Where did Christmas go? Yesterday, I was looking for pressies to give to relatives. Today, I’m wondering what exciting thing to give my loved one for Valentine’s Day.
I know it is a sign of getting older when the days race by. As a child, a day took a week, a week a month, and a year was so far off I couldn’t remember it. Now, as each days passes, it vanishes like an hour. The whole phenomenon in reverse, as a week becomes a day, and a month a week, and a year? Feels like yesterday.
So, am I going to sit and watch my life flit by like a concertina? The hell I am. This year, resolutions ignored. I’m doing more than ever. So far I’ve booked over 23 events with 5 local organisers, and am considering not two, (my usual amount) but five Comicon events in 2023. Okay, I might not do all of them due to expenses of hotel, travel etc, but I’ve already booked the South-East Collectors and Gaming convention in October at Ardingly showground.
Comicon-wise I’m defo going to Wyntercon, but also maybe Portsmouth, Birmingham and Bournemouth. I’m looking at Fantasycon 2023 too. Fantasycon rarely comes out of the USA. The last time it came to the UK and I went was 2014 I hadn’t published anything then. I met Terry Pratchett, Robin Hobb ran a writing session, and Brian Aldiss kissed me on the cheek. (Yes, I have washed it since.) Just gutted I didn’t have one of his books with me. I met and made some fabulous friends that weekend, some of whom I’m still in contact with today. I’d love to go again this year, with six novels under my belt, I feel more bonefide as an author.
In addition, Book wise, Chicken Wizard half-way complete. Shea Pingle and the Swarm written and waiting to begin illustrations. Between Worlds proceeding slowly and Mustard and Marmalade Daushund Dog Detectives is hassling me. Sackful of Dragons is on the back burner whilst I get the picture books out in preparation for the summer shows.
First, I would like to give a huge thank you to the eight people who gave me a thumbs up on my last blog. It’s a first for me. It made me feel so humble to know that someone out there does actually read my words—I was beginning to think I imagined it—and also took a couple of seconds at the end to click LIKE too. Thank you who ever you are. Because of this I’m going to continue blogging. I’ll admit I was starting to get a teeny bit dispirited.
Christmas is almost upon us, and before you ask I haven’t written a Christmas story, but I have completed Shea Pingle and the Swarm, hot on the heels of Chicken Wizard (WC). That’s two new children’s picture books written. I just need the illustrators to make them a reality. Ellie is hard at work getting through the pictures for WC (not to be confused with Water Closet) but there’s only so much one girl can do. I know she is trying to do her college work too and I don’t want to mess that up for her.
Mustard and Marmalade Dachshund Dog Detectives are still in my head at the outline stage. The first two books are rhyming stories, and I haven’t decided yet whether to continue the theme with The Case of the Missing Fillet Steaks. Not sure how much rhyming I can do around a butcher’s shop, but you never know.
I’ve finished all my signings and selling for 2022, and sadly haven’t got any bookings for 2023 until May. Unless you know someone who’s got an event I could fit in between now and then. You can of course order books through Waterstones or contact me direct. I’m happy to deliver locally.
I actually get most of my ideas and do a lot of my writing whilst at signings and Comicons etc. I think it might be the overwhelming environment of creative people within eye and earshot. The colours, the activities, the sounds. I also can’t resist purchasing items, either for myself personally or as set dressing for the table (that’s my excuse). Only last week I ended up buying a eight-foot furry caterpillar whilst I was in a toy shop. Do I need it? No. Is it for someone else? No. Is it set dressing? No. It needed me, and I needed it. Currently, Cleo the caterpillar is gracing our king-sized bed—my husband is so understanding!
I’m not sure whether I’m eccentric or still in child-mode—probably a bit of both— each room in the house boasts at least 20+ fluffy toy animals. Each is unique. Each has a name, or a function in a number of cases. For example, a blackbird on top of the sofa means one of the downstairs windows is open and needs closing before we go out. Okay, maybe that is the only one with a function, apart from the four or five animal doorstops. One cat, one mouse, one panda, one horse, one kingfisher. (I didn’t include them in the room count.)
