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My mind has burst its banks and Diaryland will suffer

Titled ‘My mind bursts’ and first posted on 23/02/2002 in my Diaryland blog (which I started in September 1999)

A piece of writing has been well received and I’m locked into getting that to a publisher.

New ideas that could take six months each to fill and rushing in through the study door.

I just saw something at ‘nakedthought’ that wants me to drop everything and write a screenplay. (After five years abstinence).

All this:

All this and I may turn a piece into a one man play for the Edinburgh Fringe.

All this and I’ve started to do that ‘writer-ish’ thing of sticking scraps of paper up all over the room. (For lack of space they hang from beneath the shelves that run floor to ceiling on two sides of the room. The third wall is a fitted noticeboard – no space left. The fourth is a window. If I sit up I can keep an eye on the Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits ‘Midnight’ and ‘Foggy’ – kittens. And the extremely elderly guinea-pigs ‘Particle’ and ‘Harriet’).

All this and I’m on day two, week one of the ‘Artist’s Way’ (Am I allowed to tell you that?). What I can’t do is post up the 1,000 to 2,000 words I write each morning. Huh! Said enough yet?

Have to, have to, have to find £3,000 a month from somewhere. And heh! I don’t want to. My desire is to sell the house and move out of reach of London to somewhere far cheaper so I don’t feel I must climb into the ‘Hamster Wheel’ ever, ever, ever again. I fancy Cyprus, the north coast of Majorca, or the far South West of France. Cornwall would do. I suspect my darling other half will convince me that trying to buy a rabbit hutch in one of the most expensive, though lovely, towns in Britain, is what we should be doing. I’ve started to write about the county town of Lewes here the other day. Check out Southover Grange. Our eldest went to nursery in this 16th mansion. I digress.

Where was I? Another first

I’m writing directly into ‘Andrew’s Box’ (If I can put it that way). Do you do that? I hate the thought of all those typos, poor punctuation. Lack of spacing. Maybe I should keep this up. Or, eeeek! Abandon the thing for a few weeks.


And stop keeping a daily record in the Psion to post later? Huh! If you saw my entry for last Saturday you’ll see wherein the problem lies. 6,000 words for one day? Correction. That was Five hours! I took the Newhaven-Dieppe Ferry to France. I skated over who I met, what we did, where I went, what I bought. In passing I’ll point you to the soundtrack of the film ‘Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie’. The music by Yann Tiersen is both derivative and original. He pays homage (if not royalties) to Michael Nyman and Eric Satie. If you need a lift, listen to this. If you want to push your typing speed beyond 40 wpm, listen to this, there’s a haunting, driven, lilt to the thing.


I’m a dad. I have kids 3 and 5 in front of the TV upstairs. We have eggy-bread on Saturday mornings. I make intricate eggy-bread faces with the pieces. Think edible Quentin Blake! Later we will swim. Perhaps go to a zoo and wild life park on the South Downs called ‘Drusilla’s’.


There is a powerful south westerly gale beating its way up from the Bay of Biscay. The sun is out, low, sharp. Gulls occasionally interrupt the huff and puff of the wind. It is too early for them to be cracking the sky with their piercing calls. In the distance waves tumble onto the pebbles around the bay. Powerful waves, angry, subway rumbling waves. That’s where I’d like to be. Wrapped up for a ski trip in gloves, hat and goggles. Psion at my fingertips. Writing. Just writing. Losing myself in this invented adventure or that.

Life calls

Hungry people grumble. My tummy does too. And my dearest darling is feeling poorly. So I’ll make her a hot drink and take her breakfast in bed. Those rabbits and guinea-pigs need cleaning out. The aquarium needs some attention. The hamster needs some T.L.C. too ……….


I got this from the A.D.D. person’s guide to survival, ‘Driven to Distraction’ by Hallowell and Ratey. It is tip sixteen on my list of senty seven. ‘Only Handle It Once’. It is supposed to unblock the inclination to stack tasks and post in great piles the better to never deal with them. Diaryland bangs on the door every day as I wake; klong before. Sense it is becomign a problem?

My thinking was/is to apply this to Diaryland. I type it straight in, straight up. None of this notebook, Psion, into the PC, spell-check, edit, paste it into Filemaker Pro, change locations and names thing. Just stick in there. Give ‘Andrew’s Little Box’ all you have. (That’s what I did. Did, as in what you are now reading was copied from Diaryland, pasted into Word and is being reformatted and embellished0.

The weblog is bugging me. The order of events is screwy and I hate not having a html tag that means something. So what. Life isn’t perfect, neither is Diaryland.

We will not be swimming this morning. Swollen tonsils in a three year old

RE: My desire to live elsewhere (see above) my Darlingest describes a vivid dream.

I know the score. Listen, like a psychologist, let the story run, let her expose its detail and meaning.

We are in a large house. We invite 16 people over, 30 or more come. We are in the States. Huh! (So North America beckons once more). It is midday. A house warming party, we have friends from home too, with their kids. (Sounds fine to me). Then it turns into something else. A crying child who feels they only get their mothers attention if they cry.

I take her coffee and ‘pain au chocolat’. ‘I don’t eat chocolate in the morning’ comes the complaint. (Same rule applies with the kids, yet she bought the things and they are eaten for breakfast). She gets eggy bread too. Though she doesn’t get the ‘Eggy Bread Face’ treatment.

