14 Nov 2007
I’m irritated to be here on this Blog. Don’t quite know why I came. Ah yes! My partner is in France and I have cinq chiens for company. They are trying to catch flies. The whirling in the room reminds me of the whriling of the past tour. The whirling is just about grinding down now and I am delirious with pleasure at the fact that I can walk my own dogs (five of them for those of you who don’t speak cinq), make my own breakfast, sleep in my own bed, and drive my own little VW Lupo around my neighbourhood.
I don’t want to feel I must log every moment of a period of my life in which there is nothing to log, not really. I’m resting, and I need rest. Not the kind of rest that is required because of exhaustion, simply the rest you need when you change your lifestyle as dramatically as I have since the Who tour ended in early July. But I am driven. I should let you good people, who have nurtured me for two years with your attention, hard earned money and sweet patronage, know that if I cannot provide a log because there is little to log, I can perhaps log the log vacuum itself.
I am writing. That message alone seems to say different things to different people. I have no idea where my writing will take me, but I am writing. Sometimes I am writing with a computer in front of me. Sometimes it’s a clean sheet of paper, an eraser and a soft pencil. Sometimes it’s a keyboard, a guitar or a box with buttons. Sometimes I write in one of those little Moleskine books that tell you Hemingway used. Want an excerpt? Want to peer right into the secret drawers of my life? Quote: Snug. Sweep chimney. Make smoke guard from glass. Quote: Large hex keys, small socket screw bulbs. Quote: Robbie, lunch. Quote: Jack lunch. Quote: NY Stage and Film CD. Quote: Woofer, passive speakers for Woody.
You will be able to tell I may yearn for a normal life but I don’t have to buy my own toilet paper or wholemeal bread. They can’t be quoted.
To demonstrate how far back I must reach to catch up with myself, when I’m not writing, making breakfast or dog-walking I’m reading Skating to Antarctica by Jenny Diski. I was sent this book by Frances Coady about ten years ago. Frances was my colleague when I was at Faber & Faber in the mid-eighties. She was subsequently the managing editor for Granta when this book was first published. It’s a marvel. I’m halfway through. It’s a kind of misty autobiography, a view of a tough post-war childhood from the haze of a journey to – you guessed it – Antarctica. Jenny wanted everything to be white. That is her comfort. What can be more comforting for her than a world of ice, sea and snow? I’m anxious to see how things turn out. The whole book feels like a glorious white movie by Tarkovsky or someone. I’ll get my coat.
Now that I’ve fulfilled what feels like a duty, the irritation fades. Even logging a journey that hasn’t begun seems to be cathartic in some way. Skating to Cathartica.