editors pitched :: 1
replies received :: 1
commissions :: pending
major distractions :: 1
hopes raised :: 1
money made :: none
money spent :: I promise I’ll start this soon. It’s a tough habit to cultivate. The whole idea of wandering around scribbling sums in a book makes me feel like a bit of a twat. But I need to get on top of it. I will, I will.
tobacco consumed :: none
bottles of wine consumed :: 4
physical exercise :: none
metaphysical exercise :: none
week 2/52 overall rating :: 5.5/10
My plan this week was to come to Nottingham, see my family and buy a van. But then, on my first night in Nottingham, my plans fell apart as my sister (the oldest one, who thinks she knows best about everything and occasionally gets lucky) persuaded me not to rush into buying a van.
The plan was to buy a van and drive to France at the end of the month, spend a week or two in France, then drive to Italy, seeing friends and busking along the way. I’ve been talking about busking for years but a) I was nowhere near good enough, and b) I was really really scared. However, I’ve improved a lot over the past year, and also I wanted to force myself to do it, take myself outside my comfort zone and grow as a human being. All that malarkey.
However, one week of intense cold in Peckham reminded how unpleasant the winter can be and I began to think: why? Why set off across Europe in a cold van and a sleeping bag in the middle of winter? Then bad newspapers started talking about the weather in terms of terrorism and my mind was made up.
Why torture myself? Plus, a little more work has turned up in London. And if I save up for another couple of months, I can get an even better van. One with a cooker in it.
So the winter trip is off. And I’m looking forward to the spring. And I’m trying really hard to focus.
I didn’t pitch much this week as I’ve been busy travelling back and forth and seeing family. This has been my major distraction, and I’m allowed it, so it’s fine.
I’ve also been reading the book about journalism I mentioned last week and, without meaning to disparage it, it isn’t very helpful. Although it does contain a very funny mistake about The Cook Report. It’s in an interview with a chap called Richard Cookson, part of a response to a question about which journalists he admires…
(Actually, for a book about journalism, it has an awful lot of mistakes in it.)
What else? This week’s hope was raised on the back of the review I wrote for The Hateful Eight. More of that in a few weeks maybe. Keep hope alive.
The other notable thing that happened this week was that David Bowie died. That same afternoon I had this phone conversation with my mum…
Me: Hello. It’s me.
Mother: Hello. How are you?
Me: I’m fine. Better than David Bowie.
Mother: Why? What’s happened to David Bowie?
Me: He died.
Mother: Did he? So did Ed Stewart.
Me: No disrespect to Ed Stewart, but he’s not really in the same league.
Mother: Is he not? Well, I don’t know. He was good on Crackerjack.
I laughed. When of course I should have yelled ‘Crackerjack!’
I thought David Bowie was a wonderful human being, warm and cool in equal measure, and a writer of some of the world’s greatest songs, but I didn’t love him the way an awful lot of other people loved him. And it was very moving to see that love pouring out all over the place (except for when it seemed horribly bogus, but then who am I to judge?). Normal man James Ward wrote a particularly touching thing here that you should read if you haven’t yet. In it, he says some rather profound things about grief. This, for example:
There is no conclusion to this because there is no conclusion to grief. It stays with you but it gets better. In fact, you learn to love the grief because the grief is love.
The grief is love. That’s what it is.
So here’s to David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Ed Stewart (Crackerjack!). Here’s to John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and Peaches Geldof. Here’s to Elvis, Diana and Lemmy. And here’s to all of us, and all the endless love that holds each and every one of us together, whether we like it, whether we appreciate it, or not.
Have a great weekend and hey – wrap up well.