Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Monster Post

I've been taking notes for this blog all over the place for days, but lacking the computer time to type 'em on in. Hold onto your horses, folks, this is gonna be a long 'un.


Some Equations

Freezing fog + over 100 miles of exposed roads = Driving-Induced Whimpering

Slick shoes + black ice = Car Park Ballet

Bursting up out of the fog into a world of bright, uninhibited sunshine, icy blue skies and white-frosted moorland + momentary on-road solitude = Tearful Awe

Sub-zero temperatures + no gloves = Blue Fingers

Hazelnut capuccino + Youth Policy lecture = Perfection


People Watching

There are things I'm enjoying about being a student (however part-time) and things I'm not enjoying so much. I'm not enjoying the eternal search for a parking place, or for somewhere safe, warm, quiet, cheap and good to eat, for example.

One of the things I am enjoying, though, is observing a much wider pool of people.

Whether it's the historian with her Laura Ashley-esque wardrobe, elfin build and kick-ass big, clunky buckled boots, the metalhead mathemetician with his over-long sideburns, neatly pony-tailed dark hair and his habit of slowly rolling up the sleeves of his pullover to reveal wholly fascinating forearms. The bulky US lad who's gone for the 'hairy' motif, and whose exagerated air of casual ennui I suspect hides an equally exagerated intellect. The soft spoken beautiful girl who takes great care with her appearance, but who, I have only just realised, doesn't think of herself as beautiful at all.

There is so much to draw on, it's frankly intoxicating.

And they keep catching me staring...


Fantasy and Reality

Written Monday afternoon

Writers deal with worlds.

The world we write in, the world we live in, shop in, earn a wage in, mop up after.

And then we talk about the 'real world'. For some, it's the place we go into when the alarm goes off at ugh-o'clock on a Monday morning. For others, nothing is more real than the screaming toddler, and the schoolkid terrified of the school yard because they have the wrong sort of coat.

I know I talk about having work to do in the real world. I know I want the social research lecturer to explain practices and theories in terms of their application to the real world.

I can live with my impatience with academia that doesn't try and apply its learning to improve the fractured world we live in - I can be proud of that practical passion.

But it saddens me that, to me, the day job is 'real' and the writing is not.

One pays, one doesn't. That's at the heart of the problem, I'm sure. Writing is becoming more and more of a luxury. Something I can justify when there are no other 'real world' demands on my time. And you can guess how often that is.

There are exceptional circumstances, of course. This is likely to be the busiest term I will ever experience while studying for this MA (I should be writing a presentation right now). This is (I hope) the most stressful time I will ever experience at work. The house is being redecorated. It's the run up to Christmas.

I can look at those factors and say, stop beating yourself up. I can say, things will change.

But one of the few certainties of this life is that there are always exceptional circumstances. Those who wait for them to go away, wait for ever.

And because I have no intention of waiting forever for my writing to have the chance to become 'more real', I'm going to find somewhere to eat this evening after lectures and write a revisions plan for the MS that recently received so many outrageous compliments.

I want my fantasy to become real. And all the dull, grinding necessities of life to recede - just a little, just enough to be healthy - into mere flights of fancy.


Wrote the revisions plan. It's good, too.


Kitten Tails

Yes, we have new kitties!

I swear to you, as soon as Chrissie and Cleo(catra) emerge from behind the sofa, or as soon as I think I can take a photo without scaring them back into hiding for two days, I will take pictures and post them.

Cleo and Chrissie (for thus are their names) are the most shy and nervous kittens I have ever encountered. At least, I could say that if their arrival hadn't turned Minnie Kitty into the third most shy and nervous kitten I have ever encountered.

Pippi, however, is insouciant (sp?). Oh?, she seems to say, hesitating with one paw halfway to her mouth. New kittens? How sweet. Although having said that, Pippi did nest in my hair on the pillow last night, purring and kneading. I guess she needed a little you-do-still-adore-me-don't-you reassurance.

We do.

Back to the CleoChrissie (like Democracy, only CleoChrissie actually exists). I love watching how they interact. At one moment it seems Cleo follows Chrissie's lead, tentatively poking her head out only when Chrissie has darted out from hiding. The next second, Chrissie's under the coffee table and Cleo's trying to perforate my knee (first contact! Yay!).

Husband, I can tell, is very slightly disappointed he's not peeling rumbunctious kittens off various parts of his anatomy. But there is something in me that loves providing a home for kittens who really need the love we are damned fantastic at giving.

I know all about being the last one picked for the team. The CleoChrissie were still at the rescue centre at twenty weeks old because every time someone came round to choose a kitten, they hid behind the sofa. I've done enough metaphorical hiding behind the sofa in life to know that there's a lot more to be found back there than just dust and toenail clippings.

When they want to come out, we'll be waiting.

With a camera.


At 5:43 am, Anonymous Danica said...

I don't care if it's a monster, it's still great stuff!


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