17 November 2012

saturday morning notes

I didn't bring any wine or whisky back this time. My train was early, and goodbyes at this point seem as clich├ęd as commenting on the weather, or asking whose round it is. I thought maybe while I was up there I would set in stone a date for my return, but I didn't. There are possibilities, some quite close, but nothing solid. Like a spun out yo-yo, there's nothing yanking me back up. Well, nothing except nostalgia and missing my mates. 

We ate at the local last night. My oldest sister's over from Ireland, and while I'm sure she's still crazy, it was lovely to see her. The pub was warm and all the tables seemed happy with their respective company. It was loud and lovely and the food, beer and wine all tasted great. 

The future's a little clearer. Well, parts of it are. The book and the books that follow are no longer mirages in the distance. Slowly, potential new adventures take shape. 

It was raining earlier and now it's not. Instead, a grey Saturday with puddles to dodge and closed umbrellas. Might go for a run. From downstairs I can hear the espresso machine pushing out coffee and I think maybe I'll have a cup first.

The last of the coloured leaves cling to the branches, holding on to the autumn and refusing to let winter blow them away. 


Buy My Book. Please.

13 November 2012

visiting rights

A somewhat barren and grey autumnal England gave way to some sun north of the border and white horses riding the waves of the sea to the east. I have two small rucksacks with me and that's all I'll be bringing back after this brief visit to Scotland. Both may be laden with wine, but there won't be any more baggage. What's there will just be heavier. 

This trip was planned awhile ago, before I left the last time with a van full of all my stuff. I knew I would be back for this. I'd sorted out a place to stay, two lunches and a nice bottle for my host. As of yet, though, I've no return planned. When I leave Thursday morning, that's it until next time, and I don't know when that next time is.


And that's a little strange for me.

12 November 2012

back on the path

The following was written Sunday, 11 November, but I thought the Vonnegut quote more apt to post that day:

It rained last night. Quite a lot, as it happens. It woke me up in the wee hours and I got up to shut the window. The cat wasn't too bothered. He thought maybe for a moment that I was getting up at 4 in the morning to feed him, but then he's not very bright. He's just a cat, after all.

It had stopped by the time I rolled out of bed. I put my running kit together without too much of a problem. Everything where I left it over a month ago. I wore a hoody over my t-shirt because it's November. I selected the short run playlist on my iPod. 

It was muddy, damp and crowded. My legs felt caked in rust; muscles, tendons and joints shrieked in discord and disharmony. Two miles in and my lungs got used to it, at least. It felt wretched. Every other runner was faster, and seemed a great deal less on the verge of death.

I tripped at one point, and somehow managed to right myself with out careening head first into the mud. Ninja-like reflexes revealed themselves that have never been there before and I doubt will appear again.

I reached the end and staggered through my cool down walk. Armies of runners passed me; fitter, faster. 

But I made it. And I'll do it again. And it will get easier. 

Or that's what I keep telling myself. 

11 November 2012

…and all music is"

From Kurt Vonnegut's 'Breakfast of Champions' - 

"I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is."

There are some quotes, some pieces of writing, that I cling to; that I clutch in my head and heart and hold tight. I call on them to remind me of the beauty and truth of great writing. This seemed a good time to share this one.