I have Scrivener open on my laptop.
It shows the novel I’m working on.
Someone’s standing next to me, looking at it.
He says it’s good, would like to read it.
I point out that I’ve only finished re-writing a third of it
He looks at me as if I’ve let him down, as if I’m just another time-wasting wannabe who doesn’t understand what’s involved.
I say somewhat sheepishly that I’d better take it home and do it tonight.
He says nothing.
Archive for September, 2009
I have Scrivener open on my laptop.
I’ve played a few gigs with PJ Harvey in the UK.
It was fun. I did well.
She asks me to go on tour with her in America.
We walk along a meandering light brown path alongside a river.
There are broad areas of dry grass on either side. A few trees.
People rush past us on bicycles as we walk.
I want to go, but think about my wife and kids.
bad men. gangsters or something. they wear black suits.
they take people somewhere.
a derelict building. large. middle of a field. deserted.
inside they torture people then set them on fire.
one day I see this.
then another day I’m there with someone else.
they threaten us. lots of them.
we try to hide but they catch us.
the floor inside the building is on a slight slope.
a group of them surrounds my friend.
they have guns.
my friend’s lying on the ground.
they gather round him and all shoot. his body jerks with the bullets.
bullets hit me too; I can feel them passing through me but they don’t hurt.
they stop firing.
my friend’s moaning, still alive.
one walks up and shoots him in the head with a shotgun.
he’s still moaning, still alive.
another one has a bottle of something.
shows me the label.
I don’t know what it is, but he points out the words “highly inflammable”.
he douses my friend in it, set him alight.
he screams as he burns.
then it’s my turn.
they pour the liquid on to me.
The Guardian recently published an article in which the majority of respondents to a “survey” claimed they would leave the midlands if widespread broadband Internet access enabled them to work from home. Here is the letter I sent in reponse. A link to the original article can be found beneath.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I write in relation to your front-page article of 26/08/09 headed – Home is where the heart is – unless it’s in the Midlands
A few years ago my wife and I considered moving our family to the South West of England as my internet-based job would allow this. We subscribed to a local newspaper in our preferred area. Looked at houses. Jobs for my wife. Schools for the kids. However, after much deliberation we decided against the move.
Property prices made an idyllic country cottage or house overlooking the harbour impossible. Transport infrastructure, journey times and the pressures of everyday life would likely make evening strolls on the beach the exception rather than the rule.
In Birmingham we have front-door to city centre in 20 minutes by local rail service. The city has a considerable cultural heritage, with art galleries, libraries, theatres, and a thriving local music scene, and there are a huge range of activities and attractions elseshwere in the region.
While it may not initially seem the most desirable of locations, as our children grow up Birmingham – and the midlands in general – offers a wealth of opportunities, and in truth no less exposure to drugs and crime than their counterparts in the South West.
The dream of a better life enabled by the internet is undoubtedly an appealing one, but the reality is unlikely to result in a genuine change of lifestyle for all but the most affluent.