Thursday, October 17, 2013



The slight shaken-up feeling that the immanent appearance of an old friend always gives.  The usual desultory cleaning by me and the rather more directed cleaning by Toni, including the obligatory “Wiping of the Black Base of the Television” because it shows the dust so clearly, and therefore when it is cleaned it means that you have done your duty because it is clear that it (the major fault is clean!

The weather, after the delight of 25C yesterday, looks as though it has settled into the usual “Visitor Sulk” – in other words, visitors who are seeking sun have to look at clouds and listen to the indigenous inhabitants talk wistfully about how it would have been so much better if only they had arrived the day before.

The most horrific example of this was when I once visited Gran Canaria and was met at the airport by Jonathon as, as we were driving to his house, he asked me casually if I noticed anything.  I looked around and I could see no new features and I turned to him blankly.  He, with a smile that could not be described as kindly, and then advised me to look at the landscape a little more closely and say what colour predominated.  It was only then that I noticed the predominance of the dreaded colour green on what should have been a dusty vista.  Green!  Grass!  Vegetation!  If vegetation then rain!  And Jonathan said that the weather had been awful.  People washed away in floods.  I was horrified.  I did not go to Gran Canaria for Culture with a capital “C”.  I went to get brown and to see the twisted envy on the faces of my colleagues on my return.  Vegetation was very low on my priorities!

So, one hopes that the microclimate along the coast does its stuff and Andrew has a warm time here.  The temperature looks promising with 24C promised for the time that he is staying, but without the sun one does not feel that one is getting real value for money!

I still have not washed or shaved.  This is a direct result of writing my “Morning Pages” when we are supposed to stagger out of bed (or even stay in bed) and start writing.  Writing anything which suggests itself and to go on doing this on a daily basis for two or three weeks – then read through what you have written and see if there is anything in the mass of words worth keeping.  Woolf described it as “diamonds in the dust” – I will be satisfied with sparkling glass crystal, or perhaps a glint of fools’ gold!

The sheer physical effort of writing is something which slows one down.  I am far happier typing than writing, but there is a qualitative difference (I think) between typing and writing so that I continue to write my Morning Pages with pen and all other writing is done on the laptop.  We will see where this leads and it may be that I change my approach.

In poetry I need the pen and paper, but for prose the laptop is fine.  At least with pen and paper you can see the process of editing, whereas with the laptop all of that tends to disappear as words magically change and it appears that the pellucid prose just flows.  How false that is!

I suppose that having a guest might limit what I write, but the tutor would say that far from being a hindrance, it was an opportunity and make sure that one of your notebooks was to hand to note down anything which might be of use!  If I do that religiously then people are going to get progressively more wary of what I am about and become ever more circumspect!

I now ought to go on to the web site and complete a Freewrite – the stream of consciousness sort of writing which throws up (or should throw up) interesting (I would have written “intriguing” but I can’t spell it – the machine gave the right version) insights into the unconscious and even typos can be used as part of later writing.

I must now make sure that I write religiously and do not use the appearance of a guest to allow me be negligent about my work.  I should write because we have a guest and I should make the most of it.

It is perhaps ironic that I am doing a course on Creative Writing and a secondary one on the importance of Brands in the modern world, when Andrew was a copywriter for an advertising agency.  What a source of raw material he could be!  I shall drain him dry!
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