Last night, I went to bed thinking about Aggie and how things might progress from yesterday’s chapter. Interestingly enough, although I have, in the past, dreamed whole long chapters of books and transcribed them the next day, I fell asleep very quickly, and slept for an uninterrupted dreamless seven hours. That doesn’t happen often.
This morning, I am tempted to have a second espresso, before I’m on the radio at ten. I did have a double espresso when I met the children in London on Thursday, and my stomach protested. But I have fathomed the reason for this. On Wednesday evening, I ate too much rich food too quickly. The price of luxury, some might say. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. My life is a conundrum, often, and I sometimes wish it was less so, because it would be nice not to have confusions littered around my veins and my brain.
I woke this morning thinking about how much smoke and mirrors doing the radio actually is. No-one can see what I’m doing when I speak, what I’m thinking when the music plays. No-one knows if what I’m saying is actually the truth. When I say I’m playing tracks from my vinyl LPs, I could actually be telling untruths, could just be playing songs I like but don’t actually own. That is not what I actually do. All the tunes I play on Saturdays, I actually own. I could pretend to be playing them from the actual vinyl, but I don’t. I do want to connect a turn table to the mixer at some point, but the study has already been taken over by so much broadcasting and IT gear that I’m doubtful it will ever happen. I need some tidiness in here, like I need in my brain. I can’t invent stories if there’s a mess around me or inside me. I used to think I wrote best if I had an internal conflict going on, but I’ve realised over the past few years that this is untrue, that it was merely a romantic illusion of how writers are (starving in a garret, drunk on red wine, burning the last piece of furniture to keep warm, scrawling on discarded paper found between window and window frames to stop the cold from coming into the room). All those distractions that kept me from writing good stuff in my youth. The middle ground is always the most fertile.
Our cats are deranged, to a greater or lesser extent. They queue at the French windows in the mornings when I come downstairs, and rush outside as soon as I open the door. There are two perfectly usable cat flaps, but they’re in the construction area right now. Once outside, one of them sprints to the bottom of the garden, where the shallow butler sink is (the frog sink as I call it) and drinks the dirty water in huge gulps, while the other doesn’t venture far but starts grazing the long grass that’s growing up between the paving stones, and then goes back inside and promptly regurgitates it all on the living room floor. Don’t ask me.
Another Saturday morning. Perhaps I will have that second espresso.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 90