Shire Proofreading

Putting proofs through their paces

Twixmas is the one saving grace of the Christmas and New Year period. The main event is over, and I can relax and look forward to the New Year. My family always treats New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as a repeat of Christmas but without the stress.

What I’m working on

I have proofread an academic essay on the death of Christian Britain. When the student was asked by a friend what the topic of his essay was, the student replied ‘Christian Britain’, to which the friend replied, ‘Who’s he?’ The student replied, ‘The husband of Vera’! This only works in speech because Vera’s surname was spelled ‘Brittain’. This essay gave me the opportunity to learn a new word: milquetoast.

I produced the January–February issue of Round Up magazine. Those winter months are always quiet in the village and it’s not easy to find sufficient interesting content. When a space proved impossible to fill, I wrote a winter poem with a religious tone – it is a church magazine after all. I was determined to include my friend’s favourite word (crepuscular) in the first line.

What I’m reading

I have several weighty tomes on the history of R.M.S. Titanic, and the recent showing of James Cameron’s film on television over Christmas prompted me to dig them out and refresh my knowledge. I find it surprising that there are no images in existence of the Grand Staircase on Titanic; the famous images were all taken on her sister ship R.M.S. Olympic.

I am also reminded of how much I dislike the film despite its huge success.

What I’m listening to

Having been so busy in the run-up to Christmas, I am now catching up on The Archers. My next audiobook is Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries. As Hans Gruber, he was the consummate villain in Die Hard.

What I’m remembering

Twelve months ago, I had to say goodbye to my dear old cat. She had been my constant companion for twelve and a half years, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve done to stroke her head and comfort her at the vet’s surgery. To commemorate her life, I stitched a bellpull; this has pride of place on my wall. I take a moment to look at it every day, and I am reminded of the many wonderful years we shared.

What I’m looking forward to

The New Year will be a time of growing my business and developing my proofreading skills further. My New Year resolution is to become much better acquainted with New Hart’s Rules. It is an indispensable guide for proofreaders.

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