Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Politics

Day 26

Another night’s bad sleep. And it’s nothing that the potions that do work will be able to help with. I think my mind is too adept at soaking up things I have done during the day and then replays in my mind and body through the night-time hours. I’m sure that when I see M this morning she will say that I kept her awake by presenting entire radio programmes in my dozing. I’m sure I recall signing off from a Wednesday show that I’m not doing at about 4 this morning. I looked in the mirror this morning, and my eyes are the proverbial holes in the snow.

Yesterday, I almost did pre-write just one sentence into a draft to act as a prompt for today, but decided not to do it. My sense of honour is too great, often. I wish I had scribbled it down somewhere at least because I’ve now forgotten it. That’s the curse of the writer in any situation, because it’s physically impossible to always carry something around with us that will act as a writing/note-taking implement. I don’t take my mobile to bed with me because I used to and used to get disturbed at all hours by work-related stuff, and by insomniac twitter or whatsapp users. There’s always the house phone if there are emergencies, but you can’t make notes on a fixed-line phone, and I can’t scribble things down on paper with a pen in the dark.

At least I’m staying in bed when I can’t sleep. At least I’m not doing what I sued to do too often and too regularly, which is traipsing downstairs in the middle of the night in shorts and t-shirt (if anything at all), and finding something sweet to eat and water (or something else) to drink, meaning to write down whatever it is that has woken me up, and ending up being distracted by the book I’m reading and sitting there until a ridiculous time in the morning more likely to be the time I should be getting up rather than the time I should be going to bed. Or ending up writing something of such inferior quality that when I do surface again in the morning, I’m too embarrassed to even look at it, and making sure I turn to a new page in my notebook so quickly I can pretend I’ve not written anything.

The gloom of these days seems immovable. I spoke with a friend on the phone yesterday, and she said that she’d been in a bad and unhelpful mood all day exactly because this mass of cloud and mist hanging over this eastern side of England (and most of England by the looks of it) was affecting her mood so badly she really didn’t want to do anything, although she’s normally an all-weather person. I know what she means. When we lived in Norway, I used to spend most of my time outdoors, and the culture there was much more outdoors focused (ignore the xenophobia for the moment). When we moved back to England I was really surprised and disappointed that everything seemed to be focused on keeping people indoors (wet play in schools, driving if it was even just drizzling a bit, closing places when there was one flake of snow; I could go on).

Thinking about this now, maybe it’s another manifestation of what I believe the goal of the British ruling classes has always been – to keep the populace controlled, to keep the little people in their place. So there are national TV campaigns nowadays to deal with obesity, but there’s still no action in place to make Britain a healthier and freer place to live. Because most people have been educated (by a system deliberately underfunded, just like the NHS has been deliberately underfunded) not to think for themselves, because a populace that could think for itself would be a populace ready to take to the streets all the time. And right now, that’s the last thing this government in particular wants, although it has shown itself particularly adept at either ignoring mass protests, and, as I wrote is planning to implement legislation that will just about make every gathering larger than one person a potentially illegal gathering. Ironic that the House of Lords, which most of us regard as an outdated institution (only partly because it is not elected) have put obstacles in the way of this legislation being implemented (though for how long is another question).

That reminds me that my MP still hasn’t even acknowledged the three emails I sent to her last week. Could it really be that a Conservative MP is lazier than the man sitting here before dawn and hitting the keyboard so hard everything on the desk is now permanently vibrating? On that note, I should really start my day. I’ll be back.

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