I have just completed my first week at my new job and my head is spinning with all the new information and procedures I need to learn to do the job well. Fortunately everyone has been wonderfully helpful and encouraging so I don’t feel too daunted by the task ahead.
My new town is large by country standards (population a little more than 23,000) but the pace of living here is slower and more relaxed. I am really enjoying it. I have been here nearly a fortnight now, and have slept brilliantly for the entire time - a feat in itself for a chronic insomniac going through a period of massive change. It is said that moving house and starting a new job are two of the most stressful things a person will deal with in their lifetime. It’s a big step to leave family, friends and everything familiar behind to take up a new job in a new town, only knowing two people here, but I have found I have been quite relaxed and haven’t had any doubts at all about the move. And now I have met my nice new neighbour and am part of a team of new work colleagues, so the contacts are gradually increasing.
In terms of where I am with Mine to Avenge, I am unable to devote the time I want to read through the proofs as quickly as I would like, because learning the new job and the territory I will be working in as a Housing Officer is taking up all my time, and I’m still not quite half way through, but I hope to be finished within a fortnight. Then I will begin making plans for promotion and the book launch, and put my mind to the sequel. I wrote the first chapter of the sequel in June and it’s been beckoning for me to get back to it!
Please enjoy the following extract from chapter 36 of Mine to Avenge:
‘Spyridon was no longer feeling the exhilaration of freedom, but something else he hadn’t anticipated. His bones and muscles ached from the bike ride, and he remembered that he wasn’t a young man anymore. This was the first time he had ridden a bike for many years. He was foolish riding a bike so far at his age when he was so unfit, and was glad that the ride was mostly flat. He was sweating profusely and needed a drink.
Suddenly, he saw what he had come all this way to find and looked for somewhere to stop and take stock. A sign loomed ahead of him, about forty metres away on the other side of a small patch of parkland—Galanos Travel Agents. He stood under the shade of the crisp, spring foliage of a lime-green plane tree, and saw red umbrellas and tables nearby. An enticing coffee aroma drifted from an open doorway behind him.
He remembered how he was dressed, and saw that other people were a lot smarter and neater than he was. He had intended to be inconspicuous, but worried now that his shabbiness might have the opposite effect. He observed the passers by, some of them casually dressed, but no one took any particular notice of him, so he relaxed. He just wished his clothes didn’t smell so much of stale beer. He locked the bike to a nearby fence post and ambled casually to the coffee shop, doing his best not to limp and hobble from bicycle-induced stiffness.
He ordered a coffee, bought the morning paper and sat down at a table on the footpath under the shelter of an umbrella, where he had a clear view of the travel agency. He looked around again, feeling uncomfortable. He was here to watch Theodore Galanos, but had the feeling that he was the one under observation.’