Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Was a good one.

Beautiful, frosty, clear. Stepped out full of purpose, leaving Sam eating Grandad's Shredded Wheat.

I wandered in to the church on the way to the bus stop and lit a candle for my mum. Stopped for a moment. Counted a few blessings and thought a few thoughts.

Then across the road and onto the bus and stuck my head into the morning's edition of Metro. News quiz today in my journalism workshop- must try and soak up information about the news...eek

Off the bus and into Borders to look at the headlines on the national dailies and a quick look at the front pages of the gossip mags. Pick up a half price collection of Paddington picture books for Sam, which I will put away for Christmas. That boy devours books, metaphorically and physically.

Then off to see my homeopath and then uni.

I got to sit in a cafe and drink coffee and read The Independent at lunchtime. Then back into Borders for a browse before my afternoon workshop.

And then later I get home to Sam, who is eating pasta and meatballs and I sing Supercalifragalisticxpalidocious to him and he is trying to do the um-diddle-iddle-iddle-um-diddle-aye bits!

So I had to make a note of my good day.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Writing this Blog

I've been having a think about the entries on this blog because at the moment this is about getting it on the page without much, if any editing and not a lot of proofing, just to put it out there...why? I don't know. I have been looking back at some of the posts so far and I think there is only one that I would leave exactly as it was posted. The rest would be re-written, edited and generally fucked around with before I would be happy with them.

Hey, so that's a good thing, right?

'Cos that means I am stacking up a store of stuff to hack about (maybe) later, or at least draw inspiration from.

One of my journalism lecturers said 'Murder your darlings' in a lecture last week. In other words don't be precious- if you are particularly pleased with something then beware! It might not be all that you think it is. Which is funny because I thought I had been really clever about something I had written the following day in a creative writing seminar, and when I read it out I realised it was a load of old cliched crap.

But also, I don't know if I would have had the guts to do this before. In the last few years I have been challenging my demons and this seems to be part of the deal.

And so, what is written on this blog is about learning to write and about the writing process. Apart from all the random stuff I actually write about.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Thursday is now

all about jazz on my Ipod. I decided this on the way to uni this morning, listening to The Portico Quartet's Knee Deep in The North Sea.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Utterly Never Mind the B*ll*cks Buttery

What is John Lydon doing advertising CountryLife butter?

Would he say it was a Situationist statement?

Would he say 'I need the money'?

I don't care - he'll end up doing panto in the provinces at this rate...oh hang on a minute, he's already doing that with the Sex Pistols inneee?

Pretty Vacant.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Shooting from the hip

I haven't shot anything from the hip for a while- not on here anyway...


What goes around comes around- well, I've said that one a few zillion times. I even still believe it some of the time. But sometimes what goes around doesn't come around. Sometimes life ain't fair and good things don't always happen to good people. A lot of bad things happen to all sorts of people. And a lot of good things happen to some real rotters. And sometimes God doesn't just give us only as much as we can handle. What about victims of torture, children caught up in war, people in floods and earthquakes or famines who lose their families and loved ones? Is that as much as they can handle? Such is life...HA! There- that's a classic isn't it- it doesn't mean anything really. Wikipedia classifies this little gem as a 'thought terminating cliche' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought-terminating_clich%C3%A9

Can they be avoided? What purpose do they serve? Hmm... It is something I am going to ponder on and come back to. I bet I am guilty as anyone else for using platitudes in my everyday conversation and writing. I am going to try and keep an eye/ear on it.

For more wiki wonder on Platitudes...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platitude

Monday, 13 October 2008

Autumn again

Lemon and lime jelly leaves floating off the trees liked unfulfilled promises or scuttling in a sudden breeze rushing to serve some purpose before it is too late. The tree outside the doctors is nearly bare and last week the leaves were the colour of red wine and raspberries falling on a green chenille rug. Now the grass has been run through with a blade for the last time this year, leaving a thick, damp seam of cuttings, smelling damp and sweet and slightly rotten. Over ripe and ready to turn, maggotty apples make the wheels on the buggy spin. Flowers still carry on as if nothing was happening, feigning summer- a rose says " I'm ready for my close up" all Sunset Boulevard style but she is past it and I have passed it by. Complicated season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and a time of reflection of the mainly-done year and endings and beginnings and getting busy and prepared for the season to come. Before we look once again for the sun and all it's promises of another turn on the merrygoround.

Thursday, 9 October 2008


The world gets bigger.
The world gets smaller.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

That's it - I'm hooked...

Line and sinker. I am learning. It's changed my world in two weeks so I am starting to understand what used to happen to the students I met in Fine Art when I was the School secretary. It's a journey. Mine will be a different one to most as I am such an old bag (yes, I am!) and have commitments galore. I can't wait to get back to Sam after my day. I miss him so much. But it has been such a relief to have some structured time to write- let alone fill my brain with some new stuff to chew on.
Today I was sat by the river, trying to soak up some sun in a vain attempt to produce some much needed serotonin and across the water I could see two teenage girls being followed by a swan. One of them was fearlessly stretching out a hand to touch it. The colours of today are watery, bright and light. Fainter than spring but reminding me of it I suppose. I drank a black coffee while I sat there, cross legged on the floor by the edge of the water.
It reminded me of my happy days living in Bristol, where I met with a group of friends almost every Friday night at the Arnolfini gallery by the harbourside. We would sit with our legs dangling over the edge by the water and drink pints of lager or cider and catch up on the events of the week and discuss our plans for the weekend.
Today I was reading a set text for one of the creative writing modules I am studying, The Visitor by Maeve Brennan. It is resonating a little too much with me for my liking but I am enjoying it none the less. I just can't stop thinking about my mum.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Automatic writing

Warm buzzing purple. Thirsty, breathless quiet study. Not. Autumn madness madness. Beating at my chest. My morning kiss keeps me going like coffee. About the only thing. Leaves everywhere, leaves falling and floating. Already battling it. What a mess. Pine and black. Time ticking. Shuffle shuffle. Looking back, looking forward. Shuffle shuffle. Pendulum swinging which way now. Relentless and tired. Almost giving up. Almost. Remember the kiss.

Automatic writing

I am going to post under this title anything that is a kind of stream of consciousness. This is something I have done elsewhere and people didn't seem to understand it at all. So I am giving a bit of an explanation here. It might be whatever is running through my head, mixed with where I am and the view, how I got here, what I've eaten and what I've read. Anything. I leave you to deduce something from it or not.

It is freedom from all the rules of writing. Possibly...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Random Writing for Five Minutes

The other day I had to write a list of things I am an expert on. I found it very difficult. What constitutes expertise? How do you know when you become an expert? I must look it up in the dictionary or something. The good thing was that it made me think about all the things I have particular experience of and in, for good or bad, and also what I have sustained an interest in over the years. Either reading about or practicing/practising or whatever...It's an odd mixture which I may list later in another post.

Some sort of major connection has been forged in Sam's brain in the last couple of days and he is now picking up new words every hour! Today was 'everywhere', 'hiya', 'hello', 'Samuel', 'jumping', and more but also the words he has known for a while and uses regularly are coming into focus. He is pronouncing syllables more clearly and adding t and s where they are needed. It is truly a remarable thing to witness. But I do wish he would stop running off with his drum sticks in his hands, stop putting his hands down the toilet, and stop trying to turn the hot tap on every five minutes. I do not have enough hands/eyes or patience at the moment!