I believe this all ties in with my love of fantasy. The famous Toy story films are right up my alley. I love things that make me go “ahhh”. Only the other day at work my colleagues announced that I was so easy to buy Christmas presents for. I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased with that statement or slightly irritated that I’m such a predictable person. I like to see myself as slightly edgy and unpredictable, but apparently not, judging by their smiles when they made me open the present in front of them. Yes, another of my weaknesses is hairbands and they purchased me some hum-dingers. I couldn’t make up my mind which one to wear for the rest of the day. Thank you ladies – I love them. That brings my hairband count to well over 50+
I’m sure there are folk reading this who also have there own unique indulgences. I’ve heard of people who collect owls, hedgehogs, elephants, tigers, (not real ones) and other curiosities. I myself have a few cats (I have a lot of cats!) from a specific pottery in Cornwall. They adorn the mantlepiece, the display cabinet being too full of other animals (and cats). Is it something we do as we age? I don’t think so. I think people have an affinity with a certain item, an element, something that calls to them and gives them enjoyment, to see it, hold it, interact with it, like books. Some come with memories, like ornaments from grand parents or aunts, some come from holidays, I have a blue goose in our downstairs loo from Disney World in the 1990’s. Some just speak to us. To me.
I’d love to hear what other people collect and how they choose to take home that specific object.
Anyway, till next year. I hope you all receive that one thing you want for Christmas, especially if its for your collection. Take care, keep safe and remember, we are all unique. There is noone else like you in the world, but someone else might just like fluffy animals too.
Thank you to everyone who came to my Aquasapien Three book launch at Taddy's Barn. It was a great success, sold lots of copies and several folk discovered a new location for a great breakfast and a smashing weekend lunch.
Although it was only a little over three weeks ago, it feels likes months. I've already done another signing and selling Craft Fair at Faversham on the 5th of November and I'm booked for the Christmas Fair at St Augustine's, Canterbury Road, Westgate on Sunday the 27th of November. The trilogy makes a great Christmas present for an avid reader of any age, especially if signed by the author.
Its onward and upward writing wise. Chicken Wizard in proceeding apace, thanks to Ellie my illustrator for the story. I've two more pictures books waiting to bust out my head, Shea Pingle the fairy, whose job role is Bee Botherer and also Mustard and Marmalade Dog Detectives, two dacshunds who uncover crimes.
I'm still reviewing my novel Between Worlds and not sure if I'm going to keep the title. Maybe Arianne and the Hounds of Hell. After I've tweaked it, my friend has offered to Beta read it. Then it'll probably be back to editing the content again because she is so thorough. A Sackful of Dragons is on the slow burner about a third written.
You may like to know I'm having T-shirt made of Dog, the dragon in the Witch on the Warpath trilogy, and also the Pegasus from Quest for Courage. Great pressies too.
Go to go now as off to the Mulberry Tree pub Margate to meet some fellow writers, instead of Karate tonight due to impinged spinal nerve. Not sure what goes on at the group, will let you know.
Till next time.
PS - Nobody ever comments on my blogs, so maybe live dangerously and sent me a thumbs up, just so I know I'm not alone in the world.
This evening I arrived home to check on the progress of my latest novel Aquasapien-Prodigy. It has been at the printers being turned literally from fiction into reality. I’ve monitored it being cut and sized, then bound, and now the official email reads, “arriving tomorrow.”
People ask me many times, what bit of the writing process I enjoy most and it's difficult to give them a satisfactory answer. I love writing that initial first draft as the story jumps from my mind to the page. I love reviewing it, and turning it into a deeper, more meaningful story.
Surprisingly, I love reviewing the edits, and adding even more depth. I love it when I’ve finished writing, when I start the cover design process, when it returns from formatting looking like a real book. I guess the most nerve-racking part is when it goes to the printer. Fortunately, I have the foresight to ensure I receive a sample hard copy to review, which in itself is precious.
When my print Manager Jozane emails me to say, “Your books are on their way.” My tension rises. But the most exciting part of all? When the books arrive, all bundled up in their brown paper wrappings, inside their snug boxes smelling glorious, and I unpack them to sell at the first book launch.
I make absolutely no apology for blatantly advertising my next book launch here now.
Eager readers of Carol M. Salter’s first books in the Aquasapien series, will be delighted to know Aquasapien—Prodigy, the long-awaited sequel, set eighteen years later, is about to be released.
Bored with his life at an elite English boarding school, American student Lewis Blaine, decides to abscond. He embarks on the adventure of his life, following his dream to travel the world. Unfortunately, Lewis gets more than he bargained for from the outset.
Meanwhile, Unit One, the highly valued mercenary team, has continued its missions across the globe, taking down corrupt villains. A surprise call for help from Lewis’s mother takes the team to high alert.
