Listening to Bitches Brew as I read. The band sounds like it would if there was a party going on next door, you can feel the groove and hear bits and pieces, but nothing concrete, it’s all fluid.
Then Miles begins to play and it’s like someone opened the adjoining door and now you’re in the party. Lovely, but not music to read by. So I put on some Froy Aagre.
Then I remembered I can’t read and listen to music.
I was never good at football, I wasn’t even allowed onto the pitch to do the team training most days, instead being shunted behind the goal with the other duffers, where we chatted, mucked about, but never made the team. I was never good at fighting older lads at school, though I did try, and I often came off worst. I was a bright boy but disengaged, so failed all my exams.
But I met my oldest friend during a PE lesson at school. We were both as far away from the action as possible, avoiding the ball. And fighting the big lads at school made me durable, if nothing else. I don’t worry overmuch about unkind words, and even now, when I see some would-be bad lad peacocking, it just makes me smile. And years after I left school at 16, like a rocket, I might add, vowing never to return, I decided I would return to study, and I knew the parameters of failure, and by extension, what was required for success.
I don’t enjoy failure, but it doesn’t hinder growth, and sometimes it’s a welcome pre-condition.
I like layers.
I like the stuff that is worth waiting for. Worth investing in. Worth the wait.
But sometimes, you can’t resist the rush. The quick hit.
Sometimes, candyfloss is all you want.
It’s all good.
I once saw a bloke coming out of a shop with muscles so pronounced it was laughable. His biceps looked like he had grapefruits taped beneath his, obviously, close-fitting light-woollen top. Everything about him, in fact, was pronounced.
I was never attracted to body-building. I suspect that people who are into it were, initially, just into getting a bit stronger and a bit fitter, but gradually they became acclimatised to the whole body-building culture.
It’s not for me.
I looked again at the follow-up to Jago, tentatively entitled Little Blade. Kelli W said I should put this out in ’21 because to delay it as planned would be to risk losing momentum.
The main body of the text is written, its needs some work, some cuts and some additions, and the flashbacks need salting throughout the text, but mainly it’s there.
Which is a lovely feeling, to be honest.
After leaving my phone at home I switched on the radio in the car and immediately heard the pinched vowels and overtones of entitlement that told me I was listening to Radio 4.
I really can’t stand the BBC.
It’s like the prim deputy head at a private girls’ school chose the most condescending, entitled good-two-shoes 6th-formers to run a school radio station. Then gave them a £5billion budget.
I listened for about two minutes. They were complaining about something. They had nothing to say. Morrisey was right.
And so was Elvis.
I turned off the radio.
“Breaking Bad meets Billy Elliot.”
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I finished re-reading My Sister’s Keeper, and I’d forgotten about the ending. Brutal, Charlie said, after I messaged her about it. Unnecessarily brutal.
I’m almost finished re-reading My Sister’s Keeper. It’s the first paperback I’ve picked up in quite a while, Charlie left it in the spare room years ago and this is the second time I’ve read it.
It’s a joy to read a book that is so well-written.
It was either this, or The Time Traveller’s Wife, one of my favourite books of the last twenty years. Both are well-structured, well-written stories by people who know how to write.
I don’t know how to write. I place words on tiny mosaic tiles and line them up in a way that is pleasing to me. But I can’t write. That’s ok, because I can tell stories.
I realised I can’t permanently carry the burden of the things I want to write, it weighs me down to the point where I struggle to function.
But I can work with ‘projects’.
Something I can plan and schedule, with a baton I can pick up at the beginning and put down at the end. A discrete plan.