Corfu is where I write, revise and edit. I spend most of the year here, with 3 breaks of between 4 and 6 weeks early in the year, again just before Easter, and in the autumn – when I go to the UK (and sometimes further afield) to see patients, teach, and generally to catch up with London and the world beyond.
In Corfu my routine is dictated to a large extent by the weather. If its wet, or cold, I spend much of the day at my computer, writing, revising, editing, and…..responding to emails.
Whatever anyone else says, allowing emails to stack up, waiting for a time to respond, is definitely not an approach I can live with. As they arrive, they are dealt with, and this in itself creates a problem, as work pending tends to ‘pend’….waiting till responses are done and the backlog has been addressed.
Take yesterday….I woke early and was full of good intentions to crack on with revision of a chapter in my Fibromyalgia Syndrome book, I was at my desk well before 6am…..
The emails awaiting response included:
- a message from wonderful Carolyn McMakin DC, the leading light in teaching use of Frequency Specific Microcurrent use. Carolyn has written on the subject in the 2nd edition of Fibromyalgia, and is updating that for it’s 3rd edition. She described a series of fibromyalgia patients she had just treated in Dublin where she was running a course and asked some questions that needed clarification….. we had a short ping-pong interchange of messages that clarified issues.
- Barbara Muir from Elsevier’s Edinburgh office emailed to query something that I had forgotten to do…..that needed a soothing response
- Stefan Chmelik a TCM colleague at the London practice I work in when in London, responded to a previous email and we discussed the possibility of Carolyn McMakin possibly running a course for the practice, later in the year
- An Indian physician who was waiting on a review of a paper he had submitted to JBMT (which I edit), had inquired as to why he was still waiting, which meant having to search the (electronic) files to find out where the delay had occurred, and then writing to him (and the sluggish reviewer).
- My daughter Sasha sent me some notes she had put together for a thesis dissertation she is preparing for her Master’s degree at Exeter University, just for my amusement….but that took time (pleasurably) as I tried to understand more of the mysteries of Western Esotericism, which she is studying….so time passed….during which time no actual writing or revision got done….
Over the next few hours a series of emails arrived, to do – variously – with: my current web-site update…..answering questions so that everything goes in the right place (if you like the site and need advice, why not try Steve, at http://www.wordpool.co.uk/). Then there was a request to send an article for use on a website that serves individuals with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia (www.ei-resource.org), and this required some time to identify an appropriate segment of my notes that was copyright-free. At the same time a message arrived from Elsevier with a book-proposal document that I needed to fill in to send to a prospective co-author in the USA, so that we can eventually get approval for a new title…… to be written sometime in 2009, pressure permitting; Several journal submissions arrived (for JBMT), that required filing, and sending for review, and also to one of my Associate editors who focuses on the statistical side of the articles.
During the morning several reviews arrived back, that needed sending to authors, so that they could start revising their papers; ….. and between handling these various emails, there were emails to read that were postings on an osteopathic forum (Osteopathy For All) on various topics of interest (usually). Health care professionals can join this forum by contacting it’s originator Jody Jacobs DO [email protected]>; finally my morning was rounded out by the welcome receipt of an email from a very old friend from my youth in South Africa, updating me with news of classmates from that vanished era – some dead, some in Canada, one in London, several in Israel, a very few still in SA…… some wealthy beyond reason, some virtually penniless, most widowed or divorced, almost all with grand and great-grand children (even those who never married)……. all of which took some digesting. I’ll reply in a few days time, as that sort of email requires a peaceful, non-frenetic space to do it justice.
- So midday arrived, and not a single aspect of my revision had been attempted, never mind completed!
- A walk in the garden in beautiful Corfu winter sunshine followed, picking some succulent tangerines to eat before lunch, followed by a siesta, then a quiet time with Alkmini, and then back to the computer till bed-time.
I did get some ‘real’ work done at that time….. honestly !
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