This is Carol’s second novel published this year, and her sixth full-length novel so far, with more planned, and it’s not the last in the Aquasapien series.
Carol continues to write, market her work and work full-time. Currently, she is working on several exciting fantasy stories, including branching into the younger, picture book arena with Chicken Wizard planned for release in 2023.
Carol’s other novels will be available to purchase at the launch. If you are unable to make the launch, you can order all her work from Waterstones, or via the EStore Store – Wayside Publications (phy.sx)
TADDY’S BARN TEA ROOMS has kindly offered to host the Aquasapien- Prodigy launch on:
SATURDAY 29 TH OCTOBER 2022 FROM 10 AM TO 2 PM.
East Northdown Garden Nursery,
George Hill Rd,
Broadstairs CT10 3BN
(Full disabled access, free parking, and on the Loop bus route.)
What a hectic but brilliant weekend at Wyntercon Eastbourne. Admittedly, I didn't sell many books, but frankly I'm hooked. Who wouldn't be, when a plethora of role models from my childhood, teenage years and adulthood marched past my table every twenty minutes or so, bringing to life the worlds I only knew in my mind and the books I read.
Who wasn't terrified by Dr Who and the Daleks as a child? I used to have nightmares regularly about them chasing me and having to hide in the cupboard under the stairs at home. This weekend, I stood next two inert daleks and watched one human version cavort around the halls.
Star Trek was my mainstay as a teenager. I thought Mr Spock intriguing, Doctor McCoy a pain, Chekov hilarious and had a soft spot for Captain Kirk and Zulu. Into these two initial series stepped Star Wars, represented in full at Wyntercon by the gorgeous Storm Troopers, the graceful Princess Leia, several of which floated around the event.
Jawa stole most of the show this weekend, with his kleptomania antics, whilst Chewbacca strode like a God - yes Thor came too - amongst us bringing a startling touch of reality to proceedings. Other SW characters filled the building, and behind them the eerie Spirit Walker stalked us all.
Minecraft was a permanent fixture for young and old, and Master Chief, my personal heartthrob joined us too.
Downstairs, there were rooms for children to craft and create their own heroes, and another for them to meet and greet their role models. Yes, I was very envious being stuck at my table for the majority of the hours, and I'm sure I wasn't alone in that yearning.
I could continue raving about the Marvel characters, the Anime lookalikes and the many other film and television folk racing by, but it's probably much easier if you look on them.
Go to MY WORK, PAST EVENTS on my website carolmsalter.com and click on each photo. you'll see the stars of yesteryear, today and tomorrow.
I spend much of my thoughts imagining that maybe, just maybe, one of my characters might be walking these halls in a distant future. I can dream.
MY THANKS TO ANDY AND THE MARVELLOUS TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS
WHO MADE THIS EVENT OFFICIALLY AWESOME.
Almost at the end of the month and I’ve never been so busy. The beginning saw us away on hols in Spain for a week, which was amazing and extremely hot at 47 degrees. Fortunately, the temperature dropped to a balmy 41. Seville has lots of interesting places and our hotel was fantastic. Definitely will stay there again, maybe not at the height of summer next time. See my Podcast, highlighting my sights, and the hotel, on my YouTube channel – Carol M. Salter.
Whilst it was great being away, my mind remained in the UK. I’d finished the final write of Aquasapien three Prodigy and needed to liaise with my formatter, cover designer and printing company. I can say trying to orchestrate this via my Samsung phone was a mite stressful. In the end, I did what holidays away from home are made for – I let go and enjoyed the scenery and food.
Leaving the home environment, where ever you go is beneficial. You are physically unable to do those household chores calling to you, from scrubbing the toilet (which I did on my return) and tarting up the garden, to sorting out your next publication. And that holiday needn’t be abroad. Staycations are just as good, be that camping (read further for details on that saga) to staying with rellys.
I returned chilled, relaxed and fired up for completion of Aqua three and continuation of Chicken Wizard, not to mention my latest draft, Between Worlds.
Of course, we didn’t stay home, that would have been too easy. Off we zoomed to our next engagement, the Rewind 80’s Music Festival at Henley. We were camping!
The event itself was officially brilliant, and our six friends were great too. The actual camping? Not so much. Sure, we’d done loads in our 20’s and 30’s, MAG rallies, Crazy Days & other biker events. Those days on a motorbike with tiny two-man tent, bed rolls and sleeping bags.
