It’s been a long three months, but at last, I have finished recording Old Man Sailing for Audible. I completed the final chapter (three attempts) here in Lossiemouth.
I am staying for two weeks while sending away the anchor and chain for galvanizing and to meet the family for our annual tramp in the Peak District.
It seemed like a good idea except that Lossiemouth is home to RAF Lossiemouth, and every time I get into my stride with the recording, a pair of Eurofighter pilots decide to take off for a joyride, roaring overhead, rattling the rooftops and drowning out my golden words.
Also, the marina wi-fi doesn’t reach the visitors’ berth and the mobile signal is rubbish. I’ve been reduced to setting up shop in the Steamboat Inn. Now the barmaid starts pouring Guinness as soon as I walk in the door.
Yesterday I arrived at opening time – 11 a.m. – and was still there when the place began filling up at six o’clock.
Chapter one uploaded OK and the “Opening Credits”. But Chapter Two (and Three, come that) failed the “Analytics Test”. I tried adjusting the Constant Bit Rate and the Peak dB but the Root Mean Square kept jumping back to -27.1 (no, I don’t know what I’m talking about, either.)
Anyway, it meant that by the end of the day, I was still no closer to publishing.
Also, I had yet to choose a five-minute excerpt as a sample before people decide to download the whole thing. Then a noisy party took over the next socially-distanced table.
Back aboard Samsara, it was time for the ritual evening beer and Pringles. But I was awash with Guinness. Instead, I reached for the bottle of Talisker which Tamsin had given me for my birthday. Three glasses later, I was no nearer choosing a five-minute sample and beginning to harbour violent tendencies towards the microchips.
I have decided to give up on the Constant Bit Rate and the Root Mean Square until the Helpline opens on Monday.
But if you’ve read the book, I could use some help with the sample.
Here are the choices:
- The capsize (dramatic).
- Sidling away from Lockdown (topical).
- Owen and Clara (tearful).
- Ten minutes of fame (surprising).
Answers, please, in the comments section.