Motley crews are, by definition, non-uniform and undisciplined as a group. They are characterised by containing characters of conflicting personality, varying backgrounds, and, usually to the benefit of the group, a wide array of methods for overcoming adversity. Traditionally, a motley crew who in the course of a story comes into conflict with an organised, uniform group of characters will prevail. This is generally achieved through the narrative utilising the various specialties, traits and other personal advantages of each member to counterbalance the (often sole) speciality of a formal group of adversaries. (Source: Wikipedia.)
We’re a motley crew at the moment, us at work. Our toenails are chipped, our legs unshaven and our eyebrows … well they’d give hairy caterpillars a run for their money. With our deadline for submission of our books for selection into the 2013 teaching curriculum, we’ve been pulling long shifts. Most mornings have found me having a good bawl; drying my eyes, getting on with it and collapsing at midday – only to start all over again for the afternoon stint.
(What fresh hell is this???My spellchecker won’t accept ‘bawl’ as a word. It damnwell is too, I’m doing it often enough these days! Hmphfff! :
More Wikipedia trivia:
“If the doorbell rang in her apartment, she would say, ‘What fresh hell can this be?’ — and it wasn’t funny; she meant it.” You might as well live: the life and times of Dorothy Parker, John Keats (Simon Schuster, 1970, p124). Often quoted as “What fresh hell is this?” as in the title of the 1987 biography by Marion Meade, “Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?”)

My desk has been an island of hell, but with the support of my amazing team mates, the impossible has been achieved and all my books are running nicely on track. Small, thoughtful gifts from caring friends form a little shrine to my spiritual sanity throughout this trying time.

I get home too wired to sleep immediately, and have utilized this energy to cook and freeze as many meals as I can and so ensure that I have a hot meal at work every day.

Eating a steaming bowl of Hoisin duck, telephone at my ear, while an irate author bangs on about outstanding artwork … well, it does make things bearable.
And so it goes … as my friend, Charlie, always says. We forge ahead and keep in mind that the end is in sight, and that – with it – comes the promise of the return to serenity. And chocolate always helps …



  1. Your work does sound like it’s challenging but it’s great you’re so organised that you can take in your own meals – at least a wonderful home cooked meal in the middle of the day can help with all that’s going on around you xx

    • The home cooked meals worked for a while, but now that we’re nearing the end of the process it’s fast food, I’m afraid. If I never see another pizza again I’ll be very happy.

  2. Your working life sounds hectic and the little gifts are precious!
    In spite of the promise to myself not to eat chocolate I bought a 90% cocoa bar today 😉
    A girl has to have some fun, not so?

  3. I don’t envy your schedule…but at least it doesn’t sound boring…and it sounds as if you’re working with some good people…that can make all the difference in the world….take good care my friend.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to write the meaning of motley crew. I’ve used it frequently as an endearment, but I like the idea that each member has special skills to help them over the hurdles presented by the pompous and predictable.

  5. I love this post! I often use the “motley crew” term to describe a group; your definition clarifies it for me. My mother’s voice, tinged very slightly with an inherited Irish accent, saying “quit your bawling, now…” came into my head just now! Your steaming dish looks wonderful…sustenance does help when things are going badly. Thanks, Cindy!

  6. I’ve never not liked what you’ve written. Been catching up with your interesting posts. I really loved the table cloth slash shawl post. It left me touched at the very end. I can also relate to the the chilli post, as I am one of the chilli sauce lovers.
    I took a home prepared meal to work almost everyday. Hope you are getting a lot of work done on that gorgeous table of yours.

  7. I loved this post, Cindy, especially the food!! It sounds like you are enjoying your work and I am so glad for your sake!! Hugs!

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