These days we had a much more comfortable four-man tent with stand-up seating area. Sounds great in theory. Watching my hubby struggle in some strong winds to insert poles into various orifices, then hammer pegs into a solid stone ground, was not so much fun. He bent more pegs than he got in.
Another surprise was the size of the place and distance from A to B. We parked in one field of cars and using my trusty festival trolley moved the first of our goods down through that field, and the next to the entrance.
“Oh,” I exclaimed, “The tents are here.”
No, they weren’t. That field was full. Apparently folk arrived at 4am!!! Hubby yanked the trolley through that field too, around a corner and into another field, which was also two-thirds full. While he set up, I offered to go get our second haulage in the trolley.
Off I crawled, yanking the empty trolley behind me. After two fields I’d had enough. This was not a nice grassy field like we’d expected, this was a stony, uneven surface that looked like horses had rampaged through it – regularly. I collapsed the trolley and hefting it up, held it against my body and continued to walk, and walk, and walk.
By the fifth or fifteenth row, I’d had enough. I threw the trolley to the ground. I couldn’t find the damn car. My little Kiora is a low-to-the-ground car and likes to find herself. This is a common occurrence when I go anywhere. I spend minutes trying to locate my erstwhile transport, flicking my remote back and forth like a metal detector in supermarket carparks.
“There she is!”
I scampered off down the row from where I stood, in the blazing sun, after spying a tiny orange roof in the distance. Running up the rows I reached her, dropped the trolley which by now I’d gone back to yanking and felt for my remote. Nothing.
I couldn’t believe it, somewhere in the gigantic, hellhole of a field I’d lost my key. That did it. The trolley got thrown to the ground – again – and kicked for good measure too. My bag was inside my car, with my phone and all my personal items. I sobbed hysterically and noone really noticed. Well, they did, but you could see their reaction in their eyes, “I’m not going over to her, she’s mad. I’m on holiday.”
After thinking it through, I realised I must have lost them somewhere in the blasted field from hell, all I could do was backtrack, sobbing as I walked. I found them nestled in the grass in row five. By the time I returned to the car I needed the Ventolin, which was also inside.
Its put me off camping, despite by husband purchasing stronger tent pegs today and my niece offering to lend us her blow-up tent. We had VIP toilets (paid extra) which were over two fields away. The arena field was four fields away. I walked 35,000 steps that day, an all time record according to my Fitbit. I felt every single one. Okay, a fair bit was dancing about to Level 42 and Holly Johnson.
Lesson learnt the hard way. Don’t put your key remote down your bra when camping.
Aquasapien three now at printers. Potential Launch date 29th October in sight.
Chicken Wizard illustrations in progress. Sneak preview of Chicken Wizard himself, next blog.
Sorry this is a bit longer than usual.
Looking back at my previous blog titles, I think I might have tempted fate.
Like a good percentage of us, I'd been walking around smugly these last three years, announcing, when people reported their Covid infections, that I'd never caught Covid. Nor did I expect to, I had all 3 jabs, and I won't bore you with that saga. I washed my hands so often I'm surprised I have any skin on them, in fact it might explain why I can see my veins, tendons and bones in the back of my hands. I'd rather fantasise that, than admit its because I'm getting old. I wore my lovely animal masks long after other folk stopped and tolerated the sarcastic glances because I preferred them as a fashion statement. I still wipe shopping trolleys and baskets too.
Then just over a week ago, I caught the Beast. I'm not sure when. I have two possibilities. I'd had a sore throat on and off for a week before the temperature started, but I've also suffered with awful Hay Fever this year for weeks on end, like a lot of folk. Nothing I did got rid of it, decongestants, antihistamines, throat spray, nose spray, or a combination of all of them. I decided the throat was just another Hay Fever thingy I'd need to get used to. My second possibly was being on a coach for 4 hours, but I won't go into details about that. Either way it got me good, as they say.
The temperature rose, then soared. If I'd been climbing Everest I might have appreciated the warmth, having a temperature of 39.2C when it is also 39C outside is something you can only experience. Being an oven, sitting in an oven is all I can compare it too.
It beat my time through the Menopause hands down. And the nose, OMG how did so much fluid come from such a small place on my body, I do not know. I couldn't wee that much in one go! I broke my record of 9 sneezes and hit 12 in a row. I ended up searching for my lungs under the bed at one point because I'm pretty sure they shot out and tried to hide. But the worse thing by far apart from the vomiting, the sweats, the pyrexia, the cough and the sneezing was the bloody tickling thing up my nostrils. Honestly, if I could have cut my nose off, I would have. I came very close on a couple of occasions.
