Thursday, December 14, 2006


The trouble with spending the first dozen years of working life as a bricklayer is that, even though that all feels like another lifetime ago, the tools still come out every now and then. Today I was at mother's, pulling down the bathroom ceiling recently damaged by a burst water pipe, followed by re-boarding and plastering duties. Physical, filthy work and half of the day was spent clearing out the debris, cleaning up and fighting with the shower curtain rail. There's this dull, clichéd line that a lot of theatre writers like to trot out that goes, "of course, that's why it's playwright and not playwrite, like shipwright or wheelwright, because writing is a craft, a trade, you have to physically wrestle with the words, to shape the play, to construct the piece, grapple with it to give it some form. It's more like the work of a carpenter, say, or a stone mason." Like fuck it is. Yes, it's a craft and a skill, but I sometimes wonder if those writers have ever had to undertake a prolonged period of physical graft, from which there appears to be no escape. Well, sitting here on the sofa, feeling completely knackered, my arms killing me and my legs a bit wobbly, I know what I'd rather have been doing today, and it wouldn't have involved a bag of Thistle Board Finish, a plastering trowel and getting covered in shit. Now, let me get back to the easy life of tampering and tinkering with dramatic ideas before I fall asleep.

Listening: Larrikin Love - The Freedom Spark

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