ITEM: And it is indeed a miserable Monday, pissing down like nobody’s business. I’m sitting here trying to convince myself that I am not really cold, because it’s a matter of principle at Chez Tennant that we don’t turn the heating on until at least the 1st of October, and preferably later than that (last year owing to some unseasonal hot weather, I hung it out until close to Halloween), but I’m having to concede that this mind over matter stuff isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Putting on a fleece might be more practical.
Or perhaps I could cross my chair with a space hopper so that I can bounce up and down to keep warm as I type.
ITEM: Talking of Chez Tennant, last night while exploring the West Wing I stumbled across a couple of jigsaws that I purchased a dozen or so years back in an attempt to recapture the joy I felt as a child at constructing pretty pictures out of many pieces, giving the abstract form.
One jigsaw was of a group of Indians sitting on their horses and looking rather warlike. The other was a 1000 piece reproduction of Magritte’s wonderful painting Empire of Light. I don’t recall that I ever assembled either of them. (I often buy things that seem like a good idea at the time, but the impulse usually passes before I get round to doing anything about it.)
Wondering what to do with these jigsaws, it occurred to me that I should give them to somebody who would appreciate them, or perhaps drop them in at a charity shop. But it also occurred to me that it might be ‘fun’ to remove one solitary piece from each – the horror writer in my soul pleads that people need to become acclimatised to disappointment and failure through no fault of their own.
ITEM: Never mind FantasyCon, or any of these other conventions that people make so much fuss about. The place to go is London for the absolutely splendid thing that will be Chocolate Unwrapped.
For the 13th and 14th of October this year, Heaven really is a place on Earth. Now if only they’d cross this event with Erotica 2012.
ITEM: The spammers have grown more canny. The other day when I reprised my review of Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, one very clever spammer posted his review of the book in the comments, along with the requisite links to whatever crappy website he was trying to tout. I say ‘his’ review, but actually it was copied and pasted from the website for the Washington Post.
You know, I quite admire such a level of deviousness, and was almost tempted to let it stand.
Almost, but not quite.
ITEM: Saturday I went for a haircut. Most of the time I don’t think of myself as grey, but sitting there looking into the mirror and seeing all those silver curls lying on the hairdresser’s black cloth, it was kind of hard to deny, and the word ‘distinguished’ provided little consolation.
I still remember when the first grey strands sprouted and a friend’s response was ‘Oh Pete! I pay a fortune to get highlights like that!’
Nowadays it’s all highlights.
ITEM: Yesterday was Bruce Springsteen’s 63rd birthday (and he isn’t grey, but I don’t begrudge him that).
I marked the occasion last night by watching The Promise and some Glastonbury footage that I recorded back when I had a TV licence.
In The Promise, a documentary about the making of brilliant album Darkness on the Edge of Town, Springsteen said something like ‘It’s not about the fame or the money, or even about being happy. It’s about being great.’
Well okay, but I think happiness works better for me, which may just be why I’m never going to be great (disregarding any and all other reasons).
What about the rest of you? Is writing so important to you that you’d sacrifice other stuff for it?
ITEM: Staying with Springsteen, I loved all the flags in among the audience at Glastonbury, but was slightly bemused that one of them read ‘I SAUSAGE’.
Me too, but all the same, that’s seriously off message.
ITEM: Thinking about a line in yesterday’s Song for a Sunday – ‘She asked if I remembered the letters I wrote, when our love was young and bold’ – I wondered if anybody actually writes letters now that we have the internet. Somehow ‘She asked if I remembered the emails/texts I wrote’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
I used to enjoy corresponding with people by letter back in the day, but it never occurs to me now. Official stuff aside, it’s been two years since I last wrote somebody a letter, and she never replied, or even acknowledged it come to that (I can be a tactless bastard at times, and my humour doesn’t always come across how I intend).
I wonder about stuff like literary legacies as well – in my pile of unread books I have a volume of letters between Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell, something I suspect we won’t see the like of again, sadly.
Your mission for today – go write somebody a letter.
ITEM: My mission for today is to go and paw through the huge parcel of books that has just arrived from TTA Towers and try to find something to read.
Choices are so much simpler when your options are limited.