Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Autumnal Equinox

It's not often that I wake up in the morning and feel so brilliant that I want to blog about it. (When I say "not often", it has never happened before. It's just me being English and understated for once.)

Last night I slept well, and I woke up around 3:30 (which happens a lot) and went straight back to sleep (which hardly ever happens) and went my alarm clock went off, my first thought was "Oh, good, it's morning". This, people, is not what I have been used to.

I've always loved Autumn. I don't know why, but it's like my springtime, a time for rebirth, and new beginnings. Happy Autumnal Equinox, everyone.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Train of Thought

Term's about to start again. Students are preparing for nights of drinking and partying, and occasional trips to the library; and I'm chained to the laptop for the seventh week in a row, doing my best to finish the world's longest PhD thesis. Ho hum.

It was different when I was seventeen, and on my way to interviews. I took the train from Preston down to Birmingham, feeling so nervous that I went and hid in the toilet, and sang 'Astral Weeks' to myself.

"If I venture in the slipstream
Between the viaducts
of your dream
Where the immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch and the back road stop....

... to be born again."


I can't remember much about the day, apart from the escalators at New Street station, a very nice book shop,and the length of the lecturer's moustache, like Anthony Sher in The History Man.

We talked about evolution, and religion, and I'm not sure what else. My father had been dead for not quite a year, and I was ready to make a new start.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Fathers and Sons

After a day of remembering, (and a little re-imagining), today is Talk Like A Pirate Day.

So here's Jack Sparrow for you, talkin' the talk and walkin' the walk, with his dear old dad, a.k.a. the world's most dignified drug abuser, Keith Richards.

What I couldn't have learned, from a father like that...

Like the man says: it's not about living forever.
It's about living with yourself forever.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Still Daddy

It's that day again; that special anniversary I blogged about a year ago. For the third year in a row, I've been remembering my stepdaughter, sitting at the foot of the oak tree we planted for her, with pages from my PhD, which I still haven't finished.

And it ain't nobody's fault but mine.

Nowadays, there isn't anybody in my life who calls me 'daddy'. If I hear the name, I'm the one who's speaking. It's my own voice, my inner child, the voice of my creativity. Asking for strength, reassurance, and courage.

For me, writing is, and always has been, the voice of integrity, the voice of enthusiasm, the voice of a young, playful, powerful six year old who has seen a lot of life, but is still enthusiastic, and knows that he's going to make something of his life.

I sat down at my desk writing at 6:45 this morning. I wrote good words. But by eight o'clock, my creativity had ebbed away. Damn. I have a full day ahead of me. I need to persevere.

I am going to make something of my life.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

All Work and No Play

I've said it before, I think. All work and no play makes Hot Vimto a dull blog.

I'm trying to write my PhD thesis (again) and this time, I'm determined to do something I can be proud of.

It's a lonely, solitary task, and for three or four weeks now I've had blinkers on, and been very focused on my destination. Until I get there, I'll be here in my rustic retreat, with the autumnal rain tapping on my window.

See you all again soon.