They weren’t Quentin Blake. Must be the ‘Artist’s Way’ catalyst. They get faces that are graphic.

I catch sight of the sea from the kids’ bedroom. The tide must he in. Foam and fluff from the top of broken waves wisps and curls up from the bank of pebbles 350 yards away like fiery plumes from a volcano with a grumbly tummy. I’ll go and fetch the binoculars, take a lingering look. I’ve been warned that guests bringing small children are due at 10.00.


On the Writers Group

I have buzzed and been angry since it left. Had the writer’s been Henry Miller, Jeffrey Archer, Salmun Rushdie, Michael Crichton, J K Rowling and Barbara Cartlan would I be so rattled now? Perhaps, perhaps not. You can learn more in a self-help group. Take what you want from it. I won’t be told. The frustration was in feeling gagged. There was a lot of awful writing presented. But what do you do? What do you say? Most offered bland white-wash approval. I thought, we aren’t here to pat each other on the back. I want to make money from writing. I fear some of them are just coming in out of the cold, one guy is certainly out to make ‘new friendships’ you could tell where his priorities were during the tea-break – he sidled over to the ‘new girl’, gave me the cold shoulder and concentrated his efforts on her. Not on her writing, but on her. Made me cringe. Made me angrier still. The group is run be a pro, a wonderful women, a performer, a former opera singer, playwright with work in the West End. Mum of two. She has the warmest of smiles. The kind that makes you feel loved and understood. I can see why she fell in love with her husband on site. They share the same calm warmth and expressive faces. He’s an actor. He was the year above me at school, the year above me at university. We had similar careers ‘til then. That’s when I started to ‘shadow’ my creative ambitions. Oxford Graduates are attracted by fat pay checks into all kinds of things. I had promised myself U.C.L.A to direct, promised myself R.A.D.A. to act. Promised to pursue ‘creative happiness’ only to turn my back on the BBC and wash up on the shores of a London advertising agency – that I loathed on touch.

Twisting the dial from jolly to sad to bonkers …

I’ve switched the jollity of Amelie for the dour drama and tragedy of Samuel Barber’s ‘adagio for string’. I guess I’m feeling tragic, like a tragic failure. I must make money from something soon. Even if it means taking the guitar into Brighton and busking in the Lanes. This cash will make no dent in the gargantuan debts I’ve built up, what I want is … I don’t even want the cash. Little notes popped in my guitar case saying ‘nice songs, nice voice’ would do. Smiles of appreciation. A small group taking a break from the shops to enjoy ballads I composed in my teens.

There’s something I just cannot do anymore

I can ‘get my hand in’ if I draw for a few hours, but I have not been able to click into a songwriting pattern at all. I play some chords, get the beginning of something but seem unable to marry the words to the music. Is it lack of passion? Do good songs only come from youth?

I digress, I digress. We slip into something that isn’t Adagio For Strings. Time for an anarchic pick me up. On goes …

Bjork: ‘Human Behaviour’

‘If you ever get close to a human

and a human behaviour

be ready to get confused

There’s definitely no logic

To human behaviour

But yet so irresistible

There’s no map

To human behaviour’

Did I know this is what I wanted? I might have taken one of several Bjork discs or remixes from the shelf behind me. This is what I got. This is what I’ll be for now.

Caffeine Buzz

I’m breaking a rule. I may be about to commit to ‘The Artist’s Way’ and do it by the book, but my New Year Dettox is being screwed ragged. I am sipping from a mug of espresso. The entire pot is mine. This is going into a body that that taken a month to come off a chemical mix of high dose paracetomol, caffeine and alcohol.

Someone just poured lighter fuel into the box of fireworks and lit the match

Wrong place, wrong time background music drives me insane with distraction. That was then, when I was bubbly over with caffeine. Now I need the music in order to concentrate – something has to suck away part of my concentration otherwise I would. I would. Not be able to sit here for more then ten minutes without being distracted.

Life bursts in over my shoulder

Something about something I said or didn’t say, explained or didn’t explain. Is the house a mess or not? I’d described it as ‘relative’, we have guests on our doorstep. They wouldn’t care too hoots. It is ‘relative’ – relatively tidy for a house where both parents work from home, where there are two small children and it is four hours into the morning of the weekend …

This must stop

It doesn’t. It was about to., I was about to. But Bjork will go on. Will come out with:

‘There’s More to Life Than This’

‘Come on girl

Let’s sneak out of this party

It’s getting boring

There’s more to life than this’.

If it is possible to be caffeine drunk that is me right now.

The Yoga Lady too

She’s a mum and she’s my ‘Yoga Lady’ from the Southover Grange piece. Her husband is here. I’m not embarrassed. I aske her to do something. To get down on the floor. Cor! Oops! Head flat, bum raised, arms out. I do a sketch. We get into a debate about where bits of Lewes would, could or should be placed on her torso. Hubby doesn’t like the idea that everyone drives into Lewes on her bum (butt).

And I need to get milk, and we are out of coffee … and I haven’t this or that ot ….

Oh Feck!!!

(As they say in ‘Father Ted’ Ace Brit Comedy)

Feck!! Feck!! Feck!!



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