You know when you have to do an LFT and stick that awful cotton bud up your nose? You know that most vile tickly feeling that you know is going to happen and you dread that more than anything else? Imagine having that continuously for hours on end. Honestly it was no joke. The phrase, "I wouldn't wish this on my worse enemy springs to mind. However, I might considering the way the world is going at the moment.
Enough. You say. We've heard it all before. We've already had it - twice or more. What can you rambling on about it do to help the situation? Well, it sure makes me feel better, getting my angst out. It also gives me an opportunity to thank the beautiful people who sent me many get well wishes. It is nice to know people know you exist when you're poorly - so remember others. I also want to thank my husband's 'club' for sending me the most amazing bouquet of flowers I have ever received, at least in the last 15 years. It was disappointing that I couldn't smell them as that disappeared on day 3. Though I am pleased to say they still look great a week later and I can smell them now - yes I changed the water today.
What of your writing? - I hear you crow. Isn't this a blog about your writing? Well naturally, I didn't do much while I was in bed 6 days, but now. I've leapt like a racehorse into the fray. Aquasapien 3 is finished and with my formatter. The cover is done and the printers lined up.
Chicken Wizard had no joy with the traditional publishing circuit so I'm back to doing what I do best, with my mantra "I'll be dead before they take a blind bit of notice." Ellie my latest Illustrator is getting to grips with the artwork. I've also seen CW in his glory. I've wanted to do a colour picture book for years, but never had the confidence. Covid Bah! I might not be Chicken Wizard, but my god I'm going to work like one. Between Worlds, my eight novel is being unwrapped for a re-write as I type, looking to publish that in 2023, after Aqua 3 in December 2022.
and I'm still writing A Sackful of Dragons, with a new character introduced, Toby the Blue mouse.
On the slightly weird side, my Hay Fever has completely disappeared after three months!
Another item ticked off my bucket list. After seven and a half gruelling hours, with 100 sit-ups and 140 press-ups (or it might have been round the other way, I was into the what-the-hell stage by then), 200 star jumps, 600+ kicks, my grade moves, god-knows how many katas and then 20, back-to-back one minute fights.
I am now officially a 2nd Kyu Brown Belt. That's it for me. Its taken almost eighteen years to get here, but I wanted to pass my original Green belt grade in Shotokan that I got when I was in my twenties and I've done it.
Now, its a case of keeping fit and karate will give me that. It builds stamina, strength and supplety, not to mention confidence, mindfulness and the ability to protect yourself in a crisis. What's not to like about it? More people in their 50's and 06's are joining our club. One of our member's passed his 2nd brown belt with me. He is in his 70's! Well Done Arthur you are a true star!
On the writing front, for Aqua 3 I've only 100 pages left to proof. The new cover is done. I've had two offers for the launch, and am considering a morning one in Margate and an afternoon one in Ramsgate on the same day. Meanwhile, I've attended the mini Broadstairs Literary Festival Friday and although it wasn't packed, I've increased my network of authors and discovered an Illustrator who might be interested in doing Chicken Wizard.
In the coming weeks, I'm giving talks to other writing groups and attending our own local ones too. My next signing event is this Saturday back at Faversham again, in the Alexander Centre in the high street. I'm also off to Thorpe Park this week. It was a bit of a surprise when my boss asked me to go as 1st aider for the journey, but I'm getting paid so what could I say?
Starting to get the jitters as my Brown Belt Karate exam looms closer. Managed to survive the Pre-Grading mock lesson of two and a half hours. Also discovered my 40 daily press-ups and sit-ups, is actually supposed to be 70 of each. Eeek! Need to increase my practice at home. I have two lessons this week, a brown/black belt class Sunday and another two lessons next week - then its the big deal, my 6+hour Grading. What am I doing? I must be mad.
On another tact, the beginning of June saw my husband and I (yes the royal we) as recipients for a pair of tickets from the Royal British Legion to share in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Trooping of the Colour. Initally, we had thought we had seats at Horse Guards Parade, but we discovered ours were facing Buck Palace. The good thing was I chose seats at the far end of the row and it turned out to be the spot where the bands, guards and horses stopped. Got some amazing photos. There more on my FB page and also a beautiful reels, including one of the Red Arrows that's had over 5,000 views. Plus, the queen provided us with a free boxed lunch and tea, coffee and water all day. Thank you your majesty.
