I would have mentioned it before but I’ve been busy



Apparently in this age of social media, where we’re all on-line all the time, it’s impossible to be out of touch. So if the theory’s right I have no excuse for getting back to you earlier.

But in this beautiful area we are truly blessed. You see, mobile connection is distinctly iffy. My phone, an elderly battered nokia, (which cost me £20 of which £10 was phone credit) lives switched off for 90% of the time. If you’ve not got my personal number don’t let it worry you. When I’m at home there is no signal so the phone lives switched off. When I’m out and about working, the phone doesn’t accompany me because in those few occasions where I won’t be out of signal, I’m busy so don’t want to be bothered with a phone. Finally if I’m in areas where there is signal, I’m either driving, in a meeting, or merely walking quietly from a to b and happy with my own thoughts. So obviously there is no place for a phone.

But I’m pondering upgrading my phone. The Sellotape holding the nokia together is still sound, but apparently it’s one of the first generation to offer colour. Which means you cannot actually read their screen in direct sunlight; which is a bit of a sod if you’re scrolling down looking for a number to phone. Not only that but without my reading glasses I couldn’t read it anyway.
So I drifted aimlessly round various suppliers looking for a phone. I wanted a decent camera, wifi (because when the computer is down we’ve no way to get our email) and a pay as you go contract.

To be fair, some of the sales staff could cope with this. There was only one who was convinced that I should sign up for a £12 a month contract, even through I pointed out that after the first ten months I’d have been better off having just paid cash for the phone. I did try explaining, again, that on pay as you go my phone normally costs me less than £10 a year. But you know what it’s like, the lights were on but there was obviously nobody in. As a previous generation of journalists used to say, “I made my excuses and left.”
So don’t expect anything to happen on this front any time soon. But I might have actually got a new phone by this time next year; or then again, perhaps not?

Still I’ve also been busy. Real life and real work has intervened. Ewes are going out with the tup and everything has to be got ready. The ewes have already been vaccinated, but then we had to get them in, dag them out (cutting away mucky wool from the rear end) treat them for worms, lice and fluke, and finally give them a dose of multivitamins just to make sure there were no hidden deficiencies were weren’t aware of.

Then the tups were wormed and got a good dollop of bright coloured raddle smeared on their chests so we can tell if they’re working or not.

As you can imagine, it all takes time and that means I never got round to telling you about the Tallis Steelyard Blog tour. If you want to follow it the links are, in order




















And if you read them in that order you can follow the story as it develops.


Also, because I ought to have mentioned it before, I have had a SF short story accepted in an Anthology. I’m reading the anthology my self at the moment and there are some cracking stories in it.




Quantum Soul

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43 thoughts on “I would have mentioned it before but I’ve been busy

  1. patriciaruthsusan October 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    The blog tour for Tallis Steelyard and Jim Webster.

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 1:32 pm Reply

      may be the first time Tallis Steelyard and applying Raddle to tups appeared in the same blog post

  2. The Story Reading Ape October 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    NEWSFLASH from Jim Webster – Farmer / Author / Blogger / and more (much, much, more) 😎

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm Reply

      Master of technology perhaps? or perhaps not 🙂

  3. Annette Rochelle Aben October 10, 2017 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Hang in there… I hear homing pigeons are coming back into style!

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm Reply

      I’ll have to dust out the old pigeon loft 🙂

  4. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt October 10, 2017 at 1:28 pm Reply

    Just got my first iPhone. I was all excited. I’ve had it a month. It’s just as immobile as my old phone – turns out it’s me.

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm Reply

      I think my problem is that I’ve never seen any reason why I should be constantly available. If people want me, ring the land line and leave a message 🙂

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt October 10, 2017 at 3:20 pm

        The cellphone is for two things – emergency calls from the kids, and a device for me to call out on. Now it may be a picture repository as well, but my sisters and children use it for EVERYTHING – and mine will have a rather silent life.

      • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 3:52 pm

        I was rather assuming that mine would remain switched off except when I was actually using it. (That’s how my phone tends to work, 🙂 )
        Occasionally, as a special concession, if I’m out and about working with somebody who needs to get hold of me, I’ve been known to leave it switched on.
        The disadvantage with that is I don’t recognise my phone’s ringtone and tend to look round in a vaguely interested manner to see whose phone is ringing 🙂

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt October 10, 2017 at 6:56 pm

        ‘A vaguely interested manner.’ Hmmm. Ditto with the new iPhone. I’m not sure what it sounds like yet.

      • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 9:01 pm

        I’ve never actually tutted at somebody because I assumed it was their phone ringing rather than mine but it will one day happen. Provided I have it switched on 🙂

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC October 10, 2017 at 8:30 pm

        I’m totally with you on that one, Jim, and rarely take my iPhone with me unless it is for MY protection and objectives. But then, I’ve always been that rare person who can totally ignore a ringing phone.

        I’m with mystery writer Len Dayton, who explains the reason why he refuses to have a home phone: “I just hate the idea that any idiot with [the right coin] can make a bell ring in my living room.” Obviously an old quote, since we now have smart phones instead of pay phones but I’ve always loved it.

        I feel the same way about email. Just because everybody and his brother can send it in a flash doesn’t mean I’m obligated to respond to it immediately – or even the same day – or EVER, actually. MY life is mine to schedule – and I’m busy. Duh!

