I don’t expect this to be coherent.
A new adventure today. I have a ticket for tonight’s football match. Ever since A started working at Norwich City, ever since I picked her up after work one evening and fell in love with the floodlights again, I’ve been saying that I’d start going to matches, because I love football, love the sounds and smells of football grounds, the romance of evening kick-offs, and miss it. She said I’d never get round to it. So yesterday I got round to it, and bought one of the last available tickets that didn’t have limited visibility of the pitch. And I’m excited to be going, and a little nervous, because technology has changed so much since I lifted the 7-year-old O over the turnstiles at Doncaster Rovers, at Belle Vue, which I was driven past two weekends ago, and which has been replaced by a housing estate (so much for the field of dreams). Why live in a city which has a big football stadium and a Premier League football team (for how long is another question) and not go (leaving covid to one side for the minute)?
When I woke up this morning, my eyes caught sight of the gold necklace and pendant (RACPS and From The Family and a date engraved in it) I got in 1981 that I haven’t worn for a long time for one reason or another (an allergic reaction to a hawthorn in the garden being one reason, the sense of being weighted down by history being the other). It suddenly, with some sort of new clarity, struck me that of the Family that gave me that pendant on my 21st birthday, three out of six are dead, that only 50% of that original nucleus are left. Why that’s never really struck me with such mathematical starkness is beyond me, and it puts some things into perspective. It reminds me that what I say at the end of my radio shows isn’t just empty phrasing, that life really is very short and littered with losses, that I need to grab what I want right now, and not think of resting nor of putting things off to another day (which is probably also part of the reason for the football ticket, actually). So it’s not a question of working out what to do but just of doing it.
Late out today, really. The antibiotics are making me tired. I’d sworn to myself to get up before my alarm went off (M on normals this week, so it is set for 7) if I woke up any time after 6 (and, for context, I put in another 10-hour day yesterday), but when I woke up at five I decided it was too early, and when I woke up again at ten past six and it was still dark, I decided I would relish the warmth of the bed and the comfort of the breathing next to me, and fell back asleep. Forgive me, life.
I started reading a potboiler by Clive Cussler last night. I just want to have something to distract me, after having mainly read what one might term “heavy” books so far this year. And I can’t resist reading a novel that’s set in the Antarctic. It’s my great love anyway, that place, the wide open white space in my mind when I go to bed. The sequel to Dead Men is written, and I will make sure it comes out in the next year or so. And when I’ve finished The Mortality Code, I’ll be going back, in my head, to the Antarctic and writing the final part of what will be the Dead Men trilogy. It needs the third part to close the circle.
My greatest disappointment when I went to the cinema last weekend to see Belfast (which was a very fine film) was that I saw a poster for a film called Operation Mincemeat, all about an incident in WWII to distract Hitler from where the Allies were going to land on what turned into D-Day (google it), something I started writing a novel about ten years ago and, surprise, surprise, never got round to finishing (I couldn’t find the right playlist for it somehow). I may yet write it, nevertheless, because it focuses on a minor character in the whole incident (a racing driver). We shall see.
This will have to do. I sometimes think I spend too much time over writing these things, and know that much of my day is spent unconsciously planning the next day’s somewhere in a passive part of my brain while I’m working and thinking of other things. In bed, last night, just before sleep took me, I came up with what I thought was a great line. For once, I remembered it, but, when waking at 2 this morning discarded it as one of the most rubbish ideas I’ve ever had. Another line never to see a piece of paper.
What happens to writers’ discarded ideas? Perhaps they filter through to the world somehow anyway. Just like us.