curry, cars & Steve Irwin

Solitude's a funny thing. I like my own company. Writing is about as lonely a career as you can choose, so it's just as well. But every once in awhile, you just need to be with your mates. You need company. I'm alone in the house for a couple of days and last night I genuinely felt a bit lonely. I phoned a lot of people, caught up a bit, started the 'agent hunt', but when I hung up, I was still in a big house by myself in the middle of nowhere. Normally, this would be a good thing. Many pages get written in such situations. So I finally settle down to do some writing, pour myself a beer and re-read page 140-odd. But I wasn't ready yet, so I checked Messenger to see if Irony was about, as I hadn't chatted with her in ages and she was grumpy the last time. Irony was about and on spectacular form, with all sorts of good news. Friends with good news are a much underrated wonderful thing. Chat turned to dinner. There was food in the house, but I fancied a curry. I mentioned this and was told I was a bastard because I could go to the Balaka for a curry. The Balaka's in St Andrews, just over an hour drive away. I dismissed the idea at first, citing the distance involved and the general extravagance of traversing a couple of counties and a firth for a curry. It was the non-driver in me. It just didn't occur to me that I could drive to St Andrews to eat dinner and drive back. It wasn't even seven yet. And I'm the one who harps on about needing adventure in my life. So I phoned Pete W, mired in a stocktake in St Andrews, and told him we were going for a curry - I'd be there in just over an hour. And with the Kaiser Chiefs as my theme music, bounding over the Forth Road Bridge, that's what I did. It felt good, the company was good, and the curry was ace.

Off to Fife again today, to whisk a gorgeous young student away from her dissertation to buy her lunch and see if her incredibly fit friend still fancies me, or at least remembers who I am. There's a picture of her draped over me somewhere on this site - the friend that is.

In other news, an old friend, deeply upset at the loss of Steve Irwin, has started a poetry tribute to him. The best will be sold to raise money for his conservation fund. So, without further ado, I give you Steph Lunn's tribute, penned in a moment of grief last Friday.
Golden crinkly spaces of time will pass
But your khaki-tinted memory will last

And when we watch you handling snakes
What hearts your memory will break

How odd that we still fancied you a bit
As you rolled around in crocodile sh*t *(no swearing in the office)

But all good things must come to an end
Someday our sad little hearts will mend

So next time I’m chasing Komodo Dragons up a tree
I will close my eyes and think of thee

And while with your memory I’m smitten
I will try my best not to get bitten….

And with a bottle of wine so white
We’ll drink to you and your crocs tonight

RIP Steve xx
If you'd like to submit a poem (no time wasters please), email with the subject line "croc poet." I think she had a bit of a crush on him, poor thing.