My story

Notes From a Train

How’s your February going? If you signed up to the Four for Feb challenge, are you on schedule?

My February has been hectic, with visitors, social events, and a busy time at work. I’m writing this on the train back from Birmingham where I’ve been visiting family for the weekend, and because I don’t have access to a wi-fi connection I’m posting this via the WordPress app on my iPhone which has proved rather unreliable. Clearly I’m not quite set up for ‘location independence’ blogging just yet!

Because of all this extra activity my ability to focus on this blog has been curtailed which is frustrating after such a successful start in January. And I know that most people reading will also have this issue, because life keeps throwing things at us until it feels like we will never have time to catch up.

But there’s one week of the month left, so let’s see what we can salvage. There’s still time to achieve something and set ourselves up for a positive start to March.

And next month’s challenge is going to tackle the problem of ‘too much to do, too little time’ head on so stay tuned!

How have your creative projects fared in February? Are you on schedule to complete your ‘Four for Feb’? Let me know in the comments.

10 replies on “Notes From a Train”

Hi Milo!

I suppose things are on track, although I don’t have anything public yet. I’ve been writing an article for an ebook as well as a blog post about Kurdistan; I also need to go through my photos and do a photo post. I’d planned to update my blog by now, but political protests in the city I just left have rather overshadowed my own travel story so I feel like I need to focus on what is going on there – not least because the international media has barely noticed. Stay tuned …


Sounds like you’ve got some serious tales to tell Nine, will look out for those articles and the blog posts when they come. Glad you’re safe!


Got a finished song – What might have been – up at

At least, I doubt if I’ll tinker with it too much as I usually end up doing. Wrote it unexpectedly after a bad day (understatement).

Might be a bit sentimental, but see what you think. The Queen is Dead might be apt here: “‘I know you and you cannot sing.’ I said, ‘That’s nothing you should hear me play pianner.'”



Hello Milo, and many thanks for your thoughtful response to my e-mail last week, it was very interesting.

Although this is my first comment, as you know I have been keeping up with your blog and really liked the concept of ‘Four for February’. Amazingly, since I started my new blog right at the end of January, I have averaged almost a post a day!

I’m not quite sure how this turn of events has happened, or where the time has really come from, and it will be interesting to see what you post on the subject of ‘finding the time’ next month. Pleased as I am, occasionally a fear strikes that I have done too much too soon and the inspiration will dry up. But so far, so good.

My principle concern now is whether what I am producing is of a quality to be happy with. 99% of the time it is friends and family who read what I write, and unsurprisingly they are not the most objective critics! I suppose it is a question of trusting yourself and finding your creative voice.

Look forward to your further posts!


Hi Paul,

Great to hear from you again – the email was certainly on an interesting topic and I will definitely write about the relative value of education/qualifications here at some point in the future.

That’s brilliant about your blogging, perhaps I should be asking you for your secret! It’s great that you’ve been inspired to post daily.

I think my inability to do the same is partly wanting to avoid overwhelming my readers, and partly because I tend to over-think my writing quite a bit. I do have quite a lot of content for this blog in reserve, but I want to make sure I share it all in a logical order so that it becomes something of a useful resource for people to discover. And that is proving to take time to work out!

If your friends and family are responding positively that’s a very good sign, as sometimes the people closest to us can be our harshest critics, or at least take what we do a bit more for granted. I’d say keep up the good work!


Logic is a good thing, and your desire to seek an order for this website perfectly understandable. The writing I’ve been doing is based entirely on whatever gets my attention at a particular time – I have no area of expertise and so there is no defined structure to the blog. Probably this has as many benefits as drawbacks, but also partly explains my current keenness to post frequently – some people don’t like football, for example, so if a post is on that subject then I like to think will be something for them to enjoy the next day.

I should perhaps also admit that the current workload in my day job is not high. That means it is not particularly stimulating at times, and so to feel busy AND creative I have been doing some blog posts at work. I’m not necessarily proud of the fact, but I would be doing the work if it was there. This at least feels like it is beneficial to me, if not to my employers, and probably isn’t much of a secret to be being prolific, alas!

Finally (and sorry for the long comment!), I am interested in your comment about over-thinking. On my previous blog/site I used to feel that longer ‘articles’ had to be of publishable quality and would slave over them as a result. The new blog feels much more relaxed somehow (perhaps simply a change in my attitude), and while I try to produce the best writing I can, I am also trying to enjoy the process for its own sake as much as anything else.


Hi Paul,

Excellent, it just shows that giving yourself more freedom with the new blog has led to really positive results.

And by blogging you’re at least being productive rather than letting the quiet times at work get you down or wasting the time surfing the internet!

Have to admit I hadn’t come across chap-hop before I saw your blog 😉


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