So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog

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Garden time – Apples and Plums, Jam and Wine

It was when I was out to photo the apple trees, I noticed that the Plum trees have next to no flowers on them at all. I had to check back at my photos over the past few years and there are definitely less flowers than in earlier years and they look scraggy, not full blooms, just a couple of petals.  Another effect of last year, or just the trees having one of their rest years?  We’ve had so many plums the past two years we’ve got sick of the sight of them!  The cherry trees locally have had a great flowering, missing the Ice man, unlike the apples which did get zapped, but with so many flowers I guess it’ll still be a great crop.  My ornamental cherry has also had a pathetic flowering this year, nature’s cycle?

Especially with the fiasco of Paggy’s plum jam making. I’ve never managed to get it to set properly, as he wont let me add enough sugar as he’s a diabetic, but even with the gel zucker – it has extra gelatine and pectin in it I understand, it wont set. Then it goes moldy!  It seems we need to reduce it at least by half before adding the sugar, which  will do this year, if we get any fruit!

Very few people make home-made wine here, which is a surprise, Schnapps and jam yes. Maybe it’s because wine is so cheap! I can’t think why as there are so many soft fruits in  any garden, and jam making or cordial uses maybe more sugar.  Maybe its due to the beer drinking!   I’ve also got at last my own elderberries going, so now its do I make juice and then maybe jam from th flowers, or wait to make jam from the fruit??? Such dilemmas!  We’ve also just planted our first Blackberry, they seem not to be Lungau hard, which is a shame as they are like weeds in the UK.

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Publishing an ebook


Way back in 1992, I wrote a book,Tom.  A seriously Christian book that in some ways reflected my life (I see it more now) but amateur and with many faults.  Carried away by having done a course with the London School of Journalism, I felt I could write and it was a good way of occupying myself as the kids were now both at school.

Our Pastor’s wife patiently typed it out and then I spent many hours searching the Writers and Artist’ s Year book, looking for publishers and preparing my synopsis to go with it.  All my sendings came unceremoniously back, and I was thinking of papering the walls of the downstairs loo with them.  Of course its difficult to break into the publishing market, but I became so disheartened that I gave up on writing and spent the next five years doing an OU Degree to acquire the knowledge and skills behind the art of novel writing.  Enjoyed it too, but once it was done, it really was time for me to go back to work and I ended up in an office working in Fine Art Insurance.  Tom was buried.

Tom remained so for several years, stuck on some very old floppy discs, which I found by chance on the Internet could be reformatted for Word, which I did. I brought the book here and it gathered dust as we settled in.

I did fiddle with it, but the biggest surprise came on my 50th Birthday when the kids presented me with a bound copy – I was in print!   Now spurred on by my brother’s success (Hi Wilbur) on ebooks, where he’s successfully published his own novels, I’m grooming Tom to go online.  To anyone out there, answer me this;

Why do the epublishing websites not provide a cover creating programme with their editing pages?  I’m so surprised that Microsoft hasn’t jumped on this and created a programme with templates.

Why can’t editing the book be made easier, I get these pages of gobbledgook when all I want to do something like remove a blank space, why can’t these online editors be as simple as Word – Go on Microsoft and Apple -do something!