mist on the river

I have a lot of catching up to do. My recap of awhile ago did much to establish what's going on in my head and life on a large, if slightly random, scale. However, as a chronicle, this blog has slipped over the past few months. I've been trying to work out why.

The simple answer would be that I can't be bothered anymore. It's such an easy answer that I've almost convinced myself it's the truth. It paints with a broad brush and sorts it all out in a oner. A buckshot answer - precision unnecessary and bang zoom it's a brace of pheasant. It would be ace if it were true.

Sadly, it's bollocks.

The truth? I think it's something to do with the book and my life in general. I'm nearing the end of the first draft. There's a rush of conflicting emotion that comes from this that has spilled into everything else. On the one hand I'm excited, on the other I think everything I've written is a pile of dreadful rubbish, not just the book, but the scribblings in my notebooks, the outlines and ideas on my computer and, of course, the blog. It's not true. Well, I hope it's not true. But there's a part of me that feels it with such conviction that even starting a new post on the blog is difficult. So I've been starting posts and trashing them after a few short sentences.

Not that there's been much to write about. Most of my days are spent writing and talking to cats. Life in the country has become uncomfortable and lonely. Brief respites, trips to Edinburgh or Fife, bear little comfort. I'm a guest where ever I go, and while welcomed (I hope), I need a place where I am the host. Which brings me back to the state of the book in a roundabout way. While I look for jobs it's the book and those that follow that will provide proper independence. Independence and validation.
In spite of these bouts of self-doubt and discomfort, life still amuses. Last weekend I went to Stirling. It wasn't my fault. It was a friend's flat-warming and for some reason, best known to himself, he lives in Stirling. Disregarding my misgivings, I hopped into Fifi with a print out of the AA's directions and Xfm Scotland playing loudly. The party was drunken. I met a wonderful and beautiful girl: smart, enthusiastic, artistic (professional graphic designer) - she ticked all the boxes. It was too good to be true. So much so that as soon as I'd added all her fine qualities in my head and realised we'd been chatting for twenty minutes without an awkward pause, I knew what the next thing she was going to say was. Sure enough, in the next sentence she mentioned her boyfriend. Ah well - it was a fun chat nonetheless. The cocktails dulled the pain.

Well, the cocktails dulled my pain. The forty year-old wifey whose husband sat on the couch? They dulled her inhibitions. She groped, attempted fondles and smooches, and ultimately straddled my unwilling waist whilst I lay on the floor. Her husband, a mere two metres away, laughed. This was new to me. Flirting with older women? Yup, ticked that box and a few of the ones you tick only if you've already ticked the first one. Molested by an older woman in front of her laughing husband? Nope. And I don't recommend it. Maybe they were swingers. Maybe they were tired of waiting for a basket of car keys that would never come. Maybe the hubby liked watching his wife fondle (well, attempt to fondle - I fought back) wannabe authors. Thankfully their cab arrived and whisked them away before she managed to shove her tongue down my throat. Apparently there are pictures of her advances somewhere online.

There will never be a link to them on this site.
Now I'm in London and Christmas is upon us. A vital payment from a client of mine has not gone through and as such I can't buy anyone presents. Our tree is only three feet tall - all the decent trees sold long before the 23rd. My laptop is back in the shop as the people who repaired one thing broke another and I didn't realise it until two days ago. My parents are driving me crazy earlier than expected.

As dysfunctional Christmases go, it's low on the scale. Tiny Tim I'm not - there's an amazing meal to come and great friends and family. It will be lovely. But I feel genuinely rotten about the lack of gifts. I have a contingency plan of course...
I miss the fog already. I know - missed flights, chaos, yadda yadda yadda. I've missed flights due to snow and cheered for the weather. Why? The kid in me, loving snow for its endless possibilities and loving fog for the way it transports you to another world, taking everything familiar and making it a mystery. The mist rose from the Thames as though the river sweat. Millions of pounds lost and holidays ruined but for a few days these isles changed from one world to another, and it was a stunning sight. I wish I'd taken more pictures.
Listen to The Black Affair: Japanese Happening. Retro techno brilliance with a hint of Brazilian funk.
This was my four hundredth post. Happy Christmas all.