        If you think about it for a moment, it’s actually beyond arrogant to assume otherwise. I can’t allow the impulsivity of another to become a distraction for me. I have a tough enough challenge staying on track as it is (and I don’t have ewes!) 🙂

        Thanks for putting these up in order – now I can locate and read the ones I missed. When I get a moment, I’ll add a link to the end of my article (Part 3) for anyone else who’d like to do the same.
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 9:03 pm

        Yes, I like the Len Dayton comment, and I think he had it spot on
        I remember when mobile phones first came out somebody made the comment that in this country the senior people got them first. In Hong Kong, the senior people had junior people to carry their mobile phones for them and do the answering, because the great man was probably too busy to deal with the phone call right now 🙂

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC October 10, 2017 at 9:15 pm

        I’d love to have a few of those “juniors” – but I’ll bet I could find better things they could do for me than answer my cell! Isn’t that what voicemail is for? 🙂

      • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        Remember Dirk Gently and the electronic monk? “The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.”
        Voicemail is to save you listening to tedious telephone conversations, it’s a negation of communication rather than a form of communication 🙂

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC October 10, 2017 at 9:45 pm

        Ah yes – but if the folks who call can only speak to my “junior” (who might well leave out something important when he relayed it to me), voicemail at least helps the receiver to prioritize the callbacks where REAL communication can take place.

      • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

        you just keep them ricocheting from junior to junior until finally crack and tell you what they’re really wanting to talk about 🙂

        But I confess I’ve never used voicemail, the house is a rambling old farmhouse, if we had an answering machine we’d never get to the phone to answer it in time 😉

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC October 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm

        So THAT’s how it’s done! 🙂

        Of course your system at home assumes you WANT to answer it in time. I get a ton of “junk-calls” (marketing or phishing scammers) – so I really miss having an answering machine that allows me to prescreen and easily delete.

        I have always loved rambling old farmhouses, however. Tough to find in the city.

      • jwebster2 October 11, 2017 at 6:13 am

        I had to be born in it to qualify for this one 😉
        But yes,we seem to get waves of junk calls, I think we’ve now been over a week without one (which means I’ll get three today)

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC October 11, 2017 at 6:31 am

        Oh baby, you’re a lightweight! 🙂 I get easily 3 a day!

  5. Jheri Bryant October 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm Reply

    I was in a card shop one Christmas and a woman was shouting down her mobile “I’m trying to do my Christmas shopping, stop keep calling me!” I wanted to tell her “Just turn it off” but rather expected a mouthful of abuse, so I didn’t. Like you, Jim, I don’t see why I should be always available. Very few things are that important, and if they are people will find a way!

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 3:19 pm Reply

      Exactly, the few times lady wife really has had to get hold of me, she’s known where I’m going and had a message waiting for me when I arrive.
      One ‘funny’ thing I did see was there is a elderly ‘lady’ round here who smokes as she drives along on her mobility scooter. She got a phone call and of course you need at least one hand to steer the scooter. So she stopped in the middle of the road, ciggy in one hand, phone in the other, fffing and blinding at full volume to the phone 🙂

  6. oldhenwife October 10, 2017 at 3:06 pm Reply

    I still use (i.e. read the odd SMS from No 1 grandson) the £10 Nokia. I didn’t get credit. Had it for donkeys. Don’t know why you need Sellotape though. Mind you, the last (only) time we travelled on Ryanair the seat in front was held together with Sellotape. Why would I want a Smartphone? I have a decent camera, I have a pc. Life’s too short to play games on the little screen even if your eyesight’s good enough. And the COST! By the way, the way I remember it, journalists exposed themselves and left. Off to the other sheep country at the weekend, Wales, to daughter’s farm. Spouse has damaged his leg, badly, is now fitted with an Ilizarov frame and I’m fed up of waiting on him hand, foot and leg. Don’t think she uses green raddle.

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 3:17 pm Reply

      One of my problems is that I don’t have a camera any more and it struck me that I could kill two birds with one stone, effectively I’m getting a reasonable camera with an emergency phone attached. The sellotape is because I dropped in one time, the front and back separated and the sim card fell out. So I wiped the sim card on my sleeve, put it back in and held it shut with sellotape. Still works 😉
      But yes, it would be pay as you go, I spend less on the phone in a year than the cheapest contract is for a month!
      Hope daughter’s spouse gets better soon, winter’s coming and you have to be good on your feet for that

  7. oldhenwife October 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm Reply

    It’s MY spouse – Malcolm. Otherwise known as Meccano Man or Ol’ Skewer Leg …That’s why I’m fed up. Having to do everything I normally do, everything he normally does and everything the Major Trauma ward staff did. I’m not young enough any more.

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm Reply

      that’s what daughters are for 😉

  8. Mary Fisher October 10, 2017 at 6:54 pm Reply


  9. […] UPDATE: Jim’s post with links to all parts of the story in order […]

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 9:05 pm Reply

      Now it’s safe to follow in the footsteps of a poet 😉

    • jwebster2 October 10, 2017 at 9:05 pm Reply

      now it’s safe to follow in the footsteps of a poet 🙂

  10. Rae Longest October 23, 2017 at 8:32 pm Reply

    Thanks for the update.

    • jwebster2 October 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm Reply

      I try and keep everybody in the loop 🙂

  11. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC October 26, 2017 at 2:13 am Reply

    Hey Jim — check out the link below to the October winners of Stevie’s short-story contest (linked back to your story on ADDandSoMuchMORE.com)


    I left the comment below under her post:
    Very cool. Thank you, Stevie. I look forward to reading the other wonderful offerings. I hope at least a few more folks will jump over to read the Tallis Steelyard tale written by Jim Webster *especially* for ADDandSoMuchMORE.com, since all of the articles on my blog have a mental health thread running through them.

    In this touching short story of his travels wandering bard Tallis meets [possibly] the rightful heir to the throne of his realm and a grandmother with dementia taken care of by a boy who shows all signs of being on the autistic spectrum. Bring your kleenex.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

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