Is a sugar-tax cricket?

Still in The Hague. My parents

Still in The Hague. My parents


The last few weeks have been trying. Getting a book to fruition during a heat-wave is nothing more than self-flagellation. Readers might remember that it was suggested to change back the Father and Mother words to Dad and Mum. This was done via my newly advised and learned Word- processing trick, by instantly replacing all the words in the whole book instead of trawling through the whole manuscript, word by word. It even lets you know how many Mums and Dads were changed. There were new issues about ‘keeping Mum about a secret, ‘changed instantly into ‘keeping Mother….’

Of course, during changing from Father& Mother back to Mum and Dad (for the second time,) when writing about an episode of a budding artistic career involving hand painting Friesian Grand-Father clocks with windmills and sea-gulls in endless flight, it changed into Grand-Dad clocks. It still meant going again through it all. How does one remember having used words in a totally different context or co-joined? Just as well the Catechism wasn’t written. ‘It the name of the Dad, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

My good friend, Paul in Balmain offered to format the whole caboodle.  When it was mentioned more changes were likely to come, he stopped. The formatting formula whereby pages get numbered, photos with descriptions or titles underneath introduced, sub-headings appearing, the different fonts  and so much more, would all become hay wired when any changes are made. It does mean it finally has to come together as good as possible. And, all this, with not excluding serif or sans serif, is making an enormous demand on keeping sane.

It has now come about when opening a book the emphasis is on any mentioning and checking the fonts, both the size and look of the letters, spaces between paragraphs, the inclusion of ISBN number, catalogued with National libraries, the back page blurbs. Dedications and grateful murmurs to all sorts of helpful people. The issue of laying claim to copy-right. Issues of privacy and possible libel. Do people who get their manuscript published continue writing and reading?

Most publishers want the first few chapters and a bibliography. Others want the whole manuscripts ‘print-ready.’ Some want one to study the books they have published and write a synopsis of this or that book.

My goodness. One could have been a good surgeon, or prominent lawyer.

Rest assured that all is well. Just now I have made some cuts in potatoes, added chopped garlic and pepper and wrapped them in alfoil. Did the same with some carrots and shallots. For a few weeks all our cooking has been done outside. We sit in the shade with Milo chasing lizards. We chase some Shiraz instead and wait an hour or so when the spuds and carrots will be almost cooked. We put on the salmon cutlets with some red capsicums that have been sliced.

Voila, a perfect solution to book publishing fatigue. And…not a single spoonful of sugar is used. Poor old England, the sugar- tax bogey man is coming. People are starting to hoard sugar in their cellars. Soon, like smokers, sugar ingestion will be done on street corners behind newspapers or in dark alleys. People will try and stir in the sugar when no one is looking.  Husbands will be suspicious of wives coming from the larder. What is the world coming to…a sugar-tax!

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38 Responses to “Is a sugar-tax cricket?”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Why have I never given one tiny thought to all the work that authors go through to produce the book I only have to buy and read? It’s much easier being the reader, it seems.

    Enjoy your shiraz this evening, it’s cooler weather, hurray!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bkpyett Says:

    What a treat to return and find that you have completed your book, Gerard! Well done and congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. lifecameos Says:

    The publishing sounds almost as hard as the writing !

    Liked by 3 people

  4. elizabeth2560 Says:

    I agree with a sugar tax and wish that it would also extend to fast food because I believe that the fatty food is as much to blame as the sugar. It will either stop people buying those sorts of food or drinks OR it will raise some revenue to fund the medical budget which is going to blow out of control unless this obesity epidemic is somehow stopped.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the sugar seems to be the culprit. Soon it will come in plain packaging and behind locked doors. People will look shifty when eating sweet. Children will be whipped into robust health by chewing on large bunches of celery in the school-grounds.

      Liked by 2 people

      • elizabeth2560 Says:

        ‘sugar seems to be “the” culprit’
        I would rephrase that as “a” culprit.
        Plenty of nasties out there in the SAD (standard American / Australian diet). However, I don’t know how far the government can go in protecting people from themselves.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I don’t expect the government to do much at all. Business above all else is what they foster. Can you imagine if all fast food services came under control or reduced? We have some of the world’s highest densities per capita of McDonalds and KFC outlets in the world.
        People are powerless against the might of those Giant Corporations. Notice how fast food and alcohol have infiltrated all sports. I would have thought that those (sport, and fast food, alcohol,) are the opposite of each other.


  5. shoreacres Says:

    There’s no question in my mind at this point that the publishing is harder than the writing. How I laughed at your grand-dad clock, and that new, modernized trinity. Funny stuff. Maybe you should write a book about publishing a book. It could be jolly good fun — if you could stand it.

