an overview
  • be very grateful if a session has a powerpoint presentation - it makes life much easier, and if you can get a copy of it, it can be embedded into the post to give some added oomph
  • photos are great
  • audio/video is even better
  • make sure that the person chairing the session tells everyone to state their name and organisation before they outline a question (it helps if you have a participant list you can check this against)
  • check out all the rooms beforehand, and work out where to sit based on where the power points are (they're often hard to find in an auditorium, and the last thing you want is loud beeping halfway through the session as your laptop battery slowly dies)
More thoughts to undoubtedly follow. Once my fingers have recovered.

10 July 2008

Liveblogging (as opposed to dead blogging?)

The huge mountain of work continues, it's pouring with rain, and I'm wearing two jumpers. I guess that's my summer over and done with, then.

I shouldn't grumble, really. I've spent the last two weeks in 30 degree plus temperatures, been swimming every day, drunk a bathful of nice French wine (and discovered the delights of rum and coke - what can I say, I was virtually teetotal as a teenager so I missed out on this one), and eaten my entire body weight in cheese and croissants. It was pretty good while it lasted.

And while I might whinge about work, I shall actually be out and about next week, meeting real, live professional people. Woo! When you work at home (and have days where you get to 6pm and realise you've only talked to (a) the cat and (b) the two-year-old), you get quite excited about this sort of thing, you know.

Anyway, I'm off to a conference, to try my hand at liveblogging. While I might have been around on the interweb since March 2002, this will be the first time I've had to blog on the fly, and I have to confess to being a little nervous (some of the content will undoubtedly get quite technical in an area that I don't know a huge amount about).

I had a bit of a dig about on Google, and came up with some top tips on liveblogging from the great and the good. But does anyone have any other suggestions? All hints and tips gratefully received...

07 July 2008

The best sandcastle in the world (TM)

In case you're wondering what I've been up to for the last couple of weeks...

More to follow, when the bottomless pit of work has finished...