Shire Proofreading

Putting proofs through their paces

Shire Proofreading Update April 2024

A camelia shrub in full bloom around a garden bench.April has announced its presence with the advent of Easter. I often feel that Easter is becoming less celebrated than it once was; I hope that isn’t the case. I love to receive an Easter card just as much as I eagerly awaited an Easter egg hunt as a child. When my son was young, we saw a hare hopping past our full-length window; seeing his face light up with delight when I told him it was the Easter Bunny is one of my golden memories. For Christians, Easter is more important than Christmas because it celebrates the resurrection – a central tenet of the faith. There is something uplifting about Easter; not only do we celebrate the resurrection of Christ but also the resurrection of nature after a long winter’s sleep. The temperature is starting to rise, gardening can begin in earnest, bees awake to seek out nectar from the early blossoms, and early flowering shrubs fill the gardens with much-needed colour.

What I’m working on

This month sees me editing the May–June issue of our parish magazine, Round Up. The highlight of the summer season in our two villages is without doubt the Garden Fête. All the residents come together for an afternoon to raise funds for St Helen’s Church. The events include a tombola, a raffle, craft stalls, book stalls, plant stalls, games, music and refreshments. There is always a stall giving a potted history of local life, and the whole event is rounded off by an inter-village tug of war.

I will shortly be proofreading another academic dissertation of 30,000 words. This one focuses on a movement in British Politics in the 1920s and 1930s known as the diehards, who maintained that rapid rearmament in the face of Nazi aggression was essential to Britain’s survival as a world power. I’m looking forward to this one. The author wants to title the work Die Hard with a Vengeance, but their supervisor may have other ideas!

What I’m watching

I loved Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010), so I had to watch Masters of the Air, which is a companion series to those just mentioned. It is based on a book of the same name by Donald L. Miller and recounts the story of the American 100th Bomb Group; this was a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber unit stationed in East Anglia during World War II. It was every bit as riveting and true to history. That spurred me to watch Dan Snow’s The Dambusters, which recounts the story of the British 617 Squadron, formed to deliver Barnes Wallis’ ‘bouncing bomb’ to the three massive dams of the Möhne, the Eder and the Sorpe along the Ruhr Valley in May 1943. Although there is no doubt that the breaching of the Möhne and the Eder dams was a considerable boost to morale, I have to wonder (given that both dams were rebuilt in under six months) if it was worth the loss of 53 airmen and 1,600 civilians, hundreds of whom were prisoners of war.

Silent Valley and Silent Valley at WarWhat I’m reading

My TV viewing spurred me on to reread two books I bought many years ago when attending Finningley Air Show: Silent Valley and Silent Valley at War, both by Vic Hallam. I first visited Derwent Reservoir during the drought of 1976 with my parents and became fascinated by the submerged villages of Derwent and Ashopton, both of which were demolished to accommodate the new reservoir. The receding water revealed many traces of the old villages, with remains of St James and St John’s Church and Derwent Hall particularly evident. I have revisited Derwent many times over the years; it is eerie and compelling.

What I’m doing

I am busy building up my profile on LinkedIn Louise Glynne-Walton (Shire Proofreading) and interacting with other proofreaders and editors, some of whom I met at the recent meeting of York Editors. I have renewed my membership of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) for the following year. The CIEP is indispensable for professional proofreaders, providing guides, training, and a supportive and helpful community.

What I’ve learned

I am trying my best to learn not to fret if I don’t achieve perfection. A proofreader’s job is to correct only what is wrong and to minimise errors. If I can eliminate the major errors but let a few minor errors slip past unnoticed, I have done a job that is good enough.

This quote from Jennifer Lawler  sums it up perfectly:

Once I embraced the idea that I didn’t have to be special in order to deserve not to starve, it freed up a lot of mental bandwidth to do the work to the very best of my ability and not fret otherwise. Letting go of the idea that I have to somehow be A-MAZING all the time actually allows me to have a more realistic perspective on my abilities and to (so ironically) do better work.

What I’m listening to

My current audiobook is Pru and Me by Timothy West. I have admired their work as actors for decades; I first saw Timothy West in the title role of Edward the Seventh in 1975 and have followed his career ever since. Who can forget Prunella Scales in Fawlty Towers? I was delighted to find his book on BorrowBox. Tim and Pru met over sixty years ago and they must have one of the strongest partnerships in the acting world. It’s hard to believe that Pru was diagnosed with dementia twenty years ago. I have nothing but admiration and respect for them both.

What I’m stitching

The Hearts and Flowers Stitcher’s Etui is turning into quite a project. It has been a long time since I worked on stiff canvas; I am much more familiar with the soft, floppy feel of pure linen. I have to learn canvas technique all over again and this has resulted in far more ‘frogging’ than I would like. I am starting to get back into it and progress is being made. But don’t expect a finished project any time soon.

What I’m looking forward to

I have a two-week break coming up, which is most welcome. It won’t be a rest, but it will be a change, and you know what they say about that.

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