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Monthly Archives: September 2009


Fine rain.
A soft day, as Brady would describe it.

Got in about eight, fed the puss, warmed some soup and ate it with a nice bun, and then sat down and managed to write about fifteen lines.

No time to take a walk, no time to write properly either, it seems, though what I did write managed to surprise me.

East of the Web got back to me and they’re going to use but I lost the note, the 500 word story I submitted for their Hyperfiction project. I didn’t think I’d done enough work on it, hadn’t burnished it properly, but it appears acceptable, which is fine by me.

There’s a link to it: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/interactive/index.php?p=interactive/story/757 and it appears to be a sort of carousel, where you can leap from story to story via key words.

The Hyperfiction idea reminds me of an online music project called In Bb (google it) which allows you to create unique pieces of music from recorded performances by musicians, all playing in the key of Bb. It’s a lovely project and if the Hyperfiction is in any way as successful as that, I’d be really pleased.

Anyway, I’m tired, it’s dark, and Starlight is purring at my shoulder, so I’m off.


This is the entrance to my walled garden; it’s a famly heirloom and I’ve only ever allowed one other person through the door.


Sent off the penultimate chapter of the gods to Rapunzel. The final chapter should tie up some loose ends, but not others. This is one instance where the structure suits the subject matter.

Whenever I think of Ghent I see him when he was young, taking shelter from some ice-age snowstorm, in a shallow cave in the lee of a hill, with only a small fire for warmth and a young wolf for company.

I’ll miss him, but I’m glad that he’s still out there.

russet brown

After yesterday’s mild rant at the limitations of radio arts programmes, I put on the TV this morning and watched Sky News instead, and then sat in the garden to enjoy a bright morning, a breakfast of coffee and chocolate and watching leaves fall from the trees.

Starlight is hunting, but with no luck, a squawking alarm call sending the last of the summer’s birds into the sky.

Meeting Jackson this afternoon for tea and a muffin, got some birthday presents for him; books mainly, and a letter I’ve written. Don’t know if he’s still planning to go to Japan this autumn; his girl has gone down to Oxford and I think they’re very close, so I don’t know how it’ll affect him. He’ll be ok, I think.

Thinking about trading in my little VW for something bigger and cheaper, something with space for the new dog I’m always planning to buy, but never do.

First, I need to go and rake the leaves into a pile.

‘anging’s too good for ’em

By accident yesterday, as I was driving back from the off-licence, loaded up with cheap red wine, savoury nachos and garlic dip, I caught some Radio 4 arts programme.
Front Row, I think.

They were discussing the ‘artist’s studio’ and whatever impact this may have had on the output of painters like Francis Bacon, Damien Hirst and others.

I listened for a few minutes, appalled at the hushed reverence with which these worthy ’60’s academic throwbacks discussed Bacon’s messy shithole of a studio or Hirst’s ‘academy’ (as they tentatively described it).

A one point they mentioned a photograph of a some famous studio and, how ironic, I nearly laughed, it contained a painting of another studio, and this studio was different from the one in the photograph!

What a load of toss, I thought, it’s just a fucking studio. They’ll be talking about the turpentine used to clean the paint brushes next.

Thing is, the last time I looked at a Damien Hirst painting, down at the Tate, I thought it was great. It was just a load of coloured dots on a canvas, and there was nothing especially ground-breaking about it (and I don’t know how much he contributed in terms of personally splashing paint onto the canvas), but it was fun.

I’d have paid a tenner for it at a car boot sale, no worries. Well, a fiver at least.

But here on Radio 4, we had some worthies speaking in reverential tones about rooms. If I wanted to know about rooms I’d watch 60 Minute Makeover.

If I’m honest, the people on this programme seemed nice people; very learned and sincere. And I’m sure the point they were making, that environment has an effect on creativity, is worth a bit of a chat, but there must be hundred of excellent painters and sculptors, and conceptual types who string up bits of paper on trees and stuff, who have never, and will never get their works mentioned on Radio 4, never mind have their workplace discussed and analysed.

It’s all a bit dusty.
A bit limited.

Anyway, disgruntled by the timidity of Radio 4’s output, as well as their extremely limited imagination (can they only talk about people who lived and worked within a three mile radius of Broadcasting House?), I parked my VW, dug around the boot for out a suitable cd, popped that in the machine and turned it up loud.

To misquote Hanns Johst, whenever I hear the word culture, I play some Motorhead.


And I laughed all the way home.

between beats, my heart rests

I always wondered when my heart got to rest. It never switches off, it doesn’t get a holiday, it doesn’t go into ‘sleep’ mode when I’m not busy. It just goes on beating, on and on, for the whole of my life.

And so does yours.

But then I read somewhere that a heart rests between beats. So every time my heart beats, it then takes a rest.

Same as yours.

Even as I write this, and as you read it, our hearts are beating, and then resting. That is so comforting. Quite wonderful, in fact.

the loneliness of the long-distance runner

Lishman used to be a long-distance runner when he was a kid. The secret to running long distances was, he assured me, learning to take the pain.

It’s the secret to a lot of things, I reckon.

but I lost the note

…got a really complimentary email from Alex at East of the Web saying he’d like to put a couple more of my stories up on his site. This is good news as the last two that went on the site got a huge positive response.

He also suggested I submit a 500 word themed story for the EOTW/Wordia hyperfiction project, so I wrote a story last night called but I lost the note, and I sent it off. I’m not sure they’ll accept it though, it’s oblique, fragmentary and open-ended. One of mine, in other words.

I’d like to submit another one, maybe push the boat out and spend a full evening writing it, but I can’t afford the time as I’ve only got two chapters of the gods to complete, and that takes precedence.

Apart from that, my days are sunny and clear, and my nights are disrupted with strange dreams. The opposite to how things usually are.

I need to speak with Della.


Sitting on the front step in the late afternoon sunshine, listening to Snoop and Justin and Pharrell and feeling good. Not happy as such, but calm. Content, almost. I think it’s because, after the misfires of the summer, I finally got my act together and started writing again; writing properly, like it’s a job. I just sent off a chapter of the gods to Rapunzel to put on my website. I think I finally understand the structure that I’m working toward, so it’s going to come easier now.

Like all the stuff I write, it’s short and fractured but, well, I explained that already.
And temperament.

But I’m not sleeping well. Bad dreams. The reasons for which are purely self-inflicted.