Gods and The Wanderer

Yesterday I signed up for the Edinburgh half-marathon. I often tell people that I do well with deadlines, and I really do. I need the pressure to get me going in all areas of life, from writing to exercise to… well, spending time with people even. Otherwise I just lie around stagnant, like water in a pipe waiting for the tap to be turned on, probably growing mould and smelling a bit funny.

The pressure works really well. I get motivated and creative and I DO stuff. And then I get carried away and sometimes I accidentally put a bit too much pressure on myself and water-me sort of blurts out everywhere in panic, and lands up as a useless puddle on the sideboard, waiting to be wiped up.

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Not a review: ‘Bookworm’ by Lucy Mangan

Note: this really is not a review. My about-a-book entries are never reviews, just me gushing about books I’ve absolutely loved and have time to write about. Take it for granted that if this was a review it would be a five-star thing, though, because I’m coming out of the tail-end of a migraine right now and shouldn’t be looking at a screen, but am compelled to write this. Continue reading

Hello? Is there anybody home?

Eesh. Look at all the dust in this place! The weeds have grown up through the floor, the air is damp, the pipes are cold. ‘Scuse me while I turn on the heat and light and try to figure out how to bring this poor, neglected blog back to life.

I make it over a month since I’ve put anything out here for you lot to read – I hope some of you have stuck around, despite all the broken promises that litter the previous entry. It’s two months, really, since I’ve felt inclined to post at all. I’ve been out of sorts since the beginning of September. I made it as far as putting the key in the lock of this place a couple of times, and then I wimped out and hared off back to the relative safety of made-up-stuff and not-writing (which extended to failing to post cards and write emails, actually). Time to get back to it.

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Launches, pretty things and anti-romance

I’ve been endlessly playing catch-up with my home and work life, never quite catching the will-o-the-wisp that is a completed To Do list and a clear mind. There have been brief respites (swimming at Brockwell Lido, no wetsuit, determined to develop into one of those double-hard winter swimmers (even as the sun continues to shine). Meeting up with friends. Meeting Sophie the sheep in Herne Hill – a woolly cutie who’s in training to be a movie star and wears a tiara) – but mostly it’s all been do do do, not sleeping, not writing, just about getting through the day. There’s been the odd purple day (that’s a day when the blues and the mean reds get together and throw a party just outside the blanket that I hide under when they come visiting). It’s been wearing. Continue reading

Life After Books: Atkinson, Donoghue and Ness

Oh, heavens. I just realised that technically speaking the whole ‘New Year’ entry was a special edition so I’m still supposed to write one this week, preferably before the evening is over.

I don’t want to wake up early to go back to work tomorrow. I want to wake up early to walk the dogs, do all the little things I need and want to do, and settle in to write some stuff. January blues, hey ho. I just need a patch of actual blue in the sky or some such cheerfulness in the morning to make things seem a bit better. Or just some sleep. And a few hours to finish reading Patrick Ness’s More Than This.

No, no, don’t tell me what happens. I received a good haul of literature for Christmas – and, purely by coincidence, it’s set me on a fantastic streak of stories that make you question reality and the permanence of life as we know or understand it. But all in different ways, and all brilliant. Continue reading