    A sugar tax? What is the point? To reduce consumption, or to pad someone’s pockets? We have sugar subsidies in this country, that keep the cost of sugar unnaturally high. On the other hand, there once were butter/margarine wars here between the dairy states and others. I have a friend who remembers coming from Minnesota, over the border into Iowa, to obtain margarine and sneak it home in the trunk of the car. What creatures we are!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Holland at one stage had over- produced butter. It had such a surplus of butter which the Government decided to export to Russia at a highly subsidised price. To pay for the subsidy it made the Dutch people pay through the nose by charging enormous prices for the locally produced butter.
      But, Linda. The canny Dutch started sharing trucks which drove to Russia, bought up the cheap Dutch butter and then divided the booty up amongst their own, once they had driven back home again.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    Dinner sounds delicious, so glad you finished your book.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Sugar tax? No more cookies for you. The salmon and shiraz sounds good to me sugar or no sugar.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, we have really taken to the salmon. I still covet a foreign sausage (when Helvi is not looking) every now and then, and put it in the trolley. I feign surprise when back at home and unpacking the shopping, I find this lovely sausage.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. auntyuta Says:

    A sugar tax is not fair, is it? How much would we have to pay for all the Easter Eggs and Chocolate Easter bunnies? I don’t want to think about it.
    And “Dad, Son and Holy Spirit?” No way, I object!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. berlioz1935 Says:

    In old Prussia, I assume nobody alife today knows this mystical country any more, the King introduced a salt tax. People stopped using salt. So, the king ordered people to buy salt by the sackful. What could they do with all the salt? They pickled cucumbers and probably made Sauerkraut.

    So beware, when the government introduces a sugar tax it may become compulsory to use the sugar. They will make sure you put a lump or two of sugar in your coffee or tea.

    For your effort to publish a book you should get an OBE for bravery.

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I remember seeing a beautifully carved salt-mine that I think was in the former Prussia.
      As for the book. I’ll try and get is as good as possible but most likely will be self-published on kindle and in print on demand.
      We shall see. Talking about OBE. What happened to the Knighthood that was given to Prince Phillip? What does he do with it? Does he take it out of his bed-side drawer, stroke it a bit, and look at it, or what?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gee I bet you have a headache from all of that by now. Publishers want too many changes. Let the author write in his words for that is how you spoke and that is what you grew up with.

    But sugar tax, how ridiculous is that.?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rodhart (@roderick_hart) Says:

    The sugar tax (not a tax as that is normally understood) applies only to soft drinks with too much sugar. Bfore it comes in the manufacturers will have reduced sugar content to avoid it.

    It was introduced not for public health reasons but to raise money.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Big M Says:

    Gerard, I struggle to knock out a few hundred words a day, here you are with a whole book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It is a real joy to let go of words, Big M. I reckon you are not doing too bad yourself. A bit like the turtle and hare. The way things are with getting older, I keep getting a few hares sprouting around the face.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Big M Says:

    I remember reading Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel. It was the Mango Tax that undid the government. Will Sugar have the same effect?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Don’t have anything to do with publishers who want your manuscript ‘print-ready’. After reading the first chapters, they may ask for the MS, so you need it complete, but not print-ready, that’s the publisher’s job, definitely not a job for amateurs, they do it better than we could. If you get a publisher you will not have to worry about serifs ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. gerard oosterman Says:

    Austin Macauley do not request ‘print-ready’ manuscripts, but many publisher do request that. About one in a hundred manuscripts make it to a published book. So, chances are slim. Even so. it has to be as good as possible.
    My daughter and a good friend are doing most of the polishing and fine-tuning as I tend to be a bit careless and sloppy…so…we shall see.
    I never even heard about all those terms used in words and letters, now I can banter with the best of them, dropping Serif and New Roman about. Or, even better; How are your margins going today?


  16. tedgiffin Says:

    I laughed out loud when I read,
    ‘It the name of the Dad, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’
    My father is a Historian. He has spent most of his life on 1 important book. I grew up with him wrestling the editors, etc, for at least a decade of rewrites. He did finish the work. I am just saying that I truly appreciate the difficulty of your task.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. gerard oosterman Says:

    I reckon your father’s gene did not jump over to your side, seeing your output is so prolific. I can hardly keep up and feel bad not responding more often. Thank you Ted. I’ll be less self absorbed.


  18. Master of Something Yet Says:

    There are ways to avoid the “Grand-dad clock” situation but it adds a layer of complexity that I feel I would need to sit beside you and explain. Or write a book about it and based on your experiences, that’s not happening.

    I admire your tenacity greatly, Gerard. Here’s hoping you find yourself in safe publishing hands soon.


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