A large part of my mind-palace is a two-masted Brig, the Honey. I can think of no better place to be.
I still love this little story of two people who are lost and who find each other, and then find themselves.
It’s on free kindle download from 3-7 August. Click the image for link or do an amazon search:
I think my MTB has reached ‘banger’ status.
It’s ten years old, I’ve replaced the suspension with rigid forks, threw away the fat off-road tyres and bought a set of semi-slicks for getting run town and cos I don’t ride up or down mountains, and I’m about to get rid of two of the front cogs, and switch out the front 26″ wheel for a 27.5 or even a 29 in order to get that mullet-bike look.
Meanwhile my motorbike idea is on hold as, so my logic goes, if I’m going to risk my neck on two wheels I’d be better off riding the one that gets me fit than the one that doesn’t (and costs £3k more).
The Establishment exists in various forms across society. In art it is ‘the academy’ and the academy celebrates whatever is current and proper to celebrate. It does not allow dissent, unless it is pre-approved dissent, with specific pre-approved targets.
In politics it is the same, and because of the ongoing hangover from the cultural revolution of the 60s, we currently have a ruling elite who believe they’re part of the rebel-alliance, while every day acting like Imperial Stormtroopers.
Zealots prosecute their dogmatic beliefs with enthusiasm, because they know they are right. The dogma tells them they are right. Persecuting heretics proves they are right. Currently the Establishment is enabling zealots and cheer-leading their witch-hunts, but we all know what feeding the crocodile leads to. Eventually, no matter how hard you adhere to the dogma, no matter your enthusiastic and zealous record of persecuting heretics, it’s your turn in the jaws.
Do not be a zealot.
If you find yourself reaching for your pitchfork, ready to join a crowd chasing down a heretic, if you find yourself strapping someone into the ducking stool, if you find yourself tempted to stand up and point a finger, perhaps ask yourself first if you are without sin.
My thrillers sell about twenty times as much as my more obscure, literary, pretentious, experimental, self-indulgent (delete as appropriate) texts. Because of that, I sometimes think I should write more thrillers.
I like telling stories. I like writing characters and discovering what they say and how they behave. I enjoy formula-writing but I’m not a prisoner to it.
I hate it when I make a grammatical or spelling mistake. Even though I’m a former English teacher I’d never correct anyone else’s writing, however tempted I might be to do so.
JBP says something along the lines of ‘before you try to change the world, go tidy your room.’ Well, my room aint perfect, so I’ll think twice before commenting on the minor blemishes of others.
I was walking through Kensington via Google Streetview, doing some research for a story, when I came across the house where Virginia Woolf was born. It was exactly what you’d expect the London home of a rich 19th Century family to be like.
I read some of her books back when I was about seventeen, and I really liked them, which isn’t that strange. I liked lots of things that I read when I was seventeen, in the way that a man in the desert dying of thirst would like just about any beverage you served him with.
She was such an awful snob, but that doesn’t spoil her writing.* I didn’t have to be like her or sympathise with her affluent, pampered background to enjoy her writing, because that’s the thing about reading, it takes you places you wouldn’t otherwise visit and you meet people that you would never meet if you didn’t turn the page.
If nothing else, Orlando. For that alone she is worth reading, and I learned so much of an England I would never otherwise know, reading that novel. An England that perhaps never really existed, except in the imagination of Virginia Woolf, but was real because she made it so.
*Without getting all class-warrior, it does make me wonder how many poor women didn’t get published, because they were too busy washing and ironing the clothes and scrubbing the floors of rich women like Woolf, and how many poor men had to do fourteen-hour shifts in factories and coalmines, who would have otherwise done quite well if they’d been given the chance to write. Woolf had the good fortune to be married to a man who purchased a publishing company.
But still, Orlando.
I rarely answer calls from unknown numbers but today I did, and it was a scammer telling me I’d had an accident in which I was not to blame, so I should make a claim.
I couldn’t reply for laughing. The only accident I’ve ever had was a 2mph reverse into a stationary car. And I was to blame. It cost me £25 for a new light cluster. That was ten years ago.
I hung up.
I visited an archery club this evening and had a little go. Plan to sign up for a few lessons, I’ve used a bow a couple of times in the past but am no expert so it’d be good to learn properly. The only issue was that I’m left-handed but right-eye dominant, and they had me used bow right-handed, which was fine physically, but left me with a burning eye-ache afterwards.
Apart from that though it was good fun and I’m going again on Friday. There’s something about loosing an arrow, watching it in flight and hearing the thwack of it hitting the target.