bulk :: unknown
mammoth walks :: 2
walking injuries sustained :: 1
proper exercise :: 0
cigarettes smoked :: 0
bottles of wine drunk :: 0
pints of Bloody Mary consumed :: 6
new reviews for the book :: 1
bleak moments :: a few
high hopes :: a lot
I’m on a National Express coach. It’s currently half an hour late and still sitting in the station in Nottingham. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. The reason it doesn’t matter – apart from the fact that I’m not in a hurry – is that the bus driver is being lovely about it. He informed everyone that the bus was going to be late and suggested that if we were too cold, we could adjourn to the waiting room inside the station and he’d come and get us when the bus turned up. I chose to wait outside, where he informed me that today is his birthday. ‘This is the birthday bus!’ he cried.
The bus is moving. The driver has just passed a bag of chocolates around and sang a burst of ‘Happy birthday to me’.
To recap: it’s a cold, miserable, grey, wet day. The coach is late. And cold. There’s no room between the seats. The toilet is a human rights abuse all on its own. But you know what? It doesn’t matter because the driver is being warm and open and friendly.
I love him.
Yesterday I went into Mansfield to a mid-morning senior citizens’ screening of The Silver Linings Playbook. It’s a film that polarises opinion. Some people find it boring, predictable and offensive in its simplification of mental health issues. I loved it.
I loved the characters and their everyday madness.
When I left the cinema, I walked back towards the centre of town on my way to look for a cheap barber and whenever I thought of the film – particularly the heart-warming denouement – a few more tears escaped. They were happy tears. They were human tears.
I just kept thinking, as long as some of us continue to care enough to love one another, everything will be alright.
Yesterday afternoon I went for a bath at my sister’s house. As I was waiting for the water to rise, I remembered something I’d first heard when I was at college, I think in reference to Robert Browning. It was that many people – specifically many writers and artists – become less liberal, less tolerant, more reactionary, as they get older. The reason I thought about it was that I was thinking about myself and how I’m kind of the opposite.
Although I’m less interested in politics than I was as a young man, I’m also becoming less and less attached to conventional wisdom regarding how we are expected to live our lives. I’m becoming much more of a drifter-hippy-Buddhist-type too. I don’t believe I’ll ever get another job – not a proper job. I’ll probably never own a house. But as long as I can make sure I’m somewhere warm when I start to fall apart, I reckon I’ll be OK. And as long as I can find some people to love me back, everything will be alright.
I’m off to London for the weekend by the way. What are you up to? Anything spectacular? You don’t have to answer. I’ll still love you.