It's surprising how little sleep it's possible to get when you're not only jet-lagged, but also suffering from a heavy cold which makes breathing a bit of a challenge. I've managed about three hours the last two nights. And not having slept on my own for more than three weeks, I now can't seem to drop off without someone next to me hogging the duvet and kneeing me in the back. But on the plus side, I'm single-handedly supporting the UK 3-ply tissue market. (From blowing my nose I mean. I'm not referring to anything else there). Personally I blame the bloke on the plane. If you have enough babies thrown at you, you're bound to catch something eventually.
So I feel a bit rough. And on top of that, it's the last day of March and I haven't even begun working on NaNoEdMo - the National Novel Editing Month. You're supposed to put in 50 hours of rewrites during the month of March, so with less than a day to go, and 50 hours still to do, it's looking a little unlikely that I'll be joining the list of winners. But I might still buy a t-shirt.
Fortunately, in an effort to cheer myself up, I've devised a fiendish and cunning plan to turn myself into a local celebrity. And international hate figure. Whilst in America, the following piece of excitement dropped through my letterbox...
The MyShotley site announced that every home in the area would have one by the end of January. So it's obviously a conspiracy that they waited til I was out of the country in March before delivering mine and asking me to return it by the 23rd. Anyone would think they don't trust me to give serious answers.
But anyhoo, it's choc-full of important questions such as "Should tourism development/attractions be encouraged in and around the local area?", so if enough people answer 'yes', we should be getting a theme park and a Palace of Wax by Christmas.
More exciting than that though, is the bold announcement of a forthcoming sister site to MyShotley, the wittily entitled My-Erwarton.com. The website doesn't actually exist yet, but presumeably it's in the advanced stages of planning, and is just a few short weeks away from launch.
Or perhaps not...
I've just checked, and they haven't even registered the web address yet. Yes, that's right, both www.my-erwarton.com and www.myerwarton.com are still available to any member of the public willing to slap down about twenty quid. The parish council are advertising an address they don't even own.
You have no idea how tempting this is. Homestead, the website company I use, charge just £6 a year for an additional address which points to your current site. So right here, right now, I could spend six quid and have every resident within five miles of here entering 'My-Erwarton.com' into their address bar and ending up at my site.
Of course, I'd also become the most hated local figure since Linda Tonkin, when the parish council realise they've spent a fortune advertising my website for me, and have to start all over again from scratch. But they say there's no such thing as bad publicity...