Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where I'm at...

I've not been spending enough time at this desk, have I? Actually, a lot of On A Shout has been written at the dining room table. But the more business-like feel of the revisions I'm on with now prompted me to get back to the corner of a room that is my 'workspace'.
Boring, ain't it? And if I'm to do any writing I'll have to remember to lift the lid on the laptop to gain access to the keyboard. To the left of the laptop is part of the latest, scribbled all over draft, while the rest of it's nestling atop the reference books. It's currently 120 pages long.
Ah, the reference books. Rarely peered into Oxford guides to everything someone that deals with language would ever need but neglects to consult, a companion to British history, a whopping Chambers Biographical Dictionary printed on paper that reminds me of that horrible scratchy toilet paper we had at school and an easily dipped in and out of Mojo guide to the Greatest Albums of All Time. There's also the Boys From The Blackstuff scripts to remind me what great writing should be, a cheapo Wordsworth Companion to Literature in English, a whopper companion to philosophy, Robert Graves' legendary Greek Myths, a Halliwell's Who's Who and, of course, it's the law, a complete works of Shakespeare, which gathers dust like no other.
I sit in a hideously uncomfortable seat. I developed some back problems when I worked at the newspaper so we went out and bought a lovely office chair a couple of years ago, and I've never been able to sit in it because M has claimed it as her own.
There are other trinkets. Lots of the main clobber on the desk is inspirational items to remind me what On A Shout is actually about. Historian Jan Crowther's great book about Spurn, a postcard of Lifeboatman legend Henry Freeman, an old RNLI lag giving a young boy what for, a print of a dodgy old lifeboat that's being restored, a detail from a Charles Napier Hemy marine painting and, just in case I really go off the rails, the theatre brochure containing the necessary blurb.
There are other clues about my addled life; a couple of books about J Arthur Rank, a video containing Muhammad Ali footage, a roll of black electrical tape, a Golden Virgina tobacco tin, a box of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads series, a pack of playing cards, lots of bottles of ink, a broken watch, a couple of guitars in gig bags trying to get in shot. Nothing special, eh?

Brief sojourn into the city centre. Why? Because we like to walk in the rain. I wish I could stop feeling mad about the money making scam that is traffic wardens. It should all have left me, really, having spent three months without a vehicle and with no new one in sight. But no, these people still get my back up. Luckily, a young chap who had walked out of a JobCentre Plus (Plus what, exactly?) did my job for me when he spotted a warden slapping a ticket on a camper van with Swiss license plates. "Job centre there, mate," he said menacingly, "go get yourself a fucking proper job, yeah?" I was thinking along similar lines but wasn't anywhere close to vocalising it. So well done, young man. Keen to do something and noticing that the warden was taking photographs of the vehicle, I took a picture of the warden because I know they don't like that. But I say, if they can touch our cars, I can store them electronically on my mobile phone. I also thought how pointless an exercise it was placing a ticket on a foreign vehichle - once the van has left the country how enforceable is a parking fine? Do Interpol get involved at some stage? What type of welcome to a city is a parking ticket? Why oh why oh why can't people just park on the streets for free? Surely the only reason the council needs to generate all this income from parking fees and fines is to pay for the army of wardens that patrol the streets? Grrrrr.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dave don't get me going on this

Martin C