Back at home, I'm continuing to work on Aquasapien Three in preparation for its release later this year. Its hard work finding time after a very full day at work and either Karate, street dance or Yoga each day, but its got to be done to get fit enough for my goal. Also made tentative enquires for a potential launch location in Thanet. I suppose I could carrying on with the book instead of Blogging, but I try to keep up to my monthly blog. I've only missed two I think in several years.
As I continue to amend and review sections, thanks to my Beta reader Karen, the book extends. Its already expanded several thousand, so I might cut it off early as I have identified a title for the fourth and final book in the series. Aquasapien - Legacy,
Chicken Wizard isn't going anywhere at the moment despite me loving it, its not enough. I'm considering publishing it independantly, but I need to find an illustrator who doesn't want buckets of money as its essentially a picture book. I'll let you know how it goes.
Breathe in, breathe out, and another month has zoomed (not literally) by. We finished our anthology judging after a manic four weeks. Not allowed to say more at this stage. I am seriously considering joining the NAWG at their Literary Fest in September, if I can face the five and half hour car journey on my own, after a full day at work. It would be great to meet those folks I've only spoken to via email and zoom.
In addition to judging a national competition this last month, I’d also agreed to be one of the judges the Birchington Literary Festival short story competition last weekend. I think I had a couple of weeks for that one, which I did at the same time as the nationals. Ali Boots was the winning entry with her short, The Joy of Giving, and yes before you ask, she was one of my top three.
The Birchington Festival went very well, with great feedback. I want to thank Geraldine Watson for her effort, time and commitment organising such a monumental event. Its sure to be on again, maybe in 2023, if Geraldine can face another event so soon.
I’d also like to thank George, for helping me with my heavy tomes and portering them around the festival. Sorry I didn’t catch his last name, but I know he facilitates Birchington Together, works at Thanet Earth and is part of Roger Gale’s team. Thank you George.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event. My session on Character Building was well attended, and the facilitator of the Folkestone Writing Group has asked me to do a session for her group in the near future. Geraldine reported the feedback was very good. After my session on Saturday, I had some time to sign and sell books in one of the marques. Sunday saw me there again, with a Q & A session and a short story reading session. Not wanting to stand by I decided to enter the Open Mic Poetry competition, and though my poem Time Line Through Thanet didn’t come anywhere, I really enjoyed taking part. Several of the entries had me in tears they were so emotional.
This weekend I’m off to the Alexander Centre, as Faversham is having a two-day Transport Festival throughout the town. I’m excited and also frustrated because Aquasapien Three is back from one of my Beta-Readers, and I can’t wait to plough through it in preparation for publishing. The cover is already in the mock-up stage with Pegu Designs.
Away from my writing front, I’ve upped my fitness levels in the last few days, performing 20 press-ups and 20 sit-ups each morning along with 60 kicks in preparation for my next karate belt. Yes, I’ve finally taken the plunge and agreed to try out for my brown belt. It will be the last grading I ever do as old age in the form of crippling arthritis is catching me up – fast.
Our karate style, Kyokushin, is I think one of the toughest when it comes to exams. It works like this: first belt exam is 1st red. It takes about 40 minutes with 10 press-ups, sit-ups etc to show a basic level of fitness, then your karate moves, kicks, punches, strikes and and blocks.
The next person, taking their 2nd red belt (There’s two belts per colour) has to turn up when the 1st red belt starts their exam and do all the 1st red moves with them, before they can then spend the next 20 minutes demonstrating their own moves and fitness levels for the assessors. Then we go on to 1st blue, 2nd blue, 1st yellow, 2nd yellow, 1st green, 2nd green. Each person has to take part in the entire range of belt moves from 1st red to their own colour.
Now we get to 1st brown. We have to stand there and do all 1st red moves, then 2nd red, then 1st blue, 2nd blue, 1st yellow … It takes about six and a half hours, and at the end of that? I have to be able to do 20, one-minute fights with whoever wishes to fight me – usually black belts. I think I’m slightly insane to this at my age. Writing is definiately much safer.
However, before all that I have training, with a mock exam on the 19th of June and the final do-or-die event on 3rd July. I managed to get to green belt in Shotokan karate in my twenties…
Covid taught me many lessons about living.
You have one life. Live it well, for you may not have tomorrow. And if you do. You are the lucky ones. Remember that, for those that were not so lucky. They will live through you and your deeds. Don't waste one single day regretting things you could have done.