Thursday, 13 March 2008

Still around

I am in ‘Positively Last Read Mode’ at the moment. My deadline is almost upon me. My faithful readers (I may have one or two) will remember I’ve been translating a novel for the past several years – that’s what it feels like, anyway. ‘Positively Last Read Mode’ is when you want to slap yourself for being so stupid earlier and writing weird sentences that no human being – not even a French one – would ever say. ‘Positively Last Read Mode’ is when common sense comes back to you at last (no common sense – no translator). ‘Positively Last Read Mode’ is also when the Translation Fairy finally appears. You’ve called her to the rescue several times before, but she always waits until the last minute to turn up. She sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear, ‘Change this sentence like so. You’ll see: it’ll be much better’. I always follow her advice: she’s never let me down.

Anyway, all the above to explain why I’ve been a bit elusive recently. It doesn’t mean I don’t get mad at things; it just means I don’t have enough energy to share my anger with you lot.

In case you all go away and never come back (we wouldn’t want that, would we?), here’s a medley of blood-pressure-raising stuff.

Today, dear readers, I’m slapping:

* Our Chancellor of the Exchequer: yesterday was Budget Day and, as usual, I’m gonna be worse off.

* The builders who’ve been renovating the bathroom in the flat next door: they should have finished last week and, guess what, they haven’t yet. I don’t mind the noise they make in the course of their work (can’t be helped), but if they carry on slamming the front door, which is, like, two inches from mine, every time they go in and out (and there’s a lot of comings and goings all day), I will come out with a big kitchen knife and stab them in their newly installed shower. Ee ee ee ee ee!

* Hospital food. I haven’t been in hospital recently (thank god) and I hope I don’t in the near future, but I saw a TV programme about it last night and it is a disgrace. No, you have no idea how bad it is. There are no guidelines regarding hospital meals: it’s up to each NHS trust to set their own standards. And they only have something like £2.10 to spend on each patient per day. Do not get ill in this country: you will be well cared for but you will starve to death: no one will help you eat your meals if you’re incapacitated; they won’t give you a spoon to eat the disgusting soup they’ve plonked in front of you and then they’ll take the tray away and write ‘Meal refused’ on your chart. Things like that. A disgrace, I tell you.
Stay healthy!

See you later: the Translation Fairy is calling...

Addendum: The Translation Fairy has another name: Adrenaline. What she can’t stop you from doing, the mischievous little minx, is opening a previous version of your translation, working away on it for a while and suddenly thinking, ‘I could have sworn I spent two hours yesterday formatting the b***** thing. What’s happened to it?’

Stay healthy, and don’t forget to label your files unambiguously!


  1. Hey, glad you are reaching the end!

    My solution to the problem is to not keep old versions of files. HA. You already know that doesn't always work out like you've planned, LOL...

  2. Thanks, R. I managed to pace myself exactly right. I'll be glad when it's over.

    I like to keep all the different versions of my translations, just in case something happens to one of them: I could then reconstruct the latest version without too much trouble. Also because sometimes I make a correction that I don't really like later on and I can be reminded of what I originally wrote. Anyway, it was more funny than scary today. I think we've all done it at least once.

  3. Oh gosh, twice in the last week I have missaved and ended up reworking an old version of a text. Infuriating. But hooray for the translation fairy. I have one who gives me an invisible injection of something which turns me into the translating robot.


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