Monday, January 09, 2017


After getting stuck at East Finchley station with no trains and a ten-mile-long bus queue, plus a report from Offsprog One that her journey to work took two hours today (meaning mine would be three there and three back), I've decided to work in a café like hipsters do.
I think they must work in a different sort of caff because this one is full of yelling babies and their Mums, plus the occasional sinister-looking man probably plotting a murder.
I sent the writing off last night and it has arrived; now I have to wait to see if they will publish it or not. If not, well I suppose that was 30 hours of therapy.
Academics lead topsy-turvey lives. I used to work three part-time jobs when I was financially compromised about three years ago, and I spent whole weekends writing lectures for the different Universities and not speaking to an actual human being at all except by phone. This was very isolating but I had no alternative at the time. One year I spent New Year's Day marking 45 essays which had to be handed back to the students two days later, and last January I spent 50 hours writing a chapter for a book to a deadline. On New Year's Eve I marked six dissertations while the rest of the world celebrated.
Writing songs and playing them is a great way to balance this complete brain-draining life. It's like having a different room in your house where different things happen that make life sparkle. It has its own pitfalls, yes, because musicians are complicated buggers, but so long as the songs turn up on my doorstep I'm not going to turn them away.
Hurl them into outer space, sing them to the sky; songwriters make a protective cloud around themselves that is perceived as creativity, but is actually a sort of armour that repels the pain of life.

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